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Old Feb 15, 2005, 6:36 AM   #21
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Steve, obviously you're full of it :blah:

Hmm, I now have my A200 for 2 full weeks and made many many shots and also have NO focus issues. I did run in the odd one or two situation where at the end of the zoom it could not focus in haze/fog situations. But neither could my Nikkon CP 950 and Sony DCS-P10.

Something else, is there a way to set the damn thing to infinity?
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 12:47 PM   #22
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redSP wrote:
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Steve, obviously you're full of it :blah:

Hmm, I now have my A200 for 2 full weeks and made many many shots and also have NO focus issues. I did run in the odd one or two situation where at the end of the zoom it could not focus in haze/fog situations. But neither could my Nikkon CP 950 and Sony DCS-P10.

Something else, is there a way to set the darn thing to infinity?
LOL--that's what my wife would say

I'm not trying to give Catbells a hard time (really). I think sometimes our expectations on autofocusers are too high (esp. in dimmer lighting and longer focal lengths). For me, if I can't hand hold the camera and get a sharp image without IS on, I should not expect the autofocusser to work very well. That's just my rule of thumb.

I'm not expert on the A2, but there are two ways I can think of :

1. go to manual focus, and rotate the ring until the monitor shows infinity (and rotate some more just to make sure) -- could use the 3.3x monitor magnification to verify.

2. switch focus mode to S (single frame). Find something a long way off, and let the autofocusser focus on it by half-clicking the shutter button and releasing. Switch to manual focus mode (without hitting the shutter button again), and it should now hold this focus.

Steve
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 3:01 PM   #23
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Steve West wrote:
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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 comparison 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.
According to the manual, if IS is switched on, it only becomes active at slow shutter speeds - the speed that I was shooting at 1/320 F5 FL 24.5 (49mm) so IS shouldn't have kicked in.

The chimney stack, as stated, was no surprise to present a problem - I used DMF setting the distance to infinity (shame the image manifies to something almost a blur but if you wait several seconds, it reverts back to a normal image).

All I said was that in 2 years use of the Fuji S602, I never experienced the problems that I did on that day with the A200.

Perhaps the A200 is better suited to close up images but it certainly is lacking when it comes to general landscape shots.

Had it just been the focusing issue, I guess that I could have lived with it BUT combined with soft focused images that require post processing to introduce sharpness & inconsistency of colour in images that I experienced using VIVID and to some extent, DAYLIGHT, I decided that there was too much against the A200.

If Minolta bring out an update in their firmware to fix these issues, then I'll be back in the frame for another A200 but until then, I'm sticking with S602.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 8:57 PM   #24
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Catbells wrote:
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combined with soft focused images that require post processing to introduce sharpness & inconsistency of colour in images that I experienced using VIVID and to
I hate to beat a dead horse, but I have found the A2 to be exceptional in this respect too. It requires no more sharpening or saturation increase than my Nikon 4500 which it is replacing (maybe my standard is too low, but I don't think so). I'm amazed that right out of the camera, 100% crops look really sharp. Maybe that's due to having 8MP instead of 4, but I like what I see.

Here's an example from a few days ago. I pulled the camera up at full telephoto, and shot the power lines. I've sharpened this no more (probably less) than I would have on my Nikon 4500 (both cameras set to normal sharpening and saturation). And look at the detail in the 100% crop inset--it's phenomenal from what I'm used to. There is sooo much useable fine scale information in each frame... Catbells, you and I have just had pretty much opposite experiences with these cameras (I'm presuming that the A200 workings are pretty similar if not better than the A2).

I haven't tried vivid yet, but so far I don't see a need for it.


Steve


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Old Feb 16, 2005, 12:03 PM   #25
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Steve West wrote:
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I hate to beat a dead horse, but I have found the A2 to be exceptional in this respect too. It requires no more sharpening or saturation increase than my Nikon 4500 which it is replacing (maybe my standard is too low, but I don't think so). I'm amazed that right out of the camera, 100% crops look really sharp. Maybe that's due to having 8MP instead of 4, but I like what I see.

Here's an example from a few days ago. I pulled the camera up at full telephoto, and shot the power lines. I've sharpened this no more (probably less) than I would have on my Nikon 4500 (both cameras set to normal sharpening and saturation). And look at the detail in the 100% crop inset--it's phenomenal from what I'm used to. There is sooo much usable fine scale information in each frame... Catbells, you and I have just had pretty much opposite experiences with these cameras (I'm presuming that the A200 workings are pretty similar if not better than the A2).

I haven't tried vivid yet, but so far I don't see a need for it.
If the A200 was consistent with it's colour balance, then I could have overlooked the other issues.

TheDP Review on A200 was quite explicit in all the areas that I have experiencedproblems:

Soft Images
As we commented when testing the A2, throughout our samples we found examples of images which just weren't as sharp as we expected or had seen from other eight megapixel digital cameras. At first we thought this was associated with small apertures however this shifted after we found examples in images taken at moderate apertures. Obviously this could be linked to the AF issue noted above but in certain soft images it was difficult to see where the AF point actually was.


White Balance
The A200 has seven white balance presets (daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent 1 and 2, flash) in addition to the default auto setting. There is also an excellent manual (custom) white balance mode with two memories. Results from auto white balance are 'as expected', good in natural light, less so under artificial light. It's a pity Konica Minolta still hasn't nailed the AWB problem, and - given that we saw occasional white balance problems even outdoors on a clear day - I'd recommend using the presets (or custom mode) - or even white balance bracketing - when color fidelity is important.


Focus Errors
As mentioned above we found the focus system of the A200 to be just as unreliable as the A2 - whether insisting on locking on some tiny piece of foreground detail (a twig at the edge of the frame for example) or simply missing focus altogether, the A200 fails to focus correctly too often for a camera in this class. To be fair, we took around 1000 frames during this test, and the focus problem occurred only in about 40 shots, of which nearly all were in low light at longer focal lengths, but it's still something Konica Minolta needs to address in future models.


I'm pleased that you find your A2 acceptable because that's what it's all about.

For me, I was not prepared to put up with restrictions that it imposed on me and MY STYLE of photography.

I hope that Minolta fix the colour balance & improve the focus lock problems; then I'd definitely be back in the market.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 4:58 PM   #26
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I read with interest the comparisons between the Fuji 602 and the KM A200. I too have a 602 and recently got the A200. I have not seen any of the focus lock problems with my A200 that you observed shooting in similar situations. I believe that you may indeed have gotten a defective unit. Apart from the speed (the Fuji feels a little faster writing to the same microdrive card) and the fact that I can't seem to take a straight picture with it, it is a welcome upgrade from the 602. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy with the Fiji, but nearly everything Ialways wished my602 had the A200 has. And, so far, the image quality has been excellent.
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 3:36 PM   #27
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I've had my A200 for about 6 weeks coming from a Fuji S5000. While the A200 has performed superbly outdoors, the S5000 was far superior indoors in low light situations. I'm not too concerned about situations where in low light it simply can't focus. Rather, I have experienced the false focus lock problem. In low light situations I will frequently get a focus confirmation lock, yet the image as seen in the EVF or LCD is obviously not even close to focused. I have experienced this in all of the focus modes.

I e-mailed KM about this problem asking if they thought the camera needed service over a week ago and I have yet to receive a response. Great service!!!

Don't get me wrong this camera is capable of taking very nice shots as seen below but it does have it's faults.















Howard
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Old Apr 17, 2005, 5:54 PM   #28
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I have also just changed from Fuji S602 to KM A200 - do I have more focus problems ? DoI regret canging cameras - NO way.

If cameras like computers I would take bits from both cameras.

S602 has a focus mehanism above the lens so it foucuses approximately then does fine focussing through the lens - very fast and reliable.

S602 still uses the autofocus software to tell when you are spot on focus and which way to focus when in Manual Focus. It gave NO indication of focus distance so it was impossible to focus manually in very low light - even at infinity !

A200 tells you the distance you are focussed on when in Manual. The enlarged image in Manual focus is overmagnified so it is very hard to identify correct focus.

I have found A200 autofocus ok but erratic. In VERY low ight at 200mm it still focussed on sharp vertical line. In low light at 100mm it refused to focus on a vertical line !!!! But the Manual Focus is so easy to use - just turm the ring and estimate the distance or pick the sharpest image.

Mike Sydney Australia
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 5:34 PM   #29
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Wow. So much discussion since Catbells started this focus question in February. Catbells, if you haven't had the camera fixed yet, the best thing you can do is go get someone else's A200 and see if it has the same problem. If not, it's your camera. I have had the A2 for several months now. Aside from one problem, http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=20, I have found none of the other problems that the 'reviews' state.

The macro is beyond belief. Focusing in dark situations isn't always easy, but I don't get false locks, just red dots telling me to try again. In a low light situation, fully auto, with the camera telling me it would be an 8 second exposure, it managed to find an object with enough contrast to focus. My Maxxum would have needed the IR assist. If you use the horizon to focus, cock your camera at a 45 or some angle to eliminate the horizontal line, focus, reframe. Fully 90% of my shots are focus, frame, shoot and so they are 99% in focus. I can't speak to point and click abilities. I have noticed that the A2 digital camera is a little different than my Maxxum 7000 with regard to exposure, more sensitive I think. I find myself using spot metering alot more to get want I want exposed properly (my 9000 had spot, 7000 AEL).

Not pretty, but to demonstrate the macro, attached are some subterranean termites eating my drywall. With some clear packing tape over the hole, I turned my house into the world's largest termite farm for the kids to enjoy.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 3:25 PM   #30
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I have post a thread describing the problem and solution (suggested)

See: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=20



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