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Old Jun 16, 2008, 9:38 PM   #1
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After seriously considering a superzoom (Panasonic FZ18 or Sony H50), I have decided that I think I would be better suited to a dSLR. Here are my requirements and am looking for input:

1) I have owned a Canon FTb (yes I am that old) and still have the 50 f1.8 and 135 f3.5 glass but these won't autofocus on any of the entry level dSLR's so I do not think that is a factor

2) Have a Nikon N80 with Tamron 28 - 200 lens. I upgraded as I wanted high quality images (compared to P&S) but still not wanting to deal with a bunch of lenses. Again, I believe this will not autofocus with any Nikon thru the D60.

Things that are important (as compared to my current Canon SD400 P&S):

1) Quick autofocus. I miss way too many of my kids shots.
2) General purpose but very good IQ (I understand many people on this board are professionals so I won't say excellent IQ as that will price my glass out of range).
3) Camera that gives opportunity to go back to my days of real photography (I do understand exposure et al)

But I will mainly use the camera as a high end P&S and am even considering the Tamron 18-250 DI lens.

I have yet to go to the camera store but my strong consideration is the Sony a200 with the Sigma lens. I don't think Live View is something I need.

Reasons for not selecting other choices:

1) Canon XSi is too much and XS is not out yet. Also issue of autofocus.
2) Nikon D60....issue with autofocus, though some opinions suggest the D60 with Nikon 18-200 VR lens is a better choice than the Sony with Tamron lens.
3) Wildcard: Olympus.

So what do folks think. Will I come to regret the Tamron lens, or will this be a good all in one solution.

Thanks
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 10:25 PM   #2
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I'm not crazy about all-in-one lens solutions because they make so many compromises, but it seems that the Tamron is pretty good. The samples I've seen taken with Pentax cameras (I shoot Pentax) have been quite nice. It's not a fast lens so you need to have lots of light - it would need a flash indoors (or stationary subjects and a tripod). Whether it's right for you or not depends on what you plan on taking (indoors natural light vs. outdoors/good light/flash).

One question you need to ask yourself is how much do you need anti-shake, and what's your budget - the Sony has image stabilization built into the camera body so any lens you use on it will be stabilized - a big plus if you need it and are on a budget. Both Canon and Nikon put stabilization in their lenses so if you want it you'd have to buy more expensive lenses, and your selection will be smaller. That won't matter if you are a steady shooter and/or always keep your shutter speeds high enough to deal with camera shake.

The D60's lack of an in-camera focus motor comes into play if you are planning on getting some of Nikon's fast prime lenses. If the lens you want to use comes with a motor in the lens, then it doesn't matter.

The cameras you are considering are different in size and shape. All are capable of taking excellent pictures, so the best thing to do is go to a camera store and actually handle them - quite often you'll find one will feel much better to you than another.
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 10:34 PM   #3
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mtngal wrote:
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One question you need to ask yourself is how much do you need anti-shake, and what's your budget - the Sony has image stabilization built into the camera body so any lens you use on it will be stabilized - a big plus if you need it and are on a budget. Both Canon and Nikon put stabilization in their lenses so if you want it you'd have to buy more expensive lenses, and your selection will be smaller. That won't matter if you are a steady shooter and/or always keep your shutter speeds high enough to deal with camera shake.
I am trying to stay to a budget and I do like the Sony because of the in camera stabilization. I used to do a lot of photography with film, my own darkroom, etc....but as time has passed I am much more of a "snapshot" shooter. Unfortunately, due to my past experiences I have become accustomed to a certain amount of quality in my images.
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Old Jun 17, 2008, 8:19 AM   #4
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The Sony A200 is a good choice for general purpose photography, and if you really want an all-in-one lens, the Sony 18-250 would be a better choice. The Tamron 18-250 is probably the best superzoom lens available, and the Sony is the Tamron with autofocus gearing optimized for the Sony.

BUT, superzoom lenses are jacks-of-all-trades-and-masters-of-none. They do many things adequately, but few things well. They suffer from geometric distortion at the wide end, chromatic aberration at the long end, and are soft throughout. I think you would be better served by a small collection of lenses with less ambitious zoom ranges. Sticking to the Sony A200, I'd suggest the kit lens, a used Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0 (affectionately known as the 'Beercan'), and a used Minolta 50mm f/1.7. This collection of lenses would be about half as expensive as the Sony 18-250, and would do a better job.
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