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Old Feb 3, 2005, 12:24 PM   #1
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Hi all. I've been reading this forum for a few days, and it's great. There are still a couple of unanswered questions/clarifications I'd like to get.

First, my background is that I've used a Nikon CP 4500 for several years now (the nikon 990 and 900 before that). I'm going to dedicatethe 4500to my microscope and get another digicam for general use. I really like the speed and low noise of the DSLRs, but I don't like the bulk of carrying around all the accessories. The Pano FZ20 looks real nice, but the sensor size and video mode are too small.

After looking carefully at all the options, the A200 and A2 are the cameras I'm going to choose from. The 800x600 movie mode of the A200 catch my attention, but I like lots of things to futz with, so I lean toward the A2.

1. The high res EVF of the A2 looks very practical, but the biggest utility for it seems to be to help in manual focussing. Is the EVF resolution of the A2 higher than the LCD monitor resolution of the A200? If not, then the need for the high res EVF of the A2 goes away I think.

2. The A2 and A200 manual focus assist magnifications appear to be x3.3 (down from x8 of the A1). Is this enough magnification to be of practical use for manual focussing. If not, then I get colder on the high res EVF.

3. I see that the AEL can also lock focus on the A2. Is this true of the A200? This could be real nice if it allows one to autofocus with a high contrast card at the distance of interest, and then hold that focus for all exposures until disabled. Does it work this way in practice?

4. What is the quality of movie audio? Is it rich and full or tinny? My kids Canon A60 has incredible audio, but my Nikon 4500 has tinny audio.

5. Is there a way to remotely trigger the A2's shutter (besides the intervalometer?) The IR remote of the A200 looks to win here.

These seem to be my remaining questions to be answered before hitting a "buy now" button.

Thanks much for any help!

Steve W
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 10:35 PM   #2
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Well, never mind. I'll answer the questions myself as I have an A2 on the way The way I see it is that the A2 has to be as good as or better in every respect except the movie mode and electronic speed. The megapixel EVF has me very intrigued.



Steve
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Old Feb 4, 2005, 6:44 AM   #3
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Sorry nobody responded sooner. As you have already decided, I will try to put your mind at rest on a couple of your queries.

1.The A200's LCD is 134,000 pixels and the A2's is 118,000. Wouldn't really notice the difference. The A200's EVF is 235,000 pixels and the A2's is 922,000. Somewhat better !

2. The occasional times I use it I find it works fine for me.

3. Don't know if the A200 can do this, but would imagine it can. Doesn't really matter now.

4. I tend not to use my A2 for too much video, but when I do I find it's very acceptable. A big plus is the ability to add audio commentary to each of your images immediately after taking them, for up to 15 seconds. Great for slide shows.

5. No IR, but you can get a cable release. Have a look here at the system chart. It'll tell you whats what.http://konicaminolta.com/products/co...e-a2/10_3.html

The A200 has a few nice touches that are not on the A2 but ultimately it is a slimmed down version of the A2. Before any A200 owners get on my back, I mean that it has fewer functions available overall. :-)

Finally, the A2 has one very important thing in it's favour. An immense amount of Futzability.

Happy :|

Stevekin.
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Old Feb 4, 2005, 8:53 AM   #4
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Hi Stevekin. Thanks greatly for answering my questions. It is much appreciated!

I'm looking forward to receiving the camera. The audio commentary feature is nice. My 4500 has it, and when you are changing the way you are shooting and want to keep a record, it's really nice. I never thought about using it for a slide show.

Glad to know that I can get a cable shutter release.

I like your word "futzability", and it does look like the A2 excels at it!

Thanks again,

Steve
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 2:18 AM   #5
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Steve, it seems I have corrupted the word Futz, as itappears there is no such word as Futzability. In light of that I must assume responsibility for inventing it. :-)I must give you some credit though. I had never heard of the word before you said it in your post. I wonder, are you Jewish ? Only it is believed that Futz originates from the Yiddish word arumfartzen*, "to fool around." Or, although you don't say where, can I assume you are in the U.S ? It sounds like something that might be used across the pond. Over here the equivalent might be Faffing, to some of us anyway.

When you've got your A2 and finished futzing ( correct word ) with it, let us know what you think.

Regards,

Stevekin.

*arumfartzen, not in Steve's dictionary.

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Old Feb 5, 2005, 9:17 AM   #6
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Hi Stevekin,

I put my location data into my profile so it shows. You're correct that I'm across the pond, but not Jewish. I'm some strong mixture of English and Bohemian. Never paid much attention to the word futz until you pointed it out. I found out you are correct about origin and meaning



I'm looking forward to my A2's arrival and have been doing a lot of web reading on the beast. This article particularly got my attention, and made me wonder what I'm really in for!!??

http://www.legene.com/a2/how_to_enjoy_your_a2.pdf


There's a lot to be said for simple point and shoot for 70-80% of all pictures, so I do hope the camera handles that situation fine without too much futzing! I think from the get-go, I'll use the Flex focus point set to the center of the frame in case this person is correct about how it interacts with the matrix metering system. Is it really true that in "P" mode, the camera will always select f/7.1?? With the tiny detectors in these CCDs, the lens has virtually no MTF left at f/8. so the choice of f/7 for this mode sounds horrible.

It's also nice to know that there are some add-on lenses on both sides of the zoom. People seem to be complaining about the cost of the Minolta converters, but they look like a LOT of lens for the money to me!

I read a lot about external flash choices, but I've just become confused about what to get. My inclination is to just get Minolta with the hopes that all aspects of the flash work excellently (e.g., fill in). My Nikon Coolpixeswere all let-downs in the flash area with external light sensors and very dumb to no communication with even Nikon flashes. I seem to recall that the A2 actually uses TTL flash metering--hurray.

Steve W
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 10:15 AM   #7
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I think the reviewer is just being picky. :blah:

But you've really got me worried I may have a dodgy A2 now. When in P mode I onlysee f/7.1 occasionally, and when I do I just give the camera a good shake. No really, it is not a problem, with my camera anyway. Can't say I've seen anything about it in the forums either. I have a 15 month old Grandson, George, that's him with me. It's pretty difficult to futz or faff about with the camera to attain optimum settings when he's scampering about, so I tend to keep to 'P', a couple of initial adjustments and hang in there. Pretty much most of the time the results are perfectly acceptable. The ACT-100 is a bit of a beast, nearly as heavy as the A2 !! I opted for the TCON-17 because of this (it is half the weight of the ACT), and also because it cost half the price. Slight vignetting buthardly any loss when cropping it out. Dull,damp day here with the TCON-17 on at thelongest end, of course, I don't see anything. Sorry, I don't see anything but f/3.5. If that means anything to you.

May I make a suggestion ? Don't read anymore articles until after you have futzed with your A2. Especially the ones we don't like.

Keep us posted,

Stevekin.
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 10:51 AM   #8
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Hi again Stevekin,

That is an excellent picture of you with your grandson

I'm glad to hear that the "P" mode does not lock in f/7!

For the last year, I had to get up every day and hold myself back from buying another digicam. During that time, I've read a lot of reviews and tried to keep pace with new models and their functionality. The A2 is just too good to pass up on any longer. I was expecting an A3 to come out about this time, but instead the A200 arrives, so I jumped at the A2 before it became hard to get.

I really wanted a DSLR, but I think there will be revolution of these cameras in the next few years. They will become smaller, more powerful, have better single lens do-it-all options, video and more. The new 4/3 standard by Panasonic and Olympus looks very promising. Buying aDSLR without a video mode is not an option with kids around. 544x408 seems to be an excellent compromise between decently sized video and storage. I did find some A2 videos to watch, and their video and audio qualites were excellent. I've got an 80x Lexar 1GB card coming too

It does look like I am going to have to finally figure out how to process RAW images. I've always used Photoimpact for my image post processing, but with a RAW images now, I may have to leave it for PS. Maybe there is a way to get the photoshop plugins to work with PI--I don't know.

Thanks for your time,

Steve W
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 11:09 AM   #9
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As I said, let us know how you like, or otherwise, your A2 when you've got to grips with it.

Bye for now,

Stevekin.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 4:42 AM   #10
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After shooting over 10,000 photographs with my A2 here are my opinions.

I'd NEVER use it for fast action/one time events like weddings. The auto focus just can't be trusted to be reliable. Plus in darkly lit situations the camera takes to long to find focus, although it usually somehow does.

I DO use it on a tripod on movie sets & in theaters to shoot photos for advertising and public relations. I use either manual focus or Flex Focus and position the crosshairs at the subject of interest.

See some A2 photos from the set of the film "Psychopathia Sexualis"here: www.psychopathia.com

Get a good flash from Konica-Minolta or Metz which can communicate with the TTL electronics. Be aware K-M uses a weird hot shoe so you can't use "standard" hot shoe strobes! Oh, get a flash with a focus assist light. The built in flash is fairly weak and prone to red eye.

Later,

Terry
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