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Which DSLR Camera do you prefer?
Sony Alpha A55 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D 89%  89%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 9
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:34 am 
Hello all!

I'm new to photography! I have always wanted to jump into it but never had the extra cash to do so. Well, now that I can buy one for about $50...lol j/k I mean around $700-$900. I wanted a camera that will last me a long time. Not having to go back and buy the next model for the same price because it puts mine to shame. (This usually happens with cell phones >.<)

I was looking at the Canon T3i and it seems to be by far perfect for me. However, I also noticed the Sony Alpha A55 is faster which is a plus in taking action photos. I want to take photos of every kind, fast motion, landscape, at night, daylight and so on with great sharp quality photos.
I can't wait to see a video review from camera labs on the Alpha 55 but with not many current/good reviews on the Alpha 55 I'm unsure which one to go for. Can you give me some suggestions and your experience with the two? Also, does anyone know when camera labs will publish a video review on the Alpha55?

Also, the one thing I dislike about the Alpha 55 is the display swivels down but not to the left like the t3i. I would like to take photos of my husband and I but I would love to see if we are in focus by looking at the display pointing towards us. Can you tell me your experience with the Alpha 55 display being down?

Or will there be a better one for the same price coming for 2012?

I appreciate all your feedback! Thanks for taking the time to help me! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
I have little hands-on experience with the a55 but if sharp quality images are a must, you should be looking at the lens(es) too. The sharpness of the image tends to be determined more by the lens than the body.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:15 am 
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
Dasadorah wrote:
Or will there be a better one for the same price coming for 2012?
That's very likely - Canon upgrades their Rebels about every year.

In march 2008 they released the 450D, may 2009 the 500D (T1i), february 2010 the 550D (T2i), february 2011 the 600D (T3i), now we can expect a new rebel this year. But personally I'd expect the 650D in the second half of this year and as the 600D is a pretty nice camera, I wouldn't wait for the replacement.

I can't talk about the Sony as I don't really know anything about it.

_________________
Canon EOS 500D + Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EOS 33v
Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:00 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Both fine cameras. The differences will mostly come down to particular features, how they both handle in your hand, and price - you won't go wrong with either one, so figure out if either camera has some particular feature you really want or need that the other doesn't...that can help you decide. Or whether one feels comfortable in hand and the other not so much.

You asked about the LCD display on the Sony - it does actually have the ability to face forward for self-portrait work - it tilts down 180 degrees (under the camera), and can then swivel 180 degrees to face front or back. If you were hand-holding the camera to take photos of yourself, no problem with either camera. The only downside to the Sony design is if you intended to take a self-portrait with the camera on a tripod, as the LCD screen is pointing towards you from under the camera, which would be partially blocked by the tripod head...though tilting the camera to portrait position on the tipod could make a bit more of the screen visible.

Remember too that there is a difference between the two cameras when used in 'live view' mode, which is when you are looking at the LCD screen. The Canon is a traditional DSLR, so it is designed to be used with an optical viewfinder and traditional mirror - when you switch to 'live view' to view the scene on the LCD panel, the camera has to flip up the mirror inside (which is providing the view for the optical viewfinder and also to the autofocus sensors off a secondary mirror), and use the main sensor to feed the view. When doing this, it can no longer use its focus sensors without flipping the mirror back down, focusing, and flipping it back up again....or it has to use contrast-detection focus off the main sensor, which is much slower especially in low light. Both processes mean the time to focus, and the time between pressing the shutter and getting the shot, can get quite long, with a big delay waiting for the camera to go through the process - sometimes a few seconds or more. The Sony on the other hand is a hybrid design, using a partially transparent fixed mirror. Rather than an optical viewfinder, it uses an electronic one, so it is essentially functioning in 'live view' mode all the time, whether you look through the viewfinder or the LCD. What this means is that the mirror is only feeding data to the autofocus sensors, and doesn't need to flip back and forth, since it's partially transparent. So when switching to the LCD view, the camera doesn't change anything - the view remains live, the focus remains in full phase-detect mode, and no mirror assemblies have to move to fire the shutter. Which means no delay, no loss of focus speed, no mirror movements to refocus - the camera works identically whether working off the viewfinder or the LCD.

This also pays dividends when shooting video with the camera - DSLRs are often touted as being used to film TV shows and movies, and indeed they are - of course, they're attached to full rig systems, focus pullers, external video monitors, etc. costing many times more than the camera...and they're being used by professional cinematographers. The typical consumer who wants to shoot some video of their child often expects a 'camcorder' like experience - press record, follow the subject, and the camera handles exposure and focus. Unfortunately, for the same reasons as the live view mentioned above, DSLRs have that mirror assembly moved out of the way, cutting off the focus sensors, in order to show you a live view (and to shoot video). Which means, you either cannot autofocus at all, or you have a very slow and unreliable contrast-detection based focus working through lenses not designed for that use. The Sony design specifically addresses autofocus during video, as the fixed partially transparent mirror allows full-time phase detect autofocus even while shooting video - meaning superfast, accurate, and reliable focus even in very low light. Professionals who want more specific frame-rate control, aperture control, or slave control may prefer the higher end full frame DSLRs even though they cannot autofocus because they'll be using them in rigs that can focus the camera, and gives them more manual control over the shoot - but for the average consumer, fast autofocus during video is often much more useful, and much more what they might have been expecting just like the old camcorders of the 90s.

Hope that helps explain them a bit!

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Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:30 am 
Wow thanks for taking your time to explain some things for me. All comments provided some nice information. The good news is I have some time to decide. I won't be making the purchase until maybe around summer time. I hope to see this years new camera before I make my purchase and I hope to see some more feedback/review about the Sony.

So far I'm leaning more towards the Canon but I welcome any more additional feedback between the two.

My one other concern with the Canon T3i is cnet.com review on the camera said, it was a bit slow to take photos suddenly and trying to capture action movements. If you had experience with the T3i do you feel it's a bit slow? Speed is also one of my top priorities because every time I try to take a picture of something moving I always seem to miss it. For example my pets do some cute things I attend to miss capturing a picture of.

I'm use to carrying around a point and shoot. Do you ever feel carrying around a DSLR is ever to much? Do you tend to carry it with you every time you go out? I would like to in a way because you never know when something is picture perfect. :) However, I always complain about carrying around a purse larger than a CD case size. I suppose I will need to plan my picture moment trips.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:18 am 
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Posts: 25
Location: United States
As a new Canon T3i w/ 18-55mm kit owner I can say that compared to anything I have used before, it is fast.

My path to the Canon started with a new HD camcorder. It was really nice, but I began thinking about how I've used my older SD camcorder and my earlier digital cameras, mostly point and shoots. Thinking about how much I watched video vs printing and sharing stills, the still won hands down. Video is still something I like, especially for capturing my kids as they grow.

I returned the camcorder and began looking at the Panasonic FZ150. I still own a Olympus C2100UZ which to its credit is still an excellent camera at 2.1MP. I took some great shots with that camera but didn't take the time to learn the ins and outs of f-stop, exposure, etc. The FZ150 seemed like the logical new camera to buy.

The cost of the FZ150 went up due to shortages after the holidays. Continuing to read reviews and lowering costs of the Canon helped push me into the T3i, well that and my brother who has a 7D and years of photography experience.

I have since picked up a bag (Lowepro Nova 160AW), the Canon 55-250 IS lens, and a Zoom H1 recorder among other things. The bag is just big enough for the camera, extra lens, H1, and a few other essentials. It is well padded so I don't feel that it is overly large. Time will tell as I'll be on vacation soon with my 6 and 3yr old's.

Sorry for the lengthy, non-technical story, but I feel I have the best camera for my money now in the T3i. I can say that whatever camera you get, pick up a book to help make the most of your purchase. I have even gone back to my old C2100UZ to see what life it and its f2.8 7-70mm lens have left.

-Kirk


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