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Old Jul 28, 2006, 3:45 AM   #1
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I purchased my Alpha as a replacement for a Konica Minolta 7D that Sony refused to fix (they claimed they could not obtain parts for my in-warranty camera, so they offered to buy-back my 7D.)

Okay, I've had a chance to play with my Alpha a bit more and I'm still dismayed about the noise this thing produces. I'm seeing too much noise in the shadows, even when shooting at ISO 100. The images are a bit soft, too.

Perhaps I was spoiled by my KM 7D? Was the noise level of the 7D unusually low? Perhaps I was expecting to much, but I at least hoped that the Alpha would provide equal image quality to that of the 7D.

The camera is much smaller and lighter than the 7D. Which, for some, is probably a good thing. To me, it feels flimsy compared to the 7D. In fact, my Konica Minolta 28mm f/2 lens weighs MORE than the camera (seriously, I checked.)

The layout is nice. I was suprised by the ease of use of the function dial. However, not providing a two-dial method for adjusting shutter AND aperture is inexcusable. I do a lot of shooting in manual mode and having to push a button and turn a dial to adjust my aperture is a pain.

Most of the image enhancement features, such as the dynamic range feature and hi200/lo80 seem very limited in their functionality. In fact, they do nothing that cannot be easily done in Photoshop (often to greater effect.)

I feel cheated twice over. First when Sony refused to repair my wonderful 7D - and now with the lackluster image quality of the Alpha.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 8:18 AM   #2
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William Kious wrote:
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I purchased my Alpha as a replacement for a Konica Minolta 7D that Sony refused to fix (they claimed they could not obtain parts for my in-warranty camera, so they offered to buy-back my 7D.)

Okay, I've had a chance to play with my Alpha a bit more and I'm still dismayed about the noise this thing produces. I'm seeing too much noise in the shadows, even when shooting at ISO 100. The images are a bit soft, too.

Perhaps I was spoiled by my KM 7D? Was the noise level of the 7D unusually low? Perhaps I was expecting to much, but I at least hoped that the Alpha would provide equal image quality to that of the 7D.

The camera is much smaller and lighter than the 7D. Which, for some, is probably a good thing. To me, it feels flimsy compared to the 7D. In fact, my Konica Minolta 28mm f/2 lens weighs MORE than the camera (seriously, I checked.)

The layout is nice. I was suprised by the ease of use of the function dial. However, not providing a two-dial method for adjusting shutter AND aperture is inexcusable. I do a lot of shooting in manual mode and having to push a button and turn a dial to adjust my aperture is a pain.

Most of the image enhancement features, such as the dynamic range feature and hi200/lo80 seem very limited in their functionality. In fact, they do nothing that cannot be easily done in Photoshop (often to greater effect.)

I feel cheated twice over. First when Sony refused to repair my wonderful 7D - and now with the lackluster image quality of the Alpha.
You can probably improve the noise as I've heard suggested by running it at 6 Megapixel. Have you tried that? .... kind of defeats the purpose of having a 10 Megapixel camera. It's a shame that features are market driven as opposed to function driven. 10 Megapixel noise id probably the reason 3200 ISO is gone.... another shame. I must admit the 3200 ISO is too noisy anyway, but it was a nice option for shots that couldn't be caputered otherwise. The problem I see is if they make an Alpha version of the 7D, they probably will refuse to reduce Megapixels back to a managable size.

I know you are probably disgusted with the whole situation, but you can still get a 7D with the kit lensfrom Walmart for about 724 bucks or so.... not sure if you are in the US. The drawback as you know would be if you have a problem. I bought a 5 year Mack warranty, but if something goes wrong, they would probably just buy out the camera at market value. Not sure if the Mack warrnanty is worth it since it seemsSony is willing to prorate even out of warranty if I understood evrything I've heard correctly..

It is tuff once you've had a 7D to go to a 5D or Alpha unit. The 5D or Alpha size is more convenient to carry, but I prefer the feel of the 7D when shooting or holding it. All those external controls are a plus and I agree they should have incorporated a two-dial method for adjusting shutter and aperture. The 7D also feels better with heavy lenses as opposed to the 5D. The 5D feels like it wants to lean with a heavy lens.... not unmanagble to hold, but if you are wearing it around your neck, itdoesn't stay horizontal. Of course the 5D doesn't feel as heavy around your neck.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 10:08 AM   #3
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Yes, the KM 7D noise level is very good.

It's a matter of physics. You've got more surface area for each photosite in the lower resolution sensor. So, they genenerate a stronger signal, requiring less amplification for equivalent sensitivity to light.

With the higher resolution model, they increased pixel count without increasing the size of the sensor. As a result, you have less surface area for each photosite (they have to be smaller to fit more of them in. So, the signal to noise level is worse.

The way a camera processes the images can make a big difference, too. If you have more contrast and sharpening, it will bring out the noise more.

Ditto for exposure. Don't underexpose, or noise will be greater after PP, just as if you used a higher ISO speed to begin with.

As for the control layout, it's really not a big deal not having an extra control wheel, once you get used to the layout.

I use manual exposure from time to time with my 5D (for example, when using an external flash), and it becomes second nature to press the +- button on the back of the camera while spinning the wheel if you want to to switch between changing the aperture and shutter speed.

I discussed my thoughts on the control layout in this thread:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87

If you're shooting in low light more often (and the noise is really a bother at the print/viewing sizes you'll actually use), then simply sell it on Ebay and buy another 7D. Wal-Mart has 7D kits for $724 now. Heck, you'd probably make a profit on the deal.

But, before you do that, I'd ask yourself how often you're really going to print at larger sizes when using higher ISO speeds. At typical viewing/print sizes, you may not notice the noise for the shots you take at higher ISO speeds. Chances are, you'd be more likely to print something like a landscape taken in good light at larger sizes, where you'd be using lower ISO speeds (where the extra pixel count may be appreciated more).

Personally, I'd probably value the higher ISO speeds more. But, some users may prefer the higher pixel count.

As for differences in bodies... pros and cons to both approaches. If you like the 7D body better, simply sell the Alpha and get another one. ;-)


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Old Jul 28, 2006, 10:22 AM   #4
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Link:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4898002

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Old Jul 28, 2006, 10:52 AM   #5
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William Kious wrote:
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In fact, my Konica Minolta 28mm f/2 lens weighs MORE than the camera (seriously, I checked.)
Errr ummm...

Minolta 28mm f/2..... 285 grams

Sony DSLR-A100...... 545 grams (without the battery in it), or approximatley 638 grams with battery and memory card.

BTW, Jeff has a size/weight table comparing some of the popular DSLR models with the new Sony here:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

Yes, a smaller and lighter body can get a bit "front heavy", depending on the lens used. But, with a 28mm f/2, I consider my 5D wearing it to be a good package from a size/weight/balance perspective.

When trying to decide between the 5D and 7D, I dragged along a heavier body (an old Nikon I still use from time to time), along with a small and light body (a little Maxxum 7000 I picked up used) for a few weeks, *everywhere* I went. I kept a short prime on both bodies, trying to decide what body size/weight I'd prefer more often.

In the end, I decided that for the type of shooting I do more often, I'd go with a smaller and lighter body (getting a 5D instead of a 7D), even though I preferred the larger Nikon's ergonomics (larger grip surface, etc.) compared to the little Maxxum 7000 I was using.

Yes, they're not the same cameras I was trying to decide between. I just used some bodies I had to try and get a better feel for what's more important for me (and my needs are going to be different compared to yours).

I keep a 28mm f/2 on my 5D more often than not when going out at local restaurants, etc., and I like the size/weight of this package. Even smaller and lighter would be fine with me.

If I were shooting with a heavier lens more often, I'd prefer a larger body (better balance with heavier lenses, more grip surface, etc.).

No one choice is "just right" for everyone, in all conditions.

If you prefer the 7D body, simply get another one.


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Old Jul 28, 2006, 6:23 PM   #6
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JimC wrote:
My son actually called them to check stock and they told him they were out of stock and waiting for new stock from the manufacturer which could be a very long wait.

I just received a new backup7D with the 18-70mm lens from Overstock.com for a total of 750 delivered but now they no longer show it available.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 6:32 PM   #7
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You have to order one (the local stores don't have 'em). If you talk to someone locally, they won't have a clue. ;-)

But, I have yet to see the web site run out of 'em since they started advertising them at $699. They've now increased to $724.

This deal isn't even in the Wal-Mart search engine (or it wasn't the last time I checked), which may be where someone your son talked to looked. But, they are apparently still available and shipping (and have been for quite a while now). I know two people that ordered theirs (and received them) from Wal-Mart in the past two weeks alone (even though this deal no longer shows up in their search engine).

Added:

But, they're not going to last forever. If you actually want one, I'd get an order in while you can still get 'em.

Overstock.com also had some new 7D's in (at an even lower price after discounts). But, they sold out of new ones in about a day (I saw that reported a little while ago on another forum).

Adorama still has some new 7Ds left, too. But, they're now getting a full $1,299 for a 7D with a 28-75mm f/2.8 lens (they had this kit for only $849 at one time). If you snooze, you lose. ;-)





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Old Jul 28, 2006, 7:07 PM   #8
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JimC wrote:
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You have to order one (the local stores don't have 'em). If you talk to someone locally, they won't have a clue. ;-)

;-)




My soncalled the toll free number to check on online orders and they checked the online warehouse stock not store stock and they told him that if he ordered it on the website they had none available in stock and he would have to wait till they got new stock delivery from the manufacturer (chances of that slim and none).

I ordered a brand newbackup 7D with the 18-70mm lens for 750 deliveredon Sunday from Overstock.com and received it today. I called theKonica Minolta servicenumber on the Sony website and they answered the phone "Konica Minolta". They also took my warranty registration information on the new camera and entered it into their system.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 7:47 PM   #9
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They've got cameras in stock.

I know of two people that have gotten them from Wal-Mart in the past couple of weeks.

Their web site still shows them in stock, and they've even added it back into the search engine again.

Just for the heck of it, after seeing your last post, I called them myself.

The Wal-Mart rep even confirms that they've got them in stock.

Call 800-966-6546 then press 1 at the first prompt, then 1 again to place an order. When the rep answers, ask them to check for Wal-Mart item number 4898002

They'll look it up and confirm that it's a KM 7D with an 18-70mm lens and let you know that it's in stock at $724

I don't know who your son talked to. But, AFAIK, they haven't ran out of them since they originally listed the 7D kit deal (7D + 18-70mm lens) at $699 (although they've raised the price to $724 now).



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