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Old May 11, 2010, 1:43 AM   #1
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Default Sony Alpha A330, Pentax K-X, or Canon XSi?

Hey everyone. First time DSLR buyer here. I've narrowed it down to the Sony Alpha A330, Pentax K-X, or the Canon Rebel XSi.

I've been very interested in photography for the past few years. While I'm not necessarily experienced, I am familiar and comftorable using photo editing programs such as Photoshop CS. I'm buying the camera mostly for travel and scenery photographs. I assume that it will be used mostly outdoors. My budget is up to $700.

I was initially torn between the K-X and the XSi, until a recent deal on Future Shop was selling the A330 with 18-55mm Len Kit and 55-200mm F4/4.5 - 5.6 Telephoto Lens for $499. The K-X with the default lens will cost me about $600 if I buy it from the US (in Canada it is $630 without tax).

What my main question is having these additional lenses for the Sony camera a 'good deal'? Good enough to buy the camera over the XSi and the K-X? Would the Rebel XSi and K-X produce higher quality images, especially in low light conditions (cloudy, when it's dark).

EDIT: I also found that the Nikon D5000 was selling for $650. Should I also consider it?

Last edited by mpchiang; May 11, 2010 at 1:51 AM.
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Old May 11, 2010, 6:38 AM   #2
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Your needs are pretty simple. Any of the above mentioned cameras can fit your needs. The deciding factor may be ergonomics - how each feels to you. Handle all of them and see if one feels better than the others. Technically they will all produce great photos for what you want to do.
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Old May 11, 2010, 6:58 AM   #3
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I agree with JohnG. All the cameras you mentioned are more than good enough to do what you say you want to do. From that list, I'd be very tempted to go with the Sony package, but an important factor in your satisfaction and success with a camera is how it feels to you. Try them out first.
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Old May 11, 2010, 7:49 AM   #4
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I would have one concern from what you require of your camera. Size.

You say it is mainly for travel ? In that case I would assume that size and weight are prime considerations. I don't know how you travel (back-packing or luxury suite on the QE2) but maybe the smaller PEN or 4/3 systems may suite you better, saving considerable space and weight.

It seems the Canon & possibly Kx have faster AF than the D5,000 if that's any issue for you (street photography). Nikon and Dx are both good low light cameras - I can't comment on the Canon.

Rather than being focused on the camera switch it around and see what lenses you will need and then see which camera is offering the best system for you & your circumstances personally.
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Old May 11, 2010, 7:57 AM   #5
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pentax k-x has the best low light of the 4 camera, second best AF system second only to canon. Very light weight, and just been award TIPA 2010 best entry dslr.

So what do you like to shoot? It will help determine which camera is best for you.
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Old May 11, 2010, 8:29 AM   #6
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While all of those factors are nice, none is important enough to get someone to walk away from a camera that feels good. If a camera were incapable of something that a poster wanted to do, or there were much better choices available, then it would be our duty to steer him or her away from it. But that's not the case here. Surely, if weight were an issue, then mpchiang would figure that out when he or she picked a camera up, and mpchiang didn't say anything about low light or AF speed. If those were issues, I'm confident they would have appeared instead of "I'm buying the camera mostly for travel and scenery photographs. I assume that it will be used mostly outdoors."

People come here because they want someone to help clear the air, not contribute to the fog.
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Old May 11, 2010, 9:49 AM   #7
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I'm glad your confident TCav.

However I travel a lot in to many different countries and low light is an issue (sunsets / interiors of buildings etc) and may or may not be something Mr Chiang has considered. There is no harm in pointing this out - if he has already considered them then no harm done, if not and he considers them important then he now has a little guidance and something worth further investigation.

As for 'walking away from a camera that feels good' - well I agree with another poster's comment from the other day. New property, whether it's a car, a house or a camera, will always feel strange at first. However we soon adapt. Once you've owned that property for a month or two it will feel natural, normal and going back to your old house, car, camera feels strange. Too much is made of ergonomics.
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Old May 11, 2010, 9:56 AM   #8
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If you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, then how little the camera weighs or how well it does in low light is immaterial.
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Old May 11, 2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
If you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, then how little the camera weighs or how well it does in low light is immaterial.
Oh come on ! You go from a GM to a Ford and basics are the same. A short period of adjustment and you know where everything is. No different with any mechanical / electrical product.

However the weight & low light ability are never going to change so get the camera that is better in those regards : IF they are issues for you !
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Old May 11, 2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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Sorry Frogfish - I'm with TCAV on this one. Ergonomics DO matter. A big difference between cameras is the grip design. In the last month I've used DSLRs from 3 different brands. One of them was actually uncomfortable to hold. They all had different control interfaces. Some more intuitive than others.

To carry your car analogy a bit further. It isn't necessarily where on a car the gear shift is that is important - but how the SEAT feels and it's position can be a huge factor in car enjoyment. As can things like radio controls on the steering wheel etc. All else being equal, I would choose the one whose ergonomics were more pleasing. Size/weight are part of that evaluation. I would NEVER want to use the one DSLR I tried last weekend.
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