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Canon 450D vs Sony A350

MrCynical

Active Member
I've had a 'bridge camera' for a couple of years and (since I've found myself taking photos for fun rather than just to record moments) I'm now considering getting myself a DSLR. I know that between manufacturers at the consumer end there's little to differentiate other than availability of lenses/accessories, but I'm not sure which models are equivalent to each other.

I was considering the Canon EOS 450D, but then I spotted some (apparently) stonking good deals on Sony DSLRs. Can anyone help me out with these questions?

  • Is the Sony A350 their equivalent (in range terms) to the Canon 450D?
  • Is it possible to get an 50mm f1.8 prime lens - aka nifty fifty - (or something very similar at the same bargain price point?) for the Sony DSLRs? I know that Canon and Nikon do them, but with my limited knowledge of lens websites I haven't been able to find one for Sony.
I wasn't actually planning to get the camera until the summer, but Sony have got a £50 cashback on it at the moment which runs out at the end of the month. I'm going to go into Jessops tomorrow to see what it feels like in my hands and everything.
 
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Ikki

Active Member
I terms of image quality, unless you are a pixel peeper there is little difference up to iso 800 above that the Canon is the better performer. Just ask yourself how often you use iso 1600 to find out if this is an issue, some people are a bit high iso fixated. The live view systems are very different, the Canon is probably best suited to studio work but the Sony with the flip screen and faster focusing is more like a compact camera in operation and more flexible IMO. Other than that the differences are minor and both take great photos. You may prefer the handling of one over the other and this can sway the choice as much as spec/performance.

You really have to go to a dealer and try them both out.

If you want a 50mm lens on the Sony the easiest choices are:

Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 50mm f1.4
Sony 50mm f1.4
Sigma 50mm f1.4

So there is plenty of choice at 50mm, all great performers. The cheapest being a second hand Minolta 50mm f1.7 lens from ebay.

p.s. for in depth lens reviews for the Sony A mount, check out the lens database on www.dyxum.com. There are a number of other sites like photozone.de, photoclubalpha.com, alphamountworld.com, slrgear.com that have A mount lens reviews.
 
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MrCynical

Active Member
Hmm... if it's a choice between a second hand lens and the (relatively) expensive f1.4's then that would negate a lot of the cost advantage of the Sony :(. Cheers, I'll have a look around online and see what the options are like.
 

Synchro

Distinguished Member
I find Sonys give candy, disney like colours (really red reds, and really blue blues and really yellow yellows), which some people like, others not so much.

You really see it on skiing pictures. Take a Cannon picture and a Sony picture and check out people ski jackets. The sony ones really "stand out". A bit too much IMO.
 

MrCynical

Active Member
You really see it on skiing pictures. Take a Cannon picture and a Sony picture and check out people ski jackets. The sony ones really "stand out". A bit too much IMO.

The lenses are really a deal-breaker for my personal use case. I don't necessarily want to spend £300 on one lens (what the Sony 50mm f1.4 is selling for on Amazon) - certainly not immediately after buying the camera. I'm going to just wait and (if I'm still after a DSLR) buy a 450D in the summer.

EDIT: I've read uncharitable things about the lenses that come with the A350 'double kit'. Fairly settled on not getting a Sony now - which means (due to the lack of a '£50 offer which ends this week' incentive) I'm in no great rush.
 
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Ikki

Active Member
I find Sonys give candy, disney like colours (really red reds, and really blue blues and really yellow yellows), which some people like, others not so much.

You really see it on skiing pictures. Take a Canon picture and a Sony picture and check out people ski jackets. The sony ones really "stand out". A bit too much IMO.

That's funny, my impression is that Canon colours are well saturated as standard, on the entry level cameras at least (below 40D/50D). I can't say that I have noticed overblown/unnatural colours on the A200. I guess we all see things differently.
 

anthony566

Active Member
Sony all the way for me .... and i have not noticed any over the top colours on my A350 and the kit lenses are like most kit lenses of all makes they tend to need a lot of light to get the best out of them.
 

chrism_scotland

Well-known Member
I can't comment on picture quality as my photography skills are awful at the moment and I'm just relying on the automatic settings but my A300 certainly feels like a quality piece of kit, it feels just right in the hand and it seems a good start for a DSLR.
The A350 is exactly the same save the 14.2 Megapixel Sensor, I'd highly reccomend a Sony, I know I'm glad I went for it.
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
I find Sonys give candy, disney like colours (really red reds, and really blue blues and really yellow yellows), which some people like, others not so much.

You really see it on skiing pictures. Take a Cannon picture and a Sony picture and check out people ski jackets. The sony ones really "stand out". A bit too much IMO.

I've never heard that before about the a350. Are you taking about compact cameras or DSLR's? I've found that all of my Minolta and Sony cameras need a little colour boost rather than the other way around.

For the OP, here are some examples:

a350: Flickr: Camera Finder: Sony: Alpha DSLR-A350
450d: Flickr: Camera Finder: Canon: EOS Digital Rebel XSi

It is right that the Sony doesn't have a new 50mm f1.8 at the moment (there are rumours for PMA, but only rumours at this point in time)

There is obviously the much higher quality 50mm f1.4 (on both Canon and Sony platforms), which really would make the most out of the a350 due to it's 14MP resolution (14MP - thats pretty high for APS-C - and needs good glass to make the most of it). On both systems, the 'f1.4 upgrade' is not just the slightly faster aperture, but the IQ is much better over the whole aperture range.

I would say that the deciding factor between the two is the LV implementation. One is better for macro and still life (Canon) and the other is more like a 'point and shoot' (Sony)
 

MrCynical

Active Member
On both systems, the 'f1.4 upgrade' is not just the slightly faster aperture, but the IQ is much better over the whole aperture range.

I would say that the deciding factor between the two is the LV implementation. One is better for macro and still life (Canon) and the other is more like a 'point and shoot' (Sony)

My problem is that, from my brief explorations, lenses for the Sony cameras seem less numerous and more expensive than for Canon. Since I'm not a professional photographer (and don't plan to become one :p) the availability of reasonably-priced lenses is my main consideration.
 

Ikki

Active Member
This is not the problem that you see it to be. The Sony range is getting wider all the time, is wide enough already for most amateurs needs and prices are coming down but if you want to buy new there is also a wide range of new and excellent lenses from Tamron and Sigma at reasonable prices.

Don't forget that over 25 years worth of Minolta lenses will work fully on Sony DSLR's and there is a wide range including very high performance and unique lenses not found anywhere else. Don't worry about going second hand, these lenses wear well and are much cheaper than buying new. A big plus point is that all new and second hand lenses including any manual focus lenses that need an adaptor are image stabilised on these bodies.

As an amateur, what lenses are you likely to buy that don't have a reasonably close equivalent in the A-mount?
 

MrCynical

Active Member
Don't forget that over 25 years worth of Minolta lenses will work fully on Sony DSLR's and there is a wide range including very high performance and unique lenses not found anywhere else. Don't worry about going second hand, these lenses wear well and are much cheaper than buying new. A big plus point is that all new and second hand lenses including any manual focus lenses that need an adaptor are image stabilised on these bodies.

As an amateur, what lenses are you likely to buy that don't have a reasonably close equivalent in the A-mount?

I just don't want to go second hand on principle. Know that might sound stubborn, but it's just the way I am :p That's what my real problem is - since very few of the old autofocus lenses are available new (for obvious reasons!), I have to go for a brand whose current manufacturer makes the various lenses I'm interested in.
 

MrCynical

Active Member
So what do you need that you can't get in A-mount?

The 50mm f1.8 mentioned at the top is my main specific one - I want a nice sharp portrait-type lens (which is relatively inexpensive), as taking pictures of family indoors is probably my second most common type of photography after general landscapes/buildings etc.
 

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