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Old Jun 25, 2009, 12:34 PM   #1
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Hi
I am planning on buying a DSLR a300, which will be my first SLR camera and my 5th Sony digital.

I have a Memory Stick PRO Duo™ for my D10, and it uses an adapter when I want to use it in my laptop's reader. Is this the same adapter that I need to use the card in this camera?

How do I equate the 55-200mm telephoto lens into zoom (example 10x, 15x, ect)?

Thanks guys.

Chuck Bush
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 1:02 PM   #2
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The 10x, 15x, etc. you see are simply the ratio of the shortest focal length of a zoom lens to the longest. Typically, lens designs for P&S digicams can be a lot simpler because the image sensor is a lot smaller. Since the design is simpler, and since creating images on a P&S digicam isn't as critical as on a dSLR, manufacturers make P&S lenses with a lot more zoom in them.

So the Sony 55-200mm would be about a 4X lens.

But remember that most P&S digicam zoom lenses don't have as wide an angle of view as the kit lenses on dSLRs, so you can't directly compare the zoom ratios of dSLR lenses to P&S digicam lenses.


What I think you're looking for is this:
  • The 18-70mm kit lens has an angle of view starting at an equivalent of a 27mm lens on a 35mm film camera (which is wider than any P&S digicam you'll find.)
  • The 55-200mm lens has an angle of view ending with an equivalent of a 300mm lens on a 35mm film camera (which isn't as long as many P&S digicam you'll find.)
That zoom ratio would be 11.1x, albeit with two lenses.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 1:35 PM   #3
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Having just recently bought the 350 myself I looked at the memory options.

If your adapter looks this then it will work. If not then you are better off buying a dedicated compactflash memory card as the cost of adapter (on Amazon at least) is pretty expensive in comparison to a actual memory cards.

I've thought about getting an SDHC to CompactFlash adapter as SDHC cards seem to be a bit more affordable and they would also fit a slot on my laptop as well as my living room tv set for a slideshow.

Last edited by oman321; Jun 25, 2009 at 1:48 PM.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 1:54 PM   #4
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Chuck:

The A300 is being replaced by the A330. So, I wouldn't wait too long if you want one. Many vendors have already sold out of the A300.

If you want to use your existing Memory Stick Duo media with the A300, you'll need the adapter that oman321 mentioned so that your media will work in a CompactFlash slot. But, it may be easier to buy new Compactflash cards instead (as memory card prices have come down a lot in the past year or so).

For example, if you go to a vendor like newegg.com, you can find a 16GB Transcend 133x Compactflash card for around the same price as the Adapter you'd need to use your Memory Stick Duo media in the A300's CompactFlash slot.

Note that the new A330 will be able to use Secure Digital or Memory Stick Duo media (it's got dual card slots), dropping the Compactflash support found with the A300. But, the new A330 doesn't get the AEL button found on the A300 if that's something you care about. On the other hand, the newer A330 is smaller and lighter. So, there are pros and cons to both models.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 3:07 PM   #5
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Default Thanks guys

Thanks guys.
Lot's of good info. I'm sure I'll have more questions.
I think the media situation has moved me to the 330. BTY: what is an AEL button? See how little I know.

Also, if I want to shoot pics of wildlife from 50 to 100 yards, what lens should I get?

Thanks
Chuck
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 3:43 PM   #6
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The AEL buttion stands for Auto Exposure Lock. I just happen to have the manual with me from the 350 and it states the following:

"When shooting into the sun or by a window, the exposure may not be appropiate for the subject because of the big difference in lighting between the subject and the background. In such cases, use the light meter where the subject is bright enough and lock the exposure before shooting. To reduce brightness of the subject, point the camera forwards a spot that is brighter than the subject and use the light meter to lock the exposure of the entire image. To make the subject brighter, point the camerea forwards a spot that is darker than the subject and use light meter to lock the exposure of the entire image."

It was something that was discussed on a different thread here when I was trying to make the decision of getting one of the newer models or getting one of the existing ones. In that thread it was explained how it is possible to do this manually if the new models didn't offer it in the menu. The manuals wern't out at the time for the new models so there was no way to confirm, now that the manual is available on-line you can double check to see if it is available via menu. Anyhow I would'nt make the AEL the deciding factor on which model to go with.

I ultimately went with the 350 because a got a killer deal on sonystyle.com. They are currently offering a $150.00 credit back to your purchase of $299.00 or more if you sign up for the SonyCard. If you decide to go for this they have 2 credit card offers, be sure to go for the one that is offered when you are getting ready to check out. It has an image of a blue and white credit card on the link.

Edit: I just remembered that offer is good thru today the 25th.

Last edited by oman321; Jun 25, 2009 at 3:46 PM.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 3:48 PM   #7
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The AEL button (Automatic Exposure Lock) lets you meter on a given area and lock in the metered exposure settings. For example, using spot metering on a neutral area, locking in the metered exposure via the AEL button, then reframing and keeping the same exposure settings, even if you're changing focus point.

It appears that the new A330 is going to lock both exposure and focus with a half press of the shutter button (whereas the older A300 only locked focus with a half press, remetering as light changed before pressing it the rest of the way down).

You could do the same thing via manual exposure with the A330 (metering on the desired area and setting your shutter speed and aperture manually), then reframing and focusing as desired. It's just not as fast or easy doing it that way compared to having the AEL button. I personally wouldn't miss one that much. But, some users would.

50 to 100 yards, huh? What type of wildlife? For smaller subjects like birds, you won't get anywhere near that far without moving to a very long (i.e., very expensive) lens if you want much detail. You have to get much closer than you think to get a lot of detail with a smaller subject. For larger subjects, you can get by with less focal range. In the Sony lineup, the 70-300mm f/4-5.6G SSM and 70-400mm f/4.5-5.6G SSM are excellent lenses (although they're not cheap).

The "Bigma" (Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3) is another popular lens (providing you can get close enough to use it, depending on what type of subject you're shooting).

Sony should be releasing a new "Super Telephoto" lens sometime this year, too (a concept model of one was shown at PMA). But, details about it haven't been announced yet, and it's probably not going to be cheap. You can still find the Minolta 400mm f/4.5 and 600mm f/4 lenses on the used market though (and you can use a Teleconverter with them for longer range). For example, B&H has two used Minolta 600mm f/4 HS (High Speed) APO G lenses in stock right now (but, they're both priced in the $6000's). IOW, longer lenses can be a bit expensive (not to mention very large and heavy). I'd let members know what kind of wildlife you're interested in for better responses.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 3:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post
The AEL buttion stands for Auto Exposure Lock. I just happen to have the manual with me from the 350 and it states the following:

"When shooting into the sun or by a window, the exposure may not be appropiate for the subject because of the big difference in lighting between the subject and the background. In such cases, use the light meter where the subject is bright enough and lock the exposure before shooting. To reduce brightness of the subject, point the camera forwards a spot that is brighter than the subject and use the light meter to lock the exposure of the entire image. To make the subject brighter, point the camerea forwards a spot that is darker than the subject and use light meter to lock the exposure of the entire image."

It was something that was discussed on a different thread here when I was trying to make the decision of getting one of the newer models or getting one of the existing ones. In that thread it was explained how it is possible to do this manually if the new models didn't offer it in the menu. The manuals wern't out at the time for the new models so there was no way to confirm, now that the manual is available on-line you can double check to see if it is available via menu. Anyhow I would'nt make the AEL the deciding factor on which model to go with.

I ultimately went with the 350 because a got a killer deal on sonystyle.com. They are currently offering a $150.00 credit back to your purchase of $299.00 or more if you sign up for the SonyCard. If you decide to go for this they have 2 credit card offers, be sure to go for the one that is offered when you are getting ready to check out. It has an image of a blue and white credit card on the link.

Edit: I just remembered that offer is good thru today the 25th.
Thanks. It won't be a factor with me.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 4:37 PM   #9
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Well I just took a peek at the manual for the 330 and they describe the method that you can use to get the same effect and set your exposure accordingly via the fn button, so there you go.

Edit: I stand corrected. Read on to page 2

Last edited by oman321; Jun 26, 2009 at 6:47 AM.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 4:43 PM   #10
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That's good to know. I briefly skimmed it and noticed that both Exposure and Focus were being locked with a half press of the shutter button. But, i didn't dig any deeper.
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