So my indecision continues.......now considering one of the Sony SLT A37 maybe?

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by npmommie, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. npmommie

    npmommie <font color=red>Channels George Michael in her car

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    So I talked on here about wanting a new camera that would be good for indoor sports, no flash allowed events.

    I was all set to choose a mirrorless when I read an article on DP review that says mirrorless are not a good choice for low light sports events with fast moving targets. something about the autofocus, and how you will end up missing many shots and the focus will be off on many that you do get.

    the article mentioned the Sony SLT series as a good "bridge" between a point and shoot and a large dslr.
    any opinions?

    I really wasnt going to go for another dslr. I have an older one. the Pentax K100d.
    is the sony as bulky? It is described as a compact dslr.
    my pentax is kind of bulky and heavy and sometimes it takes what seems like a long time to focus and get a shot.

    I know I would still need a lense if I get the Sony so I can zoom in.
    I was thinking of this
    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SLT-A37M...8&qid=1355146150&sr=8-2&keywords=sony+slt-a37
     
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  3. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

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    Compact dslr's are generally crop sized DSLRs.

    For me when I'm shooting indoor sports, the lens becomes more important than the camera. I just need a camera that can get to ISO 1600 without too much noise and I'm good. I used to worry about burst rate which is why a lot of cameras get knocked for sports. It's why I went with the 50D over the T2i when I got it. But really, I don't notice much of a difference in practical use between my old Rebel XT and my 50D, and the 50D has about twice the burst rate. If you spray and pray burst rate becomes more important, and that's the approach of a lot of photographers now which is a good part of why I think a fast burst rate has become such a sought after feature. SUre it's nice to have, but not necessary to have.
     
  4. JoeDif

    JoeDif DIS Veteran

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    Why not look into the Olympus OM-D. I'd take that hands down over the A37. The autofocus is good, high ISO is pretty clean plus it has a 9fps burst rate, a plus for sports photography.
     
  5. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    I picked up a A55 body for $400. I love using it for shooting indoor sports. Use it for my kids Tae Kwon Do. Used it yesterday at a kids birthday party in a poorly lit gymnasium.

    It is very fast focusing, and shooting 10fps is pretty amazing.

    The cameras are quite light and compact compared to other dSLRs, but the lenses can get heavy.

    For indoor sports -- I shoot with the Minolta beer can. It's a 20-30 year old lens. You can only buy it used for $100-150. But there is nothing else like it on the market, and it's better quality than any other zoom lens on the market for under $500. It is 70-210mm with a constant f4 aperture. Professionals will say they want a constant 2.8, but such a lens is over $1,000. So to get close for $125 is pretty amazing.
    The downside of the beer can -- it's huge and heavy.

    I get a great shutter speed using the A55 with the beer can and iso of 1600-3200. BUT, I shoot in raw and do need to sometimes apply a little post processing noise reduction, especially at 3200.

    Overall, I would give a positive recommendation for this camera. And if you can deal with the weight, I'd say get the beer can.
     
  6. njtree

    njtree Mouseketeer

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    zero issues with hockey with A33 and 55-200mm kit lens. Wish I had 70-200mm lens f2.8

    [​IMG]
    DSC04965 by NJtree, on Flickr
     
  7. npmommie

    npmommie <font color=red>Channels George Michael in her car

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    Very nice!

    Re: the olympus omd.........$1000 is over my price range right now. I was hoping to not spend more than $600
    I know good luck right!
     
  8. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

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    I use a Canon 70-210 f/4. It's an old push/pull zoom and that turns some people off but the sharpness, color reproduction and contrast are outstanding. It's near L quality. It runs around $150 like new used. I think a lot of people overlook these great out of production lenses.
     
  9. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    I bought the A57 in May and I love it for indoor sports shooting...Like njtree I use mine for a lot of hockey shots. Here is one that I took recently:

    [​IMG]

    I have been completely impressed with the A57 and I cannot wait to take it to WDW in February and December.
     
  10. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Yes, I seem to remember reading a comparison between the Minolta and Canon versions somewhere, concluding they were both excellent lenses. If you know what you're looking for, you can certainly find some bargains in out of production lenses, especially if you are willing to make some tradeoffs. For the beercan, it's just the bulk of the lens.
    The nice thing about the Sony/Minolta mount, is that since the image stabilization is in the camera, you are basically adding image stabilization to a very old lens.

    The only downsides I've seen --Mediocre/poor CA, but usually easily corrected when it pops up. The loud screw autofocus. And the size of the lens -- the zoom is in the barrel, so the lens is basically always massive.
    But for indoor sports, and for long portraits, really can't beat the lens for the money.
     
  11. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    You can get good deals, even with warranty, on open box items etc, of 1 model old, for very good prices.
    For example, if you want to go through Amazon, they have the A35 going through a 3rd party seller, listed as New in Box, with lens, for $420
    The A55 "like new" with lens and accessories for $470
    The A33 with lens, from various sellers for $370-$380.

    There aren't HUGE differences between these models and the newest models.

    If it was me, most bang for the buck--
    Get the A55 from ebay, with kit 18-55 lens for about $400-$450. (bit cheaper through ebay over Amazon).
    Add a 50mm 1.8 prime lens for about $80.
    Add the 70-210 f4 beercan for about $125

    Then for about $600-$650, you actually have everything you need to take great photos. You really don't *need* more lenses than that.
     
  12. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I think you need to look at spending in terms of the "long term" as opposed to the initial investment. Once you get into this, it's pricey, no matter how you slice it. :rotfl2:

    Go with whatever you feel will give you the best results, that will be ergonomically comfortable for you - and that includes carrying your equipment around.
     
  13. npmommie

    npmommie <font color=red>Channels George Michael in her car

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    LOL yes i am learning that very quickly!
    My simple mission of better gym pics is gonna cost me!
     
  14. npmommie

    npmommie <font color=red>Channels George Michael in her car

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    i know you guys are sick of hearing from me! lol
    i am reading and reading and it seems like if the sensor too small, even if the aperature is 2.8 across the zoom like the fz200 there could be noisey pics? am I understanding correctly.
    so a bigger sensor is better?

    at this point I am considering just using my 20 year old film SLR with its equally old 50mm 1.4 lense.
    hah.

    I used it about 6 years ago on a vacation because at the time my sony digi camera broke, and the heat I took from complete strangers ( wow you really should get current, get a digital camera, you still use that thing?)..... was kind of funny but i got some beautiful pictures on that trip!
     
  15. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Nice! :thumbsup2
     
  16. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

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    Sensor size.. yes and no. The sensor is a network of small little cells and the larger those are as well as the farther apart they are, the better off you are. But that only goes so far. The quality of the sensor also matters. I've seen some point and shoot sized sensors that are better than some aps sized DSLR sensors as far as noise performance. So you really have to evaluate things. Yes larger sensors are generally better as far as noise goes, but not always.

    And sensor size/performance is only one aspect. The quality of your lens also impacts the appearance of noise, among other things. A camera with a high end lens that has an older technology sensor with more noise can sometimes yield better image quality than a better performing sensor with a low end lens. The higher end lens gives you better clarity. Sharpness, contrast, color are all improved. Which leads to a better overall image quality and also means that any noise reduction will cause less of an impact on overall sharpness, because you are starting off with a better quality image. So it's not just a matter of a better sensor meaning less noise or better image quality. It's not just about the camera specs.

    The film SLR... consider that digital sensors have passed film in terms of light sensitivity. I'm not saying don't use film, I love film. But a 35mm SLR is generally not going to be superior to a DSLR made in the last 7-10 years as far as image quality goes. Especially if you use standard film bought off the shelf at Walmart. Unless you have a film SLR with professional quality lenses... in which case buy a DSLR to fit those.

    Honestly, if it were me I'd get a faster lens for that Pentax DSLR you have first. I have a Rebel XT (from 2005 so near the same era as your Pentax K100D) and I still use that as my second camera with a fast prime on it for my daughter's dance recitals. It is still an excellent DSLR when paired with a good quality fast lens like that.
     
  17. npmommie

    npmommie <font color=red>Channels George Michael in her car

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    Thanks photo chick :) that helps.
     
  18. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I agree. But I think you should rent a fast lens for a weekend first with your Pentax dSLR, and see how it does.

    If it does well, and to your liking, then you could consider buying one, or buying another dSLR or mirrorless system paired with a fast lens.

    Things to consider are your budget, ergonomics, and which system you'd like to stick with long term, since fast lenses are expensive. (Also remember it will still take a while for you to learn how to get good pictures under those conditions no matter which camera you go with.)

    In the past, getting consistently good low light shots with movement would have been nearly impossible with a point and shoot. It could be that some of the newer advances on point and shoots dispel this thinking, but you'd have to try it out and see if it works for you. I would imagine it would still be far more challenging than using a dSLR/fast lens combination.
     
  19. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    All else being equal (equal quality lens, equal aperture, equal sensor quality), then larger sensor is definitely better. Less noise, better depth of field. You can look up the DXO scores, for their noise ratings. I don't think they have rated the FZ200 yet, but the FX150 is rated poorly for noise -- with noise appearing over ISO of 132. Most dSLRs, with their larger sensors, rate 800+

    There are multiple avenues to get to your destination.

    Your destination -- You need properly exposed photos, in poor light, with a fast shutter speed. So your options are a bigger aperture (the lens), and/or higher ISO. (a sensor issue).
    If, for example -- You are currently shooting with an aperture of 5.6, and ISO of 400 --
    Then in terms of exposure -- You would get the same exposure results at 2.8 and ISO 400 --- or 5.6, and ISO of 1600.

    So it's a matter of which path you prefer, which path will produce less noise, which path is more cost-effective.

    In terms of your old 50mm 1.4 lens... is it Pentax? Or what brand is it?
    You may be able to take that lens, and stick it in a new dSLR body.
    That would give you GREAT low light ability, though all your sports/dance shots would be pretty wide.

    I can't talk specifically about the FZ200 -- But I would suspect you will start to notice noise above ISO400-800 range.
    With dSLRs, if you shoot in jpeg so noise reduction is automatic (if you shoot in RAW, you later can apply noise reduction yourself), you probably won't notice any noise all the way up to ISO 3200/6400.

    Generally speaking, it will be cheaper to buy a camera body with good ISO sensitivity, than to buy a good F2.8 telephoto zoom lens. Though that good zoom lens will give you extra benefits, and can last for 20 years. (As mention, my "Sony" lenses are mostly 20-30 years old).
     
  20. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    I generally don't even try to shoot low-light sports with the RX100, but I was at an ice rink so I decided to try it as a hockey game was going on. I'll post some examples of the results when I get a chance. I was quite pleasantly surprised at the results, though the shots are fairly "wide angle." Not enough telephoto reach for good sports shots. But I was pleasantly surprised at the sharpness and exposure achieved.
    But I'd still opt for the dSLR in that situation.
     
  21. npmommie

    npmommie <font color=red>Channels George Michael in her car

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    Pea, I looked around to see where I could rent a lense, and out here in the "sticks" I couldn't find anything! which didn't surprise me:rotfl2:
    we will be over in your area ( kind of ) this weekend for a meet :)

    the old slr camera is a Chinon. ( do they even make those anymore, LOL).......I put the lense on my Pentax, it fit, but the camera didn't work with it on. maybe I did something wrong, not sure.

    so with all my reading and the help here on the board, I am beginning to see how it works. and it is starting to make sense.

    I was in low light situation yesterday and had the pentax with me, I played with some settings but still didn't get good pictures. so I know a lot of this is operator error. I don't fully understand all the settings. so probably a big reason I should not buy another dslr til I learn to properly use it.

    I did get better pictures with my iphone.
     

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