Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 3, 2007, 10:25 PM   #11
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

NHL wrote:
Quote:
Actually one thing that JimC and mtclimber didn't mention is the Sony also comes with in body anti-shake!
-> So all your old lenses now are upgrade to have this image stabilizer feature (for free)
A good read on the benefits of stabilization is this article by Mike Johnston, written after he got his Maxxum 7D. It works with all of your lenses.

Catch the Rave!

This is the part I'd most agree with:

Quote:
What pleases and amazes me most about the 7D is when I think back in my mind to the thousands upon thousands of pictures I've taken in my life using too wide an aperture, or too fast a film, or struggling with camera-holding techniques, making attempt after attempt to steal a clean shot in low light. And also, of course, thinking of all the shots that got away because of camera movement. The more such examples you can recall in your own experience, the more you will love the Konica-Minolta 7D. Personally, it has convinced me that spending any less for a DSLR would have been a golden opportunity tragically missed.


I accidently left my 5D's stabilization turned off a couple of weekends ago, and I was very surprised at the number of blurry photos I had when reviewing them later (because of camera shake when stopping down to smaller apertures in less than optimum lighting, since I tend to take a lot of photos in early morning lighting without a tripod).

I think I tend to take it for granted and I am not careful enough about my shutter speed, how I press the shutter button, etc. with it. But, with it off, I definitely noticed a difference.

Of course, the better approach would be to leave it on, *and* make sure I'm very careful about shutter speed, smoothly pressing the shutter button, etc. It does tend to spoil you once you become accustomed to having it.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2007, 10:39 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11
Default

I am seriously leaning towards the Sony, given what I have learned here. It is hard to pass up the lenses, knowing I would have to add an additional couple hundred bucks just to get to where I already am in terms of lenses. If it weren't for the lenses I have, it would be a harder decision, but I think my purchase of 15 years ago is making this easier.

I have a flash that worked on the Maxxum. It may not work anymore I haven't used it in years. But I will take a look at some of the solutions mentioned, and I may just buy a new one when I need to.

Just to double check, the auto focus will work on these lenses I have right? I think that is what Jim said (or someone) but I wanted to make sure I didn't read that wrong.

There are a couple of local places here that are supposed to have all three. I would like to go by and handle them and see them specifically.

Couple more questions, if you don't mind:

1. Does the viewfinder display on the LCD display so you can use the LCD rather than the display? I think there are only a few that do, from what I have read but I can't find whether this the A100 is one of them.

2. Is there any difference at all in the types of media storage (CD, SD, etc)? I assume there is not.

3. Is there any delay when you push the shutter? My wife hates the Sony CyberShot PS-9 that we have because it doesn't take instant photos sometimes. You get the little boy to smile just right and by the time the picture is taken the smile is gone. She is pretty sour on that Sony camera and when I mentioned I was looking at a Sony she had a negative face. I told her I thought this one was totally different becuase it was SLR. Can someone back me up on this?

Thanks for all the help.
lrogier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2007, 11:17 PM   #13
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

lrogier wrote:
Quote:
I am seriously leaning towards the Sony, given what I have learned here. It is hard to pass up the lenses, knowing I would have to add an additional couple hundred bucks just to get to where I already am in terms of lenses.
Think again. You'll spend a lot more than that to get something equivalent to what you've got if you go with another brand.

Price a Canon 70-200mm f/4 and see what it would cost you. Keep in mind that a lens that has an available aperture of f/4 throughout the focal range (like your Minolta 70-210mm f/4) is exactly twice as bright as one that only has f/5.6 on it's long end (like most consumer lenses have available on their long end).

That's a big difference (that Minolta is going to be twice as bright as most consumer grade zooms with it's focal range). Then, add stabilization into the mix and see what it would cost. Take this one as an example:

Canon 70-200mm f/4L Lens for $579 at B&H

Now, add stabilization (which you're have in the camera body with the Sony):

Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS Lens for $1059 at B&H

Aperture, as expressed as f/stop is a ratio between the focal length of the lens and the area of the iris diameter.

Lenses with larger available apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) are larger, heavier and more expensive (they have to be larger, in order to let in more light for a given focal length, and that costs more to manufacturer, especially if you maintain decent optical quality).

The aperture scale (in one stop increments) goes f/1.0, f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/11, f/16, f/22, etc. With each one stop move to a smaller aperture (represented by higher f/stop numbers), you will need shutter speeds twice as long for proper exposure for the same lighting and ISO speed.

You can get a better idea of this relationship if you look at this exposure calculator. Note that film speed in the calculator is the same thing as ISO speed:

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

Quote:
Just to double check, the auto focus will work on these lenses I have right? I think that is what Jim said (or someone) but I wanted to make sure I didn't read that wrong.
Absolutely. Your lenses will Autofocus just fine on a KM or Sony DSLR body and they'd be stabilized, thanks to the in body stabilzation you have in KM or Sony DSLR models.

Quote:
There are a couple of local places here that are supposed to have all three. I would like to go by and handle them and see them specifically.
Great idea. I'd do that to make sure you're comfortable with any camera you choose.

Quote:
1. Does the viewfinder display on the LCD display so you can use the LCD rather than the display? I think there are only a few that do, from what I have read but I can't find whether this the A100 is one of them.
No. The LCD is used for playback only. That's because the mirror is in the way of the light path when you use a DSLR model. That's one of the advantages of a DSLR. You get a true Through The Lens (TTL) view using it's viewfinder. With a non-DSLR model, the sensor has no mirror in the way. So, it can provide a live feed.

There are a few newer DSLR models with a live feed option (for example, the new Olympus E-410 and E-510). But, they have their drawbacks (for example, Autofocus tends to take a lot longer trying to use one that way, as they have to flip the mirror back and forth to focus before they return the live view. I'd try it to see what you think. It's not quite as nice as the marketing guys would lead you to believe if you're trying to do that with a DSLR.

Give it a bit of time, and I think you'll start seeing some DSLR models that don't require a mirror in the lightpath to send the light from the lens up to an optical viewfinder (in time, we'll probably see some models using Electronic Viewfinders intead). But, for now, most DSLR models will not provide a live feed.

Quote:
2. Is there any difference at all in the types of media storage (CD, SD, etc)? I assume there is not.
I prefer CompactFlash media. For one thing, it's not as easy to misplace because it's slightly larger. lol Secure Digital is becoming more and more popular though (although it's got it's share of quirks, like compatibility issues between newer SDHC media and card readers). I wouldn't base a camera decision on media type though.

Quote:
3. Is there any delay when you push the shutter? My wife hates the Sony CyberShot PS-9 that we have because it doesn't take instant photos sometimes. You get the little boy to smile just right and by the time the picture is taken the smile is gone. She is pretty sour on that Sony camera and when I mentioned I was looking at a Sony she had a negative face. I told her I thought this one was totally different becuase it was SLR. Can someone back me up on this?
DSLR models are much faster overall compared to non-DSLR models. The focus system is very different. If you read the review conclusion sections here (last page before the sample images in each model's review), Steve measures things like Autofocus Time, cycle time between photos and more.

Lens choice also has a big impact. For example a brighter lens (larger available apertures, represented by smaller available f/stop numbers) allows more light to get through to the Autofocus Sensors (and to the viewfinder), so that the camera can see better to focus. Lens brightness can make a big difference. How a lens is geared can also have an impact. For example, a macro lens tends to be geared towards finer focus adjustments and tends to focus a bit slower compared to a general purpose lens. You really have to take each lens on a case by case basis.

Quote:
I have a flash that worked on the Maxxum. It may not work anymore I haven't used it in years. But I will take a look at some of the solutions mentioned, and I may just buy a new one when I need to.
The Maxxum 7000 used a modified ISO standard hotshoe. The 7000i and later Minolta models (including the Sony DSLR-A100) use a different type of hotshoe. You'll want a flash model designed for the KM or Sony DSLR models if you go that route if you want the flash to work properly and be aware of the camera settings being used.

It's not just the shoe either. Sensors in digital cameras have different reflectivity characteristics. So, you can't use OTF (off the film metering) during flash exposures. Flash systems for all brands were redesigned for digital and require newer flash models that understand how to do things like send a preflash to help the camera judge the length of the main flash burst needed. Digital made many flash models obsolete for all camera brands.

But, you can still use a non-dedicated flash via an adapter if you don't mind using manual exposure (as I mentioned in an earlier post).

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2007, 11:49 PM   #14
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Now, to be fair, that Canon 70-200mm f/4L (and the IS version) are super lenses.

But, your Minolta 70-210mm f/4 gives you a lot of bang for the buck compared to what you'd be able to find a lens with it's brightness and focal range in another brand, and *all* of your lenses would benefit from the built in stabilization.

So, I'd keep that in mind when camera shopping. Your lenses are worth more than a couple of hundred bucks if you tried to replace them with something close if you switched brands.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2007, 10:40 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11
Default

We went out tonight and handled all three camera (XTi, D40x, and the A100). I love the menu on the D40x. I like the overall feel of the XTi. My lenses did work fine with the A100 (as you said). Overall, I was not impressed with the menu of the A100.

Before going I was almost sold on the Sony. But having used it, I feel like I would be buying it only because I already have the lenses. That may not be bad (What do you think?). I could sell the lenses and start over. I looked on "completed items" on Ebay and saw my 70-210 in the 150-175 range).

I don't like the lack of auto pop up flash (though I am not a big fan of built in flash anyway so I don't know why that bothers me.) The menu did not seem very intuitive to me and it seemed dull compared to the others (aesthetically speaking ... I know ... minor point). I am sure a little time spent with the book would help me understand the menu and the options well enough.

So now I feel more confused than ever and in the end, there probably isn't enough difference between them for what I would do to be this worked up about it. I have spent hours in the last few days searching sites and reviews and calling places.

I think I will visit one more tomorrow that is known to be a camera shop and see if they have some informed salespeople that can talk intelligently. The guy tonight got an education from me. But it was a big box store. What do you expect ...
lrogier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2007, 12:19 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

If it were me, I would look at it from the expense paid:value received point of view. I for one, do not have a lot excess $$ floating around. Therefore, the Sony A-100 Alpha, considering the lenses that you already own, and they are good ones, still shapes up to be the better of all the DSLR deals out there.

I think it is indeed something to consider.

Sarah Joyce

mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2007, 7:41 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

If you're not comfortable with the camera, then you won't use it, or you won't use it as often, or you'll be fumbling around trying to do something and miss a shot.

I hate to say it, given the head start a Sony A-100 would give you considering the lenses you already have, but maybe you should get something else. The lenses you've got are good, but they're not extraordinarily good or extraordinarily valuable. You might get $300 for the three of them, and you can put that toward a lens you'll use on a camera you'll use.

Since you're obviously sweating bullets over this decision, if you get the A-100, you might end up second guessing that decision for a long time. Save yourself the grief and buy the one you're comfortable with.

But remember, while you're using the camera, you'll rarely be using the menues. The menues are for setting up in preparation forusing the camera. When you're using the camera, you'll be using the buttons, knobs and switches, not the menues.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2007, 8:15 AM   #18
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Well, as for the menus, they do take a little getting used to. But, the control layout is good enough that you wouldn't need to use them very often anyway. That's one reason PopPhoto gave it Editor's Choice for DSLR Camera of the Year:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4241...vel-dslrs.html

As for lenses, you won't find good quality Autofocus lenses with the brightness your lenses have for anywhere near what you'd get for them.

That's why I pointed out the cost of a zoom with a similar focal range and brightness with f/4 available throughout the focal range in the Canon lineup.

Your lenses would also be stabilized

Low costs for high quality Autofocus lenses is one reason I went with a KM DSLR (that and the built in ant-shake). They've gone up a lot since I got my Maxxum 5D. But, they are still super bargains on the used market compared to some of the equivalent lenses from other manufacturers.

That won't last forever though. Konica Minolta entered the DSLR market much later than Canon and Nikon. So, demand for lenses was not as high (fewer users buying them on the used market). As a result, there are still a lot of bargains to be found (like your 70-210mm f/4, affectionately known as the beercan).

But, Sony has already announced it's working on more DSLR models. So, as demand for these older lenses goes up when more cameras start shipping, so will their prices. ;-) You could actually buy the beercan (your 70-210mm f/4) for under $100 before the Maxxum 5D started shipping. lol It's already doubled in price since then, with only a small number of cameras shipped compared to the Nikon and Canon DSLR models in the market.

If you want to see what users think of your zooms, go to these links and click on the link you'll see in each listing for reviews. You'll also see links in the listings for sample photos from these lenses (you get super color and contrast from these old lenses).

Minolta 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5

Minolta 70-210mm f/4

So, I would take your lenses into consideration. To replace them in another brand is going to cost you a lot more than you'd get for them if you want lenses with equivalent quality and brightness. Both of these lenses are much brighter than the typical kit lenses and consumer grade zooms would be by the time you zoom in much with one (most of them are down to f/5.6 by the time you zoom in much).

So, you could get faster shutter speeds for any given lighting and ISO speed with your zooms compared to a typical consumer grade zoom with the aperture opened up. That means you'd need to use higher ISO speeds in less than optimum lighting unless you went with zooms that were as bright as yours to get the same shutter speeds (which can be handy for reducing motion blur from subject movement).

You wouldn't get build quality as good as your lenses in the newer consumer grade models either. Your lenses are much better made in comparison.

All of your lenses would also be stabilized, thanks to the in body stabilization system. Your lenses could also be used on a model with a larger than APS-C size sensor should Sony release a model later that has a larger sensor in it. Most of the kit lenses around are designed to work only on models with smaller APS-C size sensors.

But, if your not comfortable with the Sony, by all means go another route. I'm just pointing out the benefits you'd have with your existing lenses.

The Canon will have lower noise as ISO speeds are increased. So, that would help offset the difference you'd have using lenses that are not as bright with it, if you couldn't afford to replace your lenses with some that have equivalent brightness. You wouldn't get the in body stabilization with the Canon though (and you're not going to make that up with only around a 1 stop difference in noise levels in less than optimum lighting). Canon does offer stablized lenses though (as does Nikon). You won't find a stablized 50mm f/1.7 though. All of your lenses would be stabilized on a Sony body.

Personally, I think the Sony body feels much better from an ergonomics perspective compared to the XTi. But, each user will have different things they like or dislike about a camera. That's one thing that's nice about the choices we have now.

Get the one that you're most comfortable with. Any of the DSLR models are capable of taking nice photos.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2007, 9:01 AM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Default

I'm chiming in with a less experienced voice than other responders, but I sooo much agree with the points made by the moderator of pros and cons. I very recently jumped on the dslr wagon after agonizing/exploring choice of camera for a few months. I could never feel that there were overwhelming indicators/reasons to go with a particular camera. Just a couple of weeks ago, I bought the Sony A100 and am very,very impressed with the camera; therefore happy with my decision. I've discovered many "small", but delightful features that indicate Sony has put much thought into the user's perspective. Good luck in choosing.
Braddock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 2007, 9:15 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

Just my opinion - menus are easily learned, no matter how intuitive or not they are. It's a point to consider but not what I'd basemy camera buying decision on. How they look is even less important - how much time do you spend looking at the menu? I would hope not very much - I'd be looking at the viewfinder and how well you can see things through them because that's what you'd be looking at mostly.

The thing that is VERY important to me is the feel and weight of a camera. Can you reach all the main controls easily? Does it feel too small or too big? Can you easily hold it steady? Image stabilization will help significantlybut it won't help you take a 1/60 sec. picture with a 300mm lens (I'm not as steady as I used to be so IS is very high on my list of priorities). If the Sony doesn't feel right in your hands, it might not be the right camera.

The two main reasons why I chose a Pentax (the Sony wasn't out at the time otherwise it would have been in the running - I had been a happy Sony F717 user until it started to have problems) was due to the fact that I had a number of old Pentax lenses from 1980, and I liked the way the camera felt in my hands. I'm completely happy with my choice, though I have picked up some new lenses along the way (sigh!) to go with my old ones. I hope that you will be equally happy with your choice.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:42 PM.