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Old Nov 8, 2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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Default Sony A200 viewfinder

Can anyone with the A200 let me know if it's possible to see the blurring of background in the viewfinder itself in aperture priority mode (or any mode for that matter)? If I have a bigger lens eg 70-300mm as opposed to the standard kit lens will this enable me to see it better? Or do I just have to check the recorded image and adjust the aperture in every case?
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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The view through the viewfinder is always at the maximum aperture, so if that's what you'll be using for the shot you're about to take, then yes, you'll see the blurred background that results from the shallow Depth of Field. ... in any mode.

It's easier to see it in the resulting print or in the magnified Playback mode than in the viewfinder, but it is visible in the viewfinder.

Of course, since the A200 doesn't have a DoF Preview button, if you're stopping down the aperture, there's no way to see the DoF in advance of taking the shot.

If you are shooting at the maximum aperture and you want to see the shallow depth of field in the viewfinder, you could get a Sony FDA-M1AM Magnifier.
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Last edited by TCav; Nov 8, 2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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Thanks TCav

I'm just starting out in DSLR so don't know much yet! Would you recommend this as a good entry level camera or do you think the nikon d3000/canon 1000d would be better?

My budget is tight and I've found the A200 for about 225 and the nikon/canon are about 400, however from reading a lot of reviews and forums it appears the sony lens range is limited and there are more lens available with a nikon/canon mount.
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity25 View Post
I'm just starting out in DSLR so don't know much yet! Would you recommend this as a good entry level camera or do you think the nikon d3000/canon 1000d would be better?

My budget is tight and I've found the A200 for about 225 and the nikon/canon are about 400, however from reading a lot of reviews and forums it appears the sony lens range is limited and there are more lens available with a nikon/canon mount.
If you're looking for a good entry level dSLR with a good selection of lenses, I'd cross the D3000 of fthe list as well. It and it's siblings, the D5000, and its predecessors the D40, D40X and D60, don't have the built-in AF motor, so about half of Nikons lenses, and about three quarters of the third party lenses won't autofocus on it.

That leaves the Canon 1000D.
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Last edited by TCav; Nov 8, 2009 at 9:43 PM. Reason: Changed "a quarter of the third party lenses" to "three quarters ..."
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 1:44 PM   #5
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trinity-

For general hobbyist photo shooting the Sony A-200 or A-230 DSLR cameras are an excellent starting point. The Canon 100D represents a larger investment.

I have enjoy my A-200 and A-230 cameras a lot and have produced some excellent photos. For me it works well and allowed me to get in at a minimum investment level.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 8:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity25 View Post
My budget is tight and I've found the A200 for about 225 and the nikon/canon are about 400, however from reading a lot of reviews and forums it appears the sony lens range is limited and there are more lens available with a nikon/canon mount.
Here's a review with comparisons between the Sony A200 and Canon XS (a.k.a., EOS-1000D) you're looking at.

http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcame...oc.aspx?i=3434

BTW, the Sony A200 also has a better viewfinder compared to the XS or D3000 you're looking at, since that seems to be a concern (even without using the eyepiece magnifier that TCav mentioned). There's not a lot of difference between them, but the Sony A200 gives you the largest view, followed by the D3000, then the XS (smallest effective viewfinder size between the 3 models you're looking at).

Also, keep in mind that you can use any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made with the Sony (as well as third party lenses in Minolta AF mount from Sigma, Tamron and others).

So, unless you have very specific requirements for a lens in the Canon lineup that you don't have available in the Sony lineup (or available from third party vendors like Tamron and Sigma), or you need a specific feature available on the Canon (for example, Live View), then the Sony is a much better value at current prices (it's got a lot of "bang for the buck"). IOW, I certainly wouldn't spend almost twice as much for a Canon XS (1000D) if the Sony meets your needs.

Now, there are some weak areas in the current Sony lineup. For example, Sony doesn't make the equivalent of some of Canon's primes like the 85mm f/1.8 USM (although they do offer a brighter Sony/Carl Zeiss 85m f.4 at a much higher price). But, that Canon lens that costs more than the A200 body you're looking at anyway (and you mentioned being on a tight budget). Besides, it's not the type of lens most entry level dSLR users are going to buy, unless they have specific requirements (for example, indoor sports).

With more advanced camera bodies (for example, if you upgrade down the road), I expect to see sales of primes continue to drop anyway, even for indoor sports, since you have more flexibility with an f/2.8 zoom, and available ISO speeds are continuing to increase with newer camera bodies.

You've got a wide variety of lenses available for all of those cameras, especially if you take third party vendors like Tamron and Sigma into consideration. So, I'd try them out in a store to see what feels more comfortable to you, pricing any lenses you feel you may need to make sure you're covered with the camera you choose.
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 8:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Sarah and Jim for your sound advice.

I think I might stick to the A200 as the price is just too good to pass and the specs for all 3 are quite similar, apart from Live View - which I think I can live without as it will probably eat into the battery anyway.

Am off to Australia in a few days so now all I need is a good zoom lens - which would you recommend? The sony SAL 75-300 is cheapest at the moment but I'm not sure if it has a Macro function on it (I like photographing flowers/insects etc). If not the Sigma/ Tamron 75-300 seem like the other options available although I've read mixed reviews for the sigma.
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 9:09 PM   #8
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In a budget 70-300mm, I'd probably lean towards the Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro

The newest version is a 1:2 Macro lens (meaning you can fill the frame with a subject twice the size of the camera's sensor when zoomed into it's longest focal length). It's available for the Canon, Nikon and Sony models you're looking at.

In a smaller and lighter weight zoom, you may want to look at a Sony or Tamron 50-200mm f/4-5.6 AF lens. They have a 1:3.5 Macro rating (able to fill the frame with a subject 3.5x the size of the camera's sensor at their longest focal length). Here's the Tamron version of it:

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/55200mm.asp

Note that the Sigma 70-300mm budget zooms have a reputation for failing due to stripped gears on some of the newer Sony bodies, probably because of the faster Autofocus motor Sony started using beginning with the A200 (it's Autofocus is roughly 1.7x as fast as the A100 it replaced). So, I'd probably avoid that Sigma, as it doesn't seem to hold up as well on newer Sony bodies. I have not seen that problem reported with any other Sigma zooms (it appears to be unique to that Sigma).
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 9:17 PM   #9
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P.S.

Here's one thread about the Sigma:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/so...0-300-apo.html
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 9:27 PM   #10
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Yes you can see the burring of the background in the view finder. The viewfinder on the A200 although small it is pretty good. But you get better idea of how the picture turns out looking on the LCD screen after its taken.

dave
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