Camera Selection

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Questions thread
back2photography
New MemberPosts: 8
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Re: Camera Selection
In reply to Neeyon, Feb 24, 2013

Neeyon wrote:

back2photography wrote:

Hi,

I used to be an avid outdoor amateur photographer. I used exclusively Minolta SLRs. Started with an STR 201, got hooked, bought a Minolta 7. Of course, when the Minolta 7D came along I jumped on it. I still have all my gear (a lot of lenses and some sony alpha flashes) and now wish to get back into photography after about a 5 year period of not taking many pictures (accept pics of my 3 kids).

So, the question is, what is the best camera selection that gets me similar features to the Minolta 7D, but with more megapixels and better image quality. I never felt the 7D produced pictures that would match my old STR 201 or even my Minolta 7 (I shot with slide film).

Is the A77 the right camera? Or can I go a bit cheaper and buy an A65? Should I hunt down a used 850 or 900? Most of my photography will be outdoor/nature, some will be macro work. No sports - but my young kids are quite active so I suppose you could call that action!

Again, I was happy with the features on the 7D, just not the image quality. I would like something with good jpg output (so I don't have to work with RAW files all the time).

Thanks for your help.

How is the budget side of things looking? Between the A65 and A77 the difference is more the features rather than IQ. For example with the A77 you get weather-sealing (handy for outdoor photography), and the fancy multi-angle flip/tilt screen would be very handy for macro. So if you are willing to fork out the $$s for the A77 then I don't think there's too many people who'd recommend the A65 instead. However if budget is an issue you still get fantastic functionality on the A65. And if money is totally not an object then there's always the A99

A850 and A900 are both classic cameras. Do you have a preference for EVF or OVF? If you prefer OVF then there's also the A580 to consider which would give you a few bells and whistles which you won't get on the A850 or A900 (e.g. faster FPS rate which could be handy for pics of active kids or sweep panorama which can be handy outdoors). However sometimes there's just no substitute for the look of FF pics (wide dynamic range, option for shallower DOF) so it also comes down to what you prefer. In any case, I think you'll find a big improvement in both IQ and functionality with any of the recent Sony releases when compared to the 7D.

With regard to processing, if you want optimum results (i.e. for the pics to look exactly how you want them to) then there is no substitute for RAW. However there are many who are more than happy with Sony JPGs. So I'd suggest going through some threads on this forum (the weekly landscape and wildlife threads are often a good start) and having a look at the pics of some shooters who post out-of-camera JPGs (many will state when they do so), and see what you think.

Good luck making your decision!

Thank you for the response!!

Honestly, I don't now if I'll like the EVF or not.  And I would love the A99, but I don't have the $3000.  $1250 is about my maximum budget as I want some money left over for a good macro lens (I haven't decided what is more useful - a 50mm, 90mm or a 105mm macro).  I had considered a used A850/900 but thought that other than FF, the A77 was a step up in terms of electronics.  FPS does mean something to me - I like to capture birds taking off.  Also, I have some concerns about buying used digital.  Used 35mm never bothered me.

I'll look at the A580.  I hadn't considered that one.  In the old Minolta days, there was Maxxum 3, 5, 7 and 9. Maxxum 7 had everything I wanted (and a little bit more).  When Sony came along the numbering system seemed to be all over the place - or is there some reason to their number system?

I hear you on the Raw - but I'm not proficient in Photoshop.  Do I need to be to work in RAW?  I really prefer to get it right in-camera and spend no time (other than cropping or minor adjustments) on the PC.

Thanks again for your help.

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