Is sony Alpha DSLT/DSLR the right platform for learning photography and growth?

Started Oct 21, 2012 | Questions thread
sensibill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,401
Re: Is sony Alpha DSLT/DSLR the right platform for learning photography and growth?

MrCool77 wrote:

Hi all,

I am graduating from the world of P&S (FZ 50) to SLRs and was intrigued by SLT A57s reviews and what i saw at the store. I was looking to order one and dedicatedly learn photography (as a hobby not profession).

Any major SLR (or SLT) brand will do that job very well. Each model will have its foibles of course, but to say any one brand is superior would be saying more about the advocate than the actual cameras and lenses involved.

However, when I met our Photography coach before enrolling in the class, he advised me against going for Sony and asked me to choose Canon or Nikon. He cited multiple reasons, range of lenses and equipment, Service options and also that the Sony platform will not be the right investment from a growth perspective.

Sounds like you need a new class. Your coach likely isn't considering the 80's and 90's Minolta AF lenses in addition to the Sony branded Alpha range. He may also not even be familiar with G glass or the CZ stuff out there.

Nikon has nice build quality on their entry and lower mid level cameras but unless you get a D7000 or higher, you won't be doing any autofocus with older or cheaper lenses. They also use the same 16MP sensor as the NEX, SLR and SLT models so it's not like you're going to get any significant advantage there.

I still like a57's the SLT technology and features (which seem to be better than entry level Canon, Nikon) but I am also confused now as our coach is photography veteran, professional and specialist in industrial and interior photography and his views certainly come from a lot of experience.

Being a veteran or specialist doesn't guard against bias or ignorance. Some of the most stubborn and closed minded folks I know have extensive experience in the field (usually with the one brand they've used for years and would never eschew for anything else no matter what).

I also dont want to invest a lot into a entry level camera, but certainly want something which can be my learning platform for next 3-5 years.

5 years is a lot to expect out of a camera body, but the lenses will live on past that, as they do with Nikon and Canon, so too will you have that ability with Sony. Look at all the old Minolta glass out there that we can use... Check out the website Dyxum and browse their fairly comprehensive database. Thrift shops and swap meets are your best friend when  you own an Alpha camera...I've found no fewer than eight old AF mount (Alpha compatible) lenses from Minolta, Sigma, Tamron and Promaster in the past month. Some of them quite sharp with great color and AF performance.

If your coach is going to be so biased in you making your choice, I'd really recommend a different class, if you can manage it, or just tell him there's more to life than Canon/Nikon, as any Pentax owner can attest. Only a fanboy would say a K-5 or K-30 is a poor choice. Sony has its detractors for various reasons (I've been one of them) but the SLT and SLR models are really coming into their own with the latest iterations, and that vintage lens selection makes it a lot of fun.

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