a57 v d5100 for first DSLR

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Questions thread
NowHearThis
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Re: a57 v d5100 for first DSLR
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 7, 2013

kangaroo in oz wrote:

Hi guys

Besides the faster frame rate in the a57  i was just wondering if there is much difference in these cameras which would sway you to go one way or the other if you were recommending a DSLR for a first time buyer..

Price seems on par

Cheers 

First off, both are excellent cameras; and  regardless of what anyone might say to the contrary, both are capable of taking fantastic pictures.  Up until fairly recently I worked part time at a local camera store as their photography instructor.  Working there gave me a chance of testing out and trying lots of cameras and lenses.  The D5100 is a nice camera and is quite easy to use. However it lacks features found in competing models.  You may find you out grow the camera quickly.

Now the first argument you might hear is about OVF vs EVF.  I've used both extensively,  I prefer EVFs. Even though the A57 doesn't have as high a resolution as my NEX 7 it still very accurately displays the overall scene brightness.  Yes the EVFs have significantly less dynamic range than the human eye - to me that doesn't  I don't need to know how my eye will see the picture, I need to know how the camera will see the picture.  I want to see changes to white balance, exposure compensation, and tons of other settings found in the A57.  I will say having a histogram or level on screen sometimes is quite handy.  Now with all that said, you should still go try one out for yourself to see if YOU like it.

I like the A57 for other reasons as well.

  • AF is faster. If you use Nikon's pro glass you might not notice any/much difference, but with  most of the lenses you'll be picking up initially, you will find Sony focuses faster yet just as accurately.
  • HDR. Not that I use this feature for the hyper saturated look, 99% of the time I just want to preserve details in the sky while still pull out details in shadows.  I know there re better ways of doing HDR, but since I don't have time to muck around with RAW and since I don't/can't always bring a tripod that "better way" is of no use to me.  The same holds true for many of the other features I like in the Sonys (HHT, Sweep Panorama, etc).  Results using these modes turn out great results and look good printed upto 36" wide.
  • Advanced features like wireless flash commander and kelvin WB.
  • Body feels better (grip, control layout)
  • EVF for video and very fast AF too.
  • 2 excellent kit lens options: 18-135mm and 55-300mm.  Both are fantastic for their price and target market.

I could go on, but for the sake of brevity I'll stop here for now.  My recommendation is the A57.

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