Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

Started Jan 24, 2013 | Discussions
Scooturz New Member • Posts: 9
Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

Hi first post on this forum!

Got a Sony A37 for Christmas and I have enjoyed using it so far.  I am a novice to 'real' photography only having used point and shoots before.  I  like to take all the usual family photos but my favorite subjects are landscapes and wildlife.  I live on the lake which is always changing and we have many birds and wildlife that visit us.  So far my daughter has blown me out of the water in our home based photo competitions! She uses a canon powershot sx50 also new this Christmas.  The zoom on that camera is incredible and I feel some buyers regret in getting the sony.  I did lots of research before buying the sony but this was comparing with other SLR types sop didn't even look at the canon. Can anyone reassure me I made the right choice!

Sony SLT-A37
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Stflbn Veteran Member • Posts: 3,504
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

You cannot compare a Superzoom compact camera to a DSLR (SLT) unless you invest in a comparable length zoom for the DSLR and that costs  $,$$$

The Sony's performance  (as with any removable lens camera) is directly tied to the quality of the lens, and the commitment of the user to learn to use both effectively.

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Draek
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

Which lenses do you own? the 1200mm-e lens on the SX50 isn't easy to match on an SLR, but I believe the Sony 55-300 would help matters tremendously when doing wildlife, particularly if all you own is the 18-55 or 18-135 kit lenses.

Besides that, though, do remember that cameras don't take photos, photographers do, and it might just be that your daughter is a natural at this hey, it's happened to many of us, nothing else to do other than feel proud of her

Oh, and well, you can always post photos you're not satisfied with, and we can give you tips as to how you may improve on them. Even if we come across as a bit tech-obsessed in this forum, there's plenty of good photographers around, too.

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JeffS7444 Regular Member • Posts: 285
I have both
1

(Actually, I have the very-similar Sony A55).

The Canon SX50 is amazing, and for general snapshooting and ultra telephoto work in a lightweight, handheld package, it's hard to beat. Not bad for low-light shooting, but not the best. Except for closeup and longer telephoto shots, more of your backgrounds will be in focus whether you want them to be or not.

A camera like the A37 is capable of better results, it's more versatile, and better in low light situations, better for selective focus where you want to blur out the background (if that matters to you). But in order to match the SX50's amazing reach, you'd need to carry a lot more gear including a tripod.

SX50 wins at

  • Casual bird and wildlife photos
  • All-round versatility without a lot of fuss
  • Not overly concerned with being able to blur out backgrounds
  • You mostly work in moderate to good lighting situations

A37 wins at

  • Superior in tricky- or low-lighting situations
  • You want to be able to explore selective focus in more depth
  • You want more manual control over the camera
  • You tend to look at your photos at 100% magnification and are bothered by noise and other artifacts.

clockwork247 Regular Member • Posts: 404
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50
1

Scooturz wrote:

Hi first post on this forum!

Got a Sony A37 for Christmas and I have enjoyed using it so far. I am a novice to 'real' photography only having used point and shoots before. I like to take all the usual family photos but my favorite subjects are landscapes and wildlife. I live on the lake which is always changing and we have many birds and wildlife that visit us. So far my daughter has blown me out of the water in our home based photo competitions! She uses a canon powershot sx50 also new this Christmas. The zoom on that camera is incredible and I feel some buyers regret in getting the sony. I did lots of research before buying the sony but this was comparing with other SLR types sop didn't even look at the canon. Can anyone reassure me I made the right choice!

Get a bigma, those things are cheap enough, and that'll probably beat the canon SX50 for sure on the A37... it's pretty hard to get good long lens on APSC DSLR... the sensor is big causing the lens to be big and expensive to built.

the cheaper solution is getting a m4/3 or even the nikon J camera, with smaller sensor you can grab a 300mm prime and it'll be come 600+...

Another way is to get a good 2X tele converter and slap it on a decent 300mm... like the 100-300 minolta APO or the tamron USD... that'll do some good.

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Dirk W Veteran Member • Posts: 3,008
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

When I look in the CANON Powershot forum it is pretty pretty amazing what people achieve with that camera. Carrying around my not even THAT heavy 70-400, but compared to THIS small camera and having three times the focal range - I am clearly tempted to try it out!

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clockwork247 Regular Member • Posts: 404
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

Dirk W wrote:

When I look in the CANON Powershot forum it is pretty pretty amazing what people achieve with that camera. Carrying around my not even THAT heavy 70-400, but compared to THIS small camera and having three times the focal range - I am clearly tempted to try it out!

power of the small sensor. their FL is multiply by so much... this is why i still keep my super zoom, the IQ in bright day light isn't that bad. and the zoom is just crazy good. but they can't do sport though, the small lens isn't fast enough to do sport, birding yes if the bird hold still. other wise no.

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Dirk W Veteran Member • Posts: 3,008
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

Yeah, and I just realized - it's just the double focal range compared to my 70-400 because I use it on APS-C. Still - double, and less than half the bulk.

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OP Scooturz New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

Stflbn wrote:

You cannot compare a Superzoom compact camera to a DSLR (SLT) unless you invest in a comparable length zoom for the DSLR and that costs $,$$$

The Sony's performance (as with any removable lens camera) is directly tied to the quality of the lens, and the commitment of the user to learn to use both effectively.

Thanks for your response but I think that this is the nub of the question. I do not have thousands to spend on massive lenses so I clearly cant compete on zoom with the canon. Therefore in order for me to be happy with my decision the sony must excel in other places over the canon.  I am keen to learn and commitment is not an issue but I want to make sure that the commitment is made to the right camera!

OP Scooturz New Member • Posts: 9
Re: I have both

JeffS7444 wrote:

(Actually, I have the very-similar Sony A55).

The Canon SX50 is amazing, and for general snapshooting and ultra telephoto work in a lightweight, handheld package, it's hard to beat. Not bad for low-light shooting, but not the best. Except for closeup and longer telephoto shots, more of your backgrounds will be in focus whether you want them to be or not.

A camera like the A37 is capable of better results, it's more versatile, and better in low light situations, better for selective focus where you want to blur out the background (if that matters to you). But in order to match the SX50's amazing reach, you'd need to carry a lot more gear including a tripod.

SX50 wins at

  • Casual bird and wildlife photos
  • All-round versatility without a lot of fuss
  • Not overly concerned with being able to blur out backgrounds
  • You mostly work in moderate to good lighting situations

A37 wins at

  • Superior in tricky- or low-lighting situations
  • You want to be able to explore selective focus in more depth
  • You want more manual control over the camera
  • You tend to look at your photos at 100% magnification and are bothered by noise and other artifacts.

Thanks for your reply Jeffs7444 very good points made - Its interesting that you have both cameras - If I told you you could only keep one which would it be?

OntarioJohn
OntarioJohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,959
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

But why is the Bigma for Sony 1500$ vrs Nikon mount for $1000?  50% more??

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Dirk W Veteran Member • Posts: 3,008
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

In Europe it's about the same price for all versions, and seems to be so at amazon.com as well. Are you sure that you did not accidentally compare the 150-500 with the Bigma?

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nobbyball Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

I have both a Sony A37 with a 18-250 lens (375mm in reality) and a Fuji HS30 (720mm). The Fuji is my main birding and wildlife camera due to the reach.  Its macro capability is superb.  But if the light gets anything less than very good then the IQ drops quite quickly.  This means that in winter the Fuji hardly gets a look in.  Here the Sony takes over.  I tend to find that in Winter birds are more approachable and predictable as they either use feeders or bunch in good sized flocks.  Less reach is therefore needed but a better sensor in low light is.

Thus both is best.  SX50, Nikon P510 and the new HS50. Great reach in the right conditions.  DSLR the rest of the time.  Win win

Ian

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texascbx Contributing Member • Posts: 648
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

The Canon has contrast detection for focus which is generally not as good for tracking and keeping a focus lock on moving targets. And the sensor on your Sony is roughly ten times bigger than hers.

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NPPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,084
There are two worlds...

The normal viewing world and the pixel peeping world. In the pixel peeping world, your A37 will blow the SX50 9 out of 10 times out of the water. In the normal world, the SX50 with its longer reach will wow the audience more IF the subject demands a longer reach.

Your A37 will take excellent pictures up to ISO 3200 and more with MFNR. Her SX50 will take decent pictures up to ISO 400 and maybe more if you don't pixel peep. Having said all that, if you get a 400mm lens, it becomes a 600mm on the A37 due to the crop factor. At 600mm, combined with the bigger sensor of the A37, your images should still look better than what the SX50 can give you.

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Nick P

bloodycape Senior Member • Posts: 1,560
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50

This thread maybe of some help. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50721655

The disadvantage of the SX50 is the slower shooting speed, even vs some of it's superzoom competitors. As for a comparison, it depends on how long of a zoom you are looking for. I just got the Minolta 100-300mm APO(can be had for under $200 in good shape) lens for birding, and like the size and weight on my A57. As for the birding/wildlife aspect of it, the fast shooting speed of the A57 is really a nice advantage, specially for moving animals. And for me the size and weight of the A57 100-30mm combo is pretty nice.

When it come to tracking wildlife, the A57 for the most part will be better as it uses a PDAF for AF, which has it's advantages for tracking wildlife, vs the CDAF of most P&S/superzoom cameras.

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JeffS7444 Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: I have both

Scooturz wrote:

Thanks for your reply Jeffs7444 very good points made - Its interesting that you have both cameras - If I told you you could only keep one which would it be?

My excuse for buying the SX50 was for photographing birds during my lunch breaks, and no way I was going to haul a heavy telephoto and equally heavy tripod just for that. SX50 works brilliantly for midday birding, BTW.

But birding is maybe 2% of what I do, so if I had to choose between my A55 or SX50, the SX50 would go. Although I love having the 1200mm reach, most of my actual day to day keepers are shot in the 35mm - 70mm range, the equivalent of which is more than covered by my 16-50/2.8 Sony zoom.

Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,756
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50
1

Some of the replies here ("get a Bigma") are almost akin to telling someone "Hey, make sure you bring an AR-15 with you to the thumb fight". This is a mostly gear oriented forum (sprinkled with the occasional postings of nice shots), so you're going to see a lot of answers saying "get this better lens, your kit zoom lens sucks" etc. Don't sweat it.

Sounds to me like a fun friendly rivalry is all that's happening here, and that in itself is a cool idea!

You'll have to briefly accept the limitations of your lens; it's a short zoom only. The focal length and convenience/portability advantage she has over yours is significant. But that's about it. A 55-300 (or even the older 55-200) would help close that gap and is not terribly more expensive (55-200's going for <$100 in places, nothing wrong with used).

So enough about what you can't do. Let's start and focus on the strengths:

  • Your kit zoom covers a great range for street and people photography.
  • 50mm+ is good for taking portraits of family members. Get up close!
  • The lens has 'sweet spots' (where it's at it's sharpest) at certain apertures depending on the focal length. At 18mm: f5.6. At 24-35mm: f8. At 55mm: f8-f11. Use this to your advantage.
  • Shoot subjects with very fine detail to highlight the camera's sharpness advantage.
  • Take the camera off of AUTO-ISO and shoot ISO-100 as often as possible in good light.
  • While not a macro lens there's still only 9 inches minimum focus distance; get close if you need to.
  • You have an outstanding low light advantage that will never be approached by hers. Use the camera's multi-frame noise reduction (MFNR) to clean up those static low light shots even more.
  • Kick up those out of camera JPEGs a notch by setting your camera's Creative Style settings. Opinions vary but I use "Vivid", Contrast +1, Saturation +1, Sharpness +2.
  • You can experiment with HDR if you like that kind of thing, some people think it's the bee's knees. You can do interesting things with it at least.
  • View the competing images on the computer at 100% (view actual size) and "pixel peep" the differences in sharpness, noise etc. Ok this last one is a little dirty, but hey, it's a competition, right?

Most of all, just have fun. It sounds like you're already doing that.  And since you're learning photography all these tips are good to incorporate into your regular routine and will help you better exploit your camera's capabilities.

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Dutchpepper
Dutchpepper Senior Member • Posts: 1,505
Re: Sony A37 vs Canon SX50
1

Jeadm has given some great advice, Also if its birds to want then the a37 has a couple of tricks of its own! You have "imagezoom"  which is 2x Clear Image Zoom - Double your zoom range; By Pixel Super Resolution Technology boosts magnification while maintaining superb image quality. (don't know what lens you have) but This is found by pushing the little button which sits above your thumb. Also don't forget you can crop pretty hard latter to get that "upclose" photo!

Craig
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Ronald A Yorko Contributing Member • Posts: 577
Both

I have the Panasonic FZ150- newer model is FZ200 with a constant F 2.8 throughout the entire zoom range.  Both of these cameras provide better quality images than the Canon in my opinion, although they don't have as long of zoom.

I also recently got the Sony A57 with a 35mm 1.8 lens and a Sigma 18-250 macro.  Heavier than the bridge camera, but for many shots I wanted to be able to use higher ISO's and have better dynamic range.  All of the high zoom bridge cameras tend to blow highlights easily, and noise is a problem after ISO 800 or so.

I use both cameras in different situations- but if I had to choose just one to keep it would be the Panasonic due to the features and versatility of the long zoom.

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