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Old Jan 14, 2011, 12:06 AM   #41
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Jim and all. I have seen a few mentions that the a330 is not as good in low light. Realizing that everything is relative where would this compare to a good low light P&S say the canon s95, or even sticking with Sony what about relative to one of their CMOS models like the hx5v or wx5?

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Old Jan 14, 2011, 4:18 AM   #42
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The A330 should be much better than any of the Point and Shoot models at higher ISO speeds. It uses a sensor that's much larger, which means larger photosites for each pixel that are able to gather more light for a given ISO speed setting. Smaller sensors (as used in Point and Shoot models) will need to have their signal amplified more for a given ISO speed (which increases noise levels, meaning more noise reduction is needed which results in more loss of detail). Now, if you compare it to the A5xx series in the Sony dSLR Lineup, then the newer CMOS Sensors are better.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 5:47 AM   #43
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It will be much better then any digicam in low light.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 6:06 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
I haven't noticed that issue reported. But, most camera models (including the A330) have a variety of settings you can choose from that impact how colors are portrayed in JPEG images processed by the camera.
Yes, I realize that.... But--and remember, of course--that the only thing I have to compare against are my two very old P & S units--even using the in-camera adjustments for color, getting accurate color reproductions on reds and on some blue-greens has been very difficult. Although my Pany is much better in the blue-green range and slightly better on the reds than my Oly. I'm sure that improvements have been made in this; all I can go by right now are the test shots for the models I'm looking at and comparing them model to model....

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Now, if you compare it to the A5xx series in the Sony dSLR Lineup, then the newer CMOS Sensors are better
.

That was one of the reasons I've been trying to find a Canon in my price range, was because of the CMOS sensors they have as opposed to the CCDs in most of the others of the same age and in my budget. Thank you for explaining "how" a bigger sensor in the dslrs result in better image quality in low lighting--I knew it was so, but didn't know the technical workings behind it. And I know that CMOS sensors in general give better quality--but why, again, I don't know! LOL.... I DO know is that I could take my 35 mm film XG-M, shoot with that even at my intermediate level of skill with it, and get better shots with it than I get with my P & S. Except at macro--for some reason, I get (what I consider to be) terrific macro shots with the FZ-7--equivalent or better than what I used to get with the XG-M. Except I can't do as much with the DOF to get the more "artistic" looking shots I'd like to try.

So, I've definitely decided though, as most of you have pointed out, that if I want much better image quality than I'm getting now, a dslr is the way to go--even if it's not the creme de la creme! Really, I'm not getting "bad" shots from my P & S, but I know I can do better! The A330 deal at sonyoutlet is on till tomorrow. So, I may get that, and if I don't like it, I think I can return it there or could probably sell it on eBay and get all my $$ back, and maybe more--prices on eBay for dslr cameras are often higher than you can get them from a reputable dealer!

I can't tell you all how enlightening this discussion is! cdbodden, I hope you're finding it as helpful as I am!

Last edited by amc654; Jan 14, 2011 at 6:19 AM.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 6:30 AM   #45
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It's no so much that CMOS sensors give better quality (the opposite used to be the case). I can remember warning members about avoiding CMOS Sensors in P&S models some years back because most of them had inferior image quality compared to CCD equipped cameras. Manufacturers of cheaper cameras used them to reduce their cost of building cameras (lower power requirements with less supporting chipsets needed thanks to onboard A/D converters)

The better image quality you see with many dSLR models using them is more due to advancements in sensor technology, and Canon spearheaded that effort a while back, with other manufacturers slowly switching to them, too. You really need to take each sensor on a case by case basis, regardless if it's CMOS or CCD.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 10:36 PM   #46
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Well, I can't tell you all how incredibly helpful this discussion has been for me! Thank you so much!

I bought a camera today; wasn't planning on that quite yet, but the oddest thing happened. Bear with me if you will for a long-winded bit, as this seems to be one of those "it must be fate" moments... (good or bad I don't know yet!)

Ok, so don't laugh--I ended up with a little Pentax k100d super--which I didn't know existed until today. After this discussion and studying reviews and sample photos until my eyes hurt, I decided that although I'm smitten with the image quality and build of the Canon 30d, to get one in my price range would mean sacrificing a lot--condition, accessories such as lens caps, known history, memory cards, cables, manual, etc. All of which I can buy, of course, but then I'm paying more to get just the basics. If I had more time, I'd save up my pennies and wait a few months to get something like a 30d or newer equivalent. But I don't have that luxury right now.

I decided to back out of the "intermediate" or "prosumer" units and look again at basic entry-level ones. Ended up back at the Sony A330 for that $320 price tag from Sony Outlet (which is a great buy!) and the Olympus e-510. I'd looked briefly at the Pentax k100d, but discarded it. Happened to stumble across the k100d super today on some site, started reading and looking, added that to my short list. Somewhere a reviewer had commented that this was a great dslr for those moving up from an FZ-7/FZ-28--talk about weird coincidence.... Seems to have an awful lot of features for an entry-level unit as well. This was this morning. Called a very helpful guy at KEH I've been working with, and got on the waiting list for one. Checked eBay; there was one there running as an auction, so I put it on my watch list. Did more reading, started liking it more, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the backward compatibility with the Pentax K-mount lenses. I have (somewhere) a nice telephoto lens I got ages ago and never used, and I'm pretty sure it's a Pentax. (Although this model does have the "crippled" mount, it seems there is a workaround on that for most lenses.) I also like the in-camera shake reduction rather than having to buy IS lenses. And this is a "little" thing, I suppose, but Steve's review here made a point that the viewfinder and diopter adjustment are good for folks who wear eyeglasses--like me. Image quality seems to be rated as good as or better than others in its class, and I was very impressed by the out-of-camera, untouched sample photos I saw on several different sites. I thought the e-510 had great IQ as well, but for the sort of work I do and my personal preferences, the A330 didn't match up quite as well. And, pretty importantly, the consensus is that it's easy to use. I use this in my business and don't have time to be futzing around for days before I can take a decent shot! I'll work on the enhanced features as I go... I am giving up a few things, like white balance adjustment that isn't as robust as some (but it's better than what I have now) and ISO down only to 200 instead of 100, but I doubt that's ever going to be a problem.

Then fate, or something, struck--went back on eBay to add a "saved search" for the k100ds, and in the couple of hours since I'd been there, one had been newly listed, at a buy-it-now instead of auction--with all original accessories, the 18-55 mm lens, all manuals, cables, etc. Missing only the body cap (which I've ordered for $2). Shutter count is under 6,000--which sounds really low to me. Seller has fantastic feedback, and got back to me within minutes when I asked a couple of questions before I bought it.

Bottom line--I got a camera for $266 that appears to be in outstanding condition, and the extra cash I have left over can go toward saving for some other lenses. I know I'll need more down the line, so saving some on the camera really helps. Eventually I'm sure I'll want to move up to a more advanced dslr, but I have a pretty consistent history of working with one digital camera for 3 or 4 years before upgrading, so I really get my money's worth out of them! This one, at such a budget price, should pay for itself in short order!

I may also end up with an E-510, as I'd bid on one before finding this k100ds, and I don't want to do a bid retraction (I had to do one the other day, and "feeBay" frowns if you do it too often). Haven't been outbid yet, but am pretty sure I will be. If not, I'll get that too, and test them both out, then decide which to keep. Then sell the one I don't want.

Well, sorry to be so long winded, but really, this was just such a bizarre circumstance. The camera gods were speaking to me, or something....

Thank you all again, and once I get my camera (or cameras, as the case may be) I'm sure I'll be on some of the other threads asking specific questions!

Last edited by amc654; Jan 14, 2011 at 10:39 PM.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 3:12 AM   #47
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Congrats to you, hope it is as great as it looks. I also pulled the trigger today and ended up ordering the Sony. Hopefully we'll both be posting some sample images later next week!
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 6:51 AM   #48
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Hey, ck, that Sony is a heckuva deal--congrats to you, too! Exciting--we should both be getting our "new old" cameras by mid next week. Looking forward to seeing shots from you!

I went back & forth on the A330. If I hadn't found the kd100s, I'm about positive I'd have ordered it today, regardless of the E-510 I'm bidding on. I'm sure I could have, if I didn't like it, resold it for same or more than purchase price (especially with that free shipping). I don't think you can go wrong with that, and really, the difference between image quality & color reproduction is probably insignificant. Or even nonexistent, in terms of quality. I have some extremely specific needs due to my business--color reproduction is crucial and given my shooting conditions, the k100ds seems to be the one for me.

Now, if you're like me, you'll be waiting at the door like a dog for the mailman all week.... Ready to pounce!
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 6:55 AM   #49
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Congrats to you both. Let us know how you like them.

amc654:

That Pentax is well liked, and the newer "super" version also supports SDM lenses (whereas some of the older models did not). It uses a Sony 6MP CCD Sensor, which is pretty good at higher ISO speeds compared to many entry level dSLR models. I've still got a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D that uses that sensor (although it doesn't get used much anymore, since I bought a newer Sony A700 a few years back, it's still used as a backup and takes good photos).
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 7:49 AM   #50
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Thanks, Jim! Oh, and a special thanks to you for explaining about how the sensor affects image quality. The k100ds sensor, I noted when comparing different units, has a larger sensor than most (much larger in some cases) in the same price or class. And, the viewfinder is apparently one of the more user-friendly ones; I think not as small as the A330 or the E-510. At my advanced age, one needs all the help with eyesight, big viewfinder, etc., one can get!

Anne
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