December 22, 2015 at 9:22 am #9677
I would like to kindly ask you about your thoughts about NIKON D7200 vs. SONY a77II in terms of camera choice for the beginner with an aspiration to become more serious photographer. Having rather limited finances, I would like to get me a camera with the widest versatility in specs, with fast auto-focus, the best possible fps rate, and relatively low noise in shadows on high(er) ISO. Also, a thing to consider is the availability of underwater housings, because I intend to use the camera for underwater shooting as well. However, main purpose will be the landscape photography, but architectural interiors are my favourite subjects as well. Last, but not least…we all like to shoot portraits, right? Thank you 🙂December 22, 2015 at 10:00 am #9678
I thought that you are considering A7 MII and not A77 MII. If that is the case, I would push my preferences very slightly toward Nikon, simply because it is not clear what will happen with the Sony A system. Sony A77 M II is great camera, and while you can expect similar image quality like with Nikon D7200, it has transluscent mirror technology that is taking some light (1/2-2/3rd of EV in my experience). Lens offer is more limited han in case of Nikon. I beilieve that you should find more accessories, such as underwater housing for Nikon and while I didn’t investigate, I think that you might find also some underwater flashes which will communicate with Nikon iTTl.
For all those reasons, Nikon will be better option IMHO.
ViktorDecember 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm #9679
Yes,…there are variety of underwater housings for NIKON than for this particular model of SONY camera. Flashes too. However small, the underwater offer is there for SONY a77 mark 2. Maybe the reason for that could be that while NIKON has long ago become a standard, the future of SONY alpha series is still fairly uncertain, and the manufacturers of underwater housings are reluctant to invest in development of related products.
Anyway, while the advantages of NIKON are quite obvious, my attention when SONY is concerned is still drawn to several specs such as the biggest APSC sensor (among cameras in the similar price range), more AF points, insane continuous shooting rate of 12 fps and, of course, the articulating screen. I understand that the last thing is not essential, but it can con in handy in certain situations. Also, and I understand that it is purely individual preference, I like SONY’s robust build, although with only about 50g more in weight over NIKON, there isn’t much difference between the two.
Now,… I understand that SONY lacks in variety of lenses, but what about Tamron and Minolta lenses? Can this camera use those?December 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm #9680
I haven’t tried either camera so I can’t give you any personnel experience. Good thing is, that you can’t make wrong choice, both are top of the line in the DSLR APS-Cworld. 12 f/s with Sony is impressive, but at that speed, you don’t have control of the image between the captures and AF will be very unpredictable. Where you might need 12 f/s? Extreme sport, extreme wildlife etc. otherwise, I believe that 6 f/s is more than enough for most situations.
I didn’t understand your note about size of the sensor. AFAIK they are supposed to be same (23.5 x 15.6 mm) 24 mpx. While I think it’s same sensor (base) in both cameras, I can’t say for sure. Nikon is designing its own A/D converters and processing pipe and they are also supposed to design sensor topings including micro lenses. In a result, I believe that IQ will be very similar between the two, but because of the transluscent technology used in Sony, Nikon should have somewhat better low light performance.
Articulating screen feature is nice to have. I have been using it on my Sony E mount cameras mainly for landscape, because I am lazy to bend, but at the end I usually have to look in the viewfinder anyway, in order to prevent parasite light and reflections from the LCD screen. If you are planning to shot lot of video, articulating screen is certainly beneficial.
As I said, you can’t make wrong choice here. Moral lifetime of such a camera is probably only few years, and both cameras might be soon replaced with newer models. Real life time of those cameras is much longer and if you take good care of it, I am sure they will be able to make competitive IQ images another 5-7 years.
Photo industry is very turbulent recently. There are new breakthrough solutions in lens design, including Fresnel type of optics and other diffractive special glasses. In parallel, computational approaches in image quality improvement are very dynamic and we can already see gap between great and cheap optical correction being drastically reduced by different software solutions.
Light field technology is still waiting to show its full potential and younger generation is asking for more interactive idea presentation (360°video, Lythro etc.)
I am saying this in order to put in perspective your concerns about future of the Sony A mount. In fact, everything in traditional photography equipment is under big question mark recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nikon collapse (they are heavily over-invested according some economical sources), but they might also show unexpected growth if rumors about Samsung acquisition, shows to be truth.
Choose the camera that impress you more. Beside all those fancy functions, there is always little emotional relation to the gear, just like in marriage (first few months are great).
Regarding your lens question – you can use any third party lens made for Minolta/Sony A (there are also lot of older Minolta AF lenses that will work on Sony A77 MII), my point is that most of third party producers, and even Sony themselves didn’t release new A mount lens for a while now. And proper choice of the lens, will have greater influence on the final image, than camera body. From that perspective, Nikon is still alive, while Sony is living from the old glory. (There are some magnificent lenses in Sony A mount, such Minolta/Sony 135/2.8 STF is one of its kind portrait lens with incredibly smooth bokeh e.g.)
All the best mate,
December 22, 2015 at 8:02 pm #9682
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by viktor pavlovic.
Thank you for your valuable advice.
One other thing: is there a store in Prague that you can recommend where I could find a wide choice of cameras and photo equipment?December 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm #9683December 24, 2015 at 9:35 am #9684
Thank you 🙂
And to wrap this up, a questions about lenses. Taking into consideration what would be subjects of interest in my photo adventures (landscape, interiors and portraits), what would be your suggestion for lenses? How many, and which ones at the minimum?December 24, 2015 at 11:58 am #9685
Now we are talking 🙂
I would be able to give you more reliable advise with the lenses for E mount. e.g. If you would buy Sony A6000 instead, I would suggest:
1. Sony SEL 10-18 f/4 OSS /landscape and underwater wide angle.
2. Sigma 19, 30 and 60, all f/2.8 (from street to portrait with very good price/performance ratio)
3. Sony SEL 55-210 as a tele option for wildlife and sexy neighbor across the street.
Set like this (SEL 1018 is rather expensive, but you can buy camera with kit pancake 16-50 and SEL 55-210 in the bundle and then slowly put some peanuts aside for better glass) should cover most of your needs at a very good IQ level.
For Nikon DX
1. Your best bet will be to start with kit zoom bundle 18-55 and 55-200. This is by far most economical solution. If you are not sure about preferred focal lengths, you can either:
a) Check exifs after a year or so to see which focal lengths you used most
b) use duct tape to fix your zooms at certain FL and test them for a week or two.
Both ways should help you to discover your preferred focal lengths and give you a clue for the future lens choices.
Medium budget higher quality solution will be:
1. Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II or Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM – landscape, WA and under water.
2. Nikon 35/1.8 G AF-S great standard lens.
3. Nikon 85/1.8 G AF-S – superb portrait lens
4. Nikon AF 80-200 f/2.8 (two rings) used. Very good old tele zoom, but not easy to find in a good shape.
Sony A77 M ii
I think that this camera doesn’t come with lens bundles, at least I haven’t seen them. This makes things slightly more complicated…
1. Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX – also here I will search for this Tokina. I am nit sure it was made in version II for Sony A, but even the first version was very good. You should look for used one (because of the price), but if possible – try before buy. De-centering of the optics was a common issue with this lens.
2. Sony DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 is nice standard zoom for affordable price. There are better zooms, but much more expensive. You can also look at third party offers – Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] or Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM but both are way more expensive.
3. Sony SAL 85F28 is nice small portrait lens.
4. With tele options it’s not that easy. I can recommend Minolta 100-300 f/4.5-.6 APO (D) zoom. It is quite underestimated performer.
Please understand, that my recommendation above is not about best optics or optical performance. I tried to give you kind of best bang for the buck options, good starter lenses and sets that should cover most of your needs.
I hope it helps a bit.
ViktorDecember 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm #9688
Awesome! Thanx 🙂
After careful consideration, I believe that my final choice is going to be a NIKON camera.
I read your advice about the glass, and while I would like to ask you for your opinion on the following kit:
and what lens, other than those already included in this kit, may I need in terms of my objectives, while staying on the budget?
Thanx again 🙂December 24, 2015 at 1:36 pm #9689
It’s a fine kit. You should however check if there is any underwater body that will accommodate Tamron 17-50.
In this set, you might miss WA zoom or prime. Tokina 11-16 or Sigma 10-20 as originally proposed. WA lens will be useful for landscape and architecture.
You might also consider Nikkor 85/1.8 G AF-S as a main portrait lens.
ViktorDecember 24, 2015 at 2:57 pm #9690
So, if I would go for the following combo:
(and I would like to hear your opinion on which of the last two is better),
would I terribly miss the 70-300 lens?
Thank you 🙂December 25, 2015 at 12:12 am #9691
I don’t know much about that zoom, in general I don’t like those super zooms. Optical qualities as usually very compromised and I prefer standard, so called holly trinity range – 16-35 (or 14-24), 24-70 and 70-200. So I can’t comment on that one, but I believe that buying bundle with kit lens and 55-200 will be better option.
Nikkor 85/1.8 G AF-S is great value for money. Lens is made in China though, so you should try it before the purchase in order to eliminate quality control problems.
From the 2 WA zooms, I would suggest Sigma, but you also might consider Tokina 11-16/2.8 II as it is slightly sharper and most importantly faster for approximately same price. Gap between 16 and 18mm (where kit or your preferred super-zoom starts) is not that big in a real life.
Be sure to check other shops as well. In EU you have 14 days to return items bought on internet, so you might test your lens and if it doesn’t fit within specification, you should be able to return it without problems.
Here is the link for one of those lenses at cheaper price than Fotoskoda from also reputable seller – http://www.aaron.cz/produkty/sigma-10-20-3-5-ex-dc-hsm-nikon
But you can find even lower prices (don’t know about seller reputation though) – http://www.elektrocr.cz/product/objektiv-sigma-ex-35-1020-dc-hsm-nikon
January 14, 2016 at 3:01 pm #10049
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by viktor pavlovic.
Hello again and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you a lot of success with this blog. Keep up the good work!
Would there be any change in your lens recommendation if I would choose to buy a full frame camera.
I am considering a Nikon D810.
Maybe it is a stupid question, but how wide should I go with wide angle lenses? I am asking this in terms of interior architectural photography and possible distortion on the sides. Does it really matter, or should I go ultra wide and deal with distortion in post?
While we are at it, what are your thoughts about that Nikon camera?
Cheers!January 14, 2016 at 3:56 pm #10050
srecna Nova Godina tebi i tvojoj porodici!
If you are comsidering to shot lot of interirors and architecture, I would suggest Canon lenses (if you intend to do this professionally). I am doing lot of that type of commecial work, over 30 shooting days oer year and I am using Sony A7 systm with Canon TS-E 17/4 L, Canon EF 14/2.8 L II and Sigma 15/2.8 fisheye. (Using Metabones Smart Adapter).
Canon TS-E 17/4 is most used lens for those projcts (over 80% of shots). It’s rather unique lens on the market and it has great features and very solid IQ. Shift control allow not only for perspective view point correction, but also for panorama stiching without necessity to solve parallax problems. Using lens for panorama will give a horizontal angle of view of approx. 12mm lens.
Canon EF 14/2.8 L II is the UWA lens with best distortion corrction that I know about.
Sigma 15/2.8 fisheye is very good value for money and fisheye sometmes gets handy.
I am using Sony A7 system because of the very good EVF and LCD live view, which is far more comfortable for this type of shots than optical view finder. Possibility to tilt LCD is also very convinient.
Nikon D810 is great camera, but more orientd toward Wildlife or sport or othr situations where super tele lenses or fast AF is needed (as well as weather sealing). To use most of it, you’ll need top quality (top price) lenses.
All the best,
ViktorJanuary 14, 2016 at 4:42 pm #10051
I am considering to shoot architecture, both exteriors and interiors, but I do not perceive it to be a prime subject in my photography adventure. As I have mentioned previously, underwater, landscape and portraits are also what I consider to shoot.
I understand that articulating screen is a big plus, especially in confined areas, and I really don’t understand why Nikon is still resisting to follow this trend. Even the new Nikon D5 doesn’t have the screen that tilts every which way. Pity!
Having said that, I would like to “hear” your suggestions for lenses other than wide angle, and especially those that are weather sealed and Nikon compatible.
I have been checking out a lot of different options, because the price plays a big part in deciding what to buy. I also found certain info that suggests that in some cases even less expensive lenses can yield better results than those more expensive ones. Since technology is developing at warp speeds, I somehow believe that difference in quality between CANON/NIKON and third party products is rapidly fading out.
So, in your opinion, what could be the best overall “bang for buck” option, taking into consideration players such as SIGMA, TAMRON, TOKINA…?
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