Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Is Minolta A1 the best choice?  (Read 3466 times)
Gary_Berg
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 105


« on: May 07, 2004, 10:00:47 PM »
ReplyReply

The A1 is probably one of the most "SLR-like" digital prosumer cameras. The feel is very similar to an SLR, and you often don't need to resort to using the menus, you can do what you want from the dials and buttons.

I've got an A2; I think a lot of the discussion of digital noise is overblown. Download some A1 images from the net, perhaps from one of the review sites, and try printing them to see how they look. Or take crops out of them and print them smaller (often 4x6 is less expensive than an 8x10). Remember Michael's comments about "pixel peeking"; looking at the images at 100% on a 17" screen is equivalent to blowing the image up to about 16x20 or worse. The A1 can print a 6x8 at 300dpi (typically optimal).

Canon tends to have colors with more "pop" to them (mostly, greater saturation) and has heavy noise reduction (ISO 50 helps). You can simulate some of this by turning up the saturation in the camera, or doing it later in PS. You may find un-processed A1 images to be a little dull to you; I think that if you judge them un-emotionally you will find that they are more true to life.

The most valuable addition the A1/A2 has in the image stabilization. It allows you to use a slower shutter speed without getting blur from camera motion. This can only be matched by going with a DSLR and adding IS lenses, or going with a camera such as the Canon S1 IS.

Obviously, Michael seems to have had a great time on his vacation with his A2; he certainly has brought back quite a few good images.

The A2 has a better EVF than the A1, more megapixels, and focuses a bit faster. The fundamental camera is very similar.

What do you dislike about your current camera; this should help guide you as to a replacement.
Logged
Gary_Berg
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 105


« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2004, 04:16:45 PM »
ReplyReply

In New York, I'd suggest B&H Photo or Adorama - both seem to get high marks, and I've personally ordered equipment from B&H with no trouble. The B&H store is reputed to be pretty busy if you're talking about walking in to browse.

I'd suggest going to one of the review sites, such as DPReview, Steve's Digicams, etc, and download some full-size image files and look at them, and try printing them. Do the same with similar sample files from other cameras you are familiar with to compare.

I suspect that overall image noise on an A1 image will be less than you see with an A60 because you have over twice the pixels. So although the noise may be slightly higher at 1:1 (100%) when you look at the screen, when you take an image and print it out 4x6 or 8x10, or look at it full screen, it should be smoother.

I went with the A2-style camera because I found I had 4-5 pounds of camera and lenses to carry around to make me "happy". The A1/A2 weighs a whole lot less.

Here is a great FAQ on the A1/A2:
http://www.pbase.com/mtf_foto_studies/mtf_faq
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2004, 09:11:26 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Quote
The B&H store is reputed to be pretty busy if you're talking about walking in to browse.
B&H may be busy, but if you have the time to wait for a representative to help you, he will give you a lot of help.
If you don't have the time and already know what you want, you can almost always get in and out very quickly (there are express lines in some areas and there are on-floor representatives who can place orders if you know what you want).
The B&H store is very similar to a department store, except that the salespeople want to help you, not just make a sale.
Thank you very much!
Logged
Gary_Berg
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 105


« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2004, 03:14:53 PM »
ReplyReply

I'd be very surprised if you beat B&H's pricing by much. digitalfotoclub.com seems to have a good reputation too, but aren't likely to be a walk-in store like B&H.

Do check on US vs "grey" market warranties; a US warranty may not be of any use to you. Also check and confirm that you will be able to get service on a camera that you bring in to Brazil.

Adorama is another choice for the A1. J & R Music I believe has a good reputation.

Check www.resellerratings.com to get an idea of how good a reseller is.
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2004, 04:55:47 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
[font color=\'#000000\']
Quote
I'd be very surprised if you beat B&H's pricing by much. digitalfotoclub.com seems to have a good reputation too, but aren't likely to be a walk-in store like B&H.

Do check on US vs "grey" market warranties; a US warranty may not be of any use to you. Also check and confirm that you will be able to get service on a camera that you bring in to Brazil.

Adorama is another choice for the A1. J & R Music I believe has a good reputation.

Check www.resellerratings.com to get an idea of how good a reseller is.
Thank you Gary. I did check the warrantie from B&H and it's US only. A international warrantie will cost $87. But I think it's necessary...[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Gary, do you know this store below?

http://us1camera.com/shop....ta%2DA1

Thanks![/font]
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2004, 07:57:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
[font color=\'#000000\']US1Camera hardly has a stellar rating as Reselleratings.com; they seem better at Pricegrabber.com but the top entries are complaints about being pushed to buy high-priced accessories.

DigitalFotoclub.com has a very good rating a ResellerRatings.com carries both a US warranty A1 for $650 and one $50 cheaper which I am assuming is grey market. That might be useful for you. They've been popular over on the DPReview Minolta Talk Forum.

Prices on the A1 have actually climbed up a little over the last month or so, by about $40-50. So $600-650 is about the best you are going to do...

Be sure to ask if any warranty is from the manufacturer or from the store; it is common for places to reply that the camera comes with a "US" warranty when it is warranted by the store. Now B&H and Adorama won't give you trouble that way...[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']What is "gray market"? Black market, paralel market? Second hand? Why itīs warratie is cheaper? Is there any risk of the cam to come in a box not sealed, refurbished, based on the fact that they are offering gray market warrantie and that they seems to be not a walk in store?
Thank you...[/font]
Logged
Gary_Berg
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 105


« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2004, 10:19:06 AM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']Gray market (here in the US) typically means it was imported into the US by the seller instead of by the US importer. This can be no big deal, or it may mean that the US importer will not service the equipment at all, even for money (I believe Nikon does this).

My thought on gray market for you is that you don't care about warranty from the US importer if you want to get the equipment serviced at home. I'd be cautious about this route, and indeed I'd try to confirm with whoever imports Minolta in your area about whether they will service equipment purchased in the US after you import it. It would be fairly expensive to ship an A1 back to the US for service if something goes wrong. Remember that in your country a US Imported piece of equipment is still "gray market"; you imported it yourself.

Typically, the importer spends money advertising equipment in your country, setting up service centers, etc. They'd like to have gotten some money for the camera before servicing it; if you import a camera from the US the local importer got no money from selling the camera to a local dealer. So why should he try to help you - you deliberately cut the importer out of the deal.

Now it is different if I live in the US and while traveling in your country I need my camera serviced. This is where the typical worldwide warranty kicks in, and the importer has to service the equipment as part of their agreement with the manufacturer.[/font]
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2004, 01:25:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi everybody! Well, I'm from Brazil and satrt to read about digicams about 2 months ago, trying to decide which camera to buy. I have almost decided to go with Minolta Dimage A1. But I'm still in doubts...

I want a camera to take photos of action, airplanes in flight, and also landscapes, portraits, indoors and some night shots also... like you thought, I'd like a very capable and versatible camera and maybe it still don''t exist!

What is realy geting me crazy is the amount of noise on A1 pictures. It's the best in terms of functions but I don't like to post process my pictures at all. I saw too many pics and maybe not the ones I should had!

I'd like to ask to A1 owners if it's correct, if A1 pics are realy bad in terms of noise (without post processing). I like the smoothness of the picture, I like the standart of the Minolta pics.

I take some pics with an Canon Poweshot A60 and they looks very good: little noise, good color reproduction, etc...but the lack of a focus ring and functions is not a good idea for me... Also saw the pics af a Canon Digital Rebel that are amazing but I don't want to take a cam that need extra lens, etc. But, should I compare the A1 pics with Canon Digital Rebel? Should I make used to the idea of extra lens on my pocket?

A1 or A2? And about the focusing problems of A2? Sony F828? Will Minolta introduce still this year a pseudo-SLR (A3?) with a CMOS sensor to kill the noise? Better lens? Should I go Panasonic with those incredible Leica lens? Digital Rebel?

As you are seeing I'm realy confused and would like advices of both, inexperienced and experienced photographers... please, help me!

ps: I found a good price on A1 at www.bestdigitaldeals.com . Does anyone knows if this store is reliable? Will my cam realy come to Brazil, brand new (no refurb)?

Thank you all!
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2004, 09:02:11 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
The A1 is probably one of the most "SLR-like" digital prosumer cameras. The feel is very similar to an SLR, and you often don't need to resort to using the menus, you can do what you want from the dials and buttons.

I've got an A2; I think a lot of the discussion of digital noise is overblown. Download some A1 images from the net, perhaps from one of the review sites, and try printing them to see how they look. Or take crops out of them and print them smaller (often 4x6 is less expensive than an 8x10). Remember Michael's comments about "pixel peeking"; looking at the images at 100% on a 17" screen is equivalent to blowing the image up to about 16x20 or worse. The A1 can print a 6x8 at 300dpi (typically optimal).

Canon tends to have colors with more "pop" to them (mostly, greater saturation) and has heavy noise reduction (ISO 50 helps). You can simulate some of this by turning up the saturation in the camera, or doing it later in PS. You may find un-processed A1 images to be a little dull to you; I think that if you judge them un-emotionally you will find that they are more true to life.

The most valuable addition the A1/A2 has in the image stabilization. It allows you to use a slower shutter speed without getting blur from camera motion. This can only be matched by going with a DSLR and adding IS lenses, or going with a camera such as the Canon S1 IS.

Obviously, Michael seems to have had a great time on his vacation with his A2; he certainly has brought back quite a few good images.

The A2 has a better EVF than the A1, more megapixels, and focuses a bit faster. The fundamental camera is very similar.

What do you dislike about your current camera; this should help guide you as to a replacement.
Thanks, Gary!

I don't have any digicam, only a Minolta SLR model SRT101 film cam that is very, very good! But I would like to go digital now!

I do believe you're right, the Minolta images are "more true to life", I love its patern.

I just would like to have an idea of how much noise have its images. Here in Brazil, in my city, I don't have this model to do a "test drive", so I'm basing on whta's posted on reviews sites and foruns.

I loved the images from Canon Digital Rebel but: it's a little expensive for me; I don't like the idea of carring extra lens; I already have an SLR (it's analogical but is SLR!);

Should all this disadvantages count more than its image quality? It's what I'm trying to decide with no success for now...

What store near Miami or New York cities with very good prices and reputation could you suggest me?

Thank you!!
Logged
Aaron Bredon
Guest
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2004, 12:55:37 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
The B&H store is reputed to be pretty busy if you're talking about walking in to browse.
B&H may be busy, but if you have the time to wait for a representative to help you, he will give you a lot of help.
If you don't have the time and already know what you want, you can almost always get in and out very quickly (there are express lines in some areas and there are on-floor representatives who can place orders if you know what you want).
The B&H store is very similar to a department store, except that the salespeople want to help you, not just make a sale.
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2004, 02:43:44 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Quote
Quote
The B&H store is reputed to be pretty busy if you're talking about walking in to browse.
B&H may be busy, but if you have the time to wait for a representative to help you, he will give you a lot of help.
If you don't have the time and already know what you want, you can almost always get in and out very quickly (there are express lines in some areas and there are on-floor representatives who can place orders if you know what you want).
The B&H store is very similar to a department store, except that the salespeople want to help you, not just make a sale.
Thank you very much!
I saw B&H prices but I think it is a little hight for me... is there any other store with good reputation and a smaller price?

Thank you!
Logged
Gary_Berg
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 105


« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2004, 03:19:56 PM »
ReplyReply

I'd be very surprised if you beat B&H's pricing by much. digitalfotoclub.com seems to have a good reputation too, but aren't likely to be a walk-in store like B&H.

Do check on US vs "grey" market warranties; a US warranty may not be of any use to you. Also check and confirm that you will be able to get service on a camera that you bring in to Brazil.

Adorama is another choice for the A1. J & R Music I believe has a good reputation.

Check www.resellerratings.com to get an idea of how good a reseller is.
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2004, 03:00:18 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
[font color=\'#000000\']I'd be very surprised if you beat B&H's pricing by much. digitalfotoclub.com seems to have a good reputation too, but aren't likely to be a walk-in store like B&H.

Do check on US vs "grey" market warranties; a US warranty may not be of any use to you. Also check and confirm that you will be able to get service on a camera that you bring in to Brazil.

Adorama is another choice for the A1. J & R Music I believe has a good reputation.

Check www.resellerratings.com to get an idea of how good a reseller is.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Thank you Gary. I did check the warrantie from B&H and it's US only. A international warrantie will cost $87. But I think it's necessary...[/font]
Logged
Gary_Berg
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 105


« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2004, 07:14:53 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']US1Camera hardly has a stellar rating as Reselleratings.com; they seem better at Pricegrabber.com but the top entries are complaints about being pushed to buy high-priced accessories.

DigitalFotoclub.com has a very good rating a ResellerRatings.com carries both a US warranty A1 for $650 and one $50 cheaper which I am assuming is grey market. That might be useful for you. They've been popular over on the DPReview Minolta Talk Forum.

Prices on the A1 have actually climbed up a little over the last month or so, by about $40-50. So $600-650 is about the best you are going to do...

Be sure to ask if any warranty is from the manufacturer or from the store; it is common for places to reply that the camera comes with a "US" warranty when it is warranted by the store. Now B&H and Adorama won't give you trouble that way...[/font]
Logged
abredon
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2004, 09:54:32 PM »
ReplyReply

[font color=\'#000000\']
Quote
What is "gray market"?
Gray Market is imported through non-standard channels. Gray Market items often don't have a US warranty and the manufacturer may refuse to service them. They often don't include a US manual.[/font]
Logged
cristianomc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2004, 10:32:58 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
[font color=\'#000000\']Gray market (here in the US) typically means it was imported into the US by the seller instead of by the US importer. This can be no big deal, or it may mean that the US importer will not service the equipment at all, even for money (I believe Nikon does this).

My thought on gray market for you is that you don't care about warranty from the US importer if you want to get the equipment serviced at home. I'd be cautious about this route, and indeed I'd try to confirm with whoever imports Minolta in your area about whether they will service equipment purchased in the US after you import it. It would be fairly expensive to ship an A1 back to the US for service if something goes wrong. Remember that in your country a US Imported piece of equipment is still "gray market"; you imported it yourself.

Typically, the importer spends money advertising equipment in your country, setting up service centers, etc. They'd like to have gotten some money for the camera before servicing it; if you import a camera from the US the local importer got no money from selling the camera to a local dealer. So why should he try to help you - you deliberately cut the importer out of the deal.

Now it is different if I live in the US and while traveling in your country I need my camera serviced. This is where the typical worldwide warranty kicks in, and the importer has to service the equipment as part of their agreement with the manufacturer.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Got it! Thanks!![/font]
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad