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Serious Question/Not A lot of Time
Hi all,.

I really have a serious question here that I would greatly appreciate your input on. Just a few days ago I picked up an open box Sony A100 for $542 out the door. The camera is brand new and seen to be perfect..

I also have a Canon S3 that I have had for a while. I generally used manual settings on it. The A100 is my first dSLR..

It seems that I am having a tough time getting pictures that I really like with the A100. I know that it has noise issues in the higher ISO's and I can deal with that. Noiseware works pretty well for the noise. I just am not sure about the pictures that I am getting. Granted, I have not had a lot of time to play with the camera yet. Maybe this is just a big learning curve coming from a P&S to a dSLR.I can still take the A100 back and get something else if I choose..

I was looking at the Nikon D40x tonight with the 55-200mm f4-5.6G VR Lens, http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=89760 , and it looked pretty nice. Actually the lens I was looking at was this one, http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=30253 , which was very nice, but probably out of my price range at this point..

Many of you here have way more experience and knowledge than I do!! If it were you, would you keep what I have, figuring that I just need to learn the camera better and then create better pictures, or do you think the Nikon set up is a better set up? I know that the Nikon certainly does better in the noise department!.

As I said,I really appreciate your input!! I would like to keep the discussion ONLY to these two cameras please. Which ever one I get is going to have to last me for quit sometime, so I want to make the best decision possible..

Thanks A lot, Ron.

I would post some pictures, but I really don't have any yet.Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comments (9)

It would be helpful if you could describe some of the issues you are having..

Bear in mind that no camera is a substitue for understanding photographic technique, and more importantly, getting out there and shooting..

Practice is worth 10,000 times more than better gear...

Comment #1

Go to the Sony DSLR forum and post some images.. it will take great pictures but right now we don't know what your issue is..

Though you are not the only one that has P&S remorse going to DSLR... some P&S do things like boost saturation and sharpening to make pretty pictures...

DSLRs often are more neutral with base settings..

Jumping to another camera without knowing the issue you might find you have the same issue and no auto-bracketing (which Nikon deleted from the D40).

But if you had the Nikon I would tell you to post some images in the Nikon Board.Ken - KM 5D (A700 Joy)http://www.cascadephotoworks.com..

Comment #2

TheMadTexan wrote:.

It would be helpful if you could describe some of the issues you arehaving..

Bear in mind that no camera is a substitue for understandingphotographic technique, and more importantly, getting out there andshooting..

Practice is worth 10,000 times more than better gear..

I know that I cannot just pick up a dSLR and instantly know how to use it. It does and will take a lot of practice no matter which camera I get. Like I said, I just want to get the best camera that I can for the amount of $$ that I can spend right now, which is about $750..

Here are 3 pictures that I have taken and saved. The First one was taken as a jpeg , the second one in RAW and the third one as a jpeg. All were edited in Lightroom..

Ron.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #3

Thanks for the reply Ken. I do not have P&S remorse at all. I do still have my Canon S3..

Ron.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #4

Ron E Trees wrote:.

Thanks for the reply Ken. I do not have P&S remorse at all. I dostill have my Canon S3..

Ron.

But the P&S do process thier images differently than DSLRs...so it could just be adjusting to the different way DSLRs do jpgs in default.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root.

Ken - KM 5D (A700 Joy)http://www.cascadephotoworks.com..

Comment #5

Ron,.

It sounds like you got a bargain but I guess you're still just using the 18/70 kit lens that came with camera?.

Most manufacturers include something similar with their DSLRs - OKish and good value, but nowhere near capable of showing the true potential of the camera body. Don't be put off, you'll only get much from it at the settings that suit it best. Have a read of this and you'll how much it's appreciated! http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=25703705.

Of the camera, Phil's A100 review ends by saying.

"My final rating? For me it's a fairly comfortable Highly Recommended, the A100 is a very capable camera with a wide feature set, a good range of manual controls and some unique developments. The built-in Super SteadyShot provides you with that little extra comfort level at slower shutter speeds and the ability to use longer lenses with more confidence."(http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyDSLRA100/page30.asp).

Have a read through the review - especially the remarks about high ISOs and the need for lots of sharpening - and persevere; your old PBase site shows that you know what you're doing and I'm sure you'll soon start to enjoy your new camera!.

Peter.

Peter - on the green island of Ischiahttp://www.pbase.com/isolaverde..

Comment #6

Ron.

Don't know how much you know supplier or how helpful/close they are but if they'll let you (even if it's only for a day) I'd try a Nikon set up to help make mind up - perhaps with 18-55mm kit lens and/or 55-200 VR you mention. OK, you'll have to pay them the extra $'s to do it (D40x + kit = $635 or + kit/55-200 = $785) but in end obviously only pay for camera you choose..

Only you can decide which is your best choice and, as Peter says, you may well grow to enjoy the Sony but it looks like you've got a bit of a "should I get a D40x" itch that needs scratching and trying it out should help scratch it by seeing how your initial thoughts compare with those for the A100..

On the lens side, if you did go for the D40x, don't know how far in the future your possible purchase of the 18-200 VR you mention would be - if not too distant, could just pay to buy with kit lens..

Hope supplier helps re your test, if not please disregard the above post!.

Good luck......Caster..

Comment #7

Thanks for all of your thoughtful answers all. I really appreciate it!.

Peter, are you saying that a lot of sharpening in post processing is needed with this camera?.

Thanks, RonLet's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #8

Ron E Trees wrote:.

Thanks for all of your thoughtful answers all. I really appreciate it!.

Peter, are you saying that a lot of sharpening in post processing isneeded with this camera?.

Hi Ron, and apologies before I start - short questions always seem to get long answers!.

Due to the design of their sensors, the output from almost every digital camera needs sharpening to get the best from the image (for why, see htp://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Digital_Imaging/Sharpening_01.htm)..

Regrettably there's no ideal amount - it depends what's in the image, the size at which it will be used, whether it's to be printed or displayed on the screen of a PC, TV etc etc..

Each model's default settings are chosen to match their users' anticipated needs, so some will apply more of what's needed than others. At one end - in the expectation that more users will get their prints made without any PP work - it's common for P&S cameras to apply lots of sharpening, whereas most DSLRS set much much less (with their RAW files having almost no applied sharpening at all)..

Hence this comment in the Conclusions of the A100 review: "I was pleasantly surprised to see that Sony (or was it Minolta?) has taken a conservative approach to sharpening, in some circles this may lead to comments of 'soft images' but examine the images properly and you can see just as much detail as an over-sharpened image from other camera models. If you prefer your images a little sharper then just add +1 sharpening. Obviously you can always squeeze a little more detail from RAW images.".

Now that's got good sides, and bad ones. Soft out of the camera but more scope to select exactly what's best..

It means you'll have to choose and apply the sharpening that best suits each shot - but you get to work on a 'purer' image that's not already been messed up by the camera..

That's probably what's behind the biggest difference between your two shots of the cockerel sign. Even at the size posted, the JPG shows the results of more sharpening than the RAW. Not necessarily too much, but noticably more and - if anything - I'd say the one from RAW still looks a bit soft? Difficult though - too much sharpening will overdo those bright highlights long before it improves softer areas like the right-hand edge of the frame..

So yes - by default at least, the files from the A100 aren't sharpened as much as those from some other DSLRs (or from your S2) and may therefore need more sharpening than you're used to applying, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!.

And don't forget that all this is only about making the best of whatever detail the sensor has captured - no amount of sharpening can't completely make up for optical inadequacies in the lens or poor photographic technique!.

Hope that helps a bit,Peter.

Peter - on the green island of Ischiahttp://www.pbase.com/isolaverde..

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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