XSi or A300?
Hey, after lots of research, I have whittled down my options to the Canon XSi and the Sony A300. I am interested in buying only the body and buying 3rd party lenses (for cost reasons). For cost reasons, I am looking at a budget DSLR. However, I am also looking to get serious in photography hence I think these 2 cameras will fit the bill best. However, I am rather torn between the two of them, not sure which to get. Perhaps someone could advise please? Also, just to clarify, is the live view on the Sony A300 exactly the same as the one on point and shoot cameras? Thanks in advance!..

Comments (6)

Jflws wrote:However, I am also looking to get.

Serious in photography hence I think these 2 cameras will fit thebill best. However, I am rather torn between the two of them, notsure which to get. Perhaps someone could advise please? Also, justto clarify, is the live view on the Sony A300 exactly the same as theone on point and shoot cameras? Thanks in advance!.

If you're thinking about getting into the hobby of photography in a serious way, I think the best choice would be the Canon. Liveview, whatever the implementation, will be used very little. You want to look through the optical viewfinder and determine which is best for you. The Canon also has a huge range of accessories to grow into. It's a mature design with great performance..

If you're going to remain in the point and shoot mentality, and if the reason you're getting a DSLR is just to have one, then get the Sony and use it like a point and shoot. Take pictures during vacations and family events. Have fun at that.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #1

I would go for the XSi but WITH the 18 - 55mm kit lens. Much better lens than previously, has IS and is inexpensive. Canon also has better image quality in my opinion but play with both in the shop before making a decision...

Comment #2

Without wanting to be patronising, it all depends on what you mean about getting seriously into photography. The Pro path will ultimately take you to Canon or Nikon and the argument goes that you'd just as well start there first..

If however you are looking to get into photography and develop your skills then having the excellent live view facility of the Sony (those without a flip-out facility miss the point as they really need to be used on a tripod in the pro-fashion and you'll need to be a contortionist or swamp swimmer at times) will prevent you from making the same mistake that 95% people make in shooting only from eye level. There is a whole new world to be explored when you use different viewing levels and introduce interesting perspectives. Frankly, given today's good quality from all entry level DSLRs, and with everyone else shooting the same old things and the same old places from eye level, it is getting more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd..

Also, way too many people denigrate the P&S expereince and imagine that they have elevated themselves and their photography to some kind of higher plane just because they have purchased a DSLR. Nothing could be further from the truth, and many a good photographer can take good photos working in P&S mode..

And then there's always EBay as a safety net should you eventually decide that the Sony is limiting you..

Eseentially then: The safest bet is Canon provided that you discipline yourself to not work like the herd. The more interesting and individualistic way is Sony.Whichever you get, be sure to push it to the limits of creativity..

John.Please visit me at:

Comment #3

Even I was under a similar situation few weeks ago.Ultimately I decided to go for the Sony A 300.For the following reasons.1)I have shaky hands (which most people have).Sony provides in body Image stabilisation, Canon IS lenses are very costly..

So no matter what lens you use in Sony there is a image stabilization to go with it.It translates to more chances of getting a blur free image at less cost..

2)Live View.I started with a P&S and I love the live view feature.Sony has the best Live view implementation at it's range..

However you will have to go back to the Viewfinder in Bright day light or direct under the sun conditions, something which irritates me, I would like to use it all the time..

3) Cost..

For all my photography purposes the body with the lens for sony comes out cheaper than any other combination..

Here's my gear.Sony A 300 Kit. 599$Minolta 50mm 1.7f (Prime lens for indoor, portrait photography).Minolta 70-210 f4 "Beercan" (Telephoto zoom)Both the above lens cost me 350$ from ebay.

And the above combination is sufficient for all my purposes..

In future I am considering to buy the sony 18-250 lens for around 500$ for my walk around lens which should suffice as a single lens for most purposes..

I have been a happy SONY A300 user for the last 5 weeks..

You can check out some of the photos at..



Comment #4

I see 2 or 3 posts a day from folks looking for their first DSLR and want to know should I get a Canon xxx or a Nikon xxx or an Olympus xxx or a Sony xxx. So in an attempt to be proactive I decided I'ld put this post up for you to read before you post the question. Now I own an Oly and say that for clarity up front. Also I have put up almost the same statements for many posts so here's to being proactive..

Ok everyone likes their camera. So if you post a I'm choosing between the Nikon XXX and the Sony XXX you will generally get more coments that say get the Nikon because there are more Nikon owners. They may be right they may be wrong, so lets cut to the chase..

The lease important thing overall in the system, e.g. photographer, camera body, lens, is the camera body. ALL the DSLRs available today will take excellent images. All of them. So you have one variable which is basically a wash unless you want to count pixels, take pictures in very dark rooms without a flash, or whatever..

So we are left with the photographer and lenses. All the manufacturers make good lenses. Canon and Nikon make the most and there are more 3rd party lenses. And you will often see a posting about the "wide variety" of lenses from Nikon and Canon. But honestly how many lenses do you need? There are 32 lenses available for a 4/3 mount at my last count. I think that will cover all of my requirements with about 28 lenses left over.

All of the manufacturer make good quality lenses. However based on what I have read and experienced in the kit lens area Oly and Pentax have the best kit lens quality. There are so many other lenses that it really comes down to value. Can you get equiv quality lenses at the same prices. Generally the answer again is yes.

So in my opinion Oly/Pentax come out slightly ahead here for the kit lensesPlease note I said slightly. For everything else it's a wash..

That leaves us with the most important part of the system...the photographer. YOU have to decide what is the most comfortable system for you. Generally the Oly/Panasonic will have a lighter body and much lighter lenses. Pentax bodies are weather sealed so if you are going outdoors a good deal you may want to consider that. So many people use Canikons that you could be able to borrow lenses etc. Sony and Oly have built in image stabilization.

Does any of this matter to YOU? I don't know and nobody on these forums can make that decision. Some people like a heavier system. I don't but I don't like a really feather weight either. Are the controls where YOU want them? Does the menu make sense to YOU? Can YOU quckly change settings? How's the view finder? Is the camera comfortable for YOU to hold and control. If your 6'10 and have hands like Shak then you most likely will not be comfortable with a small camera.

The MOST important aspect in taking pictures is the PHOTOGRAPHER and his/her knowledge of his/her tools and his/her comfort in using that tool. DON'T put too much thought into the tool. Painters don't stand around admiring each others brushes. They talk technique. I've seen shots with Point and Shoots that are better then anything I can take with my fancy DSLR because the guy/gal that took them has more understanding of composition and has a better eye for what is interesting and they get the most from their tools..


Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #5

It is easy to say Canon or Nikon because they have been around a long time and have a good reputation. Nikon buys it's sensors from Sony. You will find the same sensor in both cameras. Sony bought out Minolta, and they had been around a long time with a great reputation. All the Minolta auto lenses from 1985 on work on the Alpha bodies. You have a ton of great lenses on the used market from Minolta and third party manufacturers for the Alpha body.

Sony is a newcomer in the DSLR market, but they have a strong heritage...

Comment #6

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