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Old Jun 14, 2006, 9:48 PM   #1
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I am trying to decide if I should buy a 7D or wait for the Sony Alpha. I have a couple questions if anyone could help me out with...Is the Sony Alpha in terms of features more comparable to the 5D or 7D?? I am looking for a camera I can grow into. And I would hate to buy the Alpha only to have an Alpha II releasesd in the near future.Also, Will the new lenses been developed for the Alpha also be backward compatible and work on the 7D? I know my current AF minolta lenses will work on the Sony.
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Old Jun 14, 2006, 11:05 PM   #2
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patriots1 wrote:
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I am trying to decide if I should buy a 7D or wait for the Sony Alpha. I have a couple questions if anyone could help me out with...Is the Sony Alpha in terms of features more comparable to the 5D or 7D?? I am looking for a camera I can grow into. And I would hate to buy the Alpha only to have an Alpha II releasesd in the near future.Also, Will the new lenses been developed for the Alpha also be backward compatible and work on the 7D? I know my current AF minolta lenses will work on the Sony.
The Alpha is basically a 5D, but with 10 Megapixel and the dust cleaner. There may be some other minor refinements. I don't think you would make a bad choice with a 5D, 7D or the Alpha. As far as we know, the lenses are interchangeble. No one can tell you at this point if an Alpha II is on the way or when, so how long are you willing to wait? If you are worried about Sony introducing anothermodel, than minimize you investment. By a 5D or 7Dand if theSony appears sell it to by the Sony. They will all take good pictures.
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 7:39 AM   #3
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I'm sure there are other little differences, but the only main one I know of between the 5d and 7d is the lack of manual flash control on the 5d, and the larger 7d buffer. Otherwise its all outward differences (control dials etc) so the Sony should be pretty comparable too.

We have reached a point where DSLR technology is fairly mature, the changes are going to be little operational things rather than complete overhauls every few months (re: 30D).
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 8:43 AM   #4
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The new Alpha 100 is really somewhere in between the 5D and 7D for features.

It's gota smaller viewfinderlike the 5D (the 7D's was larger). Although the 5D's viewfinder is still better than most entry level models.

The Alpha 100 does get a higher resolution display (the 7D's was higher resolution compared to the 5D and the new Alpha 100's beats them both).

It's got a smaller buffer like the 5D (the 7D's was larger). However, write speed to media is improved (so, a larger buffer isn't as necessary). The new Alpha 100 can write at 3 frames/second to a fast card continuously (until the card fills up) in it's highest quality jpeg mode.

It's also missing a PC Sync Port (but, you can get an adapter for the hotshoe to give it one).

In addition, it's missing some of the external controls you have with a 7D (for example, the focus lock button, extra control wheel, dedicated dial for exposure compensation, and dedicated drive mode switch).Sony also left off some buttons availble with the 5D (for example, the dedicated button for ISO speed). I think some more are missing, too (I haven't paid that much attention).

But, some of the buttons they left off were replaced on a dial that was dedicated just for white balance on a 5D.

You also lose the ability to store a custom feature set under a mode dial position (the 7D had three positions for storing settings). Instead, the 5D (and new Alpha 100) get scene modes in those mode dial positions.

There are more differences, too (I just haven't tried to put together a comprehensive list yet).

One thing that is missing on the new Alpha 100 is ISO 3200 (it only goes to ISO 1600).You really don't want to use ISO 3200 unless necessary (but, I do use it relatively often with my 5D). I'm probably in the minority in this regardthough.

For most users, I suspect that the new Alpha 100 will be a super camera, and the control layout/menus appear to be good enough that you probably won't miss the extra dials and buttons unless you're used to a camera with them (and you could get used to living without them easily). Much of what is there was taken from the 5D.

The most interesting feature I see on the new Alpha 100 is the Dynamic Range Optimizer. It could save a bit of post processing time. lol The new metering system in the Alpha 100 also looks promising, as does what appears to be an improved anti-shake system.

As for another new model from Sony, we'll have to wait and see what else they may have "up their sleeves". But, I wouldn't expect one to be available anytime real soon. There is little doubt that they will be releasing more bodies, though. It's just a matter of when.

Sony has already announced it's intent to capture more than 25% of the DSLR market over the next few years.I don't think they can do that with only one body.
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 9:50 AM   #5
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... Plus don't forget the new Pentax K100D which also vie for some market share (since they tried to be a price leader here)
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 8:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for you awesome list JimC. I have been leaning towards getting the 7D, but I wanted to make sure thatI could buy the new lenses being developed for the Alpha and use them with the 7D--is there any word of if that will be possible??

In your opinion, for a person who wants to get more serious about getting involved in photography would the 7D or Alpha both allow me to do that or does onehave features that a "professional" photographer would want over the other.

Thanks
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 8:14 AM   #7
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The lenses are forwards and backwards compatible (Minolta Maxxum lenses will work on Sony Alpha DSLR models, and Sony Alpha lenses will work on KM DSLR models).

You'll have to decide what's more important in a camera. If you wanted larger prints, the extra pixels might come in handy.

But, most users never print anything at much over 8x10" anyway.

From my perspective, the new Metering and Dynamic Range Optimizer would be nice to have. But, I really don't want/need the extra pixels. It will probably take me a while to form an opinion on pros and cons.


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Old Jun 21, 2006, 12:01 PM   #8
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JimC wrote:
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You'll have to decide what's more important in a camera. ...
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Agreed. For me as a 7D owner, I would pick it again. What was important for me was to have most of the controls on dials and buttons instead of in menus. The 7D is very close in functionality to my 7 film camera, and I really enjoy using it.
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 5:50 PM   #9
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Also Agree with Jim.

I love my 7d and I've decided to buy another 7d as a professional backup instead of going with the alpha. I would love to have 10mp but, as Jim pointed out, the rest of the features on the 7d outweigh that benifit (for me).

By the way, I'd like to know the largest print size someone has printed from the 7d and still get a professional, high quality print? Also, did you need any interpolation software or did you basically print straight from the camera?
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 12:58 PM   #10
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It's not clear to me that the 10Mpixel is going to offer that much better resolution than the 7D's 6.1Mpixels. After all the sensor size is the same so one must assume that noise it greater on the alpha. I'm sure that it won't be *worse* than the 7D - but it might very well not be appreciably better.

We'll just have to get somebody to do side-by-side 24" prints. Any volunteers?
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