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Old Sep 14, 2010, 2:22 AM   #1
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Default Three questions in one (camera & lens)

My A200 suffered terminal damage by colliding with a tree when I fell off my MTB, so I need to buy a new one and may as well take advantage and upgrade at the same time.

As I really liked my A200 (although limited) and I already have a Tamron 70-300 and HVL-42M flash, I was thinking of the A500 or A550. I know the latter is discontinued in the UK, which means they are similarly priced.

My questions are:
  1. Which, in your opinion, is the better value camera - A500 or A550 (or a third option?)
  2. Is the 18-55mm kit lens better than the 18-70mm that came with the dead A200 (it survived damage free); or
  3. Do I buy just the body and put the money saved towards the Tamron 28-75mm or 17-50mm?
Question three will take me over my budget, but as long as we don't tell the wife I'll be alright.

Last edited by Big4heD; Sep 14, 2010 at 6:49 AM.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 7:06 AM   #2
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Which, in your opinion, is the better value camera - A500 or A550 (or a third option?)
That depends on the price you can get them for, and you didn't say. But both are a significant step up from your A200.

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Is the 18-55mm kit lens better than the 18-70mm that came with the dead A200 (it survived damage free); or
Yes.

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Do I buy just the body and put the money saved towards the Tamron 28-75mm or 17-50mm?

Yes. In fact, buying the A500 and putting the money saved toward one of those lenses would also be a good idea. In fact, if you don't think you'll have much use for 'Live View' (or, like me, you're concerned about the fragility of the articulating display), you could save even more money and get the A450.
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Last edited by TCav; Sep 14, 2010 at 7:11 AM. Reason: added suggestion about the A450.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 8:43 AM   #3
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That depends on the price you can get them for, and you didn't say. But both are a significant step up from your A200.
I can currently get the A500 or A550 body for 449 ($693), A550 kit for 489 ($755) and A500 kit for 479 ($740)

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In fact, if you don't think you'll have much use for 'Live View' (or, like me, you're concerned about the fragility of the articulating display), you could save even more money and get the A450.
Interesting Idea. I doubt I'll have much use for the live view, however the occasional low shot without lying in mud or taking an over-the-crowd shot would be nice. But "occasional" is the key word there.

I can get the A450 body for 350 ($540) and put the rest towards a better lens...

If I bought a Tamron lens, and opted for the 17-50mm, would I notice the gap between it and my Tamron 70-300mm? or do you think the increase in pixels mean I could just crop the image closer afterwards?
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 9:04 AM   #4
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My A200 suffered terminal damage by colliding with a tree
I know this is off topic, if you're going to throw it away I wouldn't mind some replacement parts for my A200.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 9:05 AM   #5
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The difference between 50mm and 70mm isn't much. That's an angle of view of about 31 to about 23, which can be handled with a crop of about 74%, which is about what you'll get with a 14MP image sensor (in the A550 and A450) over the 10MP you had (in your A200.)

And if you don't need the 17-28mm range, the 28-75mm lens you mentioned would also be a good choice, and there'd be no gap.

I've always been very satisfied with carrying just the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and the Minolta 70-210/4.0 'Beercan', and never found the gap to be a real issue.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:47 AM   #6
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The prices in the UK on the A-500 and A-550 are substantially more. Here in the USA the A-500 is selling for $(US)449.95 and the A-550 for $(US)499.95.

It was my impression that the Sony 18-55mm kit lens was a substantially better lens than the Sony 18-70mm kit lens that was packaged with the A-200.

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Old Sep 14, 2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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I know this is off topic, if you're going to throw it away I wouldn't mind some replacement parts for my A200.
I'd love to help out, but the carcas has been kept by the insurance company.

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The prices in the UK on the A-500 and A-550 are substantially more. Here in the USA the A-500 is selling for $(US)449.95 and the A-550 for $(US)499.95.
I can get them cheaper if I import them from USA or Far East, but they aren't normally covered by the manufacturers UK Warranty.

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I've always been very satisfied with carrying just the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and the Minolta 70-210/4.0 'Beercan', and never found the gap to be a real issue.
I think that may well be the way I go, well, except I'll use my Tamron 70-300mm.

Thanks all for your advice & help.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 5:08 PM   #8
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Sorry, but should I go for VC or not VC?
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 5:21 PM   #9
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On your other thread Mark wrote:

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... so go for the convenience and quality of the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, not the VC one just the original.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 5:28 PM   #10
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Sorry, but should I go for VC or not VC?
The VC lenses aren't as good as the non-VC lenses.
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