Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

Started Apr 23, 2014 | Discussions
Moredsir Forum Member • Posts: 73
Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

I have a A77, and would like my daughter to continue the photography she started at school but with compatibility with me gear. I think they used Nikon 3100. Because I have a-mount lenses I'd like to stick to the same system so she has lens choices. I was thinking perhaps an A-350 at around $200, but I really don't know much about the older Sonys or Minoltas. Would an A33 be better? BH have a couple of A700s around the $300 mark and wondering if that's a better option. Or is the A55 better again? I'm about to order from BH anyway so it would be a slight freight savings (I'm international).

I know I've asked how long is a piece of string, so how about;

if you had $200 to spend on an a-mount compatible camera body what would you buy, and would you rather pay $300 and get something clearly better?

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Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 5,945
Try and get an SLT.
1

@33, @55, an @57 if you can find one, or even consider the @58.
No point at all enjoying EVF yourself and sticking her with OVF.

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capt bob
capt bob Senior Member • Posts: 2,617
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter
1

A-55 is a Body that was ahead of it's time and still very sought after , THe 58 is also a good deal and has the standard "M" hot shoe Sony is Starting to Spec on newer bodies and is still a current model.

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nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter
1

A58 is the minimum I'd settle for. It has some useful features like focus peaking that A55 misses and also a better EVF.

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,617
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

Very simply, ask yourself a simple question...

Do you want EVF or OVF?
Your daughter is used to OVF, so she might prefer the older bodies.
But if you and her both really like the EVF, then get the a33 or a55.

I shot with the a55, great camera. IMO, it's a better all around camera than the a58. (Better build quality, smaller, better LCD, articulated LCD, much faster burst rate, GPS. The a58 is newer and has some software upgrades like focus peaking, and slightly higher resolution).

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thebustos Senior Member • Posts: 3,124
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

I liked the A350 (I was using it until I got my a77) but an SLT would probably be a better choice since it'll give you both a similar operational situation. The A33 and A55 are the only SLTs without focus peaking I think, so I would look for an A37, A57, or A58. There's an A37 body only for $300 and an A58 + 18-55mm at keh for $380.
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JimmyMelbourne Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter
1

a37.

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Ed at Ridersite Forum Pro • Posts: 18,154
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

I jumped from the A-100 to the A-77 two and a half years ago.  I can tell you, there is really no comparison.  It was a huge leap.  The older OVF bodies (A-100, A-200, A-350) are loud, clunky and slow by today's standards.  They were fine cameras in their day, and are still capable of excellent photos.  However, the newer SLT bodies make certain tasks easier - sports, moving subjects, low light and odd shooting angles.  Unless landscape is your daughter's is primarily interest, I'd say go with one of the newer bodies.

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Calico Jack Senior Member • Posts: 2,306
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

No mention of her age.  I don't think later SLT will be of any significant advantage for her, thus anything from the A200 - A580 range would suffice as they're all entry level bodies and no chance of any incompatibility issues if you want to bolt-on extras.  Also consider her hand and finger size and ease of use.  Even an older Minolta Maxxum/Dynax 5D would be fine if you're happy with the lower MP count assuming it's not more expensive than say an A300 which are pocket change at the moment.

Keep it simple and let her become more confident whilst you tutor her on the basics before making any further investment.  Just my 2 doubloons worth.

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TristanW
TristanW Regular Member • Posts: 478
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

a58 +1

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OP Moredsir Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

Calico Jack wrote:

Keep it simple and let her become more confident whilst you tutor her on the basics before making any further investment. Just my 2 doubloons worth.

Kinda what I was thinking, she doesn't need bells and whistles, and in fact if I could buy the alpha digital equivalent of my old Zenit fully manual monster I'd probably get her get that. I want her to have control, not let the camera do it for her. She's already learned to shoot at a basic level, she now needs to keep it up, work on good composition, and not become an iphone/instagram photographer

BTW, I'm not pushing her to do it, she is interested.

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nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

Moredsir wrote:

Calico Jack wrote:

Keep it simple and let her become more confident whilst you tutor her on the basics before making any further investment. Just my 2 doubloons worth.

Kinda what I was thinking, she doesn't need bells and whistles, and in fact if I could buy the alpha digital equivalent of my old Zenit fully manual monster I'd probably get her get that. I want her to have control, not let the camera do it for her. She's already learned to shoot at a basic level, she now needs to keep it up, work on good composition, and not become an iphone/instagram photographer

BTW, I'm not pushing her to do it, she is interested.

I disagree with you both being a student in photography myself.

I have owned and switched many p&s bodies and bridge camera bodies in the past. I have also switched 3 sonys in space of year (and half).

She has already learnt the basics and now she will want to practice. More she practices more she learns and more she want to get out of her camera. If you stop that growth by giving he a older body with less capability she will eventually get bored of it, quicker than you think. The camera is suppose to be fun to use and should make taking pictures fun. You should get her a body she can grow into rather than one that fits her now. If budget wasn't as limited I would have actually suggested dropping her in the deeper end with A77. Just because technology makes certain things easier doesn't mean you should stop using it.

Do your practice cooking by using burning wood or coal? or do people handwrite their thesis or reports to practice their writing? A notepad would surely be enough to type out a full thesis but you don't see people doing that for a reason!

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DaPonti Contributing Member • Posts: 532
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

Moredsir wrote:

Calico Jack wrote:

Keep it simple and let her become more confident whilst you tutor her on the basics before making any further investment. Just my 2 doubloons worth.

Kinda what I was thinking, she doesn't need bells and whistles, and in fact if I could buy the alpha digital equivalent of my old Zenit fully manual monster I'd probably get her get that. I want her to have control, not let the camera do it for her. She's already learned to shoot at a basic level, she now needs to keep it up, work on good composition, and not become an iphone/instagram photographer

BTW, I'm not pushing her to do it, she is interested.

The EVF I think is a major avantage for learning, as you see the impact of your choices. An SLT with focus peaking will actually give her more control and I concur with getting something recent.

Not only for the added features/improvements, but also because Sony has been aggressive enough price wise (each new release cheaper than the previous one, true for e-mount too) that 2nd hand newer models aren't much more expensive than older ones.

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JusLookN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,263
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

Let her decide! You have found two choices and you're telling her that they are for continuing with the lenses you already have. She's the one that will be using it. Don't stun her learning process! I would actually get the A-700, and when She decides she wants an EVF, then you get her one. Her only limiting factor already is high ISO. And, depending on what you both shoot, it still will be! This is just my opinion.I'm waiting for mine(daughter) to say she is interested in shooting DSLR/DSLT. She has the Panny point and shoot mastered.

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K E Hoffman
K E Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 5,101
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

JusLookN wrote:

Let her decide! You have found two choices and you're telling her that they are for continuing with the lenses you already have. She's the one that will be using it. Don't stun her learning process! I would actually get the A-700, and when She decides she wants an EVF, then you get her one. Her only limiting factor already is high ISO. And, depending on what you both shoot, it still will be! This is just my opinion.I'm waiting for mine(daughter) to say she is interested in shooting DSLR/DSLT. She has the Panny point and shoot mastered.

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Glenn
I'm kinda partial to video, but I'm hangin!

Agree involve her.  But do not let the set in the ways crowed here layer on the "OVF / EVF" discussions.  Odds are she will be more adaptable than many here and take to what she is given... I would not get an A700.. not even live view..

My daughter is 10 and I replaced the KM5D which was too big for her younger hands with a Nikon J1 and she is taking great images.. with no viewfinder.. just decent live view.. And yes when she opened the camera.. she put it up to her eye.. then she moved on.

You didn't mention and age.. but odds are she will adapt better than most of us older types to what ever you offer her.. but think about what else she might be using in her life that has small screens etc.  I would get at least a live view a-mount and try for an SLT.

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stan_pustylnik Veteran Member • Posts: 3,928
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

A560, A580, A55, A57 or (A77- because of microfocus ability) would be my recommendations.

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cplunk Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

http://www.dyxum.com/gear/camera/index.asp

http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/bodies.php

I've always liked the idea of dual control wheels with manual mode, but honestly I'm usually leaving either the aperture or shutter speed relatively static shot to shot and not sure how much that would really effect most of use using only one. (as long as I can remember which button combination to switch).

And some of the smaller bodies use different batteries, if that's an important issue. (I curse the issue every time I pick up my A330, and try and remember what happened to THAT battery).

All other things being equal, newer is better. Higher ISO will almost always be cleaner on a newer camera. AF systems get better over time.

And looking at a list or features on each body, it seems around 2010 that Sony began including video on any of the bodies, if that's an important feature. Only a few of the DSLR bodies have that feature, and with the need to flip the mirror up on them using it is an much different experience than an SLT camera (loosing the viewfinder and degrading the AF system with the non SLT cameras).

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thebustos Senior Member • Posts: 3,124
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter
1

Moredsir wrote:

Calico Jack wrote:

Keep it simple and let her become more confident whilst you tutor her on the basics before making any further investment. Just my 2 doubloons worth.

Kinda what I was thinking, she doesn't need bells and whistles, and in fact if I could buy the alpha digital equivalent of my old Zenit fully manual monster I'd probably get her get that. I want her to have control, not let the camera do it for her. She's already learned to shoot at a basic level, she now needs to keep it up, work on good composition, and not become an iphone/instagram photographer

BTW, I'm not pushing her to do it, she is interested.

Even with the EVF and focus peaking she would still have plenty of control with an SLT. Despite the advantages that we get with the SLT design you still get people on here having basic problems. So either way she'll still have to know basic photographic principles to get the most out of it. If you want some thing cheap a used A58 would give all of the advantages of a modern camera without the bells and whistles of the upper level models. The A37 or 57 would also be good choices. But if you go with one of the older DSLRs an A350, A700 or A580 might be good choices. If it weren't for some mechanical issues with my A350 I might still be using it today. An A700 would give her a cheap semi-pro model and an A580 would give her video. However they may seem less advanced than the D3100 she was learning on.

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Good luck and happy shooting!

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OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 5,897
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter

'Coming from a Nikon 3100 .."

I would get her the A55 for $299 used from B&H.   I think she find a lot of creative use for the fast LiveView AF.

A33 used at B&H for $199 is the other option I would consider, but I would go from the A55 utimately.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 32,535
Re: Please recommend older a-mount body for daughter
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I learned photography using full manual film cameras in the 60's and I firmly believe it made me a better photographer.
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Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.

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