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Old Mar 20, 2004, 4:43 PM   #1
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Default my new A1 (did I make the right choice?)

hi all

I happened to be in Las Vegas during the PMA show.
I had been in the market for a do-it-all digital camera without
removable lenses. I have a standard 3mp HP digital camera
and am a 35mm photographer from way back using an Olympus
OM1 and OM2. This time I wanted simpler--not a lot of stuff
to drag around, hence one lens only.

I actually was leaning toward a Sony f717 or f828.
Then I thought of the Nikon 8700 with it's great tele range.
Then at the PMA show I held the A2! The viewfinder was
terrific. The handling qualities were similar to the Nikon 8700
and better than the 828 Sony.

While waiting for actual cameras to be available, I studied
all of the reviews/forums. It seems that no camera is perfect,
but the A1/A2 seemed to have most of the features I would
find useful. I wanted the A2, but could save around $350-400
by getting the A1.

I did buy the A1 and have used it for a week under varying
conditions. I am extremely happy with it. The image quality
is outstanding! And it works well in tough conditions. The
anti-shake really helps in low light. I enjoy taking low light
photos, and the anti-shake and autofocus work well.

This camera is easy to use in the auto modes and has the
advantage of many not-so-auto modes as the need arises
for the more experienced photographer.

Did I make the right choice in saving money by not going
with the A2? I'm not sure. The A1 is excellent and I am
very happy with it. I consider it a bargain. The better EVF
of the A2 would be nice though. 8mp over 5mp? 5 sure
looks good!

By the way - I got the A1 from PCNation for $635 and
the customer service was excellent- ask for Tammy.

The more I use this camera, the more I like it. If money
is no object, the A2 could be the way to go.
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 10:42 PM   #2
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I just got my A2 on Thursday. Unfortunately I haven't had enough time right now to play with it. I know it's pretty identical to the A1, other then the 8MP and maybe the EVF, but I'm not sure. I'd have to reread some reviews. I can't wait to take it out and start shooting.

Did you make the right choice by getting the A1? Well, you're happy with it, you love the image quality. And on top of all of that, you've saved $500? I think you made the right choice.
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 11:09 PM   #3
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I went through the same issues as you and decided to go ahead and bite the bullet. I got an A2, yes I wanted the latest and greatest.
I read all the reviews I could find and had decided on the A1 until I found out about the A2 coming out. I probably would have been just as happy with the A1.
Like Al said, you saved money, you're happy with the A1 just enjoy it.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 8:48 AM   #4
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Hey willm! Just be glad you can afored a A1, never mind a A2!!!
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 9:35 AM   #5
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Sounds like you made the right choice since you seem happy with your decision -that's what counts.
You made the statement "The anti-shake really helps in low light." and I have heard others say this as well. I find the anti-shake really helpful at high zoom. Whenever I try using it in low-light it disengages because it can't operate for longer shutters. Am I doing something wrong perhaps? You can tell when it disengages when the display on the LCD shows "yellow" rather than "blue" when firing.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 1:48 PM   #6
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I'd say you made a great choice. Think about it.....you love the camera, you've gotten great results, AND you saved almost $500!!! That's exactly the way I approached my purchase of a Dimage Z1. With the new Z2 just coming on the market now, I got a really sweet deal on a Z1. Sure, there are some minor improvements in the Z2, as well as one extra megapixel of resolution, but I figured it was worth the trade-off to save over $150. Plus, like you, I am thrilled with the camera I got. I say you made a smart move.
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Old Mar 24, 2004, 1:21 AM   #7
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You made the statement "The anti-shake really helps in low light." and I have heard others say this as well. I find the anti-shake really helpful at high zoom. Whenever I try using it in low-light it disengages because it can't operate for longer shutters. Am I doing something wrong perhaps? You can tell when it disengages when the display on the LCD shows "yellow" rather than "blue" when firing.

I just ignored the color change and went ahead and took the picture. I suspect it's one or those "warning" things telling you that the shutter speed is really slow.
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Old Mar 24, 2004, 9:35 AM   #8
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So I guess I was wrong in my assumption that "yellow" meant it disengages - it just means it doesn't believe it will be effective. From the user's manual page 37:

"The yellow indicator appears when the Anti-shake system is activated, but the shutter speed is too slow for it to be effective"
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 8:43 PM   #9
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Yeah, that sounds like how it works. The yellow just would be a warning. Since I have experience in low-light photography without any kind of image stabilizing (I just hold really still) the A1 stabilizer works at rather slow shutter speeds and I get good pictures. I could really see the difference with it on (I know this because I took several with it off first).

I'm close to 500 pictures now and still very happy with this camera. Knowing how good this one is, if I were to do it over I would probably go ahead and spend the extra bucks and get the A2. But that's in hindsight.
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