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Old May 6, 2011, 9:16 AM   #11
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Although I would prefer to stick with Sony, I would be open to moving to either a Canon or Nikon if that would give me more success...? Would it or are all these systems pretty similar?
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Old May 6, 2011, 10:14 AM   #12
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There are pros and cons to any of them; and a lot depends on how you want to use a camera. In the current Nikon lineup, the D5100 and D7000 both use a Sony 16MP CMOS sensor, as found in the Sony A580 (many Nikon models use Sony sensors).

The Nikon models have a larger lens selection available (that is, when you can find them in stock). But, the Sony A580 has a much larger internal buffer compared to those Nikon models if you wanted to shoot in RAW for better quality)

In the Canon lineup, the T3i or 60D would be choices that offer similar features at close to the same price. But, you'd need to move up to the 60D to get an internal buffer size that's close to the same size as the A580 (and it's still smaller than the A580 has). If you're not shooting RAW, that wouldn't make much difference though.

If you wanted to move up to something in an even higher end model, then Sony doesn't have much to offer, whereas you have higher end models with better AF systems in the Canon and Nikon offerings (at a higher price point).

But, given how good the 16MP CMOS Sensor in the A580 is, I don't see where you'd need anything better for most purposes, and my perception of the new AF system based on using some of the Sony models with it is that it's pretty good (much better than the one in your A100 for sure).

Now, I shoot with a Sony A700, so I tend to keep up with the Sony products more and like what Sony did with the A580. IMO, it's got much better "bang for the buck" if you're shooting at higher ISO speeds compared to the current competition. But, I'm probably a bit biased in that direction since I do shoot with a Sony camera.

Basically, compared to the Canon models in it's price range, it's going to have better color depth, better dynamic range and lower noise levels. But, in real world use, I doubt you'd see much difference between them. Compared to the Nikon models in it's price range, you wouldn't have those differences (since the Nikon models like the D5100 and D7000 are using a Sony 16MP CMOS Sensor). You would see some differences in Noise Reduction shooting JPEG (as Nikon uses a more conservative approach compared to Sony). I tend to shoot RAW more often anyway, so NR at the JPEG level wouldn't make much difference to me.

I wouldn't see a need to change brands unless you plan on going to a much higher end system, as Sony doesn't offer any pro level cameras suitable for sports use like you'd find in the Canon and Nikon lineup (Nikon D3s, etc.).
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Old May 6, 2011, 10:26 AM   #13
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Jim hit the high points. If you are going to stick with entry to mid-entry level camera you're not going to gain much by switching systems. The biggest gain would be had by providing you ability to go to semi-pro models like Nikon D300 (and it's replacement since the d300 is a bit old in the tooth) and the canon 7d. Those have much more sophisticated AF systems than the 580.

The current Sony semi-pro model: a700 competed well with the canon & nikon counterparts of that era. But Canon & Nikon both have moved on - not only replacing models comparable to the A700 but also creating the higher end models (D300 and 7d) which are a large performance step above for sports shooting. There is some rumor that a new translucent mirror camera - the A77 will be the long-awaited replacement of the A700. We just don't know yet.

No doubt the A580 will be a significant improvement over the a100 for you. You'd want to step up to the Canon 7d or Nikon d300 to get a significant gain in AF performance.

As jim said though - for non-sports activity you'll be hard pressed to notice real-world differences in any of the modern DSLRs.
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Old May 15, 2011, 9:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
In the Sony lineup, I'd look at the new A580. It's new 16MP CMOS Sensor is going to do much better at higher ISO speeds compared to the 10MP sensor in your A100.

IOW, you could use it at ISO 3200, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for a given lighting and aperture compared to your ISO 800 setting (with visible noise levels for a given print/viewing size that's not far off compared to what you're seeing now at ISO 800).

Then, get something like a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM lens to go with it for even better results (and at f/2.8, you'd get shutter speeds more than 4 times as fast as you'd see at f/6.3 for a given ISO speed and lighting).

$749.99 - Sony A580 body only (I'm assuming you'll use your existing lenses for most purposes other than hockey)


$949.99 - Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM II

Very agree with your proposal.
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