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Old Jan 23, 2007, 6:48 PM   #1
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I have read most of the reviews of the a100 and I must say I am very impressed. It virtually shares the dynamic range and curve shape of the canon dslr's and it has higher resolution than the Nikon d200. The color is great and the highlight detail is retained without darkening the shadows too much. With image stablization, what more could you ask for. But two reviewers--dpreview and imageresource--experienced metering problems when using multi-segmented focusing. Lots of small light areas in dark or midtone backgound seemed to cause confusion for the camers metering. Imageresource also discovered the underexposures occurred with the kit lens, as if the iris of the kit lenses needed to loosen up before they responded properly (his explanation). However he also experienced underesposure when he shot flat test sheets of many different and complicated tones. Both reviewers had several cameras to work from and experienced the metering problem on all of them, even able to reproduce the kinds of situations that created it.

Sony told them that this was just the camers they used, but is that a stretch? If you have been able to use your a100 for lots of shots, could you please share your experience good or bad regarding this issue. All the photographic test results and the photos that I have seen (except for those samples of metering problems of course), make this out to be a great camera. Even at default, I see lots of highlight detail without going too dark in the shadows (which I think canon does when shooting default).

Many thanks,
ChaCha
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Old Jan 25, 2007, 2:41 PM   #2
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Hello, I bought a Sony A100 with two kit lens, two months ago. I sold it in 15 days after buying. And yes, the reason was its metering problem. According to me its metering was unstable and always underexposed. I'm talking about its low-light performence of course. And also it had flash problems. You couldn't be sure about what you'll get when you take a photo. It could be good or bad, but always risky. The colors were a little bit cool. Under sun light it gave good results, but if compared, it was not assharp as my friends Nikon d50. So I bought a Nikon D50 and I'm very very happy with it. But I must say, I really miss the Sony ergonomy and the SSS!...
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Old Jan 25, 2007, 6:49 PM   #3
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So far I have had no problem. I don't use my kit lens very much so I can't really comment just on it. Most of my photography is done with my 50 f1.7 minolta and my 28-70 F2.8 Sigma.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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Gary Friedman just released an ebook for advanced topics and he covered the multisegment metering system. Basically the camera is looking at the pattern and trying to take its best guess as to how to expose the frame. For $10 It gave some pretty good info on how the system works and why it won't be accurate all the time.

http://www.friedmanarchives.com/ebooks/advanced_topics/
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 6:58 PM   #5
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kberntsen wrote:
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Gary Friedman just released an ebook for advanced topics and he covered the multisegment metering system. Basically the camera is looking at the pattern and trying to take its best guess as to how to expose the frame. For $10 It gave some pretty good info on how the system works and why it won't be accurate all the time.

http://www.friedmanarchives.com/ebooks/advanced_topics/
Thank you for this reply. Your reference to Friedman was really helpful and I am going to order his ebook(s). I have wondered about the "wisdom" of matrix metering. Is that what my old canon t70 film system called "average" metering? Even my REALLY basic knowledge of metering tells me that expecting a camera to meter from segments is asking a lot. Dpreview and ImageResource and dcreview all made it sound like this was a small problem (especially for shooters with good knowledge base), but needing mention and consideration. But my technical knowledge and camera brand knowledge is too small to handle a situation where I need to create a "work around" or where I need to deal with tech support with "inexperience" written on my sleeve. So thank you for bearing with my "newbie" question.

Here's an interesting point. When I asked the same metering question on the dpreview forum, most replies (there were lots of replies) said that matrix metering worked fine on their a100's. It sounded like it only effected a small number from perhaps their early batches of cameras.

One important reason for my original post was because I will be using whichever dslr I buy to shoot my oil paintings for reproduction. The reviewer at ImageResource was able to reproduce the conditions that caused the metering problem and one criteria was shooting the flat resolution posters he tests camera resolution. He felt that when shooting flat surfaces the metering device has no depth of field to determine best focal points and so gets confused. Since I will be shooting flat surfaces via my oil paintings, I immediately took notice of his comment.

However I really really would like to get a dslr with in camera image stabilization, for when I shoot outdoor landscapes to use in my paintings (I want to go hand held). And since the dynamic range and resolution of the a100d (8.3) beats the really small dynamic range (7.3) and resolution of the pentax 10d, the a100 got my attention.

I have my choice narrowed to the canon xti and the sony a100. The difference between the canon xti and sony a100 is the image stablization in the sony and while their dynamic range and resolution is about the same, the canon xti maintains it's 8.4 dynamic range through 1600 iso. So unless I want to spend big bucks on a canon image stabilized lense, maybe I can get stabilization from canon via high iso and high shutter speeds.

Thanks for all your replies. Reading the Friedman books is my next stop. Then it's time to make a decision.

ChaCha
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 10:39 PM   #6
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Something I do try to do before buying a camera, now, is to bring with me my H1 (or whatever is the most recent camera) a compatible chip, a battery (most time the store has none charged and I have some M) and take a bunch of photos with the stores display....then take same pics with my H1 and compare...is it worth the upgrade or not.....did that before I bought the H1 and am happy with it. Had the 717 prior, and still have it, kinda. It went in for recall repair on its ccd, today!

Still have to get to store to do my own tests, no time at present.
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Old Feb 1, 2007, 2:22 PM   #7
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chacha wrote:
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One important reason for my original post was because I will be using whichever dslr I buy to shoot my oil paintings for reproduction. The reviewer at ImageResource was able to reproduce the conditions that caused the metering problem and one criteria was shooting the flat resolution posters he tests camera resolution. He felt that when shooting flat surfaces the metering device has no depth of field to determine best focal points and so gets confused. Since I will be shooting flat surfaces via my oil paintings, I immediately took notice of his comment.
Sounds like for the best results which ever camera you go with you might want to invest in a light meter and shoot in manual mode to get the best resluts.
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Old Feb 1, 2007, 6:51 PM   #8
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The matrix metering is a disappointment.

There are 2 schools of thought here

1) Sony deliberately underexposes to avoid blown highlights

...........if you shoot in raw you can certainly recover most shots.

2) The metering is adversely affected by the focus point

............ the exposure value is weighted to the area in sharpest focus.

A general fix is to always set the EV to +0.3 of a stop.

There is an equally galling problem with regular Flash Underexposure!

All in all I wouldnot recommend the camera until a firmware fix arrives.


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