a57 v d5100 for first DSLR

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Questions thread
NowHearThis
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In reply to Fat Dragon, Apr 12, 2013

Fat Dragon wrote:

123Mike wrote:

What part of these facts do you not understand?

1080/60p/24p vs 1080/30p/24p
Fast AF in Video vs None
Stereo Mics vs Mono Mic
15 Point AF vs 11 Pt AF
Faster AF vs Slower AF (See charts below - and yes, I've tested both of these cameras and found the results to be the same)
12/10 FPS vs 4fps
Wireles Flash Commander vs None
High Speed Flash Snyc vs None
Peaking Focus vs None
Kelvin WB Adjustment vs None
HDR vs None
Sweep Panorama vs None
Lens Correction for CAs, Distortion, Vignetting vs CAs and Distortion only
IBIS (Every lens Stabilized) vs Lens Based
100%/1.04x EVF vs 95%/.78x OVF

I forgot to add Live Histogram or Level in the EVF (I use both quite often).

According to DPR (see chart at the bottom)
RAW IQ is equal and JPEG IQ is too close to really see any difference.

But what if I need better low-light performance, don't need fast autofocus or burst modes, and prefer optical viewfinders (as many here do)? In that case, the D5100 would be the better camera for me.

If you flat out will not use an Electronic Viewfinder, fine, pick up the D5100. As a stills camera it's really good. Simple to use, not a lot of fuss needed to make nice pictures. The OP will enjoy it.

Where I'd disagree with your camera choice is on the "better low-light performance", "don't need fast autofocus or burst modes". Lets look at them in reverse order:

"don't need fast autofocus or burst modes": This tells me you're not shooting anything that moves or that hardly moves, in which case a fast stabilized prime would allow you to shoot at lower ISOs and deliver better pictures. Other than the $6,000 200mm F/2 the fastest prime with VR that Nikon makes is an F2.8. With Sony every prime is stabilized, you could shoot with the any of 8 Sony Primes from 35 to 135mm that are F2 or faster. Sony claims 3-4 stops IS, for the sake of argument, lets call it 2 stops. I'll even give you a full 1/2 stop light loss due to the pellicle mirror. So you're now able to shoot at ISOs 1 & 1/2 stops lower than the Nikon.....and you can use this option because you "don't need fast autofocus"

Others just prefer the ergonomics or button and menu layout of one system or another. When I used my friend's EOS 550D, I liked the feel, layout, and shutter feedback quite a bit more than the A57, and though I still prefer the A57 because of certain features, those aren't negligible aspects of owning and using a camera.

Agreed, I have always said people need to go and try out the cameras, this means spending more then 5 minutes listening to a sales pitch.  Definately check out the ergonomics, definately bring memory cards to test out the cameras.

In regards to my girlfriend's A57, we have taken very few videos, in which I prefer to use manual focus anyway. We have never used burst mode for actual shooting (only draining the battery), don't have external flashes, and have never used (and may never use) in-camera HDR or sweep panorama. That cuts out half of your list of ways in which the A57 is apparently superior (which is purely a feature list, by the way, and biased by only listing the advantages of the A57, ignoring that the D5100 has its good points as well).

But not everybody doesn't use them (pardon the double negative). I shoot with a NEX7, I use the Sweep Panorama often.  [EDIT: I had images but they wouldn't load - sorry, The pictures at Arches are in my Gallery page.]

I use a flash all the time too, it put nice catch lights in peoples eyes.

I use HDR often too. Being a landscape shooter (mostly) I like that I can significantly increase my DR in my outdoor shots. It works much better than Nikon's Active D-Lighting or Canon's Highlight Tone Priority modes. I get an expanded DR with ZERO increase in noise.  [EDIT: I had images but they wouldn't load - sorry; same issue as above.]

All I'm trying to say here is that you're out to prove something that can't be proven, and you might do well to calm down a bit and accept that not everybody is going to be swayed by your opinion, even if there are facts that helped you come to that opinion.

Maybe not, and that's fine, but there may be someone (or many someones) who says "Yeah I need that". And that's why we post and make a case (albeit it's best if you qualify and make justified reasons for your point) for endorsing any particular product. The biggest problem is we keep forgetting about the ORIGINAL POSTER, he asked:

"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.."
The answer to his question is YES! I've listed some - tailored to a first time buyer. Many of the features in the Sony will help the OP take better photos:

  • Faster AF (that's just as accurate) means more chance of capturing the moment you want.
  • AF in Video, with Face Detection, might mean better looking videos with less "hunting" or OOF images.
  • Stereo Mics mean the OP doesn't have extra equipment to buy right now.
  • Sweep Panorama and HDR means the first time buyer doesn't have to spend more time on the computer just to make these types of shots and they'll still look good printed upto 36" wide.
  • IBIS, means every lens is stabilized. Now I prefer Lens based OSS myself, but many prefer the stabilizer to be in the body and it can help in low light when using primes as I mentioned above.

Will the Sony beat the Nikon in everything, heck no. And the same would be true in reverse. But, is the A57 a very good option the OP should consider, Yes, and hopefully, I've explained my reasons as to why it is.

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