sony a700 or nikon d90?


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May 2, 2009
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#1
Hi! I just sold my canon 450d to get a new cam. My 450d is fine but there are certain features that are available in other cam that my 450d don't have.

Initially, I am eyeing D90. it's a good and decent camera overall. But there are features in sony a700 that makes me interested too like the eye-start function, in-built body stabilization to name a few. But there are downside tht make me think twice of getting the a700. reviews say that noise is visible at iso800, there is no ISO display info on viewfinder, poor white balance performance.

Hope to get suggestions and opinions from you before my next purchase. I can get both d90 body and a700 body at almost the same price so price is not an issue. I am planning to buy the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 to go w/ eithe of the two.

Thanks!
 

Diavonex

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#2
Try them both yourself because "one man's meat is another man's poison".

Both camera will produce good pictures. It's the man behind the camera that matters.
 

mikha

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#3
u sold your canon cam.. do you still have any canon's lens? if yes, why dont u buy another canon? maybe 50D or 5D mk 1?

but for D90 and A700, i think you better try it before you buy. for lenses variety, i will choose D90
 

May 2, 2009
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#4
I sold my lens already together w/ my 450D. I have tried them both actualy. I can't tell much of a difference that's why I am concerned w/ the reviews I read. I really love how fast a700 AF but reviews say that d90's noise/iso performance is way better than a700.
 

SabaDen

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#5
I sold my lens already together w/ my 450D. I have tried them both actualy. I can't tell much of a difference that's why I am concerned w/ the reviews I read. I really love how fast a700 AF but reviews say that d90's noise/iso performance is way better than a700.
Then that'll be easier for u. which u prefer - Fast AF or better higher iso performance? It's pretty obvious right? ;)
 

May 8, 2009
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I will recommend D90 as i am using it now and very satisfied with its excellent performance. As you mention, Fast AF or High ISO, i will choose good high ISO. D90 isn't slow in AF as well. D90 feature that is great including Bracketing (Good for HDR), Top LCD, HD Video, Good ISO, PentaPrism, Incamera Editing, Converting Raw and more. :)
 

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Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#7
Hi! I just sold my canon 450d to get a new cam. My 450d is fine but there are certain features that are available in other cam that my 450d don't have.

Initially, I am eyeing D90. it's a good and decent camera overall. But there are features in sony a700 that makes me interested too like the eye-start function, in-built body stabilization to name a few. But there are downside tht make me think twice of getting the a700. reviews say that noise is visible at iso800, there is no ISO display info on viewfinder, poor white balance performance.

Hope to get suggestions and opinions from you before my next purchase. I can get both d90 body and a700 body at almost the same price so price is not an issue. I am planning to buy the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 to go w/ eithe of the two.

Thanks!
On the A700, if you 're looking in the viewfinder and press the "ISO" button you can see the ISO.

The D90 sensor is based on the A700 one (They're both made by sony). The main difference is that the one in the D90 is a slightly improved one.

- The A700 is a mid-range camera, the D90 is entry level
- The A700 is more robust, and has some weathersealing.
- The A700 has a better pentaprism viewfinder
- With the new v4 firmware, the A700's noise is greatly improved, and is now almost identical to the Nikon D300 (which also uses the A700 sensor)
- A700 has anti-shake built-in.
- I've not had whitebalance issues with the A700; if it came down to it, I manually selected a WB and it was great.
- I love the joystick-based navigation on the A700
- A700 has class-busting AF performance, even in low light.

- The D90 has liveview and video


Both cameras are good and have their own strengths and weaknesses. I really suggest you try feeling them in your hand to get a good idea of the ergonomics.
 

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Ouverture

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Jan 19, 2009
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#8
I sold my lens already together w/ my 450D. I have tried them both actualy. I can't tell much of a difference that's why I am concerned w/ the reviews I read. I really love how fast a700 AF but reviews say that d90's noise/iso performance is way better than a700.
Probably I am in a good position to advise a bit since I got the chance to own both cameras for brief period. I did an intensive comparison 2 months ago to see which cam should I keep.

I just concentrate on these 2 points since it was the decisive factor for me.

Noise:
- Yes, you are right, many reviews do say D90 do better in noise control and I also agree with that. But it will only be obvious when it's ISO1600 and above. Anything lower is the same.
- However, do note that at ISO1600 and ISO3200, the colour rendition of A700 is still superior and vibrant as per it's ISO800 and below. While D90, the colours start to become a little dull and lose some details at shadow areas due to noise reduction.
- For dark areas like shadows, D90 has no noise even at ISO1600 and slight noise at ISO3200. A700 does have some visible colour noise at shadow areas for ISO1600 and above but it's only visible when you view the picture 100% on PC. If you print, you won't notice them.
- For bright area like white surfaces, A700 is still noiseless even at ISO3200 while D90 has some sparkles of noise visible.

So you must take note of this, whether you like the noise to be at dark area or bright area. A rough gauge is D90 is roughly 1/2 stop better than A700 in terms of noise at dark areas only.

AF Speed:
- D90 has good AF speed and accurate. However only for still objects or things that doesn't move suddenly. I have used the 18-105 kit and 35/1.8G lens and I can only get about 10-20% sharp images of my moving son as D90 did not AF fast enough for slight movement or sudden change of directions of my son.
- A700, couple with it's eye-start feature, capture 70-80% sharp images of my son, while only using the 18-250 lens which many claimed to be slow in AF. So I guess it's the AF function of A700 that was fast enough to do slight adjustments to cater to my son's movement.

Summary:

So in the end, it's really what you want to shoot with the camera. If you shoot mostly still objects (landscape/portraits) and in low light condition, then D90 might be good. However, take note of the details in shadow areas and slight sparkles of noise in bright areas.

If you normally shoot fast moving objects (kids/sports) in moderate light, then A700 will do better.

Don't be too overly concerned about the lens variety. Though Sony does not have as much lenses as the others, it is well equipped by 3rd party ones. And since you are going for Tamron 17-50, then it is not much concerned for you anyway.

I mostly use 3rd party lenses like Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 30 as I find them more affordable and meet my needs better.

In fact, even if the manufacturer has 200 lenses in their arsenal, I dun think you will buy all of them anyway. And not all their lenses are good though, only some are legendary...and legendary lenses comes with a high price...
 

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#9
I think that Nikon is a better choice.
Talking about reputation and reliability, Nikon cameras (SLR & DSLR) is more established as compared to Sony DSLR (not sure whether they have film cameras).

So if given a choice, I'll choose Nikon.

I know many like Sony due to the Zeiss lenses but Nikon lenses are also quite good.
Body wise, I'll choose Nikon. :)
 

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Ouverture

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Jan 19, 2009
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#10
I think that Nikon is a better choice.
Talking about reputation and reliability, Nikon cameras (SLR & DSLR) is more established as compared to Sony DSLR (not sure whether they have film cameras).

So if given a choice, I'll choose Nikon.

I know many like Sony due to the Zeiss lenses but Nikon lenses are also quite good.
Body wise, I'll choose Nikon. :)
I certainly agree Nikon is well established and it's 18-105 kit lens is really a good bargain for its optical performance. In fact, it is really good!

When I had the D90, I was already having the intention to sell off all my Alpha gears and switch camp. However, after few rounds of intensive comparison test, I am forced to convince that A700 works better for me.

So there is no single brand or model to suit everyone. Everyone has their own requirements and desire. However, the final camera that you will take or keep depends on your shooting style and results you want.

I am surprised that I kept A700.
 

tank0085

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Aug 7, 2008
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#12
Noise in a picture may be very subjective. I have seen photographers who like to generate some noise in their pictures. Furthermore, dlsr image processor is only one element of noise control. Correct flash exposure and proper control of lighting can greatly reduce noise shown in a picture. Therefore, whether it is D90 or A700, an inexperience photographer may still see a great amount of noise even at ISO 800.

Plus, A700 is clearly a semi-pro camera compared to D90 which is an entry level dslr. Don't think it is worth comparing A700 to D90 although the pricing may be similar. Someone spoke about the huge variety of lens Nikon has, please note that you can use a huge range of minolta lenses out there on your sony bodies. Most importantly, frankly speaking how many different kinds of lenses you really need. A photographer who doesn't knows what he really needs will get all the lenses.

Btw, i think A700 is no longer in production and has been discontinued. You probably have to grab it soon or look for a second hand A700 or get a D90, the decision is ultimately yours.
 

#14
I think that Nikon is a better choice.
Talking about reputation and reliability, Nikon cameras (SLR & DSLR) is more established as compared to Sony DSLR (not sure whether they have film cameras).

So if given a choice, I'll choose Nikon.

I know many like Sony due to the Zeiss lenses but Nikon lenses are also quite good.
Body wise, I'll choose Nikon. :)
Sony's DSLR are bought over from the Konica Minolta camp. so no need to ask if they have film cameras or not.

compared with the 2, its pretty simple really. Do you want the live view? or do you want in body stabilization? AF focus speed prolly does not matter at DSLRs of their class, and ISO performance of both DSLRs are pretty much the same.
 

Diavonex

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Sep 23, 2008
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#15
Extract from some reviews:

D90

Prone to blown highlights
Very soft JPEG
Menu long and complex
Disappointing auto WB in incandescent light
Continuous shooting limited to 100

A700

NR settings are applied to RAW and JPEG
Lack live view
No ISO display on view finder status bar
No top panel LCD status display
Poor RAW conversion from Image Data Converter SR
Average auto WB performance
 

Ouverture

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Jan 19, 2009
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#16
Extract from some reviews:

D90

Prone to blown highlights
Very soft JPEG
Menu long and complex
Disappointing auto WB in incandescent light
Continuous shooting limited to 100

A700

NR settings are applied to RAW and JPEG
Lack live view
No ISO display on view finder status bar
No top panel LCD status display
Poor RAW conversion from Image Data Converter SR
Average auto WB performance
For A700 firmware v4, NR can be completely off for both JPEG and RAW.
 

Reim1o

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Jun 14, 2008
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#18
Before deciding, why don't u think about the lenses?

Sony has in built stabilizer, but has less lenses line up, and those pro CZ lenses can be more expensive than Nikon.

Unless you're only going to use a single lens, its better to research on this as well.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#20
A700

NR settings are applied to RAW and JPEG
Lack live view
No ISO display on view finder status bar
No top panel LCD status display
Poor RAW conversion from Image Data Converter SR
Average auto WB performance
- NR can be switched off ocmpletely.
- True, but I prefer using the viewfinder anyway.
- Press the ISO button and you get ISO in the status bar.
- True, but the great rear LCD makes it almost redundant.
- IDC has already improved a lot. And Silkypix and Adobe work with the A700 RAW files.
- Well, I haven't had WB issues. *shrugs*
 

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