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Old Aug 13, 2010, 2:33 PM   #1
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Default a550 and HDR. First try.

Just took my wives a550 out for a hike to try out the in camera HDR for the first time. I believe that the conditions didn't make it easy for the camera to do as good of a job as it could have. It turned overcast as I drove to the trail which really made things dark.

I left home with a polarizer on a 17-50 and didn't remove it when I got there. That also may have interfered some with the HDR.

Here are some examples of what I ended up with.

1. Sun on rock
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 2:34 PM   #2
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2. the overhang.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 2:37 PM   #3
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3. The cove with Pt. Vincente Lighthouse in the distance.

Thanks for looking.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 3:56 PM   #4
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Those look good, Mike-

Nice work. I have a question if you don't mind. I am considering both the A-500 and the A-550. The price difference between the two is $175.00 to $200.00. That is a big jump. So I have pretty much focused on the A-500. But, I have the nagging feeling that I am missing added resolution, and features. Did you consider the A-500?

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Old Aug 13, 2010, 5:01 PM   #5
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Thank you Sarah.

No, I did not consider the a500. I bought the camera in a package with some lens's from a friend who left Sony for Canon (7D and L lens package). It's a very easy camera to use and the in body stabilization only adds to it.
I have never used an a500 so I am not sure about the differences.

I'm sure someone will come along here and let you know about the differences between the two.

Mike
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 5:25 PM   #6
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Mike:

Note that you can select the number of stops between the lightest and darkest image that it uses to create the final image. So, you may want to experiment with it (try 1 stop, 2 stops, 3 stops; and compare the results).

BTW, nice images.

Sarah:

I've spent some time using both cameras (and I was using the A500 and A550 at the same time, shooting some of the same subjects).

Unless you're shooting sports using raw (where the A550 has an advantage due to it's larger internal buffer size), or care about the A550's 7fps "speed priority" mode (which you don't get with the A500), I doubt you'd notice a lot of difference in the final images. The A550 does have a higher resolution LCD. But, the LCD on the A500 seemed fine to me (although I was not using Live View much with it). Note that I do tend to use raw when shooting anything, including sports, so I'd probably go for the A550 to get it's larger buffer size if choosing between them. But, most users probably wouldn't care about that kind of thing.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 11:03 PM   #7
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Many thanks Mike and JimC-

Ever so gradually, the AS-500 is shaping up to probably be my ultimate A-230 upgrade. All I need is the body. I have the lenses and the external flash. That will help keep the price down. One concern is that the A-500 is a fairly large camera compared to the A-230.

JimC-
When you were shooting with the A-500: any concerns about camera size??

Thanks,

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 9:00 AM   #8
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I think you'll find the grip is improved. It's still about a 1/2 inch too short (for me) and could be thicker. Naturally, the comfort factor depends on hand size. The control wheel is positioned a little higher up. Still awkwardly low for me but better than the a230 for index finger usage. I've added a non-sony grip and that make the camera a lot easier for me to hold.

There's a button to raise the flash too. The sd/memory stick switch is still not auto. I use the SD all the time but added a memory stick just-in-case. One time I was shooting raw and ran out of space on my sd. very unexpected, very bad.

You may never do this, but frequently I ask others to take pictures. At family gatherings, I'll give my camera to a reliable teen. At outings I'll ask someone who looks like they won't run away with it to take a picture of my group. For this, the Live View/super-quick af is invaluable. I use the tilt-screen a lot too. Holding the a550 at waist height and looking down is a lot more comfy for me than squatting or kneeling.
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 9:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
JimC-
When you were shooting with the A-500: any concerns about camera size??
I spent some time using the A500 and A550 in January. The size seemed fine to me. I haven't compared them closely, but it's probably about the same size as a Maxxum 5D (not quite as large as my A700). If you look at the A500 and A550 review samples here, you'll see a few photos from each taken of similar subjects (although in some cases, a different lens was on the cameras. For example, the basketball photos, where a Minolta 100mm f/2 was being used for some photos with the A550, at the same time a Minolta 135mm f/2.8 (slightly softer lens at f/2.8) was on the A500. The photos after the ISO samples (River Street photos in Savannah, cart races, bball images) were taken at roughly the same ttimes with both cameras.

The only minor gripe I had with the camera bocy ergonomics was the power switch design, as I prefer switch in a location other than with the shutter button. But, that's probably just a matter of preference, as I use an A700 more often and iit's power switch is on the camera's back.
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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Thanks, JimC-

I have an A-500 on order. I will give it a try and report my experience.

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