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Old Aug 21, 2004, 11:39 PM   #1
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After I sold my Canon Digital Rebel on eBay I went through many hours of exhuastive research to find a non-SLR digital camera that would come as close to the DR as possible in term of performance and picture quality. I realized there are trade-offs and was willing to accept them.
Clearly the current crop of 8 megapixel point and shoots were the only ones worth investigating. Here's a summation of what I found. I hope this may save someone out there the hours of time it took me or a restocking fee, etc....

Minolta DiImage A2 - Great feature set and speed. Image Stabilization. However, image quality was lower than the remainder of most of the other 8MPs. There have also been known quality issues.

Canon Pro1 - My close 2nd choice to the Sony. Great all around but once I really dug in and researched the various reviews, I found that the camera does suffer from slower than normal low light focusing. Also, I read where dust/dirt can pretty easily get into the lens when it is extended and then into the camera. This is a big problem since this is a non-interchangable system.

Nikon 8700 - It had a nice zoom, but everything else was so-so (no real wide, slow lens, etc). Makes sense- they took an old 5700 an plopped a brand new Sony 8MP chip in it. Not the best mix!

Olmypus 8080 - I actually bought this and had it for 2 days. I agree with all the information and reviews, its reviews --- it's incredible-- it's the best of the bunch -- except for one thing. It is by far the slowest low light focusing camera I have ever used in my life (2-4 seconds+). It kills me, because this is one great piece of equipment. Lets call it it's Achilles' heel. I couldn't get over it, and I doubt many who can tell the difference will.

Sony 828 - Build quality, Speed, and features are probably easily the best in this group; some approach DLSR level. This camera frankly only has two known problems: 1. Purple fringing/chromatic aborration and 2. Slower than normal recording times for RAW images. PF/CA can be easily be fixed on a computer, and it doesn't appear nearly as often as critics will tell you. Unless you like taking macro shots of aluminum foil The raw speed issue depends on how much you actually will use this feature. 8MP Fine Images are pretty much the same quality and RAW except for difference in how they are post-processed. I Would advise you to look into the difference in times between the other 8Mp cameras, as none of them are particularly speed demons?

I chose the Sony as I don't shoot in RAW and PF doesn't occur much and if/when it occurs I can easily fix it via post-processing. Now For $999 (Camera) $99 (Best Best 4 year Warranty) and HVL-F32X ($129), I have a complete package to take anywqhere for any occasion. I dare anyone to top that!
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Old Aug 22, 2004, 1:07 AM   #2
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Yes I am considering it but I do want a 10x zoom.
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Old Aug 22, 2004, 7:54 AM   #3
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rgreenberg wrote:
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Minolta DiImage A2 - Great feature set and speed. Image Stabilization. However, image quality was lower than the remainder of most of the other 8MPs. There have also been known quality issues.
You obviously have read the "wrong" review : http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/A2/A2A12.HTM

IMO the F828 only "handles" like a dSLR because it weights like one! The A2's EVF is much better (3x the resolution), it's faster (manual Zoom / manual focus with full-time overide of the AF) and like you said comes with image stabilization for less...
Only $750 from a reputable store :-): http://www.pricescan.com/digiphoto/items/item156477.asp

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ts/index.shtml
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...location.shtml
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...nolta-a2.shtml
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Old Aug 22, 2004, 9:34 AM   #4
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yes the dimage has 10x.. I like the efects on the sony also sepia, solorize and negative art...
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Old Aug 22, 2004, 2:01 PM   #5
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rgreenberg wrote:
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[snip]...I have a complete package to take anywqhere for any occasion. I dare anyone to top that!


It depends on how you want to use a camera. The Noise Levels from the Sony at ISO 100, are higher than the noise levels from the Digital Rebel you sold at ISO 800.

By the time you get to ISO 200 with the Sony, it's noise levels are dramatically higher than you'll see from the Digital Rebel at ISO 1600.

Just to make matters worse, the Sony is around 2/3 stop less sensitive than the Digital Rebel from an ISO speed perspective (so it's actually worse than the noise graphs would lead you to believe compared to the Digital Rebel, once you adjust for it's true ISO sensitivity).

So, forexisting light use,the Sonywould be my last choice in a camera.

The dramatically better higher ISO performance from the Digital Rebel wouldmore than make up for the difference in lens brightness with most lens choices (especially after factoring in the ISO sensitivity differences). Also, you can slap an inexpensive50mm f/1.8 on the Digital Rebel and shoot in conditions that would be impossible to do with the Sony (without excessive noise and motion blur).

For most other uses (Landscapes,Portraits in good light and/or usingflash, etc.)the Sony would be fine. However, I don't see how you can call it an "anywhere for any occasion" camera. Some users may need much better low light performance. So, a camera choice needs to be based on the conditions you want to use it in.

For you, it may be the perfect "all in one" solution. For someone wanting to takephotos indoors without a flash, or photos in lower light where faster shutter speeds are needed to prevent motion blur,a different camera may be a far better choice.

There are always tradeoffs with any camera. No one camera is perfect for all users, in all conditions.


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Old Aug 22, 2004, 10:28 PM   #6
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The point of my post was only to compare what I learned about the existing 8MP cameras during my research. It was not to compare to the Digital Rebel. Each 8MP camera has its good points and bad points, I concluded that I could live with the Sony's characteristic's much more than the other's.
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 7:27 AM   #7
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amiMaija wrote:
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yes the dimage has 10x.. I like the efects on the sony also sepia, solorize and negative art...
The Dimages have them too (since their 1st generation D7i): http://konicaminolta.com/products/co...age-a2/07.html

BTW it also has a wireless TTL multi-units strobes system with full remotes off-camera capabilities just like any dSLR. After all they have originally "invented" it dozen of years ago (try to do that on a Sony): http://www.friedmanarchives.com/flash.htm
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 5:33 PM   #8
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Thanx I see that now...I also want a 10x Optical zoom..
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