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Author Topic: Sony DSC-F828  (Read 17599 times)
Scott_H
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« on: December 27, 2003, 07:42:58 PM »
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Sorry Ray, I hadn't realized you were making fractions.  

Imperial measurements in machining are commonly done to 0.001 inches or in thousandths.  So 25 thousandths would generally be interpreted as 0.025", not 1/25 000.

Now, most measurements are done in metric, even here in the US.  But most of the old school people still 'think' in imperial units.  It's easy to remember 1 mm=0.040" and do a quick conversion.

Just me, putting my personal biases and preconceptions into the discussion.
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Iain West
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2003, 07:55:24 AM »
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I had expected the Sony 828 (8mp) images to be bigger than those from the 10D (6mp) when comparing 100% crops. But they look exactly the same size. Can Michael explain the methodology he used to find comparable focal lengths ?
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2003, 10:09:44 PM »
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Ray,

I'm allergic to shooting stitched scenes.

I'll probably do it occasionally with the 828, perhaps 2 or 3 shots, but I'm just not someone who can visualize without the image showing up on the live LCD.
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Ray
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2004, 09:11:58 PM »
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The self-portrait was shot at 100mm, the rock wall at 35mm. Not bad for a "coke bottle".
Absolutely! Lovely rocks! I wondered how long it would take you to jump in and defend the reputation of your 35-350mm  Cheesy .
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2004, 05:14:08 PM »
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Bob,

I've made 13x17 prints with my 828 and it blows the 5MP cameras away as far as resolution goes.  This camera eats resolution for lunch.

I like using the 100% coverage live LCD for composition -- this is the biggest reason I chose the 828 instead of a drebel.  I also prefer 4:3 instead of 3:2.  The resolution is better than the drebel in the short dimension, it's a wash in the long dimension.  But since I typically print 4:3 prints or 5:4, the 828 has a bit of a resolution.

However, there are some drawbacks to the camera.  The biggest one for me is the CA, although I found it only shows up in a minority of shots I take (20% or so) and even there (unlike Uwe) I was always able to clean it up easily with a photoshop adjustment layer (saved to a function key action, no less).  I didn't try Uwe's method (his method never worked with me on any camera) instead desaturating the exact color of the CA and darkening it a bit in a saturation adjustment layer.  If you did have an image with violet you would have to use the adjustment layer mask, which would be more painful.

I sent my 828 back in hopes of scoring a unit with less CA.  It should show up next week -- I'll let all know whether it is any better.
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Fabio Riccardi
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2003, 05:57:12 AM »
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I'd like to thank Michael for his nice review of the F828, I just bought this camera and I share Michael's enthousiasm and concerns.

One thing I've found is that there is quite a discrepancy between the ISO sensitivity of my F828 and my Canon 10D, the latter being twice as sensitive with the same ISO rating. This translates the F828's ISO 100 to something like an ISO 50 for the 10D, making the F828 pretty useless in low light situations, despite of its fast lens.

I owned a Canon G3 previous to my 10D and I remember being able of taking some very usable indoor shots with it, with my new F828 I can't get anything useful indoors without using a flash...
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2003, 06:43:00 PM »
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To be fair, the 828 matrix meter underexposed that scene a bit.  You can push the histogram hard to the right without blowing out the whites on this camera, and get a lot less noise than this.
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Matthew Cromer
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2003, 08:02:32 AM »
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Ray,

I suppose when you are talking about enlargements past 16x20 or so I am a "die hard" 6x7 MF and LF fan.  Personally I am not going to use a view camera right now -- it doesn't fit my working style nor budget.  But for big enlargements it definitely makes even the 1Ds look poor from a details standpoint.

Now with prints up to 13x17, the 1Ds is very impressive, and even 16x24 prints look good.  But the detail on a 4x5 inch plate of provia is a force to be reckoned with.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2003, 10:07:38 PM »
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I think the 4/3" cameras will be around for some time to come, if only because you can make a very nice, high resolution camera with two rather smallish, very high quality lenses cover 28-400mm.  If they get IS (or the rumored IS sensor or teleconvertor) then the system will be very appealing indeed for bird photographers.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2004, 02:26:12 PM »
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Karel -

I'm in the same boat as you.  I don't have extremely deep pockets and have looked for the best fit camera for my budget.  I chose the A1, not saying that it's the camera that would best fit your needs.

I was willing to spend up to $1kUS for a new camera, didn't really want to spend that much.  I knew the conditions under which I normally shoot, how large (and how little) I actually print.

I could have gotten a dRebel/300D for my money.  But I would have had a marginal lens.  So I would have ended up spending even more for a good quality IS lens.

So I've got an image stabilized camera with a 28-200 lens and it only weighs a pound.  That means a lot more fun to me, less weight and more money for travel.

Just be careful with the F828, be convinced that it has the extra pixels and that they aren't wiped out in processing.

And I'm with BJL, dSLRs win in terms of exchangeable lenses, higher ISOs, and the hope of shallower DOFs.  The big complaint I have with fixed lens digitals is the lack of shallow DOF for isolating subjects.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2004, 09:24:39 PM »
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Just thought I would add that the 828 can certainly use teleconversion lenses, and they work just fine.  I'd recommend sticking to the TCON 17 or B300 instead of using the much heavier HGD-1758 or TCON 14B.  Most of the other afocal teleconvertors used on digicams are complete crap and should be avoided like the plague (I owned 3 before ponying up for the B300).
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Matthew Cromer
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2003, 07:12:58 AM »
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Fabio,

I'm surprised you find the G3 more usable indoors than the 828.  Can you elaborate on this?  The G3 doesn't have an ISO 800 mode unless I am remembering incorrectly.

Michael, thanks for the review of the 828.  I'm very pleased that your unit did not display atrocious Chromatic aberration problems at the wide and telephoto ends of the lens.  As soon as I can get another unit I'm swapping mine out.

I'm happy that your problems with the camera were with the RAW mode and buffer issue and the lack of "shooting priority" with the top control knob.

PS I've heard rumors that the beta version of photoshop CS will open Sony RAW files.  Thomas Knoll was asking about SRF files a couple months ago and he mentioned the encryption problem, so I guess he managed to crack the encryption (or my rumor source is lying).
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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2003, 06:15:22 PM »
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Michael states that at 64 ISO the noise is "essentially non-existant", but to my eyes the images posted are very noisy, similar to 10D's 800 ISO ! Huh
To my eyes also. Check out fig. 18 (crops of the Royal York). The noise is so bad on the F828 shot, the shadow side of the skyscraper on the right has lost all its windows. Huh

By the way, Scott, 4x10-5 inches is one 25 thousandth of an inch (1/25,000). What are you getting at?  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2003, 06:00:12 PM »
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I haven't mentioned it anywhere before, but I received a Fuji 7000 for review when it first came out a couple of months ago.

I never reviewed it because it was so terrible in almost every respect. I simply sent it back to Fuji with polite thanks.

It wasn't a patch on the Sony.

Michael
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Ray
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2003, 07:30:01 AM »
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Don't forget the lens that comes attached to the 828. Even putting aside lens quality, if you buy a 300D you will have to buy more glass to cover the focal length of the lens attached to the 828. That will add a lot to the dollar part of the equation.
Absolutely! The F828 sounds like terrific value, but let's not kid ourselves that the extra noise, which is very apparent in all the sample shots in Michael's review, is not an issue. Noise is always an issue, which is why we have programs like Neat Image. But such programs, in my experience, always sacrifice at least some detail.

I find this review of Michael's inconsistent on the noise issue, especially considering the panning he gave the Kodak 14n. I don't recall any conciliatory note on this issue, that the increased noise at ISO 400, compared with the 1Ds, would not show up on prints, and was therefore virtually nonexistent.
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2003, 07:08:03 AM »
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Scott,

Let me try alleviate your confusion.

First of all, I already own a comprehensive Canon outfit. I don't own an Olympus E-1 system. And I wouldn't, because as I wrote in my review -- although it's a fine camera I feel that the format is a dead end, and that's why I wouldn't buy one.

Secondly, I didn't do a "comparison" when I did the E-1 review because frankly one would assume that the difference between it and the other mainstream DSLRs in that price range are subtile to non-existant in terms of final image quality. That was not the assumption that I initially made vis-a-vis the Sony and DSLRs, for all of the obvious reasons. I believed that readers, just as I did, would be interested in how it stacked up against a camera like the Canon Rebel, though I only had a 10D to compare it with. (Image quality between the 10D and the Rebel is essentially identical, so that's why I felt the comparison to be fair).

Finally, I wish people would get off the "noisy F828 kick". On 13X19" prints at ISO 64-100 there is usually no more visible noise than from Canon 10D images. Really! Why would I say this if it weren't true, since pretty soon tens of thousands of photographers will be able to see this for themselves?

Higher ISOs? Sure, noisier. But I have done some stunning prints made from F828 shots at ISO 400, once it's run through Noise Ninja (a 3 minute task) that again are comparable to Canon 10D output. (It's the final print that counts -- right?)

Here's the final point. The Sony F828, complete with its truely excellent 28-200mm f/2.8 lens and 8 Megapixel resolution, is positively tiny and feather weight compared to the equvalent combination of Canon 10D, 24-70mm and 70-200mm f/2.8 Canon lenses. It can fit in the pocket of my rain poncho. I could rock climb all day, or walk the street of a foreign city inconspiciously, and not even know it was with me. If It gets broken, dropped or stolen in some rugged or dangerous place it's almost cheap enough to be considered a "throw-away".

Yet, it can produce Super A3 sized prints that are in most ways are as good as those from a 6MP DSLR.

I hope that this answers the question. Now I'm offline till mid-January.

Michael
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DaShiv
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2004, 10:59:22 AM »
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Your confidence in the 4/3 system is admirable, and it seems that everyone who supports the system has hedged their bets on all sorts of future developments for this system.

However, the situation right *now* is that Canon (and Nikon) have the fast primes, the IS/VR, the huge selection of high-quality lenses at various price points (i.e. one can choose between 16-35/2.8 or 17-40/4, 70-200/2.8 IS or 70-200/4, 300/2.8 or 300/4, etc), broad third-party lens support to further supplement lens selection, a wide variety of well-established bodies, and a very large user base (with its concomitant benefits like software support and strong used lens market). It seems that the most prudent choice for the moment is still to stay with an established system unless you really *need* things like an 28-108 equiv. single-lens solution or smaller form factor, since presently all the above advantages I've listed are still on the side of the established systems. Keep in mind that it's a risky move to be an early adopter to any system based only on what "will" (or will not) come.

And it's an expensive risk at that--who knows if the other companies won't suddenly change the rules, like Canon did with the DRebel? Nikon's new 12-24 does knock some of the wind out of the 4/3 system's sails since it shows that Nikon is willing to use their lenses to play the small-sensor game while keeping their bodies backward compatible with existing 35mm lenses. With even more products coming out, who knows how things will look after this year's PMA, or even next year's?

Having said that, the 4/3 system does sound great in theory and I do hope the 4/3 system turns out well, because competition and choices are good for everyone! I found myself rooting for the D2h before the reviews came out because it meant that Canon will have to work that much harder on a 1D replacement that I might be able to afford myself. Eventually. Some day...
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BJL
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2004, 11:03:48 AM »
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Ray,
  perhaps I can meet you part way, acknowledging the desirability of focal lengths up to 400mm for a certain niche of amateur 35mm SLR users, and hence of 100-400 (Canon) or 80-400 (Nikon) lenses for 35mm format. On the other hand, (a) this is a statement about 35mm format, and since Canon and Nikon offer nothing beyond 400mm for under US$5,000, that is clearly a rarely entered domain; and ( in 35mm format, wide angle coverage to 24mm and beyond is significantly more popular (and affordable) than telephoto to 400mm.

  At the telephoto end, the counterpart of 100-400 in 35mm format is about 50-200 in 4/3 format, and since the Olympus 50-200 is smaller, cheaper and faster than 35mm zooms reaching 400mm, we should be able to agree that this is a desirable lens for that same niche of amateurs.

  At the wide end, Olympus has an 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 zoom coming soon, at a rumoured US$700, giving wide coverage comparable to between 20mm and 22mm in 35mm format, and they have also more vaguely announced a subsequent ultra-wide zoom for later this year (7-14mm, so reaching the equivalent of 13 or 14mm?).
  In contrast, for Canon's amateur level DSLR bodies, the widest Canon zoom lens (16-35) reaches only 25mm equivalent, and costs about $1300; nothing wider has been announced or even hinted at. This seems related to Canon's intention to target "APS" DSLR's at low to mid-level amateurs, while expecting more serious photographers to pay the for now far higher price of 35mm format DSLR's, so that they are not doing much to accomodate some needs of more serious amateurs who use their smaller format DSLR's.
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Matthew Cromer
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2004, 04:11:30 PM »
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Fabio,

I think we need to do a bit more testing before settling on it as gospel that the 828 meters 2 stops slower than the G3.  It could be a fault with one or the other of the cameras you tested.

In my testing the Canon cameras are close to a full stop more sensitive than other cameras in their metering / ISO ratings, but not 2 stops.

I'll see if I can run a couple of tests tonight if I get a chance to run by the local electronics stores.
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Karel Geertsema
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2004, 07:33:01 AM »
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Intended use versus fit for use....

Being very interested in the F828 or Minolta A1 or Digital Rebel, I cannot agree with Michael that the level of noise and CA is not important in the F828.

To me the F828 seems to be intended (of course I have no idea for which audience/use Sony designed the camera) for someone who wants a relative compact (thus highly portable) camera offering all kinds of settings and deliver high quality images (the price...). A camera you can take with you most of the time to most places. Photograph landscapes, city/street, ... any use. This is entirely different from a situation where you can use flash power (studio) or tripod (landscape) and where it does not matter that you must choose low iso. For a camera like the F828 I would like to be able to use as high an ISO setting as possible in some situations (the Minolta A1 anti-shake might help also).

May I suggest you take a look at a sample image (over 3 MB!) at steves-digicams:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_review...es/DSC00606.JPG
look at the ceiling in the upper left corner, then look at the hand of the guy behind the keyboard and tell me if you are happy with what you see. For reference, check the Digital Rebel/300D sample images on the same site (e.g. the one of the couple at a party with fill in flash, look at the people outside the flash range).

For portability (carry everywhere, anytime) I am very happy with my 300v/analogue Rebel with the 50mm/1.8 so I think I will go with the 300D or whatever is available after the Photokina this september. It should be a "hot" year with the PMA and the Photokina  :-) although I would have loved 28-200/2.0-2.8....
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