A100 - Hand-on 'report'
Visited Adorama in NYC today;
'Just came in' replied the clerk to my 'Did you get the A100 yet?
1) ( all with kit lens ) It is very light. Weighs less than my R-1.
2) The build quality is not as high as my R-1 ( built like a brick - my opinion ).
3) When the salesman handed me the camera, I felt something move within the camera. I thought the lens was loose; but it was the 'Auto-start' focus as the camera sensed my wrist and then my belly by the view finder as I grabbed the camera. I then held the camera in my right hand and moved my left pointer finger back and forth over the viewfinder and could feel the autofocus mechanism move within the camera. The movement was enough to be felt through my hand holding the camera ( something I never felt with my D30, D60, F-828, R-1 n, or my old EOS 35 mm film cameras autofocus.). I felt it more than heard it.
This sensation gave me a toyish tactile feeling while the camera was autofocusing.
4) My rather large hand had the sensation that there was no camera to grip with my pointer finger while my hand was in the typical right handed camera grip poisition. That is the height of the grip (and camera) did not fill my hand as would my D60 nor R-1.
4A) I tried to take a shot and found that I was pressing a dial instead of the shutter button which is placed behind this dial on a horizontal plane ( not on and slanted toward the front of the camera as I sub-conciously thought it would be).
5) The shutter is hearable, and I would classify it as noisy, more than my D60 and friend's 20D, but less than the Olympus E300 shutter mechanism.
It will scare away most wild life and Pastors and Priests in a church.
The best way I can describe the sound of the shutter is as follows:
If you have a double sash window that goes up and down, and a window screen on the outside of this window; If your screen was raised about 3",
and then in one gentle constant movement you bring the screen down to the bottom of the window ( without slamming it) you would replicate the sound of the A100 shutter mechanism, IMHO.
6) I found the Optical Viewfinder a pleasure.
Being accustomed to my R-1's EVF, I felt like I was looking through my old Mamiya TLR again, just great. Sorry, I did not think about stopping down the aperture with the preview button.
7) I tried Manual Focus First. Maybe it was me, but the focus ring on the front of the lens was too narrow for me to actually touch. I had to foucus using the lens shade ( if that is what it was). How did it work?
Fantastic. In this sense: with the kit lens I had to turn the rind only about a quarter turn to obtain focus of anything in the store, under store lighting.
I could easily use manual focus on typical people shots without any difficulty at the store lighting level ( or brighter I assume.)
This is not to say how it would be in dimmer light.
8) The Autofocus seemed fast, but I can not accurately report on it as I did not know the camera's setting, focus points, etc.
9) The LCD was large in relation to the camera and the playback image went to the edges of the lcd, where the entire image appeared to be 'pasted' on the back of the camera.
8) No CF card. Sorry.
I present this as my subjective observations of the camera without an ax to grind, and wwithout any conclusion at this time.
I hope this feedback provides you with some 'solid' info on this new camera.