Personally, I'd get a Canon. I'm not a fan of Sony in the least. Just my perspective.Cheers, Craig..
I don't know what I'd do in your shoes. I think only you can make this decision. If I liked Canon right now and wanted frame rate I'd look at the deeply discounted 40d instead of the XSI. In my case I don't and I don't, so take my advice with a grain of salt..
Show us your shots. I'd like to see your kind of photos..
Picking a DSLR is for people who have none. You already now have a Sony. It is as good as any other entry level DSLR - yes, some models are a little bit better here and there but a bird in the hand is worth any in the bush..
Are you sure your Minolta lenses work on the A300? The AF ones do, the MF ones are more suitable for Olympus.
Never justify the price. Then, all of a sudden, a Sony A300 happenedto fall into my lap (my dad got it as a gift, but he knows next tonothing about photography, so he gave it to me ). Now, I've beenreading some reviews on it, and it seems as though the XTi takes thecrown in this entry-level category. Shooting speed is definitely afactor for me, and the Sony does ~2.5 fps while the Rebel does 3.5.Image quality looks a little nicer on the Rebel too, IMO. So myoriginal thought was to sell the A300 and go for an XTi. I'm alsowilling to chip in a bit of money and maybe get an XSi.
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If the lenses work, keep the Sony. The biggest complaints on the Sony is the Kit lens which is not bad at all and the High ISO noise rap which is bogus. I shoot at ISO 1600 all the time with my A200 with excellent results. I have several Minolta auto lenses that I used on my Maxxum SLR and they work perfectly on the Sony body. It will cost you a lot of money to replace those Minolta lenses if you switch to the Canon and you will not see any difference in the images you take unless you purchase the top of the line Canon lenses...
I'd keep the Sony. The Canon might be marginally better in a few areas but then again - the Sony is marginally better than the Canon in a few areas (and you can find reviews prefering the Sony as well). Thing is, if you've got some good Minolta lenses you'd have to spend a lot of cash replacing those with Canon glass..
However, if you prefer handling the Canon - then go for it. I got a Sony a200 because I prefered to handle that over similar models from other brands. The Rebels just didn't do it for me - horrible to hold and felt too cheap...
Yeah, I think I will keep the Sony. I guess the difference in IQ is really only noticeable in full zoom pics on the computer..
Also, quick question about the fisheye lens. I understand that the kit lens on the camera is 18mm at the shortest. My fisheye is 16mm, and it was designed with 35mm frames in mind, while the A300 has a smaller sensor. Does this mean I'll barely notice the fisheye effect on the A300? What kind of focal length would I need with an APS-C sensor to get a true 180 degree FOV?..
Yeah, I think I will keep the Sony. I guess the difference in IQ isreally only noticeable in full zoom pics on the computer..
Yup - I bet you that noone would be able to tell the difference, maybe except at high iso. The quality of the image really depends on the photographer as all of the entry-level digital slr's out there are really, really good. In real life it really doesn't matter which one you choose (which might explain why it took me several months to decide which one to get).
Cant help you with your question about the fisheye but I'm sure someone will ..
It's quite a bit about personal preference anyway. As many have stated, IQ on those cameras with similar price tag is just as similar..
I've personally had a Canon 450D in hand, and didn't find it comfortable either. And the live view... nice try but very stupid and half useless implementation..
So after a lot of thinking and reading I decided my first DSLR would be a Sony A300, which I received 3 days ago, followed by a Sigma 70-300 lens yesterday, and for what I've done so far I'm very happy with my choice. So, even if I'm clearly biased, if you have one in your hands now, especially with extra lenses, go for it, unless you find a really good reason not to..
The live view is really good, especially with the hinged LCD that actually allows you to make good use of it in the situations where it's helpful, and unlike with the Canon, using it doesn't pose restrictions to the camera's features..
The crop factor of the A300 is 1.5, so your 16mm lens will act like if it was a 24mm on 35mm film. So you wouldn't get as much FOV indeed, but depending on the type of lens you might still get the fisheye-distorted look even if the angle isn't much wider than the stock lens..
The live view is really good, especially with the hinged LCD thatactually allows you to make good use of it in the situations whereit's helpful, and unlike with the Canon, using it doesn't poserestrictions to the camera's features..
Reportedly the viewfinder is not as good on the Sony as Canon and the other competition..
In a P&S I can sometimes see the use of live view if it has a tilt and swivel lcd although I prefer an optical viewfinder on them most of the time. It's a different story with a SLR. Live view on a SLR might sometimes be useful for studio and macro shots on a tripod. The optical viewfinder is much more important on a SLR..
I believe the A300 and A350 are very similar except for the sensor resolution. Here's a short quote from page 2 of the A350 review on this site:.
"All other current systems have to flip the mirror up so that the main sensor can produce the live view image. Taking a photo requires dropping the mirror again to focus or meter, then lift it again to take the actual exposure. Although this mirror flapping makes it slower, using the main imaging sensor offers other advantages. Using the main imaging sensor allows the use of the potentially more accurate and flexible contrast-detection autofocus system. Access to the main sensor also allows a very fine resolution preview for manual focus confirmation. The Sony system offers an excellent level of responsiveness but gives up the precision that macro and studio shooters are likely to need.
Here's another from the conclusions on page 31:"Smallest viewfinder to appear on an APS-C DSLR".
I'd call those restrictions on the camera for a feature that isn't worth much on a SLR..
Please do not mistake a SLR for a larger P&S, it's not. You'll be disappointed in the long run if you think of it as such...
I picked the A200 over the A300 because the viewfinder if definately brighter and I personally hate live view. The first thing I do on my P&S is turn off the display and use the viewfinder. It is a shame that so many new P&S cameras lack an optical viewfinder. As a long time 35mm SLR and Rangefinder user, I find it very awkward to use live view to take a picture. People who have become used to a P&S digital may feel just the opposite and be very comfortable with live view..
That being said, if you want live view on your SLR, despite any shortcomings, Sony has the best overall live view system. I think Sony was very smart to offer the same camera with and without this feature. They have a camera that appeals to both the P&S converts as well as us old SLR users...
It appears that you haven't had an SLR before, based on your comments about wanting one but the prices being so high....
Why don't you try it and see if you like it? The price can't be beat, since you got it for free. If you sell it you probably will only get a used price for it anyway, even though it's not been used. (No offense, but I would not pay a private individual the same $$ I'd pay Amazon or B&H, even if the individual swore it was new and had never been used. Folks will expect a discount from the retail price; else they'd just buy from a dealer because it's safer.) And, if the inherited lenses work on it, then you save even more money..
It may turn out that you don't want to take the time to learn how to use an SLR. They are pretty complicated. If you don't want the bother, don't want to lug around a heavy camera, don't want to spend mucho money on extra lenses, you can unload it and get a nice P&S and write it off to experience..
And, you may love the Sony. I am very happy with my A350..
I wish I had been faced with your dilemma before I dropped $800 on my A350 body only early this year. I'd have kept the A300 and not looked back!.
Anyway, the above is just purely for what it's worth. You might want to check the Sony SLR forum on DPReview and see what the more experienced Sony users say.TLIII..
Personally, I'd get a Canon. I'm not a fan of Sony in the least. Justmy perspective..
So, because you don't like Sony, the corporation, you advice against the A300? What perspective are you actually talking about?I don't like Canon's domination, so keep the A300 could be my advice..
Instead I'll mention that although the A300 has a less frames per second in burst, it has the fastes burst rate of any camera in live view, and, more importantly, it uses the "real SLR" autofocus system, whereas Canon's cameras use contrast detection, just like compacts, and very much slower...