Saturday, August 12, 2006

To Buy Or Not To Buy: Nikon D80 vs. SONY Minolta-based DSLR Alpha

I had sworn off buying SONY products because of their shoving the unnecessary and more expensive than the popular SD cards Memory Stick in all their products. It's as if SONY never learns from their BetaMax mistakes.

I have bought several Nikons, from the great Coolpix 5700 (see some of the pics taken from the 5700 at http://imran.com ) and also the S5 and Wi-Fi S6, and love them. The picture quality, the shades of color they can capture, of sunsets and blue skies, of skin and hair, are amazing.

But I still have lots of investment in my old but great Minolta Maxxum 7000i (1991 or so) and lenses. When Konica Minolta shut down their operations and sold the camera business to SONY, I knew SONY would make decent cameras but if they had Memory Sticks and didn't do better than Nikon D70 models, I was likely to go with Nikon, or with the higher model Canon.

Then, SONY surprised me with the launch of their new Minolta based Alpha 100 DSLR at 10.2 Megapixels AND a price that will be comparable to Nikon and Canon cameras of lower resolution. (August 24, 2006 Canon has released as similar camera EOS Kiss Digital X in Japan and Rebel XTi in the United States in the 10 MP under $800 price range, but I do not believe it offers built in image stabilization).

On top of that, the camera has image stabilization built-in (as Minoltas did) so all my old Minolta Maxxum lenses benefit from IS without any additional cost to me.

And, SONY actually decided to not make Memory Sticks the required memory card for the camera... and that has got me seriously considering finally getting a SONY (other than a Sony Ericsson P900 mobile phone that I love --- though NEVER bought a single Memory Stick for above the 48MB or whatever it came with).

If you are looking at the New Nikon D80, I would stronly urge you to also take a look at the SONY DSLR before you make a decision, unless you have a Nikon investment in lenses and equipment. Check these comparisons.

While you are here, do check some other items of interest.
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