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Old Aug 26, 2008, 1:50 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the valuable input. I'll proceed now to read all the available reviews on the models you suggested. I'm not sure where to start butI'm sureSteve's Digicams would be a good start. They highly rate the A350.but on the other hand the dpreicew.com rate it as only recomended and not highly recommended pointing to many cons on the camera.

Its confusing sometimes to read all these reviews. It has so many technical details and comaprisons as well as different tests.

So for $2200 I can get the
  • Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G ($800) [/*]
  • Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT ($700) [/*]
  • Sony A350 body only ($700) [/*]
  • Total: $2,200
[/*]
which you consider hard to beat. I read the lens reviews and they are really something. My only concern is A350.

Is it the best possible choice.

I read today the Canon announced that they will be releasing the EOS 50D . How was the 40D rated anyhow.

I hope I can finalize my choice soon. I'll kepp you posted

By the way TCav, I'm curious to know what equipment do you use?
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 9:25 PM   #22
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Greatestboss wrote:
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Thanks for all the valuable input. I'll proceed now to read all the available reviews on the models you suggested. I'm not sure where to start butI'm sureSteve's Digicams would be a good start. They highly rate the A350.but on the other hand the dpreicew.com rate it as only recomended and not highly recommended pointing to many cons on the camera.

Its confusing sometimes to read all these reviews. It has so many technical details and comaprisons as well as different tests.
Here's another review of the A350 I think you should read:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2008/0...view/#more-754

I think you should pay particular attention to the comments at the end of the review.

Greatestboss wrote:
Quote:
So for $2200 I can get the

  • Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G ($800) [/*]
  • Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT ($700) [/*]
  • Sony A350 body only ($700) [/*]
  • Total: $2,200[/*]
which you consider hard to beat. I read the lens reviews and they are really something. My only concern is A350.

Is it the best possible choice.
My opinion is that it's the best possible 'Live View' dSLR for the best possible lenses for what you want to do.

But you never actually defined 'best'.

If you want to go with another camera body from a different manufacturer, you'll have to give up these 'Best in Class' lenses.

You've got to compromise somewhere. And the A350 is a very good camera. And those are some really fine lenses.

Best, for me,right now,would be the A700, but I'm not interested in 'Live View', and I want to shoot 5 frames per second instead of 2.5 (or 2 with 'Live View'.)

And I don't like flash so I prefer larger aperture lenses. And I don't need to go as long as 300mm.

So this wouldn't be the best possible choice for me.

But you came here asking about the D300 (for a beginner) and most people told you to look at lenses first. These are some really great lenses for what you want to do. You can get them and a very good camera they'll work with. And maybe a better camera later.

Greatestboss wrote:
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I read today the Canon announced that they will be releasing the EOS 50D . How was the 40D rated anyhow.
Or, you can wait around for the next 'newer, better, faster' camera, and get lesser (though still perfectly acceptable) lenses.

Greatestboss wrote:
Quote:
By the way TCav, I'm curious to know what equipment do you use?
I use a 31 month old 6MP, 3 fps, Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D dSLR with some really good lenses. They're not as expensive as these, but they serve my purposes to my satisfaction (mostly.)

Thanks.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 10:33 PM   #23
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You have received some really great advice. TCav has put together a really nice system that would be extremely serviceable for your type of general photography. What ever camera set you choose to pick-up, you will find some thing you are not satisfied with. You will always read about the newest camera body with some wizbang feature that you will like to try. Now days, and especially for entry level systems, any of them will be perfectly serviceable, plus most camera stores will not take the time to tailor a system to you like TCav did.

However, rather than trying to go after the absolutely best camera and lens combination, here is a slightly different approach. Go out and find a store that carries the Sony A350 and see how you like it. How does it fit your hand, how do you like the viewfinder. Is it too large, too small, too heavy? How do you like the menu system and everything else. Take a look at the instruction manual. Take a memory card and snap off some pictures. Also, compare it with some other bodies. What feels best to you.

A camera system that you hate to use, will not get used.

Then whatever your choice, use it for at least a year. Within a month something new will come out - but just keep using what you have. Take pictures, experiment with the various modes and capabilities - at first they will be terrible, but as you learn, they will get better. Better to learn now and make mistakes then to burn off a few thousand images during vacation that are a large disappointment.

One prediction - unless you plan to use a tripod a lot, you will probably use the live view feature very little. Why? Because to use it you need to hold the camera away from your body at eye level, and it will be difficult to hold the camera steady, even with image stabilization, for several shots.. A dSLR is much larger and bulkier than a P&S, and in my opinion, live view is just a passing fad - other than in a few specialized instances. Try using it in a store before you buy. Just a thought.

Learn basic photography first while getting ready for vacation. Take a hundred pictures a week, focusing on just using a single lens, or a single camera setting, or just flowers, or something. You want to get to the point of being consistent and be able to repeat good pictures, composition, etc. Concentrate on what ever equipment system you choose and don't keep looking over the fence as the grass will always be greener. After a year or so, you will have much more experience to be able to make a really informed decision on where you would like to go. The Sony system should keep you occupied and provide a growth path for years to come.

Taking good pictures lies with the photographer, not with the equipment (which helps), but the photographer needs to compose and frame the scene along with quite a few other decisions. Yes, the camera now is pretty automatic, but it is still the photographer making the ultimate decisions. That is the practice part of all of this. So making a decision and going with it is the start. You can be frozen by indecision waiting for the next best thing to be announced, or available, or shipped. Just because Canon, Nikon or who ever announces something today, does not mean that it is available for shipping today.
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Old Aug 27, 2008, 2:00 PM   #24
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Thanks TCav for all your hard effort and keeping up with all my fuss. I believe the past few days have added a lot to my knowldge.

And as interested_observer beautifully laid down things, I took his advice, I went to the Sony dealer today to try the A350. The first impression I got was its too small for my hands. I'm a big big guy or maybe its the way my mind compared the A350 and the Nikon D300 that I had previously held which of course is a larger camera.

I navigated the menu and its in fact easy and straightforward. Viewfinder is a bit small for my liking.

I took few pictures using the recommended lenses and the Zeiss ZA 16-80mm is amazing. Of course with the help with the expert from sony.

Somehow the guy kept pushing me towards the A700.

The funny thing is that the Sonydealer in here as the Nikon stuff and he offered me the D80 or D60 withNikon 18-200 lens and Nikon17-55 for a very special rate. He even offered to throw the 70-300mm lens on top for free. He said that these three lenses were all what I need. Could someone evaluate his statements?

I couldn't understand his persistance on the Nikon. Finally when I told him that the A350 is my prioritywith the lenses that TCav recommended. he stopped trying to convince me.

I'll have another try with the A350. maybe this time the size won't be a factor. After all lenses are what I'm after and Zeiss is a master of this craft.

Lets see what will happen next. I want to put this matter to rest. I have headache from so much readings. Review after review. In all cases I'm reading the conclusion only.

I started to feel that most salesmen are biased towrds Nikon and Canon. They have nothing but praise to these brands.

I only met one salesman who surprisingly highly recommended the Fujifilm S5 pro.

Lets see what happens next. I'll keep you posted and please continue to enrich my knowldge with your expertise.


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Old Aug 27, 2008, 2:33 PM   #25
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Greatestboss wrote:
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I started to feel that most salesmen are biased towrds Nikon and Canon. They have nothing but praise to these brands.

I only met one salesman who surprisingly highly recommended the Fujifilm S5 pro.
In reality most salesmen aren't going to have extensive hands-on experience with every camera they sell. Over the last 6 years they will, by and large, have had the most experience at least SELLING Canon and Nikon gear. So that's the likely reason.

More suspicious people might suggest a salesman would push something with a higher profit margin. I can't comment on that as I don't know what the margins are for all the various models out there. Which is why I'm inclined to think it's simple familiarity that causes them to be biased towards Canon and Nikon.

But DO NOT discount how the camera feels to you or the viewfinder. If you don't like the look/feel of a camera you won't use it as much. Ergonomics are hugely important. if the camera store has a D80 you might try handling that - the new D90 has the exact same dimensions.

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Old Aug 27, 2008, 2:42 PM   #26
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If you can handle the extra $400 and don't mind giving up the 'Live View', the A700 is a great camera, and it's physically larger so you might find it to be more comfortable.

I think it's possible that the salesperson was trying to push the D80 because the D90 is coming out, and he's afraid of getting stuck with the D80s he's already got on his shelves.

If you want to go with something else, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS ($549) andNikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR ($479) arevery good lenses, though not as good as the Sony G. Andthe Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ($515) and the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S ($580) are also very good, but the Zeiss 16-80 is better.
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Old Aug 27, 2008, 5:28 PM   #27
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Greatestboss wrote:
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Hi, I am new to the DSLR Camers and about to upgrade from the Sony R1 to a new SLR.
What is it about your R1 that you find limiting, and what do you expect to gain from a >$2000 investment in a new system?

Any lens choice is a compromise in one area or another (size, weight, focal range, brightness, optical quality at various focal lengths and apertures, flare resistance, etc. etc.). Convenience can be a big factor, too.

From what it sounds like most of your photos are going to be taken within the same focal range you're already using with your R1 (angle of view equivalent to 24-120mm on a 35mm camera).

So, I just don't see a big difference in that area (and I wouldn't be surprised if the lens on the R1 outperformed the CZ 16-80mm for image quality). You'd have better performance with a camera model like the dSLR models you're considering (AF speed, frame rate, etc.). You'd also have the ability to use other lenses and more. But, that may or may not be applicable to the subjects you want to shoot and conditions you plan on using a camera in.

In other words, I wouldn't rush out and spend that much money without expecting something in return, especially since the lenses you're looking at are not the brightest around (i.e., they're good light lenses for the most part).

I'd also consider viewing/print sizes when selecting gear, since the differences between lenses tend to diminish some in good light with the aperture stopped down a bit from wide open, and you may not notice a lot of difference in images at smaller viewing/print sizes.

Your skill as a photographer will probably be the most limiting factor in getting good results out of the system you choose.

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Old Aug 27, 2008, 9:24 PM   #28
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wow..

d300 is for pro's

PLUS the body is only a small part of the game

the REAL money is in the lenses..

i reckn buy a d80 (or dimilar middle of the road camera) and learn to use it to it sfull extent, in conjunction with a wide variety of lenses.

most pepple cant get the basics right.. so learn from the ground up..

you cant learn to fly in a fighter jet. you need to start on s different page first BUT remember!.. the lenses you can keep.. all you do "next time" you buy a camera is replace the body..
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 6:46 PM   #29
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TCav wrote:
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If you want to go with something else, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS ($549) andNikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR ($479) arevery good lenses, though not as good as the Sony G. Andthe Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ($515) and the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S ($580) are also very good, but the Zeiss 16-80 is better.
Quote:
Tcav, these Canon and Nikon lenses will only fit on a Canon or Nikon Cameras, If you suggested these lenses as an alterantive to the Sony or Zeiss lenses, then you must've had a other cameras bodies in mind that would fit them. What cameras were you referring at?
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 7:02 PM   #30
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JimC wrote:
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What is it about your R1 that you find limiting, and what do you expect to gain from a >$2000 investment in a new system?
Quote:
Its just that its so limeted and if i you wanna buy additional lenses they are expensive and rare. Wide end Conversion lens ($447) and Telephoto lens ($400)
Quote:
In other words, I wouldn't rush out and spend that much money without expecting something in return, especially since the lenses you're looking at are not the brightest around (i.e., they're good light lenses for the most part).
Quote:
Why do you say these lenses are not the brightese around. What lenses do you have in mind and what do you recommend. TCav recommended some good lenses. Print size will vary. good photos-Family or nature will find their way to A3 frames. AS for my lack of expertise, I'll work hard towards improving my skills.
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