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Old Feb 10, 2005, 4:59 PM   #11
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Catbells wrote:
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I carefully read all the available reviews on both the Nkion CP880 & Minolta A200. All reviews indicated that both cameras had difficulty in focusing under conditions of low light particularly at longer focal lengths; the A200 scored slightly better but the CP8800 has a focus assist light which makes it better (short range) under near/total darkness.

The following picture were shot with my A200 under extremely difficult lighting conditions: an almost completely dark room with light only in the cage with the frogs:

http://www.fototime.com/FDAC5770E9F4A99/standard.jpg

I took the picture without any other aid than AntiShake turned on. A professional may very well be able to find something to critize in it, but I am extremely satisfied with the picture.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 5:48 PM   #12
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janniklindquist wrote:
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1) If Minolta consider the A200 to be faulty why don't they then announce thismore officially than in a reply to you - and withdraw the camera?

2) You quote Minolta as saying that the A200 *as such* is faulty - and yet you say that your problems may "well be due to a faulty A200".
The comment that I made was in respect ofthe problem with my camera; Minolta have suggested thatMY A200 may be faulty - it was not my intention to suggest that this applies to all A200s.

I have updated my earlier remarks to hopefully clarify the situation.

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Old Feb 10, 2005, 6:17 PM   #13
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Catbells wrote:
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janniklindquist wrote:
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1) If Minolta consider the A200 to be faulty why don't they then announce thismore officially than in a reply to you - and withdraw the camera?

2) You quote Minolta as saying that the A200 *as such* is faulty - and yet you say that your problems may "well be due to a faulty A200".
The comment that I made was in respect ofthe problem with my camera; Minolta have suggested thatMY A200 may be faulty - it was not my intention to suggest that this applies to all A200s.

I have updated my earlier remarks to hopefully clarify the situation.
I see. Thank you. I'm sorry to hear, that you might have a faulty camera. Hopefully, it wont be too hard for you to get it replaced.
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 6:22 PM   #14
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I had various out of focus but also some extremely good shots on my first shooting day today:

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Old Feb 11, 2005, 6:27 PM   #15
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This one also turned out pretty good. Next weekend I'll try to do the outdoors thing. If the weather clears up...

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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:29 AM   #16
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Great shots! Particularly the lizard!
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:40 AM   #17
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Yet another lizard! Too much noise, yes, but I still like the picture :-)
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 3:22 PM   #18
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Catbells wrote:
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Forgive my mentioning it but I did say in my first post that that I had tried ALL three focus methods. The Wide Focus Area failed to lock, The Spot AF Areas failed & several Flexi Focus Points failed whee I would have expected at least some success.

Hi Catbells,

I haven't read through all of the posts here, so forgive me if I tread on already discussed ground. Both of these scenes should have been simple for the AF system especially in flex mode.

One thing to be careful of is whether or not you are holding the camera steadily. The lower the light level, the more critical it becomes. If you are moving around, then the autofocusser sees blurred images and can have difficulty.

Did you try focussing these scenes with a tripod just to see if this was the case?

I have found the A2 AF system to be superb (despite a lot of complaining in reviews).

Just curious,

Steve
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 5:47 PM   #19
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Steve West wrote:
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I haven't read through all of the posts here, so forgive me if I tread on already discussed ground. Both of these scenes should have been simple for the AF system especially in flex mode.

One thing to be careful of is whether or not you are holding the camera steadily. The lower the light level, the more critical it becomes. If you are moving around, then the autofocusser sees blurred images and can have difficulty.

Did you try focusing these scenes with a tripod just to see if this was the case?

I have found the A2 AF system to be superb (despite a lot of complaining in reviews).
What's a tripod - just kiddin'. All my photographic work is done on the move & hand held. Suffice it to say that using my Fuji S602, even when the initial focus lock failed, I could always reposition the focus frame & guarantee focus lock in virtually all instances.

However, on the day in question & surprisingly, focus lock was proving extremely difficult to obtain. If the slightest of movement was responsible for this , then it's just another reason why the A200 was not suitable for me.

If it was just the focus lock issue, then I would have been more forgiving, BUT combined with inconsistency between adjacent shots even when exposure was locked, it proved just too many reasons to be less than satisfied with the A200.

Sadly, it had to go back despite the terrific manual zoom, excellent handing, multitude of Flexi Focus Points (if only they worked), relative low cost, supplied petal lens hood, image quality when enhanced with Unsharp Mask (images straight out of the camera too soft by comparison with, say Nikon CP8800).

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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:03 PM   #20
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HI again,

Did you try focus with and without the IS on? Was the telephoto of the A200 comparable with the Fuji? Were you working at the long end of the telephoto during these shots? Did you have the Fuji with you and try under exactly the same environmental conditions and 35mm effective focal length?

I can sure guess that it would have been really hard to lock on that smoke stack and it looks like you were at full telephoto also (exacerbating any motion on your part). It's kind of interesting that body motion which blurs images requiring IS to remove is the same kind of body motion that gives autofocussers a tough time. I don't know if IS helps in AF or not--does the A200 have its IS on during its focussing period? If so, it would seem that IS would help remove body motion for the AF, but there could be some kind of weird interaction in certain circumstances. I'm not convinced of your Fuji comparision though since I don't know that environment and effective focal lengths were the same.

I'm stating all this having owned an A2 for a "whole" week. I have been concentrating on this "horrible" AF system and so far finding it to be nearly faultless. Here's an example. I put on FFP, and as quickly as possible shot this with the FFP cross on the dove's head. This was a full telephoto and hand held, and it nailed it. I've been testing on a huge variety of things, and it nails the focus every time.
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