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Old Dec 31, 2010, 12:44 AM   #1
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Default a55 or a380? and Lens suggestions?

I have been looking at the a380 or the a55 and I have a few questions about them. I am not really interested in video so thats not a factor in choice.

What adavantages in still shooting would the SLT in the a55 offer over a traditional DSLR besides the great high speed burst? anything?

What advantages would the a580 have over the 55 for shooting stills?

I have heard that the a55 performs well in low light, so I do not belive that will be a problem, is this accurate?

I have also been looking at lenses and trying to figure the best ones for what I need. I have really been looking at the all in one lenses such as the 18-270 from Tamron or the 28-300 from Sigma. Are these good lenses?

these might not be as good as more specialized lenses (like the 70-300mm "G" lens) but I would like something to cover all lenths with minimal lens changing, I am rather worried about dust, I dont have to worry about that with my current P&S. I am looking for something to take better pictures than my current FH20 or SP500UZ from Olympus. Both of these lenses also offer what looks like similar ranges to the 10x on the Olympus.

How is the quality of the 18-55mm kit lense that comes bundled with the cameras?

Concerning cleaning the camera, how does that work? I remember reading somewhere that the mirror in the a55 should NEVER be touched and doing so can and will ruin it. So how would I clean it? Is that a big issue?

As an aside note...are there any big Sony DSLR forums on the internet anywhere besides here? Or is this the big place to get advice and help?

Those are my main concerns form now, I appreciate any advice and help offered! I posted a similar post in the "Which camera should I buy" forum and that helped me to narrow down to the 580 or the 55, so I figured I should post in the special sony DSLR forum for some advice from Sony people. Thanks!

Last edited by Iforgotmyname; Dec 31, 2010 at 12:53 AM.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 7:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
What advantages would the a580 have over the 55 for shooting stills?
For all intents and purposes, the A55 and the A580 are very much alike, though there are some differences. The A55 is a lot smaller and lighter than the A580. The A55 uses an electronic viewfinder which is larger and brighter than the optical viewfinder in the A580, and it also shows the effects of camera settings (White Balance, etc.) on the image. It also superimposes the camera settings onto the scene, while the A580 displays them above or below the scene. Also, the A55 has a smaller battery (which is a big part of how they made it smaller and lighter), and since it uses the electronic viewfinder, you'll get fewer shots on a full battery with the A55 than with the A580 using the optical viewfinder. So if you go with the A55, you might want to get an extra battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
I have heard that the a55 performs well in low light, so I do not belive that will be a problem, is this accurate?
Both the A55 and the A580 perform well at higher ISO settings that can't even be selected with the A380/A390. While the A55 siphons off about 30% of the light coming through the lens to feed the AF system, it seems that the A55 and the A580 perform about equally well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
I have also been looking at lenses and trying to figure the best ones for what I need. I have really been looking at the all in one lenses such as the 18-270 from Tamron or the 28-300 from Sigma. Are these good lenses?

these might not be as good as more specialized lenses (like the 70-300mm "G" lens) but I would like something to cover all lenths with minimal lens changing, ...
These are jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none lenses that offer the convenience of having one lens that might perform adequately for a broad range of tasks, they don't perform as well as multiple lenses of less ambitious zoom ranges, and they often cost more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
... I am rather worried about dust, I dont have to worry about that with my current P&S.
That's not entirely true. A significant source of dust inside a camera is the repeated zooming that sucks air and dust into the camera, and that happens as much in P&S cameras as it does in dSLRs. That is not to say that dust won't get into the camera body when changing lenses, but dSLRs image sensors do a pretty good job of repelling dust, and shaking it off if it does get there. And in the eventuality that you do need to clean the image sensor, it's not very difficult and there are a number of excellent and inexpensive products for doing just that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
I am looking for something to take better pictures than my current FH20 or SP500UZ from Olympus. Both of these lenses also offer what looks like similar ranges to the 10x on the Olympus.
If you seriously want better image quality than you're getting now, I suggest you get lenses that are better than the superzooms. Image quality outlasts convenience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
How is the quality of the 18-55mm kit lense that comes bundled with the cameras?
That lens performs well, and while there are better choices, they're all much more expensive. The kit 18-55 is a good lens to help you get your feet wet, so to speak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
Concerning cleaning the camera, how does that work? I remember reading somewhere that the mirror in the a55 should NEVER be touched and doing so can and will ruin it. So how would I clean it? Is that a big issue?
Unlike with the A580, the mirror in the A55 doesn't move out of the way, so the condition of the mirror will affect image quality. However, nothing on the mirror will ever be in focus, and so won't be visible as such. But if there's a lot of stuff on the mirror, it can decrease the brightness, saturation and contrast of the image. But it can be cleaned safely using any of the products intended for cleaning the image sensor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iforgotmyname View Post
As an aside note...are there any big Sony DSLR forums on the internet anywhere besides here? Or is this the big place to get advice and help?
There are a number of other discussion forums on the internet that support Sony dSLRs, though none are as good as Steve's. Some others are Dyxum.com and AlphaMountWorld.com, as well as the Sony dSLR section of DPReview.com. And, if you're a member of Flickr, there's the Sony Camera Club as well as some other groups there.
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Last edited by TCav; Dec 31, 2010 at 9:19 AM.
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