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Recommendations for upgrading from Sony A55

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by jessjessxx, May 16, 2018.

  1. jessjessxx

    jessjessxx Member

    I want to up grade my kit as I’m finding the sharpness and autofocus on my A55 lacking. I currently have an A55 body and mainly use a tamron 16-300 lens but also have the standard 18-55 and macro Sony N50. I’m happy to trade the lot for discount off a new camera but it’s been so long since I’ve camera shopped I don’t know where to start! Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Welcome to the forum.

    I never never give advice re this sort of post. But I'm sure the usual experts will rush in.

    However to get them off to a good start , how about some clue as to your photographic interest?
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Where to start? Camera choice is such a personal thing. If you like the Sony then I'd look at what they are offering at the budget you have in mind and look at the specifications for AF and reviews. I'm not familiar with the range.

    For lenses the superzooms like the 16-300 are compromises and for improved sharpness and AF response you'd have to split the focal range up. Thereafter you generally get what you pay for. With that choice narrowed down you could then look at what equivalents the other makes are offering. Don't make any final decisions without having been to a shop and tried out the cameras to see how they handle.
  4. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I don't have the 16-300 Tamron so can't comment on it's optical quality directly but I do have an 18-270mm versionm and by comparison to shorter range zooms (let alone primes) it is softer and the AF relatively pedestrian - particularly as it's not even the PZD, or USD version - compromises typical of superzooms. While the A55 is now getting a bit old by digital standards it may be more that you need a less compromised lens than a new camera.

    With regard to the option a new camera what kind of budget are you looking at? Assuming you are looking at an equivalent level of camera then you could consider a Nikon D5600 or perhaps a Canon 750D or Pentax K70. Have you thought about mirrorless? There are various options available from Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji and Canon.

    It's hard to buy a bad camera theses days. They all tend to do the required basics well and it's then down to what extra features you require.
  5. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I suspect your dissatisfaction may well actually be down to the lenses, not the actual camera body. I will lay odds you find the 50mm Macro is sharper than the other two. Also remember that digital images really need to be sharpened in post processing, unless you have fairly aggressive sharpening set in the camera parameters, although this can bring it's own problems.

    I did have an A57, which is very similar to your camera and I found no performance issues with it, but I did not use kit lenses or a wide to long tele-zoom.
  6. jessjessxx

    jessjessxx Member

    I mainly like landscape and wildlife, I do occasionally like to photographic people. I brought the tamron for ease while traveling not having to switch lens all the time and getting dust in my camera and of course lack of space!
  7. jessjessxx

    jessjessxx Member

    Yes I like sony, but I'm open to other options. Yes I noticed the sharpness isn't there as much in this lens than the others, but it doesn't preform no where near as well as my Dad's nikon 18-300 which is disappointing. I've had my camera for a very long time and it has had its fair share of bumps due to traveling and hiking unfortunately which might not help the situation. I'm planning to pop in to stores over the weekend but wanted to have some help and ideas before going :).
  8. jessjessxx

    jessjessxx Member

    I'm looking to spend no more than £800-1000 really but the cheaper the better to be honest. I'm happy to try in to get the price down as well. I'll check the cameras you've mentioned out as possible options. Thank you.
  9. jessjessxx

    jessjessxx Member

    Yes I feel maybe you are right it might be more of a lens issue, but my camera is getting on now and has had lot of bumps during my travels unfortunately which I don't think is helping to with stabilizer. So I'd like to up grade the body regardless.
  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I've been using an A65 with the Tamron 16-300 and I'm pleased with the results. As always in these discussions individual specimens of both hardware and humanware will affect the results and perception thereof.
  11. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Tamron lenses are quite well known for sample variation as well.
  12. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I must admit that if I was buying cold now I would undoubtedly go for a Fuji CSC, light and compact with some terrific lenses, both zoom and prime. The Fujis are the cameras I use most nowadays, but there are certain situations when I still prefer a DSLR.
  13. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I've just looked up the Sony A55 - well reviewed and has the Sony 16 magapixel APS-C sensor.
    Probably the same sensor as in my Pentax K5.

    Bearing in mind the results I've had using an old model Sigma 10-20 mm lens with my K5, I would suggest looking for one for your landscape shots (less than £200 secondhand now, or more for the newer and heavier version). A circular glass ND graduated filter is very useful on this lens to avoid overexposed sky or underexposed scenery (you can get a lot of sky in the shot at the wide end of the zoom).

    For the wildlife work look for the best 400 mm prime or longer zoom you can afford. (I have an ancient Tokina 80-400 mm zoom, but expect that a more modern zoom or prime lens would give better results than I get at the long end of the zoom).

    A few seconds on the LCE website founds these lenses:
    (no 400 mm Sony-fit prime on the website today - quite a rare secondhand, and would probably be overbudget)

    www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Sigma-10-20mm-F4-5.6-EX-DC---Sony-A-Mount_209275.html (£179.99)
    www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Sigma-150-500mm-F5-6.3-APO_209872.html (£449.99)

    If you've got any money left, spend it on travelling somewhere exciting to use your new lenses. And consider having your favourite shots printed for display - I have had 50 x 75 cm prints done from shots taken with the Sigma 10-20 mm on my K5 (with the ND grad filter) and they look great.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  14. jessjessxx

    jessjessxx Member

    Sorry for the late reply! I've had a chance to pop into stores I've been recommended a few different options. First off the Sony A7II or Sony A6500 if to stick to the sony line. Or the for a lighter more compact option the olympus OMD 1 Mark 2 or slightly cheaper OMD EM10. Other recommended Panasonic GX9 and Fujifilm X-T2. Has anyone had any hands on experience with any of these camera?
  15. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I suspect that you will get good reports on all these cameras - there isn't much rubbish on sale at these prices.
    Only you can make the 'hands on' judgement about which is best (or the best compromise) for you.
    Or to put in another way, what size body plus lens are you prepared to carry?

    I recall once working with somebody who was determined to buy himself a big new flat-screen TV to watch the World Cup - by the time hed had decided what model he wanted, the touranment was finished.

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