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Old Jun 14, 2010, 2:35 AM   #1
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Default HELP! Canon Rebel XSi vs. Sony Alpha a230

I have the opportunity to purchase either of these cameras; both include a 18-55mm lens for ~$350 after tax. I have no DSLR experience nor do I have any previous equipment so my concerns are ease of use, future lens purchase and overall quality. Based on the mind boggling amount of reviews I've stumbled through the last few days, I'm leaning towards the XSi but am concerned about lens cost after the fact. Simply put - my head hurts !!!

I'm hoping somebody here with more expertise and experience can shed some friendly advise and input to help me focus on the significant differences between the 2 cameras. Right now I'm moving from a Canon S3 IS so this realm is all new. I want something I can grow into for the next few years and still be productive if that makes sense. I'll be using the camera mainly for traveling purposes, outdoors and indoors, gradutations and vacation.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 4:04 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Either one would be a good option for a first DSLR. Iike you, I would tend
to favour the XSi. There is a better selection of lenses available for the Canon.
It has a 12Mp sensor which is one generation newer than the 10Mp CCD
sensor in the Sony.

Have a look at the sample images from both cameras on the flickr camera
comparison page.

http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/...tal_rebel_xsi/
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/sony/dslr-a230/

Read the reviews and then make your choice. Just to add to
your confusion, Sony have announced a couple of new
entry level DSLRs including the A290 which will replace the
A230.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 4:16 AM   #3
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http://www.dpreview.com/news/1006/10...nya390a290.asp
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 5:22 AM   #4
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The Sony A290 that corkpix and Koolpc mentioned will use a 14MP image sensor, which is "one generation newer " than the 12MP sensor in the XSi.

There are reasons to go either way. The Canon has a better autofocus system for tracking moving subjects, and Canon has a broader selection of lenses. The Sony has image stabilization in the camera body, so any lens, including a 20+ year old lens on the used market, will be stabilized on the Sony. Image stabilization can help prevent motion blur due to camera shake, and will help with several things you say you want to do. Canon uses optical image stabilization in some of their lenses, which makes them bigger, heavier, and more expensive, and since they're relatively new, there are few on the used market. If money is a concern, you can find some real gems on the used market for the Sony, but not so much for the Canon.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 5:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
The Sony A290 that corkpix and Koolpc mentioned will use a 14MP image sensor, which is "one generation newer " than the 12MP sensor in the XSi.
I expect they will be using the 14.2Mp sensor that was used in the A350
and A380. That makes it about the same age as the sensor in the XSi.
Previous Sony cameras that used this sensor couldn't match the
low light / high ISO performance of the 12Mp Canon CMOS sensor
or the Sony CMOS sensors used by Nikon and others. I know, I know,
it is always risky to comment on a camera that nobody has seen yet.
It will be interesting to see the sample images and reviews, hopefully
in a few weeks.

Last edited by corkpix; Jun 14, 2010 at 9:57 AM.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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As i understand the OP's situation he is looking at two specific used DSLR cameras. Therefore, these two are indeed the Sony A-230 and the Canon XSi, both with kit lenses.

I own both cameras, and there are positive element to each camera. The 10mp Sony A-230 is a very easy camera to learn to use for a user coming from a P+S background. It does have in body IS, and it is compact and reasonably fast. Adding a Sony 55-200mm lens, could be quite inexpensive, depending on which country the Op lives in currently. if those two lenses provide for the Op's desires, then it will be a fairly inexpensive kit that can provide good image quality. My only concern is that the proposed price is close to the existing retail price of a new A-230 here in the USA which is $380. I would expect to purchase it used for less than $350 with only the kit lens.

The Canon XSi is a good camera, with a good focusing system and good build quality. The 12mp image works well and provides good image quality. The logical second lens is the Canon 55-250mmIS lens which is a consumer quality lens, but fairly sharp. IS for the XSi has to come via the lenses, as only Olympus, Pentax and Sony feature in body IS.

In my opinion, there is a vast difference between the two used DSLR cameras at this level, providing they are in equally good shape. In as much as these are both used cameras, The purchaser really has to be careful concerning camera condition and history. We here in the Forum are unable to see the cameras. knowing what I know at this juncture, I would tend to go with the XSi, if the seller is not willing to drop the price of the A-230 to around $300 to $310 at the most. I am also making the assumption that the OP, snewpy, has physically handled both cameras and that the camera and the control set-ups feel equally good in hand.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jun 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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Between the a230 and XSi, I would go with the XSi. It is an excellent sensor. And it will give you access to the largest lens lineup out there. Also it has a much more advance AF system then the sony. So it is better for shooting action.

Also the XSi sensor gives you image quality equal to the high level camera of the T1i and T2i up to it's max iso of 1600.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 11:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
As i understand the OP's situation he is looking at two specific used DSLR cameras.
Sorry I didn't clarify - both kits are "new" however the XSi is a floor model at a local store and is missing the charger and manuals. The lens for the XSi is sealed/new and the camera shows no sign of wear or abuse. The a230 is brand new in box.

I currently have both in hand but am struggling with a choice. I am on a budget and my next immediate purchase would be a telephoto lens. The Canon 55-250 IS if I went with the XSi or a Sigma 70-300mm 70-300 f/4-5.6 4-5.6 DG APO Macro lens if I went with the Sony.

Last edited by snewpy; Jun 14, 2010 at 11:31 AM.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 11:33 AM   #9
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The 55-250mm is a better lens then the 70-300 form sigma, much sharper. Sigma is a better macro then a telephoto.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
...or a Sigma 70-300mm 70-300 f/4-5.6 4-5.6 DG APO Macro lens if I went with the Sony
I would suggest avoiding that Sigma if purchasing a newer Sony dSLR model, as newer Sony models have faster body based focus motors, and that particular Sigma model has a reputation for a higher than normal percentage of them stripping gears when used with them. Other Sigma models seem to be fine. The build quality with that one appears to leave something to be desired (an understatement from reports I've seen). I sure wouldn't buy one.

In a budget 70-300mm, I'd suggest going with a Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus lens instead (and it tests better than the Sigma anyway, plus it's less expensive at most vendors).
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