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Old Dec 21, 2004, 1:52 PM   #11
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Santos wrote:
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Something odd happening here.... the A200 pics in this site and in the dcresource.com site are labeled as jpg files, but can only be downloaded as 22 Mb BMP files. The Nikon 8800 pics inboth sites download as jpeg files ?? I'm not an expert in digital imaging, but now I'm wondering if the A200 files are representative of what's coming out of the camera... ??

Any comments or help greatly appreciated...

thanks...santos
I've noticed this phenomenaat a number of gallery sites. The images have to jpg as they download relatively quickly across a broadband connection.

I copied them into Photoshop & saved them at a setting of 10 to create an image size of nominally 2M.

I believe that they are representative as they are generally in keeping with Steves samples showing the CP8800 as sharper.

I still like the look & feel of the A200.
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 2:59 PM   #12
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Just for comparison, here's a selection taken from Steve's sample's which would indicate that the CP8800 is sharper than both the Minolta A2 & A200.

The dealer that I spoke to just this afternoon stated that in his opinion during tests that they have conducted boththe A200 & CP8800 compared favorably & he questioned the consistency of some of these reviews.


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Old Dec 21, 2004, 4:49 PM   #13
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Hi Catbells...

Thanks for the reply tomy bmp vs jpeg question...

Great picture comparisons. The Nikon is definitely sharper than the A200. I downloaded the church photos from the dcresource.com site and applied a small amount of unsharp masking to the A200 image. That brought it real close to the Nikon, but with a slight increase in noise. I'll try to attach it to this note. I'm also going to print them full frame at 11x14 size to see how they look.

It's too bad the A200 has a question mark around image quality, it has a great set of features, nice manual zoomlens, anti-shake, good EVF and LCD, good ergonomics...etc ... If I canget a good 11x14 print from this camera, I think it would come ahead of the Nikon and Canon G6.

regards....santos


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Old Dec 22, 2004, 5:58 AM   #14
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Here's a different approach. I really like the A200 and I guess I'm trying to find ways to justify the 'lower' image quality when compared to the CP8800 (which is the other camera I'm considering). Most of my images are viewed 'on screen' using ACDSee set to adjust the image size to my screen resolution i.e. 1280 x 960.

So using Photshop I resized sample images (bicubic sharper) from Steves review to compare them.

I've attached a section showing the street sign & one way sign. Sorry to say that the basic CP8800 JPEG is sharper than the RAW A200; the CP8800 NEF is sharper still.

Is this QED. Not quite. I'm going to see if I can get some sample shots from my local store - remember they said that in there photographic tests, there wasn't much to chose between them.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 6:16 AM   #15
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Just out of curiosity, I repeated the tests on the earlier comparison on the sign outside the Marina Cafe.

Nikon CP8800 still comes out on top. Even if you convert to greyscale to eliminate difference in colours, the CP8800 still looks better.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 10:13 AM   #16
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If you're going to view your images on the PC screen most of the time, I think you'd be happier with the image quality from the Nikon. By the way, if you don't need the long zoom range on the 8800, and can live without image stabilization, have a look at the Canon G6. The images right out of the box are outstanding. The lens is "only" a 4x zoon (35-140mm), but it's fast at F2.0-F3.0 It's also very compact and will fit in a jacket pocket...without the filter attachment..

cheers....santos
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 11:19 AM   #17
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If the Canon G6 had an EVF I'd certainly consider it (viewed sample images are outstanding) but you can't relay on the LCD Monitor in bright light for close-ups;there's also no dioptre adjustment on an LCD Monitor which means, as a spectacle wearer, I'd have to wear bifocals / varifocals which I hate.
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 2:36 AM   #18
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Where is the RAW image? I too am torn between the Coolpix 8800 and the A200. I am also consider the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 5:38 AM   #19
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one more review to sort down the diff

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/KMA200/A2A.HTM


Steve,

would request you to provide more clarity on the issue of "lower image quality/ softness with new A200" coming across in many sites.

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Old Dec 23, 2004, 6:06 AM   #20
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Sigh.

More in-camera sharpening = better camera?

You need to realize that resolution and apparent sharpness are not synonyms. Aggressive in-camera sharpening migh make the photos prettier, but it can also introduce sharpening artefacts. Sharpening does not improve resolution. It can only enhance existing detail by making edges more contrasty. This can also be done in postprocessing.

The amount of in-camera sharpening varies as well as the default tone curves. Most digicams also pump up the color saturation, even rediculous amounts, resulting in clipped/overcooked reds etc. Vivid color also tends to make to photos appear sharper(decrease color saturation and you'll see). That's why you should not compare cameras using straight-from-camera photos. You should a) tweak the in-camera settings or b) post process the photos in order to reach comparable brightness, sharpness and color saturation. Othervice the comparisions make no sense - you'll simply pick the photo with most vivid colors / highest sharpness (edge contrast).

Try the following test: take one photo and create different versions of it by sharpening / softening it more, increase or decrease color saturation, apply a steeper tone curve etc. Then try to pick the best one.

At least in my case, at the first glance high contrast and vivid colors always look better than neutral/realistic color and an oversharpened photo looks better than soft. However, if all photos have neon-like colors, I'll soon be feeling sick. Same as eating too much candy...

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