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Old Jun 23, 2009, 8:33 AM   #1
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Default Canon 450D or Sony A350

Hi Ive got a budget of between 400 and 500 for a dslr camera.

The 2 I am looking at are the Canon 450D or the Sony A350..

I have looked at some of the sample pictures on these 2 cameras on the review pages of this site and in my opinion I think the Sonys photographs look better quality in my eyes..

I can get the 450D for 499 and that includes 18-55mm lens or without the lens its 479.

The Sony one I can get for 399 with a 18-70mm lens.

Which do you guys and gals think is the better camera??

Im not going to use it for one specific thing, it will be used for stuff like holidays, a few portraits, sports events etc.. and ive also been asked by a couple of friends if I could do their wedding as they have little money and cant really afford a pro photographer..

So in my defence I am a bit nervous that they asked me to do their weddings but I suppose all the experience will do me good...

Any help is much appreciated and I look forward to hearing your comments..

All the best


Sean

P.S I also fancy doing a bit of HDR photography as well and I was wondering what specs on the cameras I would need for that and if they are available on the cameras that I have highlighted above..

Last edited by Hustler68; Jun 23, 2009 at 8:37 AM.
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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Default I would pick the Canon

First of all, I have to admit that I have neither of the two cameras. I have instead a Pentax K200d and had the Pentax *ist DS before.

Last year, when I was looking for a new DSLR (before choosing the K200d), I looked carefully at both. From what I read and what I have heard, here are some of the differences.

Advantage Canon (XSi aka 450D) -
better image quality especially at high ISO (800 and and above)
faster sustained burst rate
lighter

Advantage Sony A350
Live view
articulating LCD
higher resolution (but which isn't really evident unless you get a good lens (not the kit lens)
more zoom range in kit lens (18-70mm vs 18-55mm in Canon)
in camera optical image stabilization

Other forum members will give you a lot more details on the pros and cons of each.

I have taken pictures at 3 weddings. Only at one was I the primary photographer. Taking wedding pictures can be very complicated. If your friends asked you to take the pictures, ok. If they wanted somebody else to take the pictures and you convinced them to let you to take the pictures with your new DSLR, I might have second thoughts, especially if (1) either of the couple is picky about image quality and (2) you don't have much experience at using your new camera. I am not saying that it might turn out fine. I am just saying that it is a challenging task, especially in dimly light indoor venues (like some churches).
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 12:06 PM   #3
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The Canon has a better autofocus system for sports, a better kit lens, and performs better at higher ISO settings.
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 12:28 PM   #4
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The Canon has a better autofocus system for sports, a better kit lens, and performs better at higher ISO settings..
And that's from a Sony user (who for a change used very few words LOL).

I have to agree that the AF is better, I can't comment on image quality as I've not had a chance to play with the new Sony but I believe the higher ISO on the Canon is better.

Now, onto the wedding......... what are they really expecting from you, I would check this out and be very clear as to the limitations of your kit and experience. Unless it is a very well lit church you don't have the right lens for non flash photography. Next when you will want to be using flash (almost all photos inside and out) you will really want an external flash, the Sony F42 is the minimum you could get away with in reality to have the coverage,the onboard flash units are pretty weak to say the least.

When is the wedding, as if you do decide to do it there are lots of things you need to master prior to the day. You will need to have experience in sorting exposure, composition, controlling lighting (be it the sun or other sources), posing the shots, people management. Then you have to think what will happen if my kit stops working, what is the backup plan?

When I shoot weddings I work with 2 cameras for different types of shot and then have a 3rd ready to go in case the primary one throws a wobbly.

What previous shooting experience do you have of people photography?

I'm only saying these things as it is their big day, it can't be repeated and there can be a lot of pressure..... I've heard of times where friendships have been broken when someone has done the photos and not given what the couple hoped for.

It might be better for a few people to club together and as their wedding gift get a local pro in, you can then relax and shoot the wedding as a guest.
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 2:10 PM   #5
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And that's from a Sony user (who for a change used very few words LOL).
Actually, TCav has a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, not a Sony (unless he just got one). Big difference. ;-)

The newer A350 has a better mirror and shutter design, with less blackout time between frames (so that the AF sensors and your viewfinder have more "on target" time between frames). Autofocus is also vastly improved thanks to faster internal processing with better algorithms, a *much* faster focus motor speed and more. The Canon is a hair faster from tests I've seen when using the optical viewfinder. But, they're pretty close. If you want Live View, no contest (the Sony is going to be much faster than the Canon at focusing when using Live View). Make sure to compare build quality, too.

The Canon is going to be bit better at higher ISO speeds. But, the Sony has a resolution advantage if you use good glass on it and has great metering, settings to help with dynamic range optimization and more. The 18-70mm kit lens is not a great performer on a 14MP model like this one (as the higher resolution sensor places more demands on the lens quality needed for best results) But, it's got better focal range from wide to long compared to the 18-55mm kit lenses. Any lens you use on the Sony also enjoys the benefits of an in body stabilization system (including bright primes). There are pros and cons to any of them.

Why these two?

If you want to use Live View often, the Sony is going to be best choice in most lighting with much faster Autofocus when in Live View mode. But, you get a smaller optical viewfinder because of it's Live View design (the A350's viewfinder is only a tiny bit larger than the viewfinders on most of the entry level Olympus dSLR models). I'd go Sony A200 if Live View isn't a big consideration to get it's larger viewfinder. It's a bargain at current prices while supplies last at dealers that still have them in stock.

Make sure to try out cameras you consider in a store. Live View is not very good with most of them except for the Sony Alpha models with Live View (and personally, I'd rather have a better optical viewfinder versus live view anyway).
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 2:31 PM   #6
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P.S.

As for the weddings, see this recent thread on the subject:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...t-wedding.html

How much time do you have before the weddings and how much experience do you have? In addition to lots of experience, you'll need better gear than we're discussing for good results in difficult lighting (including brighter lenses, decent flashes, and more; making sure you've got spare gear in case something goes wrong). A better camera body with a usable ISO 3200 would also be a good idea if you can't use a flash during the ceremony.
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 3:14 PM   #7
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Actually, TCav has a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, not a Sony (unless he just got one). Big difference. ;-)
My KM5D developed the FFB problem, but Sony fixed it free. I was hoping that Sony would give me a break on a new A700 instead, but no such luck.

I just don't see myself owning two dSLRs, so my next camera will probably have to be a replacement instead of an upgrade.

Last edited by TCav; Jun 23, 2009 at 3:17 PM.
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 4:29 PM   #8
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If I were upgrading from a KM 5D, I'd probably wait until Sony comes out with a "tweener" (a model in between the new entry level models and the A700) if budget is tight. From all outward indications, they're going to expand the product lineup soon. They've already more than doubled worldwide market share in the dSLR niche in 2008 versus 2007 (mostly at the expense of Nikon and Canon, putting them in a *much* stronger third place), and I expect this trend will probably continue for 2009 (with new models available prior to the holiday shopping rush).
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 5:16 PM   #9
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Off-topic, but...
  1. I'm not going to upgrade from 6MP to just 10MP, so it would have to be 12MP or better.
  2. I'm not going to "upgrade" from 3 fps to 3.5 fps.
    In this area, Sony seems to be going in the wrong direction. The A200 & A300 could do 3 fps; the A230 & A330 can only do 2.5 fps.
That narrows it down.

Last edited by TCav; Jun 23, 2009 at 8:56 PM.
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 5:24 PM   #10
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Actually, TCav has a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, not a Sony (unless he just got one). Big difference. ;-)
Oops, my bad, I was sure that it was an A200.
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