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Sony A200 for Bird photography

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Old Friday 5th September 2008, 15:50   #1
thom_vee
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Sony A200 for Bird photography

Hi, I`m just planning to get my first SLR camera and The Sony A200 is high on my list, primarily for the image stabilisation and also the price. I also love the looks of it. However, I`m yet to come across anyone who uses this camera for bird photography. Is there anyone on this forum who does so? I`d love to hear your opinions on it. Do you think it would be worth going for the 75-300mm kit lens or invest in another lens? (I`m on a tight budget so theres not much available for a long lens at the moment). I`m also tempted by the Olympus E510 for its 2x crop factor. Any reasons why you might suggest one or the other or maybe even another make? Looking forward to your experiences/opinions. Cheers
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Old Friday 5th September 2008, 18:19   #2
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I have the Sony A200 and the Sony 75-300 lens (the camera and lens kit that is currently widely sold). I am currently posting some photos of a recent birding trip. The following two have been posted here in Birdforum:
http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...64/ppuser/6405
http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...47/ppuser/6405

In the not too distant future I intend to invest on a better lens.

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Old Friday 5th September 2008, 18:38   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacol View Post
I have the Sony A200 and the Sony 75-300 lens (the camera and lens kit that is currently widely sold). I am currently posting some photos of a recent birding trip. The following two have been posted here in Birdforum:
http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...64/ppuser/6405
http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...47/ppuser/6405

In the not too distant future I intend to invest on a better lens.

Dalcio
Hi Dalcio, Thanks for the reply. Nice photos. Were they cropped at all? and were they both taken at the long end (300mm), also, could you tell me what the distance between you and the birds were when you took these? Thanks
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Old Friday 5th September 2008, 19:42   #4
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Yes, they were heavily cropped. The pygmy-tyrant is about 11 cm long and I was about 3 m from it. The donacobius is about 22 cm long and I was about 4 m from them. Both were taken at max zoom (i.e, 300 mm).Here are low-resolution versions of the uncropped jpegs:
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Old Friday 5th September 2008, 23:22   #5
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Bird photography is a very specialised subset of photography so general camera and lens combos are normally not up to the task. The reason most bird photographers who use DSLR are using Canon and Nikon is due to the wide range of lenses, particularly at the long end. I'm not sure what Sony has at the long end or the range but for serious bird photography you need at least a good 300 mm lens but preferably 400 - 600 mm. Fast Auto Focus is also important as the little blighters are always dancing around at high speed. You could have a look at the Olympus too as they have a 2x crop in the sensor and self-cleaning. Neil.
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Old Saturday 6th September 2008, 20:48   #6
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I getting rather boring on this but ....

In my post yesterday
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=115957
I was discussing the effect of the old full frame lenses on the digital bodies therefore getting an apparently longer focal length, and no loss of light, for your money.
The key to the best photographs is fieldcraft although quite how these folks get such great photos defeats me. I struggle to see things even with a scope!
(See the gallery on this site or http://www.birdguides.com/pictures/d....asp?mode=potw)
Sorry I know I am pointing at another site again but most of their services are paid ones, this part is free!
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Old Monday 8th September 2008, 03:07   #7
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The fact that you are on a tight budget tells me that the Sony setup you are thinking of buying would probably be an ideal purchase. I, like you, don't have much money to spend on equipment, but I have made do with my Sony alpha and second hand lenses bought from KEH. At KEH you can buy a 100mm - 200mm f4.5 auto focus minolta lens for $40. Or a Sigma 70-300 Apo Macro for $75. These aren't the best lenses to use for bird photography but do provide an excellent way of learning bird photography and just having fun. All I can afford and use are cheap lenses on my Alpha, so take a look at my website if you want to see some examples.
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Old Tuesday 9th September 2008, 13:12   #8
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Anyone who dismissed Sony for not having any decent long lenses may want to check this out.

Looks interesting........
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Old Thursday 11th September 2008, 14:56   #9
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this forum to help me make my decision. Finally I did make up my mind and I have chosen the Sony A200 over the Olympus. I felt that not only was Sony offering the best value for money, but also it seemed to be a safe option with regards to "investing in a system". The recent release of the Sony A900 only justifies this point. Although, the 2x crop factor of the Olympus was tempting, the clincher came when I decided to look up the prices of additional new or 2nd hand lenses for the two cameras. Not only were there far less 2nd hand lenses available for the Olympus, the new lenses (zuiko) bigger than 300mm were off my charts.This essentially negated the original advantage with buying shorter(almost cheaper) zuiko lenses. On the other hand, Sony had a lot more options available and I have just bought my first lens - a used minolta 75-300mm for less than half the price of a new one! This essentially was the deal breaker. When I see someone with an olympus E-510 next, I shall think that it is one that I did consider strongly, but for now, I am more than happy with my decision to go Sony. I shall be receiving the camera tomorrow, and I hope to be able to share my impressions soon. Thanks again.
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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 06:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thom_vee View Post
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this forum to help me make my decision. Finally I did make up my mind and I have chosen the Sony A200 over the Olympus. I felt that not only was Sony offering the best value for money, but also it seemed to be a safe option with regards to "investing in a system". The recent release of the Sony A900 only justifies this point. Although, the 2x crop factor of the Olympus was tempting, the clincher came when I decided to look up the prices of additional new or 2nd hand lenses for the two cameras. Not only were there far less 2nd hand lenses available for the Olympus, the new lenses (zuiko) bigger than 300mm were off my charts.This essentially negated the original advantage with buying shorter(almost cheaper) zuiko lenses. On the other hand, Sony had a lot more options available and I have just bought my first lens - a used minolta 75-300mm for less than half the price of a new one! This essentially was the deal breaker. When I see someone with an olympus E-510 next, I shall think that it is one that I did consider strongly, but for now, I am more than happy with my decision to go Sony. I shall be receiving the camera tomorrow, and I hope to be able to share my impressions soon. Thanks again.
I am using A200 even. For birding, just obtained a Prime Lens Tokina ATX 400mm SD last week. I hope you will enjoy A200 as much I am.

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Old Thursday 2nd October 2008, 08:15   #11
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Good choice, I have invested in the Sony system (200 and 350) good range of older Minolta AF fit lense to try as well I have amongst others got a Minolta 500 mm mirror lense which is nice and light and has given me some reasonable results. I have also got some other Minolta AF lense which came for prices as low as 20.

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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 11:25   #12
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I use the 500mm AF mirror too on a KM 5D. I think it is great once you learn to temper the background bokeh. Very light and can be hand held. Best of luck with your new camera system.
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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 19:38   #13
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Its been a while now and I`m putting the camera to good use. For those who would like to see the results its all in my blog at http://www.birdsnapping.blogspot.com/.
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Old Thursday 11th December 2008, 20:52   #14
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I use the 500mm AF mirror too on a KM 5D. I think it is great once you learn to temper the background bokeh. Very light and can be hand held. Best of luck with your new camera system.
Been using my 500 AF mirror lens in combination with my A200 for some time now, pleased with the results and often get reasonable hand held shots at speeds as low as 30th of a second, which speaks well also for the A200s IS

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Old Monday 15th December 2008, 21:52   #15
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Now that Sony is getting sales (12.4% of market and increasing) third party support will increase too. I was lucky to get my hands on Tamron 200-500mm and the results with the A200 are pretty fine!
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