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Old Jul 23, 2004, 9:52 AM   #1
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Hello,
I've heard too many reports of soft focus probs with the A2 to chance buying the camera. And I don't think the firmware update solves the issue.
Unfortunate, because it perfectly suits my needs, especially the 28-200 and the unlimited Movie capabilities.
Question: Assuming that I don't care about the megapixel upgrade, does the A1 suffer from the same soft focus issues?

Thx.

Richard
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 4:27 AM   #2
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The A2 doesn't have focusing problems. It's the people who use it who have the problems. They almost certainly haven't read the manual and probably don't even knowwhat focusing system they're using or what the inherent limitations are on autofocus. The focusing seems spot on and also very fast.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 7:16 AM   #3
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I agree with Technofile, this camera has the fastest if not the best AF of any prosumer. Look in the Canon dSLR section, even a $1500 body only will have a focusing isue in the wrong hand...
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/A2/A2A12.HTM


BTW Can you still get the A1 or are they no longer manufactured? :idea:
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 2:38 PM   #4
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So what you are saying is all the major camera review sites who have been lamenting the A2's soft focus (and that is almost all of them) are run by people who don't know how to focus a camera. )-:

R.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 2:47 PM   #5
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"Relative to other 8-megapixel contenders, the A2's images look a little softer overall..."

This is a quote from the review site link...definitely the kindest comment of the major review sites...
I am not slagging Minolta, in fact, I love this camera...I am simply concerned about the large number of people including pros who are complaining about soft focus.
If it is indeed the users ineptness, then why does the problem not show up as much on other camera forums and reviews? Are Canon, or Olympus users more adept???
And yes you can still buy A1's in a lot of stores.

R.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 10:24 PM   #6
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smartyboy wrote:
Quote:
"Relative to other 8-megapixel contenders, the A2's images look a little softer overall..."
Soft images is not the same as soft focusing. This is a feature not a bug or flaw (really).

The images using the default settings don't have as much sharpening applied to it. This is the same as the DSLRS do and allow you to post process with more control which can allow you to get better pictures.

Try reading this for an explanation and how the process flow works on these cameras.

http://www.pbase.com/mtf_foto_studies/mtf_faq#POP

The A2 fits into a unique position it is oriented at the person that wants the ultimate pictures possible more like a DSLR and it assumes you are going to post process the images. If you want the pictures to come out more like the others you can alter the settings in the camera but you are losing a feature of the camera. The setting alterationis also covered in the above faq.

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Old Jul 25, 2004, 12:32 AM   #7
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Castledude...
Thanks for the reply. I have been looking for the information you have so succinctly provided.
Hopefully, you will return to my post. If so, in your opinion does the A2 actually suffer from poor quality control issues as many purport, or...
A: Is it a matter of getting to know the camera and it's functions?
B: Some people are buying a camera that is beyond their requirements and they are treating it like a point and shoot.
I really like what this camera offers and I don't understand that given what you say, so many of the reviewers, including Steve's, have highlighted the focus issue.Words like less sharp and soft being used. Many have stated they sent the cameras back.
Example...DCRP Review...But all is not perfect in focusland. I had a fair amount of trouble with blurry photos, despite the camera telling me that the focus was locked. This wasn't in weird situations, either -- this is standing in front of my house, taking the same shot that I've done many times before. Things were so bad that I sent my first camera back. The second one (assuming it's a different one) seems to have the same problem... and... However, both A2's that I tested had an problem with VERY soft, out-of-focus images. This is despite having the camera signal that the photo is properly focused (and before anyone asks, the DMF feature was off). '

Thanks again!

R.
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 8:02 AM   #8
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1. The A1 is no longer made (even though you can still buy from existing stock) http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=9640116

2. What make you think the A1 has a different autofocus system than the A2?

As far as I'm aware they are the same and dated back to the original D7/i/Hi with an improved processor speed and algorithm as the camera matured into its present form. If any it should focus better based on a higher resolution CCD since that's what the AF autofocus sensors are based on (and similar to all other prosumer cameras), ie by contrast detection

Bottom line one got to think like the camera and realize what it thinks the AF point (or area) is, and not what the user guess should be...
-> control it youself with the flex focus point! :idea:
http://home.tiscali.be/johan.branders/A1/A1-focus.htm
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 10:14 AM   #9
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Thanks to all who have responded.
I have been trying for weeks to find someone who could provide the information/education you have provided.
Unfortunately, only a few of the camera stores where I live carry this camera and they were all unable/unwilling to offer anything relevant.
Great forum and kudo's to Steve.
R.
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 2:28 PM   #10
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smartyboy wrote:
Quote:
Castledude...
Hopefully, you will return to my post. If so, in your opinion does the A2 actually suffer from poor quality control issues as many purport, or...
A: Is it a matter of getting to know the camera and it's functions?
B: Some people are buying a camera that is beyond their requirements and they are treating it like a point and shoot.

The early cameras including those that were sent to reviewers had QC issues. In the last few months I have not seen any posts about bad cameras, so (knock on wood) it looks like they have licked those issues. Some people stated that the AF with the first version software could be fooled once in a while. I got mine and upgraded it immediately so I don't know if this was true. Every time mine has beenfinished without locking on the correct target the focus indicator was red (not white). Resetting the focus fixed it. It has been a learning curve to look for the white indicator but it was not really difficult.

Getting used to the camera is always an issue. Unfortunately as good as the sites like Steve and DP are they have a deadline and schedule to keep. The newer cameras with post processing makes it really difficult to judge things like this. Fortunately the cameras have had a little time out and people have found the quirks.
I have had my A2 for4 weeks now and am still figuring out what some of the menus and buttons do.

IMHO the DPpeople are way too critical many times. You can get some good info at that sitebut way too much of the "vocal" members of the forum seems to be in discovering flaws and not as much in taking pictures. That place has more brand loyalty than any other site I have ever seen. Go read the opinions of the D70 in that forum. That is an amazing camera but the DP guys (well some of the louder ones) review it as a plastic noisy toy.

A good photographer with a good camera can do wonders...
Here are a few that I respect..

http://www.pbase.com/merriwolf/profile
http://www.pbase.com/fredericus
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...location.shtml


As for sites being critical well Steve did put it at the top of his list on the 8MP camera list and of course http://www.luminous-landscape.com may even be a little over the top with their praise. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...nolta-a2.shtml.


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