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Old Mar 31, 2009, 9:18 AM   #1
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After reading several reviews on each of these three cameras, I still haven't figured out which would be best for me, and which the best camera in general. At first I was adament on getting the Sony A350 because of its features (more than the D60). I'm not sure if I'd rather have a Nikon or Canon camera over a Sony, because of their reputation for being the best.

I won't be investing in another lens for a while, so a decent kit lens is important. I mostly shoot landscapes, portraits and macro.
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Old Mar 31, 2009, 10:18 AM   #2
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Highlights wrote:
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...I'm not sure if I'd rather have a Nikon or Canon camera over a Sony, because of their reputation for being the best.
They don't have a reputaion for being the best; they have a reputation for being the most popular.

Highlights wrote:
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I won't be investing in another lens for a while, so a decent kit lens is important. I mostly shoot landscapes, portraits and macro.
Doing all that with one lens will be tough. Landscapes will use the wide end of the kit lens, but portraits will be with the long end and the maximum apertures are too small for the kind of shallow depth of field you want in a portrait. And none of the kit lenses will focus close enough for macro work.

But the best kit lens currently available is the Canon 18-55 IS.

But a very good kit lens replacement is the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5, which is even better, has a larger aperture so it can create images with shallower depths of field, and can do 1:2.3 macro work. And it will be stabilized on the Sony.
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Old Mar 31, 2009, 10:42 AM   #3
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You can have the best camera on earth but not be comfortable/able to take good pictureswith it. I handled a friend of mine's full frame Canon 5D (awesome pictures) and quickly discovered thatits too heavy for me to handle. So before you buy a camera, try to find a camera store and actually handle all the cameras you are interested in. I, personally, don't care for the viewfinder on the A350 - it's smaller than most (they had to give up something to put in the excellent live view the A350 has). I don't use live view much at all - the LCD screen is hard to see in bright sunlight and the camera is way too heavy to hand-hold at arms length (at least for me).

On the other hand, the Sony can use older KM lenses, and some older lenses can provide top quality for a lot less than a new lens. I shoot mostly landscape and macro with Pentaxand I very much appreciate being able to use old glass - allows me to get better quality than I could possibly afford with new lenses.

All of the dSLR cameras comparible to the two cameras you mentioned are capable of taking excellent pictures in your area of interest. So ergonomics and how a camera feels to you should be a large factor in your choice.
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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I think I'm getting the Sony a350, body only because the kit lens (18-70mm f/3.5-5.6) apparently doesn't hold up well when shooting with the 14.2 MP a350.

I've looked at this lens:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tamron-55-20...108&sr=8-1

Tamron-55-200mm-F4-5-6-Di-II LD Macro.
I think it suits me best, for what I'll be shooting and as well as having great reviews it's a very reasonable price. I'll be shooting mostly up-close shots and my subjects won't be too far away from me when it's not up-close. I'll also be doing a lot of cropping, something that the kit lens showed a weakness in. I'm a student so can't afford to buy a very expensive lens, so this lens seems like it fits my needs perfectly. Has anyone had any experience with this lens, and thinks it'll be better than the kit lens?
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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You mention landscapes, and there is no way you'll be able to shoot landscapes with a 55-200. That lens will also limit your ability to use the camera indoors. It's generally easier to get a little closer to a subject than move further away. Quality wise you're not taking a significant step up from the kit lens. Kit lenses are almost always a good buy, especially for beginners, simply because they virtually give them away with the camera. None of the kit lenses are truly great...none are complete garbage either.
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 1:41 PM   #6
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The lenses are the same price on amazon.
I won't be shooting broad landscapes, just things like trees against the sky etc.
I'll want to shoot macro too, though, which is why I'm considering getting the 55-200mm lens instead of the 18-70mm. Considering the majority of my subjects won't be far away from me, I'm assuming that the 55-200mm will be a better buy.
Indoors, I read that the 55-200mm performs very well indoors depending on the cameras settings...


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Old Apr 1, 2009, 2:06 PM   #7
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...I won't be shooting broad landscapes, just things like trees against the sky etc....

....Considering the majority of my subjects won't be far away from me, I'm assuming that the 55-200mm will be a better buy.
You may not be able to get everything into the frame you want to with a lens starting out at 55mm (due to the A350's APS-C size sensor, you'd have the same angle of view you'd have using an 82mm lens on a 35mm camera). You can only back up so far in many shooting conditions.

I'd get something starting out wider for general use.

As for the Macro in the product name, that Tamron has a maximum magnification of 1:3.5 at it's 200mm end, with a closet focus distance of 37.4" throughout it's zoom range (which may not be real convenient in closer quarters).

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/55200mm.asp

Basically, if you zoom in all the way to 200mm and shoot from 37.4" away, you can fill the frame with a subject that's 3.5 times as large as the camera's sensor with that Tamron 55-200mm you're looking at.

The term Macro is used rather loosely by lens manufacturers. A true 1:1 (a.k.a., lifesize) Macro lens can fill the frame with a subject the same size as the camera's film or sensor at it's closest focus distance.

A lens like the Sony 18-70mm is a 1:4 Macro lens (able to fill the frame with a subject that's 4 times the size of the camera's sensor at it's long end and closet focus distance). It's minimum focus distance is 14.4".

If you want a higher quality lens, there are plenty to choose from. But, I wouldn't go with one starting out at 55mm if that's going to be your only lens for a while.

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Old Apr 1, 2009, 3:55 PM   #8
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I am adament on buying the Sony a350, it looks amazing and has so many features. For its price it is amazing. However, this is my problem with the kit lens:

Taken from dp review:

[align=justify]Unfortunately the one area where the lens does fall short is that of resolving power, as it struggles to deliver sufficient detail for the latest generation of 10-14 megapixel sensors. The fundamental problem is that, whilst it can give quite sharp results in the centre of the frame, it simply doesn't deliver sufficient resolution towards the edges and corners. This becomes especially noticeable when using it on the 14.2 MP Alpha 350, which ends up merely amplifying the lens's imperfections when viewing files on screen at 100%. [/align] So the 18-70mm finds itself in a slightly uncomfortable position, as an aging design with insufficient resolution for the latest cameras. It simply can't match the optical quality of the other manufacturers' kit lenses, and has become the limiting factor in overall image quality when paired with Sony's new DLSRs.




If this is the case, I need to buy the lens separately from the camera. Can anyone suggest a lens for me under £110?
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 4:23 PM   #9
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Basically, the sensor is out resolving the lens with a model like the A350. So, even though the A350 is a higher resolution model compared to the A300 (which uses a 10MP sensor), you're really not going to see any more detail if you use a lens like the 18-70mm kit lens. In order to take full advantage of the A350's higher resolution, you'd need a better lens.

But, with your "under £110" lens budget, I doubt you'd find anything significantly better if you want a zoom lens starting out at around 18mm.
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 4:44 PM   #10
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IOW, I'd probably get the kit lens and save some money for a better lens later (if you decide you even need anything better for the viewing/print sizes used). £110 isn't going to be enough to help out with a lens that's any better in that focal range.

It looks like the kit lens adds very little to the camera price in Europe, based on some of the of the UK listings I'm seeing at places like Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-DSLRA35...dp/B0014FSZBG?

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