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Old Jun 14, 2004, 8:51 PM   #1
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After playing around with the Minolta A2 which I found to be a well designed camera I started to really get into this digital camera thing. I am wondering if I would be gaining that much in quality if I went to the Nikon D70 considering that it would be larger, have a smqller zoom range, have less pixels, and havenoimage stabilization when compared to the Minolt1.

I have read nothing but glowing reviews about the Nikon in which all the reviewers seem to agree that the larger pixels of the SLRS makes a big difference when compared to any point and shoot camera..

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

Don


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Old Jun 14, 2004, 9:59 PM   #2
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When it comes to CCD's, size matters. Bigger is better, not MP but the physical size of the imager.

I have a Minolta D7i, a Fuji S2 and an SLR/n. The CCD in the S2 is huge by comparison to the tiny CCD in the D7i, and the images out of the S2 blow the D7i images away. Mainly it is the level of noise (none in the S2), but noticable in the D7i especially when you compare similar shots from the S2. Dynamic range is also much much better from the larger sensor, and I personally think the color is better too.

As for the difference between 5MP (or 6MP) and the 8MP on the A2, not really that much different, especially with the tiny sensor - more noise then even the D7i. The D70 will produce better images than the A2 and will be a much more versatile camera.

My Minolta D7i makes a nice *casual* camera, but for anything serious, I always use my SLR/n. By the way, my SLR/n blows the S2 out of the water.

That's my 2 cents worth. Hope it helps.

Declan
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 10:44 PM   #3
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As I noted to another (similar) inquiry... both cameras are fine for what they

are designed to do. The minor detail that seems to be glossed over is that

one costs twice as much as the other.There is only about $1000in MSRP

of equivalently lensed units. If money is no object, it's a no brainer.

Spend early, spend often.






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Old Jun 16, 2004, 10:44 PM   #4
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As I noted to another (similar) inquiry... both cameras are fine for what they

are designed to do. The minor detail that seems to be glossed over is that

one costs twice as much as the other.There is only about $1000in MSRP

of equivalently lensed units. If money is no object, it's a no brainer.

Spend early, spend often.






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Old Jun 19, 2004, 4:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
When it comes to CCD's, size matters. Bigger is better, not MP but the physical size of the imager.

Over-simplified.




Quote:
I have a Minolta D7i, a Fuji S2 and an SLR/n. The CCD in the S2 is huge by comparison to the tiny CCD in the D7i, and the images out of the S2 blow the D7i images away. Mainly it is the level of noise (none in the S2), but noticable in the D7i especially when you compare similar shots from the S2
In equivalent ISO, of course the larger imaer has lower noise. Far superior thermal disapation + higher sensitivity due to larger photosites. But noise is not an issue in low ISO shots from moderan high quality small-sensor cameras. What noise may be a problem is easily removable with proper software and competant use of this software. High ISO is still only prattical on large sensor based cameras. Also, the Fuji SCCD cameras have some odd/unique characteristics that need to be accounted for - for example the S2 has lower noise then other DSLR units at high ISOs. It also produces higher resolution images on most standard scenes due to it's maximum efficiency for resolution in the H/V planes as opposed to diagnoal planes(most scenes contain most spatial data along H/V).

Quote:
. Dynamic range is also much much better from the larger sensor, and I personally think the color is better too.

This is a tough one. Actually, the dynamic range as a function of noise to signal, the DSLR will have slighlty better performance in low ISO cmpared to low ISO from a good quality modern small-sensor digicam. In high ISO settings, your statement is very true, though. Your perception of actualy dynamic range may also be altered falsely by only viewing in-cam processed images which have a steep curve applied that throws away much of the raw image data in the extreme light:dark ranges. Working with RAW files from the cameras in verstatile RAW rendering software reveals this issue. The 'color' is also a functin of the internal camera processing. With powerful RAW softwre, you can create any custom 'color' that you may desire. If it still lacks... their is photoshop.

Quote:
The D70 will produce better images than the A2 and will be a much more versatile camera
I guess this depends on what you consider versatile. Will the D70, with an equivalent length zoom lens of high quality(that matches the A2's lens sharpness) be anywhwere near as compact? Will the D70 have the convenient live preview/screen for normally hard to do macro or overhead work? As far as image quality..... this depends totally on what ISO you use, what file format you begin with and the end use.You need to state speficialy at what it is more versatile with, not just 'is'. This is making presumptions of what the original poster on how the original poster wants to use his camera.

-Chris
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 5:04 PM   #6
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There is no contenst...The Nikon D70 wins: Muchbetter image quality, faster AF, faster write to the flash card, less noise, no power up time (ready the second you turne it on), and much more.....



/Johnny
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Over-simplified.
Slightly, but still true

Quote:
Your perception of actualy dynamic range may also be altered falsely by only viewing in-cam processed images which have a steep curve applied that throws away much of the raw image data in the extreme light:dark ranges. Working with RAW files from the cameras in verstatile RAW rendering software reveals this issue. The 'color' is also a functin of the internal camera processing. With powerful RAW softwre, you can create any custom 'color' that you may desire. If it still lacks... their is photoshop.
I shoot ONLY raw, I never shoot jpg, except with my D7i.

Your steep curve thing is just flat out wrong. Such discarding of image data does NOT occur. The image is compressed from the imager's 10 or 12 bits to 8 and the lossy jpg compression is applied, but there is no loss of dynamic range, instead the number steps between the high and the low end is reduced, but the entire range of the original is still covered. If what you say were true, then you would not be able to get blacks or whiles in your images.

I was also talking about color straight out of the camera, as generated by the raw processing camera. No extensive manipulation to achieve a particular *look*. That can be done if you have the time and energy.

So your statement also helps make my point, that the D70 shooting raw will provide better results than the smaller digicams.


Quote:
I guess this depends on what you consider versatile. Will the D70, with an equivalent length zoom lens of high quality(that matches the A2's lens sharpness) be anywhwere near as compact? Will the D70 have the convenient live preview/screen for normally hard to do macro or overhead work? As far as image quality..... this depends totally on what ISO you use, what file format you begin with and the end use.¬*You need to state speficialy at what it is more versatile with, not just 'is'. This is making presumptions of what the original poster on how the original poster wants to use his camera.
Versatile:
Having a REAL camera vs a toy.

I also have the Kodak SLR/n, and it blows the S2 out of the water, just as the S2 blows the D7i out of the water.

Quality in images = larger sensor. Period.

The small cameras like the D7i or A1/2 are nice toys, and are great for casual carry around photos, but leave a LOT to be desired.

They are slow when compared to the dSLRs
- Shot to shot times are slow
- AF is slow
- AF often inaccurate
- write times are slow
- image buffer is small, resulting in you having to wait on the camera after taking an image
- have high image noise, even at base ISO
- shutter lag

Now having said all that, the D7/A series of cameras are among the better performers out there, but still way short of what a dSLR can do.

Versatility is being able to change lenses to suit the needs of a particular shoot. Being able to shoot raw to get the most out of the image.

Chris, yes I was generalizing because the original posted asked for opinions, not a thesis. I still stand by my original post, as it is really up to the poster to determine his needs.

As I have a D7i and 2 dSLRs I thought my experience/insight might be of some use. And I hope it was.

Declan
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 12:36 AM   #8
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Again... it's apples and oranges time. Sure, the D70 is "better" at twice (at least twice) the price. Heck, why stop there ? The 2H is better at over 5-7 times the price.

The question, unfortunately, requires some realistic boundaries. If money is no object, getthe 2H with lenses for 5 grand. This is like asking which is a better tool to dig a hole,a spoon or a steam shovel ? Well..... how big of a hole do you want ?

Oh... here's possible a more "photocentric" question: what kind of camera should I give my daughter for her birthday ?

Answer ?

Well... if she's 28 and a professional photographer and money is no object, there are some good choices and it's gonna be expensive.

Then again, if she's 3 and wants it as a toy, a disposable for 7 bucks is almost overkill.

With all due respect, it sounds like the original question needs some tuning...










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Old Jun 20, 2004, 1:22 AM   #9
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amazingthailand wrote: style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #666666"
Quote:
I shoot ONLY raw, I never shoot jpg, except with my D7i. Your steep curve thing is just flat out wrong. Such discarding of image data does NOT occur.

An example of a popular consumer camera. The bottom image with severely clipped hilites is the OEM RAW convertor default conversion, that is almost precisely the same as the in-cam processing tone curves. The top image is th RAW data, parsed in a custom convertor in order to see the actual data present in file. As you can see, the default curve DISCARDS data. This is perfectly normal for all digital cameras. However, it is not represenative of the actual data being captured by the sensor. Therfor you can not judge the actual dynamic range accurately by using in-cam processed or standard RAW converted images(that mimick the tone curves of the in-cam processing by default).



Quote:
Versatile: Having a REAL camera vs a toy. I also have the Kodak SLR/n, and it blows the S2 out of the water, just as the S2 blows the D7i out of the water.
This sounds passionate.A little too much so. Not an objective viewpoint. Calling camerasnames is a bit silly and ultimately meaningless.



Quote:
They are slow when compared to the dSLRs - Shot to shot times are slow - AF is slow - AF often inaccurate - write times are slow - image buffer is small, resulting in you having to wait on the camera after taking an image - have high image noise, even at base ISO - shutter lag

-AF is faster then ever. The F828 at and near wide angles, nearly matches the AF time of average DSLR cameras.

-Cycle time is entirely dependant on the internal buffer/processor system. The integrated cameras can match a DSLR if the manufacturere uses a comprable speed system.

-AF often inaccurate? This depends on the specific camera. You have some hard statistics, produced from carefully controlled testsfor me?

-IMage noise at low ISO is not a problem, unless you are incapable of proper image processing. This brings up another question. I wonder how people dealt with film? All that grain and all....

Quote:
Versatility is being able to change lenses to suit the needs of a particular shoot. Being able to shoot raw to get the most out of the image

That is one TYPE of versatality(change lens). The other is a common feature onmost digicams today.



Quote:
Chris, yes I was generalizing because the original posted asked for opinions, not a thesis. I still stand by my original post, as it is really up to the poster to determine his needs.
Okay.

-Chris
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 8:44 PM   #10
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For Chris: Whatever.


The original question was:

don482 wrote:
Quote:
I have read nothing but glowing reviews about the Nikon in which all the reviewers seem to agree¬* that the larger pixels of the SLRS makes a big difference when compared to any point and shoot camera..

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
And I have stated my opinion.

Declan
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