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Old Jan 23, 2006, 5:26 AM   #11
E.T
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mtngal wrote:
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When I was looking at the reviews, I got a little confused with min. focus at max zoom.┬* I wouldn't be that concerned about the fact that it can only focus 4" away if the minimum focus distance at max zoom isn't something like over 6 feet.┬* That's one of the things I've had to get used to with the Panasonic - the focus distance changes very quickly to over 6 feet when you start to use the zoom.
Yeah, I've read about those wildly varying focusing distances, something like that 6 feet seems to be standard focusing distance in ultrazooms. (including Fuji S9000)


In case of this Minolta GT lens at least stated focusing distances for macro mode (Wide:0.3-0.6m/12-24" - Tele:0.25-0.6m/10-24") are from sensor to target.
So here's results of quick check for focusing distances from lens:
In normal mode closest focusing distance is ~25cm (10") at wide angle and ~35cm (14") at max tele. In macromode ~12cm is closest distance at tele and it gives image from ~5cm (2") wide area... I checked that 6cm and it's what Dpreview stated for A200. (but both use same lens, and according to Steve it's same for both)

These focusing distances apply all the way from original Minolta 7 released in Feb 2001 to KM A200 which all use same lens... Not bad performance at all in any aspect for such "old" lens or what do you think?
(Minolta really wasn't any dozenware producer)


While A2 doesn't have that flip&twist LCD its LCD works quite well for those frog perspective shots because it tilts up and down (90┬░ up/20┬░ down)... althought narcissists might miss flip&twist LCD's capability for taking shots of own face it's otherwise quite equal.
But I rarely use LCD because of so much better EVF which also works magnitudes better in bright lightning and enables more stable shooting position.

Really frustrating to see that no other camera has anything near it... Sure they put those big media sexy LCDs (Samsung 815 has 3.5" one) to cameras but resolutions are so lousy.
Hopefully my A2 works for many years because I would have really hard time keeping EVFs of others acceptable. (not forgetting user interfaces)
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The Super Fine electronic viewfinder (EVF) is sharp and clear thanks to a high-density, VGA-resolution. The viewfinder operates in one of two modes depending on how it is configured in the menu:
(1) High-Precision mode (30 frames per second), which allows for very precise adjustments to focusing and frame composition by utilizing the high resolving power of the 30 frames per second rate. It is incredibly precise for adjusting manual shots like macros and portraits that require very careful focusing. Focusing is simple and accurate, without the need to enlarge the image.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a2_pg2.html
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One of the new features on the A2 is its "super fine" electronic viewfinder (EVF), and it lives up to the hype. This screen, with a whopping 922,000 pixels, is the best EVF I've used. Everything is so sharp, it puts other EVFs to shame.
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/mi...age_a2-review/
If it would have been some maker with big BS/PR muscles like Canon high res EVF would be propably mandatory feature now.

Here's downloadable manuals although most differences are easy to see from reviews.
http://www.konicaminoltasupport.com/...21.0.html?&L=0
http://www.konicaminoltasupport.com/...42.0.html?&L=0


Not much under... barely -4┬░C... Too hot to do anything heavy ouside.
But well, aren't we Finns little Schizophrenic? In sauna anything under +80C (176F) is too cold while 100C (212F) is good.
One thing I can't really understand is how Fahrenheit scale has been still taken to use regardless of fact that freezing point of water isn't anyhow recognisable in it while that temperature is quite important in many aspects.
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 6:36 AM   #12
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fz30 is much better than a2 in those example pics imo

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_...s/p1000018.jpg

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...s/pict0010.jpg


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Old Jan 23, 2006, 2:48 PM   #13
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Interesting - the FZ30 has better focus and detail at longer distances than the A2, closer up they seem to be similar. And the white balance is superior (something I do thinkmy FZ30 does very well is the auto white balance, but it's also something that can be easily adjusted). However, the A2 does have better dynamic range (you can see the light in the shadow on one of the buildings, where you can barely make it out in the FZ30's photo). While the A2 does have that nice dynamic range, I'm not sure I'd be any happier overall than I am with the FZ30.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'm now thinking that I'll leave it alone until I see the reviews of the FZ7 thatPanasonic just announced (saw the headlines here today). Otherwise, it looks like I'll only be happy with a dSLR, something I really have been trying to avoid. If I get the Pentax, I'll either end up dragging all my (over 20 years old) manual lenses around (which have always given me excellent photos in the past) or buying yet another lens so I can take advantage of auto focus and other advanced features (though I wouldn't buy it right away). I assume that I'd be back to manually focusing everything through the viewfinder?
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 9:44 PM   #14
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Hmmm, you didn't indicate they were manual focus lenses.

You could get by with manual focus, but I certainly wouldn't buy a DSLR that matches a manual focus lens investment.

Not that manual focus lenses are bad, they are probably great.

But the convenience of autofocus is hard to beat.

I have four lenses for my Canon 20D, and soon to buy teleconverter, and eventually a fifth looong zoom.

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Old Jan 24, 2006, 4:32 AM   #15
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mtngal wrote:
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Interesting - the FZ30 has better focus and detail at longer distances than the A2, closer up they seem to be similar.

And the white balance is superior (something I do think┬*my FZ30 does very well is the auto white balance, but it's also something that can be easily adjusted).
I don't know what data Panasonic saves to EXIF but Minolta's (there's Konica only in name) prosumers save about "one hundred and one" markings to there, including focusing mode, distance and those...

FocalLength 14.23 mm - 56 mm (zoom 1.9x)
FocusArea wide
FocusContinuous off
FocusDistance 5.00 m
FocusMode AF
...
WhiteBalance auto
WhiteBalanceBlue 1.3750
WhiteBalanceGreen 1.0000
WhiteBalanceRed 2.0195
WideFocusZone close right zone

So focus mode was wide area "randomizer", which is extremely good in picking tree branch or grass from somewhere else than center of frame... even if there's clear target in center of frame it can find something much more interesting near edge of frame, you can trust me on that! (I use point/spot focus always like other A2 users)
Focusing place was somewhere on right, propably that sign near right edge because focusing distance was 5 meters.
And sensor is step bigger and it has somewhat smaller DOF (while still huge compared to DLSRs) so that lesser sharpness of details at farther can well be just that narrower DOF (beloved of SLR-religion) combined with focusing to close object.
Also I can tell that incamera JPEG really doesn't give even near best results what lens+sensor of A2 is capable when using RAW+good processing, like well shown in this detail comparison:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/koni...200/page12.asp (A200 has exactly same lens+sensor)

Reason for dull sky color is also visible...
(low value of green is propably because Bayer pattern color filter array has same amount of green pixels as there's both red and blue pixels, like GRGB says)


BTW, looks like gardener has been keeping some long vacation considering look of that hedge and trees behind it in FZ30's shot.
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Old Jan 24, 2006, 8:05 AM   #16
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E.T wrote:
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BTW, looks like gardener has been keeping some long vacation considering look of that hedge and trees behind it in FZ30's shot.
I had noticed the differences in the gardening, too (and it looked like the power company had made some changes with the power lines)! Also, I'm not sure that the photos were taken at quite the same place - there were some differences in perspective. If one were closer than the other, that would also account for some differences in focus, as well as the DOF that would be needed to bring the whole view into focus.
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Old Jan 24, 2006, 9:31 AM   #17
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Yeah, power company has planted one pole more, and added some lightning conductors more to top of them... darn, fixing those must be very hard if storm breaks those/turn trees on those... Also cars have grown bigger.
But vegetation has greally spurted like my beard is doing all the time.
But overal quite nightmare shot for comparing accuracy, especially when A2 has been focused to very close compared where main subjects are.


Was hard to find but here's resolution chart shots with both cameras:

Dpreview's test showed that Pana's internal processing gives about best results achievable from that lens+sensor combination but they didn't exactly have resolution shot available so had to find one
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...30RES3264F.HTM

And here's ACR processed RAW shot using exactly same lens+sensor combination as in A2:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Koni...res/ACRraw.jpg
(if link doesn't work you can find it here)
Now when you compare that to incamera processed shot it's easy to understand why accuracy of certain details isn't best possible in shots processed by camera.
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