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Old Feb 12, 2005, 5:39 PM   #1
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It seems no matter what camera I think I want there are negitive things about it. Some might be legitamate problems and cause picture quality problems but I would just like to hear it form the people that use one. The review appear fairly good on the v-3 but there are some negitive issues also, but are they really a problem or just an annoyance.

My main concerns are great photo quality in auto mode, good quickauto focus, good macro. In macro, I don't have a problem manual focus etc. I'd prefure not to have to use photo shop Etc to make a good picture but will if I have to. I do like controls and program modes so that rules the small thin point and shoot cameras.

Thanks
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 6:28 PM   #2
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As you have discovered, there are no perfect cameras and everycamera has something thatcould be better. In many cases, these are mere annoyances and with easy workarounds.

I have the V3 and I also heard all of the warnings that have been circulating since the camera was released. I am pleased to say that none of the issues that have been pointed out are serious enough to rule out the V3 as one of the top cameras on the market today.

Different cameras have different feature sets...so some people may need something specific...for example, the V3 doesn't have a massive zoom range. It is 34 - 136mm so it wouldn't be the best choice for a bird watcher who would want a long zoom to get close to birds in the wild.

Let's deal with the issues that have been mentioned in the reviews and I'll give you the workarounds.

Some reviewers mentioned that there was PF in some of the V3 shots. In fact you have to work hard to create PF but there are some ways of forcing it. If you take a picture inside, with a very bright metalic object cloce to the edges of the frame AND you are at the widest angle of zoom AND you are at the largest aperture (f2.8) then you will see a Purple fringe around the metalic highlight. However, close down the aperture OR use the zoom (or a combination that is NOT 'Double Wide' [Wide angle and wide open] and the PF starts to go away until it no longer is visible.

The f8 and the diffraction issue was perhaps the most hotly debated. It is also related to focal length and aperture. The issue was that at an aperture of f8 (which is the smallest that the V3 stops down to), images appear softer than images taken at other apertures. This is due to the law of diffraction but that also provides the workaround. When light has to pass through a very tiny opening the different wavelengths will scatter beyond what the lens can correct for and the image will be slightly out of focus.

At the widest angle of the V3, the physical size of the f8 aperture is less than 1mm across HOWEVER...as you open up the aperture...the size of the hole gets bigger...that is obvious and it led some reviewers to recommend that the V3 ONLY be used at the larger fstops. But it wasn't as simple as that. The Fstop number is a ratio based on focal length...which means that a short focal length (like 7mm [the true focal length of the V3's widest angle setting) f8 is 1/8th of the focal length or about .875mm BUT if you zoom out...you ALSO increase the physical size of the opening so that f8 at the V3's true 28mm telephoto end is about 3.5mm across and there is no diffraction effect! It goes away just as it does when you open up the aperture at wide angle.

Do you have to watch out for Wide angle and f8 shots...I doubt if you could see the effect unless you had another shot to compare it side by side and close up.

This gave rise to another supposed 'problem' There was a report that the V3 somehow moved to f8 automatically or preferentially in Auto mode. Here is what, I think REALLY happened.

The V3 has a 'jog dial' wheel that sets aperture and shutter speeds. You turn the wheel with your thumb and the camera settings change. This wheel is positioned directly above the zoom buttons on the back of the camera so that when your thumb operates the zoom buttons, it also rests on the wheel. Whe the V3 powers up it is in what they call "Program Shift" mode which means that any turn of the wheel changes the settings UNLESS you push the wheel to set them. I think as paeople were using the zoom buttons, they moved the wheel and changed the aperture settings which increased until they reached f8 and then (because it couldn't go any higher) stayed there. Now that I know to set the button whenever I power up the V3 I have no issues but it did catch me my first time out with the camera.

AS I said, I like the V3. I get excellent pictures from it and I am not bothered by any of the issues that have been reported. Here are some examples that I have posted previously:




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Old Feb 13, 2005, 1:51 AM   #3
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Wow, Very informative. I really don't think its anything I can't work around. I'm going to reread you post several times and try to comprehend all that info. As long as I remember what your've said when using the camera it should become natural to watch the settings. Those pictures are really amazing you've posted. Just out of courisity, how many shots did you have to take to get those amazing shots? I've got a Sony s-85 which looks like the smaller brother to the v-3. I've very happy with it and it takes great pictures. Actually I could probably get along with it just fine, but its time for a new toy. One more thing, would you recommand an additional flash?

Thanks you ever so much. Terry
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 7:33 AM   #4
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The outside one was the a one-off. I set up the camera on the trunk of my car on a mini tripod and set the self timer. The camera was in Aperture Priority (about f5.6) and I just used Auto-WB inspite of the multiple light sources.

The matchesis just the best of the three that I took. No special lighting (I was just in my kitchen). Of course, like for all macro shots, I used a tripod, and the self timer to eliminate vibration.

I forgot to mention another criticism of the V3 (well, point and shoot cameras in general) the built-in flash is weak. Getting the external flash solved the problem and was, perhaps, the best accessory.




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Old Feb 13, 2005, 9:20 AM   #5
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Great pictures. Did you use any other lenses/filters, I mean like a screw on close up 2x lense? I'm still trying to thoughly understand your infor above and was wondering if one was to get one of those tubes to go over the lense and then put a polerizer filter on it, would that darken it down some where the camera wouldn't choose f8 and open the appiture a little? I probably didn't explain thisvery good, I'm just trying to think of a way to fool the camera. If not a polerizer filter, maybe just a darker filter. Maybe the dark lense would alter the nateral look of the picture.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 10:25 AM   #6
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No additional lenses were used on the macro shots.

A polarizer would take at least 2 stops off the camera's range and probably wouldn't do anything but reduce shutter speed.

The best solution is to shoot in Aperture priority 'A' mode whereyou have complete control over aperture.
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 11:07 AM   #7
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I'm gonna go for the v-3. It looks like a great camera to me. Thanks so very much for all the great information and advise. Your've been a great help.

Thanks again Terry
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 2:54 PM   #8
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I am basing my opinion purely on price and cost benefit. I think the Nikon 8400, 8800, Minolta A200 or even the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 provide a better bang for the buck...

In a couple of months, the Sony V3 is probably going to hit the $399 price where it then provides good value.. NOT NOW>.
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 7:55 PM   #9
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Meryl, In one of your posts you said you took that night shot and the appiture was open 8 seconds. I've been going throught the book and playing with the camera and about the longest I can get the appiture to stay open is 2 seconds. The book says the same thing, 2 seconds. I must be missing something.

Thanks Terry
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 8:10 PM   #10
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Since I shoot in Aperture priority mode the camera selects the shutter speed. On page 59 of the V3 manual it says:

"The shutter speed is automatically adjusted from 1/1000 to 8 seconds. When you set any aperture value of f5.6 or more, the values start from 1/2000 second."


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