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Old Apr 7, 2010, 1:41 AM   #1
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Default Replacing my Dynax/Maxxum 7D

My Dynax 7D has bit the dust after a tumble down the stairs and is beyond repair.
I'm looking at getting around 300ukp from the insurance for it.
So... My replacement options:
a) Another 2nd hand 7D
b) A new A500
c) A new A850

The 7D is the cheapest, the A500 was my first choice, and the A850 is the recommendation of the bloke in the shop who seems to think that the A500 isn't half the camera the 7D was.
Problem is, an A500 is 529 (449 with cashback) and the A850 is vastly out of my price range at around the 2 grand mark.
So, how bad is the A500? As far as I can see, all I'd loose from the 7D is a multitude of buttons/knobs and the rather bulletproof chassis. The A500's internals seem to be better. Or am I wrong?
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 5:44 AM   #2
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The A500 is a nice entry-level dSLR, but it's not a pro camera. The build quality isn't great. I've read a report that the A550 body flexes under the weight of an external flash. The best replacement for a 7D is the A700 if you can find one (it's been discontinued), or you can sit tight and wait for its replacement which should be available some time this summer or fall. If you can't wait, you could get an A230 or something used to get you through until the A7XX comes out. The A850 is very nice, but it's a 'Full Frame' dSLR so your 'DT' lenses (or Sigma 'DC' or Tamron 'Di-II' lenses) won't work. (Well, they'll work ... they'll just cause a lot of vignetting around the edge of the frame.)
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 10:34 AM   #3
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Now there is a workable solution for you, freddyokel.

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Old Apr 8, 2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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The A500 is a nice entry-level dSLR, but it's not a pro camera. The build quality isn't great. I've read a report that the A550 body flexes under the weight of an external flash. The best replacement for a 7D is the A700 if you can find one (it's been discontinued), or you can sit tight and wait for its replacement which should be available some time this summer or fall. If you can't wait, you could get an A230 or something used to get you through until the A7XX comes out. The A850 is very nice, but it's a 'Full Frame' dSLR so your 'DT' lenses (or Sigma 'DC' or Tamron 'Di-II' lenses) won't work. (Well, they'll work ... they'll just cause a lot of vignetting around the edge of the frame.)
I've heard the bit about the A550 flex issue and in my mind that's a bit unsettling. I'm in the market for a new Sony and would love to jump on the A850 because it's full frame especially since I have so many non-DT lenses. It would be nice to "widen" the view of my shorter lenses. My only hesitation is the price.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:45 PM   #5
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So, I bought an A500.

It is, as people have said, in no way as well built as the 7D. It is annoying to have controls that were on dials and buttons, now buried in menu, all be it in most cases, only one level.
The 12.3mp CMOS sensor however is certainly above and beyond the 6mp CCD on the Dynax.
With the Dynax I had, the Sony SAL-1855, the Sony SAL-50F18 and the Sony SAL-30M28. It was never particularly happy with the 1855 or the macro, but excelled with the portrait. The A500 however loves the 1855 and the macro and seems ok with the 50, which due to it's damaged state is MF only.

Anyhow, I'm happy but warey about the 'toy camera' feel.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 2:11 PM   #6
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Good luck with it. And post something whe yolu have a chance.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 2:42 PM   #7
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I've heard the bit about the A550 flex issue and in my mind that's a bit unsettling. I'm in the market for a new Sony and would love to jump on the A850 because it's full frame especially since I have so many non-DT lenses. It would be nice to "widen" the view of my shorter lenses. My only hesitation is the price.
The only poster I've seen mention seeing that was a Pro accustomed to Pro grade bodies that was using a large Quantum flash that said this:

" I started to use the rather heavy Quantum Flash unit, I noticed that the shoe mount and the camera housing flexing"

He later said that his flash "is almost twice the weight of the SONY HVL-F56AM Flash"

Sure, if you try to put a a very large and heavy flash in a hotshoe on a body like the A550 (or other competing models), you may see a bit of flex (as well engineered plastics and polymers are designed to do that versus break on you).

Frankly, when I got a chance to use a Sony A550, I was pleasantly surprised at it's build quality, especially after seeing all of the alarmist type posts in forums. The first thought that came to my mind was "what planet are these people living on". I wouldn't mind having an A550 if budget permitted, as I thought it was a pretty fun camera to use and AF speed is really superb with it (I'd rank it as better than my A700 in anything other than *very* low light and far better than my older KM 5D in any lighting). It's a very responsive camera.

I did not notice any issues with a Sony HVL-F58AM in the hotshoe either (Sony's largest and heaviest hot shoe mounted flash), although I wasn't trying to measure flex using a micrometer or anything like that). If you want an even larger flash, go with an external flash bracket. ;-)

Try one in store and see what you think, versus going by forum posts and hearsay that tends to get exaggerated as the stories gets passed on. IMO, the build quality of the A500 and A550 is just fine compared to similar models in their price range (and *much* better than I expected after seeing forum posts like these). Sure, it's not using a Magnesium Alloy body (but, neither are any other cameras in their market niche).
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 4:07 PM   #8
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JimC-

I looked at and handled both the A500 and the A-550 extensively. In my opinion the build quality of the A-550 was measurable better than that of the A-500.

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Old Apr 8, 2010, 5:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
The only poster I've seen mention seeing that was a Pro accustomed to Pro grade bodies that was using a large Quantum flash that said this:

" I started to use the rather heavy Quantum Flash unit, I noticed that the shoe mount and the camera housing flexing"

He later said that his flash "is almost twice the weight of the SONY HVL-F56AM Flash"

Sure, if you try to put a a very large and heavy flash in a hotshoe on a body like the A550 (or other competing models), you may see a bit of flex (as well engineered plastics and polymers are designed to do that versus break on you).

Frankly, when I got a chance to use a Sony A550, I was pleasantly surprised at it's build quality, especially after seeing all of the alarmist type posts in forums. The first thought that came to my mind was "what planet are these people living on". I wouldn't mind having an A550 if budget permitted, as I thought it was a pretty fun camera to use and AF speed is really superb with it (I'd rank it as better than my A700 in anything other than *very* low light and far better than my older KM 5D in any lighting). It's a very responsive camera.

I did not notice any issues with a Sony HVL-F58AM in the hotshoe either (Sony's largest and heaviest hot shoe mounted flash), although I wasn't trying to measure flex using a micrometer or anything like that). If you want an even larger flash, go with an external flash bracket. ;-)

Try one in store and see what you think, versus going by forum posts and hearsay that tends to get exaggerated as the stories gets passed on. IMO, the build quality of the A500 and A550 is just fine compared to similar models in their price range (and *much* better than I expected after seeing forum posts like these). Sure, it's not using a Magnesium Alloy body (but, neither are any other cameras in their market niche).
Thanks for the good advice Jim... I rarely buy sight unseen. I assume there are no issues using the KM HF5600 flash unit. I am still tempted to wait to see if there is a A700 around the corner.
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Old Apr 9, 2010, 1:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Try one in store and see what you think, versus going by forum posts and hearsay that tends to get exaggerated as the stories gets passed on. IMO, the build quality of the A500 and A550 is just fine compared to similar models in their price range (and *much* better than I expected after seeing forum posts like these). Sure, it's not using a Magnesium Alloy body (but, neither are any other cameras in their market niche).
Jim, The best price that I can find from what I consider a reptuable dealer is 949 including the lens. Do you know of any better deals at the moment? I can save 100 dollars body only, but I figure the lens is worth a least 100. It seems to sell for 150 to 200 by itself and gets decent reviews and rated as better than the 18-70. Some minor complaints about it's not "long" enough.
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