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Old Apr 23, 2011, 11:40 AM   #21
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I hear a lot of talk about "pixel cramming" under that or other names, chiefly from people who own cameras which have relatively low pixel density. I lost count of the people who asserted that 12 was the maximum you could have and retain picture quality. By coincidence 12 was the number most Nikon cameras had at that time. Now that Nikon are slowly moving towards significantly higher pixel densities those comments seem to have stopped, I'm sure equally coincidentally. Oddly though I don't recall any supporting statements from manufacturers of lower-density cameras, such as Nikon. Nikon in fact stated the opposite when they said a year or two ago that it was their intention to raise the pixel density on a wide range of their DSLRs.

Most comments in public forums on the subject of pixel density seem to have stopped, though I did see one to the effect that 16 is now the maximum you should have, and 18 is just too many. I deeply respect the intellect of people such as this who clearly have a far deeper understanding of the issues at stake than I have so far been able to glean.

Meanwhile, my 7D has the same pixel density as the 550D and so far I haven't been able to fault its output. I generally prefer the images from my 5D, despite its age, but that's almost certainly because the sensor is bigger rather than any issues of pixel density. I do though find the greater croppability with 7D images very useful on occasion. And the extra "reach" it gives my 400mm lens is very useful for shooting birds in flight.
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Old Apr 23, 2011, 11:55 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
sony does allot of thing that makes their product not as user friendly at time, making you go with the more expensive sony options at time, not dslr in general, but other things they make. I have sony stuff, and they like to do that kind of things from time to time.
This reminds me of another constant irritant with Sony cameras, their use of their proprietary Memory Stick. This is not an industry standard and I don't know of any companies not in their empire which use it. Worse still, there are different versions which are incompatible with each other, as a friend of mine discovered recently with his HD video camcorder. Probably because they aren't used much, they are also greatly more expensive than SD and its descendants. I have a similar view on XD cards, which I believe are used by Olympus. Neither offers any performance advantages over the SD series, and both are a pain in the rear end.
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Old Apr 23, 2011, 6:46 PM   #23
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This reminds me of another constant irritant with Sony cameras, their use of their proprietary Memory Stick. This is not an industry standard and I don't know of any companies not in their empire which use it. Worse still, there are different versions which are incompatible with each other, as a friend of mine discovered recently with his HD video camcorder. Probably because they aren't used much, they are also greatly more expensive than SD and its descendants. I have a similar view on XD cards, which I believe are used by Olympus. Neither offers any performance advantages over the SD series, and both are a pain in the rear end.

There are smaller and larger Memory Stick cards, and some of the newer types won't work in older devices. The same thing applies to Secure Digital. For example, you can find SD, miniSD, microSD, SDHC, miniSDHC, microSDHC, and SXDC. You can't use a larger card in a device that only takes a smaller one, and you can't use an SDHC card in a device that doesn't specifically support SDHC.

Yes, you can find more than one type of Memory Stick card, too. You buy the card type the device supports. ;-)

But, all Sony dSLR models can take more than one memory card type. In the case of the A700, A850 and A900; Memory Stick Pro Duo and CompactFlash cards are supported (and you could also use SDHC cards via an adapter in the CF slot).

In the case of the A2xx, A3xx and A5xx series Sony models, both SDHC cards and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards are supported (they all have more than one card slot).

As for performance, if you compare 30MB/Second Sandisk Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards with 30MB/Second Sandisk SDHC Cards, you'll find that the Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards are *significantly* faster, both in Sony cameras, and in card readers.

Basically, the Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards are faster than rated, with write speeds exceeding 40MB/Second in a card reader that can take advantage of the 8 bit parallel transfer mode these cards can use (as the newer Sony models can). See here:

http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/in...cards-msh.html

Yet, Sandisk 30MB/Second Class 10 SDHC cards are typically slower than rated, with write speeds maxing out at less than 25MB/Second. See here:

http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/sp...cards-sdc.html

If you look at our Sony A550 review conclusion, you'll see the same type of differences that you find in card readers when you compare card types in a camera, where we compared performance using a Sandisk 30MB/Second Class 10 Extreme SDHC Card with a Sandisk 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo card.

The MS Pro HG Duo card allows more raw photos in a raw before a slowdown, faster full buffer frame rates, and faster buffer flush times compared to the Sandisk 30MB/Second SDHC Card.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...lusion-43.html

BTW, the last time I checked Sandisk 30MB/Second MS Pro HG Duo cards were about the same price as Sandisk 30MB/Second SDHC Cards, too.

But, if you don't like Memory Stick, use SDHC instead.

Now, even though the latest 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards are faster than any of the Class 10 SDHC cards you can buy, that will probably change with newer UHS-1 SDHC and SDXC cards designed to the SD 3.0 specification.

These cards are quite fast, and it looks like the latest Sandisk 45MB/Second UHS-1 SDHC cards are just as fast as their 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards in devices that support the newer SD 3.0 standard (clocking in at just over 40MB/Second), and not all cameras do yet (even though you can use the newer card types in them, you may not see a performance gain unless they're designed to that standard).

Bottom line, it's no big deal since the Sony A580 the OP is asking about supports both card types. ;-)

Besides, lens mounts are proprietary to a manufacturer, and Lithium battery types are proprietary to a manufacturer. So, even if a given model used *only* a proprietary memory type, so what, as other things about it are also going to be proprietary.

As for reliability, I've seen no evidence that one brand is more or less reliable than another in the entry level dSLR category.

Manufacturers are probably not going to release repair statistics about their cameras.

Now, SquareTrade (a company offering service contracts) has released reliability statistics about digital cameras before. They're the only service contract company I'm aware of that's done that. You can see that report here (based on analysis of 60,000 digital camera covered by their service plans):

http://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/C...lure_study.pdf

As you can see, Panasonic leads the pack for the least number of failures in higher end Point and Shoot Models, followed by Nikon, and then Sony.

But, they didn't have enough data to do much with dSLR models yet, only noting that both Canon and Nikon appear to have failure rates of approximately 4% at the 2 year mark. Hopefully, we'll see new reports from them as time passes that give readers a better idea of what to expect for failure rates.

They've got similar reports about other products here (including laptops, since I noticed your comments about their reliability, too).

http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/war...knowledge-base
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 4:54 PM   #24
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Canon 550D/600D/60D all have the 18mp, 22.3x14.9mm Sensor.
Sony A580/Nikon D5100/D7000 all have the 16mp, 23.6x15.6mm Sensor.
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 5:26 PM   #25
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I would not concern to much on the pixel count. They all have great resolution. But that said, the canon gives you more for your budget. You will find having just the 18-55 limiting allot of times.
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