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-   -   LL A2 review "Hitting One Over the Fence" (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/konica-minolta-26/ll-a2-review-hitting-one-over-fence-22318/)

sjm817 Mar 17, 2004 9:21 AM

LL A2 review "Hitting One Over the Fence"
 
http://luminous-landscape.com/review...nolta-a2.shtml

Tom Schauer Mar 17, 2004 9:59 PM

I posted a question on the LL forum in greater detail, but can anyone answer the following:

Given that most people feel the out of camera images with the A1 and A2 appear soft without sharpening processing, what is users experience with out of camera image quality when using the "hard" sharpening option? (and/or adjustment of other parameters in camera). Do you have any sample images with/without the in camera sharpening?

Can you save those settings on one of the custom buttons?

The LL review said there is a firmware fix the "beat dot" pattern exhibited on the A2. Is there a similar fix for the beat dot pattern seen on the A1? This was illustrated on the photographic tests on dpreview.

Thanks,
Tom

NHL Mar 17, 2004 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Schauer
Given that most people feel the out of camera images with the A1 and A2 appear soft without sharpening processing, what is users experience with out of camera image quality when using the "hard" sharpening option?

This is a given even on my dSLRs. You can do sharpening in the camera, but why? Once an image is sharpened the process is irreversible... You have a much better control outside the camera and it can always be undone, provided you've saved the originals(ie before sharpening).


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Schauer
Can you save those settings on one of the custom buttons?

Yes, several users profiles and settings can be stored and recalled quickly even with the earlier Minolta D7's! :wink:


Read the LL section on RAW... this is the only camera that is capable of muti-frames capture without freezing up. With RAW you can not only bypass the camera processing, but save the pictures for even better processing at a later time... as more software are available 8)

sjm817 Mar 17, 2004 11:36 PM

Yes, the A1/2 pics are neutral out of the camera compared to other makes. Not everyone likes/wants to spend time post processing. Some really enjoy it and you can get really nice results if you have the talent and the inclination to do it. If you like and want pics with more "punch" right out of the camera, that can be also be done very easily. I've been playing around with my A1 to see how it is. I'm still experimenting, but this seems pretty close. Set sharpness to "hard", color to "vivid" and contrast to +2 and you will have a look more like what a Canon puts out with brighter color and a sharper image.

John G. Mar 18, 2004 12:34 AM

I can't wait to see Steves conclusion on the A2.

Tom Schauer Mar 18, 2004 12:44 AM

Thanks sjm817
 
I went into more detail on my post on LLs forum, but sjm817 understood the issue I was raising precisely. I am not as advanced a photographer as some posting here. I want creative control and room to grow, but I want to do some point and shoot photography and some advanced photography. I don't want to sit around manipulating photos all the time, even if shooting in raw and then processing them provides better results or the ability to preserve a digital negative that can be retained while manipulating the image. Sometimes I just want an image straight out of the camera. I appreciate the comments on the sharpness, color and contrast settings. Do you have any sample photos that show the differences of out of camera on normal sharpening, contrast, and color vs. the adjustments you noted?

I am probably leaning toward the 5mp A1. While it sounds like there have been some substantial improvements on the A2, it sounds like the A1 has most of what I would want, without the lower s/n ratio for 8mp. I don't need 8mp resolution for the most part.

Thanks,
Tom

sjm817 Mar 18, 2004 1:05 AM

Yes, I have a couple of images. I dont have a place setup to post pics. I'm very new at all this myself. These shots are indoor flash of some colorful items (bookshelf in my little girls room) that show the difference between all neutral settings and in camera tweaked settings. The images are 3 - 3.5 Meg each in full 5 MP size. I think my email add is in my profile. Send me an email and I will send them to you as long as your ISP allows files of that size.

John G. Mar 18, 2004 1:38 AM

Tom ,
Take a close look at the detail of the sample images from the Olympus C5050, they are stunning. The lens is extremely fast and built for the camera.

sjm817 Mar 18, 2004 7:25 AM

The 5050 is one of the cameras I was looking at. It has some nice features, most notably the fast f1.8 - 2.6 lens. It is quite limited in its range @ 35 - 105 though. I wanted something wider and longer. The A1 with 28 - 200 with AS is much more flexible. In addition, the zoom is manual Vs a W/T button setup. The Minolta GT lens is regarded as one of the best in any prosumer camera and is "built for the camera" as well.

Too much is made of the "soft" and "dull" image of the A1/2. It's very simple. Other makes BY DEFAULT do more in camera processing with sharpness/saturation cranked up. Minolta gives you a choice. If you like that look, and want it done in the camera, no problem. A couple of easy settings and you have it. If you dont, and prefer to do it post processing, you can do that too. Your choice.

To be honest, in my tests the "dull" default setting are more true to life. The wife and I looked at the images from the different settings and both agreed that the normal images were more true.

My wife preferred the more vivid images even though they were not as accurate. Most people do, and that is why P&S cameras are set up that way. People like that look and are very unlikely to do post processing. I have to admit I also like images with more "punch".

I also have a Canon S400 which has a more "punchy" image right out of the camera. When comparing images, the A1 with the settings I mention has at least as much punch, more accurate colors (Canon tends to be overly blue) andi is sharper.

NHL Mar 18, 2004 9:09 AM

IMO sjm817 is correct. The A2 is perfect for the more advanced users and is the closest to a dSLR in both operation and workflow... One can customized the A2, but why? Wouldn't it be better to pick a different camera altogether which are designed for starter and ease of use? What's the point of fixing the sharpness in the camera? If I am a beginner I would have liked to preserve the integrity of the output from the camera so when my skill improve, as I gain experience with USM in photoshop, I can reprocess the once and unique pictures that I can never take again...

BTW did anyone try to print a sample at least? The pictures may look soft when you zoom-in @ high magnification on your monitor, but on prints they are awfully sharp straight out from the camera! Now if a picture is too sharp on your monitor it'll look DIGITAL when printed... if that's what you want :?

To me post-process is a given... You have to target your output either for E-mail/Web postings, or Prints. It'll be nice if they can all the same, but they are usually not! :oops:

sjm817 Mar 18, 2004 9:54 AM

Quote:

The A2 is perfect for the more advanced users
I am FAR from an advanced user. It is fine for a beginner as well who wants features like 28 - 200mm with AS and a hot shoe and room to grow into it.
Quote:

One can customized the A2, but why?
Why not? This makes it easy for the user who doesn't want to spend time post processing. The only difference is you have the option of using these types of settings or not. I find that a good thing, not bad. It is always better to have choices.
Quote:

Wouldn't it be better to pick a different camera altogether which are designed for starter and ease of use?
Its not that hard. It takes like 30 sec to setup the in camera options. Once they are set, it is no harder than any other camera to use.
Quote:

What's the point of fixing the sharpness in the camera? If I am a beginner I would have liked to preserve the integrity of the output from the camera so when my skill improve, as I gain experience with USM in photoshop, I can reprocess the once and unique pictures that I can never take again...
This is exactly why you DO want a camera like an A1/2. What about all the cameras that do the in camera sharpening by default? You cant undo the sharpening. In that case you would want to stay away from those "ease of use" models you mention. They are sharpening, but its just not an option you can turn on or off. ALL cameras do in camera processing. They have to. How much they do and how much you can adjust the in camera processing varies from model to model. If you want to preserve the original with no alterations done by the camera, that is what RAW is for. With the A1/2 at least you can have the camera do it or not. Again, it is better to have a choice on how you want to use it. You can set it up for "ease of use", or more like DSLR when you grow into it.
Quote:

To me post-process is a given... You have to target your output either for E-mail/Web postings, or Prints
True. I take shots @ full 5 MP and downsize for email if that is the intent.......of course you could also do that in camera and save some space on the mem card if you are sure that is what the purpose is...... :wink:

NHL Mar 18, 2004 10:44 AM

sjm817

... Exactly my point! :lol: :lol: :lol:

The A2 is a fine camera, totally flexible, best EVF PERIOD!. It even has more features than some dSLRs with no lens to change or dust to worry about! BTW Did I mention its TTL wireless flash system? :wink:

http://www.friedmanarchives.com/flash.htm

sjm817 Mar 18, 2004 11:10 AM

It seems to fit the person like "me" pretty well. It is a "bridge" camera.....not P&S, but not quite DSLR either. Its for someone who wants to learn the more advanced features, but can still be used without being an expert. To duplicate the features including 28 - 200mm with IS, it would cost quite a bit more to go DSLR.

The more I play with it, the more i like it. I just discovered the subject tracking AF feature! I'm hoping the 200mm, tracking AF and fast shutter will help me get a couple of decent shots of the kids playing soccer. Unfortunately, the camera has much better capabilities than I do at this point, but I 'll get there.

I did get the 3600HS flash, but have not tried out the WL feature yet. So many things to learn...

BTW NHL, some very nice shots in your gallery!

Tom Schauer Mar 18, 2004 11:36 AM

A1/A2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NHL
One can customized the A2, but why? Wouldn't it be better to pick a different camera altogether which are designed for starter and ease of use? What's the point of fixing the sharpness in the camera? If I am a beginner I would have liked to preserve the integrity of the output from the camera so when my skill improve, as I gain experience with USM in photoshop, I can reprocess the once and unique pictures that I can never take again...



To me post-process is a given... You have to target your output either for E-mail/Web postings, or Prints. It'll be nice if they can all the same, but they are usually not! :oops:

sjm817s post also expressed my position well. Why not pick a different camera? As has been nicely presented on LL, image quality is one consideration, design and functions are another. Flexibility and choices are desirable. If the A1 or A2 would give me the choice to have more or less in camera processing, that is great. My question was whether in fact that choice existed. I wasn't sure if by customizing settings I would be able to get the out of camera results I want sometimes. From sjm817s post, it sounds like I would be able to. My reasons for considering the Minolta are many. I do not know of a smilar choice that provides
-5mp
-mechanical zoom
-antishake
-28-200 zoom
wide range of manual controls that exceed those on most other cameras--faster shutter speeds, interval photography, etc.
-fast AF, good low-light AF performance, 3d AF
-good performance on shutter lag and shot-to-shot performance
-good battery life
-good low light EVF performance

Am I missing any? I have looked as Nikon 5700, Sony 717, Pansonic FZ-10 (4mp 1/2.5 sensor), Canon had no similar long zoom until the 8mp pro 1 and 3mp S1 IS (at least recently). Olympus doesn't have, to my knowledge, a 5mp fixed zoom with a 2/3 sensor in this zoom range. I have also looked at smaller sensor superzooms including Olympus, Minolta Z1, Fuji S5000, etc.

There are also now a slew of 8mps that have all the features I could want, but almost none have the same combination of features available on the A1/A2. I don't expect to be printing a lot of large format photos most of the time, and find the a 5mp would meet my needs for resolution. From what I have seen, I prefer the less noisy images from the 5mps.

I have tried to find the combination of features and image quality and make a choice that way. I have considered other cameras, and may choose a different one. I haven't decided yet.

There are things I like and don't like about the camers I mentioned above and others. Among them are poor low-light autofocus, slow shutter lag, awkward ergonomics, lack of certain settings, less fixed zoom range, varying macro performance, etc. I have also seen some excellent features on these cameras. Unfortunately there are trade-offs. For example, the Sony 717 has a 5x optical zoom, and the 828 has a 7x zoom and faster autofocus and less shutter lag. However, it has more noise at lower ISO.

If I can take a camera that gets 95% image quality I prefer straight out of the camera and spend more time doing whatever it is I am doing, sometimes I would rather spend my time doing that rather than being behind the computer. If I can get an image 50% of the quality I want out of camera and spend half my time out with my camera and half behind the computer manipulating the image to get it to look 99% like what I want, I would be willing to settle for the processed image straight out of the camera that has nearly the quality I want, and spend my time doing something other than working with the image in software. However, there are times I do want that control, and it appears that I could change the settings and work with the image for those times I want to work more with my images.

I believe most cameras do provide that choice. Usually, if you to retain your "digital negative", you save a RAW image, and if you want a processed image, you save a jpg. With the Minolta, it sounds like if you save a jpg, you still end up with an image that needs a fair amount of processing--except as noted above. You apparently can adjust settings to get a jpg out of camera that is similar to other cameras. I wasn't sure about that before I posted.

From this standpoint, it sounds like the Minolta has better RAW performance than some other cameras too. I don't know if the A1 has it, but it sounds like the A2 has fast performance to save both RAW and JPG simultaneously.

Tom Schauer Mar 18, 2004 11:39 AM

a1 or a2?
 
sjm817,
do you have the a1 or a2?

sjm817 Mar 18, 2004 11:58 AM

I have the A1. I went for it instead of the A2 purely because of the cost difference. With the money saved on the camera, I got a 3600HS flash, 1 Gig CF card and still spent less. 5 MP is fine for me.

NHL Mar 18, 2004 3:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sjm817
I have the A1. I went for it instead of the A2 purely because of the cost difference. With the money saved on the camera, I got a 3600HS flash

The more powerful Sigma 500DG Super is 100% compatible with the Minolta system as well... and it costs 1/2 as much as the 5600HS(D). 8)


IMO if no one does any enlargements larger than 11"x14" the A1 is the way to go... It'll go easier on the CF memory (+ the PC hardisk also) as well as the 5 raw picturse buffer (instead of 3).

You just have to decide if you want the higher resolution EVF in the A2 or not since features wise the A1 and A2 are pretty much similar. Don't forget the real-time histogram (or the grid and scale either), except for the Sony no other camera have this feature either! :wink:


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