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Old Jan 9, 2006, 5:45 PM   #11
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Hi E.T.

Thanks for all of that!

Decision made; I'll give the A2 a crack. (Phew!)

The information on the teleconverter is going to be useful - my Dad has the A2 (and raves about it, but I didn't want to be pushed into buying something that met his needs, not mine) so we've talked about maybegoing halves on the cost of a Teleconverter as we're unlikely to be on holiday at the same time. He's convinced that a genuine Minolta lens is the only way to go, but it sounds like the Olympus aught to be an option too. I can't see it being something I'd use a lot but it would be nice to have the option!

Just got to get cards, spare battery, bag, and persuade other half to take me somewhere exotic so I can play with it....

Next question (sorry!): which would be the best card to get with it? Jesspos recommended a 512MB Sandisk, but I've read elsewhere that a Lexar card works better with the A2?

Thankyou!
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Old Jan 9, 2006, 7:14 PM   #12
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I've got a cheap 2x teleconverter and .45 wide angle, they really arent worth much. Stay away form the cheapo's.

Its not the best picture, but I took this at a recent chicago bears game at 50mm (200mm equiv.). Its cropped a bit, but there is still enough resolution to print a good looking 8x10 of what you see.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 3:20 AM   #13
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tmoreau wrote:
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I've got a cheap 2x teleconverter and .45 wide angle, they really arent worth much.* Stay away form the cheapo's.
Yep, about 99% of those El Cheapos sold for example in eBay are pure crap and only sensible use for those would be throwing seller to head as hard as you can.
(personally I would prefer 2kg "finetuning"hammer as throwing instrument)

Wibblemore wrote:
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He's convinced that a genuine Minolta lens is the only way to go, but it sounds like the Olympus aught to be an option too.
That Olympus is also very nice quality converter. Quite many use it instead of Minolta's converter.

But as for ultimate converter, it would be this: :G
http://www.pbase.com/digital_initiatives/image/20820692
Or what do you think about 870mm?


For batteries I bought two extra Lenmars for use in batterypack/vertical grip. (very good for balancing external flash) At least these Lenmars appear to be quite equal to original battery.... and price of original would have been 100 Brussels roubles... while Lenmar was ~23.
But to no-name 3rd party batteries I wouldn't touch easily.


For memory card you don't want to touch Kingston... some of those work decently but most are lousy.
Also basic Sandisk isn't that great but Sandisk Ultra II and Extreme III are one of the fastest cards when used with two months old 1.14 firmware.
Also Lexar 80x works well, but Sandisk Extreme is little faster.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15829683
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 1:25 PM   #14
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Went and got one A2 today, with Ultra II 512 Sandisk.

It does seem LARGE, but I do like that EVF eye sensor - neat. And I didn't realise you could play back on either LCD or EVF. Without reading the instruction manual it's suprising easy to get to grips with the basics, although some of those buttons send my head spinning.

Teleconverter - you're causing trouble now! Ie-mailed that info to my Dad and he's now decided he wants the Raynox, as he wants to photgraph birds. I'd rather the Olympus or Minolta lens, as I want it for architecture. You can't win, can you!?

That ultimate converter... 870mm nice, but you'd need a donkey to lug that lot around!

The camera's brand new; do I need to update it with any new firmware? (that threw me -you update software in a camera?!)

Again, massive thanks for all this help. I just wish there was some way I could contribute to something like this the way you guys can... anybody need to know anything about Ancient History?!
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 1:40 PM   #15
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Just a tip, the auto mode and program mode (next setting to left) are similar, but every time you switch into auto a bunch of settings are reset to default. With program it leaves things the way you set them (like file quality, iso, etc), and also lets you tweak the cameras auto choices.

I was going nuts until I figured that out!


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Old Jan 10, 2006, 1:50 PM   #16
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Thanks for the tip - I don't think I'll be playing with anything on it for a while, unitl I get bored just taking auto shots with it!

Only had high-end compact until now - anything more complex than that is going to scare the beejeebies out of me until I get the hang of the camera generally. But...hey, hang on a mintue, I don't have to worry about spending money on lousy shots! I can play to my hearts content without wasting anything other than energy! :idea:

It's going to take me along time to get out of the film mindset..
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 4:12 PM   #17
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Wibblemore wrote:
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but I do like that EVF eye sensor - neat. And I didn't realise you could play back on either LCD or EVF.
Unlike of almost all cameras, A2 and its predecessors were clearly designed by photographers instead of marketing clowns...
Maybe that's the reason why those have always appeared to be totally under advertized (almost zero advertized compared to Canon or Sony) considering features.

Actually you don't need playback mode because it's directly accessible from record mode through quickview-button, also if you're in menu or viewing taken photos under record mode just half press shutter and camera automatically returns to shooting mode.


Average size of JPEG is ~6MB (7.5MB is the largest one I've gotten) unless you use lower quality/tighter compression.


And remember to use point focus. (center button of 4-way controller) Wide area focus is way too good in finding grass or tree branch from edge of frame and focusing to it.
Then you might want to change AEL button to Toggle-mode. (recording menu page 1) AE Lock in menu page 4 can be used to lock exposure with half press of shuttter.

Of course you propably want to turn off sound effects from settings menu.


Quote:
The camera's brand new; do I need to update it with any new firmware? (that threw me -you update software in a camera?!)
Better class cameras sometimes get new firmwares.
This update was actually made over year after ending production of camera which can be said to be rare thing considering how older models (and their owners) are generally treated.
Or maybe it was their concession for those ones wanting new prosumer from KM. This update rises usability of RAW to new level... and with JPEG you'll have hard time in filling up buffer.
Writing time of RAW using Sandisk Ultra II is slightly over 15 seconds with earlier firmwares and around five with 1.14

http://www.konicaminoltasupport.com/...14.0.html?&L=0


PS. Isn't most important lesson of history that people don't learn anything from it.
(here in Finland world history is taught for 4 years in compulsory school)
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 2:50 PM   #18
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My other half has just discovered the movie mode, much to his great amusement. Got one over his DSLR!

OK, I'm in front of computer and following your tips.

Quickview- much better than play-back mode; it's handy you can switch straight back to shoot mode. Somebody's actually thought about that.

Pointfocus - had me worried for a minute until I realised you could reset it by depressing the centre button again!

Right, I'll have a go at updating the firmware (hope nothing explodes...)

Quote:
Unlike of almost all cameras, A2 and its predecessors were clearly designed by photographers instead of marketing clowns...
Quote:
This update was actually made over year after ending production of camera which can be said to be rare thing considering how older models (and their owners) are generally treated.
The more I hear of Minolta, the more I liketheir style. Very considerate of them , putting IS in the body rather than the lens.

Ps. History - absolutely right. Where's that island - was it Polynesia? When it was hit by a hurricane, all the traditional, open-sided houses were left standing - hundreds of years of hurricanes had taught them not to bother with anything else; whereas all the modern 'advanced' concrete buildings were blown apart due to pressure differences. I could go on for a while - Easter Island, Rome, Greece - yes, they had industrial pollution then too! - but that's not what this site is for I suppose....Easter Island is one hell of a lesson for our own times though.
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 4:35 PM   #19
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Wibblemore wrote:
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My other half has just discovered the movie mode, much to his great amusement. Got one over his DSLR!
That can really save the day.
For me that day was with last summers best thunderstorm, there's no point photographing rain because everyone here in Finland has seen enough of rain, neither still images capture heavy gusts of downburst which is especially interesting as stormchaser. (down center part of image, midmost storm near big lake, that one with big "cauliflower" rising above anvil and into stratosphere... even with few minutes precision best moment of storm)

And that's one more reason for me to not bother even thinking of buying DSLRs until they are fully taken to digital era instead of "half antique" design with digital storage.


Also real-time histogram is good for deciding exposure so that should be on always.
Then you might want to turn on that "one third" grid.
I also prefer setting rear control dial to exposure compensation. (settings menu)


Quote:
Right, I'll have a go at updating the firmware (hope nothing explodes...)
I've done update at least twice, to previous camera (Minolta 7i) and now to this and haven't had any problems. It's similar to updating PC's BIOS so of course it has risks if not done right.
Instructions are quite good, but I would prefer separate card reader for copying update files to card. (to its root directory)
Also you might want to do your best to make sure firmware file isn't corrupted, of course PCs use error checking for data transfer but you never know. Some had done that such way that they downloaded update file from internet multiple times to separate directories and used checksum programs to compare are all files similar. (errors would be random bits)
For example QuickSFV is easy to use checksum tool. (checksum is last 8 characters in SFV-file which can be opened with notepad)

Also I changed mode switch directly to playback before turning power on whe ncard with update files is in camera. And after update is done and you have shutted down the camera remember to take card out of it and turn camera on only after that.
I also deleted firmware files from card using separate card reader before I put it back to camera.
(and of course never take out or put card into camera when power is on)


PS. That would go to human's disinclination to learn from natures doings... track record of Homo Sapiens Urbanus is equally good in that, for example flat leaking roofs or using marble in climate where granite would be necessary.
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Old Jan 13, 2006, 2:56 PM   #20
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Hi, I'm back with more questions...!



Haven't faced up to downloading up-to-date firmware yet. I haven't received my camera bag, and I don't want to take the A2 outside and play with it until I've got a decent bag to put it in. AndI won't feel 100% sure of the camera until I've played with it.

Am still looking at teleconverters however. My question is, I've seen this one on E-bay - has anybody else heard of it? It's supposedly got a 49mm fitting...:roll:

Olympus A-200 Tele-Converter Lens (x1.5)

Am a little wary as I've not come accross this one before...

What's the best UV filter to get to protect my lens? Jessop's sold me their own brand one, but I've read elsewhere that I'm better off with e thinner Hoya one?

Thank you for all this help - I've passed the website address on to my other half, so he might be posting re. his Cannon DSLR!
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