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Old May 31, 2010, 11:49 AM   #1
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Default a230 or a500? I am a noob.

Hi everyone, my first and hopefully many more to come post here on this forum!

I am looking for some expert advice, I recently purchased a Sony a230 DSLR w/18-55 lens kit and added a 55-200 lens.

I got a great deal on it, but now I am thinking that maybe I should go with the a500 instead.

I can get a great deal on it since my friend works at an electronics store.

My question is, should I go with the a500 over the a230? what is the difference besides the 10.2 vs 12.3MP?

I am not a professional photographer, I am just starting out, but my concern is that the a230 will limit me if I do progress into this hobby.

Please let me know your advice and the pros/cons of the 2 cameras. I need to make my decision today as I only have a short period to do the exchange.

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 31, 2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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The difference between 10MP and 12MP isn't much, but the difference between the A230 and the A500 is significant. Most significant is that the A500 has 'Live View' that lets you compose photos on the articulating LCD display as well as the optical viewfinder. 'Live View' isn't really much help for a dSLR, but it does come in handy once in a while. The disadvantage of 'Live View' is that Sony's implimentation makes the optical viewfinder less useable, giving the A230 a slight edge.

The A500 is bigger and heavier than your A230, and while it has a longer battery life, it doesn't use the same batteries as your A230, so if you already got extra batteries of an extra charger, you wouldn't be able to use them with the A500. The A500 can use ISO settings up to 12,800 (not that you'd want to use it) while the A230 can only go as high as 3,200. In addition, the A500 can shoot at a rate of up to 5 frames per second, while th eA230 can only do 2.5 frames per second. Shooting continuously is useful when shooting sports/action/wildlife.

There are lots of reasons to switch to the A500, and not many reasons not to.
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Old May 31, 2010, 12:56 PM   #3
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Thanks TCav for the reply. I'm still new to the terminology of photography so I will take your comments the best that i can.

I don't have spare batteries or chargers yet for the a230, so the switch over won't be too difficult.

I know pictures come out based on how good the person taking the pictures is, but generally would the a500 images be better than the a230's in the hands of a good photographer?
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Old May 31, 2010, 1:14 PM   #4
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The A500 offers more tools for a good photographer to use to take better photos, so I'd say that, if you're serious, you probably won't bump into the limitations of the A500 as soon as you might with the A230.
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Old May 31, 2010, 2:54 PM   #5
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I'd suggest if you're going 500 then examine the differences between the 500 and the 550. The 550 LCD is 900,000 pixels vs 250,000 (from memory). If you review your pics after taking (and who doesn't?) the much higher resolution is nice. The LCD screen comes out and pivots. Consequently, it's difficult to get your eye square on the rubber surround of the view-finder. I wear glasses and have to peek to see the speed and stuff on the bottom row in the viewfinder.

On the good side, it's live-view focus speed is fast. I believe it's the fastest of any DSLR (from reading reviews). Also, you can set it so it begins to focus when you bring it to your eye. So when you're ready, it's already ready.

And the remote is cheap.
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Old May 31, 2010, 3:16 PM   #6
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I would consider the a550, but my friends shop doesn't sell that model.. I am essentially able to get the a500 at almost 40% off retail, so I will stick with what i can get from him

I think I am going to go with the a500 over the a230, it just seems like it is a better choice in the long run of the 2.
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Old May 31, 2010, 3:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-in-toronto View Post
The LCD screen comes out and pivots...
Just for clarification... the LCD tilts up or down. But, it is not really a pivot system (as in twist it any direction you want to) like some camera designs, depending on what you mean by "pivot". ;-)
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Old May 31, 2010, 6:03 PM   #8
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Just for clarification... the LCD tilts up or down. ..
You're right of course. Quick choice of words. Too quick. The point I was trying to make was that it gets in the way. May not be serious but is something to be checked. As always, a hands on approach is necessary prior to make the final buying decision.
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Old May 31, 2010, 6:09 PM   #9
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I've spent some time using the Sony A5xx cameras (both the A500 and A550), and I'm impressed with them. Their build quality isn't quite as good as my A700; but I wouldn't mind having either one of them (as they're very responsive cameras with fast AF and good image quality, and the tilting LCD with Live View does come in handy -- especially for tripod work).
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 10:19 AM   #10
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Now i've switched my decision away from the Sony a500 and over to the Nikon D5000 or the Canon Rebel T1i.

Both of these seem like solid cameras, and from all the reviews I have read they stack up very close to one another. I just can't decide from which to go with.. I am swaying towards the Nikon D5000 w/18-105mm lens as it is only $30 more than the Canon Rebel T1i w/18-55mm lens.

The Canon does have a high resolution 15MP vs 12MP and has a larger and high res lcd and better HD video recording. But those points aside, I think the bang for the buck would be the D5000 with the better lens for only $30 more.

What do you guys think?
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