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Old Aug 6, 2004, 11:41 PM   #1
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Hi,

First post on the forum. Great site Steve. I have a Sony DSC F717 and am now planning on upgrading to a DSLR. My two favorites at this point are the Sigma SD10 due to it's enhanced picture quality thanks to its Foveon X3 Sensor. I am not sure if I will get tired of having to convert everything from RAW format, but I can see the upside as I have tried Sigma's software and it is VERY easy and you can really enhance the picture. My other choice is the Minolta. I haven't been able to check out any sample shots obviously since it hasn't been released yet. My fondness for this camera is two-fold. One, I have a Minolta Maxxum 7000 so I already have a couple of lenses right off the bat. Two, the Minolta has the innovative anti-shake design built into the body so I can save some money in the long run by not having to purchase anti-shake lenses. I guess I am sorta at a crossroad here. I would appreciate any help and/or suggestions. Thanks.
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Old Aug 7, 2004, 9:04 AM   #2
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I don't think that anybody can do anything except speculate about the new Minolta DSLR (since it's not shipping). Hopefully, we'll see actual product before the end of the year.

I'd think about what kind of photos you want to take, too. The Sigma does have some drawbacks, compared to some of the other DSLR offerings (for example, performance at higher ISO speeds, frame rates in continuous mode, buffer length).

As far as your Minolta lenses, also keep in mind that the new DSLR from Minolta will have some kind of "crop factor". In other words, it will probably be using an APS size sensor. Since these sensors are smaller than 35mm film, only a portion of the image circle is used. Hence, you must use a crop factor (a.k.a., Focal Length Multiplier) to determine the 35mm equivalent focal length you'll have when using your lenses on the camera.

For example, the Nikon D70 has a crop factor of 1.5x. The Canon Digital Rebel has a crop factor of 1.6x. The Sigma SD10 has a crop factor of 1.7x. Basically, you must multiply the focal length of the lenses by the crop factor, to see the 35mm equivalent focal length you'd have when using them.

For example, if you use a Sigma 28-70mm lens on the Sigma SD10, it would behave like a 47.6-119mm lens. If you use a 50mm lens, it would behave likean 85mm lens. This is because of it's 1.7x crop factor.

So, if you like taking photos at longer focal lengths, then you can get more "bang for the buck" buying a lens. However, if you like taking photos at the wider end of the scale, then the crop factors can present a challenge.

This is only speculation, but I think that the crop factor will most likely be 1.5x for the new Minolta.
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Old Aug 7, 2004, 9:10 AM   #3
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I'm even more confused then before :O. Let me ask a different question. I think I know that answer but I will ask anyway. I have a Sigma 75-300mm lens for my Maxxum. Am I correct in thinking that this lens will not work with the Sigma SD10. I believe it was made to fit only the Minolta.
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Old Aug 7, 2004, 9:22 AM   #4
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golovemd wrote:
Quote:
I'm even more confused then before :O. Let me ask a different question. I think I know that answer but I will ask anyway. I have a Sigma 75-300mm lens for my Maxxum. Am I correct in thinking that this lens will not work with the Sigma SD10. I believe it was made to fit only the Minolta.
Correct. You must use lenses with the proper mount for the camera you are using.

If you buy a camera like the SD10, then you'll be pretty much limited to lenses made by Sigma for this model. Sigma does have some new lens offerings made specifically for Digital Cameras with a crop factor. Because they are designed with the smaller sensors in mind, they are typically smaller and lighter for the same focal lengths (since the image circle projected can be smaller for the APS size sensors).

However, it is unlikely that any of these types of lens offerings (designed for models with a crop factor) will bemanufactured for useon the new Minolta Digital SLR (because the anti-shake CCD must allow for movement of the CCD, and this movement may be outside of the smaller image circle projected by these new Digital Camera specific lenses). Again, this is speculation on my part, since the product isn't shipping yet.

One example of a Digital Camera specific lens is the new Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC lens. It will only work on the models with smaller sensors. This lens is available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts. On the Sigma SD10, it would appear to be approximately 31-213mm. The Canon mount lens would appear to be approximately 29-200mm on a model like the Digital Rebel. The Nikon version of this lens would appear to be approximately 27-188mm on a camera like the Nikon D70.

On the new Minolta Digital SLR,if it has a crop factor of 1.5x (still to be determined), your Sigma 75-300mm lens (in a Minolta mount version), would appear to be approximately 113-450mm.


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Old Aug 7, 2004, 9:46 AM   #5
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P.S.

Take your Sony as an example. The actual focal length of the lens is only 9.7-48.5mm (to give it a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38-190mm). So, it has a crop factor (a.k.a., Focal Length Multiplier) of 3.9x

You don't have to think about it, because it's a permanently attached lens. Because of it's tiny 2/3" CCD, a much shorter focal length lens can be used, for a much longer 35mm equivalent focal length.

Even though the sensors inpopular DSLR models are dramatically larger than the sensor in your Sony, they are still smaller than 35mm film. So, you must use a crop factor to determine how these lenses will behave on a DSLR with a sensor that is not full frame (not as large as a 35mm film frame). This crop factor will be different, depending on the size of the sensor used. The Canon Digital Rebel uses a 1.6x Crop Factor, the Nikon D70 uses a 1.5x Crop Factor, and the Sigma SD10 uses a 1.7x Crop Factor.

I suspect that the new Minolta DSLR will be using the same Sony sensor as the Nikon D70, so it's crop factor will likely be 1.5x. This is only speculation on my part. We'll have to wait for more product info from Konica-Minolta before we'll know for sure.


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Old Aug 7, 2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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Thanks Jim for the great info. You have made it abundantely clear that I have quite a bit of learning to do. I am not really sure that I am looking to take one particular kind of picture. I guess I would just like to get a camera that is versatile and will allow me to learn more as I go. The attractiveness of the Minolta for me is that the lenses should all be interchangeable with my Maxxum 7000, so should I choose to learn more about film photography once again, then I don't have to buy all new equipment. I wouldn't mind learning a little bit about developing film. I did put a little bit of time in a dark room in high school years ago and it was quite fun. I still lean a lot more towards the digital pics now, but I think I could have fun with both. I guess I am just amazed at the image quality I have seen from the SD10. If you were in the market for one of these two cameras, would there be a clear winner or is it just too hard to tell without getting a real look at the Maxxum 7 Digital?
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Old Aug 7, 2004, 12:51 PM   #7
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Well, the Sigma would be the last choice on my list, out of any of the current DSLR offerings, because it doesn't do anywhere near as well at higher ISO Speeds, compared to the offerings fromCanon and Nikon.

Also,the Sigma is probably last place in the lens choice area, since about the only lenses you'll find for it are made by Sigma.

It's also aslower camera than other DSLR offerings in areas like autofocus speed and reliability (see the conclusion section in Steve's review here for comments about it).

So, formost of the reasons people go to a DSLR, I think that Sigma is "trailing the pack".

For you, these areas may not be a concern. I'm only telling you why I would not consider buying one. Heck, I'd probably buya Sony DSC-F717 before I'd go with a Sigma DSLR -- even if the Sony was priced higher. But, that's just my opinion. For others, it may make a good choice.

As for the new Konica Minolta DSLR, I think it will be a winner with it's anti-shake technology. However, since it's not a real product yet, we'll have to wait on it to see.


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Old Aug 7, 2004, 2:27 PM   #8
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Ok. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Jim. I really appreciate it. I guess I am back to waiting for the Minolta to be released so I can checkit out. Has there been any more news releases or anything hinting towards a release date?
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Old Aug 7, 2004, 2:40 PM   #9
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You may want to check out the top two threads in the Minolta DSLR forum. One is an interview with Konica-Minolta's Development Center Manager from Wednesday.

The other is a link to a new web site that just went online yesterday for the new DSLR product (but there really isn'tmuch there yet).

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_forum.php?id=84

I suspect that Konica-Minolta will keep a lot of the product specifics "under wraps" until the Photokina showthat will be held in Cologne from September 28 through October 3.

There have been lots of rumors on the forums -- including quotes from conversations people claim to have had with officials from Konica-Minolta. However, I don't put too much faith into these types of posts.


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Old Aug 7, 2004, 3:25 PM   #10
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Ok, I'll check them out. It is a bit frustrating when the one camera I really would like to check out is under wraps. I am betting due to Minolta's excellent reputation and experience, that the Maxxum 7 Digital will not disappoint. However, the price may become an issue, as I have no idea whether it will be in my range or not. Hopefully when it hits the market, it will be as good as anticipated and hopefully the cost will be kept low enough to make it affordable.
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