In a world dominated by Canon and Nikon, should you or should you not consider a Sony camera body? Two things need to be taken in consideration:
- the choice of lenses that can be used with it
- the quality of the body itself
I'll discuss those below, note that my experience is from an Sony a55 body, this one not being out on the market yet.
Let's have a look at the body features first, knowing that it would costing a very gentle 699$:
- full time continuous AF in video
- 12 FPS (more than a D4...)
- full HD video at 60FPS
- no need to mention that all sensors in Nikon cameras are Sony made...
That sounds hot on the paper doesn't it? However, there's a reason why Sony hasn't had a real shot at this market.Their bodies are far away from flawless:
- ergonomics: hello where are the buttons when you need them?
- built quality is no match to Nikon
- as in music equipment where Sony stuff sounds "cold and electric", Sony imaging equipment looks blue. I don't know why they do it, but it's a tiny bit blueish.
You heard me, this Alpha 57 has to come with serious series of improvement over it's predecessors to be a possible choice for me. However ready the announcement, it's pretty clear: none of it seems to be addressed to photographers. None of the key features of an actual camera are mentioned. It's all about FPS, big numbers etc.
Now let's throw an eye at the lenses.
What lenses? I counted 25 lenses available when there are about 100 and more for Nikon and Canon. That's without all the historical older lenses, from Nikon in particular, that will still work on your modern camera.
You will tell me: "yeah but we only need 10 great lenses to cover most needs". And yes you are right, so does Sony provide them? NO
- All the classic pieces such as 35mm or 50mm 1.4 are either average or poor performing. Bokeh looks bad (angry actually), sharpness drops under f2 etc.
- Some good piece from Zeiss, but they are way to expensive to make any sense on that camera body and budget wise.
You already know what my final word is: Sony is today not a serious competitor to Canon and Nikon. If you truly want to invest in a DSLR system looking for top level image quality, go for one of the big 2.
When you'll want to upgrade to maybe a more premium Nikon, you'll be happy you can keep your lenses from the first purchase, and not have to resell all you Sony stuff at a very low price.
Last word: you might have Sony stuff and be happy with it. Don't change your mind because you read that. The best camera is the one that allows you to create what you want. If it does, be happy :)