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Old Jul 24, 2006, 6:22 PM   #1
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I have had the A100 since July 18. My prelimary assessment is based on 1500 comparison shots on both the A100 and 5D (action, nature, etc.,). So far the differences between the two have little to do with overall picture quality...and have been VERY disappointing on comparison to the 5D. Picture quality would be less than Progressive Scan DVD to HighDef...were talking small...Maybe I have a defective camera.
Now I realize the 5D was a hidden gem, an incredible camera for the price.

Any other 5D and A100 owners out there? What our your feelings.

To summarize my one week findings --


Night/Dusk/Low Light pictures that I could compose with my 5D are NOT possible with the A100. I mean not even close. The 5D will take decent 1600 pics and useable 3200 pics - the A100 will NOT.

Flash shots were comparable - normal view (full screen or 8x10's) were very comparable - cropped, additional detail showed on the A100 - but were talking minimal here...6MP to 10MP really doesn't mean much...guess I need 16MP+ to make a big difference.

A100 has a better feel, much better LCD, and functionality than the 5D - there I said THE MAIN ADVANTAGE over the 5D.

The 5D has taken consistently better pics then the A100 (normal viewing/printouts). I would say out of 1500 comparison shots, the 5D wins on 60%. This is even when cropping pics - many of the A100 pics show better detai (albeit in minimal)l, but I would say that it is less than half (weird and unpredictable).

Have not seen anything notable from the DRO or DRO+. In fact, several pics appeared better with the DRO off completely.
Image stabilization is the same - A100 is not better.


I used the kit lens for both camera and shot with the 18-200 and 75-300 KM lenses - I know they are low quality...but you would think the A100 would show significant improvements. Pics were done with many variations(ISO Ranges), Contrast/Saturation/Sharpness), etc.,.

Maybe my expectations were high (when I compare my Canon SD500 to my KM 5D it's significant)...when I compare the A100 to 5D it is a battle judging what is better. And this is with the added bias to justifying my A100 purchase...I wanted this thing to be good.
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Old Jul 24, 2006, 6:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
"I used the kit lens for both camera and shot with the 18-200 and 75-300 KM lenses - quoteI know they are low quality...but you would think the A100 would show significant improvements."
I dont know anything about those specific lenses, but I'd bet money that even the 6mp 5D can outresolve many (most?) cheap zooms especially at thier weak points (ie, wide open). Lens, light-tight-box, and sensor...
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Old Jul 24, 2006, 6:53 PM   #3
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Have you tried shooting in raw and processing the photos using a popular raw converter like Adobe Camera Raw (ACR 3.4 suipports the A100).

I've looked at a *lot* of A100 images. From the looks of them "on the surface", they're trying to maximize DR (avoid blown higlights and lost detail in shadows, probably by compressing the DR in the final image).

As a result, the images look "flat" in comparison to 5D/7D images. No "punch" at all. This appears to be by design and gives you more potential for processing the images later.

Can you post links to any examples?


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Old Jul 24, 2006, 7:19 PM   #4
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yes, i will try to post a collage of the pattern i have seenwith A100 vs. 5D, this has been a tough one. I was expecting the A100 to easily meet or exceed the 5D in all categories. That has not been the case.Sure do like the LCD and tactical feel of the A100 though, just feels better built then the 5D. But that does nothelp the overall pic quality - especially the noisyhigh ISO and low-light capabilities in general.
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Old Jul 24, 2006, 7:31 PM   #5
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Noise will be higher (because you're packing 10 Megapixels into the same size sensor you had 6 Megapixels in before).

No magic there. More megapixels requires smaller photosites for each pixel. As a result, they have a smaller surface area, requiring more amplfication for equivalent senstivity to light. You can't get around physics. ;-)

But, if you downsize the 10MP images to 6 Megapixels, they should compare more favorably, and if you're not shooting at higher ISO speeds, the 10MP should have the advantage, if you shoot in raw and process the images the same way.

I've been debating on upgrading, too. Pros and cons to both approaches. What is interesting is the approach taken with DR. From the images, it looks like DR is being compressed some (giving a flatter look to images), but post processing should bring out their best.


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Old Jul 24, 2006, 7:35 PM   #6
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I'm not suprised that the A100's images are noiser at higher ISO's than a 5 (or 7)D. Unless the sensor size increases, stuffing more pixels on a same-sized sensor, ususally ends up with the same results as you've experienced. Generally a camera maker makes a software improvement to compensate for the more crowded sensor (Canon 10-20D for instance). This doesn't seem to be the case here.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 12:25 AM   #7
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JimC wrote:
Quote:
Noise will be higher (because you're packing 10 Megapixels into the same size sensor you had 6 Megapixels in before).

No magic there. More megapixels requires smaller photosites for each pixel. As a result, they have a smaller surface area, requiring more amplfication for equivalent senstivity to light. You can't get around physics. ;-)

But, if you downsize the 10MP images to 6 Megapixels, they should compare more favorably, and if you're not shooting at higher ISO speeds, the 10MP should have the advantage, if you shoot in raw and process the images the same way.

I've been debating on upgrading, too. Pros and cons to both approaches. What is interesting is the approach taken with DR. From the images, it looks like DR is being compressed some (giving a flatter look to images), but post processing should bring out their best.


More Megapixels adding noise is probably why 3200 ISO is gone.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 3:59 PM   #8
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Not very scientific, but here are several cropped images - I will put links to "full" images tomorrow - as soon as I decide on the best photo sharing site (flikr or smugmug unless someone tells me why not).
I will shoot some outside low-light shots this evening.


All images are exact same exposure for each pair and cropped to same image space (not pixels).
----- ISO 400 -----f4.0, 1/20-----------------------------

A100
http://livedigital.com/content/598516/u115186

KM 5d ---------
http://livedigital.com/content/598519/u115186

----- ISO 800 -----f4.5 1/40-------------------------------

A100
http://livedigital.com/content/598517/u115186

KM 5d
http://livedigital.com/content/598520/u115186

----- ISO 1600 ----f5.6 1/50-------------------------------------------

A100
http://livedigital.com/content/598518/u115186

KM 5d
http://livedigital.com/content/598538/u115186

----- ISO 3200 -----f4.5 1/160---------------------------------------
http://livedigital.com/content/598539/u115186
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 10:17 AM   #9
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My "FINAL" A100 Assessment as an KM 5D owner using the kit lens and 18-200DT.....

I will be RETURNING or SELLING my A100 this week. I really tried to like the A100...and would have, if not having owned a KM 5D.

Maybe the followingis an over-simplified assessment, but I expect it to be REPEATED by many other "5D owners" who buy an A100. I am interested on how current Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc., owners will view it.

1) KM 5D consitently takes very respectable, clean, and vibrant pictures from ISO 100 through ISO 1600, and usable at 3200. Crummy LCD. Subpar build (compared to A100). Cost $400 less. Detail "slightly less" than the A100.


2) A100 consitently takes very respectable, clean, and vibrant pictures from ISO 100 through ISO 200. GREAT LCD. GREAT build/feel. Cost $400 More. Detail "slightly more" then the KM 5D "at low ISO's".


Again, this is not to bash the A100 (I couldn't wait for it to arrive). But it is my honest opinion (and further validated by friends). I will be anxiously waiting for Sony's next generation (because of my investment in KM lenses). If that isn't improved, I will be switching to Canon or Nikon...PLEASE Sony get the next one RIGHT!!!!
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 3:15 PM   #10
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DaveRL wrote:
Quote:
My "FINAL" A100 Assessment as an KM 5D owner.....


I will be RETURNING or SELLING my A100 this week.
I really tried to like the A100...and would have, if not having owned a KM 5D. Unless I have a defective camera, I will stand by it. Again, this is not to bash the A100 (I couldn't wait for it to arrive). But it is my honest opinion (and further validated by friends). I will be anxiously waiting for Sony's next generation (because of my investment in KM lenses). If that isn't improved, I will be switching to Canon or Nikon...PLEASE Sony get the next one RIGHT!!!!


Maybe this is an over-simplified assessment, but I expect it to be REPEATED by many other "5D owners" who buy an A100. I am interested on how current Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc., owners will view it.


KM 5D consitently takes very respectable, clean, and vibrant pictures from ISO 100 through ISO 1600, and usable at 3200. Crummy LCD. Subpar build. Cost $400 less. Detail "slightly less" than the A100.


A100 consitently takes very respectable, clean, and vibrant pictures from ISO 100 through ISO 200. GREAT LCD. GREAT build/feel. Cost $400 More. Detail "slightly more" then the KM 5D "at low ISO's".



As long as you have a 5D or 7D that works, I don't see any real reason to own the Sony anyway. I'm not knocking your decision to buy one and am basing that statement on my own needs and desires. I mean, the thought of 10 Megapixel sounds nice, but I firmly believe that 6 is more than adequate for most consumers. Besides, increasingpixels in the same size sensor gains very little and adds what you don't want. The dust cleaner feature of the Sony is a nice feature, but again, not enough to make me want to ditch what I have. The only real advantage is that the Sony will get better support, which I'm sure a certain amount of KM 5D owners would like to swap for after hearing some of the service and parts problems.

I thought of getting rid of the 5D for an Alpha if I heard good reports and could get a decent price for the 5D, but based on what I hear so far, not at this time. I also own a 7D and I would not give it up for an Alpha. I'm hooked on all the external controls.




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