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Old Feb 18, 2011, 8:06 AM   #1
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Default Replacing compact with entry s/h DSLR - choices ?

Hi all, I need advice !! I've currently got a Powershot A650is which has served me well but I have accumulated enough cash to look at getting into the DSLR market now. I'm looking for options with a budget up to 300 for starters.

By brief is - not too bulky, decent quality, wide availability of legacy lenses ( can't afford to buy additional new lenses, but legacy looks an option ie Olympus OM, Sony / Minolta, Canon FD etc ), well known brand.

I've seen Olympus A410 with two Zuiko lenses s/h for 220, Olympus A620 with two Zuiko lenses for 299 ( I missed that one, sold in a day !! ), various Sonys Alphas, Canon 300/350/400/1000d, Nikon D50/D60 etc. Please help me out, I'm drowning in online reviews !!

Cheers all
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 8:27 AM   #2
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I'm looking for options with a budget up to 300 for starters.
You can get a brand new Sony A290 with a kit lens for that much now. Here's an example:

http://www.jacobsdigital.co.uk/p-403...0-18-55mm.aspx

It doesn't have a tilting LCD with Live View like some of the more advanced Sony models, and ISO speeds don't go as high as the newer A5xx bodies (the A290 has a max ISO speed of ISO 3200, and it will be noisy using it set that high). But, that way (new Sony A290), you'd get a brand new dSLR with a warranty, versus taking your chances on a used body. It's also smaller and lighter than most other Sony dSLR models (and it sounds like you want a solution that's not too bulky).
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 8:37 AM   #3
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Hmmm, I've seen that one, it's tempting. How would that fit with my idea of using ( hopefully ) cheaper leagacy lenses ? Does that model use the Minolta type mount ?


Thanks
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 8:47 AM   #4
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Yes, it can use any Minolta Autofocus (a.k.a., Minolta AF, Minolta A-Mount, Dynax, Maxxum) Lens ever made, and they'd all be stabilized (thanks to the in body stabilization system).

Note that it can't use the older MC/MD mount Minolta lenses (manual focus lenses), unless you use an adapter, since the newer Autofocus lenses (Maxxum, Dynax) use a different lens mount system.

But, any Minolta Autofocus lens will work fine on it (and they've been making them since 1985 when the Minolta Maxxum 7000 was introduced). See this article about the introduction of Minolta's Autofocus SLR cameras and lenses in 1985 here:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...um7k/index.htm

The vast majority of third party lenses (Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, Cosina, etc.) in Minolta AF mount will also work fine on it, although some older Sigma lenses can sometimes have issues (and you'll find the same thing with some old Sigmas in other camera mounts, too).

dyxum.com is a good resource to find the ones that work better, as they maintain lists of many Minolta Autofocus lenses, including third party lenses that were made in Minolta AF mount (and you can click on a specific lens to see specifications, links to sample images, and user reviews from Konica Minolta and Sony dSLR owners)

Fixed Focal Length Lenses in Minolta A mount

Macro Lenses in Minolta A Mount

Zoom Lenses in Minolta A mount
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 9:15 AM   #5
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thanks again for the prompt reply and info - I will look into it. Taking a step back budget-wise, is there an equivalent older Sony body that might make a good second hand purchase ? I understand totally the point about warranty, but the 300 is my absolute top end so it would be good to come in somewhere under that.

Regards,

Justin.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 9:34 AM   #6
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Taking a step back budget-wise, is there an equivalent older Sony body that might make a good second hand purchase ?
Personally, I'd avoid a used dSLR body unless buying it from a dealer with a good reputation that offers a warranty on used gear; as there is just too much that can go wrong with them.

I shoot with a Sony A700 right now and it still works just fine. I bought it brand new in October 2007 and I've taken good care of it. But, you really don't know what someone else may have put a camera through.

Keep in mind you've got mechanical parts that can wear out (mirror, shutter mechanism, dials, buttons, switches, etc.), as well as electronic components in a modern dSLR. So, I'd suggest sticking with a new body.

Sometimes you can find a good deal on a manufacturer refurbished body including a short term warranty.

But, I'd probably avoid most used bodies unless I found a really great deal on one and I was buying it from a dealer that included some kind of warranty on it.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 9:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
I shoot with a Sony A700 right now and it still works just fine. I bought it brand new in October 2007 and I've taken good care of it. But, you really don't know what someone else may have put a camera through.
Also note that the mid range bodies like my A700 tend to have better build quality compared to the entry level models (magnesium alloy versus plastic body shell, better sealing to help prevent dust and moisture from getting in, etc.).

But, any of them can have problems, and if you buy a used body and need a major repair (shutter replacement, etc.), it may end up costing you almost as much as a replacement camera body when looking at models in your [under 300] price range.
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Old Feb 19, 2011, 1:54 AM   #8
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Jacobs offer a 12-month warrantee on their used equipment, but I think you will struggle to go much under budget.
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