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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:08 am 
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Location: Australia
At the moment I would like to get a new camera and upgrade from my aging Konica/Minolta 5d. Just when I was going to get the A700 it was discontinued so I decided to wait for the replacement. :)
At the monment months have gone by Sony have released about 6 new cameras but no A700 replacement. :cry:
I'm starting to believe the A550 is the A700 replacent due to similar specs. :?: The ony thing that is holding me back at the moment is my collection of CF cards and Sony will probably release the A700 replacement soon as I buy the A550. :o
I can't afford the full frame cameras at the moment but I would like a better camera than what I have?
Can anybody help?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:20 am 
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garymc45 wrote:
At the monment months have gone by Sony have released about 6 new cameras but no A700 replacement. :cry:
I'm starting to believe the A550 is the A700 replacent due to similar specs. :?: The ony thing that is holding me back at the moment is my collection of CF cards and Sony will probably release the A700 replacement soon as I buy the A550. :o


If there's a model designed to replace A700, there's no guarantee that it will still be using CF cards.

SD cards are getting the popularity. Sony's Memory Stick PRO Duo is not that bad (I recommend getting the HG high speed version.)

If you need a new camera and you think A550 suits you, get it. Otherwise wait for another model.

There's always something new coming out.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:39 am 
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the main different between A700 or its successor might be in the build quality. I think A550 is a very capable camera. I read that the image quality is very good.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:14 am 
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Does the A550 give you enough of a feature set to be happy? If yes, go for it.

Since I gave up waiting for the A700 replacement I've bought 2 Canon bodies... just as well I didn't wait. While every day would bring it closer, there's still no serious rumours at all about its release. Either it is still not near, or Sony have got security up. Hard to tell...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:03 am 
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I have no desire to change camera brands as you can see I have to much invested in Konica/Minolta, Sony camera lenses etc.
I am still in two minds about the A550, but as I do a lot of wildlife photography, the 7fps would be nice plus the 14 meg camera over my 6 meg would be sweet. The only thing I need to think about the A550, if I get the camera should it be body only or with the standard lens?

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Lens Minolta AF 75-300 f4.5 / 5.6 Lens
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Lens
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:16 am 
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Wasn't suggesting a change of brands, but illustrating how long Sony have taken over the A700 replacement. They sure are taking their time on it, hence saying earlier if the A550 does the job, might as well go for it.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:13 pm 
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garymc45 wrote:
I have no desire to change camera brands as you can see I have to much invested in Konica/Minolta, Sony camera lenses etc.
I am still in two minds about the A550, but as I do a lot of wildlife photography, the 7fps would be nice plus the 14 meg camera over my 6 meg would be sweet. The only thing I need to think about the A550, if I get the camera should it be body only or with the standard lens?


I suggest to take the standard lens because there is not much on price difference and it will make a good backup.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:24 pm 
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since you already have 2 lenses in the wide - telephoto range, I'd get a fast prime.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:29 pm 
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The A550 is a very capable camera that will suit your needs for the coming years. The A700 is still not going to be around for quite some time, so if a new camera is what you need most, more than some fast glass or extra accessories, then I'd say: Go get it!

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:04 am 
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I have decided to get the A550 with the standard zoom lens.
I had a talk to the salesperson at the camera shop and he has told me Sony will phase out the Memory Stick Pro slot and with the exception of high end cameras all the new cameras will use SD cards.
Thank you for the help and comments and now I have to wait for the camera to be in stock as the local camera store don't keep Sony cameras in stock because Sony Australia "is hard to deal with".
Thats the problem of living in small country towns in Australia there is not alot of choice.

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Sony Alpha A550
Sony DT 18 - 55mm F3.5 - 5.6 Lens
Konica Minolta DYNAX 5D
Minolta AF 28-80 f3.5 /5.6 Lens
Minolta AF APO 100-400 f4.5 / 6.7 Lens
Lens Minolta AF 75-300 f4.5 / 5.6 Lens
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Lens
Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di
Sony 50MM F2.8 Macro Lens
Minolta 3600 HS Flash
Sigma EM-140 DG Ring Flash
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-70 Lens f3.5 / 5.6
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:25 am 
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Great Decision...Congrats!!! A550 is always a good camera. If you wish you could still wait for a replacement of A700 :P but we really do not know when, in which form and how it will evolve. LOL

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:35 am 
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garymc45 wrote:
Thank you for the help and comments and now I have to wait for the camera to be in stock as the local camera store don't keep Sony cameras in stock because Sony Australia "is hard to deal with".
Thats the problem of living in small country towns in Australia there is not alot of choice.
A few shops told me that Sony Australia cancelled their license because they did not sell enough Sony cameras.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Congrats on the new purchase - I was going to come in here and advise, but you've come to a decision already.

I would point out, just so you don't experience any disappointments, that the A550 really isn't an A700 replacement. I think that was the root of some long, nasty debates on other forums that ended up getting the A550 some stupid and mean word-of-mouth.

The A700 has a more 'pro' interface, and a few features that either extreme pros or folks who take very specific types of photos might value - the dual control wheels, the direct access menu, weather sealing, MLU, DOF preview, and AE toggle. This doesn't mean better or worse than A550, just that it is built with a slightly different intent and generally marketed to semi-pro to pro photogs (even if many of the users aren't).

That said, the A550 has its own slate of features which the A700 doesn't have, that some may find valuable or even crucial in a new camera - HDR mode, live view, manual focus main-sensor live view, and tiltable LCD.

My own personal experience with the A550, which I've owned since the beginning of November, has been excellent. The build quality is very good - no flex, squeaks, etc. The focus speed is excellent - super fast and accurate. The ergonomics work perfectly for me - excellent grip, AE-L button where it should be, Fn menu very well laid out for fast settings changes, dedicated ISO, DRO, drive mode buttons. Burst shooting is shocking if you're not used to it - 5fps tracks beautifully in AF-C mode and is very fast, and the sped-up 7fps mode is pure machine gun. IQ is great in good light, and even better in low light...high ISO performance extremely good - noise is very small and uniform, mostly lumi with very little chroma, and NR works effectively on in-camera JPEGs. I personally use up to ISO6400 regularly and with confidence...ISO12800 in a pinch for emergencies. Battery life is forever. White balance is very good and accurate. Metering is reliable - seems to lean towards a slight overexposure, meaning dialing in -1/3 or so gives perfect metering. DRO advanced mode is excellent with dynamic range in challenging light, and HDR mode is even better...not only in increasing dynamic range in shadows with no noise, but also for reducing noise and increasing detail at high ISOs by stacking two frames (not an advertised function, but works a charm!).

Hopefully your experience will be as good as mine - look forward to seeing how you do with the new cam. Don't think of it as an A700 replacement though - think of it as an advanced entry-level/ entry-enthusiast cam with some seriously trick toys and nice standard features.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:42 am 
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Location: Australia
Well my new A550 arrived on Friday Morning 12-02-10. :P
I charged up the battery and off I went. 8)
The only problem has been the weather for, 4 days straight it has been hot, humid and raining. :cry:
Well this Saturday I plan to drive the 300kms to the Melbourne Zoo if the weather is good. :) I will be have both cameras and all my gear with me so there will be plenty of photos. :wink:

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Sony Alpha A550
Sony DT 18 - 55mm F3.5 - 5.6 Lens
Konica Minolta DYNAX 5D
Minolta AF 28-80 f3.5 /5.6 Lens
Minolta AF APO 100-400 f4.5 / 6.7 Lens
Lens Minolta AF 75-300 f4.5 / 5.6 Lens
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Lens
Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di
Sony 50MM F2.8 Macro Lens
Minolta 3600 HS Flash
Sigma EM-140 DG Ring Flash
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-70 Lens f3.5 / 5.6
Lowepro Off Road Bag
Lowepro Omni Trekker Bag
Lowepro Top Loader Zoom 2
Lowepro Vertex 300 AW


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Sony apparently has a weather curse. Any time I buy some Sony branded DSLR accessory, we get biblical quantities of rain :lol: . There is a drought locally, so maybe I should buy a lens soon to help out :D

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