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Upgrade Platform or Reuse? (A33 A390 D3100)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I owned a Sony A200 DSLR until about a month ago, when I decided it was time to move up in the world. I sold my A200 on Amazon, with the intent on getting a Sony A390 since I was already somewhat invested in Sony A Mount glass.

Over the past couple weeks I started considering the SLTA33L, reading reviews that suggested it was more revolution than evolution in terms of DSLR technology.

Today I went to Best Buy to see how various camera fit in my hands, and found myself loving the feel of 60D and D3100, to a lesser extent. Would it be worth it to sell off my Sony/Minolta lenses and equipment and move to a different platform? I cannot get my hands on a Sony A33 so I don't know how it'll feel yet.

Lenses and Equipment I already have:
50mm F1.7
Sony SAM 55-200mm F4-5.6
Minolta 35-70 F4
Bower Type 99 Flash

I don't want to spend more than $700, but I suppose my Sony equipment could bring about $250 more to the table.
Edited by jadawgis732 - 5/5/11 at 5:11pm
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post #2 of 18
canon and nikon both offer a larger library of lenses and accessories and they both have really competitive products.

the d3100 is actually a lower end body (similar to your a200) so some features are missing (bracketing for instance).

60d is more in line with the sony a55 or a580 bodies, it offers more features then your a200 and also has the same sensor as the 7d which is a pretty good sensor.

a33 is getting replace actually by the a35 so you probably can pick up it up for cheaper. it "revolutionary" cause of its mirror so you can get AF all the time and FPS burst speed, but it also has its drawbacks, mainly ghosting issues and some people dont like the electronic viewfinder.

get hold of an a33 then decide if it feels comfortable in your hand. if it doesnt then get the 60d. i wouldnt really look into the d3100 as an upgrade to the a200.
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Do you know where could I get a hold of an A33 in New Jersey?

EDIT: OMG How do you like that Zeiss Lens? Do you use any others that duplicate the range?

Also, your glass collection is the object of my affection. Beercan? Samyang Macro? Could you give the amount you paid and a few words on each? You'd totally earn yourself an IOU BJ if you're into that sort of thing. (Kidding. Kind of.)
Edited by jadawgis732 - 5/5/11 at 7:27pm
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post #4 of 18
I'd go A33 if I was you. It's actually quite a bad ass camera. How many stops does the glass create?
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post #5 of 18
According to the review on the a55 on dpreview, the mirror is 70% transmissive, so apx 1/3 of a stop is lost.
post #6 of 18
Yeah, it is 70%. I just couldn't figure out how to translate that into stops. Wow! I thought it was going to be like a full stop or something.. I really think this is the way of the future, especially in the way of AF video. I've never seen through the VF though, It's probably quite dark.
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadawgis732 View Post
Do you know where could I get a hold of an A33 in New Jersey?

EDIT: OMG How do you like that Zeiss Lens? Do you use any others that duplicate the range?

Also, your glass collection is the object of my affection. Beercan? Samyang Macro? Could you give the amount you paid and a few words on each? You'd totally earn yourself an IOU BJ if you're into that sort of thing. (Kidding. Kind of.)
i dont know the east coast very well, but theres BH at NY.

not thanks on that IOU BJ....but i can tell you how much i paid and what i think about each lens.

tamron 17-35 bought it used off KEH for around 300. was considering the zeiss 1635 but notice i mostly use the wide end (17-20mm) so theres no point to pay 4 times as much for 2.8 on a range i dont really use. fairly sharp lens.

minolta 50/1.4 bought it off adorama for 80 bucks. had sticky aperture blades but it was a easy fix. i dotn use it much but its soft at 1.4 and gets sharp pass f1.8

zeiss 24-70 new form sony for 1600. love the color, sharpness and "micro contrast" but hate the weight distribution. if you have used the canon 24-70L the 24-70 zeiss is way way front heavy. razer sharp wideopen, this lens made me stay sony instead of jumping to canon.

beercan used craigslist 170. love the color and its a fairly sharp lens. great portrait lens. decent sharpness wideopen gets really sharp after f8. tehres some CA problems wideopen gone by around f8.

85 samyang 200 i think from overstock. was thinking about the zeiss/sigma but decided to get this since i dont use it much. sharp but theres some CA wideopen.

14 samyang 300 overstock. fun lens, used it a few times but its a bit hard to focus without a screen. horrible distortions (kinda expected at 14mm) and is pretty sharp wideopen. surprisingly doesnt flare that badly with such a huge chunk of glass as the front element.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane1244 View Post
Yeah, it is 70%. I just couldn't figure out how to translate that into stops. Wow! I thought it was going to be like a full stop or something.. I really think this is the way of the future, especially in the way of AF video. I've never seen through the VF though, It's probably quite dark.
the VF is electronic so its bright, its gets a bit grainy when it gets dark tho. its nice cause its 100% VF.
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
@MZ-n10 thanks a bunch for the lens breakdown. So I take it you basically switch between the Zeiss and the Beercan? When you say you decided to get the Samyang 85mm over the Sigma and Zeiss what do you mean? I would think the prices would be like $250, $250, $1250 for Samyang, Sigma, Zeiss? I wouldn't think they'd be in the same ballpark.

So I bit. It's quite small but maybe I can get used to it. The battery comes charged to precisely 0% of its capacity. So I haven't been able to use it beyond in the store (The Photo Center in Brick NJ). I loved the EVF, and hated the 18-55. From 18-35 it felt like the gears had been removed and from 35-55 it felt like glue.

Needless to say I got the body-only version. It has a 7 day return period (kinda crappy, but perhaps that's standard with photography equipment?). If I can't get used to the grip- or find an extended one (there has to be one, right?) I will return it. To give you an idea of how small it is here is an image. My hand dwarfs this thing and the grip fails to accommodate my pinky which I see as a potential deal breaker. Like I said though, I'll see if I can get used to it or find alternatives.



A couple hours later, after snapping about 100 images, I can say I have mixed feelings on the EVF. It's very artificial and in thinking about it I could compare it to thinking about eating highly genetically modified food. There's something inherently unsound about looking through the eyepiece at a digital representation of what's coming through the lens. It's grainy in low light, looking through it at the screen of my AV receiver reveals a periodic moving line, like you might see when QVC or the Home Shopping Network is selling a computer and frequently filming the display. There is also a pixelated rainbow effect when you move your eyes around within the EVF.

I am a bit worried about the 1/3 loss of a stop. Using a 50mm F1.7 on this shows significantly worse low light performance than my A200 did. That could be that I'm not comparing identical lighting situations or that I just haven't figured out how to produce good low light performance yet.

I've gotten used to the small size, and the on screen UI is great. Having your 2 second image review pop up in the EVF would be okay if it didn't hurt my eyes so much (must adjust diopter- perhaps that's why.) The tech is clearly better than my A200 and a lot of improvement has been made. The eyepiece is a bit unyielding, and I may have to look into getting a softer eyepiece for it, if it continues to violently stab my eye socket.

More info forthcoming.

Question: Top Nikon lenses seem to be the Nikkor VR II (correct me if I'm wrong here). But I am wondering if the 18-55 kit lens is of a high quality too. Looking at the weight of the Sony lenses in the included literature seems like the 18-55 is half the weight of almost every other Sony lens and this make me think it sucks. I don't own it- I am looking at the 18-125 Sigma Aspherical F3.5-5.6 for everyday use, but I may want to do a 180 and not go down this road if some of the A33 issues cannot be overlooked, or redeeming factors found.
Edited by jadawgis732 - 5/7/11 at 12:19am
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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadawgis732 View Post
@MZ-n10 thanks a bunch for the lens breakdown. So I take it you basically switch between the Zeiss and the Beercan? When you say you decided to get the Samyang 85mm over the Sigma and Zeiss what do you mean? I would think the prices would be like $250, $250, $1250 for Samyang, Sigma, Zeiss? I wouldn't think they'd be in the same ballpark.
no, not really. on a daily basis 90% of the time i use the 24-70m the remaining 10% is the tamron 17-35 or the 50mm. i dont carry all my lenses with me unless i plan to use them.

the sigma 85/1.4 is close to 1000usd which is why i bought the samyang. i cant really justify spending 1k on a lens i use a couple of times a year.

but i am considering buying a 70-400G for track duty....

Quote:
Needless to say I got the body-only version. It has a 7 day return period (kinda crappy, but perhaps that's standard with photography equipment?). If I can't get used to the grip- or find an extended one (there has to be one, right?) I will return it. To give you an idea of how small it is here is an image. My hand dwarfs this thing and the grip fails to accommodate my pinky which I see as a potential deal breaker. Like I said though, I'll see if I can get used to it or find alternatives.
if you find the a33 uncomfortable then i would suggest you to return it and just get the 60d. i would advise against the d3100 cause its roughly the same size as the a33/a55. other then AF during video there really isnt anything the a33 does better then the 60d. but its to be expected since teh 60d is a higher class (closer to the a700 or a77 when that comes out)

Quote:
A couple hours later, after snapping about 100 images, I can say I have mixed feelings on the EVF. It's very artificial and in thinking about it I could compare it to thinking about eating highly genetically modified food. There's something inherently unsound about looking through the eyepiece at a digital representation of what's coming through the lens. It's grainy in low light, looking through it at the screen of my AV receiver reveals a periodic moving line, like you might see when QVC or the Home Shopping Network is selling a computer and frequently filming the display. There is also a pixelated rainbow effect when you move your eyes around within the EVF.

I am a bit worried about the 1/3 loss of a stop. Using a 50mm F1.7 on this shows significantly worse low light performance than my A200 did. That could be that I'm not comparing identical lighting situations or that I just haven't figured out how to produce good low light performance yet.

the a33 and a55 sensor is actually one of the lowest noise aps-c sensor on the market, you might have the iso on auto or something.

Quote:
Question: Top Nikon lenses seem to be the Nikkor VR II (correct me if I'm wrong here). But I am wondering if the 18-55 kit lens is of a high quality too. Looking at the weight of the Sony lenses in the included literature seems like the 18-55 is half the weight of almost every other Sony lens and this make me think it sucks. I don't own it- I am looking at the 18-125 Sigma Aspherical F3.5-5.6 for everyday use, but I may want to do a 180 and not go down this road if some of the A33 issues cannot be overlooked, or redeeming factors found.
there's no nikon nomenclature equivalent to G/Zeiss/L. they dont market their highend lenses with a special name. but typically anything with ED glass (gold ring) is higher end.
VRII is just their in lens image stabilization system, sony dslr lenses dont have this cause our bodies are stabilized not lenses.

the sony 18-55 is actually a really really good lens. significantly better then the 17-80 or whatever the kit lens is for the a200.
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz-n10 View Post
the VF is electronic so its bright, its gets a bit grainy when it gets dark tho. its nice cause its 100% VF.
I thought the whole point of the mirror was to have a optical one..? :S
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