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Old Aug 18, 2008, 1:28 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I havea couple ofquestions for the A300:

1. Custom settings: is there any way to get them to stick? ( So if I select "vivid" for my "P" mode - it stays vivid even if I use "M" and then go back the "P")?

2. I am just learning the camera - and in the beginning would like to use the built in scene modes ( "Scene, portrait etc.). Is that recommended? What is your experience with using "scene" for landscapes for example?

3. Is a circular polarizer something I should get (for landscapes)?

4. I prefer not to do any postprocessing in photoshop. I have read that the A300 default lens is soft. Would I benefit from sharpening all my shots (in camera)? HOw much?

5.Reviews mention that the A300 is noisy at high ISO. What is the highest ISO you find useful?

Are there any suggestions you would have for an A300newbie (or are there maybe websites with tips & tricks)?

Thanks for any advice,



Miklos

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Old Aug 18, 2008, 3:35 PM   #2
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Miklos wrote:
Quote:
Hello all,

I havea couple ofquestions for the A300:

1. Custom settings: is there any way to get them to stick? ( So if I select "vivid" for my "P" mode - it stays vivid even if I use "M" and then go back the "P")?

2. I am just learning the camera - and in the beginning would like to use the built in scene modes ( "Scene, portrait etc.). Is that recommended? What is your experience with using "scene" for landscapes for example?

3. Is a circular polarizer something I should get (for landscapes)?

4. I prefer not to do any postprocessing in photoshop. I have read that the A300 default lens is soft. Would I benefit from sharpening all my shots (in camera)? HOw much?

5.Reviews mention that the A300 is noisy at high ISO. What is the highest ISO you find useful?

Are there any suggestions you would have for an A300newbie (or are there maybe websites with tips & tricks)?

Thanks for any advice,



Miklos
Answering your questions:

1. Changing modes from P to M to A or to Sdoes not affect the color setting. If you set the camera to VIVID, it will remain on VIVID.

2. I've played with my A300 quite a bit,taking identical pictures in Standard, Vivid, Portrait andLandscape modes.They all havedifferentadjustments, particularly in terms of saturation. Colors are much stronger in VIVID and Landscape modes. Portrait mode favors red/orange tones (I guess because ithelps with skin tones) while Standard tend to be more natural. There is also an obvious difference in DRO behavior between these modes, with VIVID and Landscape being affected more than Standard and Portrait modes. So,in the end,what works best for me is Standard mode with DRO OFF, contrast -1, saturation -1 and sharpeness +2.

3. CP or LP filters are nice to have (particularly for landscapephotography) but you must keep in mind that it cuts down the light by 1 1/2 stops at least. So, you need good light condition. I'd get an UV filterbefore spending money on a CP or LP filter (I say LP because I have not found any difference between the two and LPs are cheaper).

4. Iprefer not to spend much time doing PP. I have tried different sharpeness levels and found +2 to beasmuch as I can get w/o running into artifacts.

5. Some people claim 1600. I find 800 to be acceptable under certain conditions but if the image is really dark, even ISO 400 will generate a fair amount of noise, IMO.

I reallybelieve that DRO does more harm than good. I wasunable to understand the metering pattern until I turned off DRO. The reason is because there is no consistency in how the A300 bahaves with DRO turned on. Sometimes it over exposes the highlights in order to bring up the shadows and sometimes it does not. I could never tell. With DROOFF,the camera handles highlights much much better. The A300 has an excellent DR.

Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 18, 2008, 7:57 PM   #3
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Wow! Tullio-

That is a really excellent answer. Congratulation! It is very apparent you know the Sony A-300 very well.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 18, 2008, 11:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for your kind words, Sarah. I would say I know the a300 real well but I did spend a lot of time (as I do with any camera I buy) playing with different settings, trying to understand the camera as much as possible so I get the most out of it. The A300 is not a difficult camera to work with if DRO is set to OFF. Otherwise, it's almost impossible to understand its behavior in terms of exposure. That's the major complaint I have.
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 7:46 AM   #5
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Thank you Tullio for your very helpful answer!


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