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-   -   SONY P100.....better solution? (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/sony-34/sony-p100-better-solution-40578/)

robyy Dec 18, 2004 10:14 AM

I must decide between Sony p100, casio z55 and panasonic fx7. Task to take Sony P100 for these reasons: - more CCD sensor large 1/1,8 against 1/2,5. - Good video 640x480; - good book reviews generate them. FX7 is good but it does not appeal to me that it does not have viewfinder, not good batteries and it is not possible to feel audio. Z55: many book reviews speak about not good photo in the angles and little good Pentax discs of a valve. The only thing that I do not love a lot in Sony P100 is lcd small 1.8"against 2,5". Task that as qualities of photo FX7 and Sony P100 are equivalent. FX7 in indoor ago photo much good ones. What thoughts of this? Thanks

M2 Dec 19, 2004 3:02 AM

I think you should look at the P150 instead of the P100. A lot of the P100 issues were resolved... There is more of a difference between the two besides the number of MP.

v3tester Dec 19, 2004 3:44 AM

The Sony P100 is definitely a great camera, but if you could try to go for the P150, it's a little more money but you will get a lot more resolution out of the camera.

Go here and view pics for yourself of the P100: http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sony/dsc_p100

and the p150: http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sony/dsc_p150

It might help you tell the difference between what's better for you. Just keep in mind, some people do not know how to take pictures or use a digital camera so there are some bad pics, but view lots and you'll know what both cameras can do!!

blr Dec 19, 2004 10:31 AM

v3tester wrote:
Quote:

It might help you tell the difference between what's better for you. Just keep in mind, some people do not know how to take pictures or use a digital camera so there are some bad pics, but view lots and you'll know what both cameras can do!!
v3tester, I wouldn't describe myself as a person who "do not know how to take pictures or use a digital camera" I ve done photography on a hobby to semi pro basis for exactly 22 years. Bought my first AF SLR 10 years ago and have done 100%digital for a couple of years now. Let me tell you this- Sony p100/p150/w1 all of which share identical AF hardware and software algorithms have a serious flaw of reporting a false AF lock in low light situations resulting in out of focus images 20-30% of the time. There are other issues with these cameras but this is perhaps the most annoying one for a first time user. Check other posts in this forum and on imaging resource. I used to have the W1 to use as my portable backup and sold it. IMO there are better compact digicams for less money. If you are happy with your Sony it's fine, just don't attach a label to others that are a bit more critical and want their cash worth.

robyy Dec 19, 2004 12:00 PM

blr... e you what councils?

cameranserai Dec 20, 2004 12:48 AM

If you read the adjacent post about blurred photos you will avoid the P100/150 like the plague. I too am a semi pro photographer, using Nikons for years with lenses up to 500mm, so I know about camera shake and blurred photos. I currently have the D70 and new DX lenses plus teleconverters which give me up to 600mm equivalent and never have blurred photos unless I want to slow the shutter speed for effect.

Having looked at other options I would strongly recommend the Canon S60 as a much better alternative, and one that I should have bought instead. Wide angle lens, and manual options such as shutter and aperture priority.

As regards the comment that the P150 gives better resolution than the P100, that is correct if you are doing A3 prints (which I do) but up to A4 you wouldn't notice a thing. This business of "more mp makes for better photos" is all a load of sales talk, nothing more. That is why I recommend the S60 over the S70. Both are good cameras but the former is cheaper and will more than adequately do the job.

robyy Dec 20, 2004 2:16 AM

I prefer to buy one digicam pocket but of good quality. it is much time that I try and next to the end I thought to buy Sony P120 also why I have a portable PC Sony with the drive for Memory stick and this is much bond for me. I have read many book reviews of Sony P100 and speak well on situated like dpreview and others. Hour here other link that it speaks well about Sony: http://akam.no/art.php?artikkelid=8994&side=11 Now I want to only see if photos in indoor without flash of P100 are good; I do not want a digicam that ago beautiful photos in outdoor and indoor are limited. If this is true I I waited for to buy. If you have photo in indoor I I say thanks to all therefore I decide. Thanks to all Robert

blr Dec 20, 2004 7:25 AM

Indoors W1/p100 are limited by poor autofocus, expect roughly 1/3 of your pictures to be out of focus. The white balance is not the best in the world either, so in mixed lighting be prepared to remove color casts in post processing. If I were you I would avoid these cameras.

robyy Dec 20, 2004 11:29 AM

All the greatest world-wide book reviews speak well about Sony P100-150. To this point or all it is false or many persons are not good to photograph. Here a new Link (sorry but is Norway) that it speaks well about Sony with points 6/6:http://akam.no/art.php?artikkelid=8994

hbh Dec 20, 2004 3:33 PM

Why searchin' when the test is here. Read Steve's one. It was the reason why I have bought the P150. After 2 days testing I have no complaints. The bluring issue however is a problem all prosumer cameras have which are limited to 400 ISO with the danger of noise. If you want to make indoor pictures with low light you must buy a DSLR. There is no workaround.

cameranserai Dec 21, 2004 1:41 AM

Whoah there! Lovely to see the test reports from the professionals, but don't you think that the manufacturers might have had a quick look at the camera before sending it out for testing? The proof of a good or bad camera comes in forums such as this. Canon deny that there is an intrinsic problem with the Elph (Ixus in Europe) but just type "error 18" into your Google and watch the results. Cameras closing down with the lens half retracted, and a useless camera. Canon, of course, deny there is a problem. Here it is the same with Sony. Start admitting there is a problem and the lawsuits start, everybody wants a new camera for free, and the accountants at Sony won't like the bottom line.

Personally I prefer to look at how the camera behaves in the hands of the public as well as reading the test reports before buying. I bought the P150 and it was the worst purchase I have ever made in photographic terms. Buy at your peril, you have been warned.

robyy Dec 21, 2004 3:56 AM

cameranserai, if you read to all the words of the persons in the forum you do not understand nothing. For every digicam many they speak well and many speak badly. Therefore to who you must believe? I was sure before for casio z55, then fx7, then sd300 and then sony p100. To this point I must buy one digicam. For you between these which it is the best one? or better to wait for some weeks for new complete models more? Thanks

CyberShotNut Dec 21, 2004 4:19 AM

The P100 is a great pocket camera which I carry everywhere I go. I've never had any trouble at all with it and have gotten some pretty impressive indoor pictures with it at clubs. Here is one example: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...eater_P100.jpg

I keep the camera set on manual focus, either 1m or 3m, set ISO at 200 and flash on high and all my club pictures come out awesome.

robyy Dec 21, 2004 7:44 AM

Hello Cyber, why you choose Sony P100 instead of FX7 or CASIO z55? can you say what you make to prefer you P100 to the others? Robert Thanks

robyy Dec 21, 2004 7:48 AM

Redrock talk:I also think that the P100 is a bad buy cause you just don't know what you're gonna get. This was all thrahsed about months ago on DPReview and a few people say they exchanged their p100/w1's for new units that took in focus pictures. Prior to that these users had found 20-30% of their photos out of focus.

Cameranserai talk: Well, I have the P150, as I said above, and about 25% of flash photos are blurred. I have used various settings including spot focus, have pressed the reset button to restore factory settings, have torn out what hair I had left, and in the end am left with a camera which only works in daylight. Forget it if flash is needed. As regards prefocusing, sometimes it works, but recently I needed photos of the facilities at a hotel and took special care, placing the camera on a bar for example to avoid camera shake,to get a photo of the restaurant, and the picture was still out of focus. I cannot trust the camera to operate efficiently when flash is needed.

A very bad purchase and money wasted is my view. Avoid.


Cibershotnut.....what do you think?

Robert


hbh Dec 21, 2004 5:02 PM

I cannot share his experience. My P150 is working. No complaints. Ultra-sharp. Only issue: blur by movement under low light condition. But this the only battle-field for cameras like Nikon D70 etc.

SteveCz Dec 22, 2004 10:53 AM

Robyy,

To give youanother opinion....I think all devices as complex as a digital camera have variations from one camera to the next. Take 10 new cameras of any make and you will likely find a few that have problems and the Sony P100 is no exception.

Luckily the P100 I bought formy wife about 3 months agois working perfectly. Maybe not by coincidence, I bought mine direct from Sony. Who knows, maybe Sony and other manufacturers send their best production lots to their own warehouse for direct sales to the public?

As an alternative, I suggest you head to a reputable camera shop, ask them to let you take some photos witha P100 or a Casio or a Cononwhile in the shop (macros, with flash, without, moving objects, still objects, etc) and see what you think. If the results are good, then buy that exact camera, not one from their inventory. This also give you the advantage of checking the ergonomics. If it takes good photos and feels good in your hands, then you can purchase it with a relatively low risk.

Hope this helps....

Steve C, Strazeele, France

cameranserai Dec 23, 2004 1:38 AM

I would strill, having the choice again, buy the Canon S70 for several reasons.

Manual override. The Canon has it and the Sony doesn't

Lens. The Canon has wide angle which is very useful. The Sony doesn't

Memory. Canon use proprietary compact flash, but Sony memory stick which is dearer.

As to taking indoor pictures, that is why there is a flash, but if the flash works and the pictures are still blurred there is a camera problem. I have been a photographer for 30 years, have three Nikon SLR's including the D70, and lenses from 18mm to 500mm, am a professionalso I do feel I know a little about the subject. I am not saying that all P150's are dodgy, just that there is an endemic problem and it will be the luck of the draw as to whether you get a good or a bad one. As for suggesting that Sony keep the good ones and sell on the bad ones to dealers - well I ask you! They wouldn't last long in business like that.

TNT Dec 25, 2004 1:43 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Robby,

Here's an example of indoor picture by the W1 at ISO400 1/20s hand-held and no flash.

TNT Dec 25, 2004 1:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's another one at 1/25s.

TNT Dec 25, 2004 1:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
And here's a 100% crop from the first picture.

TNT Dec 25, 2004 3:23 PM

Robby,

The W1/P100 has two faults. The first one is if you press the shutter release too fast, the camera will take picture even while proper focus is still being attempted and not yet achieved resulting in completely blur image. Solution is to first half-press the shutter release and wait for the green focus confirmation to appear. This fault happens to me fewer than 10 times per 1000 pictures.

The second is a serious one which is the default too aggressive noise reduction system resulting in images with all fine details being removed or flattened. Pictures with facial details, hairs or small leaves, leaves' details and grasses look so blurry or flattened that I thought my eyes were myopic and got sick of it and stopped using the camera for a while. Not until recently, did I find out how to fix this problem. Not by turning up the Sharpness setting to High - doing so seems to make the pictures appear to have more fine details, but those actually are fake and distorted details (this fooled me as the solution for a while). The pictures are so harsh and too contrasty, have too much sharpenning halo and facial details are still plainly flattened.

It turns out that turning down Sharpness setting to Low actually lowers the image noise level, therefore reduces the effects of the noise reduction system. Fine, fine contrast, and shadows details would still be there just waiting to be applied some USM to come out. So, this is how to get the best shaprness and most details out of the W1/P100 - Sharpness Low and USM, at the expense of a tiny bit more shadow noise. The resulting pictures are now very sharp, smooth and detailed, quality pretty much comparable to pictures (non-modified, straight out of the camera) from Canon A95, S60 or Pana FX7.

robyy Dec 27, 2004 6:32 PM

thanks to all of the photos and the comments. know the quality of digicam the Sony well (a my friend has Sony V1 and I have always seen photo wonderful; but I want one digicam pocket; when I feel myself ready I will make a quality jump). Hour my only problem is to decide if to buy P100 or P150. The price difference is not large between the two digicam; it is also true that with the moneies that I spend for p150 I buy P100+second battery+256mB. Now I see the sale offered ones and in little time I want to decide.An other reason that I want Sony is that I have a PC portable SonY with drive Memory stick (Sony Pcg-grv616g); this is comfortable in order to unload the photos or to record they give to you on the MS. I want to understand if the Memory stick For is compatible with mine laptop; I have tried to contact Sony but I have still not had answer.

Thanks to all

f2benny Dec 28, 2004 6:13 AM

Interesting tip-but what is USM?

blr Dec 28, 2004 8:05 AM

USM stands for unsharp mask the filter found in PhotoShop, paintShop Pro etc. for increasing edge contrst. This increases perceived shaarpness without actually bringing in more detail.

kski Dec 29, 2004 10:19 AM

blr, I believe what V3tester was trying to say is that on www.pbase.com you can see everyday people posting pictures under whatever camera you chose. It's a good place to view many many photos of the p100 or p150 or any other camera. But some people do not know how to take pictures because they don't keep their hand steady, they don't know that you can push the shutter button half-way down to lock focus and so on. So I think V3Tester was just trying to say view pictures to help you see what you like but keep in mind that some may be bad only because those people are bad picture takers. No one said anything about you the "semi-pro" and how you take pictures.

blr Dec 30, 2004 7:03 AM

kski wrote:
Quote:

blr, I believe what V3tester was trying to say is that on http://www.pbase.com you can see everyday people posting pictures under whatever camera you chose. It's a good place to view many many photos of the p100 or p150 or any other camera. But some people do not know how to take pictures because they don't keep their hand steady, they don't know that you can push the shutter button half-way down to lock focus and so on. So I think V3Tester was just trying to say view pictures to help you see what you like but keep in mind that some may be bad only because those people are bad picture takers. No one said anything about you the "semi-pro" and how you take pictures.
Kski, I see your point What I didn't agree with in the post of V3tester was that it sounded as these cameras are flawless and everyone who complains doesn't know how to use them properly. We know now that W1/p100/p150 have some problems that are not due to lack of skills or wrong settings. I just wanted to make this clear, based not only on my observations, there are several others here that have reached the same conclusion. It could be very frustrating for a first time user trying to perfect his/hers technique believing that the reason is lack of skills.

Dmitry M. Jan 4, 2005 12:43 AM

blr wrote:
Quote:

Indoors W1/p100 are limited by poor autofocus, expect roughly 1/3 of your pictures to be out of focus. ....If I were you I would avoid these cameras.
O.K.
Could you recommend smth. better for the money?
I'm looking for a backup small camera. W1 looks great from reviews, but focusing problems...

Dmitry.

blr Jan 5, 2005 7:47 PM

Dmitry M. wrote:
Quote:

O.K.
Could you recommend smth. better for the money?
I'm looking for a backup small camera. W1 looks great from reviews, but focusing problems...

Dmitry.



I was in exactly the same situation, wanted a pocketable camera to use as a backup, at parties etc. Bought the w1 and sold it a month later. Currently I own a Ricoh Caplio R1 and like it much better, not perfect, but better than the w1 overall and about 100 Euro cheaper as well. It has a 4.8x optical zoom starting at 28mm (equivalent) and some other nice features that w1 doesn't have, like manual WB, AE bracketing and interval shooting. It is as fast or faster than w1 to start and the AF in low light is very fast and reliable.

CVonV Jan 6, 2005 10:15 AM

blr wrote:
Quote:

Currently I own a Ricoh Caplio R1 and like it much better
very good camera that one... pity the video and lcd isn't as good as the W1. Otherwise it kicks it in every other regard imo.

blr Jan 6, 2005 12:29 PM

CVonV wrote:

very good camera that one... pity the video and lcd isn't as good as the W1. Otherwise it kicks it in every other regard imo.

Yes, I wish the video had a 640x480 mode. It is still Ok for showing on smaller TV sets, it records at 30 fps so it's smooth and not overcompressed. i took some clips just the other day and on a 19 inch screen from about 3 meters they looked good, although no question the w1 is better. The screen is indeed smaller 1.8" but it has the same pixel count as the much bigger w1 screen. It's sharper and easier to see outdoors. It is also protected behind a thick clear plastic plate unlike the w1s. For simply showing pictures to your friends it's not as good, as a picture taking and judging aid it is perhaps better. You can enlarge up to 8x, good for inspecting focus and even noise.

I'd say if Ricoh upgrades the video to [email protected] card limited, adds some form of semi-manual exposure control, say exposure priority, makes it an USBmass storge device and perhaps boost the flash a bit they will have a killer compact. I'd easily pay 100 Euro more for a package like this. As it is now it is still a good competitor not my dream ultra compact but closer than most.

CVonV Jan 7, 2005 7:53 PM

blr wrote:
Quote:

I'd say if Ricoh upgrades the video to [email protected] card limited, adds some form of semi-manual exposure control, say exposure priority, makes it an USB mass storge device and perhaps boost the flash a bit they will have a killer compact. I'd easily pay 100 Euro more for a package like this. As it is now it is still a good competitor not my dream ultra compact but closer than most.
BLR, thanks for the description of the Ricoh mate! How's the shot-to-shot lag (with flash), focus times and first shot time? And how many shots do the NiMH's and Li-Ion last? Is exposure priority available only on DSLR's? I've never heard of that before, only aperture and shutter priority. And also, do you mean it needs drivers when connecting to XP? It's USB 1.1 not 2 right? Oh and add a 2.5" screen to that list and it'll definitely be the best :) Do you have a website with some samples? Sorry about all the questions it's just that I haven't found a review of that camera yet. Thanks again mate


blr Jan 8, 2005 7:31 AM

CVonV wrote:
Quote:

BLR, thanks for the description of the Ricoh mate! How's the shot-to-shot lag (with flash), focus times and first shot time? And how many shots do the NiMH's and Li-Ion last? Is exposure priority available only on DSLR's? I've never heard of that before, only aperture and shutter priority. And also, do you mean it needs drivers when connecting to XP? It's USB 1.1 not 2 right? Oh and add a 2.5" screen to that list and it'll definitely be the best :) Do you have a website with some samples? Sorry about all the questions it's just that I haven't found a review of that camera yet. Thanks again mate

CVonV, if you go over to the Ricoh forum here, you'll see my short review of the camera (under new Ricoh camera thread) together with a downsized image I posted and the discussion that followed.

I'll answer your questions briefly, since this is a Sony forum if you want we can discuss morein the Ricoh forum. Flash recycle times are about average 3-6 sec depending on the distance to subject. I haven't used the Li-Ion pack, it is not included but with two 2300 mAh Kodak (Sanyo) AA cells the battery life is excellent, somewhere in the 300 shots range with LCD on. Sorry about "exposure priority" I mean aperture priority. Yes, it does need drivers for XP, it's nota mass storage class device and its USB 1.1.

davej Jan 15, 2005 4:12 PM

TNT wrote:
Quote:

The W1/P100 has two faults. The first one is if you press the shutter release too fast, the camera will take picture even while proper focus is still being attempted and not yet achieved resulting in completely blur image. Solution is to first half-press the shutter release and wait for the green focus confirmation to appear. This fault happens to me fewer than 10 times per 1000 pictures.
That may be the reason for a good many blurred W1/P100 pics, but other reports on this forum indicate that it's not the whole story, that some W1/P100/P150s are prone to false focus lock, especially in low light (I imagine that subject contrast plays a role too). I'd be very interested to know how widespread this problem is - whether it's confined to the odd bad batch, or a weakness of these models. I'm thinking of buying one, you see. I know they're getting a bad press here but I haven't found a competing product that meets my criteria: fast, pocketable, good optical quality (I have a particular aversion to purple fringing!), good video, AV out, good low-light capability, budget 200 pounds sterling, maybe 250 at a push.

TNT wrote:
Quote:

The second is a serious one which is the default too aggressive noise reduction system resulting in images with all fine details being removed or flattened. Pictures with facial details, hairs or small leaves, leaves' details and grasses look so blurry or flattened that I thought my eyes were myopic and got sick of it and stopped using the camera for a while. Not until recently, did I find out how to fix this problem. Not by turning up the Sharpness setting to High - doing so seems to make the pictures appear to have more fine details, but those actually are fake and distorted details (this fooled me as the solution for a while). The pictures are so harsh and too contrasty, have too much sharpenning halo and facial details are still plainly flattened.

It turns out that turning down Sharpness setting to Low actually lowers the image noise level, therefore reduces the effects of the noise reduction system.
I have done a little experiment confirming that setting Sharpness to Low substantially reduces the offending anti-noise processing. I'm not entirely convinced about how this works - I follow your reasoning, but I would have (naively) expected sharpening to happen after noise reduction. Maybe the "Sharpness" setting is a shorthand for "Sharpness and general munging". Anyway, here's what I did...

Imaging Resource has a series of 3 P100 pics of the same scene at different sharpness levels, on this page:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/P100/P1PICS.HTM

- scroll down about halfway to where it says "Sharpness series", just below the "Far-field test". I downloaded these three images and used an Unsharp Mask (USM) to bring the Low & Normal sharpness ones up to about the same sharpness as the High. I won't post my results here as the original images are copyright, but try it yourself, it's more fun that way! The area of the image where the noise reduction (NR) artifacts really show up is the grass in the foreground. Look at the grass area bottom right, just in front of the little tree, viewing the images at 100%. The untreated low-sharpness pic is very soft and the high-sharpness one seems to bring out a fair bit of detail, but you'll notice that it's blotchy: there are spits and spots of sharpness amidst blobs of blur. Now do the USM on the low-sharpness pic: I used radius 1, amount 1.5 on The Gimp (imaging tool on Linux), but see what works for you. I found that this produced a much better result than the in-camera sharpening: it brings out detail in the grass uniformly, with none of the blotchy artifacts. In other words, just as TNT says. The normal-contrast pic, when gently USM'd to bring it to similar sharpness, is intermediate between the other two.

I'd be very interested to see how well this works with skin and hair detail, which seem to suffer particularly badly from the overenthusiastic NR - see the facial portraits on the same Imaging Resource page. Can anyone provide an example, with the same subject shot at different sharpness settings and all other factors equal? Ideally post crops of unresized images.

Gosh, what a long post, and it's my first one! I'll try to be more concise in future!

Dave


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