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Old Apr 18, 2008, 4:36 PM   #1
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I know these two cameras are great entry-level DSLRs. I figure either one of them would suit my needs.
However, I would like to know maybe a few pros and cons about each of them from people who have had eperience with DSLR, and not just people in blue shirts offering advice about cameras they probably never have used (Best Buy. etc.) Which camera would you choose out of the two? Thanks

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Old Apr 18, 2008, 10:42 PM   #2
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Well, there a number of differences between the Nikon D60 and the Sony A300. But they are both very fine cameras, and either would probably suit you well.

First, the Sony has 'Live View', which means you can compose your shot on the LCD display.

Second, the Sony uses sensor shift image stabilization while the Nikon uses optical image stabilization. Image stabilization corrects for motion blur due to camera shake, allowing you to take photos at slower shutter speeds. The Sony's sensor shift IS moves the image sensor within the camera body, such that the image is projected onto the same place during the exposure, while the Nikon's optical IS positions an optical element within the lens to do the same thing. Sensor shift IS is built into the body, and therefore is available for any lens, but optical IS is only available on certain lenses which are bigger, heavier and more expensive. Optical image stabilization hassome advantages, however. It projects a stabilized image out the rear of the lens, so it will work with extension tubes, teleconverterrs, and the image in the viewfinder is stabilized. Sensor shift IS doesn't adequately handle extension tubes, some teleconverters don't provide adequate info for the stabilization system, and the image in the viewfinder is not stabilized.

Third, the Nikon D60 (and the D40 and D40X) don't have the internal autofocus motor that other Nikon dSLRs have, so only about half of Nikon's current leses will autofocus on it, only about 1/3 of Sigma's lenses will, only a few of Tamron's lenses will , and none of Tokina's lenses will. And speaking of third party lenses, only a very few third party lenses contain the optical image stabilization Nikon dSLRs can use. So the selection of autofocus lenses for the D60 is limited, and the selection of stabilized lenses even more so. But with that said, this limited selection contains a good cross section of types of lenses. And the selection of OEM and third party lenses for the Sony are not great (but better than for the D60) and the OEM lensescan be very expensive.

Fourth, the Nikon D60 has a slower and less reliable autofocus system when compared to the Sony A300. For most things, this doesn't matter much, but for action shots (sports, wildlife, etc.) the Sony will perform better.

There are a number of other differences, but I think these are some of the bigger ones that would have an impact on the types of photography you plan to do.

But a really important factor in the choice of a camera is how it feels to you. If you aren't comfortable holding or using it, or you can't find the controls when you need them, then you'll miss shots that you might have otherwise gotten. So I think you should go to a camera retailer and try them out.
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Old Apr 18, 2008, 11:13 PM   #3
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Thanks TCav. That was extremely helpful. I did not quite understand the whole image stabilization and now I have a better idea. I'll have to wait until the a300 becomes availabe next week before I can handle it. Thanks a ton, it cleared up a few things.
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Old Apr 19, 2008, 8:34 AM   #4
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It's unlikely you'll find members that have spent much time with both of these cameras. Here are some comments from a couple of users I've seen that have used both Nikon and Sony DSLR models though.

Scroll down on this page and you'll see a post from one of our members that has used both a Nikon D40 and D40x and now has a Sony A200:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=87

Here's a Sony A350 review from a Nikon D300 user's perspective:

http://www0.epinions.com/review/Sony...t_423767543428

Personally, if looking at the newer Sony models, I'd stick to the 10MP Sony A200 or A300 models instead of the higher resolution A350. I'm currently shooting with a Sony A700.

Note that the viewfinder in the A300 and A350 models is smaller than the viewfinder in the A200 to make room for the Live View sensor. So, keep that in mind if you don't need Live View (the A200 has a better viewfinder).

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Old Apr 29, 2008, 5:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Personally, if looking at the newer Sony models, I'd stick to the 10MP Sony A200 or A300 models instead of the higher resolution A350. I'm currently shooting with a Sony A700.
I'm looking into buying one of the new Sonys for myself (it would be my first dSLR). I know there is a biggish price difference between the a200 and the a700, but are there any other reasons that you'd recommend the a200 over the one you're shooting with, the a700?

Quote:
Note that the viewfinder in the A300 and A350 models is smaller than the viewfinder in the A200 to make room for the Live View sensor. So, keep that in mind if you don't need Live View (the A200 has a better viewfinder).
Can you expound a little about the viewfinder? I'm not able to get my head around the Live View option vs "the a200 has a better viewfinder." How much of the LCD screen is devoted to composing your shot before the snap? What is Live View?
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Old Apr 29, 2008, 11:02 PM   #6
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edtech2020 wrote:
Quote:
I'm not able to get my head around the Live View option vs "the a200 has a better viewfinder." How much of the LCD screen is devoted to composing your shot before the snap? What is Live View?
'Live View' is when the LCD Display on th eback of the camera body shows the image that is projected through the lens. 'Live View' is common on P&S Digicams, but there are technical obstacles that make it difficult in a dSLR. Most dSLRs have their autofocus and autoexposure systems in the optical viewfinder. 'Live View' systems required the mirror to flip up out of the way toallow the image sensor to provide an image to the LCD Display, but while the camera was providing the 'Live View', it couldn't autofocus or autoexpose. Some manufacturers developed new methods of autofocus and autoexposure that could work from the image sensor instead of the viewfinde. Sony just put another image sensor in the viewfinder. This second image sensor provides the image to the LCD Display while the autofocus and autoexposure systemsin the viewfinder are doing what they always did.

The probelm is that all that extra stuff reduces the magnification of the optical viewfinder, so the image in the optical viewfinder in the A300 is smaller than in the optical viewfinder in the A200.
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Old May 5, 2008, 9:12 PM   #7
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After a long back and forth between the a300, d60, and xsi I have finally settled on a DSLR---thanks for the most part to the members of this forum------. I have decided on the a300. Ultimatley, I think Live View did me in (and other reasons of course)

I was pleasntly surprised when I came across Amazon.com price for the a300 kit with two lens. The a300 is normally priced at 900 USD. However, with Sony's Mother Day sale and Amazon's own savings, the price is down to 700 USD. Heck yes! This is a sweet deal!

Thanks for the help!
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Old May 6, 2008, 9:40 AM   #8
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Congratulations on your choice!

Come back and post something when you can.
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Old May 6, 2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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Note that I merged the two threads you started together, so everything would be in the same place.

Congrats from me, too. The A300 is a super choice. I think you'll really like it, especially if you want Live View. IMO, Sony's Live View system is much better than the Live View systems available in other dSLR models right now, and Sony is doing a great job with these newer models in other areas, too (Autofocus Speed and accuracy, Metering reliability, Dynamic Range, and more).

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