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Old Mar 16, 2004, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Minolta DiMAGE A1 or Nikon coolpix 5700

Hi I am currently looking for a new camera. I currently have the Sony F828, but I am getting tied of the mooch noise and the purple fringing problem, there fore I am looking for a camera that donít have these problems (witch should be a problem with the 8m pixels chip). My request I a camera with CF flash card, and big zoom lens, flip screen, and aluminium design. After reading some reviews I have come to the conclusion that the choice is be twin the Minolta DiMAGE A1 or the Nikon coolpix 5700.

Both wary nice cameras, with reasonably noise and low purple fringing, the Nikon is a bit cheaper than the Minolta, but does also have a smaller screen, no manual zoom ring, no anti shake, and quite poor battery life.

Witch one should I chose, it would be nice to hear from some owners of these cameras, and if anyone have had some problems with one of the cameras (or both for that matter). What Is good, and what Is bad ect. Experience with the cameras, and recommendation and so on . Thanks.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 1:49 PM   #2
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I just got the A1 myself. I looked at all the models for quite awhile and decided that the A1 is pretty much unmatched in the features/$$ area.

I'm fairly new to an advanced camera like this, but am getting the hang of it. It really is a nice camera. The manual zoom is so much nicer than a W/T button setup. The camera has more settings than is imaginable, but they are easy to get to via dials instead of button mashing your way through LCD menus. The AS does work and helps quite a bit with handheld shots. The live histogram is a very nice often overlooked feature as well.

I'm starting to play around with shooting in RAW mode. In RAW, the image seems much more tweakable than starting with a jpeg.

I see you have looked as well and are attracted by some of the same things I was. 28 - 200mm with AS, manual zoom, bigger (although I'd like 2") LCD.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 2:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjm817
I just got the A1 myself. I looked at all the models for quite awhile and decided that the A1 is pretty much unmatched in the features/$$ area.

I'm fairly new to an advanced camera like this, but am getting the hang of it. It really is a nice camera. The manual zoom is so much nicer than a W/T button setup. The camera has more settings than is imaginable, but they are easy to get to via dials instead of button mashing your way through LCD menus. The AS does work and helps quite a bit with handheld shots. The live histogram is a very nice often overlooked feature as well.

I'm starting to play around with shooting in RAW mode. In RAW, the image seems much more tweakable than starting with a jpeg.

I see you have looked as well and are attracted by some of the same things I was. 28 - 200mm with AS, manual zoom, bigger (although I'd like 2") LCD.
Ok, sounds really nice, I am almost 90% sure it will be the A1, just got those extra features I like.

How is the AF in low light, and how about the macro, is it good? Just as well as the auto white balance, is it precise?

I to like the design of the A1 better and looking wary professional with the battery grip (almost like the Canon 1Ds series). Manuel zoom, there is just no way around it, when you have get used to it, nothing like turning the zoom ring, and get at precise and fast zoom, and no motor in start-up just to get the liens to go in position (the motor zoom lens, uses more battery power).

Any one knows where I can buy the A1 cheapest, it has to be in Europe ect. Germany (I live en Denmark, but it is possible to save some bucks if bought another place I Europe with 230v charger). It has to be a place where I can pay with credit card (the most secure payments). Maybe some price sites, where you can compare the prices between the difference sites.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 2:50 PM   #4
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>How is the AF in low light,
Good

>and how about the macro
haven't tried it yet

>the auto white balance, is it precise?
AWB stinks. Use a preset or manual (easy to do)

>it has to be in Europe ect.
Cant help you there, I'm in USA

Another thing you have to be aware of is the A1/2 pics out of the cam are not as vibrant as others. Minolta seems to do less in camera processing of sharpness, color saturation, contrast etc. It produces a "neutral" image. Others do more and they will have more pop right out of the camera.

You can set the A1 for extra sharpness, color, contrast, etc if you like, or do it with post processing. The "hardcore guys" seem to like the latter. I'm still learning so, I dont know yet.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 9:11 PM   #5
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Don't underestimate the importance of image stabilization. Once you have used a camera with image stabilization (called AS on the A1) you will not be satisfied with a camera that doesn't have it!

While the 5700 is a fine camera, I'm personally glad that I chose the A1 over the nikon (not becuse of the AS feature initially, but now that I see what it can do, I have become a believer). IMHO, my bias is toward the A1 ...highly recommended because of the AS.
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Old Mar 17, 2004, 8:50 AM   #6
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the af in low light is considerably better on the A1 then the 5700. just don't expect miracles thought it really works well for the price.

the macro is not as good as the 5700 in its range. nikon is the current king in the macro department. you can practically touch the subject with the front element.

i use an expodisc to WB on my 1Ds and the A1. that is the only way to be absolutely sure of your WB when it must be just right.

i shoot RAW 75% of the time on my A1 so i bypass any "in camera" processing
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 3:34 AM   #7
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Default The best camera for my needs - regardless of price

After spending the last week reading all over the web, I have decided to post my first message. I wasn't sure which forum to post it on, but because the A1/A2 seem to maybe be the best of the current SLR-like cameras, I thought this might be a good choice.

I did a lot of 35mm photography when I was young (Oly OM1, Nikon EF), bought a nice (relatively) compact Oly zoom back in '89, and then along with the kids came a few more point and shoot models along the way. We currently have an Oly Miu (Stylus in North America, we live in Tokyo) and a 2MP Sony Cybershot. Although I have done quite a bit of reading, I have yet to familiarize myself firsthand with many of the high end digital features.

With more free time on my hands I want to get back into taking 'real' pictures and am looking for advice. Whatever I buy, I will keep and use for quite some time and price is therefore not a concern. My priorities are the following:

1) General family/ holiday pictures (indoor and out)
2) Nature pictures - macro for plants, tele for birds/wildlife
3) Image stabilization (If what I have read it can do for handheld telephoto shots is correct)
4) Enough control that I can manually over-ride automatic settings when necessary
5) Enough pixels that I can print a nice occasional 8X10
6) As compact/lightweight/easy to use as possible
70 Since my new laptop has an SD card slot, I thought, if possible, that would be a nice extra

I recently had a brief look at the Digital Rebel and the Nikon D70
but after reading about what SLR-like cameras can offer in a more compact and easy to use (and cheaper) package, it seems that that is the way to go. Without hands on experience, I am hoping that there is little difference in image quality between the high end models and low-end SLRs. Am I really going to pay for not going with an SLR and interchangeable lenses? I was hoping to avoid lugging a 10lb bag this time around.

I have been leaning towards the Panasonic FZ10, but despite its apparently incredible stabilized zoom (and loyal following), it obviously has its shortcomings. Other models which I am considering and which get consistently high reviews include the Oly C-750/770 and 5060, the Canon Pro 1 and Powershot S1 IS, the Minolta A1 and A2, the Nikon C5700, C8700 and C-8080.

However, the C-750/770 (with no stabilization) and the S1 IS have the only zooms which can compare with the FX10. What do you think? Do you think either one is a better quality camera than the FZ10? As for the C-5060, Pro 1, Nikons and Minoltas, the question is, can I achieve possibly better telephoto images than the FZ10 by using a converter? Another factor to consider is that I have read numerous times that the Nikons are the best at the macro end.

Since most reviews and comments seem to weight value fairly heavily, and in my case I am more interested quality regarless of price, I am very much interesting in hearing comments from those of you 'in the know' which focus more on quality than value.

Sorry to have made this so long.

Looking forward to some insightful responses,

Rory
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 1:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: The best camera for my needs - regardless of price

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory
Another factor to consider is that I have read numerous times that the Nikons are the best at the macro end.
While the Nikons can capture a smaller size in macro photos, they only take macros at the wide angle lens position. This means that to get that 'super macro', the lens has to be within 1-2cm (<1 inch) of your subject. When you are that close to the subject, you are going to have trouble lighting it.

The Minolta 7xx/A1/A2 take the macro at the telephoto end of the zoom. What this means is that you capture a slightly larger area than the Nikons, but the lens is around 20cm (8 inches) away from the subject. This makes it much easier to light the macros. You can also add a macro lens on the Minolta to get the magnification of the Nikons, and still be 8cm away (3 inches) from the subject.

In my mind, this telephoto macro makes the Minolta the ideal macro camera - it is just easier to take macro pictures with the Minolta than with the Nikons.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 7:52 AM   #9
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A little update, I have both tried the Nikom 5700, and Minolta A1. The Nikon, did not fall in to my taste, vary poor menu, all too small LCD screen (and wary thick as well). One of the "thinks" you hang the shoulder strip in, are in the way, and give a wary bad grip. Over all I could go on with things I don't like about the Nikom 5700.

Monolta A1 is the camera for me, WARY nice body quality, and WARY nice grip. It just has all the functions you will ever need (plus a little more ). Feels really light I think. The menu is about the best I have ever tried, nice manual zoom ring (though a little plastic alike, when you are used to the Sony F828). The camera have WARY good AF, even in low light, macro is good, more than enough for me. Buttons are placed wary nice. Did not have to read the manual, it is just so brilliant designed, that I could take it right out of the box, and start to use all the function. The only thing I don't like, is its Jpeg compression ability (some times at little pixel error), and the screen is not the best in low light. All though, the Minolta A1 is about the best camera I have ever tried, and that means a LOT of cameras .

Did to try the Canon Pro1, but the AF in low light, is just too bad, the grip on the body is not the best. The motorised zoom was ok, but a little slow when it had to change directions. And the camera feels wary heavy. But when that is said, it is a wary nice camera, the noise is mooch lower than the Sony F828, and almost no purple fringing. Just try to see the test below, Sony F828 against Canon Pro1:

Sony F828
Canon Pro1

And here is some noise test with the Canon Pro1. The camera is in Super Macro mote. The object, is only about 6cm long, and 3cm wide:

Canon Pro1 ISO 50
Canon Pro1 ISO 100
Canon Pro1 ISO 200
Canon Pro1 ISO 400

See how small the Pro1 is against the BIG F828:


Any way, if you are looking for a nice camera, who really can it all, with no of the problems of the 8m pixel chip, I donít think it comes much better than the Minolta A1.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 11:06 PM   #10
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Default Best camera - regardless of price

Thanks to those who responded to my questions - especially to Wils4all for your detailed comments on your likes and dislikes.

I naturally have a few more questions:

1) Quality control.
Should I be really concerned about what I've read about Minolta QC problems? Do they apply equally to the A1 as the A2?

2) A1 vs SLR
For example, are the Rebel and D-70 batteries much larger? Do they offer better automatic flash control? Are the AF and manual zoom necessarily much faster? Is it not possible to open a prosumer lense up enough to get the blurred background you get with the SLR lenses? If you are interested in this issue have a look at the article at the link below, or have a look at the "NYT prosumer vs SLR review" thread (in the Canon Talk Forum) and see what you think.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/25/te...25stat.html?th

3) I was interested to know why you made no mention of any of the Olympus models. I bought an OM1 when they first came out back in 1975, have had a number of their cameras since, and have always admired the quality and design of their products. I know the C-5060 gets top ranking in many people's views.

4) What about extending the A1's telephoto range? 200mm is much too short for birds/wildlife. Can it be extended without it costing too much, and not compromising (much) in terms of quality and convenience?

5) And since I don't need 8MP, and if there are problems with the 8MP chip, am I cazy to consider such models?

I guess that's enough for now.

Please keep the feedback coming.

Rory
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