sony a57 vs nikon d7000

Started Jul 24, 2013 | Questions
Haps18
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sony a57 vs nikon d7000
Jul 24, 2013

I went to a local store to look again at the Nikon D7000, which I was seriously planning on purchasing this week for $1099 (with current rebates) for body & kit lens (although thinking on getting Tamron 18-270 $400ish instead).  I would not be able to afford the flash yet (maybe around holidays).  Anyway, I happened to see an open box Sony alpha 57 with kit lens for $350 (no box or accessories included) & last one left around.  My dilemma is that I am replacing my old Minolta 7D and have 3 ok lenses, flash, & filters already that I am told can be used on the Sony.  I don't see much about the Sony and plan on keeping this for years.  I feel deep down the Nikon is a better camera, but not sure with the price difference.  Can anyone help shed some light so I don't make a regretful decision.

Nikon $900 body, Tamron 18-270 lens $420, nothing else yet, but maybe for Christmas would get 700 flash & 50mm lens

Sony $350 with kit lens 18-55, Minolta 28-100 lens (own), Tamron 70-300 (own), & Minolta 3600hs flash (own), along with a lensbaby, & couple of filters

$1320 or $350?  Sony seems like no-brainer, but I kept my Minolta for about 10 years and don't want a dud for the next  10 years!

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Nikon D7000 Sony SLT-A57
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headfirst
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

The A57 is a very good camera - it is by no means a dud!

http://www.dpreview.com/products/sony/slrs/sony_slta57/review

However, it isn't a 7 series so doesn't have dual control wheels, or the full alloy bodyshell. & of course it has an EVF rather than an OVF. How did you find the handling etc. for you?

Overall all things being equal imo the Nikon is the better camera but of course in this case all things are not equal. Your existing 28-100 & 70-300 lenses aren't wonderful or worth a lot so I wouldn't let them influence you too much though.

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james2k50
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

Really what it boils down to is how much you're willing to spend for how much sacrifice? The Sony is an excellent camera "for the money" and is worth more than the $350 for what you're getting in performance and image quality. The Nikon D 7000 is a popular choice and I'm sure for good reason.

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EarthQuake
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

Haps18 wrote:

I went to a local store to look again at the Nikon D7000, which I was seriously planning on purchasing this week for $1099 (with current rebates) for body & kit lens (although thinking on getting Tamron 18-270 $400ish instead). I would not be able to afford the flash yet (maybe around holidays). Anyway, I happened to see an open box Sony alpha 57 with kit lens for $350 (no box or accessories included) & last one left around. My dilemma is that I am replacing my old Minolta 7D and have 3 ok lenses, flash, & filters already that I am told can be used on the Sony. I don't see much about the Sony and plan on keeping this for years. I feel deep down the Nikon is a better camera, but not sure with the price difference. Can anyone help shed some light so I don't make a regretful decision.

Nikon $900 body, Tamron 18-270 lens $420, nothing else yet, but maybe for Christmas would get 700 flash & 50mm lens

Sony $350 with kit lens 18-55, Minolta 28-100 lens (own), Tamron 70-300 (own), & Minolta 3600hs flash (own), along with a lensbaby, & couple of filters

$1320 or $350? Sony seems like no-brainer, but I kept my Minolta for about 10 years and don't want a dud for the next 10 years!

The Nikon D7000 is a different class of camera, with better ergonomics and controls (2 dials), better AF tracking and more AF points, better build quality with weather sealing, as well as a better sensor (well, same sensor, but the Nikon doesn't use a translucent mirror which robs light and gives more high ISO noise like the A57).

The D7000 is more directly comparable to the Sony A77, and the A57 is comparable to the D5100.

So you should probably decide which class of camera you want, its really hard to give suggestions between these two without knowing that. The A57 is certainly a big upgrade over your 7D, however, If you're looking for a camera for the next 10 years, I think the D7000 would be a better choice, but not if you don't actually need the higher end features that it has.

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Haps18
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to EarthQuake, Jul 24, 2013

Yeah, I'm thinking the 7000 will satisfy me longer and I feel I can't go wrong with it.  I think the deal of the a57 is really a deal, but I was hoping to get a little more.  It's just hard at that price to throw it out.  Back to the Nikon, the camera store was swaying me to get the Tamron 18-270 over the kit for about $200 extra.  I know it would cover a larger range and would be very convenient, but probably with less quality photos over some other options.  He said it was better than the kit.  Not sure if that is correct, but kit lenses are usually fair I know.  I was trying not to go over about $1300.  Is there a lens you would recommend so I'm not investing in "ok lenses" again, but not breaking the bank.  I know the 16-85 I see recommended a lot, but I would only be able to go with that option if I bought a refurbished lens and camera.  That would make my investment back to about $1300.  Never bought refurbished and am scared because of no 1 year warranty.  Suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated!

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Atgard
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

Really hard to say when you're comparing things where one costs 3x as much as the other.

Reminds me of car magazines who say "Yes, we prefer this Ferrari to the Corvette that gives 90% of the performance at 1/3rd the cost." Sure, if you get to drive the cars for free. But when you're making the payments…?

I also don't know how important weather sealing and such are to you. For me, that's not an important consideration. I went with the A37 because I cared about the IQ (which is the same or arguably better in low light than its bigger brothers like the A77), and preferred the smaller size and more money to save or spend on lenses.

A more fair way to look at it is to consider apples to apples. If $1,050 is within your budget (if not, you have your answer by default), would you rather have the A57 (by all accounts an excellent camera), plus $700 to spend on lenses? Think of what lenses you would buy for $700. Would that combo give you more joy and better IQ than the D7000 (which I'm sure is a fine camera) with just the kit lens?

I would say that A57 deal is almost certainly a better value. You could buy it now, then buy a new camera for $700 five years from now … and I can promise you that future camera will be better than the D7000 you may keep for 10 years.

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39 Steps
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

Haps18 wrote:

Yeah, I'm thinking the 7000 will satisfy me longer and I feel I can't go wrong with it. I think the deal of the a57 is really a deal, but I was hoping to get a little more. It's just hard at that price to throw it out. Back to the Nikon, the camera store was swaying me to get the Tamron 18-270 over the kit for about $200 extra. I know it would cover a larger range and would be very convenient, but probably with less quality photos over some other options. He said it was better than the kit. Not sure if that is correct, but kit lenses are usually fair I know. I was trying not to go over about $1300. Is there a lens you would recommend so I'm not investing in "ok lenses" again, but not breaking the bank. I know the 16-85 I see recommended a lot, but I would only be able to go with that option if I bought a refurbished lens and camera. That would make my investment back to about $1300. Never bought refurbished and am scared because of no 1 year warranty. Suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated!

The Sony A57 with the Sony 18-135mm lens is a very good combo. The Tamron 18-270mm lens might not give as much satisfaction with either brand of body.

Disclaimer I do own and did use a Sony A57/18-135mm combo on an overcast beach today; I have no experience with any Nikon gear.

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tjwaggoner
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

The nikon 7000 is a great camera but unless you think you need a camera made out of metal with a top LCD and more external controls, I'd go with the a57 and spend money on lenses. You'll get more use out of a good camera with some really fine glass on it I think. Rather than have a more expensive body with a travel zoom (a good one I realize but still). Use the left over $1000 and buy a good fast zoom or a couple fast primes and your Sony will be shooting at a lot lower ISO than the nikon with the slower tamron
Nikon is a more complete system probably and the SLT design of the a57 is at the end of its life probably. So those are considerations too.
But with your budget, I'd strongly suggest spending more on good lenses than a body that costs a lot due to features that honestly very few people need in a camera.
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Shield3
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 24, 2013

Haps18 wrote:

I went to a local store to look again at the Nikon D7000, which I was seriously planning on purchasing this week for $1099 (with current rebates) for body & kit lens (although thinking on getting Tamron 18-270 $400ish instead). I would not be able to afford the flash yet (maybe around holidays). Anyway, I happened to see an open box Sony alpha 57 with kit lens for $350 (no box or accessories included) & last one left around. My dilemma is that I am replacing my old Minolta 7D and have 3 ok lenses, flash, & filters already that I am told can be used on the Sony. I don't see much about the Sony and plan on keeping this for years. I feel deep down the Nikon is a better camera, but not sure with the price difference. Can anyone help shed some light so I don't make a regretful decision.

Nikon $900 body, Tamron 18-270 lens $420, nothing else yet, but maybe for Christmas would get 700 flash & 50mm lens

Sony $350 with kit lens 18-55, Minolta 28-100 lens (own), Tamron 70-300 (own), & Minolta 3600hs flash (own), along with a lensbaby, & couple of filters

$1320 or $350? Sony seems like no-brainer, but I kept my Minolta for about 10 years and don't want a dud for the next 10 years!

This drives me crazy.  I bought the a57 when it was released, just in April 2012, for $699 plus tax.  I've since sold it, but it's not like the a57 is outdated or anything; it's the 3rd or 4th best APS-C Alpha camera Sony makes.

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dlkeller
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In reply to Haps18, Jul 25, 2013

You could check on the Nikon forum and see what quality the kit lens is, although most would probably be equal or better than the 18-270 in it's limited focal length range. Don't get me wrong, I love the 18-270. The Sony is an innovative design with an electronic viewfinder but, as previously mentioned, is a middle of the line camera compared to a much higher level in the Nikon. You might also want to try out the Sony to see if you even like the electronic viewfinder.

Something else to consider is that Nikon is highly committed to the DSLR format. Lots of lenses both new and used are widely available and all will very, very likely continue into the foreseeable future. On the other hand Sony has gone from quality Optical Viewfinder DSLRs to Electron Viewfinder SLTs which pleased many new users but were disliked by many traditionalists and has even changed to a different flash mount since this line was introduced. It is also committing heavily to the NEX line and has stated that it is making a shift to mirror less cameras with no more OVF or SLT cameras in their next releases. Uncertainty of the future could also be an important influence in your choice.

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geoffmalter
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 25, 2013

I came from Nikon (D40) to Sony last fall with the purchase of the 57 and 18-135mm. Great combo. However the D7000 is a very good camera, and I believe they pair the 18-105 VR to make up the kit, which has high marks. Really it's what floats your boat that counts in the end. Good luck with your decision.

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Jeadm
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 25, 2013

Can't vouch for or against the Nikon. My 2 cents is I don't think you'll be disappointed with the A57. I have one (along with a Canon 60D), and while I sometimes wish for some quick extra controls to make my life easier, I still get by pretty well and almost don't miss it. Ergonomics are excellent, the fully articulating LCD a big plus, is fast and takes great pics, even at higher ISO. Despite it's model designation I personally consider it to be an intermediate range model.

The kit lens is a plus. At that price with the body, it's almost a gimme. It's not the best, but it isn't bad.

One caveat: as an open box item it may have been the display model, and those get a lot of abuse IMO that would concern me. Inspect carefully and be sure they have a reasonable return policy if you run into trouble. Normally I don't recommend extended warranties but one may be good insurance here if the price is reasonable.

The SLTs do things different than you may accustomed to with your 7D, but I don't find that to be a negative.  I think the benefits outweigh any disadvantages.

Assuming you've got a good one though, getting the A57 and using the money you save to get quality glass is really a win-win proposition for you.

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clockwork247
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 25, 2013

Haps18 wrote:

I went to a local store to look again at the Nikon D7000, which I was seriously planning on purchasing this week for $1099 (with current rebates) for body & kit lens (although thinking on getting Tamron 18-270 $400ish instead). I would not be able to afford the flash yet (maybe around holidays). Anyway, I happened to see an open box Sony alpha 57 with kit lens for $350 (no box or accessories included) & last one left around. My dilemma is that I am replacing my old Minolta 7D and have 3 ok lenses, flash, & filters already that I am told can be used on the Sony. I don't see much about the Sony and plan on keeping this for years. I feel deep down the Nikon is a better camera, but not sure with the price difference. Can anyone help shed some light so I don't make a regretful decision.

Nikon $900 body, Tamron 18-270 lens $420, nothing else yet, but maybe for Christmas would get 700 flash & 50mm lens

Sony $350 with kit lens 18-55, Minolta 28-100 lens (own), Tamron 70-300 (own), & Minolta 3600hs flash (own), along with a lensbaby, & couple of filters

$1320 or $350? Sony seems like no-brainer, but I kept my Minolta for about 10 years and don't want a dud for the next 10 years!

D7000 is a great camera, but there's so many in that class that it's not worth the 1100 and what not.

1) D5200, better sensor, swing out screen, missing all the pro controls, way cheaper.

2) Pentax K5/K30 same control, same sensor, way cheaper. worst AF system though, the D7000 has one of the best AF system around

3) D600/6D, FF power flexing, not much more, but once you shoot on a FF, you'll know why all crop doesn't measure up. The rendition of color is at a different level.

4) Sony A900, again with the FF flexing, but i got mine for 1200 off a big retailer store, and when you put minolta lens on a FF camera, then you'll realize "hey, this is how it's meant to be". the 50mm 1.7 was not that great on my crop, but once it sits on the A900 it's definitely better :).

5) A37/57/58, you WILL like the EVF, it's so much better, and the AF system on these SLT isn't as bad as it used to be on the OVF days.

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Miike Dougherty
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Haps18, Jul 25, 2013

I actually use both the D7000 and A57.  The D7000 is an excellent body and I can't wait to get my new Sigma 18-35 to put on it to shoot scenics.  However, for fast moving sports, the D7000 simply cant keep up with the A57.  At full resolution and continuous autofocus, the A57 has a mode where it will rip 10 FPS.  It will do 12 FPS in cropped mode.  I take a lot of surfing and college football images and the A57 has no problem keeping up with the really expensive Canon sports bodies.  I use it with the outstanding Sony 70-400.  I did hear that the new Nikon 80-400 is just as good but a lot more expensive.  The real downside of the A57 is the EVF, which some people realty like, but at 10 FPS, is workable.  I prefer the D7000's OVF but you can't have everything.

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DistantView
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to Miike Dougherty, Jul 25, 2013

Speaking personally I'd go for the A57 (I did) - great little camera & as it appears the DSLR market is going to change a lot in the next 2-3 years with the new on-sensor focus technology & (?) maybe universal shutter etc you've got a good camera to use for (say) 4-5 years wihout any great expenditure while things settle down - or buy some really good glass if you want

D7000 is another level up & a great camera - but you take the photos, not the camera !

Enjoy whatever you decide on

RT

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Haps18
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to DistantView, Jul 25, 2013

Good point.  I believe the 7000 is probably better, even though the 7100 is already out, but is it $700 better?  Someone said they take the a57 to sporting events because it performs faster than the 7000, that made me think.  My son plays indoor basketball and right now my photos with my old Minolta are not good!  I would be bound to keep the camera much longer if I get the 7000 because of the investment.  I've never been a good decision maker.  I am appreciating all of the help!

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18diopters
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to DistantView, Jul 25, 2013

I have both the d7000 and the a57. I initially bought the a57 because it was cheap. It was supposed to be the one camera body that I was going to abuse. The one camera that II can leave in a hot car trunk without remorse. It had since become my favorite camera and I use it 90 percent of the time.
ItIt all depends on what you are shooting. The Nikon is clinically sharper more often. I think because of the better 39 point autofocus instead of the only 3 cross points on the a57. But th a57e pictures come out real sharp but with colder colors. It is also bigger and heavier. I prefer the a57 because I mostly take pictures of my kids. For some reason people look better through Minolta glass. That warm Minolta colors are nicer imho.imho. The 10 fps and the seemless transition from evf to live view is useful when shooting at their eye level. Another benefit is the much better pdaf on video vs the cdaf on the d7000 which is very handy when chasing fast kids. Finally, having 7x magnification for manual focus adjustment was big for me . The only down side for either of these great cameras is that I can't use any of my legacy glass on them like my Nex.

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adith45
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to 18diopters, Jul 25, 2013

i'd say get the sony with a 35 f1.8 + 85 f2.8 +30 f2.8macro all three lenses within $800

or the sony 70-300g for $900 all fantastic lenses

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18diopters
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Re: sony a57 vs nikon d7000
In reply to 18diopters, Jul 25, 2013

Sorry, meant to say d7000 portraits come out looking more cold despite post processing. Phone auto correct hijacked my previous post.

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