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New camera: Sony a58 or Canon 700D?

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jon gopsill
jon gopsill e2 Member 9jon gopsill vcard England
21 Jul 2013 - 1:34 PM

Hi,
I've been looking at new cameras since insurance will pay out (Yay!) for damaged camera (see previous topic) but unsure what to go for.
I think I've narrowed it down to Sony a58 or Canon 700D, both get about the smnae in reviews. The Sony is cheaper but does that mean "cheaper" or just less expensive?
Advice would be appreciated please?

I am a pleasure/amateur photgrapher but have an "official" wedding photo shoot coming up.

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franken
franken e2 Member 113056 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jul 2013 - 1:53 PM

Both are Highly recommended in the EPZ reviews so it's a matter of choice or what feels comfortable in your hands really.

What may feel comfortable to hold for some people may not for others.

I notice that the Sony has a plastic lens mount and that should be ok under normal usage.

Ken

MichaelMelb_AU
21 Jul 2013 - 2:18 PM

Both are very decent cameras. And some time ago I was standing before the same sort of choice. The main differences as for me are that Sony is a SLT camera (means electronic viewfinder) and has sensor shift stabilization. Those can be seen as advantages or drawbacks - depending on your preferences. Sensor shift image stabilization allows to put any lens on the camera and still have image stabilized, yet said to be not as effective as optical image stabilization employed with Canon DSLRs. Electronic viewfinder copies the picture from the camera sensor - and thus allows for rough WISYWIG (with some limitations in manual mode and difficult lighting conditions), is more informative than optical viewfinder and preserves the eyesight should you have a direct shot into the Sun - even if the camera gets damaged. Canon's optical viewfinder is much smoother, not limited by digital resolution and dynamic range - which means seeing everything, from sunlit spots to deep shadows details. And it works even with camera off.
In short - I see Sony as an excellent overall camera for an amateur who shoots occasionally and does not experiment much with low light or any other challenging lighting.
Canon is a "classic" DSLR and as such is good for practically everything - however requires expensive lenses to truly shine.
At the end I chose Canon, and your choice is entirely up to you.

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 21 Jul 2013 - 2:19 PM
kodachrome
21 Jul 2013 - 5:44 PM

Why an A-58. Have a look for a A-57 or even an A37 [Much better cameras in my view, but are now discontinued] which got rave reviews from numerous well respected review sites.
The A-37 in particular exhibited a Jpeg performance equal to the NEX-5N, same processor and engine.

MM is right about Canon, but some review sites are not scoring the 700D as high as previous models. Great cameras never the less. I chose Sony because of all the legacy Minolta glass that can be found quite cheaply. You must also consider if you like or don't like an electronic view finder or you prefer an optical one. You need to look and handle these cameras. Forget all the hype and advertising, just make your own mind up by trying them out in the shop.

Steppenwolf
22 Jul 2013 - 8:28 AM

It depends on whether you want an SLT or a DSLR - they're very different. I've used both an SLT (A77) and various DSLRs and I prefer the SLT because it has some significant advantages.

- The EVF allows you to see what the picture is going to look like (e.g. you can check the exposure). It also allows a larger image and more data.
- There's no moving mirror so there's no camera-induced shake when you take the photo.
- They seem to be less susceptible to the focusing problems that plague DSLRs (FF/BF) probably because there are no moving parts - there's a good article about this on photoclubalpha. Mine's certainly pretty spot on.
- They're much better for video - obviously the OVF on the DSLR is useless during video whereas the SLT functions like a dedicated video camera.

The main drawback of the SLT is that 25% of the light is diverted to the AF sensor so that light is lost. However, it's quite likely that, in the near (?) future, Sony will dispense with the SLT mirror and put the PDAF into the sensor, which would be very nice.

In the Sony image stabilisation is done via the moving sensor, which is good because all your lenses get stabilised - even old Minolta ones. It has been said that this is not as effective as in-lens IS but there has never been any proof of this. The manufacturers' claims are the same for both systems - about 2-4 stops depending on conditions. Certainly the early examples of in-camera IS were much less effective than the latest versions. That's another advantage of in-camera IS - every time you buy a new body you get updated IS.

jon gopsill
jon gopsill e2 Member 9jon gopsill vcard England
22 Jul 2013 - 2:29 PM

Hmm, thanks guys. Still thinking about it (and waiting for funds to materialise) so will go and get my grubby little hands on few cameras and make final decision then! Got ot admit that the one thing I feel let down by my Sony is it's low light performance, particularly the auto focus. More than once I have had to shine a torch to get any sort of idea about sharp focus. Has this improved on newer Sony's?

Steppenwolf
22 Jul 2013 - 3:43 PM


Quote: Hmm, thanks guys. Still thinking about it (and waiting for funds to materialise) so will go and get my grubby little hands on few cameras and make final decision then! Got ot admit that the one thing I feel let down by my Sony is it's low light performance, particularly the auto focus. More than once I have had to shine a torch to get any sort of idea about sharp focus. Has this improved on newer Sony's?

The low light performance of AF is mostly dependent on the maximum aperture of the lens you have attached. You're not going to find much difference between the various camera DSLR/SLT brands (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax) in terms of performance - and that goes for AF, image quality, etc. The differences are to be found in usability. But AF continues to improve with every new generation, just like the sensors and the CPU speed. I haven't noticed any problems with AF on the A77.

jon gopsill
jon gopsill e2 Member 9jon gopsill vcard England
22 Jul 2013 - 6:42 PM

Thanks Steppenwolf, most helpful! I think I might be swayed by Sony as I already have the lenses but may go for A65 instead (a lot depends on how much money I can scrape from down the back of the sofa!) Wink

Steppenwolf
23 Jul 2013 - 9:36 AM

The A65 is a bit of a bargain. I would have gone for that instead of the A77 but, after having various DSLRs with focus problems, I decided that I wanted the AF micro-tune feature which isn't on the A65. In accordance with Sod's Law, of course, I've found that I don't need to use the micro-tuning.

MichaelMelb_AU
23 Jul 2013 - 3:21 PM

If you have a decent collection of lenses - it would be a wise decision to stay with the same brand of camera. But, as you wrote about focusing issues in low light, it may be interesting to you to know of new hybrid AF system employed in live view mode of EOS700D. It also can be found in A99. Unfortunately A99 is in much higher price bracket, so you may want to have a look at NEX5R or NEX6 - if you don't mind CSCs.

Steppenwolf
23 Jul 2013 - 4:00 PM


Quote: But, as you wrote about focusing issues in low light, it may be interesting to you to know of new hybrid AF system employed in live view mode of EOS700D. It also can be found in A99. Unfortunately A99 is in much higher price bracket, so you may want to have a look at NEX5R or NEX6 - if you don't mind CSCs.

The in-sensor PDAF offered by the Canon 700D is nothing to do with improving focusing in low light. In fact it's probably worse than the 700D's separate AF sensor at focusing in low light - or any other light for that matter. Canon have not yet got this technology working very well. They need to take a look at Nikon or Sony's implementations.

The reason that Canon have included this feature is basically an attempt to improve AF in video mode when the separate AF sensor is taken out of play and you have only the Liveview to rely on and CDAF. I suppose it's slightly better than nothing but it doesn't compare with the SLT implementation which has full-time PDAF via its separate sensor. And, of course, the SLT has the design advantage that anything in the LCD liveview can be seen in the EVF at the press of a button - in any mode. These features would cost a fortune on a DSLR.

Last Modified By Steppenwolf at 23 Jul 2013 - 4:07 PM
MichaelMelb_AU
23 Jul 2013 - 11:48 PM

In my practical experience in low light phase detection autofocus is better than contrast detection. I write from what I have seen and tried.

Quote:
The in-sensor PDAF offered by the Canon 700D is nothing to do with improving focusing in low light. In fact it's probably worse than the 700D's separate AF sensor at focusing in low light - or any other light for that matter. Canon have not yet got this technology working very well. They need to take a look at Nikon or Sony's implementations...

Would be nice to see where tis one came from - I haven't met an article with this statement yet, but that might be true - considering Sony implementing the feature in it's top of the range cameras ( seriously increase price applies!). So, either well-known entry level SLTs - or hybrid AF.

Quote: ...I suppose it's slightly better than nothing but it doesn't compare with the SLT implementation which has full-time PDAF via its separate sensor. And, of course, the SLT has the design advantage that anything in the LCD liveview can be seen in the EVF at the press of a button - in any mode. These features would cost a fortune on a DSLR.

Canon has full-time PDAF with it's very bright optical viewfinder - for ages, and all light from the lens comes to it, not just a fraction of it from semi-transparent mirror. No wonder it focuses in a snap even at the dusk.Does not cost a fortune either.

Steppenwolf
24 Jul 2013 - 9:15 AM


Quote:
Would be nice to see where tis one came from - I haven't met an article with this statement yet



Read the DPR preview of the 700D. Canon says it's primarily for video.


Quote:
Canon has full-time PDAF with it's very bright optical viewfinder - for ages, and all light from the lens comes to it, not just a fraction of it from semi-transparent mirror. No wonder it focuses in a snap even at the dusk.Does not cost a fortune either.

You're confused again. Firstly DSLRs do not have full-time PDAF - the AF sensor is taken out of play when the mirror moves, which is for a significant fraction of a second, and it's one reason why the tracking performance of SLTs is better than that of DSLRs. Secondly the PDAF sensor in the DSLR doesn't receive "all light from lens". Most of the light goes to the eyepiece. I'm not sure what the split is but I doubt that the AF sensor is getting more than 25% of the light, though I can't find any figures for this.

Turning a DSLR into a serious usable video tool actually does cost a lot of money. Much has been made of the fact that Canon 5Ds have been used for shooting TV shows (such as House). However, if you look at the "rig" they use for this purpose the 5D is a tiny component, surrounded by external attachments such as EVF and focusing equipment, etc. It's basically no longer a DSLR. In fact Canon now market a video camera derived from the 5D, which has all this stuff combined into one unit - and there's no reflex mirror included. It also costs well over 10k.

By contrast the SLT functions as a perfectly usable video camera straight out of the box.

Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2013 - 9:38 AM

Think if it were me I'd plump for the Canon purely because of the choice of both Canon and generic lenses available which has the edge over thy Sony. But if you already have sony kit, then it would have to be the Sony, it's an expensive ball game changing all your glass....

Steppenwolf
24 Jul 2013 - 2:19 PM


Quote: Think if it were me I'd plump for the Canon purely because of the choice of both Canon and generic lenses available which has the edge over thy Sony. But if you already have sony kit, then it would have to be the Sony, it's an expensive ball game changing all your glass....

Canon has a bigger range of lenses - no doubt about it - but the Sony range has been expanding fairly rapidly and now has most bases covered (have a look on WEX). What's more, most of these are newly designed digital lenses whereas a lot of the Canon range have been around a long time (e.g. compare the Canon 100-400 L with the new Sony 70-400 G - no contest). The old stuff, which Sony discontinued when they bought Minolta, can be bought s/h in Minolta AF form. And, of course, Sony/Minolta have the only 500mm AF IS (in-camera) mirror lens ever made - sadly no longer made but available s/h at a gradually increasing price.

Last Modified By Steppenwolf at 24 Jul 2013 - 2:25 PM

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