Sony's A300, A350, and their Live View

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by Roger, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member ... 300350.asp

    Funny, Minolta Spain (Sony) leaked these a few days ago. They have a switch that redirects the optical viewfinder image to the live view sensor, so you don't lose regular AF in live view.

    A300 is 10.2 MP, A350 is 14.2! Both include a *fold-out* LCD screen for the live view.

    Add that with their new 24-70/2.8 Zeiss: ... ss2470.asp

    Sony isn't laying down. But three new dSLRs this month? I guess they do have some catching up to do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    One of these is looking to be my next camera.

    I have been seriously impressed with the camera when I checked it out at the local Sony store (the A350...the A300 comes out later this month).

    For those of you who've gone straight from SLR to DSLR, live view just doesn't have much draw. But those of us who went from SLR to digital prosumers and P&S cams can appreciate what live view can provide - IF it is properly implemented.

    I've been trying each manufacturer's successive attempts at incorporating live view, and haven't liked any of them so far. The biggest problems have been the long delay in shutter when using live view, as the mirrors have to flip up and down before the shot. Or in other implementations, the live view switches over to a contrast-detect focus, rather than use the superior phase detect system. Sony so far seems to have it right...there is no...and I mean ZERO...delay when shooting in live view and pressing the shutter. It acts, handles, focuses, and shoots exactly like it does when in OVF mode. And switching between the two modes is as simple as one little switch on top - less than a second to swap between modes.

    I want to have an OVF, as I shoot alot of wildlife...for tracking and moving objects, live view simply won't work. Even on my H5, I use the EVF because it refreshes faster and my stance is more natural and stable with the camera held up to my face. But I also want live view, because I love night photography. The variable angle LCD is priceless when the camera is on a tripod, and you're taking long shutter exposures. Rather than crane down to where your eyepiece is angled, standing with your back bent and trying to frame a night can just sit in a comfy chair, with the LCD angled towards you regardless of the camera's orientation, and view a nice, crisp LCD image of what you'll be shooting. The extra advantages of the variable LCD and live view are taking medium-format style waist shots, macros of ground level objects without having to lay down on the ground, or shooting over people's heads and still composing your shot.

    I'm likely leaning towards the A300 at this point - the A350 just seems like a tiny bit of overkill on the MP. The results have been decent from the camera, but noise performance at high ISOs is noticeably suffering compared to the competition...and even to the A200 (which shares the same 10.2MP sensor with the A300). I want to be able to shoot at least to 1600 with usable results...the A200 shots at A200 look good, while the A350 shots are starting to lose some detail from noise reduction. Not alot of differences between these two...and the A300 even has the advantage of a faster burst speed (3fps in live view or OVF, versus 2fps in live view or 2.5fps in OVF mode for the 350).

    The Zeiss lens is nice and tempting...but I think I'm going to start off with a good walkaround, all purpose lens for a reasonable price. The reviews on the Sony SAL18-250 F3.5-6.3 have been excellent, and the range of that lens is simply astounding. With the 1.5x crop, it gives me 27mm to 375mm in a single, lightweight, non-extending lens. For around $550, it's a heck of a lens.

    And I'll probably pick up a Tamron 200-500 5-6.3 Di LD for around $800, to cover my much needed telephoto range for wildlife and birding.

    Down the road, I'll hunt down a nice prime...something between 30 - F1.4 or 1.7 for low light and indoor work. That should give me enough for just about any situation, and any other lenses after that will just be bargain hunting for specialty stuff every once in a while.

    Sony's definitely not laying down, and they're catching up fairly quickly. With the FF coming soon, they'll have 5 bodies to cover from basic to advanced, with 3 body categories much like their competitors. They won't have the lens collection to match - probably never will (Canon's been at it too long to catch, and Nikon's not too much behind). But they are doing a fair job of releasing the RIGHT lenses - and updating some of the better Minolta lenses for digital use and better performance. And the in-body stabilization certainly makes lenses cheaper to buy, and ensures that ALL of your lenses are stabilized.

    I've never bothered to play 'who's best' in the DSLR game. I was impressed with Canons more than others a few years back, lately finding myself more impressed with Nikons, and admiring Olympus and Sony's advances and experimentation in trying to drag old-tech DSLRs into the modern world that digital photography promised when it was invented. They're all fine just comes down to personal choice!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014

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