Sony A65

After several weeks of researching for a new DSLR, I finally found one that will fit my new needs. I have a Canon XS (1000D) that will need replacing. It’s a great camera and it still works great but there’s 2 things I was looking for.

  1. Capture HD video
  2. Faster fps – I have a young son who is very active and my XS can’t keep up. I get plenty of blurry pictures. The XS shoots at 3 fps, so I need something much quicker.

Being that I have a couple of Canon lenses already and have been using Canon for years, my obvious choice of brand is Canon. The 3 models I liked were the 7D, 60D, and T4i (650D).

Everyone already knows what they like about the camera so I won’t spend much time with what I like.

Canon 7D: I liked everything about the camera except it still uses the aging DIGIC4 and the price is close to aCanon 5D Mark II – which is a full frame camera.

Canon 60D: Just like the 7D, it uses the DIGIC4 and though it is faster than my old camera at 5.3 fps, it wasn’t holding up against the 7D. There is no auto-focus for video just like the 7D too.

Canon T4i (650D): I’m replacing a Rebel with another, to me didn’t seem like much of an upgrade – although it does have what I’m looking for. The new STM lens from Canon are great, too bad it only works with the T4i (650D) – for now. I was able to play with the [40mm pancake lens]/blog/2012/11/01/canon-ef-40mm-f2-8-stm-pancake-lens/ and during video auto-focusing it was near silent.

In general, I wasn’t too impressed by Canon’s line up. As I looked at other brands (Nikon, Sony, Pentax, etc), it just seems like Canon is holding back on using newer technology which comes standard with many similarly priced cameras from the other brands.

I ended up with a Sony because of their translucent mirror technology. Their alpha cameras also come equipped with image stabilization on the body. This means I don’t have to spend so much money on lenses that come with IS. I mean, I’m not a pro photographer so why should I spend that kind of money just to get the benefit of IS when there’s lenses that are less but not have IS. I won’t need it if the camera body has it.

So it was between the Sony A65 and A77. The A77 would’ve been great but it cost almost as much as a full frame camera. I’m not ready for FF yet. But it does have some slight advantages over the A65 like more cross focus points, magnesium alloy body, slightly higher fps, and a very nice kit lens – 16-50 f/2.8. Mostly everything else is the same. I didn’t want to pay extra for those as they are not as important to me at this time. So the A65 it is.

So far I am pleased by the results. The IS on the body makes a huge difference specially when using it with a telephoto lens (75-300). At it’s maximum zoom I had no issues with taking clear photos while trying to keep the camera steady. The EVF does take a little time to get used to than OVF.

This camera comes with many features like the following:

  1. Panoramic mode that’s on the camera and no stitching required on post.
  2. 3D photos – though i won’t be using it, at least it’s there.
  3. Photo filters.
  4. SCN mode like twilight are great for night shots without a tripod.
  5. HDR
  6. GPS – At first I didn’t care too much for it but it does save me some time with Lightroom. Although it does eat up some battery life.

So what don’t I like?

  • Because of the EVF, GPS, etc, I found the battery to drain a lot quicker. I guess having all those features has its price. It’s a good idea to carry a spare battery.
  • Sony is know to be proprietary with things and this camera is no exception. You will need to get a hotshoe adapter unless you plan on using Sony products that mount on it.
  • The auto-focus motor is a bit loud so if you will be doing video with auto-focus, you may want to use an external microphone or switch it to manual focus.
  • It’s not against the camera, but I did have to buy new lenses since I’m coming from a Canon to Sony. Though I was able to sell most of my old lens. I’m keeping my Tamron on my Canon since I don’t plan to sell my old camera.
  • The A65 doesn’t have a battery grip – at least not an official one from Sony, but the A77 does.

Below is a pic of my camera. Picture is the kit lens 18-55mm, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (I have this on my Canon and love it), Sony 50mm f/1.8 (mounted on the camera), and the hotshoe adapter.

It’s a great camera to have and as far as features, it blows away the competition. For picture quality, I’ve been pleased with the results so far. I will be blogging about my other lenses soon, so you can check out the samples there.

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