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Old Feb 1, 2005, 5:33 PM   #31
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gregg,

As a new owner of the 8800 (who tried the A200 and owned the A1) let me respond to your concerns:

"tooslow" - Maybe in relation to a DSLR - be sure to compare the data to the A200. I noticed some folks who complain about speed end up buying a DSLR which would be faster.

"locks pic until it writes" - this happens so fast I don't believe it would hinder you in most situations.

"won't focus" - I have no idea where this complaint comes from - I have no problems focusing. It can sometimes take a few minutes to autofocus in very low light but is definitely better at autofocus than my experience was with the A1.

"motor too loud" - the 8800 has a zoom motor versus the A200 that has a manual zoom lense. I guess "too loud" is relative - the sound of the motor doesn't bother me. You really ought to listen to it for yourself. The real question should be do you want the manual zoom ring or the motorized zoom - I have to admit - I actually perfered the Minolta manual zoom - its taking me a while to get used to the electronic zoom - thishasbeen the biggest adjustment for me in changing camps(I find my self grabbing the 8800 lens looking to adjust all the time).
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 5:44 PM   #32
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thank you....for adressing those concerns...I was worried you are looking at a frozen EVF for 5 sec not knowing what your subject is doing

my c-3040....has a similar lever so the zoom would not be something I would have to get used to....just have to get used to the 3x +zoom over mine (105mm max):-)

have you tried a photo in a very dim room or low light like a restaurant?
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 5:33 PM   #33
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new review..read there conclusion on low light of any kind (in yellow)...not good


[align=left]
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/konicaminoltaa200/page13.asp
Conclusion - Pros[/align]
  • Improved resolution over A2 - especially shooting in RAW mode [/*]
  • Image stabilization works exactly as advertised [/*]
  • Mechanically linked zoom ring [/*]
  • Wide angle seven times zoom lens [/*]
  • Generally good performance and operational speed [/*]
  • Low high ISO noise, efficient noise reduction [/*]
  • Wide range of ISO settings, usable ISO 800 [/*]
  • Selectable color spaces [/*]
  • Wide range of image parameter adjustment [/*]
  • Good ergonomics, excellent handling and stability [/*]
  • Framing assist lines option on live view [/*]
  • Flash hot shoe [/*]
  • Five user memories [/*]
  • Wireless remote included [/*]
  • Clean, artifact-free results and natural color [/*]
  • Good value for money [/*]
  • Much improved movie mode [/*]
  • New LCD more versatile and higher resolution
[/*]
[align=left]
Conclusion - Cons[/align]
  • Soft images (not just as a result of poor AF) [/*]
  • Autofocus errors in certain shooting conditions are too prevalent [/*]
  • Lens being stretched past its resolution capabilities? [/*]
  • Mild vignetting / lens shading [/*]
  • Poor automatic white balance in artificial light [/*]
  • MoirĂ© visible near resolution limits (especially disruptive of horizontal lines) [/*]
  • No AF assist lamp (although still performs quite well) [/*]
  • Long CF write times for JPEG Extra-Fine / Raw [/*]
  • Fairly poor shot-to-shot speed [/*]
  • Dynamic range issues with high contrast scenes (better shooting RAW) [/*]
  • Battery life could be better (spare batteries are cheap, though) [/*]
  • Included RAW conversion software little better than JPEG - use ACR instead
[/*]
Overall conclusion
The DiMAGE A200 takes much of what is appealing about the A2 and repackages it in a more affordable, friendlier and slightly more compact format. There's much to like here - the useful 28-200mm zoom range, the superb mechanical zoom, the wealth of photographic feature, the effective Anti-Shake system and the excellent handling, all at a much more attractive price point than the A2. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from the launch of this camera is that a major upgrade to the A2 must be waiting in the wings - I think this will be the last time we see this lens (originally used around four years ago in the DiMAGE 7) used on a high-end Konica Minolta camera; it simply can't cut the mustard with today's high resolution sensors and high consumer expectations.

Of course corners have been cut - the A200 is lighter and smaller partly due to the more extensive use of plastics in its construction (not that this makes it feel in any way 'cheap'), and some of the features (most notably the stunning electronic viewfinder used in the A2) have been sacrificed to reduce costs. On the other hand it is nice to see just how much of the A2's comprehensive feature set has been retained in the A200, and how well the designers have managed to keep that power easily accessible despite the loss of several major external controls.

Broadly speaking performance is very similar to the A2, with the new image processing circuitry and lower base ISO meaning that the A200 actually manages to produce slightly better detail and slightly more natural color, though to be honest you'd be hard pressed to see the difference in the average print. I felt the focus was slightly less speedy, but you'll only really find this an issue when shooting things that move (something the A2's focus tracking may help with) or when light is low. It was disappointing to see the focus errors and overall softness noted in our A2 review have not been addressed convincingly in this camera, but - unless you shoot in low light a lot at the long end of the zoom - you won't see problems in the great majority of your shots.

Overall however the wide feature set, Anti-Shake, handling and excellent pricing may be enough to convince you that the DiMAGE A200 is the right camera for you. To some extent it will depend on your photographic needs; the clean, 'unprocessed' images, natural color, wide lens and Anti- Shake make it ideal for the landscape photographer on the move, but the poor low light focus makes it a very trying camera for anyone shooting socially with flash - get yourself a little compact for parties and save the A200 for serious shooting.

Finally, it is worth noting that pricing on the A2 is currently very competitive - if you shop around you can pick up a refurb for not much more than the A200, making choosing between the two cameras even more difficult (the average street price of a brand new A2 is still around $200 higher than the A200). I actually found the A200 more rewarding - and easier - to use than the A2, but that just proves how personal choosing - and using - a camera really is.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 6:22 PM   #34
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But we knew that in keeping with other like cameras i.e. CP8800,the A200 has low light focus issues; DP Review just confirms that.

Whilst I'd hoped that it would be better than than stated in the reviews, it's not a major issue for my main usage but it may be for others who might well steer away from the A200.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 7:16 PM   #35
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janniklindquist wrote:
Quote:
BoneDaddy wrote:
Quote:
janniklindquist wrote:
Quote:
BoneDaddy wrote:
Quote:
I haven't found a way to disable the auto-magnify for manual focus.

Press the exposure-button halfway down.
Thanks! That works, but as I feared, it doesn't help much for focusing.

Why not? You can still use the focus-ring when the exposure-button is halfway down.
I know. Perhaps because I only tried it at the wide end. I just tested it at the tele-end and I could see the focus much better. I also did what Catbells did and I turned-off the automatic gain. The LCD is now much easier to see without all that gained-up "noise".

As I'd said in another thread, this camera takes a little time to get to know it. But the more time I spend with it (and discuss things with you "Fine Folks of the Forum") I get better with it everyday. Things that I thought might be bad, turn out to be quite manageable if you know how to deal with them (like the low-light focusing).

Overall, still quite pleased with this most excellent of cameras! In fact, the handful of shots that I've taken and printed on my old HP P1000 Photodumb printer now have me thinking it's printer-upgrade time, as the quality of the pics from the A200 are showing the limitations of the printer.

I'm thinking dye-sub. I'm thinking HiTi 730PS!

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Old Feb 2, 2005, 7:38 PM   #36
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Catbells wrote:
Quote:
But we knew that in keeping with other like cameras i.e. CP8800, the A200 has low light focus issues; DP Review just confirms that.

Whilst I'd hoped that it would be better than than stated in the reviews, it's not a major issue for my main usage but it may be for others who might well steer away from the A200.
Agreed. Like anything else in life that requires understanding and a bit of creativity, low-light shots with the A200 can be managed if you know how to do it. But this won't be the bulk of my A200's assigned duties, so it's no major issue here either.

I have an old HP digicam that will be my back-up for those times.

:|
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 2:50 PM   #37
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This shot of the snowdrop taken on a dull & overcast day caused a few misses but eventually succeeded at the third attempt; the soft texture probably didn't help.

This shot taken to day on a dull overcast day in poor light without flash using Vivid mode:

Size - 3264x2448
Resolution - ExtraFine
ExposureTime - 1/250 seconds
FNumber - 3.50
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 50
ExposureMode - Auto
WhiteBalance - Auto
Contrast - Normal
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Normal
SubjectDistanceRange - Macro

and post processed using Photoshop using UnSharpMask & level adjustment to increase the brightness.
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