First time DSLR camera (EOS400D or A100)
Hi all (and hope you have all had a merry christmas).

I have been researching entry level DSLRs for a few months now and with the xmas sales on the horizon I have decided that now may be the best time to buy..

To date I only have had experience with my compact Cannon Ixus camera and I found it a little limiting so I bought a Konica Minolta SLR camera with a few cheap lenses. The reason I want to get a DSLR now is that combined with the cost of developing and the associated wait to actually "see" my photos I have missed out on some great photo opportunites and I think digital is the logical step..

I have narrowed my options down to two camera choices....the Cannon EOS400 and the Sony A100 (both with kit lenses). I've not heard a great deal about the Sony, other than it has the Minolta mount (so I can use the lenses I have bought already), it has IS in the body but has problems with noise at high ISOs. The EOS 400 has good reviews an alright Kit lens but no IS..

Can anyone give any advice here and their experience with either camera, particulary the A100. How do both the supplied kit lenses fair?.

If I went the A100 route, I could as mentioned, use my current lenses but they are cheap, old ebay purchases, which probably don't give as great pics as their newer brothers and sisters..


Comments (9)

Can't speak to the Sony, but I will offer my opinion on the Canon..

Canon DSLRs have some of the quietest sensors around. You can easily shoot 800 and even 1600 with no worry. Even 3200 gives good results under most circumstances. So for low-light, Canon is very good..

The Canon kit lens is another matter altogether. It's not a very good lens. I'd sell it on ebay and buy a better lens, or get a body sans lens..

Most of the third party lenses lack IS, although IS is beginning to appear. Canon offers numerous IS lenses. e.g. The EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM.


Comment #1

You can buy canon IS kit lens for good price too.Why does he do it?..

Comment #2

What are these cheap lenses? Look them up on to see reviews,some Minolta lenses are cheap but good...

Comment #3

The lenses I have are as follows......

Minolta kit lens 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 (free with Dynax 5 body ~40)Sigma Prime lens 24mm 2.8 (35)Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm 3.5-4.5 (35).

I'll have a look at the website you have suggested, but I doubt they are highly rated..

If I went the Cannon route, I can get a 50mm (1.8) prime for 70, sony's equivlant seems to be a 1.4 lens at 200! ouch...

Comment #4

Firstly since you are looking to buy your first DSLR, I would get a Nikon D40, you don't need the D40x. I had them both and the D40 is much better (and alot cheaper). Spend the money you save on a nice zoom lens..

Don't be fooled by the whole Megapixel issue. 6MP is more than enough unless you are planning on printing photos larger than 12 X 15". Camera marketing has led ppl to believe they need these larger megapixel cameras which is completely untrue. MP's are the only way to marketa DSLR camera to a comact point and shoot consumer; they couldnt use marketing saying "the D40x has great ISO noise or great auto metering", people wouldn't understand so they use Megapixel marketing instead. The D40 is more sensitive to light than the D40x and it has a faster flash sync speed. This is very important to creating good photo's.

I bought my D40 from for $479 w/ shipping and a memory card. You don't need to buy on Ebay as there are better deals out there from established sellers who won't rip you off..

Hope that helps...

Comment #5

But I ditched the Sony/Minolta mount despite my long happy history with Minolta film cameras and my modest collection of Minolta glass. The fact that I still have the A100 lying around is only a testament to my packrat mentality (there must be some way I can put it to good use...)..

Your shooting conditions might not be the same as mine, so here's why I switched..

At present, the vast majority of what I shoot is low light stuff indoor events, indoor sports, night sports. The Sony A100 was not well equipped for this sort of photography.- prominent chroma noise at ISO 400 and higher- slow screw-drive autofocus- image stabilization in the body doesn't stabilize the viewfinder.

And it backfocused terribly with my 50/1.4 lens, and also a bit with my 70-200/4 "beercan" lens in low light. If it didn't work well with my old Minolta glass, there wasn't that much point to sticking with the mount..

All that said, the Sony did have some things going for it.- very sharp with a newer lens in bright daylight- two dials and nice dedicated buttons- insane battery life.

If you want to shoot stationary subjects, and/or bright daylight conditions that don't include fast action sports, the A100 will do just fine. For my low-light action stuff, it practically made me cry. That's why I switched..

With the Sony, I got these and was happy enough..

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But I couldn't have gotten these without switching to Canon..

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I was an early A100 adopter. I've read posts from others that might indicate better results (i.e., usable ISO 800) with more recent A100s. Too late for me, as I've given away most of my Minolta glass along with my two KM 7Ds and I've built up my whole kit again based on Canon. And I'm very happy with my 400D and 40D..

Between kit lenses, I would have to say that the Sony 18-70 kit lens served me better than the Canon 18-55 (without IS) kit lens that comes with the 400D. If I were purchasing a Canon 400D on a budget, I would buy the body alone and try to get one of the newer 18-55IS kit lenses separately (from what I read, it's much sharper). Or a 50/1.8 for even less, but most people starting out probably wouldn't be happy without a zoom..

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Comment #6

Verbylbelch wrote:.

If I went the Cannon route, I can get a 50mm (1.8) prime for 70,sony's equivlant seems to be a 1.4 lens at 200! ouch..

If you do go the Sony route, you should be able to find a used Minolta 50/1.7 prime; KEH has three or four of them right now. It runs about the same price as the Canon 50/1.8, maybe 10-20% more. The (older) 50/1.7 has a metal mount; the (newer) 50/1.7 I has a plastic mount. Both are good optically, as a normal prime should be..

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Comment #7

...and held each of the cameras (A100, D40x and 400D)..

Tbh, I disliked the feel of the A100 and could discern a great difference between the Nikon and Canon. (I'll have to pop back again).

In addition, my current lenses won't be wide angled when used on digital format with the crop factor, so i'm not restricted to Sony..

Can anyone reccomend a site that reviews lenses?.

From what I have read there isn't a large difference between the kit lenses, but Jessops has some zoom on offer (in a bundle)..

Specifically, there are two lenses for the Canon/Nikon that appeal.....

Tamron 55-200 F4-5.6 Di II LD Macro (100) andSigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro (Canon AF) (100).

These are appealing because they give more reach (obviosly) and i've always wanted to have a go at macro photography..

Cheers again..

Comment #8

As I said in the title, that's not quite right. Both the RS and the Original (old and new versions) have metal mounts. The RS uses plastics in it's body, while the Original is 100% metal, which is probably what confused the bloke above...

Comment #9

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