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Old Mar 18, 2004, 9:54 AM   #11
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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......
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 10:44 AM   #12
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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?

http://www.friedmanarchives.com/flash.htm
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 11:10 AM   #13
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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!
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 11:36 AM   #14
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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! ops:
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.
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 11:39 AM   #15
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sjm817,
do you have the a1 or a2?
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 11:58 AM   #16
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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.
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 3:46 PM   #17
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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!
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