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So, here's the dilemma.
I have a Sony A200. It is OK. Takes decent photos. But it is old, & I could do with a spare body. Preferably with some useful features, maybe live view, mirror lock, etc. A full frame sensor would be great, but have you seen the prices???
Anyway, I have 3 lenses. A sony flash. Various filters, etc.
Sense says buy another Sony body...
But I really like the look of Nikon.
Of course that means a body and lens, as there is no adaptor to fit a Sony lens to a Nikon.
The budget can't exceed £1,000 (I haven't even told the boss it might be that much yet...), and I am not really keen on buying 2nd hand.
Does anyone know the market & specs well enough to give me some idea what I should be looking at?
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I would suggest sticking with Sony as you are familiar and have the lenses already. Secondhand needn't be traumatic if you go to a reputable dealer. If you have one nearby, go and try them out and see which you get on with best. There is no substitute for handling them first, then consider secondhand after you have chosen which model you like.
Bear in mind that many Nikons use Sony sensors but with different processing engines.
Sony offers autofocus versions of the superb Zeiss lenses whereas the Zeiss ZF are manual focus only. The old Minolta optics are probably as good as Nikon but not quite as rugged.
One major difference is that Nikon does a far wider range of lenses and they're available to hire as well as buy. Sony isn't quite as mainstream.
While i agree with Sooty in that it may be worth sticking with Sony due to the fact you already have lenses, i would say it really depends on the lenses you have. If they are quality lenses, then great, but if you have maybe one or two 'kit' (basic) lenses then i wouldnt let that hold you back from investing elsewhere.
While Sony have introduced a good range of lenses and accessories, it still falls far short of what is available for the likes of Nikon (or Canon (eeewww)) both in the new market and the second hand market. Find the body that suits your needs, think about where you want to take your photography in the future (with regards to future upgrades - full frame, etc) and build your kit around that
One thing that worries me about buying 2nd hand is that you just can't tell how much use a Sony has had. Nikon, Canon et al embed the number of shutter ops in the exif info, except Sony...
Quote: One thing that worries me about buying 2nd hand is that you just can't tell how much use a Sony has had. Nikon, Canon et al embed the number of shutter ops in the exif info, except Sony...
Good point. I picked up a second hand D200, grip and lens a few years ago as a spare and was able to check the shutter count and the lifespan of the batteries. Its still working perfectly
Some good advice there, yes, Nikon has a huge range of lenses, but just how many do you need?
I use a Nikon D5100 with a Nikkor 18-105 and 16-85 and this combination is ideal for my kind of photography.
However, my wife recently got herself a Sony Alpha A37 with the basic 18-55 kit lens [its half the weight of my Nikon with lens], and in all honesty, it has many more useful features at the press of a button than my Nikon does, not to mention the fact that IQ is just as good.
The Fn button [placed in a much better position than the Nikon] alone brings on screen and on the EVF, all the usefull settings that the Nikon does not do.
I am very tempted to jump ship to Sony.
Check the reviews on the A37 and Sony Alpha lenses, they are as good as the rivals, not to mention a route into the great Carl Zeiss range of lenses.
The trouble with buying Nikon is that you really need to get the D7000 at minimum (about £700) or you end up being short-changed on features (no in-body lens motors, bracketting, etc). But why buy a D7000 when you can get an A65 for less than £600 which has the latest Sony 24Mp APS-C sensor and the state of the art XGA OLED EVF. You'll find everything is a big improvement on the A200 - faster, lower noise, more accurate focus, better image stabilisation, more features, bigger viewfinder which can be used to focus accurately manually, etc etc. I've got the A77 and it's a serious bit of kit, although it takes weeks to find out everything it can do. The video is fantastic too.
If you're going to switch systems then why pick an SLR? There are all the CSCs like the M4/3 and NEX. The NEX-6 looks very interesting with its new hybrid focus system (phase detection embedded in the sensor) - not many lenses yet, but it's a really neat little camera.
Steppenwolf, I was looking at the A77 earlier, but the reviews I read complained a lot about noise at "higher" ISO. What ISO do you use> Have you found any problems with that?
Also, are the A65 and A77 full frame?
Oops. Just re-read that. They both have APS-C sensors. I'm still interested to hear about the noise, and maybe sensor cleaning too. The A200 has big problems there...
Quote: Steppenwolf, I was looking at the A77 earlier, but the reviews I read complained a lot about noise at "higher" ISO. What ISO do you use> Have you found any problems with that?
The "slam dunk" or (in Sony terminology) "disruptive" thing about the A77 was the very high megapixel count (24Mp). As you almost certainly know there is a long held belief that if you increase the Mp count (using the same size sensor) you get more noise. Except you don't. It's true that if you look at the image of, say, a 16Mp Sony camera (e.g. A57) and compare it with the same image of a 24Mp Sony camera (e.g. A65), you'll find that - at the pixel level - the 16Mp picture is less noisy. There is no way that this could not be true (unless the 24Mp sensor was radically more sensitive than the 16Mp sensor, which it isn't) because the smaller pixels of the 24Mp sensor individually gather less light. So, if the reviewer (as even DPR does), takes the same picture with a 16Mp camera and a 24Mp camera and then shows you the same crop of the two images (remember that the 24Mp picture will be bigger) the 24Mp image will appear less noisy. But - and it's a big "but" - when you resize the images the noise is the same. If you look at the two images at the same size the noise is the same.
So the higher Mp cameras are being penalised for showing more detail. DPR explained this in a bit more detail when they reviewed the A77:
A77 v A55
Obviously they're using a very high ISO (12800) but basically the A77 (or the A65 which has the same sensor/processing) is no more noisy than the Sony 16Mp cameras or the Nikon D7000 (which uses the Sony 16Mp sensor) except if you look at the image at pixel level. (Of course the SLT diverts 25% of the light to the AF sensor which the DSLR doesn't, so that needs to factored in). Noise is not an issue. I went from an A700 to the A77. The a700 would shoot ISO800 without problems but not much higher. The A77 easily shoots ISO1600 and ISO 3200 is also fine most of the time.
As for sensor cleaning I've not had to do that yet. All interchangeable lens cameras have this potential problem and Sony (SLT or otherwise) are no different.
Quote: So, if the reviewer (as even DPR does), takes the same picture with a 16Mp camera and a 24Mp camera and then shows you the same crop of the two images (remember that the 24Mp picture will be bigger) the 24Mp image will appear less noisy.
Should read "24Mp image will appear more noisy" of course - won't let me edit.
Guys - Thanks so much. I think I am sorted now. I will stick with Sony. I just wish I could rate all your comments as VERY helpful
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