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Old Apr 13, 2006, 8:25 AM   #1
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My A2 has continually produced photos that lack sharpness. In side by side comparisons of JEPG & RAW shot with my old Olympus C-3030 (3.3 meg) and the A2, the output from the olympus is definately sharper and crisper, even after USM processing. I have tried manual focusing, I've also upgraded the firmware, upped the shutter speed & used a tripod to eliminate any possiblity of camera motion, but the results are always disappointing. I do a lot of nature photgraphy and underwater work. I still use the Olympus for my underwater shots due to the lack of sharpness with the A2. Some reviews and comments I seen suggest that the KM lens & optics may be the problem and the camera is just being used beyond it 's capabilities. If I increase sharpness with USM, I end up with too much noise. I really like the way the A2 handles and don't want to give it up, any suggestions? :sad:
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Old Apr 13, 2006, 9:39 AM   #2
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Some of the problem is likely the camera's image processing algorithms.

You may want to try shooting in raw and converting the images with some of the competing raw converters around to see what works best.

Oops --- I see you already mentioned shooting in raw.

What converter are you using? There can be a big difference in the quality of images from raw converters.

Yes, sharpening a photo will also bring out the noise. But, you're also starting with a much larger image compared to your Olympus. So, the noise should not be that visible at typical viewing sizes.

The 8MP 2/3" sensors are not exactly "low noise champs". That's one of the drawbacks of relatively high resolution in a compact package. But, many newer models are worse (using even smaller sensors with 8MP packed in).

There is also some pretty good software for reducing the appearance of noise.

Popular tools are Neat Image , Noiseware , and Noise Ninja

P.S. You can also find some good tips for using the Ax models here (and you'll see some post processing tips included, too):

http://www.pbase.com/mtf_foto_studies/mtf_faq


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Old Apr 13, 2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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I got the A1 vs the A2 due to the less crowded sensor (5MP vs 8MP). But, that isn't a huge deal...just my choice.

The KM D-series (including the A1 & A2) have user controls & process their images more like a DSLR than just about any other Digicam out there. That results in images that are similar to a film SLR. You need to do some post processing to get the best output from the camera...just like you would in a darkroom, or like a processing lab would do (& they do much more than you think).

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Old Apr 13, 2006, 12:18 PM   #4
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Proprietary software with camera is like those softwares always are, crap, not worth of installing.
Remove KM's software and try free RawShooter Essentials
http://www.pixmantec.com/

Also Adobe Camera Raw would give equally much better results if you have Photoshop.

Here's comparison between incamera JPEG, Dimage Viewer and ACR processed photos... and actually A200 has slightly better incamera processing than A2!
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/koni...200/page12.asp


Then again if you aren't needing large size prints 8MP gives lot of details for smaller prints even from incamera JPEG.


JimC wrote:
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The 8MP 2/3" sensors are not exactly "low noise champs".** That's one of the drawbacks of relatively high resolution in a compact package.** But, many newer models are worse (using even smaller sensors with 8MP packed in).
Only way for lower noise is much bigger sensor, even Fuji's overhyped low noise capability comes from very heavy processing.
http://www.videozona.ru/photo_tests/...Z30_page05.asp
http://www.videozona.ru/photo_tests/...Z30_page06.asp

Even those month ago released "high sensitivity" superzooms produce much worser results.

I use Noise Ninja and it works very well.
Here's ISO400 and 800 noise test shots from Steve's A2 review, file is self extracting RAR-archive so save it to directory you want and run it.
http://rapidshare.de/files/14515406/...essed.exe.html
Those are from incamera JPEGs so RAW would enable better results.
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Old Apr 13, 2006, 2:28 PM   #5
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Here I have a full resolution pic recorded with my KM A200 and processed with RSE:

Actually it is the first picture I made with this camera. For my taste RSE is a little bit too sharp for this camera, because you see some noise in the blue sky even at iso 50. With a slightly more conservative converter, you won't see any noise at iso 50, but RSE yields the most detail. There was no additional sharpening applied to the picture.
The A2 has almost the same sensor as the A200, but the lowest iso is only 80. Nevertheless you should achieve similar results and they are very respectable.
I do not know whether KM made the same mistake with the A2, but my A200 was configured with the multi segment autofocus mode, which focuses always to the nearest object in the picture. In the tele range this autofocus mode often yields wrong focus shots and people are not satisfied with the results. Thus one should quickly change the autofocus to spot focus, which is also faster.
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Old Apr 13, 2006, 4:34 PM   #6
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Sensors in A2 and A200 are exactly same, they just had to make cheaper to produce version when holy cows called as low end DSLRs became available and started price competition.
Lowest ISO in A2 is 64 but that doesn't mean anything, amplifier which amplifies signal of CCD is controlled by software.

Actually A2's wide area randomizer is much worser, even if there's close target in center of frame it can focus to entirely elsewhere, but high resolution EVF often shows it directly.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 3:47 AM   #7
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@E.T:
Actually there must be a tiny difference between the sensor of the A2 and that of the A200. According to http://www.dalibor.cz/minolta/raw_file_format.htm both sensors have a slightly different Bayer mosaic.

Here is another full resolution picture (raw + RSE), which shows that the A200 also performs well if light is difficult and with aperture wide open:
http://kassandro.zoto.com/img/origin...d8b31c68b-.jpg
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Old May 14, 2006, 3:47 PM   #8
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I had this problem with my A2 at the outset and finally after much frustration took it into a Minolta technician who identified it as an issue immediately. He had the camera for a day and fixed it and now my pics are sharp as a tack. I suspect he adjusted the sensor plane but I honestly don't know what he did ...... wish I would have asked because he and the Minolta office are gone now. If you aren't getting what you like I suggest you take it to Sony who I have heard are now doing the servicing. Good luck!
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Old May 23, 2006, 1:50 AM   #9
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I've just upgraded from a 7Hi to the A2 and was impressed with the improved images and sharpness of the A2. Other threads seem to suggest that all cameras may not be equal or consistant in this area. I wonder if the AS hardware can cause focus errors? My EVF seems to confirm a very sharp focus all the time...so far I've had not problems or needed manual correction.
Will the auto-focus correct for a mechanical alignment error.
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