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Old Feb 22, 2009, 2:52 PM   #1
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Ok here's the deal. I'm dumb as a stump when it comes to photography so If patience is not among your virtues please ignore my post. I have a Minolta Maxum 7000 35mm that I've used for years but I'd like to go digital. I'm an older guy not real up on the latest technology as you'll see. Can some one tell me the basic difference between the point and shoot and the DSLR?

Thanks
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 3:31 PM   #2
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Before I get started, I want to say that all the lenses you've got for your Minolta Maxxum 7000 will work with any Sony dSLR, though because of the smaller image sensor used in most Sony dSLRs, theywill have aslightly reduced angle of view.

Ok. Here goes:
  • P&S digicams are smaller and lighter than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams are less expensive than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams have physically smaller image sensors, so they can use lenses of a much shorter focal length to get the same image, making their lenses smaller and easier to make well. But it also means that P&S digicams have much deeper depths of field than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams have lenses with smaller maximum apertures than are available for dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams have more image noise at higher ISO Settings ('Film Speeds') than dSLRs.[/*]
  • The previous two distinctions mean that dSLRs are better at low light and indoor photographyand especially indoor sports photography than P&S digicams.[/*]
  • P&S digicams are less expensive than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams are smaller and lighter than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams have fewer available lenses and accessories than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams are compromises, so you should be careful to select one that will serve your needs. On the other hand, almost all dSLRs are capable of performing almost any photographic task, and do it better than a P&S digicam could.[/*]
  • P&S digicams are smaller and lighter than dSLRs.[/*]
  • P&S digicams are less expensive than dSLRs.
[/*]
I hope this helps.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 3:40 PM   #3
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That helps a lot!

Here's what I want it for. I take a lot of shots in my yard of wild life I take shots of my grandkids both indoors and out. I also am a watch collector and would like better shots to share with my friend via download on my computer.

I have read on this site that maybe I would be best served with a point and shoot because of my general ignorance in the world of photogaphy. I use my Minolta in the auto focus mode only. I really know very little but would like to learn more just not sure where to begin.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 3:51 PM   #4
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Entry level dSLRs can be as easy to use as P&S digicams, and I think a dSLR would be a better choice for indoor shots and for macrophotography (watches and watch parts) as well.

YOu haven't really said anything that would suggest that you might be better served by any one brand or model, except that you still have your Minolta Maxxum 7000. Any lenses and most accessories for your Minolta should work fine on a Sony dSLR.

So, can you list your Minolta equipment?

And can you give us an idea of what your budget is?
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 4:01 PM   #5
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The only lens I have is the one on the camera and it's a 35-70 AF. I'd like to stay under $1,000.00 to begin with and then maybe add some extras as I learn to use the camera. I've had two cameras recommened one is a DSLR Nikon D90 and the other was a point and shoot Panasonic FZ28.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 4:39 PM   #6
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Tcav,

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The more I read the more I'm leaning toward the D90 but as you point out I can use my Minolta lens with a Sony. Do you know what Sony has that would be comparable to the Nikon D90? Am I drifting in the wrong direction?

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Thanks
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 4:55 PM   #7
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Minolta made two versions of the 35-70mm lens. One was the 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5, and the other was the 35-70mm f/4.0 Macro. Neither is particularly valuable, but they're both sharper than Sony's 18-70mm kit lens, and the Macro lens could get you started with photographing your watches.

The Nikon D90 and the Penasonic FZ28 are both very nice cameras. But I think the D90 will put a big dent in your budget, and while the FZ28 is good for indoor/low light photography (as P&S digicams go), I think a dSLR will serve you better.

There are three Sony dSLRs within your budget:
  • A200 - 10MP, with kit lens - $500[/*]
  • A300 - 10MP, 'Live View', with kit lens - $600[/*]
  • A350 - 14MP, 'Live View', without lens - $650
[/*]
The 'Live View' feature allows you to compose a photo using the LCD display on the rear of the camera body in addition to the optical viewfinder. Sony's implimentation of 'Live View' results in a smaller optical viewfinder, but many say 'Live View' makes macro work easier.

The kit 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 is ok but not as good as the 35-70mm lens you've got. Since the image sensors in these dSLRs is smaller, this lens has an agle of view equivalent to a 27-105mm lens on your Minolta. (Btw, your 35-70 would be equivalent to 52-105.)

The 14MP sensoris nice but it doesn't do as well in low light as the 10MP sensor.

So I think that the A300 will work well, and if your 35-70 is the f/4 macro, then you'd be off to a good start. If it isn't, then I'll take a step back and talk about some other brands and models.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 5:12 PM   #8
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It doesn't really say but it has the macro feature so I assume it's the f/4. It has a little blue button that you use to go into the macro range.

Would it be feasable then to buy just the body, if its available, without the lens kit and just use my lens and then maybe buy a longer lens for the wild life shots?
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 5:25 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, the A200 and A300 aren't available without the kit lens.

As for a longer lens, Sony has a nice 55-200 that is a rebranded Tamron, that sells for $230, but the Tamron usually goes for $165. (This lens can not be used with your Maxxum, btw.)There's also a good 70-300 from Tamron, the Di LD, that goes for $160. There's also a very popular lens that is a contemporary of your Maxxum, that might work well for you. It's the Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0 "Beercan". It is very sharp, has a constant aperture of f/4.0 throughout its zoom range, and it can be found on eBay for less than $200. There are other choices, but they're either not as goodor sell fora lot more money.

I suggest you take a trip to your local camera store and try out the Sonys. The body of the A200/A300/A350 is smaller than the Maxxum 7000 that you're accustomed to, so you should see if you can use it comfortably.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 5:28 PM   #10
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Thanks Tcav,

You've been very helpful.

God Bless!!!

Pepper
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