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Old Jan 11, 2005, 1:25 PM   #61
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Herb wrote:
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Santos,

I think you've made a good choice.

But just one suggestion - buy a small external flash because the G6 is said to have a problem with red-eye.

An external flash, which isn't so close to the lens as the built-in flash, should solve it.
Hi Herb:

I already have a Canon 420 EX flashthat I've been usingwithmy G2... that's one of the reasons I went with a G6.... I have filters, extra batteries, extra remote, and the flash...allare compatible with the G6.

The flash works great... tilt and swivel head, motorized zoom, TTL exposure. The only thing that doesn't work with the G6is the focus assist light on the flash..

thanks .... Santos
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 2:28 PM   #62
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I finally made up my mind - for better or worse, it's going to be the Minolta A200.

Why - well here's my rationale.

Taking the Nikon CP8800 as the previous favourite and considering it's relative size, I explored the dSRL options. Pentax ist was the right size BUT images 'soft'. Tried the Nikon D70 (couldn't justify UK£875) but was disappointed with shots that I took from outside the store. Olympus announced the E300 but again shots looked 'soft. I then read Steve's (of this site) comments:

Anybody coming from the consumer digicam world and then comparing dSLR photos always say that they look soft. All of the E300 samples I have posted so far were taken at default sharpening. Note that consumer digicams are by default a lot sharper and more contrasty than dSLRs. dSLRs have a low-pass filter in front of the image sensor and these anti-aliasing filters tend to soften the image. All dSLR users are used to their images needing a little sharpening and apply what's necessary after capture.

So I decided that if dSRL users will have to sharpen their images, then given that the A200 produces softer images by default & possibly colours, albeit more faithful to the original, but dull, that I would check apply Unsharp Mask & Saturation using Photoshop to images from Digital Camera Review and compare them.

I was well pleased with the results & on balance were as good as the Nikon CP8800.

I like the ergonomics of the A200 - small, manual zoom, 49mm filter size, lens hood included, improved shutter lag over CP8800, 28mm bottom end zoom notwithstanding that it's about £200 cheaper as 53mm filters cost £20 & a Nikon lens hood is about £50.

By comparison the CP8800 does have a x10 zoom which would be nice but it's a tad on the large size for me.

So there we have - the A200 will be ordered shortly - I've already purchased a 1Gbyte Lexar x80 card & spare battery, so I'm sort of committed.

Will post some results when I get the camera & I'll let you know what i think.

PS Finally, what put me off the E300 was when I checked the price of the tel photo lens - UK£350 - which would put the total cost over £1000 & still no macro lens.
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 8:45 PM   #63
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Hi Catbells!

I see by your post directlyabove that you have done some more analysis on the A200 and some of the DSLRs. Thanks for the update on your findings! There are lots of peoplewatching this thread (almost 4,000 views to date!)...I'm sure that your input and photo examples are appreciated by ALL!

I also seethat you've made your BIGdecision! CONGRATULATIONS!

I've been working somemore on this matter myself, these past few days. I don't think my analysis has been quite as extensive as yours, but I'm finding myself coming to the same conclusions. The images produced by the A200 are similar to those produced by most DSLRs, and require some post-processing to complete the job. With this aspect and others (manual zoom, etc.), it would seem that the A200 is MUCH more similar to aDSLR, than it is to the average'consumer digicam'. In a nut shell, this is just what I'm looking for; DSLR quality images and features, packaged together with 'prosumer' bells & whistles (macro, video, etc.). It's too bad the A200 doesn't operate as fast a a DSLR, but I can live with that.

After starting out with a rather lengthy list of ~ 8 cameras a month ago, I'm now down to a short list of two cameras. The A200in the #1 spot, and the Canon G6 still survives as my remaining back-up choice, asan option in case I decide to bail from the whole '8mp prosumer' idea... something I've come close to doingseveral times in the past few weeks! :roll:

I see that Santos went with the G6. With all the accessories he has that will work with the G6, I don't blame him! I'd probably make the same decision myself. I hope wehear from him again ... if not in this thread, then hopefully in others. He's a good guy and very knowledgeable!

The one lingering concern I have with the A200 is not'image' related. The badexperiences many people have had with defectiveA2s have me a little spooked. I'mworried that the A200 may havedefect problems as well.Unfortunately,the A200 is a new product on the market, so there is no 'track record' to refer to yet.

In addition to the A2, I understand that Minolta has in the pasthad a few otherproducts with defects,and doesn't have the best product qualityhistory in the industry. Of note, check the Nov. `04 issue of the Consumer Reports mag. In the 'Digital Camera'section of that issue, a small piece on 'Brand Repair History' is posted ... Minolta is reported to be one of the worst offenders.

I've owned a Minolta product for many years (7000i SLR) that has served me well with no complaints, but that is the only Minolta productthat I'm familiar with.

Does anyone have any opinions to offer related to Minolta's product quality history?

Dean

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Old Jan 15, 2005, 10:25 AM   #64
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DeanB wrote:
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Hi Catbells!

I also seethat you've made your BIGdecision! CONGRATULATIONS!

<snip>
I see that Santos went with the G6. With all the accessories he has that will work with the G6, I don't blame him! I'd probably make the same decision myself. I hope wehear from him again ... if not in this thread, then hopefully in others. He's a good guy and very knowledgeable
Quote:
<snip>
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Dean
Hi Dean...and Catbells...

Catbells: congratulations from me as well...I'm sureyou'll be happy with the A200...

Dean: I'm still around, if you have any questions about the G6, you should post them in the Canon forum...

cheers...Santos
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Old Jan 15, 2005, 1:50 PM   #65
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DeanB wrote:
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Hi Catbells!

The one lingering concern I have with the A200 is not'image' related. The badexperiences many people have had with defectiveA2s have me a little spooked. I'mworried that the A200 may havedefect problems as well.Unfortunately,the A200 is a new product on the market, so there is no 'track record' to refer to yet.

In addition to the A2, I understand that Minolta has in the pasthad a few otherproducts with defects,and doesn't have the best product qualityhistory in the industry. Of note, check the Nov. `04 issue of the Consumer Reports mag. In the 'Digital Camera'section of that issue, a small piece on 'Brand Repair History' is posted ... Minolta is reported to be one of the worst offenders.

I've owned a Minolta product for many years (7000i SLR) that has served me well with no complaints, but that is the only Minolta productthat I'm familiar with.

Does anyone have any opinions to offer related to Minolta's product quality history?

Dean

When I mentioned I was considering a Minolta, a colleague at work made some prettycritical comments about Minolta reliability. Is this a myth or are there genuine concerns.

My Fuji S602 has been replaced during the first 6 months & been for repair just outside the 12 month warranty - it suffered from dirt on the CCD causing a smudge on the image. Naturally, I'm that impressed with Fuji build quality. Notwithstanding that, the returned camera from Fuji was sent in a box so small that that the lens pushed out the side and there was hardly any bubble wrap to protect it. They also returned it without it's lens cap so the lens was totally exposed.

I know of someone that has had 2 Nikon - his second being a CP5700. Both have failed & he has stated that he is dubious about Nikon quality.

Coming from the industrial electronics industry, I'm well aware of the requirements for reliability & how component selection can improve or worsen whats called MTBF i.e. Mean Time Between Failure. Good, 'burnt in' components fail less often so you have a more reliable product.

In the commercial market, cost is a key factor - which must be traded off against reliability.

Have Minolta got it wrong.

Like DeanB, I would be interested to hear from any one & have started a new thread called simply - Minolta Reliability.
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 9:40 PM   #66
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Congrats, Catbells on your decision to go with the A200. I've been pondering the A200 myself, and after much research, I also decided to go with it (although I had already made my decision by the time I read yours).

One of the more important criteria for making my decision was based on the camera's overall usability, an area that tends to be forgotten by some folks who can get blinded by the blizzard of technical details. After reading through your posts, it looked like you were getting hung-up on the image quality issue. But I also noticed that you complimented the A200's size and weight, which I related to the 'usability' of the camera. When I refer to usability, I mean: how comfortable does one feel using this camera? I put a premium on size, weight, ergonomics and controls when considering a digital camera, as mine will be traveling with me most of the time. Of course, image quality and performance are high on the list as well, (and the A200 seems to shine in both areas) but if the camera is a burden to drag around all day, the best image quality in the world won't mean a thing if you dread taking it with you. After spending some time handling an A200 at a local camera shop, I felt comfortable with it almost immediately.

As an occasional back-yard astronomer, I've often heard the saying used to describe one's telescope collection: "Your best telescope is the one you use the most." This often refers to a 'scope that's small, light, easy to set-up and gives a decent view of the sky. The same could be said of the A200; with its robust feature set, simplified controls, competitive image quality and surprisingly efficient design, all placed in a very diminutive package for a camera of this caliber.

I briefly looked at the CP8800 as you did, impressed by its image quality and 10x zoom, but I dismissed it once I picked it up. It's a tad heavier compared to the A200, and its bulky design left me longing for something a little more svelt. Still, it's a decent camera, just not for me.

I think you made a good decision. I'm glad Santos chimed-in with some constructive comments regarding the A200, as it seemed to give you cause to re-evaluate the KM camera. Like you, I purchased a spare battery (NP-800) and a 1GB 80x CF card (Kingston) as well. All should be arriving next week. When will your new A200 arrive? I'm eager to hear your full hands-on impressions!

Cheers!
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 9:54 PM   #67
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DeanB wrote:
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The images produced by the A200 are similar to those produced by most DSLRs, and require some post-processing to complete the job. With this aspect and others (manual zoom, etc.), it would seem that the A200 is MUCH more similar to a DSLR, than it is to the average 'consumer digicam'. In a nut shell, this is just what I'm looking for; DSLR quality images and features, packaged together with 'prosumer' bells & whistles (macro, video, etc.). It's too bad the A200 doesn't operate as fast a a DSLR, but I can live with that.
One of my first impressions of the A200 was that this camera is about as close as you can get to a digital SLR camera, but without the size, weight, and cost!

Good luck in whatever camera you decide to go with.
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 5:18 AM   #68
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Hi All,

I never thought that this thread which i started wud go so long. But I am very happy that it did put in constructive thoughts. One of the main reasons why i was looking for this specific camera is that i wanted to take pics and short movies in one piece.

The other option i was looking for is canon s1. let me share one of my exp - I went to a week long trip to an ancient place , i was carrying both a camcorder and film camera. I realised when i was back from the trip that - i didn't have stills where i shot the video and no video where i had stills.

Since we already hit the conclusion , on a last trail i wud req some info from A200. Was the unsharpen mask applied (on the samples posted by santos, catbells) in a PC or within the camera.

To put it more straight forward - How will the pics compare A200 with shapening set to hard and color set to vivid TO Nikon 8800 . Hopefully if this setting works - then the pain of post processingthe images of A200 will definelty reduce.




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Old Jan 17, 2005, 12:07 PM   #69
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deepboys wrote:
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Hi All,

I never thought that this thread which i started wud go so long. But I am very happy that it did put in constructive thoughts. One of the main reasons why i was looking for this specific camera is that i wanted to take pics and short movies in one piece.

The other option i was looking for is canon s1. let me share one of my exp - I went to a week long trip to an ancient place , i was carrying both a camcorder and film camera. I realised when i was back from the trip that - i didn't have stills where i shot the video and no video where i had stills.

Since we already hit the conclusion , on a last trail i wud req some info from A200. Was the unsharpen mask applied (on the samples posted by santos, catbells) in a PC or within the camera.

To put it more straight forward - How will the pics compare A200 with shapening set to hard and color set to vivid TO Nikon 8800 . Hopefully if this setting works - then the pain of post processing the images of A200 will definelty reduce.
Thanks for starting this thread, deepboys. It's amazing how much information can be gained just by asking the right questions.
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