Sony A500/550 the verdict?

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A500/550, your verdict!

Great Sony have done a fab job
1
8%
Not as good as expected
3
25%
About fine for their class, but nothing earth shattering
8
67%
 
Total votes: 12

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bfitzgerald
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Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:33 am

My views are well known, nice sensor, but still not convinced spec wise in some ways.
But what do you think?

Comments and any thoughts welcomed ;-)

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Dusty
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby Dusty » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:29 pm

I think the 500/550 is really the next gen 300/350, and are what the 300/380 SHOULD have been. I'd like to get one, even though it STILL lacks the x-sync socket for flash. How much would it cost you put that in Sony. $3?

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:17 pm

I think you are right Dusty, these would have made great entry models, in fact stunning ones. Not sure they hold up mid level very well though.
Might be time to find a new mount for digital, this company is heading in a direction I really dislike intensely :mrgreen:

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pakodominguez
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:25 pm

how come you expect a "veredict" on a camera that aint available yet?
Barry, you are becoming as hard to understand as the Sony Marketing Department...
:shock:
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Birma
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby Birma » Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:49 pm

I agree with Pako - it is a bit hard to give an answer before more reviews come out of the production model. All of the heat generated so far is pretty much based on a feature list. As much fun as this is, I expect more information on real life use and pictures will provide some more insight.
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:58 pm

My verdict is that these cameras come in at 1/2 to 2/3 the price of the a700 at its introduction, and keep 4/5 of its utility. The missing features are more than made up for in features that entry-level users and enthusiasts will drool over...tilting screen, expanded ISO range, fast burst rate, in-camera HDR, dual mode live view, body-based image stabilization... the list goes on and on.

It still has captured my attention in my long wait for the a700, and if I had deeper pockets, I'd jump right now for one of these three latest models right now. They offer a broad range of features that real photographers can use to advance their craft at stunningly affordable prices. Who'd have guessed Sony would become a formidable price leader?!
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:19 pm

Ok a few points, we all know the specs, price etc and we have seen sample images, I think it's possible to come to an informed choice for an opinion poll.

I'll disagree with Kevin, the lack of movement on re-instating the missing features is a deal killer for me. Sure some nice stuff, sensor looks good, the HDR thing..ok fine but hardly mind blowing. I don't think they have a broad range of features, I could list the missing stuff..but you have already read it.

Might work for some, but we have to remember this is not just for lower end upgraders, but have to appeal to newer users too, and some will be picking the specs apart. Sony didn't add a single feature they took out on the A2xx-3xx series cameras.

I think that's half the problem, Sony are black and white. New entry models are for complete newbies, these are for newbies wanting more gimmicks. Only the sensor and 5fps stands out, everything else is entry level spec wise.

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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:43 am

Well, I think that's their strategy, Barry. They'll introduce the features on the faster moving entry-level models, and get a few sales from the more impatient people who would rather be waiting for the bigger guns. You have to consider them while you wait for the next a700 level camera.

Consider also that Nikon users have been waiting just as long for their D300s as we've been waiting for our a700+, and all they've got is a video "gimick." The rest of their introductions at that level and above have been mostly shuffling familiar sensors and features into other form-factors, but then, they've got the market to do that.

The frustrating truth of the matter is that Sony won't make much money selling you the last camera you'll ever need. It would also be hard to make money going after markets that are already cornered and saturated while there are so many other companies taking photographic tools to new niches and markets. The MFT cameras from Panasonic and Olympus are challenging the old 35mm formats, as are the superzooms and hig-feature P&S cameras. Sony is answering these challenges and preserving the viability of the A mount the best way they know how; by mass-marketing and price leading.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:26 am

I don't think it's going to work! Sales are weak on the new 3 entry models (so I hear)
These A5x series ones, might do pretty well for Sony users, but is there any reason a buyer who has no investment in a system would consider them over the numerous rivals models out there? Probably not.

The worst part for Sony is they are "consumer geared" by adding face and smile detection to these 2 models, yet they still have no sign of video. As before, I have no interest myself, but I can see others do. Where is the meat from Sony? Just don't see how it's possible to take them seriously any more. And a lot of A700 users are scratching their head wondering why there was no update to that one. Nikon might have very mildly warmed over the D300, but at least it got a warm over..the A700 series just got an out of stock. Crazy for a company to let a line run out, even if it's for 4/5 months etc.

Over the next few weeks I'll be considering what direction to take, I am really really unhappy about the cut it down rip it out strategy of Sony, they are just not offering the products that I want. Worse, they don't listen to users either. They take a very simplistic view of buyers, all entry buyers are p&s upgraders..well no that is wrong, they need new people with vision at Sony. The current team does not cut it IMO :roll:

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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby Dusty » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:28 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:I don't think it's going to work! Sales are weak on the new 3 entry models (so I hear)
These A5x series ones, might do pretty well for Sony users, but is there any reason a buyer who has no investment in a system would consider them over the numerous rivals models out there? Probably not.


Price vs Performance. Where else can you get so much for so little? Canon Rebels, but still you have to buy stabilized lenses to get the SSS advantage, and that's extra $. Pentax, but their line is very limited, and how long are they going to stay in the market?

I want a 550 as a companion to my 350. I'd love one of the FF setups, but don't have the cash, nor can I justify it until I book more weddings.

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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:22 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:Over the next few weeks I'll be considering what direction to take, I am really really unhappy about the cut it down rip it out strategy of Sony, they are just not offering the products that I want. Worse, they don't listen to users either. They take a very simplistic view of buyers, all entry buyers are p&s upgraders..well no that is wrong, they need new people with vision at Sony. The current team does not cut it IMO :roll:

You mean you are ready to spend 1400 $ (or the Pound's equivalent) for the A700 sucessor?
Or you are pretending Sony coming with an A7xx for 800 $?
:roll:
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:57 am

No I will be considering what to do system wise. There seems little point remaining with A mount (for digital) if I am unhappy with the direction Sony are taking. Sure FF would be great, might be dead happy, but it's out of my budget by far. If Sony are saying anything A5xx series is consumer, and it appears that, what point sticking around? I could get an A700, but the situation remains, a 2 tier system..and long term that will not appeal.

If I reach the point I feel Sony have so little in common with Minolta (Design, ergo, spec and ideas etc) Might as well not be using them! I already feel they have downgraded lower to mid point machines, entry level is ruined..mid point is downgraded. No point complaining all the time, might as well take some action at some point :mrgreen:

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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:05 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:No I will be considering what to do system wise. There seems little point remaining with A mount (for digital) if I am unhappy with the direction Sony are taking. Sure FF would be great, might be dead happy, but it's out of my budget by far. If Sony are saying anything A5xx series is consumer, and it appears that, what point sticking around? I could get an A700, but the situation remains, a 2 tier system..and long term that will not appeal.

If I reach the point I feel Sony have so little in common with Minolta (Design, ergo, spec and ideas etc) Might as well not be using them! I already feel they have downgraded lower to mid point machines, entry level is ruined..mid point is downgraded. No point complaining all the time, might as well take some action at some point :mrgreen:


There is a system that fill your expectations? like mid level body with MLU, spot meter, "design, ergo, spec and ideas" for your today's budget?

I think that you are expecting too much for your budget -something that Minolta probably offered once (I didn't like the Maxxum 5 at all, I don't understand why it is your reference) I don't really follow what other makers are doing (just general specs) but I don't see what camera will make you happy.

Some times people complains just because they need to compalin, because that way they can hide other issues. But I don't wan't to get personal -not until we share a couple of drinks ;-)
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:29 pm

Well nothing is perfect and no it's not just about MLU either.

Just the general direction Sony are heading in suggests they are most interested in consumer buyers (hence the new entry and mid range offerings, geared to that IMO), and not shooters like me. Sure I have a more limited budget, but there was nothing to stop Sony making a D90 camera. Not that the D90 is perfect, nothing is..nor am I a mega Nikon fan, but if you had to nail me down, bar SSS, the D90 has most of what I am looking for, the the A5xx series don't ;-)

I would rather not have a small VF and fast LV, but a pentaprism one, and useful stuff like AF assist, a more advanced AF system, and decent build etc etc. I am in no rush, what I have is adequate for my needs, but I am not very optimistic regarding APS-C A mount, maybe the new A700 will be awesome, but again, if I have to spend that kind of cash to get something decent, Sony won't really be a viable option for me.

I don't suggest all buyers feel the same way I do, but I suspect some do. Many will no doubt love the A5xx series, they just ain't what I am looking for. I admit few complain as much as I do, but where the A200 was acceptable cripple features wise (well just about) ONLY because it was cheap, A550 is £700+, it's just mind boggling that a model that cost that price, is devoid of useful features like MLU etc etc etc. Sony are cutting the lower to mid point, and downgrading it, sorry, but that's just the way I feel, and it ain't good! :mrgreen:

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Re: Sony A500/550 the verdict?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:04 pm

Barry, looked at a Pentax? You can get a smashing good deal on a K20D right now.
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