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Old Mar 22, 2004, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default A1 / A2 owners satisfied or not

Ok I'm pretty sure I want one of these cameras but I don't know which one I'll choose. If you own or did own the A1 or A2 please tell me why you chose the one you chose, and are you satisfied or not with your choice. If not why, and what camera did you replace or want to replace it with? I've seen good and bad reviews about these cameras and I know that everyone has their personal preferences and opinions so I guess I'm trying to get some honest feedback from peers. Please don't hold back, if you love it tell me. If you despise it let's hear your gripe. Thank you.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 6:26 AM   #2
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Got my A1 last week and I'm very satisfied

The reasons of my choice:
best CCD-lens combination
14 bit A/D conversion
shutter speeds (till 1/16000)

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Old Mar 22, 2004, 7:41 AM   #3
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Recently got an A1 and spent some time with it this weekend. Very happy with it.

My reasons for choosing it in no particular order
1) Price. More features/$$ than anything else out there. The A2 was more than I wanted to spend, and I can easily live with 5MP
2) AS image stabilization
3) Fast auto focus
4) Great ergonomics. Tons of manual settings (see 5) that are easily accessible via dials instead of button mashing though LCD menus
5) Full manual control. You can set anything on this camera. Has more settings than some DSLR
6) Fast shutter speeds
7) 28 - 200mm GT lens
8) Live histogram
9) Power management. Hand grip and EVF eye sensor switches LCD and EVE on and off to conserve power
10) RAW support

There is more, but 10 is enough
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 8:28 AM   #4
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Not sure yet. I have an old Olympus 2500L (2.5Mp) which is an excellent camera but I was seduced by the 8Mp of the A2, plus the anti-shake and the better zoom range. The resolution is certainly better, but only means that you can roughly double the print size (quadruple the area). It's interesting to calculate that the to effect the same improvement again (from 8Mp) would require a 30Mp sensor (roughly). So the law of diminishing returns is applying with a vengeance here. The trouble is that the picture quality doesn't seem quite so good - but it's early days yet and I need to experiment with the various options. It may just be that it needs sharpening and a different colour setting.

The TCON-14 (1.45X 46mm) that I bought for the 2500L works really well, though I needed a step-down ring (49-46) to mount it. It was much cheaper than the Minolta 1.5X is.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 8:42 AM   #5
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Yes, you have to get to know the camera and its settings. This is a topic that is discussed a lot. All cameras do in camera processing of the image (unless you shoot in RAW). Most consumer orientated cameras are tuned to give the shot a lot of "punch" right out of the camera. DSLRs and the Minolta A1/2 are set up for a neutral image by default to allow the photographer more control over how the image looks. You can do this during post processing, or if you prefer, can set up the camera for a more punchy look by default. Play around with the settings, each person has their own preferences. For instance, try:

Sharpness = hard
Contrast = +2
Color = +1 or +2 (or try "vivid" which is ~ the same as +2)

This should get you to what you are more used to seeing.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 1:59 PM   #6
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Hi had my a1 a rew months now and love it. used it at some Rugby matches and coped very well. Huge pictures allow for selective cropping. anti shake and remote control were 2 main reasons for purchase

great camera

Darren
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Old Mar 23, 2004, 7:18 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice SJM - I'll try it. BTW that's an excellent article you link to on your post "hitting one over the fence". The user interface of the A2 is indeed excellent. Despite having so many features it quickly becomes very intuitive to use. With the Olympus 2500L you always needed the handbook at the ready.

I can confirm the anti-shake works well. I took a photo at 1/80 at 290mm (1.45X TC) while holding the camera one-handed and the result is perfect.
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Old Mar 23, 2004, 1:37 PM   #8
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I bought the A1 several months back - A2 wasn't yet a rumour. I was happy with yet except for a several week period when it was in the shop for repair (I've told this story so many times here people are probably sick of hearing it so search my posts if interested).
I ended up in this category 'cause I felt I was too amateur for DSLR (and didn't want to wory about lense swapping) but yet wanted a good lense that could shoot 7x-ish zoom and also wanted a camera I could learn a bit more about photography on.
I looked at the Nikon 5700 at the time and it was a very close decision for me. The A1 primarily won out due to image stabilization and I liked the layout of the controls a bit better. I recently tried out a freinds 828 - could not BELIEVE how big that camera is in comparison to the A2/8700. For the same features/resolution/etc why is it so much bigger/heavier - don't know - (some may say the Carl Zeiss lens I suppose). I stayed away from Sony back when I bought my A1 primarily because I had CF memory investments I wanted to pass on (althouth now Sony also supports CF with the 828- they finally gave in!). The battery on the A1 lasted twice as long as the 5700's which was an added plus for me along with the multiple autofocus modes.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 11:55 PM   #9
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Default A2 is awesome!

Greetings! I just posted a somewhat lengthy note on the A2 in the "A1 or A2..." topic area, so please refer there for more info, but in summary, I went from a Sony F828 to the A2 primarily on the results of testing in Luminous Landscape, where an exhaustive study is done of the A2 and optical comparisons to the 828. So far, I tend to agree with that author, not having had the A2 for but a few days. However, preliminary results are excellent, and I anxiously await more testing! I also agree that one must really study the 178 page manual to get the most from this awesome instrument. Good luck!
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 3:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjm817
Yes, you have to get to know the camera and its settings. This is a topic that is discussed a lot. All cameras do in camera processing of the image (unless you shoot in RAW). Most consumer orientated cameras are tuned to give the shot a lot of "punch" right out of the camera. DSLRs and the Minolta A1/2 are set up for a neutral image by default to allow the photographer more control over how the image looks. You can do this during post processing, or if you prefer, can set up the camera for a more punchy look by default. Play around with the settings, each person has their own preferences. For instance, try:

Sharpness = hard
Contrast = +2
Color = +1 or +2 (or try "vivid" which is ~ the same as +2)

This should get you to what you are more used to seeing.
Why haven't I seen a >>> punchy picture posted<<< of the A2 ?
I don't mean photoshop punchy.
And the same picture on default settings.
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