Confusion about my first DSLR continues...

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
thebustos
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Re: Confusion about my first DSLR continues...
In reply to fuma4fun, 5 months ago

fuma4fun wrote:

Hey everyone,

I am going to buy my first DSLR. I zeroed in on the Canon 600d, but someone just confused me with the Sony A58. Can someone clear up this for me?

Well the main difference between the two is that the 600D uses an optical viewfinder (OVF) and the A58 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF). This is because of their designs.

The 600D has a mirror which reflects the image coming through the lens up into a viewfinder so that you can frame your image. When you press the shutter, the mirror flips up to expose the sensor making your image, then flips back down so that you can frame the next shot. DSLRs like this use a combination of contrast detection AF (CDAF) which is slower and phase detection AF (PDAF) which is faster. When you shoot in live view (using the rear LCD) or shoot video the mirror has to be locked up to expose the sensor. Since the mechanism that provides them with PDAF requires the mirror to be down, DSLRs have slower auto focusing when shooting video or in live view.

The A58 has a fixed semi-silvered mirror that directs a portion of the light coming through the lens to a dedicated PDAF sensor and allows the rest to pass through to the main sensor. The EVF and rear LCD get an image feed from the main sensor so they are continually operating in live view, but unlike a DSLR their auto focus doesn't slow down no matter which you use.

Between the two, image quality should be about the same or slightly better with the Sony.

For continuous shooting, the 600D has a slower frame rate but a deeper buffer (meaning you can take more in a row) when shooting JPEGs. If shooting RAW or RAW +JPEG, the Sony is faster but both cameras have about the same buffers.

The auto focus systems are probably very close in performance, but the Sony will do significantly better if you're using the rear LCD.

For manual focusing, the A58 has focus peaking which shows you an outline of high contrast "in-focus" areas of the image so you can get an idea of what is in focus. This is available in the EVF and rear LCD. With the 600D, you can load magic lantern onto the camera to get this feature, but it's only available with the rear LCD.

Things might come down to the differences you get between an OVF and EVF and which you prefer.

With an EVF you see what the sensor sees. So if your image is going to be over or underexposed you can see it before you take the shot. You can also see the effects of your white balance settings which will effect your images color, before you take the shot. You also can use focus peaking in the EVF. With an EVF you see 100% of the frame.

With an OVF you see what the lens sees. You can see if your image is going to be over or underexposed with the EV scale in the OVF. However this relies on your cameras built in meter only, and may not reflect what your finale image will be, including white balance settings. Lower end DSLRs usually use a penta-mirror OVF which offers 95% coverage, meaning you only see 95% of the final image through the viewfinder. Pentaprism OVFs will usually offer 100% coverage but are usually found in advanced DSLRs, with the exception of Pentax which usually includes them in their entry level models as well. However EVFs often have a certain refresh rate whereas OVFs do not.

Between the two you can't really go wrong with either. Which one you'll be happy with just depends on your preferences.

Also, if i go for Sony will the lens be costly if I plan to buy additional ones later.

When you hold the camera, there is a little bit of instability simply from holding it. To combat this both Sony and Canon (as well as others) offer image stabilization. Canon uses this in their lenses (IS= image stabilization), where as Sony uses this in their camera bodies. So image stabilization is only available with some Canon lenses whereas it's available for any lens you use on a Sony body.

Some examples in US price differences:

  • Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM $200
  • Sony 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SAM $300
  • Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II $300
  • Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM $500
  • Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS $500
  • Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM $170
  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 II $125

It can be a bit difficult to compare similar lenses between the two because Canon uses a 1.6x crop factor with their APS-C cameras and Sony (as well as Pentax and Nikon) use a 1.5x crop factor.

So for instance a 50mm lens on a Canon APS-C gives you a narrow view similar to what an 80mm lens would give you on a full frame camera. On Sony it gives you a view similar to a 75mm lens on a full frame camera. So lenses will give you a little bit of a wider view on Sony, Pentax, or Nikon APS-C cameras compared to Canon APS-C. Whether or not that matters just depends on what you want.

Cheap alternatives with Sony are Minolta AF lenses. Sony took over Minolta's camera division in 2006 and still use the same mount as minolta's AF lenses (the A-mount). A lot of Sony users use Minolta lenses because some can be found used in good condition really cheaply.

Hope this gives you some more information.

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Good luck and happy shooting!

 thebustos's gear list:thebustos's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +9 more
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