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Old Jan 1, 2010, 8:52 AM   #1
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Default Upgrading from A300 to A700

Would I see noticeable improvements?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 9:04 AM   #2
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Yes, depending on what you're shooting. In good light, you may not see much difference between them. But, tougher conditions, the A700 is going to outperform it.

The A700 will have a better viewfinder, control layout, build quality, ergonomics, and AF speed; as well as lower noise levels, faster frame rate and more. You'd lose Live View (not available on this model).

It's a rather dated model though (I bought mine in September 2007). So, you may also want to consider one of the newer Sony models like the A500, depending on what you shoot (although it's going to be lacking in some areas compared to the A700, it's got some neat new features like Auto HDR, and still gives you Live View if that's a feature you're interested in).

Or, you may want to wait a while and see what Sony has in mind for an A700 replacement, which is what I plan to do before considering an upgrade to it.
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 9:53 AM   #3
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P.S.

Note that the A700 is getting harder to find now. So, if you want one, it may be a good idea to grab one, depending on what you want to shoot. You can find them at bargain basement prices right now in some cases. I paid $1299 plus shipping for mine when this camera was first introduced, and chances are, any replacement Sony comes out with is going to cost more than you can find an A700 for now.

I'd give members more information so you'll get better informed responses. IOW, when are you finding limitations shooting with your existing A300 (types of subjects and conditions you're shooting in)?

I'd also give information on the lenses you're using in those conditions (as the lenses being used are more important than the camera body in most cases).
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 7:46 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for the reply.

The noise issue would be important as I shoot real estate photography and there are some times that I bump the ISO up to 800 and I know I'm not going to be happy with the noise.

There are times when I have used the live view, but I can do without it.

I have been checking prices and the lowest I have found (non ebay) is a little less than $800.

I've seen the A500 for less. Do you know how the noise factor of it would compare to the A700.

Thanks again.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 7:53 AM   #5
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Well.... the Jury is still out.

From preliminary comparisons I've seen, the A500 does have lower noise levels compared to the A700

The A500 is using a more advanced approach to noise reduction compared to older Sony models like your A300 and my A700. But, some of the samples I've seen imply that the A700 is retaining more detail by default (even though you may see a bit more noise), using the default Normal NR settings.

However, Sony appears to be using different approaches between it's Noise Reduction settings with the newer A500 and A550 models that may make it more flexible. For example, I've seen some comparisons showing less smearing of red channel detail using the "High" versus "Normal" Noise Reduction setting with the new A550, even though you see lower shadow noise with that setting, which is very unusual. I suspect that the same thing applies to the A500 (although I haven't seen samples from it side by side with other options yet).

IOW, I haven't formed a firm opinion yet, and it will probably be a few weeks before I do, once I get a chance to compare them in more detail.

But, either camera is going to be *much* better at higher ISO speeds compared to your A300.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 3:45 PM   #6
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Thank you again!

Being a couple of hundred $$$ less, it seems the 500 might be what I should do.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 3:53 PM   #7
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Compared to your A300, it should be a really nice upgrade. For real estate use, you may also find the new Auto HDR feature to be very helpful. Basically, it takes two photos -- one exposed for the shadows and the other for the highlights, then combines them into a single image in camera.

If you look at the A500 page at sonystyle.com and click on the "See How Auto HDR Works" link under Dynamic Range Management, you can see how that works (just use the arrow keys you see in the slide show for it).

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665970155

But, frankly, for interior photos, you're probably better off getting a good flash like the HVL-F42AM and using it instead (bouncing it for more diffused lighting). That way, you could have a well lit interior from the flash, while still allowing good exposure of the outside areas visible through windows; without the color temperature differences you'll see between artificial indoor lighting and outdoor light through the windows (since the temperature of the light from the flash more closely matches daylight).

That would also reduce the need to use higher ISO speeds.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 3:54 PM   #8
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i actually think waiting on the a700's replacement might be a good action, as jim alluded to earlier. the a700 was a great camera, but is getting a little older now, though the aging a700 would still be my pick of the sony line atm (excluding a850/a900).
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