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Old Jul 22, 2004, 11:43 AM   #1
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Sorry but my last post on this subject seems to have been taken off the forum so I will ask again if anyone can advise please.

What is firmware in connection with a digital camera & if the camera is working 99% do I need it ?. My camera is a Minolta A1, sometimes it takes longer than normal to reset itself after a picture has been taken but does get there in the end (only happens now & again)

My second question is what (if you use this camera) do you find to be the best settings for picture quality that does not drain the amount of available space on a c/f card or microdrive.

Many Thanks for any & all help.

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Old Jul 22, 2004, 12:12 PM   #2
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Well, think of firmware upgrades for a a digital camera, in the same way you think of operating system upgrades for your Computer.

Most of the time, firmware upgrades include "bug fixes", as well as improvements in some areas, based on user problems report and feedback.

If it were my A1, I'd definitely upgrade the firmware. I have seen some scattered reports on faster and more accurate focusing with the latest firmware, too.

As far as camera settings, most users will tell you to shoot in the highest quality mode. Some users of this model insist on shooting RAW, too. RAW gives you far more control over an images output later, for things like White Balance and Exposure. This is because the RAW file has not been processed by the camera yet, and has more bit depth.

If you shoot JPEG, the images will already have been processed, using the settings you had for things like White Balance, Sharpness, Contrast, etc. So, if for whatever reason the settings didn't work well in the conditions you were shooting in, it's much more difficult to correct later.

In contrast, RAW takes data directly from the CCD, bypassing all of the camera settings. So, you can adjust these settings (after the fact) later for best results.

Now, many users find that Fine Quality JPEG is sufficient. Others insiston Extra Fine JPEG, or better yet,RAW.

The lower the JPEG Quality, the higher the compression. JPEG is a "lossy" compression method. So, using too much compression can result in visible loss of detail/color range, as well as introducing what we call "JPEG Compression Artifacts".

You'll need to decide what works best for you.

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