Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 7, 2006, 3:56 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 47
Default

Hi,

I've had a Minolta Vectis 40 APS for the last 10 yrs and we've been very happy together. However, the battery compartment broke recentlyso I've decided to go digital.

I like to play around with photos but I'm not into SLR's - too much kit to carry and too technical. I generally shoot landscapes, wildlife and ruins, so I'd like a zoom - 150mm min, but I'd like a wide angle as well. I'd also like stabilisation andan electronic viewfinder, decent shutter speed etc. all for about £350 (approx. $600). I know I'm unlikely to get it all, but am trying to find the best compromise.

My head is getting sore! Does anybody have sugestions for a reasonably compact digital about 5mp, 28 - 150mm+ zoom with stabilisation? Might a new one be coming out this spring?Looking at Olympus, Cannon, Minolta and Nikon to start with.

Help, please!

Wibblemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 7, 2006, 5:25 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Wibblemore-

Of the 2 cameras suggested, the A2 is the better camera. It will also offer you more challenge.

MT
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 8, 2006, 8:55 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 47
Default

Hi,

Thanks for that. The A2 is the better camera, but I'm asking myself if I'm ever going to use half of it's abilities, it's bulky and the manual flash is a pain - I'm going to forget to put it on, I know I will!

I was hoping there might be something out there that's a lot more compact with a 28 - 150mm zoom and stabilisation, electronic viewfinder, decent shutter speed etc...? Is it worth waiting until spring and see if something new comes out?

Thanks! :?


Wibblemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 8, 2006, 3:22 PM   #4
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

Wibblemore wrote:
Quote:
A2 is the better camera, but I'm asking myself if I'm ever going to use half of it's abilities, it's bulky and the manual flash is a pain
Same can be said from flash whose control is hidden behind menu surfing... and at least with manual flash you know clearly when it's on and when off.

And if it makes it any easier considering features... my first ever (any kind) camera was Minolta 7i which I chose over Canon Powershot G-serie with few shots and equally "long" handling experience of any digicam and now I wouldn't be satisfied with any less features.
(but on the other hand I acquired also first PC after just few hours of any kind PC experience... and that was in good old DOS-era)

If you want more info about A2's features here's complete manual in PDF-format:
http://www.konicaminoltasupport.com/...al.2321.0.html


Quote:
I was hoping there might be something out there that's a lot more compact with a 28 - 150mm zoom and stabilisation, electronic viewfinder, decent shutter speed etc...?
I don't know any real compact (without protruding lens) cameras which would have EVF... now big chunk of newer compacts doesn't even have that half useless optical viewfinder anymore.
(and in my case after A2 I'm going to keep all other EVFs as lousy)

Real wide angle is equally rare, especially in longer zoom cameras. (and one-time-only exception in ultrazooms)
Considering your old camera had 30mm wide angle compact standard 35mm and ultrazoom standard 38mm would surely feel lousy.
And landscapes and ruins (basically architecture) requires good wide angle. Or then wide converter for ultrazoom which again doesn't go well with convenient size aspect. (good quality converter increases size much, and those won't work with zooming)


Quote:
Is it worth waiting until spring and see if something new comes out?
That's the hard thing, when to jump to bandwagon/would little waiting give better choises.

On the other hand PMA is one and half month away but on the other hand big older makers just appear to have desire for pushing users wanting more control than shutter button to their "cash cow" side and putting out more and more basic non-SLRs.
For example neither has Canon or Minolta successor for their prosumer while current models are practically discontinued (they sell old stocks) and getting very old in timescale of digicams.

And then there's dark horse aka Sony R1 with its practically SLR sized sensor and fixed lens, if other makers are going to that way there won't be anymore much convenient sized advanced non-SLRs. (menu surfing based unwide angle ultrazooms doesn't count as such)
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 8, 2006, 6:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
tmoreau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 477
Default

My first camera (practically speaking) was a point & shoot olympus D550z 3mp digital. After taking several really great pictures, and being unable to capture quite a few things I saw, I realized I HAD to have a better camera. Low light photos were blurry, I couldnt get a good picture of the inside of my house during construction (not wide enough lens), and operation of the camera was tedius since all options were in menus.

I bought an A1 (same as A2 except its lower resolution), and its been a great camera. Some highlights:
-28-200mm lens covers almost any situation you'll find
-Settings can be changed very quick and easy due to the external switches
-You always know what the camera is doing, and can override at any time
-Its much more responsive than low-end cameras, no waiting for the zoom motor
-Anti-shake and manual controlls allow you to avoid blurry pictures

I really like the manual flash since I know if its going to fire or not, I generall prefer not to use it and the auto modes on other cameras seem to fire it at the most inapropriate times.

The a1 is a great learning tool, in auto modes it shows you the settings and in the semi and fullly manual modes you can see the effect of the settings on the lcd as you change them.

I'm considering a DSLR now, for lower noise at high iso, faster response times (ever try photographing kittens? Toddlers?), and shallower depth of field. Its tough though because as I research dslr's I'm finding that the A1 generally has the same or more features. You can really grow into the a1, it just about does it all.
tmoreau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 2006, 5:45 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 47
Default

Hi,

Thankyou for your response!

I'd be happy with a semi-compact with a small protruding lens- my current Minolta isn't exactly pocket-sized! I think you're right about the SLR-like cameras; it's frustrating because Olympus have proved it's possible to produce a reasonably compact digicam with a great zoom, but as you say nobody else seems to be following that up.
Quote:
Real wide angle is equally rare, especially in longer zoom cameras. (and one-time-only exception in ultrazooms)
Hmmmm...Which exception is that?!

I'd be looking at getting the telephoto extender for the A2 as well; having compared it to my Vectis I'm not convinced that's a true 200mm zoom. So then you start wondering if it's worth getting something like the Oly C770 UZ with the wide-angle converter - but no stabilisation. The new Fuji S9500 with 28 - 300mm zoom(mmmmm...!)has stabilisation, but I'm not convinced about the quality of Fuji and I've been told the A2 still has more functionality and is a similar size.

Argh!

Can't help wondering if part of my problem is reluctance to part from my dying Vectis - it's like replacing a pet!

But huge thanks for your reply - it's reassuring me that I'm not just missing out on some great digicam that will do it all because I'm not up to speed on digital; it seems exactly what I want just isn't out there...yet?
Wibblemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 2006, 9:14 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
tmoreau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 477
Default

Trouble is, its all about compromise.

The reason the slr-like cameras have smaller lenses than SLR's is because the lenses are built to compliment the smaller sensors. A SLR lens comparable to the A2 is much larger, to shrink it more requires it to be slower and/or use a smaller sensor, both degrading its abilities and image quality.

tmoreau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 2006, 12:57 PM   #8
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

Those Oly's ultrazooms are archtype of ultrazoom... no wide angle. (and lack of IS is quite inexcusable)

Wibblemore wrote:
Quote:
Hmmmm...Which exception is that?!
Samsung 815 with its 28-420mm zoom... of course it again lacks IS. (and its F4.6 at tele)
And even with small non-SLR sized sensor that lens is very big.

Quote:
The new Fuji S9500 with 28 - 300mm zoom(mmmmm...!)*has stabilisation
It doesn't have IS (0% of Fujis have it), instead they use cranking up ISO and noise removing... without heavy incamera noise removing images look noisy regardless of their claims about low noise sensor.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 2006, 2:14 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 47
Default

Hiya,

Thanks again for all the info - this is great!

That knocks the Oly on the head then. I don't understand why Olympusaren't doing some form of IS - it looks like they're being left behind.

Re. the Fuji - I'm getting confused - the chap in Jessops said that Canon, Minolta, Fuji and Nikon has stabilisation...? Does the A2 have a better form of IS then?

Does anybody have experience of using the telephoto extender on the A2? What's that like to use? The Vectis range up to 150mm covered pretty much everything I needed, so hopefully I wouldn't be playing around with it too much...but it would be nice to have the option if I'm going to lug that big lump around!

Is there anything else I should be considering, or is the A2 pretty much the best bet out there? Jesspos have a brand newA2 to one side for me for £300 ($529) - is that worth having?

Thanks again for all your help!




Wibblemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 2006, 4:00 PM   #10
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

Wibblemore wrote:
Quote:
Re. the Fuji - *I'm getting confused - the chap in Jessops said that Canon, Minolta, Fuji and Nikon has stabilisation...? Does the A2 have a better form of IS then?
Advertising of makers isn't about truth, it's just about illusions and that goes through way too easily because most of people use their head only for carrying hat around.
(and actually Canon Pro 1, their answer for A2 didn't have it... Panasonic is only maker which has IS in all models)


Quote:
Does anybody have experience of using the telephoto extender on the A2? What's that like to use? The Vectis range up to 150mm covered pretty much everything I needed...
200mm is quite enough for anything else except far away wild animals or birds. I take general nature photographs, lansdcapes and sky phenomenons and propably I've taken only 1/10th of photos at 150mm or longer. (while about 1/4th are taken near 28mm)

Minolta has 1.5x teleconverter which is top quality converter and doesn't degrade quality in any way... which also means it's heavy.
Olympus TCON17 which is 1.7x converter works also quite well, it's much lighter (half of Minolta's converter) and causes just slight vignetting.
Also Raynox has 2.2x converter but that causes much more vignetting.
http://www.pbase.com/john_down_under/tcons

But like always converters are annoying/slow to use and with heavier tele converters it would be very wise to support lens with other hand.


Quote:
or is the A2 pretty much the best bet out there?
Feature + control layout/handling wise it's best one despite of it's age, as example in all other cameras than A1/A2 even such necessity as exposure compensation is behind button presses while in these two it's directly in control dial. (that beats even many dSLRs)
And you won't find other EVF even remotely as good from any of todays cameras, its 922 000 pixel amount is way ahead of all other EVF and LCDs... for comparison even these "media sexy" big LCDs covering whole backsides of cameras have still only miserable 230 000 pixels.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:06 PM.