View Full Version : Ok Don, got a few questions about the A100

02-19-2007, 06:47 PM
So, I've tested this out a little and I have to say I'm quite uncertain about a few things.

#1. Shutter sound. Is it loud or am I just overly sensitive to the noise. For some reason it just seems louder than some of my other cameras.

#2. I have the ISO set on Auto and it seems that in a few pics there is alot of noise in it.

or maybe I'm just being over critical because I only have 10 days to decide if i want to keep this camera and I'm nit picking?

Any good pointers on how I can really truly see how it will come out. My printer here at home isn't all that great for photo printing.

Please help me!


02-21-2007, 07:55 AM
Do the noise test!

Take a decent indoor scene (something reasonably bright), camera on a tripod (for consistency), using ambient (the light in the room from standard lamps) lighting. Turn OFF "Super Steady Shot".

I recommend using a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lens. They are are available and relatively cheap (~$50) to obtain on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-Maxxum-Sony-A100-Alpha-AF-50mm-f-1-7-Lens-WOW_W0QQitemZ120087388520QQihZ002QQcategoryZ3342QQ rdZ1QQcmdZViewItem).

Test Shots

In Av mode, set your ISO manually to 100 and adjust the aperture for the shot. Snap the shutter.
In Av mode, set your ISO manually to 200 and adjust the aperture for the shot.
In Av mode, set your ISO manually to 400 and adjust the aperture for the shot. Snap the shutter.
In Av mode, set your ISO manually to 800 and adjust the aperture for the shot. Snap the shutter.
In Av mode, set your ISO manually to 1600 and adjust the aperture for the shot. Snap the shutter.
Set your A100 to full AUTO (green bar on Mode selector). Determine what the A100 chose as the proper ISO-setting. Snap the shutter.

Final Shot

Remove the A100 from the tripod.
Set the ISO to whatever the A100 determined it to be in the AUTO setting (this is important for consistancy).
set the Mode selector to Tv and using the internal metering, adjust your speed down to the slowest speed for the widest aperture (lowest f/#) the lens will allow. (write these settings down).
With "Super SteadyShot" turned back ON, snap the image as close to what you were taking before.

Download and examine these images carefully on your PC ... and look for the noise increases in the shadows. Try and determine at which point this becomes a real problem. This should give you a good idea how the camera will perform and narrow your expectations. Some folks expect miracles ... miracles are created (by some other force) and do not occur "naturally", otherwise they wouldn't be miraculous ... they'd be natural.

With the combination of settings you wrote down from the "FINAL SHOT", get a Canon or a Nikon body with a similar (50mm f/1.8) lens, put in the settings you wrote down and just try to take a clear shot, handheld. Examine for noise and a sharp image.

In the end, YOU must make the call, but at least you will be comparing apples-to-apples, real time. Please post the results you get on this thread. I know, personally, that I would like to see these issues from another SONY A100, because, frankly, I'm not suffering them.

As far as actual shutter sound goes ... I do not pay attention to such things, unless people are freaking out. There is no film-powerwinder involved, so people should be thankful for that, because those things made some noise. :eek:

Edit: During lunch, I went home and side-by-sided the A100 vs Canon EOS 20D. The Canon was far louder than the comparitively whisper-like shutter of the A100. So, I guess I have to say ... SONY has Canon beat, in that regard. If the SONY is buggin' ya, the Canon is just going to horrify you. LOL :D

As far as the final print goes, most people rarely get exactly what they see on their monitor. That would require a serious investment in non-photographic equipment, usually on the order of $10,000 or more, for a dynamite photo-quality printer and a precision color monitor. Call it a WHAT-YOU-SEE-IS-WHAT-YOU-GET-SYSTEM. Monitor to print, they look identical. Yes, sir ... big $$$.

With what most people have in their homes $200 inkjet, $300 monitor and no color correction software, it usually takes several iterations, as you adjust the brightness and contrast of the image to provide the printed image just the way you really want to see it. Usually you will want to save the print corrected image to a separate file name (ie, DSP00437 - print.jpg), because it never looks as good as the original did, after you print correct it.

Also, the type of paper (media) you use will have a tremendous effect on the overall quality of the print. If you decide to print on standard inkjet paper, your images will look pretty dull and lifeless. That may be good for course corrections to the print, but then you really need to use quality glossy or semi-gloss finishes. The colors should look much better and it will add some sparkle to every print. I usually figure on burning at least four glossy prints, before it looks "perfect" or acceptable for presentation.

I hope this helps. :)

02-21-2007, 08:05 PM
Thanks for your help. It is much appreciated. As far as printing the pics, I think I'm going to use Ritz to get them developed for my bigger projects. They do alot of color and print adjustments before ever developing the picture which is nice. I think I just need to chill and work with my camera and learn how to handle it and I will be fine.

Again, thanks for you help :)