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Old Jan 10, 2004, 5:32 PM   #1
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Default So here I was, all ready to buy Sony's F828/Choices help plz

I'm not a pro photographer , just an amatueur with a Sony S85 4mp which I've grown to like quite a bit.

Playing around with that camera and a few 35mm camera's that I have , I've gotten pretty good at taking pictures (so I'm told) and decided I needed something better than the S85 as I'd like to make a SERIOUS hobby of it.

I look at the deals on the F717 and I'm tempted , but something about it I just don't like . I read about Sony coming out with the next revolution in ease of use cameras the F828 and think ..... THAT'S THE ONE! Looks like it's going to be awesome!

Then the reviews hit and it sounds like the hopes just didn't equal the final product.

I've held and played with it and the feel is excellent . Very solid and well built . But what good is that if it's picture taking is so limited ? My guess is with all the criticism , this Sony's price and value is going to drop like a rock the minute the inevitable happens and Sony announces they have a new and improved camera to the 828 that fixes all the problems of this first iteration.

Well ..... I don't have the patience to wait for Sony to get it right , but I'm not positive that the camera is all that bad either (Though every review I've read yet seems to find the same problems , so I'm pretty sure it's not wrong.

Here are my choices right now ...... (In no particular order)

==========================

Sony F828 (with it's one IMO phenomenal 28-200 Carl ZeissT* Lens)

$999.99
==========================

Cannon EOS - D300 / Rebel Digital SLR (They are one and the same right ?) Package with 2 Lenses

Canon Brand EF-S 18-55mm Lens
Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 75-degrees 20' - 27degrees 50'
Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with MM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.28m / 0.92 ft. to infinity
Zoom System: Rotating Type
Filter Size: 58mm

Quantaray Brand 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 High Speed Zoom for EOS Canon

Focal Length: 70-300mm
Focus Type: Auto
Aperture Type: Automatic / Variable
Aperture Range: F4 - 22 (70mm) F5.6 - 32 (300mm)
Optical Construction: 13 Elements in 9 Groups
Minimum Focus: 37.4"
Macro: Yes (1:2)
Filter Size: 62mm

$1199.99

==========================

Cannon EOS - D300 / Rebel Digital SLR Kit with 2 lenses

Sigma BRAND 28-80mm Autofocus Lens
Mount: Canon EF
Lens Constructions: 7 Groups 7 Elements
Angle of View (Diagonal): 75.4 degrees -30.3 degrees
Minimum Aperture: f22
Minimum Focusing Distance: 19-inches (9.8-inches Macro) / .5m (.25m Macro)
Magnifications: 1:5.4 (1:2 Macro):
Filter Size: 55


Sigma BRAND 70-300mm Autofocus Lens
Mount: Canon EF
Lens Constructions: 10 Groups 14 Elements
Angle of View: 34.3 degrees -8.2 degrees
Number of blades in diaphragm: 9
Minimum Aperture: f22-32
Minimum Focusing Distance: 150cm / 59.1in (Macro 95cm / 37.4in)
Magnifications: 1:4 ( 1:2 Macro)
Filter Size: 58mm


$1129.94

==========================

Minolta Dimage A1 (Looks like it might be superior in many ways to the Sony and Image Stabilizer to boot)

$899.99

==========================

Nikon D100 Digital SLR Package with 2 Lenses

Sigma brand
- 28-80mm Autofocus Lens
- Lens Constructions: 7 Groups 7 Elements
- Angle of View (Diagonal): 75.4 degrees -30.3 degrees
- Minimum Aperture: f22
-Minimum Focusing Distance: 19-inches (9.8-inches Macro) / .5m (.25m Macro)
- Magnifications: 1:5.4 (1:2 Macro):
- Filter Size: 55

Sigma brand
- 70-300mm Autofocus Lens
- Lens Constructions: 10 Groups 14 Elements
- Angle of View: 34.3 degrees -8.2 degrees
- Number of blades in diaphragm: 9
- Minimum Aperture: f22-32

$1729.95
===========================

So what do you all think ....... What's best for my needs ?

I'm thinking SLR may be the way to go but not sure I want the hassle of carrying and changing lenses.

The Sony WAS high on my list because I have faith in the quality of Sony products after using the S85 for a couple years as well as owning a fairly high end Sony Digital Camcorder and I have extra batteries and Sony storage media (As well as the Sony software on my computer)

But I'm thinking this is mnot a big enough reason to stick with what appears to be a Sony debacle in the F828.

Any help or just a choice and why is apreciated.

A Reason for or against jumping to SLR would also be appreciated .

THANKS
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Old Jan 10, 2004, 9:34 PM   #2
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If you do end up going for a Digital Rebel, get the Canon 18-55 lens with it. If you have a 28-80mm lens, you'll be severely lacking in wide-angle capability. I'm sure you know how any lens put onto that camera is effectively 1.6 times as long, so that 28-80 turns into 45-128.
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Old Jan 10, 2004, 11:33 PM   #3
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First, I am not convinced that there is all that big a problem with the 828. Most of the noise about problems seems to be coming from a select few who seem to have dedicated themselves to convincing others not to buy the camera.

All cameras, including the Canon 300D Rebel (DRebel) will exhibit CA under the right conditions.

I have seen some absolutely amazing photos from the 828 posted.

I have a D7 and plan to replace it shortly with a Sony 828.

But, if you want an opinion. If Sony does have a problem with the 828, you can bet they are working hard to solve it. It may simply be an initial production glitch, but either way they will solve it, if it is real. Unless it requires a major overhaul in some aspect of the design, then I think Sony will simply slip the changes into the production line with little or no fanfare.

So, hold off for a few months until any problems have been ironed out and then buy the 828. By then the price may have dropped some too.

Of course, once PMA is over, you might have some other cameras to lust after.

Declan
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Old Jan 11, 2004, 3:35 AM   #4
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A lot depends on what you expect from the camera, and how much post processing you are willing to do to get optimum images.

I don't have the 300D (Digital Rebel), but I do have the 10D which shares an almost identical processor. I also have the Sony F828 along with a few dozen other digital cameras.

If you pay attention to proper photographic techniques, the chromatic aberration and purple fringe (probably from sensor blooming or a combination of blooming and CA) are definitely not deal killers. Noise levels, though a bit higher than the Sony F717 are really not bad at all unless you attempt to shoot at ISO 200 and above.

If a need for higher ISO for sports use or for shooting in low level lighting without flash are important, then the D300 is a much more flexible camera. There are issues with inconsistent autofocus with both the 300D and EOS-10D which may or may not crop up. There are no issues with autofocus with the F828 that I've found. Actually, with the red laser holographic focus aid and the infrared beams, you can autofocus in total darkness (provided the subject is in range of the IR or holographic laser), something not easy to do with the Digital Rebel.

The F828 won't get dust on the sensor and the 300D will, and you will have to clean it periodically. As for image quality, both cameras will take stunning images. The Digital Rebel's image will be a bit smoother and have slightly less measured resolution, but the nearly total lack of noise below ISO 400 more than makes up for the slight resolution differences.

The swivel lens/body on the F828 can be of significance for certain types of photography such as holding the camera over a crowd to get a shot or for certain macro shots. The F828 also has a movie mode which may be of interest and use to you. The Digital Rebel does not have this feature.

It's "easier" to get stop action shots with the Digital Rebel simply because you can see the subject in the optical viewfinder better than with the EVF of the F828, but the F828 does have an excellent stop action capability, it's just not as well implemented as on the dSLR.

The F828 is definitely made better, being of magnesium rather than plastic body housing. There is a disadvantage of having to charge the batteries in the camera (if there is an external charger available, I'm not yet aware). This means you will not be able to use the camera while a battery is being charged as with the dSLR.

If you overexpose the Digital Rebel, you will blow out whites and it's fairly easy to do. There is really no good way to recover a blown highlight. If you overexpose the F828 you will likely get purple fringe at high contrast junctions such as tree leaves or limbs against a bright sky. This can be greatly ameliorated or eliminated by stopping down and by exposing for the highs and possibly dropping the exposure compensation a notch.

Chromatic aberration (red/green) is present with the F828 but not to an alarming degree. With the Digital Rebel, chromatic aberration is also present depending on the lens being used. You have no choice with the F828, you simply must deal with it. It's not excessive and you can usually "fix" it with software such as Picture Windows Pro. With the Digital Rebel, you can do the same but CA will vary from little to none depending on the lens being used.

All in all, I really like my F828. I find it to produce better images by a considerable margin than my F707 or my Fuji S7000 (six megapixel sensor). There is slightly more noise with the F828 than with the F707 or F717, but when images are downsampled to five megapixels, there is virtually no difference. There is much "less" noise with the F828 than with my S7000 Fuji.

I find the issues of noise and PF (purple fringe) with my F828 to be only of modest annoyance, but being a professional photographer I'm quite used to dealing with issues of blooming, noise, chromatic aberration, etc. This may or may not be of greater significance to you. With highly reflective subjects or when shooting under very high contrast conditions, you will sometimes get purple fringe. If you overexpose when doing this you will definitely get it.

The overall image quality of the Digital Rebel is excellent and the noise control and high ISO capabilities far exceed those of the F828. If studio type shots are your preference, the Digital Rebel would probably be a better choice because you have a world of great Canon, Sigma, Tamron, etc., lenses from which to choose. But for a "carry" camera, the F828 is hard to beat.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Jan 11, 2004, 7:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great perspective from someone who actually has the 828 and a dSLR.

Your comments echo my thinking exactly. I have an S2 and a Minolta D7. I want to replace my D7 with the 828 as my snap shot camera.

And yes, there is a stand alone charger for the 828 battery. I think I found it for about $45, but I don't remember the part number for it.

Declan
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Old Jan 11, 2004, 8:57 AM   #6
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Actually, there are 3 optional chargers for the F-828:

1. AC/DC quick charger AC-SQ950D with dual battery slots, 65% faster than standard charger.

2. AC adaptor/Quick charger AC-VQ50, also charges faster than standard charger, can be used as AC adaptor.

3. Compact charger BC-TRM with retract AC plug, great for travel.

I bought the BC-TRM since it's great for travel, also the flash HVL-F32X, this is an awsome flash, beautiful made, shipped direct from Sony factory from Japan (none of the retailers or mail oderder have it at this time), plus the wonderful high grade strap STP-SA.

I've seen no issues with the Sony F-828, it's a great camera !!!
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Old Jan 11, 2004, 9:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses ...

I guess what I'm asking is , given the 5 choices above in varying price ranges (From the least expensive Minolta DimageA1 to the most expensive Nikon D100) ... Which would you choose.

I am an amatuer at this point no doubt , but would like to grow into being a Semi Pro photograhper / Serious hobby photographer (For lack of a better term)

Taking this into regrad .... which really is my best bet ?

Thanks
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 9:43 AM   #8
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For any of you interested to know ... after owning Sony products for many years and loving them ... I'm bypassing the 828 in favor of a dSLR . The Nikon D100 to be exact .

Over the past few days I've tried both cameras on more than a few occassions and there's simply no comparison .

I suppose it's high praise to say it was competing against a much higher level of camera but in all honesty what blew it for me with the Sony F828 was too many things to ignore which honestly had nothing to do with competing with an SLR (And in fact I considered getting both)

I even compared it to the Rebel/300d at the exact same price point and there simply is no comparison. Sony is going to have to come down another $100 or so to move these cameras with any real success as there are simply to many short comings when compared to the competition. I simply could not get past the EVF too which was freezing up and stuttering (for lack of a better description) when trying to move quickly to action and it's view was simply too pixelized for my taste and manual focusing (and zoom) even with the help of the manual focus support in the viewfinder , it just didn't look or feel right.

As I said before ..... Sony could have had a really revolutionary camera here , but instead it was "close but no cigar" and I'm a fraid this camera will turn out to be a pariah of the camera world .
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 9:57 AM   #9
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Hi Petre,

The Nikon D100 is a nice choice and you will undoubtedly have lots of great success with it.

It sounds like your interest may be for sports shooting, and nearly any dSLR will be better for this purpose than cameras with an EVF. On the other hand, the Sony F828 is perhaps the best in terms of EVF, shutter lag and autofocus time of all the fixed lens digicams.

As for becoming the "paraiah" of the camera world, actually the F828 is flying off the shelves and the vast majority of people who have purchased the F828 (by statistical analysis and reader poll) are very happy with it indeed.

Don't be misled by the comments of some reviewers and a few prople who have little or no true experience with the F828 - it's a great camera with some flaws. I've yet to buy a digicam which doesn't have flaws myself and I have dozens of them including the f828.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 11:21 AM   #10
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Thanks for the reply Lin .... Yes I'm sure I'm going to be very happy with the NikonD100 . I want to be able to take a variety of shots that will include sporting events .

I think the F828 is a wonderfully built camera with some great features , but IMO cannot be a primary camera for my purposes.

The reason I think the F828 will become a pariah has more to do with Sony who is most likely, true to form , fastidiously working on a replacement or update to this camera and those who have the first iteration with it's flaws will be the victims.

I am sure those at Sony who need to are well aware of the criticisms laid down on this camera and are not sitting idley by waiting to see if sales go well. That's never been their way .

Also ... in my "neck of the woods" .... their hardly flying off the shelves . Rebels/300d's certainly are .... the Sony F828 can be had almost everywhere right now and one guy I talked to said the interest in the camera was huge before it came out then fell flat.
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