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Old Jan 11, 2011, 1:55 PM   #1
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Default Looking at a Sony A33/A55 as an option!

If you think that you may have read the below before you are not having deja vu I had a similar post in the Nikon forum, however I was redirected here by some advice regarding some of my wants...

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So...

For years and years I have been a Canon P&S user, then to the prosumer P&S in the Canon Powershot Pro1 then to the G9. When I offed the G9 about a year ago, I took the leap to a bigger sensor in the Pentax Kx, and recently I have acquired an entire stable of good Pentax lenses at a rock bottom price.

I am not a professional in any way, but in my eye I take above average photos and in the past year with my new acquisition I have taken at least my outdoor photography to new heights. With that being said I was interested in improving my indoor photography which led me to researching and buying new, faster lenses and higher grade flashes, which induced LBA and boom...I landed an entire lot of MINT lenses from eBay with a second Pentax body and enough equipment I can easily net $2,000+ dollars if I simply just divide and turn over my newly acquired inventory. Perhaps $2,000 is a little aspirational, but I can certaily turn a profit, stockpile my lenses, or get at least what my original intention was for free.

This brings me to my new dilemma, which is the root of my problem when it comes to anything cool and electronic. The grass is always greener, and I want the next best thing. Now, I try to stay slightly behind the curve on most in order to save money and I have known to be an earlier adopter from time to time, but I am more concerned about value and best bang for your buck.

Now, since this is my first post as a potential new member of the Sony club, I was hoping that some of the seasoned members could make research recommendations, add comments and make suggestions. I like to fish on my own but I am not sure what the best resources are. Any links would be appreciated.

My wants with a camera -

1.) I was looking at the A33/A55 as a starting point, I am willing to go up or down from there if there is greater value for my wants.

2.) I would rather not have 10 lenses, but 3 or 4 good/decent AF ones that will cover my focal range from 12 - 300ish primarilly for outdoor use, with a dedicated macro or a lense that works well with the Raynox 250. In addition to one lense being fast enough and wide enough (could be prime or zoom) to shoot kids in indoor light without a flash.

3.) Looking to add a flash that has swivel and bounce, and I am looking for recommendations on what to buy/use for that.

4.) Would like a body/lens combo that shoots at least 720p with active AF while shooting. The Pentax has HD video, but it is annoying to have to manually focus while shooting. Not usually an option when you are trying just to keep my kids in the frame let alone in focus. It does not have to be perfect, but would like this as a feature.

5.) Useable Live View...I know that Sony seems to be the leader in this with their semi-translucent mirror, but I know that Sony is more limited in lens selection. This is not a deal breaker in any way, but an LV that focus faster than the Pentax Kx would be great. The LV on that is unusable IMO. I shoot 90% of the time using the viewfinder, but it is nice for that 10% when you are reaching up over a crowd to get an overhead view to know that your subject is in frame, rather than just hoping.

6.) Weatherproof? I like to trudge out in the elements from time to time...not the Kx is not WR nor are any of my lenses, but I still go out anyway...granted...just with the Kit lens...just in case...I have had no drops, and a plastic bag seems to work fine if the rain in coming down. I am not sure if this is an option in the 000's, but figured I would get the opinion of the seasoned vets.

I know that I just went on a rant on what I am looking for, and I can understand if you just want to ignore my post, but any and all advice would be great. Just looking to get my feet set and have a starting point as I start researching my options. What has led me here is that the Sony seemed to have the best AF, and the A33/A55 have been getting great reviews.

Thanks for looking and posting back.

Sincerely

- mackloon
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 2:46 PM   #2
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Actually, the A33/A55 have some problems with shutter lag when using flash, and Sony has yet to respond to it. If that will be a big problem for you, you might want to hold off for a while, or see what else is available.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 2:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up! What's up with that Sony?
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 5:28 PM   #4
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Does this problem with the flash only occur when using an external flash or when using the pop up flash as well? I had not heard of this before, I am glad I now know of it.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 7:39 PM   #5
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I have been a sony fan for some time and read a lot of reviews. Have not heard anything on the shutter lag on either camera.
They are just to small physically for my hands so I am waiting to see what the new A580 feels line in hand, or may the A700 replacement if and when.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 8:30 PM   #6
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The shutter lag problem is for both the built-in flash and an external flash mounted on the camera body. The only fixes are to use a non-Sony compatible flash (with an adapter) or a wireless trigger for a remote flash, or to . Either solution, however, won't increase the brightness of the EVF as it does when using the built-in or external Sony-compatible flash, so the EVF is dim.

See A55 shutter delay with dedicated flashes for more info.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 3:37 PM   #7
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Default a55 shutter lag

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } Shutter lag mirror test. Manual mode, 100sec/f5.6/ISO 400
My a55 failed.
My a350 failed
My a900 failed with the HVL-F20AM.
The a350 and the a900 would not respond to the quick jabs used in the test of the a55.
I'm primarily an available light photographer so this a55 shortcoming is a total non-issue for me.
It seems to me the fault is the opposite of what is being complained about, if you are in manual mode and accidentally bump the shutter release, the flash goes off, this could, at the very least be embarrassing. I can't imagine anyone going to the expense of a third party flash, just to catch the perceived right instant that you didn't know was coming. The a55 has more features than the average person will probably ever use and IMHO it is just about the perfect travel camera. So far I have no negative issues with it. What am I missing here?
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 6:15 PM   #8
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Furd, thanks to Tcav for the link, but in my opinion, the poster of that post was trying to cause a problem by doing something with the camera nobody else on earth will do. I f you shot a handgun that way, you would never hit anything. Oh, and by the way, if you are missing something here, it's probably to your credit...
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 8:20 PM   #9
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The poster of that post said there's up to a half second shutter lag when using the built-in flash or an external Sony (or Sony compatible) flash mounted on the hot shoe. What part of that would nobody else on earth do?

The topic is showing up in other discussion groups as well.

See A33/A55 shutter lag with flash (Translated vith Google Language Tools.)

It seems that Sony acknowledges the problem, but that it's not something that can be fixed with a firmware upgrade.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 3:55 AM   #10
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Hmm. Not sure if the flash lag issue would affect me much but I guess it could do.

Maybe the A580 would be better after all with the bigger battery and I guess better low-light performance because it's not losing some to the AF system...

[Edit] I did a quick test to see if I would be bothered by the fraction of a second delay when using the flash. I took a photograph of my watch with my FZ38, using flash and clicked the button when the second hand got to 12. The picture below shows a whopping 2s delay between clicking the shutter and the result. And I can honestly say it has never once botherered me so I guess the much shorter A55 delay is unlikely to be something I'll ever think about again.

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