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Old Nov 6, 2003, 9:27 AM   #1
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Default Minolta A1 OR Canon Digital Rebel?

I am currently looking for my first high-end digital camera. I am not a professional photographer, but after owning many cheaper cameras, I really want something that will last and be able to take really nice photos when I need to. The two cameras I have been considering have been the A1 and the Digital Rebel, but I am having a difficult time deciding which will be better for me. First, I don't really want to have to lug lenses, which I would have to do for the Rebel. The A1 has a very good zoom and lense built in, so I wouldnt need very many add-ons (except maybe for a macro lens). I take a lot of bird and insect photos, so the zoom is really important to me, and the anti-shake feature could be really helpful when taking birds from far distances. Is it worth giving up a higher resolution and the ability to change lenses which I would get from the Digital Rebel? Please help me decide :?
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 11:15 AM   #2
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both have their advantages and disadvantages. i have a 1Ds and looked at the DReb as an option for a second camera. after owning a 7Hi(sold and regretted it) i decided as a quick SHQ all in one can do 90% of what i need camera and went to the A1. with the A1 i don't really need interchangable lenses due to the 28-200 2.8-3.5 lens (reasonably wide and reasonably long) it matches the feel of a slr it is considerably smaller/lighter then the 1Ds. all this precludes the need to carry a bag full of junk to support it like a Dslr. its a relative grab and run with it. for me its a lot better then carrying and snapping on a 70-200 to that little rebel. of c ourse its a matter of personal preference. on the 1Ds i go down to 17mm and up to 280mm currently. the A1 fits right in there without breaking my back walking around with 18-25 lbs of support junk at times.

you really don't need a macro lens either since it is the equivelent to about a 180mm macro and a 28mm wide macro too. of course if your one of those who like to get within a milimeter of what your shooting (and not allowing any light in on the sides) i guess you can get an adapter that might work. the tolerances are tight on the lens and additions can cause vignetting.
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 11:58 AM   #3
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sjms: what do you think of your A1, specifically the autofocus. I have an original D7 (and an S2), and have been very disappointed with the autofocus performance of my D7. On AF, 9 out of 10 shots will be out of focus, and that's in bright tropical noon day sun. So I shoot almost exclusively in manual focus and get 9 out of 10 (maybe more) in focus.

Is the AF on the A1 fast and accurate? How would you compare it to your 1Ds?

Reason I ask, I am planning on dumping my D7 when I get back to the states next month and the A1 is a potential canditate to replace it.

Thanks.
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 12:13 PM   #4
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it is considerably faster. it still misses every now and then. it is a quantum improvement over the 7. i wouldn't unload the 7 too quick. it is still one of the top IR cameras in the digital world.

comparison to my 1Ds. its fast but not that fast. my F5 and the D2H are in my opinion the only competition for it. is still pretty good in low light too. better then all w/o added focus assist and then even better then some of those too. the anti shake works quite well too. in servo mode it will miss more often but then my 1Ds throws one or two out too. try shooting a 2/3rd grade soccer game and get a decent image while they swarm like crazed bees. it great.
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 6:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice...the A1 definitely seems like a great standalone camera from your description. By the way, could anyone tell me the exact dimensions of the A1? I have seen cameras like the Fujifilm S5000 at bestbuy and was surprised how small they were. Is the Minolta about the same size as that? Hmmm...speaking of Fujifilm, how would the finepix S7000 compare to the A1 (uh, oh....looks like I added another option to my list).

I compared the two here:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sidebyside.asp

The Finepix looks very enticing....plus it has a 1cm min macro range, higher resolution, etc...The one advantage of the A1 seems to be the anti-shake feature and possibly a few other small things. Every time I see a new camera I like, I change my mind :shock:
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 11:57 PM   #6
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its a wee bit larger then a 5000 about the size of a 7000
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 10:26 AM   #7
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Default Deal Breaker

I took the time for what I regard as the most important test in comparing 2 cameras: a side by side hands (and eyes) on test.
One can read reviews and analyse specs but when it comes time to make a decision you need to get a feel for the camera (This is why I support local stores whenever possible).
One of my favorite and one the most reliable source of information is the French Magazine "Chasseur D'Image" ( you can visit their -not so great all French site http://www.photim.com/.
Their test of the 2 camera lists the pros and cons of both.
My decision is not so much for the Canon but Against the Minolta. The Dimage is a great camera but the Electronic View Finder is a deal breaker for me.
It is probably because I have learned how to love a fine focusing screen. In conclusion. looking in the Canon Viewfinder made the choice easy for me. This is a personal choice and I encourage you to play with a camera before you make a choice.
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 10:52 AM   #8
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looking through a 1Ds viewfinder ruins any other for me(except my F5). the Rebel is a fairly dark place in there.. the point for me is not the viewfinder but the total integration of the camera and surprizingly the lack of interchangeablity on the lens. this will be my version of a HQ Do All grab camera. having lenses changeble in that situation brings to bear the question each time- What lens do i bring?. oh, just bring them all. oops, i now am carrying 15lbs of junk again. i'm not trying to make an issue about but i didn't go for the Rebel for the roughly same resaons you did. i already have the Dslr that i need. unfortunately the rebel falls a little short for me there.

oh also on the A1 i turn off the NR. and do all the NR work with Neat Image. i like the control.

but as we will probably agree it is a personal thing.
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 11:14 AM   #9
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you are Right SJMS but is it fair to compare EOS-1Ds and EOS Rebel ? :shock:
I have to admit that if I was buying one camera only and had no plan on buying (or using existing) other lenses, then the Dimage makes a lot of sense it is a very compeling camera.
I am often asked to help friends of family to pick a camera - these days mostly Digital - I am sure you will agree that there are many best choices out there... it all depends on whom the user is and how the camera will be used.
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 11:36 AM   #10
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well, it is what i own so then i guess i am spoiled. when i played with the Rebel and the lens that it came with i believe the 18-55 or something like that the first thought was the lens was real lets say plastic. it is definately a price point item. it was a cute camera that had pricepoint all over it. a 10D is soooooooooo much better a camera and easily reached if you save just a bit more. for the general user i see what i have seen with the pro users only more so. the issue of dust in the cavity and sensor. people not reading instructions. it is still a camera that requires responsible care. with a lot of people this might be an issue.
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