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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Question How can we improve the SONY DSLR Forum?

    One of the things that seems to be lacking is a larger participation in the forum.

    I often point to the major threads we have concerning lenses and cameras, because they cover a much longer period of time and larger base of information than trying to quickly answer some the deeply involved aspect to the techniques and technologies involved. No one should think of this kind of response as some kind of dodge ... but, hopefully, a much better review of the background necessary to appreciate a more focused response to the question.

    Let's face it, 're-inventing the wheel' is a real time killer ... and there is a significant bit of ground to cover when it comes to new folks and photography. Happily, SONY looks to have added informational and instructive features to the upcoming intro-DSLRs (A230, A330, A380). Hopefully, this will reduce the rudimentary questions that seem to continually get repeated and we can concentrate on the real problems that we all see to share at one time or another.

    I know there have to be a lot of questions out there, that have not been covered by the several major instructive posts in this forum. Fortunately, we can thank Jeff Keller for keeping the SONY DSLR Forum (as well as others) in ready, "on-line" fashion, so that if you need to "access the past" exchanges, you actually can. It is not just what came in over the past two months, this forum goes back to when the α100 first was released. I mean, how cool is that?

    It has been fun trying to look with some serious interest into the improvement of the craft, with all the various equipment suggestions and ways to avoid getting financially wiped-out while still preserving the "quality" of the imaging. Yes, I know there are those who are original manufacturer fan-boys ... who cannot see anything but what the camera manufacturer makes as being viable, but as we all have learned from experience, this is not necessarily the case. There are serious things SONY has not made available for the camera ... and third-party has been the only source for this.

    Sure, we all enjoy talking-up the positive aspects of the in-the-body image stabilization and the compatibility with older Minolta lenses and parts, but SONY sure could augment and produce a much broader range of supporting parts. I find it hard to believe they LOST the "Minolta playbook" along the way. I suggest some people reread it and find a way to quickly fill in the blanks that exist in the current line-up. Call it "an investment in the future" and leave it at that. You can get away with tossing a P&S camera to people and say, "Here, use this ..." but, that can not be said with a modern DSLR. There are a whole lot more pieces to the serious photography puzzle that DSLRs represent and the picture is not very pretty with a bunch of "holes" in it.

    The time of "manufacturer forgiveness" is rapidly coming to an end. I believe SONY needs to have the DSLR Camera Division completed by 2010 ... or the "interested people" that gave them their chance ... will simple walk. SONY needs a fully dedicated support structure and all the specialized parts that come with SONY/Minolta proprietary options. If you are not going to source these routine items or at least license someone to source them, then return the camera system to conventional options ("standard hot shoe flash" and various release cables). SONY has the buying public waiting ... and they WANT to take pictures! Enough of this "stalling" them off.

    Obviously, the true blessing of this forum is that it is based on experience, because it is very rare that SONY ever lets the "cat out of the bag" in regards to their equipment. In fact, you might say this forum operates in spite of SONY's apparent "anti-public" interests, yet they directly benefit from the enthusiastic support the users occasionally or routinely provide. A lot can be said for cooperative communication and I truly believe that it is a core problem in SONY's lack of DSLR marketshare. People are just not willing to "not know" anymore. Blame it on the Internet or what have you, but day by day ... it sinks further and further in mistrust and a lack of understanding.

    Speaking of the Internet ... for instance, when you type in "SONY DSLR forum" in a Google search engine ... DCRP shows up around twelfth (on the second page, no less) in the list that falls out and only because of a specific posting title. Type "DonSchap" and it comes up FOURTH. What's with that? Heck, they have got sites reporting that I have posted nothing on their location. Excuse me! LOL

    Anyway, as others might, I would like to see DCResource.com come up FIRST, because it is a dedicated SONY DSLR Forum. I'm not sure how the search engine can improve upon that, but it might be a lot nicer if it could. If people know where to go to get answers, right off the bat ... I figure we all can assist each other and the better at this we all will get. I hate to think people found the DCRP "by accident."

    I am not sure if there are any professionals among the group, except for couple of spot appearances ... but, participation is key to the livelihood of the forum. For me, I appreciate the great information exchange this forum provides. I have sincerely enjoyed the "heads-up" when we can get from each other and tireless work that everyone is putting forth in an effort to create and develop their art.

    So ... pause for a moment and ask ... "What can we do to make it better, yet?"

    (Personally, I just hope this kind of makes sense to people.)
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-10-2009 at 09:54 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    2,204
    It does make sense, but it's quite long.

    Less arguing for starters.

    I would agree that Sony does need to make a complete lineup soon. This year should be quite interesting in terms of what Sony may bring to the table. I can't wait to see the A700's replacement as well as Nikon's offering which will likely use the same sensor.

    I suppose the new Ax30s (and A380) will help acquaint the noobs to a camera, but it is quite limited and can only go so far. It just barely scratches anything with a few sentence explanation. Also with Nikon and Canon touting salesman, it is even harder for Sony to make itself stand out (in a positive manor). The pricing on these new (old) cameras better be like dirt cheap.

    Eh, other than those few comments, not much else I can think of right now.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Well ... I apologize for being "breezy", but I did not want to be misunderstood. Everyone loves a two sentence response, I guess.

    Being misunderstood can easily happen and does on this medium. You believe you are saying it one way ... and someone gets something entirely different out of it. Who knew?

    Or miss a "not" in one your explanations and there is positive hell to pay! It's hard to check for those ... perhaps reading what you have written aloud.

    Another thing is when "other manufacturer's friends" come into the forum and start screwing around with the "this" does this and the "that" does that. It really is of little value to the poor SONY user who has SONY/Minolta to choose from and not THIS or THAT without have to completely change manufacturers. There is confusion and pointless consternation. SONY DSLRs exist without looking to other camera manufacturers for support. There are limited operational similarities and sure, everyone should own one. Makes life a lot easier.

    Anyway ... let's hear from the masses ... let's make it work for all of us. Address your suggestions to the forum at large, not to me. Call me a "promoter of the exchange of ideas" and not the one responsible to act on them. We all inherit that responsibility as members. Thank you.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-10-2009 at 10:09 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3
    Well as someone new to this site I would like the pages to load faster when moving about in it. I don't seem to have this problem at other sites.

    I purchased my A700 despite my previous experiences with Sony. One of the big issue I've had with Sony cameras is the inability to find Sony accessories. Many retailers sell the camera and nothing else. Because of this it would be nice to have a vendors area here to make it easier to get Sony and third party gear for our cameras.

    It would be nice to see a push to make the Minolta/Sony hot shoe the industry standard as it is far superior to the iso shoe used by everyone else providing a solid connection that has a positive catch and an easy release that doesn't get jammed. It's a positive step into the future.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    7
    OK, this is almost a week old, and only a few suggestions, so I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.

    Aside from the afore mentioned request to tone down the arguing, I'd like to see a sticky on "Alpha Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials" (TT&T). DonSchap has contributed so many useful TT&T's, that I think that they could be placed in a seperate sticky. His "High ISO...let's lose the noise" thread was great, as were the "Aperature is worth a thousand bulbs", and the "Air Show Advice" threads. And I know somewhere I've read a tutorial on shooting panoramas using the Alpha -- and that's just it -- somewhere. I know about the search function of the forum, but having a bunch of Alpha specific information located in one place would be nice.

    I'm not talking about general things, like lighting, or lens selection, or lens reviews, but things that are pretty much Alpha specific. (OK, so the Aperature thread was general info, but still an excellent explanation.)

    I've also seen a good explanation of setting up multiple Sony flash units using one as a master control and the others controlled with wireless sync. Can't remember if it was here or another forum, but something like that would fit the criteria for the TT&T sticky. Also I believe somewhere there is a thread/tutorial on shooting HDR with an Alpha, again I think it is by Don, but it's somewhere and would be easier to find if it were in the TT&T sticky. Maybe by starting a sticky like this, others would be stimulated to contribute their knowledge and discoveries specific to the Alpha series. I'm sure there others, besides DonSchap, who have TT&T's they could contribute.

    And I'd give the admin power to move threads to the TT&T sticky when he/she decided that there was enough relavent information to warrant it, in addition to individual contributors who could start a new thread.

    GT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,163
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I would like to see DCResource.com come up FIRST, because it is a dedicated SONY DSLR Forum.
    No it's not. DCResource.com isn't even a forum; it's camera news and reviews website with a forum connected to it. Furthermore, the forum has a Sony DSLR section but it's not a dedicated Sony forum. DCResource.com addresses just about every camera make in common usage, and quite a few in not-so-common usage.
    Last edited by cdifoto; 05-17-2009 at 10:13 AM.
    Ouch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Hey, thanks for chiming in, CDI ... but, I believe you might have missed the point. There really are not that many SONY DSLR forums out there ... so when you search, I would expect DCRP to shuffle to the top. Remember, it is the search ... we are speaking of ... not the content, however good it is.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Don,

    While I've found some great information in the Sony DSLR Forum, it's some times difficult to find or its buried somewhere around page 15 of 25. The search function helps. And, when I have time to just browse, that's fine. But when I don't have much time, it can be frustrating.

    I suspect that some of the new threads, especially from us junior members, are created because a question that's popped up has not been readily found and the quickest way to get some discussion going is a new thread.

    I definately like the idea of some dedicated subject threads, such as the TT&T suggested, as well as some dedicated Sony accessory threads.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
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    Angry Paying the piper ...

    Yes, I do agree the unfortunate side-effect of forums is that they do not directly deal with all addressed issues and may take a strange turn or two BEFORE they get to the point, but wouldn't you agree that there is some beneficial meat to the subject in the reading, also?

    I mean, unfortunately, none of this responsive rhetoric is indexed. Most of the time, I have to hunt up the threads that are addressed, when I can find the time. I mean, I know they are there ... I have been a part of the SONY DSLR Forum almost from DAY ONE. Believe me, that really helps as a "search tool.". I suppose writing a book or intro-manual would be handy, but I have neither the inclination or time for such an effort. Admittedly, I do not like to have to keep expending the same typing the same response to the same darn question. I mean, I have a life too. It should be pointed out that there are even those who would use their "video-capable" DSLRs to make movies concerning such questions and uses ... but, where are these aficionados, I ask?

    There is no harm in being by thy own self resourceful. There is a tremendous amount of information buried in this forum. Hunt it down until smile falls off your face, I say. Short answers are okay and perhaps convenient, but who are they really benefiting? I am one of those lunkheads who believes in "showing your work", especially if I am the one taking the time and helping you.

    Look, I know how to shoot my rig. You want to learn ... pay your dues. iI assure you, it does not get any easier than this!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-17-2009 at 04:35 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Yes, I do agree the unfortunate side-effect of forums is that they do not directly deal with all addressed issues and may take a strange turn or two BEFORE they get to the point, but wouldn't you agree that there is some beneficial meat to the subject in the reading, also?
    There is absolutely beneficial meat provided by members of the forum, especialy from our senior members ... I prefer "experienced" members, lol. And often the turns, quips and jabs make for more interesting reading.

    I have to say that the diagrams you post - eg the DOF diagram in Apature is worth a thousand bulbs" - are extremely helpful. They cut through the difficulty of describing the concepts through language. They make the concepts accessible, especially to novices. I would even say, "Don's Diagrams are worth a thousand words."
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

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