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Old Jan 9, 2010, 6:28 PM   #1
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Default Canon T1i vs. Sony Alpha 550

Hello everyone. Been reading quite a bit and have narrowed my camera choice down to two. As of right now I am leaning towards the Canon T1i only because I have already tried it at the store. I have not gotten the chance to get to a sony style yet and try the A550.

I like taking Macro Photos of just about anything... Insects, flowers, watches, jewellery, cups, really.. anything! I also enjoy taking landscape photos when I'm in Florida to group photos when I am out with family and friends. I also have some younger cousins and some family pets that I take pictures of as well.

Recently, I have been lucky enough to be able to travel with my family. My next adventure brings me to Asia. I'll be first visiting Hong Kong, where I plan to buy my camera since its list prices are cheaper than Canada, plus there is no tax... So i'll be saving a pretty penny and may be able to direct those saved funds towards some glass.

While in Hong Kong/China, I would like to be able to capture the beauty of the city at night as well as the busyness of the city streets. I'll also be seeing the Great Wall of China and hope to take some nice landscapes

So pretty much, I'm looking for a versatile camera that I can take where ever I go and never miss in capturing the moment.

Canon 500D
I like how it feels in my hand. I like how there is a Depth of field Preview. Dont really care about Video as I have a camcorder. What I dont like is how I am somewhat limited to lenses that are IS... There is only one macro lens that is IS and its quite expensive. I will be doing most of my shooting handheld.. by most i probably mean all. I didnt like the speed of the Continuos Shooting... I think its around 4 FPS, the sony is much faster at 5/7 FPS..

Alpha 550
I have held it in my hand and it also feels nice. The one in the camera store I went to did not have it powered on so I could not shoot with it. But what I like about this camera is the IS is built into the body which makes lens options better. However my friends are telling me to stick with Canon or Nikon... thats another reason my I want maybe a Sony because EVERYONE has either a Canon or Nikon.. maybe for justifiable reasons but who knows. Anyways I have not been able to shoot with the Sony yet, but I like what Ive read about the live view being the best in the class.. Ill most like be doing most of my shots through the viewfinder but a decent live view is definitely a plus. Also the macro lens options are cheaper with the Sony because I wont need a lens with IS built in. One thing that I will probably dislike about the Sony is the absence of a DOF preview. But I question myself if I would ever use that.

In the end I know its all personal preference but would really like to get some of the communities input. I checked out the Cameras on ConsumerReport and they were both rated 69/100. The nikon D5000 was rated 67/100. I equally like both of them on paper and if you can offer any other suggestions i'm totally open. Its so hard to find the perfect camera.. there is always something missing that another camera has! BTW Sorry for the Essay!

Wonger

Last edited by Wonger; Jan 9, 2010 at 6:30 PM.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 6:46 PM   #2
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The a550 when I saw it in Germany is a little bigger then the 500D. That may be a concern for some. But on paper the A550 seem to have fix the issues with the a3xx line of camera. It is very new just came out in Dec. So very little is know yet beside the initial reports.

If you are doing mostly marco, are you shooting indoors or out. Normally my wife uses a wide aperture when shooting, so with our 500D and the ef 50mm marco without IS. The shots have no camera shake issue when shooting outdoors at F2.5 and 2.8 which she normally uses. I am getting ready to get a ef 100mm f2.8 marco for her. It just got discontinue but it is an excellent lens from everything I have seen and read about it. Also if you are planing to use a marco light ring, you would not want the IS on.

Have you looked at the Pentax K-x, it is in the same high end "entry dslr" as the 500D and A550. And like the sony has in body IS. I seen allot of nice marco shots form the Pentaxians. And they have some really nice marco lenses for it. And it is price very competitively against the 500D and the new A550.

One the DOF issue, I have always used it coming form film. Mostly for saving myself from mistake before I took the shot. And it work well with the LCD.

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Old Jan 9, 2010, 6:50 PM   #3
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First, let me say that if you buy the camera in Hong Kong and bring it back to Canada, and something goes wrong, the warranty is no good.

Second, a dSLR isn't the type of thing you can hit the ground running with. Buying it in advance of your trip will give you plenty of opportunity to get familiar with it before you need to take that 'once in a lifetime' photo in a far away land.

Third, the Sony has sensor shift image stabilization in the camera body, while Canon relies on optical image stabilization in the lens. For handheld macrophotography, Canon only has one stabilized macro lens, while all of Sony's macro lenses are stabilized (since the stabilization is in the body) as are all the third party macro lenses and all the older A-Mount macro lenses on the used market.

Therefore, I think you should get the Sony, and do it before your trip.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 7:21 PM   #4
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From what I have heard, canon will be coming out with a new 60mm marco with IS this year think it will replace the current one. Not 100% sure though.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 7:27 PM   #5
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I'm off to bed so too tired to get into a long post but don't get too worried about IS in a macro lens. The majority of good macro shots are taken using s tripod as depth of field (DOF) is narrow (even with small apertures which are generally needed) so to get accurate focus you don't want things moving and also shutter speeds are going to be low by the nature of trying to maximise (DOF) so don't worry about it. If you use the lens for more normal uses then there might be times when IS is going to be useful but people do make too much out of this issue. Let's take shooting macro, yes you can use wide apertures which give a better shutter speed, but then the area in focus is so small that most shots are merely mediocre at best.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 7:32 PM   #6
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Lucky you, I have another 4 hours on a plane before I land and get some sleep myself. Love wifi on planes, keep you entertained. But I do agree IS is over played. It is a useful feature, but not idea for all occasions.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 7:50 PM   #7
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Mark,

I agree when trying to get a 1:1 macro shot, but for a 1:4 or even 1:2 macro shot, stabilization helps, especially when shooting on the run, like trying to get a bunch of flower shots while walking through the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. In situations like that, Minolta's 70-210mm f/4.0 1:4 'Beercan' (~$200) could be a great choice. You can't do that with a Canon.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 8:04 PM   #8
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The beercan is no long made, you will have to look for a use one. The Ef 100mm f2.8 marco is still available new as it just went out of production, and most stores still have them in stock. Even in South Africa, the lens is available. And will have a warranty in the country you buy it in.

The sigma 105mm that Mark recommended for me to look at is a very nice lens for marco work. A bit slow if you want to use it as a prime lens. Think they make it for both the canon and sony if you are looking for a nice marco lens at a bit of a saving over the Sony or Canon lenses.

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Old Jan 9, 2010, 8:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. I plan on getting a 3-year squaretrade warranty for about $130. I'll be saving $350CAD if I buy it in HK. I'll be there for a month and a half so I think I have plenty of time to learn. I would love to buy it in Canada first but our tax just kills us.. How often do you guys/gals use the depth of field preview?
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 8:51 PM   #10
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Coming from film, just switch form my eos1 in june, I use it quite allot, anytime I set up on a tripod or doing landscape and building shots.

But if you are big with the marco shooting, I would get dedicated marco lens right away. The kit lenses are not suited for marco. For the canon if you do not want to shell out the big money right away, the ef 50mm f2.5 marco does a very nice job at 1:2.

I would take a look at this site, there are some useful youtube workshops for new dslr users. www.dslrtips.com
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