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Old Mar 13, 2005, 9:43 PM   #1
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I was all ready to purchase an A200 this week when I go to KM's website tonight to parse through the details for the hundredth time. When I go to the site, lo and behold there is the old A2 being advertised. I thought the A200 was the "replacement" for the A2. Since they are still promoting the A2 this obviously can't be.

As an outdoor/wildlife shutterbug, which camera would give me the best results and best flexibility? I can get either for about the same price at the moment. I've read all of the reviews but there isn't a straight out head-to-head comparison of the 2. Gotta buy a toy this week!!! Just need help with what to pull the trigger on although I think I will be pleased with either.

Thanks for your help,

Tad :|
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 3:00 AM   #2
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This is not a true head to head comparison buta couple of things to keep in mind:

The A2 may not be in production any more or they might be thinking of shutting down production shortly because of the success of the A200.

So if you're thinking of buying an A2 the time is short.

The A2 has a much higher resolution eyepiece. Remember the eyepiece uses a built-in LCD rather than prisms. The A200 is therefore harder to focus precisely when using the eyepiece. The electronic magnification that KM uses to help with focussing manually is just this side of "sucks". This is not to say that the A200 is necessarily worse than other cameras of its class but the A2 hada definite advantage over many of its competitors in this area.

The A200 is lightly more compact and a teensy bit lighter. The articulating exterior LCD screen has more flexibility in the A200 than the A2. KM dropped the continuous auto-focus in the A200.

The A200's Li-ion battery is smaller (less capacity) than the A2 making it absolutely imperative to get a second or more batteries for anything other than casual use.

The A200 has a larger ASA range than the A2. Much has been written about the noise in the A200 with ASA greater than 200. Personally, I think it's much ado about very little since it compares reasonably well with other cameras in its class.

The A200 may still have some difficulty auto-focussing. Some people do and some people don't. I didn't find the A200 any worse than other digital cameras I've used in that price range or less.

The A2 has more angled contours than the A200 and some people dislike this "feel". It's probably very personal and only by handling one yourself could you make the appropriate judgement.

Mush (Freudian slip, much) has also been written about the subdued colors or accuracy of the color pictures from the default settings in the A200. However,a number of on-line reviewers have indicated that the A200 is one of the most accurate in its class when it comes to color reproduction of real life. Who are you to believe? Yes, the colors using default settings are not as snappy as say from a Canon. But then again when I compared the Canon (A80 and A75 family) with "real life" they tend to over saturate. So it depends on what you want.

Hope this helps. Some phots using the A200 can be found at:

http://www.pbase.com/selvin/nz

Aloha




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Old Mar 14, 2005, 8:56 AM   #3
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Continuous auto-focus is still available on the A200...

See http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_.../a200_pg4.html
<snip>
Full-time AF - Continuous auto focus; On or Off
</snip>

greetings,
Stig
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 12:27 PM   #4
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The above two posts sum things up. For me at any rate the A200 flip-around screen is the absolute tops. Most times I would HATE tohave to peer through the eyepiece or use a fixed screen. Over and over again I've found it easier to take a shot because I could manipulate thescreen to my advantage.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 2:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the correction. I think my brain was becoming mush.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 4:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys. I would have the A200 already if it weren't for that spectacular EVF on the A2! I REALLY REALLY like to prefocus where my subject is going to be and I think that the A2's EVF would satisfy this best.



selvin/other A200 users: Are you satisfied with the ability to prefocus manually with the EVF/LCD? If most don't have a problem then I will probably get the A200 but it sounds like AF is used by most users.


This is the problem living in a rural area, can't get your hands on anything first!!

Thanks again,

Tad

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Old Mar 15, 2005, 2:05 AM   #7
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I confess that I use AF most of the time (all of the time?). The manual focus on the A200 does seem a little hit and miss so I've never risked it, even as an experiment. Others may be more competent than I in this direction, however.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 2:58 AM   #8
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I shoot on movie sets and in theaters creating photos for press and advertising.

I chose the A2 over the Sony 828 because the A2's electronic viewfinder was almost as good as looking thru my 35mm Nikons. And like using a 35mm SLR the ability to focus where I want (not where some chip wants) is terrific. By the way, did you know the "VGA quality" image is a result of KM using nano technology?

So in the 9 months since I bought the A2 I've shot over 10,000 photographs with it. All were using the viewfinder not the LCD on the back. The big problem with trying to shoot via the LCD is being sure the focus is correct. Plus when the photographer is holding the camera up and away from their body in order to shoot with the LCD it is impossible to keep the camera steady (and looks very amateurish).

My main complaint: the A2 auto focus can NOT be trusted. I've sent it in for a check once already and plan to again. When I am using autofocus I use the "cross hairs" so I can place the area of focus where I want it.

What I would love is for KM to use a technology like Canon's in which the camera detects where your eye is looking and sets focus there.

As long as I'm wishing: the A2 does not write EXIF data as to the camera's orientation. So if I'm shooting a vertical the camera writes EXIF data as though it were a horizontal shot. Now for all the money they spent developing Anti Shake one would think they could detect the camera's orientation. This becomes important when sorting and viewing images as most software will use EXIF information to position the image on one's computer screen. With A2 incorrectly writing EXIF orientation data I have to manually correct every image. Time=Money!!!

See some of my work with the A2 on the set of the feature film "Psychopathia Sexualis" here: www.psychopathia.com

Later.

Terry


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Old Mar 15, 2005, 6:57 AM   #9
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You are very talented, Terry. I like your shots, especially the first one with the train - very atmospheric. I guess you're a bit lucky too, you must have actors ready and waiting to act. When I photograph folk outside I feel as though I am intruding - and I just HATE doing that! Nice work.
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