Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Sony Alpha dSLR / Konica Minolta dSLR, Sony SLT

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 12, 2005, 6:49 PM   #1
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

This thread was started because another was getting a bit OT (the original poster in the other thread was looking for a lens for a different camera model). So, I continued it here:

Quote:
peripatetic wrote:


Quote:
NHL wrote:
Quote:
That Minolta 7D looks better and better everyday... :G :lol: :-) !!!
Quote:
Reviews seem unanimous that:
1. Ergonomics are awesome.
2. IS in the body is brilliant.

Picture quality is about average - so perfectly acceptable.

2 major problems:
1. Dodgy AF -> magazine reviews and a number of threads on this and other forums are very worrying, some reviews have rated it as significantly worse than cameras costing only half as much. In fact it generally gets marked as just about the worst performing AF on any of the current DSLRs regardless of price.
2. Distinct lack of wide-angle Minolta lenses.

[Edit] - I see that there is a new 17-35mm f2.8-4, which sounds pretty good with the in-camera IS, and of course there are now a number of ~10-20mm 3rd-party zooms that would fit, so I guess it's fair to scratch problem #2.

[Edit #2] And I see that the price has halved since launch - from being more than the 20D to not much more than the XT! OK - it IS looking better and better.

I'll be looking at their 2nd digital camera with great interest, for now though I'll stick with my 20D.
Original thread here:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65

[/quote]
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 12, 2005, 6:53 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
[Edit #2] And I see that the price has halved since launch - from being more than the 20D to not much more than the XT! OK - it IS looking better and better.
Only in the UK (price has been halved since launch). That is unusual (UK gets the better prices). for you.

It's actually higher here in the US from some vendors now that the rebate has stopped (ended at the end of June). But,B&H just dropped itto $1,119.95 (USD). So, perhaps other vendorswill follow suit, too (and lower prices would probably help it's popularity).

As for focusing, image quality, etc.,it does have a few quirks (but what camera doesn't). One of them is a backfocus issue that seems to be QC related. Users with the problem (and it's not all cameras) have been sending them back to KM for calibration when they have a problem, and turnaround has been pretty fast (at least here in the U.S.).

I even found one user that fixed the backfocus problem themselves, which only occuredwith this user's 50mm f/1.4 (they removed the rubber cover from the bottom of the camera and turned 3hex screws 1/4 turn tighter and solved it). These 3 screwsare used for CCD alignment based on user reports.

My guess is that someone had the torque required for thesescrews setup wrong for assembly, and the software calibrationdepended on the tighter tolerances. In any event, I'm not worried about it (if I go this route).

Performance actually seems to be pretty decent (thanks toa firmware upgrade which improved it dramatically compared to the original firmware).

As for image quality, I've beenimpressed at the results I've seen so far from users with this model.Mike Johnston is pretty impressed with it, too. Take a look at his first impressions of it in these two articles (he bought one):

http://www.steves-digicams.com/smp/07032005.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/smp/07102005.html
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2005, 11:57 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2
Default

JimC, I think we need to know more about the adjustment of the three hex screws, please.


ububba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2005, 2:12 AM   #4
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

JimC
Quote:
Performance actually seems to be pretty decent (thanks toa firmware upgrade which improved it dramatically compared to the original firmware).
Do you mean the speed and accuracy of the AF has improved since the original firmware?

That would be nice because the reviews I saw weren't complaining about backfocus, just very slow and unreliable AF - which was very sub-standard compared to every other DSLR they had tested.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2005, 7:38 AM   #5
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

ububba wrote:
Quote:
JimC, I think we need to know more about the adjustment of the three hex screws, please.
Users debating this issue in another forum started looking at how the camera was assembled, offering theories on what was going wrong. One user figured out by looking at the CCD with the mirror locked up that 3 screws at the bottom of the camera controlled CCD alignment.

A Russian 7D owner with a backfocus problem (with his 50mm f/1.4) decided to experiment to see if he could fix his camera without the need to send it in for service.

He removed the rubber from bottom of the camera, puton a50/1.4 lens (which he reported was absolutly unusable beforedue to the Backfocusproblem),took a 1.5 mm hex driver, tripod and adjusted it. He said it took a total of about 15 minutes.

He said all he had to do was turn all 3 screws aquarter of a turn clockwise and it fixed it.

He also posted before and after photos showing how the problem was fixed (backfocus in photos before, no backfocus after). This 7D owner reported that his other lenses worked perfect. He said the has theSigma 18-125/3.5-5.6, Minolta 28-85/3.5-4.5, Minolta 70-210/4, and Sigma 28-70/2.8.

This is not unusual (50mm f/1.4 with backfocus on this model, with other lenses working fine).

I would not attempt to fix a backfocus problem yourself (unless you don't have any other option). I was simply pointing out that I don't think it's a very big issue (a trip back to KM should solve it, *if* you get a camera with the problem). They would have the equipment and expertise to properly calibrate the camera (versus you trying to do it via trial and error).

Backfocus issues are not always the camera either. A lens can be out of calibration. It's a good idea to send both lenses and camera into a manufacturer (KM, Canon, etc.) if you have a backfocus or frontfocus issue. Users of 3rd party lenses sometimes send their lenses to the respective manufacturers for calibration, if it appears that the lens (versus camera) is at fault. KM would probably not try to calibrate a camera to a 3rd party lens (speculation on my part).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2005, 7:58 AM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
JimC
Quote:
Performance actually seems to be pretty decent (thanks toa firmware upgrade which improved it dramatically compared to the original firmware).
Do you mean the speed and accuracy of the AF has improved since the original firmware?

That would be nice because the reviews I saw weren't complaining about backfocus, just very slow and unreliable AF - which was very sub-standard compared to every other DSLR they had tested.

Not that I've seen documented. The firmware was primarily for other performance issues.

But, I've not seen any reviews complaining about AF from this model. Reputable reviewers that I'm familiar with are reporting the opposite. Steve clocked it at slightly over 1/10 second. Dave Etchells at Imaging-Resource said he tested it at around 0.27 seconds at both ends of the lens he used (which he specifically said was faster than other DSLR models in it's class).

Now, when I look at the numbers, it does appear that the 7D is slightly faster than both the Nikon D70 and D70s (but slower than the Canon EOS-20D).

Michael McNamara at Popular Photography got slightly slower times, but rated the Autofocus speed as being extremely fast in bright light from EV 12-7 (0.34 to 0.37 seconds), very fast at EV 6-2 (0.48-60 seconds), and fast from EV 1-0 (0.74 to 0.87 seconds).He said that at -1 EV "where no other SLR in it's class operates", it took 1.5 seconds. It's amazing to me that a camera could focus at all in light this low (-1 EV). ;-)

But, lens selection can make a difference in AF speed, too (as I'm sure you know), as can the type of subject/test target and lighting.

I have seen users moving froma Maxxum/Dynax 7 (film) body say that the film 7 outperforms it. But, it doesn't appear to be a "slouch" in this area from what I'm seeing from reviewers.

It would be nice if KM came out with some new lenses using their SSM technology (as non-SSM lenses are going to rely on the focus motor in the camera body). Right now they only have two SSM lenses (and both are VERY pricey).

But, I don't shoot sports, so that's no big deal to me. Heck, MF is fine for most of my needs (although AF is a bonus). ;-)

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2005, 10:39 AM   #7
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,543
Default

JimC wrote:
Quote:
Users debating this issue in another forum started looking at how the camera was assembled, offering theories on what was going wrong. One user figured out by looking at the CCD with the mirror locked up that 3 screws at the bottom of the camera controlled CCD alignment.

A Russian 7D owner with a backfocus problem (with his 50mm f/1.4) decided to experiment to see if he could fix his camera without the need to send it in for service.

He removed the rubber from bottom of the camera, puton a50/1.4 lens (which he reported was absolutly unusable beforedue to the Backfocusproblem),took a 1.5 mm hex driver, tripod and adjusted it. He said it took a total of about 15 minutes.

He said all he had to do was turn all 3 screws aquarter of a turn clockwise and it fixed it.

He also posted before and after photos showing how the problem was fixed (backfocus in photos before, no backfocus after). This 7D owner reported that his other lenses worked perfect. He said the has theSigma 18-125/3.5-5.6, Minolta 28-85/3.5-4.5, Minolta 70-210/4, and Sigma 28-70/2.8.

This is not unusual (50mm f/1.4 with backfocus on this model, with other lenses working fine).

I would not attempt to fix a backfocus problem yourself (unless you don't have any other option). I was simply pointing out that I don't think it's a very big issue (a trip back to KM should solve it, *if* you get a camera with the problem). They would have the equipment and expertise to properly calibrate the camera (versus you trying to do it via trial and error).

Backfocus issues are not always the camera either. A lens can be out of calibration. It's a good idea to send both lenses and camera into a manufacturer (KM, Canon, etc.) if you have a backfocus or frontfocus issue. Users of 3rd party lenses sometimes send their lenses to the respective manufacturers for calibration, if it appears that the lens (versus camera) is at fault. KM would probably not try to calibrate a camera to a 3rd party lens (speculation on my part).
IMO every cameras have this alignment issue (just check both the Nikon/Canon threads). BTW you can adjust the front/back focus on the Canon too - It's a 90 degree screw on the right side of the mirror box which makes it hard to access though; However most folks are improperly blaming the lenses (especially 3rd party) instead...

There's a difference though with Nikon/Minolta in that the AF sensors are situated in the prism which see the same as the photographer off the viewing screen - Canon bodies reflects the light path behind a semi-transparent mirror which bring a third optical path to the AF sensor toward the bottom of the camera body -> A viewer might focus fine manually, but the AF can still be off...


Regarding the flash I believe the Minolta is slighly more flexible here: It allows the photographer to pick between the ADI (distance integration) and non-ADI while still preserving the TTL mode. This feature is quite understated in all reviews and are years ahead of other manufacturers:
http://www.friedmanarchives.com/flash.htm


I also think the Minolta 'highlight' and 'shadow' modes quite innovative especially for natural light portrait - kind of a 'poor-man' dynamic range expander function! :G
Most folks are just blinded by the 'speed' of the latest spec'eds cameras and forget what's really basic to photography - IMO in this aspect Canon will always dominate this field, but that's OK I love them all (just wish I can buy them all though!!!) :?
NHL is online now   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:07 PM.