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Old Jan 3, 2006, 4:38 PM   #1
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I'm starting to really enjoy taking photographs (rather than blurry/ugly snapshots) and feel limited in two ways with my A1. First is the lens, its great but sometimes I want to go wider than its 28mm (equiv.) or get in just a bit closer than 200mm allows. The image stabilization is wonderful, and I will not give that up.

Second, and most important... noise. Its noticable to me at iso200 and up, and even occasionally at iso100. I often find that I need to use the higher (up to max iso800) settings since I like taking availible light photos in very dim circumstances, and rarely have a tripod availible. I bought noise ninja and found that with it I can actually use iso800, a very pleasant $35 surprise. Still, I wish the camera performed better in this regard.

Very often I'm using settings such as f2.8, 1/15s, iso200. After some research, it seems that I'm leaning pretty hard on my equipment at that setting. Doing the same with a DSLR is going to require a fairly expensive lens.

If I upgrade, I know I'll lose the LCD viewfinder. I think I can adjust, since on my last trip I used the evf most often anyway. I'll also be lugging a larger package around, and perhaps losing some of the auto functions. I primarily use P program mode, or fully manual. However, when I use manual settings I'm watching the way the exposure looks in the lcd... a type of cheating not allowed by a DSLR.

I'm also concerned about the wide angle, I'd like to go a little wider than 28mm. At this wide are there lenses which give good results (and no fisheye or such effect)?

Given my circumstance, any other tips or sugestions? I considered the rebel xt, but loss of image stabilization concerns me.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 9:23 PM   #2
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To clarify that long-winded post,

Reasons to buy 5d vs cannon:
-Antishake (=much cheaper lenses), familiar with minolta, higher iso sensitivity(?), more tactile controlls, have extra batteries

Reasons to upgrade from A1:
-Higher iso with less noise, endless lens goodness, faster low-light autofocus (?), easier to manually focus

Reasons NOT to upgrade:
-Larger size, no lcd viewfinder, need to carry extra lens(es)

I guess the main questions are what else should I consider? I've looked at the sample photos from both cameras and I think the improvement in noise is good, but I'd like to hear opinions from others who may have expierience with both.

Is there anything I can do to reduce the effect of noise in my A1?
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 1:19 AM   #3
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Well, if you want to go much wider than 28mm, it will cost you.

Keep in mind that the sensors are smaller than 35mm film. As a result, you have a narrower angle of view (more apparent magnification) for any given focal length with a DSLR, as compared to the same lens on a 35mm body. To see how a lens compares, you need to multiply the focal length by 1.5x when using it on a DSLR model like the 5D.

That's why the kit lenses tend to start out so wide (around 17 or 18mm). For example, the 18-70mm kit lens you can get with a 5D has a 35mm equivalent focal range of around
27-105mm after the 1.5x multiplier.

Also, you won't find a single lens with the focal range and brightness of your A1. You'd need to give up something (i.e., focal range or brightness).

Fortunately, you have much higher ISO speeds to work with. So, you can get by with a lens that isn't as bright with a DSLR if you are trying to keep your lens changes to a manageable level when travelling light.

It's all a tradeoff... The larger sensor (and larger photosites) with a DSLR gives you lower noise levels. That's mostly because the larger photosites have more surface area, and can
generate a stronger signal with less amplification for equivalent ISO speed sensitivity.

But, the larger sensors also mean larger and heavier lenses for equivalent focal range and brightness compared to a non-DSLR model.

There is no perfect solution. The DSLR is a much better solution for some types of photography (for example: low light photos without a flash, or when you want to use larger apertures so that your subjects stand out from distracting backgrounds).

But, a non-DSLR model can be great for other conditions (for example, you have a much larger depth of field for any given aperture and 35mm equivalent focal length with a small sensored model like the A1). That's because Depth of Field is determined by the actual (versus 35mm equivalent) focal length, focus distance and aperture.

Keep in mind that the actual focal length of your A1 is only 7.2 to 50.8mm. Given it's small sensor, this lens gives it a 35mm equivalent focal range of approximately 28-200mm (with great depth of field). That's wonderful if you need more depth of field. But, it can be a bad thing if you want a larger subject to stand out from distracting backgrounds (you may have too much of the image in focus, even shooting at wide open apertures).

There are pros and cons to either type of camera, and some users have both.

For low light use, a KM DSLR combined with Anti-Shake, a bright prime and ISO speeds up to ISO 3200, would be a hard combination to beat.

As for reducing noise with your A1, make sure you don't underexpose (noise is going to be worse in underexposed areas, just as if you used a higher ISO speed). I see that you've already got Noise Ninja to help reduce it's appearance. You may also want to shoot in raw (if you're not already shooting that way), and experiment with some of the raw converters.

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Old Jan 4, 2006, 7:59 AM   #4
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Jim, thanks thats helpful. I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how people get such a shallow depth of field as I can't seem to duplicate that effect in my camera. At least now I know it isnt just me.

"Fortunately, you have much higher ISO speeds to work with. So, you can get by with a lens that isn't as bright with a DSLR if you are trying to keep your lens changes to a manageable level when travelling light."

That makes sense, and I was worried about that. I carried the A1 around Las Vegas for a week comfortably, but I couldnt imagine adding much bulk to that (as in extra lenses and such). An f2.8 zoom is an expensive critter, and I havent seen one yet that goes to 18mm. For a walkaround lens I would give up telephoto before I gave up wide angle.

What raw converters are there for minolta? I bought my camera used and didnt get the minolta software with it so I have not shot in raw yet. I have paint shop pro and dont know of any plug-ins, but I have been considering upgrading my software.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 9:51 AM   #5
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tmoreau wrote:
Quote:
Jim, thanks thats helpful. I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how people get such a shallow depth of field as I can't seem to duplicate that effect in my camera. At least now I know it isnt just me.
That's a frequently asked question on the forums from users of non-DSLR models (why can't I get a shallow DOF with my "insert brand/model here").

To get a better idea of how it works, see this site. Pick a camera model, aperture and focus distance (and make sure you use the actual versus 35mm equivalent focal lengths).

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Quote:
What raw converters are there for minolta? I bought my camera used and didnt get the minolta software with it so I have not shot in raw yet. I have paint shop pro and dont know of any plug-ins, but I have been considering upgrading my software.
I've never even installed or tried the Minolta software. LOL

There are lots of raw converters around.

I switch between Adobe Camera Raw, dcraw.c (command line program), and Raw Shooters Essentials for my needs (one may work better than another, depending on the shot).

You'll find some raw converters listed in this thread:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...c.php?id=73876


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Old Jan 4, 2006, 3:57 PM   #6
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>>>Reasons NOT to upgrade:
-Larger size, no lcd viewfinder, need to carry extra lens(es)<<<





This is actually a main reason TO upgrade. An OPTICAL TTL viewfinder is far far far superior to a EVF.

The taken shot still shows on the LCD.

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Old Jan 9, 2006, 2:55 PM   #7
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I recently upgrade from the Dimage A1 to the 5D. After much research I went with the 5D over Canon and Nikon (Memory style different). I am so glad I made the change.
I purchased an inexpensive lens through E-Bay. Tonika 28-210. I will upgrade to a better lens later.
I love both the supplied Konica lens and the Tonika lens. The camera is fast and easy to use.
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Old Jan 9, 2006, 3:02 PM   #8
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saco wrote:
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I recently upgrade from the Dimage A1 to the 5D.

I am so glad I made the change.
Could you elaborate a little? After using both for some time, how do you find camera handling and responsiveness? Noise and image quality? (I guess I know this answer, but I'm interested in your opinion too)
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 12:54 PM   #9
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I upgraded from A1 to 5D. Glad I did! The 5D is superior. Goodbye focus problems.
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 12:56 PM   #10
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I forgot to add my photos are much sharper and the color is much better.
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