Sunday, April 13, 2008

dSLR: Canon vs Sony, which to buy?

I bought my cam, A700, around a year ago. Within that period, I had used that cam for various occasions. With the knowledges on photography grows day by day, I've finally face some limitations from it. The ISO sucks a lot from 400 onwards, the shutter speed is too slow to freeze the motion, the grip is too small for me which decreases the stability... and because of that, I'm too lazy to bring out this "toy" as I can't get the shiok effect from it. Oh and by the way, I'm using Canon A700, not Sony A700 ^^"

And now, I'm thinking for an upgrade; an upgrade to the world of dSLRs. I did a lot of homeworks and researches, looking for the best performance over values entry level dSLRs that are available in the current market. And here comes the headache part, after narrowing the choices of entry levels dSLRs, it leads me to a few options that I can choose from:

Sony A200: One of the best choices entry level dSLRs for budget buyer. With one of the main selling point which is built in Super Steady Shot (SSS), I mean, where on Earth that you can get a dSLRs with built in image stabilizer with the price of just RM1.7k with SAL17-50mm kitlens?

Sony A300/A350: Another Alpha series from Sony. Apart the features which is almost the same with A200, A300/A350 offers true lifeview and a tilt screen! A350 has been launched and available in the market while the date for A300 to be on sale is still uncertain. If I'm going to choose one of the two, most probably I'll go for A300 for its lower price and I don't think I need that much megapixels from A350. And the big question is, when will A300 be launched?

Canon 400D: An almost two years technology and it was always on my mind whenever entry level dSLR is mentioned. Cheaper accessories is one of the reason why I wanted to go for it. I think an additional battery grip is needed if I were to get it as most of the feedbacks from users I've read are small grip of the dSLR.

Canon 450D: I told you that 400D was always on my mind when it comes to entry level dSLR right? Well, it was always on my mind until... this 450D appears in the market! With the features and body build that is 10000 times better than the 400D (OK, I exaggerate too much on the 10000 times better part), the only set back for me is the price. If only it was launched six months ago so the price would not be that high as now *sigh*

You must be wondering why don't I just go for 450D? Well, I've mentioned bout the best performance over values thing right? I want to get something that's worth the money I spend on. Added that expensive/new != good. Those money doesn't come easily and it takes me some times to save them. VERY DIFFICULT TO SAVE THOSE MONEY YOU KNOW!!! That's why I'm still hesitating to decide on one of those. I don't want to regret after spending so much money on it.

In case you are wondering why Nikon is not inside my list, let me put it in this way, the D40, D40x, D50 and D60 do not attract me at all. If I'm to get a Nikon, I'll go for D80 but D80 is waaaaaaay out of my budget :( My initial budget is only around RM2k plus and the most money I can ooze out is 450D which is below Rm3k, and that already leave me stuck with what is included in the package for a few months or maybe years to come.

I really don't have any clues on which one to get when it comes to getting my first dSLR where all of them have their own pros and cons. And again, I have to emphasize that I'm looking for one that is worth every cents I've spent on it. Headache right?

Choosing a suitable dSLR is quite a tiring task which I'm totally clueless now, however I've created some useful *cough* tips after getting one though. And these might be the stuffs that I'll keep on reminding myself after I bought one to prevent from regrets. Here goes:

1. Keep your eyes wide open before choosing a suitable dSLR. After you bought it, close you eyes and don't look back so you won't regret.

2. Short term pain (in the pocket) is always better than long term pain (regret for the rest of your life), get the best that you can afford.

3. For those that still keep on hesitating after getting their own dSLR, has weak heart or can't accept criticism well, just stick and chat with your own brand community, as fanboys from other brands will start to argue and bash your puny lousy dSLR that is worth nothing more than a piece of shit which in the end will kill your confidence for the brand you go for and make you regret after the purchase. So stick to your own brand community as they'll praise your dSLR like it's a diamond that drop from Heaven, even if it isn't that great at all and can be easily pawned by competitor's product. At least it can boost your little ego and confidence, that's a good thing... right?

4. If the war between brands can't be stopped, you have to prepare the war by equipping yourself with your ultimate weapon (the dSLR), unlimited bullets (battery power) and magazines (memory spaces), together with FLASHbang that'll blind your enemy while making them inferior with your BIG and LOOONG bazooka (lens FTW!!!). Remember to bring along a combat knife or a parang and no, it has nothing to do with any of the dSLR and the accessories, just in case his dSLR pawns yours (blame yourself for not being rich :P), you can always the knife and... leave a few scratches on your enemy's lens and camera body, that will make him/her cry. What? You think that I'm going to tell you to stab them? I'm not that violent wan... hehehe

Enough of the craps, for those that is new to dSLR and want to get a suitable dSLR, besides doing tonnes of research and homework, it is advised to try out the dSLRs and see which one of them that you are comfortable with. FYI, that's the most advise given for those that are clueless, undecided and full of hesistations (like me) I've read.

And of course, if you like to leave some comments regarding this article, especially shedding some light for me to walk the right path, you are welcomed to do so! However, please keep in mind that flaming or bashing without supported facts will not be tolerated and will be deleted immediately. Fanboyism is allowed (there must be some reasons why you want to support the particular brand and I'd like to hear it) but please don't make it to the extend that you start to bash other brands.

Please let me know if you know any shops in KL that offers the best deal for the four models I mentioned, especially 450D. Thanks!

On a rational thought, don't judge a dSLR by its brand.

Side note: I guess this is the longest post I've written in my blog so far, and even myself is amazed :P Going to get busy for midterm exam and FYP report :(

Updated: Bought a Canon 450D in the end after trying out the DSLRs in the shop. More pictures taken with this DSLR can be viewed in my posts starting from 28th April 2008 onward.


Eugene said...

Go Canon 450D :D I've seen the specs. The kit lens is definitely sharper than the Sony's one. Then there's DIGIC 3 :D better processing and of course you got a wider range of lenses.

For Sony, the alpha 350 is good coz 14megapixels. Good for crop. The LCD is also very yummy. Much better than the 450D's. However, you've gotta go find minolta lenses coz sony lenses are too darn expensive.

So...for me...Go Canon :D Can share lens with tele buggers like me :D

hao said...

eugene: Eugene from tele ah? Wah, after poisoned kimfei to get 40d, now you want to poison me to get 450d huh? LOL!

jijitankyy said...

Hard to make decision then buy both..haha~

Jayce said...

You can't go wrong with both of them. Just make sure that you have money for future lens. SLR is an expensive investment. Make sure you have budget before jump into it. :P

Fird said...

I always look at the lenses available when choosing a dSLR body. This is because the body will always get obsolete over time, and the only thing usually stays for a long while is the lens.

Basically - pick a system that have the lenses that you wanted, and then stick with it. If you always compare features by features, there will be neverending battle. Switching system lateron will be expensive.

the both of us said...

hey dude, read this article thru nuffnang. You got a difficult choice here between the 450 d or the Sony, but For me I'd rather go for Cannon cameras. I bought my S5IS recently and it's well worth my money. For more info, check out

izzat said...

canon 450D - feedback by the buyer/owner/user at dpreview said canon 450D got prob wif ISO and noise level. canon 400D is much more better than 450D.

canon 400D - price still around 3K wih single kit lens. if u can afford for the lens after this. its ok to get this gear. btw, this dSLR completely lost to SONY A300. Note: not A350.

SONY A350/A300/A200 - Sony is new comer in this dSLR industry but their technology in this image processing and photography already used in most of dSLR camera and high quality video camera. Sony offered a damn cheap dSLR to those who wanna own a dSLR. With their build-in SuperSteadyShot in body,make it possible for to use the lens wif no stabilisation. Compare to C n N, which all their camera body doesn't have any build-in stabilisation, to get a shake-free photos need you to attach a lens with image stabilisation and it was damn expensive. With 2.5k u can get a SONY A200 with dual kit lens or u can get it even cheaper. Nice right?

My opinion is, find a right camera that depends on ur need. Don't buy it because everyone use it. I think SONY offer a great dSLR here which best price and their lens also affordable. If me, i will go to SONY instead of C n N. Otherwise i got a lot if money to afford their lens.

More info about dSLR can be found here. There are lots of guide and review about latest dSLR. You can ask them for any question.

just my 50 cents :P

p/s: nway, still can't afford yet a SONY dSLR. Need more money to spend. hehehe. ^_^

moo_t said...

Apparently, you didn't do much research on DSLR.

Go check the Ken Rockwell review on the D60 . His recommendation, get a D40. IMHO, I agree. Here is a good example of D40 photo journal, from Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

One should go out and actually have a hands on feel of the equipment instead of jumping into the bandwagon. One can read all the wonders of 1 camera but still get crappy results.

One should also determine what type of shots that is going to be shot with the equipment. If you are going to be buying to take holiday shots, its better off getting compacts as they are inexpensive, lighter and hassle free.

Yes, looking into the future will be an advantage, but do not let the variety of lenses fool ya. There's different grades of lenses, thus differ in prices. Go within your budget and do not be influenced by those around you as you may regret your purchase.

Fird said...

I second that. At the end of the day, the camera is just a tool. What you do with it will yield the result. The eyes behind the lens is more important than then lens/camera itself!

hao said...

jijitankyy: You think my dad open money printing factory ah? Hahaha

jayce and fird: Yes, I take that into consideration too. I heard that Sony is going to open a lens factory to mass produce lenses so that the consumers get to buy cheaper lenses. It might not be true, and if I want to stay on a safer side, I'll go for Canon/Nikon.

the both of us: No doubt that Canon is an old player in this field and my confidence with them is stronger, but the features from Sony dSLR is quite tempting for its price :D

izzat: Seriously, you are the first to tell that 450D is worse than 400D, from all the reviews I've read, it's the other way round, haha... And 400D with kitlens is around RM2k currently ;)

Anyway, I'll try the models I can get my hands on before deciding it :P

moo_t: Ken Rockwell is a bit bias more to Nikon, and I didn't say that, the forum members in dpreview did after I was browsing through the forum for the past few weeks.

anonymous: Don't worry, I'll play with some of the models when I visit the camera shop before deciding on the one that I'm comfortable with.

I've faced limitations with my PnS, hence the need to get a dSLR. And the models I've listed fits into my budget, anything more expensive than that, I have to cover my eyes eventhough it's one of the good dSLR around, eg: d80 :(

fird: But the equipments in front of the eyes play an important role too, that's the reason why people choose dSLR over PnS despite the huge price gap between them. That's also why some ppl have the need to get a 1Ds Mark III rather than just using 400D. Don't you think so? :P

hao said...

Ah, and thanks for the inputs guys! Appreciate it! ;)

Hungry Ping said...

haha... so nikon is added into ur consideration liao la....
an chua??

fattien said...

I agree with what Fird said so.. I have tested on many cameras. Each of the brand got pros and cons anyhow just don't regret after you buy it. Entry level just suit you.
ISO was not a big problem as long you have external flash and a low focal lense.

Anyhow, you must know the basics of photography and think it for long term. Good Luck.

hao said...

hungry ping: Go there see see and test test first XD

fattien: I can't say I know all the basics of photography, but at least I'm exposed to it. That's one of the reason why I choose the PowerShot series which offer manual control rather than going for the small and stylish PnS cam in the first place. I guess that's the most newbies cam into world of photography ;)

Anonymous said...

Haha, I am in the same boat, it's so frustrating. I like how you wrote it and I couldn't stop laughing on some parts, it is so true...lololol. For now, I have my Kodak z1012 noobcam, lol, but it does alright. One day maybe my dream of DSLR will come true...


Thiruppathy Raja said...

what an exciting experience!/Hilorious! Delightful! True!

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The Rookie Blogger said...

I have tried sony a330, a33, and a57. All three are good cameras. I have tried canon 1000d and 40d, they're not that good.