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Old Jan 22, 2006, 6:14 PM   #1
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Hi,

Thisforum has alrady been of huge help so I'd like to start by saying amassive THANKS! to those who have already spent precious time sharing their knowledge with me.

However, I'm still a little stuck:angry:! After much umming and ahhing and help from some of you I purchased the Monolta A2, which I can still return up to the end of this month. I find it has a nice grip, the controls are quite intuitive, the video is great but having used a just high-end P&S before it's a little daunting and I'm seriously wondering if I'm going to be dedicated enough to learn how to use it properly:O! Plus, it's a little large and the manual flash is worring me - I'm going to forget it. And Minolta's recent announcement doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

So I'm *considering* sacrificing some zoom (sob!:sad but keep wide angle and IS, and head for something more compact maybe.

I've been eyeing up the DMC LX1 - love that 16:9 ratio image :?(how easy is it to print that out? Not bothered about wide screen TV) and the S80 - nice lens cover, but shorter zoom than LX1 andno IS...? Have already checked out the Ricoh R3 but found it very slow taking indoor shots and slow write time too.

Does anybody have anymore sugestions, or experiences of any similar cameras they could share? Looking for wide angle (28mm), IS, and a decent telephoto in a compact.

I have thought about keeping the A2 andgetting another compactcamera, but my other half nearly exploded when he heard that!

Want to take shots of architecture, landscapes and wildlife. Will not be blowing up anything over A4, so 4 - 5 megapixels will probably be fine. Don't want an SLR - got an EOS 500 8 years agoand used it twice....

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Old Jan 22, 2006, 6:48 PM   #2
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Maybe you could add the Kodak P880 to that list. It has alot of what you want and gets favourable reviews.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/p880.html
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 9:45 PM   #3
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The features that I like about my A2 are:
- Mechancial zoom (I will never go back to a motor driven zoom)
- Anti-shake (Do all of my shooting hand-held. Reduced blur pics in a major way)
- 200mm zoom (Once you have it, really hard to go back.)
- Speed. Really fast digital shooting. Faster than most. Would really be hard to go back to anything slower.
- ISO 64. Hard to settle for a minimum that is higher.

So if your alternatives have the above features and them some for the same or lower price. Go for it.

If you keep the A2, I suggest the download the DiMAGE A2 Firmware Update V112. asap while the factory Web site is still supporting the A2.
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 4:54 PM   #4
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Hi,

Thanks for the Kodak sugestion - unfortunately it looks as bulky as the A2 and doesn't have as long a zoom.

I'm inching inexorably towards the frightening thought of having two cameras - the A2 AND the LX1. Or is that just overkill?! Thoughts?

I emailedmy boyfriendtoday to remind him to check the arrival of the new kitchen with Jessops!

Grkk...
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 6:34 PM   #5
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Wibblemore wrote:
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I'm inching inexorably towards the frightening thought of having two cameras - the A2 AND the LX1. Or is that just overkill?! Thoughts?
For second camera I would prefer ultracompact which could be carried continuously in pocket for those shooting opportunities you didn't expect.
Quite many hobbyers have that kind arrangement, small compact to pocket and prosumer/DSLR for when they expect shooting opportunities. (or go to shoot something)
I would also myself like having ultra compact camera for carrying it always in pocket but I just couldn't find any compact camera satisfying even half of requirements. And compared to versatility A2 is quite light+small to carry, I've carried it whole days in some events...


Quote:
I've been eyeing up the DMC LX1 - love that 16:9 ratio image :?(how easy is it to print that out?

And Minolta's recent announcement doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
You have to crop from sides which leads to narrower FOV or leave it such and have empty area in top and bottom of print.


Reason for KM's withdrawing is that in the end they didn't have very big sales/market share while products had new innovations and features which increase costs... markets tend to be dominated by products of those makers whose BS/PR muscle is biggest regardless of fact that their products are mostly plain dozenware.
For example if it would have been Canon doing camera with A2's features that high resolution EVF would be now mandatory in any camera claiming to be prosumer... Same would very propably apply to menu free photographic controls. But they didn't do such all in one camera because that would have endangered their cash cow, DSLRs and selling multiple lens to those so they just produce that "me-too" dozenware made by everyone else. (without knowing name+model 99% of cameras could be from any manufacturer)

Apparently KM's service is transferred to Sony (plus continue making DSLRSs under Sony's PR muscle) so biggest difference would be lack of new firmwares.
But that really doesn't matter, firmware updates correcting lacks/errors are rare among digicameras and most makers do those updates by stamping bigger number to camera and selling it as new instead of new firmware... and biggest problem, slowish writing speed was already corrected with update two months ago which is over year after ending production of camera! (now those events are equally rare as honest politicians)
Also after warranty period getting any broken digicamera fixed costs about same as buying completely new camera so neither there's change in that.

Considering more compact cameras which have good wide angle and decent tele those are pretty much one time only events... and then there's other deficiencies in those. (like that Ricoh)
Practically almost all compacts lack wide angle, also fitting any decent/longer tele (more than ~100mm) to such isn't easy, especially so with faster apertures than F5, and just few manufacturers put IS to those...
So when you combine these features cameras with them are quite non existing.



BlueStreaker wrote:
Quote:
The features that I like about my A2 are:
...

If you keep the A2, I suggest the download the DiMAGE A2 Firmware Update V112.
You entirely forgot that all other EVFs look POS after A2's 922 000 pixel EVF. (others offer 1/4th of resolution)

And propably camera already has 1.12 firmware.
But two months old 1.14 is very useful, it increases writing speed much, RAWs are saved at pace of one per 5 seconds and even largest JPEGs in 2 seconds so running out of buffer is extremely hard.
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Old Jan 24, 2006, 10:47 AM   #6
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"But two months old 1.14 is very useful, it increases writing speed much, RAWs are saved at pace of one per 5 seconds and even largest JPEGs in 2 seconds so running out of buffer is extremely hard."

Thanks for the update. Do you know if you must first install 1.13 to get the > 4Gb capability before you install 1.14 or would 1.14 pull in 1.13 also? The Minolta Web site does not say.
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Old Jan 25, 2006, 3:11 AM   #7
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Unless they specifically state it in requirements it shouldn't be needed... and basically it's completely similar as updating PC's BIOS which can be put to top of any previous version.
I don't myself remember what firmware camera had originally and had I updated it to 1.13.


Here's what CFs work fast:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15829683
(compare to results with old firmware)


A2 saves about "hundred and one" different datas to EXIF, including detailed camera settings, where it was focused and focusing distance so you might want to try also this program.
http://www.dalibor.cz/minolta/dalifer.htm
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Old Jan 25, 2006, 4:35 PM   #8
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Decision finally made (again!); I've got myself a bag for the A2. Every time I ask someone's opinion on it I gave a rave review, and second hand models are going on Ebay for more than I paid for mine new, so I guess that's got to be a good sign! Jst need to figure out how to use it. A very helpful lady in Jessops gave me some hints and tips.

My other half thought he could breathe a sigh of relief, as I'm sure this forum did. However the hunt is now on for a pocket sized complement to the A2! I may wait until after spring for that - forces me to get to grips with the A2- but currently I like the lookof the Panny's - there are'nt any other P&S's with IS at the moment, and Jessops are doing aLZ1 for £130...

Anybody else got any sugestions for a decent P&S with a resonable zoom, say 35 - 150mm or thereabouts, preferably with IS and ideally with a seperate viewfinder, that takes AA batts and can perform reasonably well in low light conditions (eg. nights out?)
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 4:23 PM   #9
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Good choice sticking with the A2. Best camera I've ever owned.

To fairly compliment the list of good things about it, here are someweaknesses:

-ISO doesn't go very high. (Not a crippling flaw, though)

-Slow memory card access (but not anymore! Thanks for the link, Bluestreaker)

-Impossible to find a wide angle converter below .8
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Old Feb 12, 2006, 9:13 AM   #10
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Hi Drewsky,

Thanks for the confirmation! I reasoned if I couldn't get on with it I could always sell it on Ebay for almost as much as I paid for it new, so it was worth the risk. I still think it's a bit big, but it feels comfy in the hand and I found the controls really easy.

I upgradedthe firmware to1.14 as soon as I decided to keep it - thanks to ET for pointing the way on that one!

Am looking out for an Oly A-200 teleconverter. The 28mm wide angle should be sufficient for my needs for now.
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