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Old Jan 10, 2010, 11:45 AM   #21
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That probably depends on how much light you have, the amount of DR in the scene, and what you consider to be great. ;-)

For typical landscape type photos, you can use the Auto HDR feature with a hand held camera and get more Dynamic Range (i.e. better shadow and highlight detail), than you can taking shots without that feature, with the camera automatically correcting for minor framing differences you may see with a hand held camera in the case of the A500 and A550.. So, what's not to like about it (since you'd get better dynamic range than you'd have taking the same photo without that feature)? ;-)
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 11:47 AM   #22
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Minolta stopped making the Beercan over 20 years ago, but there are lots of them available on the used market. It's build quality and its optical performance are first rate. If one has been working for 20 years, there's no reason to expect that anything is wrong with it or that it will stop working any time soon. So who needs a warranty?

And for ~$200, if it breaks, you could buy another and still save money over purchasing a new (or discontinued) Canon Macro lens.

And it's a zoom lens, so you wouldn't have to change lenses to go from shooting a flower to shooting a Panda cub.

That is if the op is up for a used lens, it may be a option. But getting used defects the warranty issue. As op will be buying a international warranty, so it seems a warranty is an important. Also the sony 50mm marco can sure double duty as a prime also.

If a zoom with marco is something the op is interested in, and the canon would be consider, the ef 28mm-135mm IS is a good all purpose lens that does marco. And it is still in production and is a kit lens with the 50d and 7d.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 11:52 AM   #23
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If the op does not want to use or plan on using a tripod, hdr may not as big as big of a deal. As tripods seems a requirement for great hdr shots.
Actually, Continuous Drive mode allows you to take multiple photos in quick sucsession, and Sony's Auto HDR can put together HDR images from multiple shots even if they aren't exactly aligned. So a tripod isn't necessary.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 11:57 AM   #24
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True, but from all the hdr thread here, a tripod will make a good hdr shot into a much better hdr shot. That was all I was say with great hdr shot.

PS

I am very keen to the in camera HDR, I like the k-x for that feature

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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:07 PM   #25
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That is if the op is up for a used lens, it may be a option. But getting used defects the warranty issue. As op will be buying a international warranty, so it seems a warranty is an important.
On a tight budget, used lenses are a significant option. Lots of great lenses are available at significant discounts, and they'll all be stabilized on a Sony body. And using an unwarrantied lens on a warrantied body won't void the warranty on the body.

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Also the sony 50mm marco can sure double duty as a prime also.
Macro lenses are slow to focus, so sometimes they don't work as well in certain situations. And again, shorter focal lengths are not as good for macro use un uncontrolled environments anyway. The 50/2.8 macro might end up not doing anything well that the OP wants.

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If a zoom with marco is something the op is interested in, and the canon would be consider, the ef 28mm-135mm IS is a good all purpose lens that does marco. And it is still in production and is a kit lens with the 50d and 7d.
Yes, but those lenses are a LOT more expensive than used lenses for the Sony.

The OP is on a limited budget. That's why he's preparing to buy the camera in Hong Kong, and willing to risk getting through Customs on his return and not paying Duty. Stabilized lenses for the Canon are bigger, heavier, and more expensive, and there aren't many on the used market. For the Sony, all A-Mount lenses will be stabilized, even 20+ year old ones, and they'll cost a lot less.

And even if he decides to go with the 50mm f/2.8 macro, he can save money buying a used one. See http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1...N/MA06/FE.aspx
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:20 PM   #26
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Yes, some Pentax models have a similar feature (and some can take more photos, too). But, it doesn't do the auto alignment for you like the Sony models with Auto HDR. I do know of one user that bought both the Pentax K-x and a Sony A550 (the K-x is for his wife), and he said this about it in his first impressions:

"A550 has great customization options as far as shadow/highlights go. DRO+ is GREAT on snowy days, HDR handheld is awesome. Seriously. AWESOME. K-x has similar options but not nearly as neat as the A550 and not nearly as well implemented as A550 "

He made similar comments about the Sony being better for Auto White Balance, Autofocus speed and general speed of camera operation (indicating that the Sony was much faster in those areas), live view usability and more. But, he noted that the Pentax model had much lower noise at higher ISO speeds (and also noted that that Sony Auto ISO tended to go with a higher ISO speed than he thought was needed in some conditions). But, I suspect he left DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization) turned on with the Sony (which will increase noise levels if you don't turn it off at higher ISO speeds), as the Sony models default with it turned on.

He said that he and his wife were 100% satisfied with both cameras, and although he thought Sony was is little better camera, the Pentax K-x definitely takes the bang for the buck crown.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 12:31 PM   #27
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I am not disagreeing on the used lens issue. Just not sure if the OP is looking at that option. Or if the OP wants a warranty on all parts. Also since he is getting it from HK, he may get a good discount on new anyway.

Some marco lens are slow, but it is not a big deal in portraits. As that is what the OP indicated he want besides a marco. And giving a 50mm would give him a good portrait lens and marco lens. I know the ef 50mm f2.5 is a pretty good portrait lens form personal experience.

And if you are comparing the beercan which is use. You can pick up the ef 28-135 IS used for around 250-300 or a refreb for about 350 with a warranty. Pretty much inline with the beercan in the used catogory. And it is still in production lens.

I am not not disagree that his should not get the sony. If the OP gets a sony, out of the 3 lenses he listed and going to get one, the marco lens would be a double duty lens until he can add to the lens collection.

But if cost was key, the t1i in HK sells for around 550 there from my last hk trip if you hunt around the stores.. The OP can get the camera with the one lens kit and a macro for the same price as the a550 with one lens. There are lots of options out there.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 3:49 PM   #28
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I am not disagreeing on the used lens issue. Just not sure if the OP is looking at that option.
I understand, but lenses are the anvils of photography; not a lot of things can go wrong, and if something does go wrong, it's easy to tell. And since the OP has a limited budget, maybe the used market is something he should consider.

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Some marco lens are slow, but it is not a big deal in portraits. As that is what the OP indicated he want besides a marco. And giving a 50mm would give him a good portrait lens and marco lens.
Actually, 50mm is short for a portrait lens too. It works for couples and environmental portraits, but for head & shoulders portraits it's too short.

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And if you are comparing the beercan which is use. You can pick up the ef 28-135 IS used for around 250-300 or a refreb for about 350 with a warranty. Pretty much inline with the beercan in the used catogory.
On an APS-C dSLR, 28-135 is an odd focal length. It's not quite wide enough for what the OP wants to do (landscapes, groups, etc.), and it's not quite long enough either (active kids and pets). Also, it's maximum aperture isn't large enough for portraits or night shots.

Also, the OP is concerned about the expense and limited selection of Canon's stabilized lenses.

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And it is still in production lens.
So what?

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But if cost was key, the t1i in HK sells for around 550 there from my last hk trip if you hunt around the stores.. The OP can get the camera with the one lens kit and a macro for the same price as the a550 with one lens.
Again, the OP is concerned about the expense and limited selection of Canon's stabilized lenses. On the Sony, all lenses are stabilized, including all those 20+ year old lenses on the used market.
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Old Jan 10, 2010, 4:56 PM   #29
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Tcav,

Have you looked at some of the things the OP shots that was posted on the board. The 50mm marco will do the city-landscape without issue. So the bottom line after seeing his shots of india, and marco example. The sony 50mm marco would be the best of the 3 that was narrow down to. It will do double duty. We are not looking for high movement portraits. As the sony 50mm prime is not a marco lens, and the 30mm marco you will need to get close into a live subject to get the shot, while the 50mm gives more stand off distance. Is 50mm the best for marco, not always. That is why I am looking at adding a 100mm range marco.

I am not arguing about which system is best. You are the one that is agenda here. I am telling him the truth, not much is know about the A550. Half the stores in NYC do not even have it instock yet. If the OP wants to beta test it for the board, that would be cool. More info for future buyers.

Also the in production used lens has an advantage over a out of production used lens. If there is a repair. Parts are easier to get. With the beercan, if you can not find the part, you will need to buy another 20+ year old lens at 200 bucks. While you can bring the 28-135mm to a shop and get it fixed for about 80 bucks.

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Old Jan 10, 2010, 5:10 PM   #30
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Yes, some Pentax models have a similar feature (and some can take more photos, too). But, it doesn't do the auto alignment for you like the Sony models with Auto HDR. I do know of one user that bought both the Pentax K-x and a Sony A550 (the K-x is for his wife), and he said this about it in his first impressions:

"A550 has great customization options as far as shadow/highlights go. DRO+ is GREAT on snowy days, HDR handheld is awesome. Seriously. AWESOME. K-x has similar options but not nearly as neat as the A550 and not nearly as well implemented as A550 "

He made similar comments about the Sony being better for Auto White Balance, Autofocus speed and general speed of camera operation (indicating that the Sony was much faster in those areas), live view usability and more. But, he noted that the Pentax model had much lower noise at higher ISO speeds (and also noted that that Sony Auto ISO tended to go with a higher ISO speed than he thought was needed in some conditions). But, I suspect he left DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization) turned on with the Sony (which will increase noise levels if you don't turn it off at higher ISO speeds), as the Sony models default with it turned on.

He said that he and his wife were 100% satisfied with both cameras, and although he thought Sony was is little better camera, the Pentax K-x definitely takes the bang for the buck crown.
The pentax k-x and t1i are at a different level of the dslr world compare to the A550. I would expect the A550 to out perform the pentax hands down in hdr. Also to out perform both the k-x and t1i is pretty much on every point. The A550 is slot in with the 50d, d90, and K7 market. It should be better then the one tier down in every respect.
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