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Old Aug 31, 2010, 7:02 AM   #1
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Default One LAST question!!!

Does anyone know if the new Sony a560 has the Auto+ mode like the new a55 does??? Thanks!!! JV
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 9:15 AM   #2
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Jim, according to the specs page at Sony style, it has Auto+. Go to the Specifications tab and you'll see that listed under Exposure Settings:

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Exposure Settings : Auto (AUTO), Auto Advanced (AUTO+), Program Auto (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama (2D/3D), Continuous Advance Priority AE
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...54737#overview

I see you've been debating on the model to go with. That would be a tough call. The new A55 looks really sweet in some areas, and would give you a much smaller and lighter package. The EVF is also a cool feature, allowing a much larger view than you'd get from the Optical Viewfinders in APS-C size cameras.

Frankly, I wouldn't worry about the 1/3 stop light loss, as that's pretty minor. The A55 is already 1/3 stop more sensitive than rated anyway from tests I've seen. For example, if you look at the ISO 6400 Still Life samples in the comparometer at http://www.imaging-resource.com , you'll see that it's using a 1/1250 second shutter speed at f/8, while some of the competing models like the Canon T2i were using a slower 1/800 second at f/8 for the same exposure. Even then, it looked like some areas of the Sony images were brighter (so there may even be more than 1/3 stop difference, in favor of the Sony). So, you'd need to use higher ISO speeds with most competing models to get shutter speeds as fast for a given aperture and lighting, increasing noise for comparable scenes. IOW, ISO 3200 on some of the newer Sony models is roughly equivalent to ISO 4000, making them more sensitive than most competitors. You'll see the same thing with some of the other new Sony models like the NEX-5 and A560 (more sensitive than rated).

IOW, it's no big deal (they're already more sensitive than indicated anyway), and the noise performance of the newer sensors is really good (especially considering that you'd need to use even higher ISO speeds with competing models to get shutter speeds as fast).

The only major downside to the A55 from my perspective for the type of shooting you seem to want to do more often (landscapes, etc.) would be the battery life. But, it's roughly twice as good as your V1 anyway, and you could always carry spare batteries.

If size is not a big deal, then you may be able to squeeze a bit more out of the A560 versus A33; or the A580 versus A55. But, again, you're only talking about 1/3 stop light loss through the mirrors in the A33 and A55 models; and unless you're comparing the A33 to the A560; or the A55 to the A580, pixel peeping at sizes you'd be unlikely to use at very high ISO speeds; it would be tough to see any image issues with their design.

I'd try to wait and see what you think of them in a store before deciding, letting ergonomics play a role with your decision, keeping battery life in mind. For your type of shooting (mostly landscapes), any of them should be a pretty good bet. Also, keep in mind that more announcements are likely to come leading into next month's Photokina (so you may find even more body/lens options that appeal to you).
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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JimC-

The prices of the the A-500 and A-550, both good cameras, continue to fall. What does your "crystal ball" see on the disposition of those two cameras? Are they a good buy, or is staying with the updated technology a better course of action??

I am very much like Jim V. I do not do sports photography or wedding photography any more. My thought is that the A-550 might be a real bargain for somebody like me with no specialized demands. What do you think??

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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What crystal ball? :-)

You'll have to decide if you want the newer features (sweep panorama, video recording, updated AF system, etc.). ;-)

The prices Sony is introducing the new models at are quite competitive though. For example, they're showing a pre-order price of $649.99 for the A560 body right now:

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...8&N=4294951743

But, it's not shipping yet and unfortunately, I don't have a crystal ball to see what may happen to A550 prices, and I don't know what their supply and availability will be as time passes.

The A500 is probably a better bargain right now if you don't care about the newer features. But, if you move up to one of the 14MP models, given the minor price differences, I'd bet inclined to go with the A560 if choosing between the A550 and A560, even if I didn't need video or care about the newer features.
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 2:50 PM   #5
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Default Agony

Yeah, its a tough decision. I think both cameras will be winners. At least I've ruled out all other contenders!! So, Jim, you don't think the light loss to the main sensor will be an issue??? I sure want to start taking some night/twilight shots!! Jim
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 8:07 PM   #6
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you can see the result at image resources. There is a bit more noise at higher iso, to me it seems like they bump up iso to compensate for the 1/3 lost in light. But it is not that apparent until you get above 1600iso.

But to be fair, the 560 is the same sensor as the A33 and the 580 is the same sensor as the A55.

Go to this link and pick the sony A33 Slt and the A560. And you can see the difference with Noise and NR.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 9:51 PM   #7
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Shoturtle-

Thanks for the link. After extensive viewing, I think that the a55 compares very favorably with the A-560 image in terms of noise. Yes, I am sure that bumping up the ISO to compensate for the translucent light loss do cause a bit more noise, but the side by side comparison shows the a marginal increase in noise.

the a55 and a33 will not work in fast moving sports photos due to the EVF lag, but for the average user, these two DSLR's represent a major technology leap forward that will advance DSLR design and bring many new people to DSLR cameras that previously had some real reservations about transitioning from a P+S camera to a DSLR camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 9:53 PM   #8
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Jim V-

Congratulations on doing a pre-order for the Sony a55. I think you have made a great decision. Enjoy your new camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 9:54 PM   #9
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form 100-1600 it is no issue with noise. at 3200 is build and at 12800 it is very apparent. But it does a very good job for where people shoot 95% of the time. It is a good offering.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 8:21 AM   #10
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Default Thank You

You know, I'm a Hospice RN and make critical decisions all the time. But....this camera decision deal had OVERLOADED my critical thinking circuit breaker!!! Glad it's DONE!! Thanks to everyone who helped walk me through the process. I'm very grateful for you folks!!! (Jim C, Mike, Sarah, Shoturtle, Tom) Jim V
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