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

Started Oct 21, 2012 | Questions thread
Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,846
Re: Is sony Alpha DSLT/DSLR the right platform for learning photography and growth?

I think, as a budding 'hobbyist' who's trying to learn new skills, you really can't go wrong with the A57.  It's a fine camera for most of the needs you described and then some.  The fact of the matter is that many photographers who've been around a while cut their teeth on a Canon or Nikon, and some would have a irrational aversion to other brands.  That might be acceptable in a static environment where nothing changes from a technological standpoint from year to year.  I think for a long time technology was relatively slow moving in the (pre-digital) photography world.  It's difficult for some people to cast off that mindset once it's locked in.

FWIW I started to learn photography about 25 years ago, right around the introduction of the Maxxum series from Minolta, this was the gear I started that trek.  It was technologically more advanced than what the competitors had to offer at the time, and at the time I got started I didn't fully grasp the level of bias against my chosen brand.  "You can only get the best pictures from a Nikon" was the constant refrain I would hear later (for years, and still do to this day) from other novice & pro shooters, instructors etc.  For a long time they would glance over at my equipment and clearly had a hard time understanding it, and I admittedly had the same problem with their stuff.  It's all a matter of familiarity.  The fact of the matter is, for a lot of people they use something long enough and get comfortable with it and/or don't want to learn to use something a little (or a lot) different.  I've always been curious about what's out there so that's less of an issue for me.  But I think that colors the view of a lot of people who haven't truly tried the other brands or even just the new technologies of the day (like SLT & EVF vs SLR & OV).

I guess if I had any advice for you wanting to learn, trust your instincts and what attracts you to the A57 (you're drawn for a reason), discard the biases you hear about and choose what's best for you right now.  The Sony platform is solid.  I have primarily used Minoltas, Canons, and most recently Sonys.  They're all sound foundations on which to build your experience.  I have no biases against the others, these are just my personal choices.  Sony took Minolta's phographic chops, and folded in their own electronics and video know how to really make a versatile tool.  There are a lot of 'neat' feature modes that do a lot of photographic tricks in the Sony models like Panoramic, Twilight, Sports, whatever; learn what they do and how to use them, then turn them off.  Put your dial in P/A/S/M modes (keep it there 99% of the time) and consider that the foundation to start learning the fundamental basics of how your tool works and getting it to do what you want.  All DSLR brands have these 4 basic modes from which to learn and grow your skills.

Don't concern yourself about brand loyalists; every brand has a (perceived) advantage over the other on something, and those can be argued ad nauseum.  You can safely lay your fears to rest about the Sony platform; it's on the cutting edge of technology, and there's a vast selection of glass to choose from.  As long as you enjoy what you're doing, and enjoy learning and using the tool of your choice, you'll be happy.

 Jeadm's gear list:Jeadm's gear list
Sony a77 II Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM +15 more
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