Yet another newbie- sony a100 or nikon d40x
After many years of shutter lag frustration, I am ready to purchase a DSLR. I have been researching for several months and have narrowed my search to the Sony Alpha100 or the Nikon D40X. I now need help with the final decision. Here is a little background:.

*I'm an extreme beginner to photography, but will be taking lessons at a local photography studio..

*Camera will be used to primarily shoot indoor sporting events with low light (hockey and cheerleading), outdoor lacrosse games, kid's portraits, and other various outings..

I like the Sony A100 IS, but scared of the "noise" issue. Love the "feel" of the Nikon in my hands..

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I have searched all of the beginner threads, but could not find one with my specific needs...

Comments (11)

D40 is great camera thought 1 step lower level and doesn't accept all Nikkor autofocus lenses. D40 doesn't have camera based image stabilisation, each lens should be VR and will be costly..

A100 is not noisy at ISO up to 800. In most ocasions you will not need 1600 at all. It has image stabilisation that will save you huge % of shots made handheld. Add to it $50 Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lens or $120 Minolta 70-210mm f/4 and you will catch lot of great family candids..

Both cameras are excellent thought..


Comment #1

Thanks. I was not aware that the D40X does not accept all Nikkor lenses. I was slightly partial to that one because I have a Nikon N55 and a zoom lens to go with it. I was hoping that it would interchange with the D40x camera. I'll have to look into it.Thanks again for your time...

Comment #2

DMom3 wrote:.

Thanks. I was not aware that the D40X does not accept all Nikkorlenses..

That's not quite accurate. The D40x will accept almost all Nikkor lenses, but will only autofocus with Nikon's "AF-S" or "AF-I" models ("AF" lenses will meter, but not autofocus). Manual focus lenses are usable, but will not meter on the D40x.The Sigma lenses listed here are fully compatible:

Tamron has recently announced an image stabilized lens that will AF on the D40(x), the AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC, but as far as I know, it is not yet available..

PatcoA photograph is more than a bunch of pixels..

Comment #3

For the low light sports, the D40x will be OK though you'd have to get something fast like the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (assuming you're close to the action), because you'll need that maximum wide aperture. The kit lens won't hack it for that, I can guarantee it..

For more reach you could get the Nikon 55-200VR, 70-300VR or (expensive) the 70-200VR - though they may not be fast enough indoors..

For the Sony you could get the 50mm f/1.4 - Nikon do a similar lens but that's not AF-S so won't autofocus on the D40x..

This is important because fast lenses are not cheap but will be necessary for indoor sports (the outdoor stuff is easy) so be aware of the different systems you could be buying into..

At the end of the day Nikon's lens range is much better than Sony's, even with the proviso that a few won't AF on the D40x. And you can really dial up the ISO on the D40x as it's low light performance is very good..


Comment #4

...if the choice is between those two, you should probably consider the Nikon..

In particular, with action photography,.

1- image stabilization of any kind matters a lot less, other than with panning shots,so one of the main advantages of the Sony goes away2- you don't want to be fussing with controls and missing shots3- try to keep both eyes open while shooting the other eye to retain someawareness of the wider scene4- err on the side of a larger CF card than smaller, because you don't want tohesitate and lose shots because you're rationing card space5- for action photography in bad light, be prepared to shoot raw and learn aboutsome basic post-processing noise removal, white balance adjustment,curves/levels.

D40 is limited in what lenses it'll AF with, yes. This does matter for many sports, since continuous AF can be rather helpful..

For indoor sports, the lighting is most likely pretty bad, so you should be considering a fast lens no slower than f/2.8 would be nice, if you can swing the price. Focal length will depend on type of shot (shooting an individual, versus shooting a broader scene) and distance to subject. With hockey, you're probably behind glass, which will limit your ability to get close... assuming ice hockey, it can also move extremely quickly as the puck gets slammed long-distance. I don't know field hockey nearly as well, but perhaps it's similar..

Other notes.

For photography inside a gym, where you expect fairly poor light but it's not *night* dark (so wrecking night vision isn't an issue), and where you can get somewhat close... a powerful external flash may be useful in situations where you won't be distracting people. For ice hockey, again if there's glass in between that can cause issues with flash..

For portraiture, a fast lens in the range of 50mm or so should be reasonable for a shallow-DOF individual portrait at ordinary distances. Go wider for group portraits, go longer for candids of kids at a distance...

Comment #5

I stand by my opinion that A100 acompanied by fast Minolta AF lenses will do better..

Here are some of my shots with in-body stabilized 7D + Minolta AF inexpensive lenses (minolta 50mm f/1.7, Minolta 70-210mm f/4)..

People who claim in-body stability is not importand - never used camera body with this feature. Take a look at following examples. There is exif info for each image visible for people who don't believe..



Comment #6

Indoor sport events I shot with Minolta 50mm f/1.7, sigma 20mm f/1.8 and when time will come add 85mm 1.4 too. They all are IS by camera body..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.


Comment #7

Far more static than, say, the hockey that the OP mentioned. Hockey rarely involves people posing in static positions, outside of the few moments of a face-off...

Comment #8

Thanks for all of the great info and link for photo shots. This is definitely not an easy process. I have so much to learn!..

Comment #9

Thanks for the great info and your time!! It certainly is not an easy process and such an investment...

Comment #10

Stan- thanks for the great shots. I will be shooting a lot in a gym very similar to the one posted. Being such a beginner, I was not aware of all of the knowledge needed to shoot such great pictures. Thanks for your time and knowledge...

Comment #11

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