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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> New Sony Alpha cameras
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05/22/2009 02:18:00 PM · #1
The new range of Sony Alpha cameras have just been announced - 230, 330 and 380.
I have the Konica Minolta Dynax 5D and am looking to upgrade as my 5D is now a few years old and only has 5Mp. However, the new 14Mp 380 is about £200 more expensive than the existing Alpha 350 and there's little difference.

Does anybody have any feelings on these? Has anybody heard or seen any reason why I should consider upgrading to the 380 rather than the slightly older 350?

Thank you
05/22/2009 02:21:33 PM · #2
That is a good question and would generate some quick feedback at Dyxum.com (a Sony/Minolta A-mount camera site). Personally I haven't read enough about either the A350 or A380 to give worthwhile feedback. Good luck! :-)
05/22/2009 02:37:24 PM · #3
That looks a very good site. Having had a quick look at a comparison chart on that site, apart from the Mp count the Dynax 5D actually looks better thsn both the 350 or 380!

Thanks
05/22/2009 03:10:53 PM · #4
Originally posted by Wobble:

That looks a very good site. Having had a quick look at a comparison chart on that site, apart from the Mp count the Dynax 5D actually looks better thsn both the 350 or 380!

Thanks

??? I have the KM 5D also, and while I've enjoyed it and keep it as a backup, I can't imagine that the 5D comes close to the newer models in working with higher ISO's and noise issues.
05/22/2009 03:24:55 PM · #5
I'm not sure about the noise issue but the 5D, 350 and 380 all have the same 100-3200 ISO range.

The 5D was released back in 2005 so there should have been some improvements in the software etc.

Thanks
05/22/2009 03:39:51 PM · #6
Well the thing is is the 5D has a lower pixel density and thusly COULD have lower high ISO noise than the new Alphas, despite the older tech.

I remember my 1999 2.7 megapixel Nikon D1 had better ISO 1600 noise than my D300. Go figure.

Message edited by author 2009-05-22 15:40:11.
05/22/2009 03:50:15 PM · #7
Originally posted by Wobble:

I'm not sure about the noise issue but the 5D, 350 and 380 all have the same 100-3200 ISO range.

The 5D was released back in 2005 so there should have been some improvements in the software etc.

Thanks

Having the same range doesn't mean having the same quality. Sensors have improved tremendously the past few years. You probably should research some test reviews and read up on the models that have been tested to gain an understanding of what's changed since the 5D was released.
05/22/2009 11:55:52 PM · #8
I'm not so sure you shouldn't go for the A300/A330 instead of the A350/A380. There has been a lot of discussion about the poor high ISO performance of that 14.2mp CCD in the 350/380, which Sony tries to cover up with almost absurdly high levels of noise reduction. The 10.2mp CCD in the A300 (and a bunch of other cameras) performs better in that respect, and isn't giving up that much in terms of practical resolution. Either way, shooting in RAW is a must because Sony apparently isn't interested in releasing firmware to completely turn off noise reduction in JPEGs (there's a menu option to, but it still applies some NR).

The KM5D actually did really well at higher sensitivities. By upgrading, you'll lose some usability at ISO 1600 and 3200 and lose some build quality (although I hear the 330 and 380 are a step up and are more solid), but you'll get much faster AF, a much better LCD, live view, slightly better IS, and more pixels to work with (obviously).
05/23/2009 06:55:51 AM · #9
You can buy an A700 for $999 (body only) nowadays. ;-)

Guess I've gotten spoiled by the A700 and haven't shot much with the KM 5D recently, but I don't remember having that much success shooting in the 3200 range on the 5D and 1600 was borderline.

I highly suggest reading forums and asking questions at Dyxum.com for good info on the A300/A330 or A350/A380.
05/23/2009 04:05:29 PM · #10
Thanks for all the advice - lots to think about now.
Not sure that I can justify the 700 though! :)
05/23/2009 04:42:56 PM · #11
Originally posted by Wobble:


Does anybody have any feelings on these? Has anybody heard or seen any reason why I should consider upgrading to the 380 rather than the slightly older 350?


//www.alphamountworld.com has an excellent overview.

I pasted their summary below. I think going with A350 is a no brainer as they are essentially the same camera and the A350 is cheaper and you can buy it "body only" and use your existing glass, rather than paying for a kit lens you probably do not need.

************

New features

Exterior addition of rubber grip on the left side of the camera and back panel for thumb support
Improved overall build quality (much more solid in feel overall)
Dual card slots (probably the first camera of this class to have dual slots) support popular SD format and the Memory Stick behind the left hand side sliding door
On board flash is sturdier and lifts higher for less lens shadowing during flash
Drastically changed menu system and complete redesign for easier more natural operation
LCD visibility/brightness control for A330/380 models, has a sensor that will automatically increase brightness in difficult lighting situations (adjustable in 5 steps)
Increased viewing angles for overhead/waist level operation for LCD and redesign of physical operation (will not swivel however)
Lighter weight and smaller dimensions overall
Reduced initial MSRP by $50.00 USD over past models
Improved DRO effectiveness (stronger more visible effect), and White Balance from the Jpeg Engine
All 9 auto focus points now easier to see through the optical viewfinder, with boxes around each point, and visible orange confirmation light
Self Timer will can be engaged to take 3-5 shots in rapid fire modes (3-5 images @ 2.5 fps)
HDMI output (which now makes all Alphas HDMI compatible)
A330 additionally available in "copper brown"
All switches and buttons are of higher quality and larger in size
New battery NP-FH50 (same battery as the HX1, 510 shots OVF, 230 live view approximate)
Redesigned grip
Customizable menu color display (black, white, pink, copper brown)
Continuous frame rate now 2.5FPS on all models in OVF mode, 2fps Live View
Relocation of flash access, control wheel, menu button, power on/off switch
Improved focus confirmation at all 9 auto focus points when looking through the optical viewfinder (up to 3 areas simultaneously light up)

Features that remain the same as previous models
Some of the features that haven't changed from the previous models are as follows:

No MLU (Mirror Lock Up) feature
No Spot AEL spot metering/toggle feature or DMF mode
Optical Viewfinder (95%) and LCD Live View coverage (90%)
In-Body focus motor (support of legacy lenses)
No DOF (depth of field) Preview
Smart Teleconvertor Feature
Resolutions (mega pixels) and CCD
Noise Reduction On/Off in the Menu
Wireless flash capability

Message edited by author 2009-05-23 16:44:46.
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