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Old Aug 11, 2008, 1:17 AM   #1
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I retired my Minolta Maxxum 8000i a few years ago to the top shelf in the closet. In the camera bag is an 8000i, AF Sigma 28-70 f/3.5 - 4.5, a Minolta AF 70 - 210 f/3.5-4.5, and a Maxxum 3200i flash. It just got too costly to print all the pictures. And I liked looking at them on the computer screen.

For the last several years, I have been using various pocket cameras, including my current Casio Exilim z-850. I love the portability of it and some of the advanced features. Like WB, pre-set scene modes, and long battery life.

In September I will be taking a trip to Hawaii. And then in October to Mexico. I have decided it's time to step into a Dslr. I have done a ton of research and still haven't made a decision.

I am considering the Nikon D80, Canon XSi, Sony A700, and the Canon 30D. I have looked at some of the kits that are out there. I am leaning towards the D80 with 18-135 VR for $1000. I like the idea of having one lense that will fill many needs. I can also add the 75-300 VR to make the package $1500. The Sony is interesting because it has some great specs and my current lenses will fit. Will my old 3200i flash work on the Sony as well?

I will use the camera for outdoor shots while on the 2 vacations. I also have 4 kids in school and take shots there. The lighting in schools is usually florescent, so WB is important. It was one thing the XSi is lacking. Most of the other pics will be family, holidays, etc. I like to set the camera on auto-everything to take some family snapshots. But I also want to be able t take creative outdoor scenes, maybe even a little wildlife.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Sunny in N.M.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 2:14 AM   #2
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Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you want a dslr to use mostly with one lens, and the bulk of the use is going to be in auto-everything, why do you feel you need a dslr? Not trying to question your motives, but just trying to understand, so that people here can point you in the appropriate direction.

As far as your older flash, older flashes generally do not work TTL, which means you'd have to set the camera to M and adjust its settings, and the flash settings, manually (and it is a good idea to check the voltage on the flash, as some older flashes have higher voltages that might fry some of the dslrs).

And I don't understand how the XSI is lacking in WB. DPreview mentioned that auto-WB in XSI was "average," while other reviewers thought it was good. It is so easy to adjust, either in camera or in PP, that I wouldnt let one review saying it is average be the key factor in your decision.


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Old Aug 11, 2008, 6:43 AM   #3
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I'm curious how you might have narrowed you choices down to those. They are all fine cameras, but the features and capabilities each of them has don't really create a homogeneous group. They would all do well for what you say you want to do, but they are all very different in a number of ways.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 9:19 AM   #4
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I guess I decided on a dslr because I am familiar with them (having used the Maxxum for many years).

I was able to locate the manuel for the camera. It does state the 3200i flash works with the 8000i with i-TTL. So I figured maybe it would work the same with the Sony.

While I will take many "quick shots" of my kids as they play around the house, I still want the ability to be creative. I live in NM and we have some beautiful sunsets. I have a very large yard with butterflies, hummingbirds, prairie dogs and the like all around. They present great photo opportunities.

As far as the XSi, I must have been confused or mis-heard information about the WB.

Thanks for the replies all.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 9:46 AM   #5
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I mostly narrowed down to those models as they are all at or near the top of my budget. I figured they offered the most technology I could get from their respected companies.

I prefer to buy a product that will last for many years. Hence, I used my 8000i for over 12 years being retiring it to the closet.

I am certainly open to other suggestions given these parameters: (not listed in order of preference or importance)

SD card - I will view the shots on both computer and HDTV. SD card can be placed in card reader - TV has a USB port for viewing photos.
auto bracketing and flash bracketing
beautiful sunset renditions
nature/wildlife daytime pictures
accurate skin tones
great battery life

Thanks for the help.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 9:57 AM   #6
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If the only thing that led you to those cameras was your budget, Id also include the Pentax and the Olympus among the possibilities. At the entry level they are not far behind the big names in the SLR market and are often very affordable.

In any case, keep in mind that just because you can spend a certain amount of money on a body, it doesnt mean you should. You can either get a cheaper body and better lenses (the lenses are what will last longer) or just the kit itself.


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Old Aug 11, 2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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Your flash won't work on a Konica Minolta or Sony dSLR (flash systems were redesigned for digital). But, your lenses will work fine on a Sony A700, A200, A300, or A350 (or on the discontinued Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and 7D models).

In the Sony lineup, you may also want to consider the entry level A200 if on a tight budget and plan on adding lenses and accessories (flash, etc.).

The 10MP dSLR models from Nikon, Sony and Pentax all use a Sony 10MP CCD; and the Sony A200 has very good "bang for the buck" at only $499.99 for the A200 including an 18-70mm kit lens. Because the Sony models have a body based stabilization system, any lens you use on them enjoys the benefits of this technology (including your existing Maxxum mount lenses).

The A700 is a higher end model and uses a newer Sony 12MP CMOS sensor (also used by the Nikon D300), and has some features not present in the entry level models (better build quality and viewfinder, faster frame rate, higher available ISO speeds with lower noise levels, more Dynamic Range Optmization options, better Autofocus System, and more)

If budget permits, I'd lean towards the A700 between the cameras you've mentioned. But, I'm a bit biased since I shoot with a Sony A700 now. ;-)

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Old Aug 11, 2008, 10:21 PM   #8
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Thanks for the response, JimC. After a lot of further reading, and a trip to the store to "feel" it in my hands, I purchased the A700 body only. I will start out getting used to the camera with my existing Minolta lenses.

With the money I saved on not purchasing a lens(s) right now, I was able to get get a decent flash, extra battery and a couple storage cards.

Once I have some shooting experience with this new model, I'll have a better idea of which new glass I may want to invest in.

Thanks all for your help.

Sunny in NM
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Old Aug 13, 2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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Congrats! I think you'll really like the camera, although it will take some getting used to with all of the available settings.

Make sure to visit our Konica Minolta / Sony Alpha dSLR Forum if you have any issues or need tips on lenses (or want to share your results with others). We have a small but growing number of Sony dSLR owners here now and your input would be appreciated.

JimC

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Old Aug 7, 2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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Default Minolta 8000i Camera Lenses to use on Sony A55 DSLR

Hi Jim

I was reading your replies to other people and it seems like you really know your cameras. I have an old Minolta Dynax 8000i camera wit original Minolta AF Zoom lenses (35-106mm and 70-210mm 1:3.5 - 4.5). I'm thinking of buying a Sony A55 DSLR camera so that I can use these lenses.
Is there any negative reason why I should not use my old lenses, eg. will the quality/clarity of picture be compromised as opposed to buying the Sony A55 with the Sony lenses? Will quality, speed, focus, exposure, etc, all be identical with both makes of lenses?

thanks in advance
Sean
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