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Old Oct 30, 2004, 10:02 PM   #1
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I have been anxiously awaiting this camera's release like everyone else. I am a little upset to see the price, cause I will have to wait before I can pick one up. I went over to pbase.com and looked at the few sample images on there. So far I have to say I am not impressed. Do you think this is more a result of poor lenses and/or less experienced photographers? Just wondering if anyone has noticed this as well. My friend who is not very experienced took pictures with his Digital Rebel with the lens it comes with and they looked FAR better then the images I have seen so far. I am hoping this is just due to some specific circumstances.
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 8:34 AM   #2
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What about theses: http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/?gal...lta7d_preview/

Check the 8th one handheld at 1/6s with ISO-3200...
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 8:42 AM   #3
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Well you can still see noise at it's full resolution, but I guess that is to be expected. However, I don't trust the pictures on dpreview. I have images that are identical for different cameras. I am talking about images with people in the background in the same position, with the same looks on their faces. These were obviously the same picture being used to demonstrate different cameras, so my faith in that site has lessened quite a bit.
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 2:29 PM   #4
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golovemd wrote:
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I have been anxiously awaiting this camera's release like everyone else. I am a little upset to see the price, cause I will have to wait before I can pick one up. I went over to pbase.com and looked at the few sample images on there. So far I have to say I am not impressed. Do you think this is more a result of poor lenses and/or less experienced photographers?
I looked at the samples on Pbase.com. They were taken using a pre-production camera during a trade show. The user had flash turned off, ISO speed locked to 100, etc. The outside photos in the same album were not taken with the Maxxum 7 Digital (they were taken with a DiMAGE 7i).

It's lucky they came out as well as they did (1/6 to 1/13second shutter speeds, not setting white balance for the lighting). He was probably trying to test the anti-shake by locking the ISO to 100 with flash off (which appeared to work fine, since the background looked relatively sharp and the moving subjects were blurry -- although his shutter speeds were really a tadslow for anti-shake, too).

He probably would have gotten lots better results using Autoexposure (which would have boosted ISO speed for faster shutter speeds),using fill flash and/or exposure compensation for subjects in shadows, and setting white balance for the lighting if he wanted to test it with flash off like he did.

If he would have just left it in Autoexposure, I think the results would have been totally different.



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Old Oct 31, 2004, 3:05 PM   #5
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Ah, that helps explain it. At least I hope so. The pictures in pbase definitely lack the sharpness I have seen from other camera's but if those circumstances you quoted are indeed correct then there is still hope. Thanks for the reply jimc.
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 3:40 PM   #6
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You can see the camera settings under the photos in the users Pbase.com albumby looking at the EXIF (you'll see a menu choice for it under each photo).

My guess is that the user was simply testing the anti-shake feature by deliberately keeping ISO speed set to 100 with flash forced off; and didn't bother setting white balance for the lighting.


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Old Oct 31, 2004, 4:14 PM   #7
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I guess what I can take from your post is that you believe that the camera can perform much better when the settings are adjusted properly for the particular situation
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 4:53 PM   #8
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Yes.

I've beenimpressed by the photos I've seen from it so far (there are lots of albums around from pre-production cameras).

Apparently, it's a newer generation of the Sony CCD used in the Nikon D70 (and noise seems to be better controlled in the Maxxum 7D).

So far, the only thing I've noticed is that photos do look a little softer than I'd like straight from the camera (but this is probably a good thing, as not to have any sharpening halos if you want larger prints).

They may have changed this in the production firmware (KM posted some production samples that looked like a little more sharpening was being applied by the in camera processing).

But, you can always set sharpness to hard in the camera (or post process later) if you don't like the defaults.

I am a bit surprised at their pricing for it (I thought they'd be more aggresive to gain a stronger foothold in the DSLR market). But, if you want/need the benefits of anti-shake (especially with some lens types, like 1:1 Macro lenses), then it's the only game in town. It's also based on the Dynax/Maxxum 7 Film Body (which is not an entry level body). So, it should be a bit more usable than the entry level bodies from it's competitors (viewfinder brightness, low light focus, etc.).

I'm waiting on some decent reviews of production cameras (most albums are using pre-production firmware, taken with loaner cameras). I suspect that we should have some production camera reviewspretty soon.



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Old Nov 2, 2004, 9:11 AM   #9
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:!: I have to say that I'm more than a little concerned about the image quality of the Maxxum 7D. I have looked at every sample image I can find on the web. Although the images do seem to be of a higher quality than the average digital camera, I fear the noise level in this camera is nearly unacceptable.

I've read a lot of posts from photographers commenting on the same samples I've looked at and many of them say the noise levels are immpressive, "especially with anti-shake" but noise is clearly visible when zooming in. It seems a popular idea that noise is expected when zooming in to actual resolution. This is true, but when I zoom in, I see an amount of noise which far exceeds what I would expect to see on a $1600 camera and certainly exceeds levels seen with 35mm film.

It is easy to say "it's a digital camera and the technology is still improving." But I feel this is just an excuse. There are other digital cameras that do not show anywhere near the ammount of noise this camera seems to have. Has anyone here actually compared samples from the Maxxum 7D with samples from the EOS 20D? The results are glaring. I feel the noise levels between the two cameras in similar photos with similar settings are drastically different. The Maxxum 7D seems to have a considerably lower overall image quality in my opinion when compared to the 20D.

There are all kinds of justifications and rartionalizations for the apparent noise in the 7D. All the talk about anti-shake and its benefits... But who cares?? The simple fact is, the quality of sample images from the 7D at low ISO's (with or without anti-shake enabled) barely even compare to similar images from the 20D at higher ISO settings.

I have been a die-hard Minolta supporter for a while now. I never stop singing praises about the Maxxum 7. I have been waiting 3 years for Minolta to enter the market with a digital SLR and was more than ecstatic to hear it was to be based on the wonderful Maxxum 7. Asside from ANY of the major features of this camera, the egonomics and control interface alone is enough to set this camera way above others. But none of that matters when it comes to actual image quality.

When friends and family look at unlabled photographs and consistently choose images from the 20D over the 7D, I am filled with doubt and the urge to defect.

Take a look at these samples from dpreview.com and closely compare noise levels seen at native resolutions. Both images are taken at 3200 ISO. Scroll to the bottom and look that the original large files.

http://img.dpreview.com/gallery/engi...olta7d_preview

http://img.dpreview.com/gallery/engi...eos20d_preview
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Old Nov 2, 2004, 12:44 PM   #10
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lumenars wrote:
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I've read a lot of posts from photographers commenting on the same samples I've looked at and many of them say the noise levels are immpressive, "especially with anti-shake" but noise is clearly visible when zooming in. It seems a popular idea that noise is expected when zooming in to actual resolution. This is true, but when I zoom in, I see an amount of noise which far exceeds what I would expect to see on a $1600 camera and certainly exceeds levels seen with 35mm film.
What film is that (ISO 3200 Color with less grain than the noise you are seeing in ISO 3200 shots from this camera)?

Did I miss some major breakthrough? Gosh, I thought that FujiSuperia1600 was OK (although still grainy, as high speed films are). Who is making something much better now?

l still shoot film from time to time, and want to get some of that stuff (ISO 3200 Color Film with less grain than the 7D at the same image sizes). I can imagine that a lot of other users would like some of that film, too. They may be dissapointed that they switched toDSLR models from color film to get better results in low light since the grain was too bad from high ISO film (only to find out that there is a better solution with film, and at ISO 3200, too).

I'd love to see the ISO 3200 Color film samples, scanned to thesizeof the 7D samples. Please share.

Quote:
It is easy to say "it's a digital camera and the technology is still improving." But I feel this is just an excuse. There are other digital cameras that do not show anywhere near the ammount of noise this camera seems to have. Has anyone here actually compared samples from the Maxxum 7D with samples from the EOS 20D?.
Michael Reichmann tested itin his article here (pre-production firmware):

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/minolta-7d.shtml

I see that he left out the ISO 3200 results in his chart. However, looking at the graph of the 7D on the left, it appears that the 7D has around 1dB better Signal to Noise Ratio compared to the EOS-20D at ISO 3200 (it appears to be around 35.5 dB on the chart, and the EOS-20D tests at 34.6 dB). This is an insignificant difference IMO, so they appear to bequite comparable (although I suspect we may see further improvement in the 7D production firmware).

Quote:
The results are glaring. I feel the noise levels between the two cameras in similar photos with similar settings are drastically different.
Glaring? Similar settings, huh? The shot you referred us to from the 7D is at 1/6 second. The shot from the EOS-20D is at 1/60 second (shutter speeds 10 times as fast, and noise is worse at slower shutter speeds). You are also comparing an image converted from RAW with the Canon, and a JPEG from the7D.

The lighting is much different, too.

If you look atareas like the ceiling overhangs above and behind the tank, you'll see a considerable amount of noise in the 20D photos (worse than some of the better exposedareas of the 7D photos, like the nameplate near the base of the statue).

Of course, this is comparing apples to oranges (as you are doing with your comparisons). A small difference in exposure can mean a big difference in noise levels.

In order to compare cameras fairly, you have to test in the same conditions, using the same subjects, lighting and camera settings. With DSLR models, the lens you use also comes into play.

Quote:
The Maxxum 7D seems to have a considerably lower overall image quality in my opinion when compared to the 20D.

There are all kinds of justifications and rartionalizations for the apparent noise in the 7D. All the talk about anti-shake and its benefits... But who cares?? The simple fact is, the quality of sample images from the 7D at low ISO's (with or without anti-shake enabled) barely even compare to similar images from the 20D at higher ISO settings.
If you want to base your opinion on samples from pre-production firmware, in uncontrolled conditions, then by all means do.

But, my suggestion would be to wait on tests comparingproduction cameras to others in controlled conditionsbefore jumping to any conclusions.
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