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View Full Version : The darker side of the A100



DonSchap
04-23-2007, 01:30 PM
I am now kind of curious as to the types of issues people (photographers) are encountering with their SONY A100.

The camera is now rather long-in-the-tooth (being available for almost a full year :eek: ) and if you have experiences that separate it from other DSLRs you have used ... I say make these issues known.

Typical issues, such as:

Hotshoe incompatability
AUTO - Mode (not as "automatic" as you'd expect)
Remembering to shut-off camera prior to putting it down, as pre-focus continues to run if viewfinder is within 4 inches of something. This will definitely shorten battery-life.
... etc.


Feel free to add as you need to .... this is to elicit conversation concerning the camera.

fos
04-24-2007, 01:22 PM
IMHO:

- A bit of speed won't harm, let's say 5fps:rolleyes:
-Aaaahhh, that propietary policy of accesories:mad:
-I know we have anti-shake and all but a bit better performance at higher ISOs won't kill anyone. We do not need to be at the top of the list, just improve 800 and 1600 and expand to higher ISOs.
-I know, I know... purists will refute (I've said it before, purists are funny, funny people) but having the capability of recording video won't do anyone any harm. I do not need HD quality, even if it is VGA will suffice.
-One issue that definitely has to be improved is that ISO control has to be outside instead of hidden in the menu. To me that is sooo annoying:mad:

After "bashing" the Alpha, all things considered, I must say that I love it:p

Djzleite
04-24-2007, 02:07 PM
Yeah, definatly night shot and movie recording at 30 fps :D and real time preview on the screen ?
Less noise shutter, viewfinder more on the back to avoid our face touching the screen ? gets always the oil of our skin :D
By the way im finding this machine perfect for the price and most of all its Sonys first child :D
Could it handle 1.8" 80gb hardisk ? that would be amazing.
Battery to last more time ? etc, yeah, specialy this last one.

fos
04-24-2007, 03:25 PM
viewfinder more on the back to avoid our face touching the screen ? gets always the oil of our skin :D


You know, I used to own the dsc H5 and it had that viewfinder the way you want it...man, all I say is you really do not want that "finger" poking your chest if you have it hanging around your neck. Granted, that oil from our skin all over the display is quite annoying, but I rather have it the way it is now.

Now about some hard disk capabilities...I would not complaint:p , just in case you happen to forget the memory card.

Regarding the live preview: it is funny that coming from the point & shoot world, I do not miss the live preview at all. Now, if it comes with that, as a plus, I would not complaint, but it is not something that would tip the scale in favoring a purchase from now on.

cgl88
05-07-2007, 12:39 PM
I am now kind of curious as to the types of issues people (photographers) are encountering with their SONY A100.

The camera is now rather long-in-the-tooth (being available for almost a full year :eek: ) and if you have experiences that separate it from other DSLRs you have used ... I say make these issues known.

Typical issues, such as:

Hotshoe incompatability
AUTO - Mode (not as "automatic" as you'd expect)
Remembering to shut-off camera prior to putting it down, as pre-focus continues to run if viewfinder is within 4 inches of something. This will definitely shorten battery-life.
... etc.


Feel free to add as you need to .... this is to elicit conversation concerning the camera.

Not defending a100, but there are workarounds:
Hotshoe incompatability - use the flash bounce (45 degree angle) if you are referring to a minolta flash

Mode (not as "automatic" as you'd expect) - how do you mean?

Remembering to shut-off camera prior to putting it down, as pre-focus continues to run if viewfinder is within 4 inches of something. This will definitely shorten battery-life. - In the settings, turn of eye-start. I get my camera to focus, etc. when pressing shutter half way down.

Amigaman
05-30-2007, 08:41 PM
so are these the only issues that you all have seen with the A100? I'm considering migrating from a Canon S2IS POS (uh, I mean P&S) to a Sony Alpha. I guess my concern is whether or not the Alpha is just a one-off and if the new Sony DSLR's are going to go in a radically different direction?

I ask this because it seems that the A100 was more of a KM design than a Sony design. Will we see memory-sticks replace CF and different lenses for the new cameras that leaves the A100 obsolete and a one-trick pony? I'm a little hesitant to invest in a system that may become worthless in a couple years.

DonSchap
05-30-2007, 09:48 PM
so are these the only issues that you all have seen with the A100? I'm considering migrating from a Canon S2IS POS (uh, I mean P&S) to a Sony Alpha. I guess my concern is whether or not the Alpha is just a one-off and if the new Sony DSLR's are going to go in a radically different direction?

I ask this because it seems that the A100 was more of a KM design than a Sony design. Will we see memory-sticks replace CF and different lenses for the new cameras that leaves the A100 obsolete and a one-trick pony? I'm a little hesitant to invest in a system that may become worthless in a couple years.


Even if the A100 was a one off, with all the Minolta-glass floating around out there ... it's a ringer in the camera world, to be sure. It delivers a solid shot and actually improving on it will be a "professional edge" camera, not just another of the same genre.

Any investment, using Minolta-glass, would be relatively small ... and nothing near the amount you would spend doing it with Canon or Nikon glass, especially consider the fact it has anti-shake already there for ALL of your lenses ... not the select and costly few that come with IS in them.

Fear not ... it's hot. :D

cgl88
06-01-2007, 01:49 PM
so are these the only issues that you all have seen with the A100? I'm considering migrating from a Canon S2IS POS (uh, I mean P&S) to a Sony Alpha. I guess my concern is whether or not the Alpha is just a one-off and if the new Sony DSLR's are going to go in a radically different direction?

I ask this because it seems that the A100 was more of a KM design than a Sony design. Will we see memory-sticks replace CF and different lenses for the new cameras that leaves the A100 obsolete and a one-trick pony? I'm a little hesitant to invest in a system that may become worthless in a couple years.

In truth, any dSLR is a step up from your great S2IS. All cameras will become obsolete, be it a canon 5d, nikon d100, or a sony a100. The difference however is the lens pricing. Minolta used lenses are far cheaper than the other brands. There are sigma and tamron lenses that work for the alpha, KM bodies. I am very happy with the alpha. It's light, it does everything i want, and it makes me think about the shot.

The a100 supports CF and the sony memory stick pro duo. Most dSLRs use CF.

There are pro versions of the alpha coming out. however they will cost at least 2x the a100.

Hope this helps,
Chris

wmussatto
06-13-2007, 10:19 PM
My wife has a Minolta film camera with compatable flash and lens (I have a minolta too but it way older (can you say manual focus). How good a job does it do tracking a moving bird (lens is 75-300). Since the motor is in the body not the lens the long kit lens would at least give me some idea..

Thanks.

BTW: my 'Minolta' flash works great on my FZ-20.

Bill

cgl88
06-17-2007, 07:54 AM
Is this the lens you have?
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=55

It sounds like focus will not be a problem outdoors.

Nautique
07-01-2007, 10:03 AM
I'm glad I opened this forum. I'm new to the DSLR game so I was unaware of any problems with my A100. I'll take a closer look at what I have been experiencing with my Sony... and I will report back.

:eek:

DonSchap
07-02-2007, 07:55 AM
I took the A100 out with my newly acquired TAMRON Adaptall 2 MF 200-500mm f/6.9, just to get a feel for this rather massive lens (97.7 oz). It requires a heck of a lot out of a handhold ... and I'm just not up to that, any more. I suppose you could do a "prone position" with it, but it's definitely tripod/monopod bound for me. Let's face it, you start swinging this puppy around in a crowd and someone's going to get hurt! :eek:

So, I placed it on a tripod and began shooting around a man-made lake, just to have some clear distance between me and the subject (a nefarious tree) on the other side. I zoomed out to 500mm ... too much lens ... backed off to about 400mm and did a series of exposures that resulted in what I anticipated as the result. The camera did it's job and produced the images. I backed off to about 300mm and did another series, with a recycling can, 90-degrees to the light source ... the Sun. Again, the results were as anticipated. No surprises. :)

I then thought it might be fun to get images of the cars running along the road, several hundred yards away, at 1/4000th at f/6.9, just to see if the images would turn out. Remember, these boys are doing 45-50mph, almost perpendicular to my position. Happily, a well timed-firing produced some rather nice looking results and proved that the lens was able to capture a decent shot even under extreme settings like 1/4000 - moving target - tripod - Manual Focus! Of course, I had superior lighting from ol' Sol, so who could complain? I probably could have shot through gauze and still have gotten a great shot. LOL :D


These images are unenhanced and only resized.
26092
26093

Of course, the obligatory 100% crop
26094

The lens has an 82mm filter ring, so my filtering is severly limited. I have to almost exclusively us the "P"-sized Cokins, and they can play hell in the bright sunlight, as the plastic edges catch the sun and flood the filter with spurious light. You need to use black tape across the edge to prevent this.

All in all, the SONY A100 is delivering ... even with the slower, darker lenses and that's good to know. Manual Mode is there when you need it or craft with it.

GarethP
07-10-2007, 02:59 AM
Don, you have convinced me!!

My Canon S3 is now my learning tool (and will remain my 'toy') and next April when I visit the US (exchange rates help ;)) I will almost certainly be purchasing an A100.

The question I have though is, will it still be available retail? I know you're not all telepaths and can't read Sony's mind but, anyone have any opinions?

As a starting kit, what lenses should I be looking at?

Thanks.

griptape
07-10-2007, 03:13 PM
SLR's are usually easy to find long after they stop being produced. Just look at the Rebel XT. You can still find it new most everywhere.

cgl88
07-13-2007, 06:11 AM
Don, you have convinced me!!

My Canon S3 is now my learning tool (and will remain my 'toy') and next April when I visit the US (exchange rates help ;)) I will almost certainly be purchasing an A100.

The question I have though is, will it still be available retail? I know you're not all telepaths and can't read Sony's mind but, anyone have any opinions?

As a starting kit, what lenses should I be looking at?

Thanks.

You will be fine with the kit lens (18-70mm) but if you want S3 range the Tamron 28-250mm will cover everything. $400ish.

If you like taking artistic portrait shots, get a 50mm f/1.7 - $100 on ebay.

Like buying a computer, for cameras set a budget! If money was not a care for me i'd buy a Carl Zeiss 16-80mm lens too.

By next year a new alpha might be available but i don't think the a100 will get cheaper right away. It's a good camera with very good capabilities.

DonSchap
07-13-2007, 09:20 AM
Don, you have convinced me!!

My Canon S3 is now my learning tool (and will remain my 'toy') and next April when I visit the US (exchange rates help ;)) I will almost certainly be purchasing an A100.

The question I have though is, will it still be available retail? I know you're not all telepaths and can't read Sony's mind but, anyone have any opinions?

As a starting kit, what lenses should I be looking at?

Thanks.


Not that long ago, in this forum, I suggested a SONY advanced-starter camera bag (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25136) (<-- Click on this link). Consider this bag a suggested "jump-start" on avoiding all the miscues and foul-ups when selecting future lenses you will need. Just get them right up front and you are off to the races.

In the post, the lenses discussed were of the type you would not have to replace for a long time and of sufficient quality to shoot almost 90% of what any serious photographer would need.

Of course there are differing opinions, but after my experiences, these are still the suggested ways to go. If you want to start off simple, though, the SONY A100 coupled with the TAMRON AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) and a vertical grip (VG-1) {by Dicain} is a great way to be able to just grab your camera and commence fire!

On the brilliant summer afternoons that Chicago has been enjoying of late, it's all you should need ... outdoors.

Now, of course, if you are ducking indoors, you will need a low light substitute, and that's basically where the rest of the suggested bag comes into play. If external flash is an option, though, the TAMRON utility lens (18-250mm f/3.5-6.3) is still a great ranged lens to cover the bases. Just get the SONY HVL-F56AM electronic flash and you should have all the lighting power required to light the room for your shot.

GarethP
07-17-2007, 02:02 AM
Thanks for the pointer Don, I'll definitely look out for the Tamron...


On the brilliant summer afternoons that Chicago has been enjoying of late, it's all you should need ... outdoors.

That should get me off to a running start - 99% of my photography is outside.... but in the UK at the moment - I can't remember the last day it didn't rain - must be at least 8 weeks ago!