Advice for a semi-newbie

Started Oct 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Timmy Fox
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Advice for a semi-newbie
Oct 8, 2012

I'm quite a newbie still to photography. I've been shooting for almost 2 years now, so I've caught most/all of the basics on a decent level; I can understand most, if not all, terms that are used for photography and I understand ISO, SS and Aperture as well as DOF, bokeh, and the rule of thirds.

I'm currently using the NEX-5, mainly using the SAL 55-200 with the EA1 adapter (love this lens) and is considering an upgrade into the alpha line. I'm looking at the a77 with 16-50 kit, though I'm not fully sure yet.

I've touched the a77 in the local store and it seems great. Though the a99 seems to bring a ton of goodies, it's way outside my budget. I'm also wondering if I should perhaps wait a few months? I'm not sure if 2013 might hold quite a bit of goodies and refreshment. Sure the a77 seems like a gem, I feel it may just be worth the wait if they put out something fresh in a similar price range in 2013.

My main attractions to the a77 is the 3-way hinge screen, PDAF, better control due to being a more high-end body and the weather sealing. The EVF also is pretty interesting, yet having learned my way up using nothing but the screen at the back of my NEX 5 I have not much experience with an actual viewfinder and can work perfectly fine with only a live-view screen.

It's quite laughable but the first time I tried an OVF DSLR (Canon 550D) I was quite disappointed I only saw what the lens saw, with no way to preview white balance or anything! Having heard lot of good about the a77 EVF (and having tried it for 5-ish minutes), I'm quite convinced I'll prefer it over an OVF.

Additionally, I've seen quite some mixed opinions on the noise performance of the a77, what's the word on this today? I shoot raw 99% of the time and got Adobe LR4 for post processing.

I'm also looking for some lenses, initially some cheap primes but I'm also looking for some more professional grade ones. For a prime I'm looking mainly at the 35 f1.8. Any input on this one? I've seen mixed reviews on these, positive and negative ones.

I'm also looking to get some lenses from both the wide and the tele ranges. I'm at this point not wanting to sacrifice IQ on something very versatile like an 18-250. However I do want lenses for both ends seeing as I'm pretty attracted to both landscape/nature and some wildlife.

Also looking at the G-series or 70-*00 lenses, I've got one more question. I know the 70-400 has a lot more reach, that the 70-200 has the edge in aperture (constant 2.8) and that the 70-300 is the cheapest of the three, but I'm just wondering: How does these three compare optically in terms of IQ? I wouldn't expect too much vignetting from any of them on an APS-C sensor of course and CA and flaring I expect should be minimal in this class? But what about sharpness, distortion and such? Any other not mentioned aspects that differentiates these?

Later on I'm also considering a flash, the one that has caught my attention the most is the f43am. Any words on this one? I've seen quite a few positive reviews on this.

I'm also open to any tips and constructive criticism, but please be gentle when you reply to me. I much prefer a positive tone than a slightly negative.

Here's also few of my favorite shots to date:

Added a teeny bit of split toning in post.

Added some white vignetting on this one in post as well as unsharpened the very bottom section with a graduated filter in Lightroom

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~Timmy Fox~

 Timmy Fox's gear list:Timmy Fox's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM
Canon EOS 550D (EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4) Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99
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