Originally Posted by toastedoats
ok, now i understand that a bit more.. and with some further research im certainly learning alot.
two more questions for tonight:
How does a motor in-lense operate? I understand how an in-body AF motor works, but how do the in-lense
is there any real advantage of either style?
When it all boils down, I don't think there'* much of a difference. It'* just two seperate ways of motorizing the focus ring.
Some (more $$) in-lens AF systems are 'ultrasonic' (USM, Canon) or 'silent save motor' (SWM, Nikon) or 'supersonic motor' (SSM, Sony). They are marketed as being faster and quieter and are built into the lens. It might matter, I don't have any SSM lenses myself.
That said, in all of my film and digital SLR shooting, the Sony/Minolta non-SSM setup has ALWAYS been in-body motor drive. And my AF performance is just about every bit as good as any other setup out there and I do not see the need to invest in the technology. Again, it often depends on what you shoot. At rock concerts I'm not particularly going to care if my focus motor is a little loud, but I will care if the camera has trouble locking focus in super super dark clubs and bars lit only by a couple lights. ISO 6400 AND f/2 as a necessity? You bet it'* happened to me
Cliff'* notes: Is one better? Probably. Would it matter to you? Likely not right now.
We can sit and discuss gear until the cows come home - it'll help you make an informed decision as you are after all plunking down almost a thousand bucks here. But play with the cameras! Work on the photography skills and experience to really take advantage of a DSLR.
ps: Do you currently have a 35mm autofocus film SLR camera body at all? This could potentially influence your chocie of brand if you wish to use the film body still. It'* a great way to learn to THINK through your photography.