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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:30 PM   #1
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Default A500 or something else?

Hi all.

I've been thinking of upgrading from my A100 for a while now. Reasons being:
1. I don't use program shift mode regularly
2. I don't know how to use the DOF button and probably never will
3. I need something that can easily use ISO800 and preferrably ISO1600
4. I need a tiltable screen because I often find myself close to the ground shooting macro

In other considerations, I don't care about video, and since the camera's limited dynamic range has probably been the biggest culprit in my photography to date, the auto-HDR (even if a bit limited) seems like a neat thing to have. Though I haven't held an A500 yet - which might be an issue because I dig the size of the A100.

I also don't care about things being discontinued - it has no real bearing on things and things in general do get discontinued relatively quickly.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:50 PM   #2
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Any of the A500 series should be an improvement over your A100, but for what you do, and because you like the size of the A100, you might also want to look at the A33 & A55.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:59 PM   #3
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I can definitely recommend the A55. I also used the A33 but decided on the A55. I love it.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 5:42 PM   #4
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Thank you for your suggestions. The A33 is for me at a similiar price point as the A500.
Handling: The latter is quite a bit heavier than the A33 and the A100...I guess for handling I should steel myself and go be assaulted by Sony salesmen in a Sony store with hopefully both Sony products.

In terms of ISO performance, they are mostly the same?
HDR function is kind of the same?

An electronic viewfinder has to be a bit less than an optical? I have an older Kodak P880 with an EVF and I like the optical viewfinder of my A100 a lot more, eventhough glasses makes it kind of hard to see the entire picture as well as the status symbols at the same time.

We could say I do, in order of hours spent on:
1. Nature photography. Still wide vistas as well as macro work and some tele.
2.Low light photography. Indoors, or at dusk/dawn, quite often without a tripod.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 7:12 PM   #5
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Then, if the A500 Series isn't too big an heavy, one of those would be your best choice. The newer A580 has a number of benefits that the older versions don't have.

BTW, the A500 isn't likely to be in any SonyStyle stores, but you may be able to find it or an A550 at a convential retailer. (Adorama.com has both.)

Yes, the A33 and the A500 perform similarly, and perform much better than your A100.

There are those that have issues with the EVF in the A33/A55, but for most things it performs adequately. (I myself, am not a fan, however.)
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 7:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindinblade View Post
We could say I do, in order of hours spent on:
1. Nature photography. Still wide vistas as well as macro work and some tele.
2.Low light photography. Indoors, or at dusk/dawn, quite often without a tripod.

I use the A55 in about the same way you do. I've been very pleased with it in the above described situations. I can only compare the EVF with what I had previously which was the Panasonic FZ35. It is much better. I find myself mostly using the LCD.
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 9:34 PM   #7
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The A500 remains a great value and is a very capable low light camera, rendering excellent images at ISO 800 to 3200 with ease and 6400 in a pinch.

As a A500 user, I am happy to provide two photo samples:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/So...4_MayYq-XL.jpg


http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/So...1_dCrCz-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 27, 2010, 8:20 AM   #8
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mtclimber: Good to hear ISO 800 and 1600 can be used somewhat comfortably : ) The attached images appear to be ISO 200 and 400 though?

I've done some more reading and been to the local Sony Centre, and my current thoughts go like this:

-The A33 and 55 have the Hand-Held Twilight scene mode, which is supposedly pretty useful for low light shooting sans tripod. The A500 and 550 lack it.
They also lack Multi Frame Noise Reduction, another tool for shooting in the dusk that the A33 & 55 have.

-The A33 (at least) has a protruding eyepiece and (from the 20 secs I spent with it) an OK EVF. The protrusion means my nose isn't squashed against the lcd when using the viewfinder, so that's a plus.

Flipside:
-The A33 is a leech, officially specced at something like 300 shots without the LCD, and indeed after handling it for 15 secs at the store the battery died Which perhaps says more about the store but the fact is that I would need to purchase and keep charged an extra battery if I went for this camera (or the A55).

-The A33 is tiny. I don't have large hands, but neither are they very small I guess, and holding it with the pinky curled underneath the grip seemed a bit cumbersome just then and there..I imagine it gets better after a while, or simply worse. The A500 on the other hand felt suspiciously similar to my A100, which doesn't make a lot of sense. Maybe because the kit lens is very light. Still, gripwise, I prefer it.

For both cameras:
-Build-wise they seem worse than the A100? Maybe the only thing to give that impression was the (now singular) dial and its black plastickness. Both dials on the A100 are silver and whether metal or nor they feel sturdy and turning them takes just the right amount of force. These new black plastic things were easier to turn and didn't seem as 'robust'.

Right now I'm leaning towards A500, or just waiting for the A560, to get HHT and MFNR, and potentially faster AF. Your thoughts?
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Old Dec 27, 2010, 8:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindinblade View Post
Right now I'm leaning towards A500, or just waiting for the A560, to get HHT and MFNR, and potentially faster AF. Your thoughts?
Sony USA did announce that they'd be releasing the A560 in the US (instead of the A580), but has since decided import the A580 instead of the A560. The A580 is available now, and you may have a long wait for the A560.
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Old Dec 27, 2010, 11:52 AM   #10
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Lindinblade-

Thanks for your reply. Neither of my posted photos were meant to show high ISO settings. Instead I just mentioned in the text of my post that the A-500 easily handles ISO 800 and 1600.

Here is an ISO 800 photo sample that I just shot for you. It was taken with the Sony 18-55mm kit lens.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/So...5_4ufcP-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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