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Old Jul 29, 2008, 10:42 PM   #11
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sarah and tcav,

thank you for your replies. you both always have really useful and interesting points and facts to share, and that enriches any discussion!

sarah, as to looking into ultra zooms... I agree with you to some extent. I think anyone willing to take a plunge into photography will profit highly from an ultra zoom... the two potential disadvantages I see in them are the smaller sensor and the electronic viewfinder+shutter lag. I really got used to the slr functionalities and speed. just those things you don't want to get back to once you dipped your feet in the dslr world. in a few years, maybe, that might be the way to go, but right now that's not easy to give up...

tcav, as I said... I hadn't looked into yetr, but I do consider it right now. I just hadn't looked into it yet... but, after a quick peek at slrgear.com, I just noticed one real disadvantage: in the sub-1000$ range, their widest all-around zoom lens, which should be the one I'm gonna use 90% of the time, is the 17-85, which is equivalent to a little over 27mm in 35mm terms. I'm planning on getting a 24mm equivalent or less, if possible, so the sony 16-105 and the olympus 12-60 would be much more suited for that... I'm an architect and I travel a lot, so those few wider mms could often be missed.

lens IS has been putting me off for the nikon, as well as the fact that the d60 doesn't have an af motor, which might be inconvenient occasionally. pentax has a good 16-50mm out there, and that's somewhat less versatile than my choices for an olympus or a sony, which, right now, are my favourite contenders...

besides architecture and travel, I shoot whatever I can, with no specific inclinations. birds, landscapes, plants, casual portraits... pretty much everything. so, like I said, a good all-around lens (in the 24-100+ mm eq. range) might be my main focus (no pun intended).

sarah, I'm curious: I saw your sample pictures, but I'm not sure what's putting you off with the a300...? right now, other than your comment, the a300/350 (not sure I need the extra mps and swivelling lcd) seems like a better choice because of the versatility/quality/price balance of the 16-105...

again, thanks for your input. tcav, you're right, any information or opinion you can throw in is invited!

cheers.
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 11:29 PM   #12
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kezs-

I will try again tomorrow (30 July) with the Sony A-300. However, as of right now it is not a huge improvement over the ultra zooms. I had expected that the A-300 would offer a substantial improvement in image quality. However, that does not seem to be the case at all.

Here is a another photo sample from the Sony H-3.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 11:51 PM   #13
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Kezs-

As it is getting dark here, I had to fire up my Sony 5600 flash to provide you with a bounce flash photo from the Sony A-300. Yes, I agree that it is a pretty good photo this time. It was taken with the A-300 using the Sigma 18-125mm lens, which is traditionally rather sharp. All in all it is a creditable photo. Tell me what you think??

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 12:02 AM   #14
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hey sarah,

throughout the years (though I'm not very active at the forum, I know), your good-looking husband with his earphones has become a reference to us all! and that's what it all comes down to, right? I mean, just comparing these pictures you've uploaded says such a lot about the cameras they were taken with.

thanks, as usual, for your help. it seems like your impression of the sony is taking a slight turn upwards, right? I'll check back tomorrow to see how it evolves...

good night, and talk to you all tomorrow (1am here in brazil...)

[i]edit: oh, and by the way... if any of you is interested in taking a peek at the kind of photography I do, feel free to point your browsers to http://kezs.deviantart.com/gallery ...)
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 12:18 AM   #15
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sorry to but in again but tcav my a700 has a pop up flash, is there something i am missing, ecap
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 12:54 AM   #16
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ecap-

The Sony DSLR cameras can use either the Sony 5600 or 5800 ( the new flash). The flashes can both tilt and swivel making them very useful and adaptable. In the past, I have done both a Pentax and a Canon S-5 Flash Tutorial to help folks get the most from their flash units. Flash is a very useful tool and should not be discounted.

Unfortunately, most folks seem to shy away from a good external flash unit. It really is a great photographic tool that everyone should become quite skilled at using due to its great multiple ways to employ it.

Here is a bounce flash photo taken this evening with a Sony A-300 and the Sony 5600 flash used in the bounce position. The bounce position does away with those harsh shadows and allows a light softness.

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Old Jul 30, 2008, 1:32 AM   #17
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mtclimber,

thank you, but i do own a minolta 3600 and 5600 flash which i use with my a700, but i dont unferstand what tcav is saying about no flash on the a700, my a700 has an onboard flash, is there something im missing, ecap
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 6:24 AM   #18
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ecap wrote:
Quote:
sorry to but in again but tcav my a700 has a pop up flash, is there something i am missing, ecap
You're right. My mistake. The A700 does have a built-in pop-up flash, and it can be used to control appropriate speedlites. I had understood that the A700 neededan accessory to use the wireless flash system.

I will correct my original post. Thank you fo rthe correction.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 6:39 AM   #19
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no problem, when i read that i thought maybe the flash didnt give full wireless control or something like that but i had never seemed to have noticed it with mine so i was curious, ecap
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 7:23 AM   #20
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kezs,

I usually have some ideas, but your situation really leaves me stumped. For the simple reason I think that you want to upgrade, but at the budget you are looking at I don't think you are going to see any real difference in quality. To get that quality difference you are looking for, you are going to have to step up a level in both the camera and the lenses.

So you need a new body, and a good 2-lens setup.

So in your shoes I would be thinking...

1. Sony...

A350 ($750)
A700 ($1300)
16-80 Sony/Zeiss ($700)
70-300 G - Sony/Minolta ($800)

I wouldn't personally touch the A350 with a barge pole. Why? - simply because the viewfinder is horrible, small and dim. If you like live view then it's the camera to go for, but I personally find it odious.

So that's a $2800 setup with the A700, and $2250 with the A350.

2. Nikon...

D80 ($750)
D300 ($1600)
16-85 VR ($580)
70-300 VR ($480)

Nikon has been busy taking aim at the pro end of the market just recently, and I would stay well away from the D60, which leaves a great big gap up to the 300, and the 80 is solid but getting a bit long-in-the-tooth.

But again we're talking about a $2660 setup, or drop down to around $1900.

3. Canon...

450D / XSi ($730)
17-85 IS ($450)

40D + 17-85 IS kit ($1600)

70-300 IS ($550)

So with Canon there are a few more options, starting at $1750, and with a nice 40D kit coming out at $2150.


Of the selections I have outlined, the best camera will be the D300, the best lenses the Sony and the best value the Canon XSi/40D.

I personally think the 40D might hit the sweet spot for you, lenses and camera both a fairly big step up from where you are now, but not at a huge premium over the budget you had in mind.

At $1500 I don't think you're going to find what you are looking for.
At $1800 there is the XSi or D80.
At $2200 the A350 and some very nice glass or the 40D.
And up around $2700 the A700 or the D300.

And finally for your consideration, there is another option that you might want to look at: keep hold of your D50 and get yourself a great lens [17-55 f2.8 ($1200)] and wait for a new body after the D80 - a D90 is rumoured.

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