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Old 12-01-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
cjstarr
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Post Canon, Nikon, Pentex or Sony????

At this point I'm undecided on which one to purchase. I had a Sony A100 and liked it but was not happy with the ISO. I looked at the Sony slt a57 and liked it, it has
fast response. Thought about the Sony slt a65 and I like the features that it has but the problem still goes back to Sony poor performance in the ISO department. So this
leaves me with Canon, Nikon, or Pentex. I like image stabilization built into the camera because I think it makes the lens more affordable,(not sure about this).
I would like all opinions on what I should make my next
Camera.
Things that I would like in a camera,
High ISO with low noise
Fast sutter response
Image stabilization (Preferably in the lens
Seemliness abilities to do movies.

Thanks
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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I faced this same delima when I purchased my DSLR a few months back. I went to 2 different camera stores in 2 different states and they both suggested the Sony a65V (which I purchased from a 3rd store) because it had more "features" than the comparable Cannon or Nikon. I am very pleased with it. The pictures are very good, and I haven't noticed any issues with low-light/high ISO. All of the "bad" pictures I have taken have been because of the user (e.g. me) and not the camera. Even with older, cheap lenses I purchased on eBay, I have some fantastic actions shots at long distances. I'm looking to upgrade my lens, and haven't noticed any difference in cost between C/N/S.
Honestly, I think any of the 3 will be a good selection. Just get one that feels good in your hand, and that has controls that are intuitive to you and easy to use, and you should be happy.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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Nikon is known to be best for low noise at high ISO.

I do really like Sony for in camera image stabilization. Where it can make lenses a lot cheaper -- there are some pretty good old Minolta uses lenses which you can get cheap, and they get the image stabilization. (I use a Minolta nifty fifty, and a Minolta constant F4 70-210. You can get high quality copies of those 2 lenses, for under $200 combined. )
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjstarr View Post
At this point I'm undecided on which one to purchase. I had a Sony A100 and liked it but was not happy with the ISO. I looked at the Sony slt a57 and liked it, it has
fast response. Thought about the Sony slt a65 and I like the features that it has but the problem still goes back to Sony poor performance in the ISO department. So this
leaves me with Canon, Nikon, or Pentex. I like image stabilization built into the camera because I think it makes the lens more affordable,(not sure about this).
I would like all opinions on what I should make my next
Camera.
Things that I would like in a camera,
High ISO with low noise
Fast sutter response
Image stabilization (Preferably in the lens
Seemliness abilities to do movies.

Thanks
I find this ISO problem somewhat troubling. Why you ask? The Sony, Nikon and Pentax use the same sensors in many of their cameras. Personally, I shoot Pentax mainly because it is a system that I have been shooting for a long time and am invested in lenses. It would not be cost effective for me to change, besides I do like their cameras. I shoot Sony sensors in my K10D's (I have two) and my K5. While the ISO in the K10 has a max of 1600 and the K5 51200, in reality I don't like shooting beyond 800 with the K10 and 6400 with the K5. But ISO is only one part of the equation. The aperture of the lenses (which allows the amount of light to hit the sensor) also comes into play as to how fast the shutter speed is to prevent blurry pictures. This is what is called the photographic triangle, ISO, aperture, shutter speed. I can speak to the ISO performance of the 16mp Sony sensor of the K5, Nikon 5100/7000 and Sony (I'm a little unfamilar with the Sony line in that there latest iterations are not true DSLR's) cameras. They rival that of the full frame sensors. Once you get into the autofocus in lowlight that is another issue. The latest Pentax K5 cameras (II and IIs) both have improved AF systems that in the Pentax community have been receiving great reviews. In the past year a 24mp sensor has been released and is being used in several cameras ( I think it is the entry level Nikon 3200). The reports that I read is that its high ISO performance is not as good as the 16.

Saying all of this, any recommendation I would make would be dependent upon how heavily invested in you are in Sony lenses. The Pentax lenses tend to be smaller and lighter because SR (shake reduction) is in the body and they are maximized for the APS-C format because they don't offer a FF digital camera. The third party lenses are somewhat cheaper, again, because lens manufacturers such as Tamron and Sigma offer lenses without stablilization that makes them a little cheaper than their Nikon, Canon counterparts (sometimes ).

To address some of your other concerns, shutter response can be dependent on the autofocus system of the camera which then can be dependent on the lens being used. If you want good movies, my recommendation is to buy a separate video camera. IMHO, video has been included on DSLR's as a marketing ploy to get P & S users to spend more money on DSLR's. It the same as including scene modes on a DSLR. Its the way to attempt to get a usable images from a camera from someone who has little or no photographic knowledge. A DSLR is not a substitute for a video camera, it is just an add-on enticement.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
I find this ISO problem somewhat troubling. Why you ask? The Sony, Nikon and Pentax use the same sensors in many of their cameras. Personally, I shoot Pentax mainly because it is a system that I have been shooting for a long time and am invested in lenses. It would not be cost effective for me to change, besides I do like their cameras. I shoot Sony sensors in my K10D's (I have two) and my K5. While the ISO in the K10 has a max of 1600 and the K5 51200, in reality I don't like shooting beyond 800 with the K10 and 6400 with the K5. But ISO is only one part of the equation. The aperture of the lenses (which allows the amount of light to hit the sensor) also comes into play as to how fast the shutter speed is to prevent blurry pictures. This is what is called the photographic triangle, ISO, aperture, shutter speed. I can speak to the ISO performance of the 16mp Sony sensor of the K5, Nikon 5100/7000 and Sony (I'm a little unfamilar with the Sony line in that there latest iterations are not true DSLR's) cameras. They rival that of the full frame sensors. Once you get into the autofocus in lowlight that is another issue. The latest Pentax K5 cameras (II and IIs) both have improved AF systems that in the Pentax community have been receiving great reviews. In the past year a 24mp sensor has been released and is being used in several cameras ( I think it is the entry level Nikon 3200). The reports that I read is that its high ISO performance is not as good as the 16.

Saying all of this, any recommendation I would make would be dependent upon how heavily invested in you are in Sony lenses. The Pentax lenses tend to be smaller and lighter because SR (shake reduction) is in the body and they are maximized for the APS-C format because they don't offer a FF digital camera. The third party lenses are somewhat cheaper, again, because lens manufacturers such as Tamron and Sigma offer lenses without stablilization that makes them a little cheaper than their Nikon, Canon counterparts (sometimes ).

To address some of your other concerns, shutter response can be dependent on the autofocus system of the camera which then can be dependent on the lens being used. If you want good movies, my recommendation is to buy a separate video camera. IMHO, video has been included on DSLR's as a marketing ploy to get P & S users to spend more money on DSLR's. It the same as including scene modes on a DSLR. Its the way to attempt to get a usable images from a camera from someone who has little or no photographic knowledge. A DSLR is not a substitute for a video camera, it is just an add-on enticement.
Actually, I've seen professionals who now prefer dSLR video, over an independent video camera. Especially with good lenses, you can get great depth of field control with a dSLR that you don't get with a traditional video camera.
Most of the professional event videographers I've seen lately, use dSLRs for video. I've also read that several tv shows are shot with Canon dslrs.

Last edited by havoc315; 12-01-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Actually, I've seen professionals who now prefer dSLR video, over an independent video camera. Especially with good lenses, you can get great depth of field control with a dSLR that you don't get with a traditional video camera.
Most of the professional event videographers I've seen lately, use dSLRs for video.
When you say "professional", I don't think you are talking about TV quality professional which is what I deal with. I have seen the Canon promotion where they did an entire TV or movie with a Canon DSLR. The thing that they don't tell you is the lens(es) and other equipment that were used. They were nothing that any of us have or probably could afford, at least not me . I couldn't even afford the equipment the DSLR was mounted on! For a quick video for the not so discerning a DSLR will work, but if you want real good video then I would recommend a dedicated video camera mounted on a monopod/tripod.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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When you say "professional", I don't think you are talking about TV quality professional which is what I deal with. I have seen the Canon promotion where they did an entire TV or movie with a Canon DSLR. The thing that they don't tell you is the lens(es) and other equipment that were used. They were nothing that any of us have or probably could afford, at least not me . I couldn't even afford the equipment the DSLR was mounted on! For a quick video for the not so discerning a DSLR will work, but if you want real good video then I would recommend a dedicated video camera mounted on a monopod/tripod.
Several tv shows are filmed exclusively with dSLR.

Every recent wedding and event I've attended, has been shot with dSLR and fast prime lenses. Certainly not cheap. But a professional video camera isn't cheap either.
So professionals are choosing dslrs over professional video cameras.
And to my eye, consumer level dslrs are producing better videos than cheap consumer video cameras.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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I don't know why you always get so testy when anyone challenges your "expertise", to wit: Photochick. I'm not arguing with you but giving the OP an honest recommendation based on my personal experiences in the field of professional sports photography. I believe in some arenas of photography, I have some expertise and resources that many hobbyist, enthusiast photographers do not. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside photographers who have had the cover of Sports Illustrated and their work is seen in other major news outlets and websites. I am in awe of these folks and when they include me in their club, I am honored. I don't post on this website to get in arguments with folks but to help those with less experience get better images. You make assumptions, like "cheap consumer video camera". I would not make that recommendation and because I rely on my personal experience I would defer the recommendation to someone with more experience in that field. When I go on a shoot I take approximately $15,000 worth of gear so for me to recommend anything cheap would be a ridiculous assumption! Have a nice night.

Last edited by Gianna'sPapa; 12-01-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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I don't know why you always get so testy when anyone challenges your "expertise", to wit: Photochick. I'm not arguing with you but giving the OP an honest recommendation based on my personal experiences in the field of professional sports photography. I believe in some arenas of photography, I have some expertise and resources that many hobbyist, enthusiast photographers do not. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside photographers who have had the cover of Sports Illustrated and their work is seen in other major news outlets and websites. I am in awe of these folks and when they include me in their club, I am honored. I don't post on this website to get in arguments with folks but to help those with less experience get better images. You make assumptions, like "cheap consumer video camera". I would not make that recommendation and because I rely on my personal experience I would defer the recommendation to someone with more experience in that field. When I go on a shoot I take approximately $15,000 worth of gear so for me to recommend anything cheap would be a ridiculous assumption! Have a nice night.
I wasn't being testy, and I apologize if somehow you construed my tone that way. And I didn't mean "cheap" in a derogatory manner, I meant it purely in comparison to professional grade materials.

Nor am I challenging your expertise. But in just the last couple years, we are seeing something very new -- dSLRs actually becoming the video camera of choice for more and more professionals.
You mention $15000 on equipment -- so yes, I am certain a $15,000 video camera will produce better video results than $500-$2500 worth of dSLR equipment. But I am seeing professionals opt for that $500-$2500 of dSLR equipment over video cameras. This is a very very recent phenomenon, but it shows the change in the technology.
If you own a good current model dSLR, I see no advantage in a separate "cheap" (cheap being non-$15,000 worth of gear, lol) dedicated video camera (except to more easily use both at the same time).
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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How many of us shoot plenty video on our DSLR? I don't, but I will say if you are really going to shoot video, buy a camerawcamera with a mic port or you'll get all kinds of noise from the camera in your video. Sony will be your best bet for video due to the translucent mirror. It will focus faster in live view. There cameras are geared towards videographers, especially the new A99.

I agree with Giannaspapa on this. I find that every camera I have used (dslr and mirrorless) has some form of video limitation. Some have time limits and some overheat quickly.

Another camera which is great due to 5 axis stabilization is the Olympus OMD.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #11
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Okay, while we're on this awkward video photography debate, I'm going to pop in with my completely novice opinions and observations.

I have the Nikon1 J1, which isn't quite a DSLR... it's what Nikon calls a compact mirrorless DSLR and the route they chose to go instead of the four thirds camera.

One of the attractive features of the camera is its ability to shoot video and photo simultaneously. That wasn't why I chose the camera... I have a good video camera... I got the camera because of its compact size. But we were leaving the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Bowl and all of the tiger fans were chanting leaving the Georgia Dome, and my boyfriend says, "Hey, doesn't that thing do video?" Well, yes... I hadn't really experimented with it before beyond my cousin's recital. He held the camera above his head and filmed... I looked at it later, and I was super impressed with the quality of the video. I knew it was supposed to be HD, but it totally pooped on my video camera, and it was a shaky, above-the-head film. Crazy!

I've since been using the feature to take pictures while taking video. It's better to use a tripod of some sort and even better a remote because pressing the shutter can create a bump in the video a bit.

I don't the the J1 is something you'll be interested in if you wanted a DSLR because of its pop-up flash and inability to add on a flash. However, the V1 and new V2 might appeal to you. And even if not, perhaps the Nikon DSLRs have HD video which is comparable.

The J1's ISO goes up to 3200 which isn't as high as DSLRs. However, it has good high ISO noise reduction.

Another unique thing about it is the electronic shutter. It can close really fast, but it can also be sort of finnicky at times.

I'm going to stop going on because like I already said, it's not exactly a DSLR and probably not what you are interested in getting (more of a novelty camera than a professional camera), but the whole movie v. videography debate made me thing of it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #12
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To answer the OPs original questions, it may be worth looking at micro 4/3 like Panasonic and Olympus. Their native mode is to always have the sensor exposed (unlike most dSLRs) so they are well suited for both video and stills. The models most like a SLR are the Oly EM-5 and Pana G3/G5 and GH2/GH3. These models all have a real viewfinder although it is electronic, not optical. All of these have clean high ISO (but not as high as some dSLRS with larger sensors), and quick shutter response. Olympus has in-body stabilization while Panasonic has it in the lens (but not all lenses).
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #13
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I have around $5,000 worth of Nikon gear in my backpack at any time. For what it's worth, I have never used my d7000 for anything more that still pictures.

I detest "live view" and am just not into video. What's funny is back in the day, I was a video editing freak. But when I got into serious photography , video just didn't excite me anymore.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjstarr View Post
At this point I'm undecided on which one to purchase. I had a Sony A100 and liked it but was not happy with the ISO. I looked at the Sony slt a57 and liked it, it has
fast response. Thought about the Sony slt a65 and I like the features that it has but the problem still goes back to Sony poor performance in the ISO department. So this
leaves me with Canon, Nikon, or Pentex. I like image stabilization built into the camera because I think it makes the lens more affordable,(not sure about this).
I would like all opinions on what I should make my next
Camera.
Things that I would like in a camera,
High ISO with low noise
Fast sutter response
Image stabilization (Preferably in the lens
Seemliness abilities to do movies.

Thanks
I'll add that having an A100 (still in the house - it has a special look IMO when you can use it in decent lighting) and several of the recent Sony's there is no comparison to the high ISO - they are all a huge imrovement just as has happened with all the camera brands when you compare back to camera's from the A100 vintage. IMO from what I've seen unless you're getting the very top of the line Nikon - or D800 it just isn't that obvious of a difference amongst the different brands. And there are features in the SLT's that you pay big big buck for in other lines - mostly fps but that's important to me and may not be for you.

Any DSLR ought to give fast shutter response. IS in camera has always made the most sense to my personally but that's just because you have it with every lens then. I know virtually nothing about the video on other lines but the Sony has been good IMO the little I've used it.

If you want to switch I'd go back to the same old advice. Go hold the cameras and see what is comfortable. All the lines can achieve what you are looking for I believe (caveat again being my lack of knowledge on the video options but it seems like all brands have good capability now - at least according to the commercials!)
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I have around $5,000 worth of Nikon gear in my backpack at any time. For what it's worth, I have never used my d7000 for anything more that still pictures.

I detest "live view" and am just not into video. What's funny is back in the day, I was a video editing freak. But when I got into serious photography , video just didn't excite me anymore.
I used to hate live view. Never saw the need. Then I got a Lensbaby Spark with the macro optics. If you do any kind of detail work and you have to nail the focus to a specific spot then live view with it's 10x magnification option can really help. Especially if you're shooting with a crop sensor camera with their tiny (compared to full frame) viewfinders.
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