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Old Jun 17, 2008, 12:03 PM   #11
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Sony just dropped the prices on their dSLR models (probably in response to new models from others). For one thing, I think they want to make sure they start gaining marketshare (since they're the "new kid on the block" in the dSLR market, after acquiring Konica Minolta's camera related assets).

I think they offer the best "bang for the buck" by far (IMO, compared to the other low priced dSLR models, $499.99 for the Sony A200 with an 18-70mm kit lens is a super deal). But, I'm a bit biased since I currently shoot with a Sony A700. ;-) I'm copying the rest of this post from another thread (this subject comes up from time to time):

I think Sony is going to be a very strong player in this market as time passes, too. Sony managed to grab 6% of the worldwide dSLR market in 2006, despite only having one dSLR model (the A100), that was only available for about 6 months of that year (placing them 3rd in worldwide dSLR marketshare behind Canon and Nikon). They managed to hold on to that same marketshare and third place in the dSLR niche for 2007, despite having that same one dSLR model for most of the year, only starting to ship the Sony A700 in the last quarter.

Now, Sony has released an A200, A300, A350, and A700, with a new full frame 24.6MP flagship model to be released later this year. Think about it... 1 model gave them 6% of worldwide dSLR marketshare, and now they've got 4 new models (that IMO, are better overall cameras compared to the entry level Nikon models), with at least one more new dSLR model coming out later this year. I think Sony knows exactly what they're doing.

Sony is already the second largest manufacturer of digital cameras behind Canon. Nikon is not even close they're so far behind in their non-dSLR marketshare now, and Sony's just getting warmed up in the dSLR market niche.

It looks like they're going to spend some money on marketing them, too. For example, I saw a recent thread from someone attending a soccer tournament that said Sony had 1500 cameras there (that they were letting patrons check out). The AF system on the newer Sony models is very good (much faster than the Sony A100).

Sony is the only dSLR model around with a decent live view system now (A300, A350). So, I think Sony is being *very* smart with their approach to the market, so that users looking to upgrade from a point and shoot to a dSLR have models that are easy to grow into, complete with [fast and usable] Live View. Note that you might prefer the larger optical viewfinder in the A200 if you don't need live view.

Again, I am a bit biased (since I'm shooting with a Sony DSLR-A700 right now) ;-)

Try them out for yourself and see what you like better. Any of the cameras you're looking at are capable of taking great photos.

P.S. -- the effectiveness of a lens based stablization system tends to vary by lens (for example, Nikon's latest VR II is better than the older VR). I think that any of them are likely to be within about 1 stop of each other. I'd expect around 2 stops slower shutter speeds on average without blur from camera shake with a body based solution (being able to use shutter speeds 4 times as long as you could get sharper photos without stablization), using 3 stops if you need to. The slower you go, the lower your percentage of sharper photos.

But, for sports use, stablization won't matter (you'll need to get faster shutter speeds to reduce blur from subject movement, so you wouldn't need stabilization for sports, since your shutter speeds should be fast enough to prevent blur from camera shake without it).

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Old Jun 17, 2008, 1:00 PM   #12
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Thanks Again Jim - are there any reviews for the 300 - I can't find any - lots for the 700 and 200 (here included).

My buddy has a $100 rebate for trying the camera as well ($50 off for just the camera, $100 for body and lens) so Sony is looking better for sure. Have you had any issues, especially with the memory (seems Sony uses their duo stick ?) - Do the "extra's" cost more so in the long run make the Sony end up being more?
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 1:02 PM   #13
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Here's a review:

http://www.alphamountworld.com/reviews/sony-a300-review

The Sony dSLR models use CompactFlash media. I'm currently using a Transcend 133x 16GB CompactFlash card in my A700. You can get one of these for under $100 now at vendors like http://www.newegg.com

CompactFlash Cards at newegg.com

The Sandisk Extreme III is a popular choice if you can find one at a good price.

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Old Jun 17, 2008, 2:21 PM   #14
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P.S.

Just in case you didn't know... the Sony A200, A300; Nikon D40x, D60, D80 and D200 all use a Sony 10 Megapixel CCD sensor, only my guess is that the D80 uses a slightly older design since Nikon first released that model in 2006. The Sony A700 and Nikon D300 both use a Sony 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor.

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Old Jun 17, 2008, 2:59 PM   #15
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JimC wrote:
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P.S.

Just in case you didn't know... the Sony A200, A300; Nikon D40x, D60, D80 and D200 all use a Sony 10 Megapixel CCD sensor ...
... as do, I beleive, the Pentax K10D and K200D.
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 4:58 PM   #16
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No - I didn't know they used the same sensor - just finished the 300 review from the link - lots of info and thank you for that. It seems there is more than just the live view and he favored the 300 over the 200 and 300 though the live view seemed to factor into that. Other than live view I'm not sure there is much difference in the 200 and 300.

With the difference in price I don't know if I can justify the XSi even with the +2mp additional nor the large price leap to the D80 - so between the Sony 200 and 300 I guess (at least I THINK I'm getting closer)


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Old Jun 17, 2008, 5:03 PM   #17
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The XSi has good image quality. But, it's missing ISO 3200 (which allows shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and lens aperture compared to ISO 1600). You don't want to use ISO 3200 unless you have to. But, it can come in handy in low light (for example, your desire to shoot night games). The Sony A200 and A300 have that feature built in. But, in the Canon lineup, if you want ISO 3200, you need to move up to the more advanced models like the EOS-30D or EOS-40D to get it. The Sony also has stabilization built in that works with any lens you use on it.

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Old Jun 17, 2008, 6:09 PM   #18
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Of course there's the downside to Sony - lens availability and price. Let's say you want to step up to a better 70-200 2.8 for sports work than the sigma. The canon 70-200 2.8 can be had for $1100. You'll pay $600 more for the sony lens. Even if you want the canon version with IS it's $1600 - $100 less. Although IS is useless for most sports use.

Then there's the fact that 95% of all pro sports shooters are using Canon or Nikon. There's a reason for that. The AF tracking of those cameras is the best in the industry - as is the lens selection.

In the end it doesn't matter to me what camera you buy. I just like to give you some info to think about to counter the sales pitch Jim throws out there.

In a few years when Sony has a better lens selection and third party lenses are more available it will definitely be an interesting playing field. But right now AS A SYSTEM they're not up to Canon and Nikon yet. But they show promise.
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 6:13 PM   #19
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JohnG wrote:
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Of course there's the downside to Sony - lens availability and price. Let's say you want to step up to a better 70-200 2.8 for sports work than the sigma. The canon 70-200 2.8 can be had for $1100. You'll pay $600 more for the sony lens. Even if you want the canon version with IS it's $1600 - $100 less. Although IS is useless for most sports use.
Yep, I mentioned that in one of my earlier posts to this thread. ;-)

Quote:
For the night games, your choices are more limited right now in Sony mount. Sony's 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is a bit pricey (around $1700 right now). But, Sigma is releasing their latest II version of the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro in Sony mount. It's not shipping here yet. But, some vendors are taking preorders for it now. Here's an example:

http://www.adorama.com/SG70200H2MAX....&item_no=5
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 9:31 PM   #20
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Thanks John - I noticed that Canon seemed to have a huge presence on SportsShooters (and as you mention Nikon and Canon dominate), however I can't afford a high line professional camera. I am torn between the XSi and the Sony 300, with the Sonycard I get $100 back (from SonyStyle) and then the $50 or $100 rebate from the Sony tour so the 300 with 2 lenses can be had for $599 or with one lens $499. The best I've seen on the XSi is $899 with one lens. As an entry level dSLR I am not sure the Canon is $400 better, even taking into account the lenses.

The reason for starting this thread is my confusion/uncertainty and in all honesty I believe I would get the XSi if it were closer in price (maybe I've missed the "deals" on it) - I've kind of ruled out Nikon as I believe the D80 is the minimum body that will work and I don't believe it is worth the difference in price. If the Sony is also slow to focus (like was mentioned about the D60 and under Nikon) then even for the money it isn't going to be worth it. The only review I read on the Sony 300didn't mention this however in reading most reviews it isn't mentioned (or I missed it) on any brand - I guess sports specific reviews (if there are any) would address this.


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