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Old Dec 30, 2006, 2:51 AM   #1
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The A200 is a very versatile compact and pretty good quality. Please list the limitations and omissions which might encourage me to move to an SLR.

It seems to me that there is a status attached to carrying an SLR but I am looking for the practical advantages.

I moved from film SLR to digital compact about2 years ago.

Here....I'll start the list:

--- wide variety of lenses available (although the A200 has a good zoom range, fair quality and my lens converter boosts the fl to 350);

--- weight (an SLR has adecent weight in case you need to use it in self defence);

--- status;

--- portability of lenses and/or body to upgrade SLR;

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Old Dec 30, 2006, 8:25 AM   #2
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1. An A200 is a neutered version of an A2 (or even an A1 for that matter). The A1/2 is probably the closest thing you could get to a DSLR before the Sony R1 was released.

2. An A200 has no PC-Synch port (among other handy things) and far more noise (at any given ISO) than any DSLR.

3. One advantage the A200 does have is the ability to compose shots from various angles using the movable LCD.
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Old May 21, 2007, 8:03 AM   #3
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I have an A200. It is fine outdoors where there is plenty of light. It is alsoOK indoors with an add on flash gun. It just isn't the camera to use for capturing action; sports, flying birds, etc. It'sAF is slower than a DSLR. I use a Promaster 7500DX flash on my A200, but it only gives me more flash range, not speed. An add on flash that has an AF assist beam will not function with the A200. I recently moved up to a DSLR. I went with a Pentax K100D. I wanted a KM 5D or 7D, but waited too long after the SONY deal and couldn't find one new, and couldn't afford an Alpha A100. I have a Pentax add on flash with AF assist that works in virtually no light situations. Keep in mind that if you think you will invest in an add on flash gun, the A200 has that funky KM hot shoe mount that will not accept the cheaper non-dedicated auto flashes.

Autofocus is night and day difference, particularly indoors or in low light. After using the K100D exclusively for a few months, when I went back to the A200, I thought something was wrong with it. I'm now spoiled by the AF speed of a DSLR. AF accuracy is also better on a DSLR. You won't getmany missed, blurry shots. Manual focus is also much easier to use. The A200 manual focus is guess work to me. Burst mode is faster and more accurate also on a DSLR.

High ISO performance is much better on a DSLR. I find 800 ISO on the A200 to be too noisey. 1600 ISO on the K100D is fine.

The feature set on the A200 is just as good as on the K100D. The A200 may have a slight advantage on WB color accuracy indoors when set fortungsten lighting. But that isonly over the K100D. I'm sure a Nikon or Canon's DSLR'swould be on par with the A200. The K100D speed and focus accuracy indoors negates the slight disadvantage in WB though. And the reviews I have read indicate that the Pentax AF system is a tad slower than Nikon's and Canon's, so those brands are even faster.

Adisadvantage of a DSLR over a point and shoot is supposed to besize, however, cameras like the K100D and Nikon D50, D40, Canon XTaren't much larger than the A200. To get the same focal distance range on a DSLR (28-200MM) I have two lenses. An 18-55mm and a 50-200mm. The crop factor on most DSLR's is 1.5x (1.6x for Canon, 2x for Olympus). So the 18-55mm lens is equal to a 27-82.5mm and the 50-200mm is equal to a 75-300mm. You could go with one lens in the 18-200mm range, but I have read they may be more prone to distortion at the xtreme ends of the zoom range.

If I had to do it over again, I would have used the money I spent on the A200 towards a DSLR. I'm not knocking the A200 - it's fine for landscapes and portraits when you have the time to compose and focus. It's just not as versatile as an SLR.

I may have made a mistake going with Pentax, similar to the Konica Minolta aquisition by Sony, there is news that Hoya is aquiring Pentax.
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Some more advantages for the A200:
1. A live histogram - an enormous help when composing pics, especially mixing ambient light and flash.
2. I can shoot hand held at speeds as low as 1/30 seconds, because of the low weight of the camera.
3. I can synchronise off-camera flash at 1/1600 seconds (triggered by optical slaves, though I am planning to get a radio trigger system). Most SLRs stop at 1/250 seconds unless you go for the enormously expensive FP mode solution.
4. Never any dust-on-sensor issue.
5. Total weight of kit, with two flashes, 3 tripods, etc, is under 3 Kg.

Picture quality can't measure up to an SLR, of course, but the flexibility this camera offers is unbeatable.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 3:34 PM   #5
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Simon40, did you look at the dates of the previous posts? The questions first posed are definitely moot by now. One must be observant grasshopper.
Sony A57 with 18-55 kit lens, Sony A200 and Sony H70
50mm f3.5 Minolta Maxxum macro
24mm f2.8 Minolta Maxxum
100-300mm Minolta Maxxum APO Zoom
70-300 Sony apo G SSM Zoom
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