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Old Dec 29, 2008, 3:32 PM   #1
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Hello;

I previously had a Nikon D80 for about 2 years. It developed a weird quirk that made it impossible to use (would lock focus but sometimes wouldn't allow pictures to be taken,weird and I would miss tons of pics)so I sold it off on ebay. I was so disenchanted with Nikon that I sold the camera, batteries, lens etc. and decided to get into a different system.

After exhaustive research and handling many different cameras (Canon Xsi/30d/40d, Oly E-520, Pentax K200d/K20d and Nikon D60), I landed on the A300. I was on the fence about it but my wife seemed sure of it, so that's what we got. Now that I have the opportunity to play with it in our normal shooting scenario (in our home, of our kids), I still don't like it. It's perfect on paper but I just can't seem to love this camera. Here are some of my issues:
  • Form factor: The D80 felt just right in my hand, the smaller size of the A300 is uncomfortable to me (I don't have especially large hands). My pinky ends up sliding under the battery door in a weird way. Does this happen to any of you out there? [/*]
  • Focusing: Seems to hunt for focus where the D80 didn't. FYI, I'm using the 18-70 kit lens on the sony, had the Nikkor 18-70 f3.5/4.5 for theD80. Any feelings from other users? [/*]
  • Build: The focusing on the sonyis noisier and slower, where theNikon was quick and quiet. Is this an issue with the kitlens or Sony in general? [/*]
  • Live View: Obviously the D80 lacked this feature but after trying to use it on the A300, I find myself not using it. While it is leaps and bounds ahead of the Canon system, it seems to have trouble focusing, especially in low light. Anyone find this to be the case? [/*]
  • Low Light focusing: The D80 had a dedicated auto focus assist light that worked great. The sony uses the flash and pulses to assist with focusing. When taking pictures of kids, I find that they have closed their eyes from the pulsing by the time I take my picture. [/*]
  • Image Quality: The test I was using for this was some pictures of my kids in the past, then zoom in on the hair. The D80 just seems sharper and more detailed. Don't these cameras use the same sensor? [/*]
  • Delete button: The D80 had a delete button, just hit it twice in review, pic is gone. The A300 take a press of 4 seperate buttons (Review, Delete, up to select delete option, the center OK button) [/*]
  • Price: Can't beat the value of the A300, for what we got selling the (broken) D80, lens and batteries, was able to buy the A300 kit.
[/*]
I know this is long-winded but I just want to see what some of you Sony users think about my concerns and if I should return the camera and get something else. I'm kinda frustrated with it and have even considered going back to Nikon with my tail between my legs and getting another D80.

Thanks.

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Old Dec 29, 2008, 4:52 PM   #2
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I'm not a Sony user but did used to have a Konica Minolta 5D before switching to Canon and the same happens to me when I shoot with smaller cameras so personally I would put a battery grip on to stop this happening. Even on not so small cameras (my Canon 5D for example) I still like the handling with a battery grip.

As for the other issues I can't answer them but just wanted to get you started.
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Old Dec 29, 2008, 9:13 PM   #3
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You need to download Gary Friedmans e-book for the A300/350 and see all the features that are hidden within the Sony that the others don't do.

There is more to the live view than just point and shoot. It has features that aren't addressed in the manual. ( Gary's ebook)

And one big benefit of the Sony is you can use old Minolta Maxxum Af lenses on it.

I have had mine for a month now and love it.

you can get the ebook at http://friedmanarchives.com/alpha350/index.htm


Andy
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Old Jan 8, 2009, 1:40 PM   #4
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I have an A300 as well and sorta feel the same about some of the comments. This is my first DSLR so nothing to compare it to. I am also not a huge fan of the flash assist instead of the separate beam. Image quality has been great, I use the Sigma 17-70 lens instead of the kit lens. Only problem is when I have it set at full wide angle and use the flash you can see a small shadow on bottom of the image, the lens is to long for the flash.

I was looking at the D80 and the new D90 as well when shopping for this, but for the price I paid with the upgraded lens, a beercan and battery grip off of ebay andextra battery I still paid much less than a D90. Every so often I think to myself that I should have bought the D90 but who knows......

Sony has built in IS, live view (contrary to your description) is awesome IMO, and of course the use of Minolta lenses.
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Old Jan 10, 2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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2sides wrote:
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After exhaustive research and handling many different cameras (Canon Xsi/30d/40d, Oly E-520, Pentax K200d/K20d and Nikon D60), I landed on the A300. I was on the fence about it but my wife seemed sure of it, so that's what we got. Now that I have the opportunity to play with it in our normal shooting scenario (in our home, of our kids), I still don't like it. It's perfect on paper but I just can't seem to love this camera.
So, whose camera is this, yours or your wife's? If it's yours, you should have made the final decision and bought the Nikon, since it's the camera that felt better in your hands. There are two factors to take into consideration when buying a camera: features and feel. Price comes in after. Once the camera has the features that are most important for you, next you need to hold it and make sure that it feels right in your hands. It's like buying a pair of shoes. The wife may like a certain style but if they hurt your toes or heals, they are no good. The D80 is a good camera and so is the A300. Feature-wise, I think the A300 is ahead. In terms of ergonomics, it depends on the size of your hands and whether you preference is for a big and heavy camera or smaller and lighter. Considering that you posted this topic on 12/29, I'd say you can probably return the A300 and get the old D80 instead. You already went through the positives and negatives of each so I doubt there will be anything anyone here can say to make you feel good about the A300. Thus, my suggestion is for you to try to return the A300 ASAP. If you can't, then perhaps you can give it to your wife as a birthday present and buy yourself the D80 (or D90, which has LV and movie capabilities).
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Old Jan 21, 2009, 6:51 PM   #6
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the Sony A-300 is a wonderful camera, I own one and also a A-700. I use the A-300 as a back up body at this point but I shot with it for a year straight almost every single day! With GOOD glass the A-300 takes amazing pictures even with semi-good glass its amazing. Its not the best High ISO camera out there but it holds its own with a good Noise removal program. I think some of the pictures I took with the A-300 are better than some with the A-700. I think personally the A-300 is more forgiving with "normal" glass. Try the Sony 50mm F1.4 for pictures of your children its a nice fast lens thats amazing in low light and its TACK SHARP, you will see what your A-300 can really do.

Austin
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 7:56 PM   #7
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The fact is that both my wife and I use the camera. Quite frankly she uses it more than I do so she had the 'deciding vote'. She shares my concerns but thought we would adjust to it. I feel like we need to try a better lens. I was going to take it to a local camera shop and try some other lenses on it and see if that produces better results. If we decide we are truly happy with it, we will invest in better glass. I hear good things about the Sigma and Tamron 17-70's and we would want a nice 50mm prime. If we can get images/performance that we are happy with, I can get over the ergonomics, I think.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 12:23 AM   #8
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2sides, I have been following your thread for some time, and felt I had to jump in, to offer some moral support.:-)My first dslr was a Nikon D50, the last best consumer level nikon made, IMHO. It was a bit large, had some heft and weight to it, and for 6mp, took great shots. I recently(October 2008 )bought an A300 kit with the HVL42-am external flash. Totally opposite. Light, smallish, but felt pretty good in my large hands. I was pleasantly surprised by the ergonomics as well as the IQ from the 18-70 kit lens. I still have minor pangs of remorse over selling my D50, but the A300 is slowly taking the pain away. I have taken about 300 pictures so far, and some are actually great. One of my dog outside I have on my living room wall, matt mounted 20x30, and everyone thinks a professional shot it. I think that's when I started believing this camera had a chance to erase my Nikon memory. But then, aren't we told, it's not the camera, but the photographer? Sorry to be so long-winded. Hope my little story amused or helped you in some small way with your "dilemma".

Robert


ps- on my date above, I can't get rid of the emoticon in the year 2008, can't figure it out....
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 5:03 AM   #9
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Hawgwild wrote:
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ps- on my date above, I can't get rid of the emoticon in the year 2008, can't figure it out....
It's one of the things that often catches me out, the key code for that emoticon is 8 and ) together so you need a space or something after the 8. A bit of a pain but it works.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 12:19 PM   #10
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Thanks Mark..8)... Robert
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