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Old Nov 25, 2009, 9:19 PM   #1
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We are recreational camera users. Outdoor pictures are generally of wildlife or our pets. Indoor pictures are of family events. We currently have a Minolta Maxxum 300Si with a AF 35-70 lens and a APO AF 100-300 lens. We would like to purchase a digital camera to avoid the hassels of purchasing film and film processing. At first we were considering a Nikon P90-14megapixel and 24x zoom. Then we discovered that our lens' will work on the Sony Alpha dslr cameras. We would like to include your expert advice in our decision. Would the Sony provide significantly better results and if so what model sony? Is 500 series that much better than the 200 or 300 series? Thank you in advance for your reply.
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 10:22 PM   #2
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kusfamily-

Welcome to the Forum. We're glad you dropped by.

Yes, your existing lenses would work work on any of the Sony A-series DSLR camera. Any DSLR camera will easily surpass the nikon P-90 in image quality and feature set. The P-90 cannot go above ISO 400 with out a whole lot of visible noise. In contrast, even the Sony A-230 can shoot up to ISO 3200 without much noise. The Sony A-230 remains one of my favorite cameras, but you gain a greater feature set as you move upward in the A-series DSLR cameras.

The pivotal question is how important is Live View in your priorities?? The A-330 is really an A-230 with the Live View Feature enabled. The A-500 and A-550 are newly introduced and they offer much better numerical ISO capabilities and 2 extra mp's on the A-500 and 4 extra mp's on the A-550. Those two cameras also offer faster Burst Rates and HDR capabilities..

At the end of the day the question is this: do the A-500 and A-550 produce a better image quality? Yes, they do. I have seen the difference, myself, as I just got an A-500 for my birthday, thanks to my wonderful husband. However, with the type of photos that you have specified, you could very nicely get by with the A-230 if the budget was an issue.

Have a great day and Happy Thanksgiving.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Nov 25, 2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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Thank you mtclimber for your advice. We are now focusing on a Sony in the 300 series. We need to decide if the extra mps in the 380 makes a difference to us.

Happy Thanksgiving and make it a great day!
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 10:18 AM   #4
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kusfamily-

The Sony A-330 offers more bang for the buck. The A-380 did not do well in the review at www.dpreview.com. The other option is to move up to the new A-500 which is currently very attractively priced, and the A-500 offers an even better feature set.

Have a great day and a Happy Thanksgiving. Today, Thanksgiving, Amazon has the two lens kits for the A-230 and A-330 priced the same at $599. That is a good deal for the two lens kit.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Nov 26, 2009, 6:40 PM   #5
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mtclimber

Thank you for the advice. In following up on the 380 review it seems the 3xx models seem to be disliked by the reviewer for their size and grip. The 5xx might be the camera for us to grow into. Once again is the extra mega pixels worth the extra $$ going in from the 500 to 550?

Thank you for all your help.
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 8:56 PM   #6
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kusfamily-

I can probably answer that question best by showing you two photo that I took today on Thanksgiving of my husband, Bradley.

Here is the A-230 image. Please keep in mind that the only thing unique about the A-3XX series is their use of the Live View feature. Hence, the basic camera is the same for the A-230 and the A-330 cameras. The A-330 just has the Live View enabled, making it an A-330.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 9:03 PM   #7
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Now here is the photo taken with the new A-500 DSLR camera. What makes the A-500 and A-550 cameras different? Well, they use entirely new imagers. The imager is the component that records the image focused by the lens. In short it is the heart and soul of any camera.

That new imager, made in a 12 mp resolution for the A-500 and a 14 mp resolution for the A-550, has made a difference that you can actually see, I think, in the finished image. So here is the A-500 photo that I took of Bradley today.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 9:09 PM   #8
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So there it is in a nutshell. No, these photos were not taken within a minute of each other. Instead, there is probably an hour interval between these photos, as I cooked our turkey dinner.

But, I believe that you can see the difference in these photos. To my mind, there is added clarity to the A-500 photo. However, to be scientifically correct I will now take two more photos, one immediately after the other.

So bear with me for about 20 minutes and I will have two more samples taken under exactly the same lighting conditions.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 9:38 PM   #9
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OK here we go. Both of these photo were taken with the same bounce flash, and with the very same lens, the Sony 55-200mm lens. The only variation was the DSLR camera body.

Here is the A-230 photo.

Sarah Joyce

Note to Mark is is a 100% crop image.
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 9:41 PM   #10
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Here is the A-500 photo, same flash, same lens, different camera body. That is as scientific as I can get, I am not a professional reviewer. However, I believe that you can see a difference. I hope that helps.

Sarah Joyce

Note to Mark: This is a 100% crop image
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