New Sony Alphas: Viable competition for Canon and Nikon?

31 01 2008

Amazon.com Widgets

Sony Alpha A200KI don’t want to turn this blog into a place where you can find digital camera feature comparisons, but since Google is sending quite a few people towards my Canon 450D vs. Nikon D60 article, I might quickly mention that Sony has announced two new entry-level DSLRs that could be an interesting alternative to the “big two”: the Sony Alpha A300 and Sony Alpha A350. Priced at $800 and $900 with a 18-70mm kit lens, respectively, they compete head-to-head with the 450D and the D60.

One has to wonder, however, at Sony’s marketing strategy. The two models are basically the same camera, the A300 being lower resolution (10MP instead of 14MP) and faster (3fps instead of 2fps). Every other specification seems to be exactly identical.

Personally, I would have no doubts and go for the A300 every day, saving $100, and you know how much I value megapixels: 10 looks plenty to me. But won’t two products which are so similar tend to confuse most buyers? Add to the mix the A200, which costs $100 less but does not have either Live View or a tiltable LCD, and the potential for confusion increases. I would personally be content with having to choose only between the A200 and the A300, but maybe Sony just wanted to one-up Canon in the silly megapixel race.

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3 responses

2 02 2008
Max

Ugo,
I totally agree with you that for most of our printing needs, megapixles don’t matter.
Unfortunately Canon & Sony (whom always seem to have +2 or 4 MP over competing Nikons in budget DSLRs) manage to sway so many innocent “megapixel hungry” buyers their way. If a user likes DOF preview + bracketing then it’s understandable … but to purely choose a budget DSLR on megapixels is not very smart decision. Very few actually realise that higher megapixels means more noise or noise processing that affects image quality.

16 02 2008
Bill Nixon

I have a Sony point and shoot digital camera which has done very nicely for what it is. I don’t own a Sony DSLR. I can say, however, that I do own many Nikon DSLRs. I own the D70, D80, 3 D300s, and a D2X.

I can say that in the $1,000 range, there is not much that touches the D80 when used with my Nikon glass. Using cheaper lenses, I am sure the Sony does a great job, but when I use the 17-55 2.8 or the 70-200 2.8 on the D80, it is stunning to say the least.

I have not compared the Canon DSLRs in this range, but I just wanted to leave a quick comment.

Bill

12 05 2008
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