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Old Jun 8, 2008, 6:53 AM   #1
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I've narrowed my new camera purchase to the a200 or a300. I've read just about all the reviews and without actually having them both to play around with(can't find the a300 in local stores to get hands on), I'm having a difficult decision. I know that they are both essentially the same except for the live preview. I will say that I've ruled out the a350, because I read that the 14.2 mpixels can get noisy and it's not really worth the extra money. With that being said, I think the live preview on the a300 would be useful, but I don't know if sacraficing the viewfinder size is worth it or not really that noticable. Also, I wonder if the livepreview screen isan extra thing to be concerned aboutfailing or breaking. Prices have dropped right now on both these cameras for Fathers Day and I want to take advantage while they are lower. $499.00 for a200 w/kit, $599.00 for a300 w/kit and $699.00 for a300 w/ kit and 55-200 zoom. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old Jun 8, 2008, 9:04 AM   #2
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That would be a tough call (better viewfinder of the A200 versus live view with the A300).

As much as I like a larger viewfinder, I'd be tempted to get the A300 instead. I do miss having the ability to shoot from waist level or overhead from time to time when using a dSLR like my A700.

I would try to locate one and try it out before deciding.

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Old Jun 8, 2008, 9:37 AM   #3
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Jim is right try to find one so you can actually compare. I opted for the A200 and have not looked back, they type of photography I do would not make live view a plus.
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Old Jun 8, 2008, 9:55 AM   #4
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well, evidently Circuit City has gotten the a300 in becauseit's in their ad today. Check the web site and said they have in stock at my local store. I'll be going there to get a hands on comparison today. Probably will order either way from Sony. Same price and no tax or shipping. Thanks for your input. Deb


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Old Jun 8, 2008, 10:44 AM   #5
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deb2cam wrote:
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Probably will order either way from Sony. Same price and no tax or shipping
I dunno about that. When I ordered my A700, I went with a different vendor because sonystyle.com was going to charge sales tax.

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Old Jun 8, 2008, 1:02 PM   #6
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hmm, well I might be wrong about the tax part. If so, I'll just order from Amazon.

same price there as well. I got my km5d and some lenses from amazon with no trouble at all.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 3:45 PM   #7
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Deb,

:arrowid you get your hands on an A300? I would be interested to know your thoughts. I am considering the A300 myself. Thanks.

JT
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 3:51 PM   #8
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Saw the A200, A300, A350 and A700 all at Circuit Ciy today in Concord, NC. I'm in the market too, to replace my beloved KM5D which met it's demise several weeks ago. It was resuscitated for a short period, then stopped working altogether. Looks like the anti-shake was damaged in the fall. Anyway, I'm kinda like you, deb2cam, the live view of the A300 looked interesting. After trying it though, I think I'll just go with the A200 or save my pennies and make the jump to the A700. I found the live view very distracting. If you move the camera around it's very blurred. Also, the quality of the live view screen just wasn't that good. The tilt out screen is actually pretty well made and quite nifty, but it does add some clutter to the camera and it's one more thing to break.

I also have to say, I'm a little dissappointed in the look and feel of the Sony's compared to my 5D. The plastic they use is just a different texture. Probably just cosmetic because even the A700 looks the same and I know the build quality with it is top notch. It's built like a tank and HUGE in my hands. I'm so confused I even checked out Ebay and found some lightly used KM7D's for sub $500 prices. Looks tempting, but am I going backward? Decisions, decisions...
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Old Jun 11, 2008, 1:03 PM   #9
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I just got a great deal at Amazon (I think ) a few minutes ago. I bought the A300 with the 18-70mm kit lens + the 75-300mm lens+ an accessory kit, which includes the Sony DSLR camera bag and an extra battery pack all for $720. The kit is going for $599. Then there is an immediate (at Amazon checkout so no rebates to deal with)$130 discount on the 70-300mm (actual price is $229 so you end up paying only $100 for the lens) and a $50 discount on the accessory kit (actual price is $70 so you get the bag and the extra battery packfor $20 - the battery alone is $70). All with free shipping and no sales tax. This offer is good until 6/14. IMO, Amazon is one of the best online retailers. They have an excellent return policy so if don't like the camera guess what...it goes right back for a full refund. The thing about checking cameras at the store is that you have bad lighting conditionand limited testing scenarios. There is nothing better than taking the camera outdoorsand try it for long periods of time. That'show you get to know the camera's strengths and limitations, easy of use (or not), features, IQ, etc, etc, etc. Now, I just have to wait a few days!!!
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Old Jun 11, 2008, 1:11 PM   #10
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Congrats!

I think you'll like the camera. The 75-300mm lens seems to test quite well compared to similar budget lenses:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses...5-56-zoom.html

So, you did great by getting it for the price you got it for. If you later decide you need a higher quality lens for some reason (lower CA, sharper on the longer end, etc.) without breaking the bank, I'd look at a used Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO AF lens for around $300 from reputable vendors like keh.com (just make sure you get an APO version).

Let us know what you think of the camera. Personally, I think the newer Sony models have the best "bang for the buck" out of any of the entry level dSLR models from any manufacturer. Of course, I'm a bit biased since I shoot with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (that the Sony A100 and future models were based on), as well as a Sony A700. ;-)

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