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a350 first impressions

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ab012 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ab012 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 14:14
agree with mipr and unfortunately its a point a lot of people seem to forget/ignore unfortunately.
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aarif View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 14:38
Originally posted by ab012 ab012 wrote:

agree with mipr and unfortunately its a point a lot of people seem to forget/ignore unfortunately.


Very true but the point that people forget is that producing great higher end models that rivals the big names leads to selling more of your lower end products, creates an up-grade path for your current users and does no harm to your reputation.

I think D3 has done great things for Nikon
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artuk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 15:13
Originally posted by Gabriel Gabriel wrote:

It's just unfortunate for ME, as this means that the new entry-levels DSLRs are not suitable to me while a700 is too expensive for me. But it's fortunate for many more people as this mean the current entry-level DSLRs are suitable for them, and will likely sell like hotcakes.

I agree that the current way is a good business decision. It might be a bad photographic decision, but still a business decision.


Exactly how is it a good business decision to leave off a few features that would cost almost nothing to implement, but that would broaden the products user base?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H_K_F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 15:14
I ran into many experienced photographers that are interested in the Alpha mount lately, many people had looked at my A700. Not many people had shown this kind of interest in my Minolta days.

24 Mb FF sensor and Zeiss AF lens had drawn a lot of attentions. Sony definitely knows marketing.

The best thing is I can still feel the "mind" of the Minolta engineers in the alpha line; an effective solution implementing LV in the consumer offerings, and at the same time stubbornly rejecting LV in A700. They are definitely not other "me-too" products.

Looking forward to see the Sony "flagship"!! : )
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Gabriel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gabriel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 15:48
Originally posted by artuk artuk wrote:

Exactly how is it a good business decision to leave off a few features that would cost almost nothing to implement, but that would broaden the products user base?

Because it has some influence on the perception of "basic" users. Some newcomers are scared by features they don't understand. Sure they don't have to use them, but it produces, for some users, a perception of a complicated product, that might makes some users choose another, more "friendly" camera.

I'm not telling that it's a right or wrong decision, but only that those kind of things are considered by manufacturers.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 20:04
I think you are over-simplfying Sony's reasoning.

A modern DSLR is over-burdened with "over-complicated" features, particularly in the menus, that most new users will not understand. I personally see some of these "complications" as less useful than, for example, DOF preview.

If it was an issue of perceived "complexity" then they could remove half the features and still have a camera that "auto everything" users could shoot with. If DOF preview any harder for a new user to understand than a different metering system in live view, or DRO options?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 21:42
Well, first perhaps a belated note of appreciation to Kiklop for the comprehensive review of the α350.

I would also largely agree that as it currently stands, there is a gap in the lineup between the 350 and the 700. The marketing goal of Sony however, is to sell more 200/300/350s and more 700s. They are going to bundle different features with different cameras, so that customers will gravitate to the product with the highest-price Sony can extract. It is an approach used by many manufacturers across many different products. It is a very pragmatic approach to boost the profitability of their DSLR camera division. And it ensures that the alpha series has the best chance of surviving in this market.

For the most part, Sony seems to have done their market-research well. The α700 lacks live-view because their research said, the target market for this product didn't care. A core rule to bundling attributes, is you don't add a feature that costs you more to make, than the consumer is willing to pay. If LV costs $50 to add to a camera, and the photographer looking at the 700 values it at $20, then you don't add it.

I'd bet that their research also said the most important features for a photographer coming from a p&s background, was liveview and high megapixel count. Which I suspect is their target market for the 200/300/350 range.   From a marketing angle, I suspect that Sony would rather have the advanced or semi-pro shooters using α700s- probably because their market research tells them that this kind of photographer is often prepared to dig a bit deeper into their pockets to pay premium prices.

Broadening a market for a product only works up to a point. The fact that you have variants of models of cars, TVs, stereos, computers etc, is because this kind of market segmentation is more profitable. The one-size fits-all product just doesn't work from a business angle.       
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Heidfirst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2008 at 21:55
Originally posted by artuk artuk wrote:

If DOF preview any harder for a new user to understand than a different metering system in live view, or DRO options?

as per David Kilpatrick's article if DoF preview doesn't work properly anyway why include it?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PMac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2008 at 00:14
Again, a vote of thanks to Kiklop for the user review of the A350.

Now my bleat.......

In this thread there has been an idea developed that some sort of rigid dichotomy exists between photographic "tools" on one hand and "gadgets" on the other. For example, DOF preview and MLU are clearly regarded as essential tools whereas live view and a 40% increase in resolution is equally clearly regarded as mere gadgetry.

My question is, why is this so?

As far as I can see MLU provides no visible benefit at all and worse, DOF preview is actually harmful in that it is misleading as to what the final outcome will be. So how come one redundant and one negative feature have been elevated to the status of dealbreaker in determining if a camera is serious or not?

All credit to Kiklop here, when assessing the new entry level camera's from Sony he clearly and unambigously states that his views are based on how he uses a camera and that his review must be read with that in mind.

Few other posters are as careful - instead we see throw away lines that the A200/300/350 is a "toy" not to be considered by "real" photographers. These "real" photographers are, by the way, entirely self appointed and usually appear to be people that take inordinate pride in the thousands of pictures they take of assorted trees, bees, strangers and mountains that frankly no one other them care about while at the same time deriding those who want to take photos of really important things, like their children, pets and friends. Because believe it or not, in 50 years it will be these "snapshots", not the perfectly lit strobist portrait of some anonomous model, that people will still be looking at - to me that makes the family happy snap infinItely more important than anything else I take.

In assessing the A200/300/350 I think there is really only one question:

does it met the market need?

If the answer is yes, then its a good camera. If the answer is no then its a bad camera. By all reports the answer for the A200/300/350 is a resounding YES! and so right now I'd consider it a great camera.

The other question that people are asking, am I "the market" for the A200/300/350 is a valid question but relates to Sony's corporate direction and your self assessment rather than the qualities of the A200/300/350.




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Post Options Post Options   Quote RubberDials Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2008 at 02:33
Originally posted by PMacinSeattle PMacinSeattle wrote:

In this thread there has been an idea developed that some sort of rigid dichotomy exists between photographic "tools" on one hand and "gadgets" on the other. For example, DOF preview and MLU are clearly regarded as essential tools whereas live view and a 40% increase in resolution is equally clearly regarded as mere gadgetry.

My question is, why is this so?

As far as I can see MLU provides no visible benefit at all and worse, DOF preview is actually harmful in that it is misleading as to what the final outcome will be. So how come one redundant and one negative feature have been elevated to the status of dealbreaker in determining if a camera is serious or not?

All credit to Kiklop here, when assessing the new entry level camera's from Sony he clearly and unambigously states that his views are based on how he uses a camera and that his review must be read with that in mind.

Few other posters are as careful - instead we see throw away lines that the A200/300/350 is a "toy" not to be considered by "real" photographers. These "real" photographers are, by the way, entirely self appointed and usually appear to be people that take inordinate pride in the thousands of pictures they take of assorted trees, bees, strangers and mountains that frankly no one other them care about while at the same time deriding those who want to take photos of really important things, like their children, pets and friends.


This says beautifully exactly what i want to say on this issue. I'm really tired of hearing that a relatively cheap camera with 14mp resolution and an innovative LV system is 'crap' and laughably not a suitable replacement to a 5D.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JST1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2008 at 03:17
Thanks to our fearless leader for the fine work. I am surprised by the quality of the images in this format. That is good enough for me. There is plenty of time and I look forward to the opportunity to choose the right tool for me. No doubt that Sony will provide such a tool.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Frank Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2008 at 13:21
Originally posted by Kiklop Kiklop wrote:


There is noticeable lag between two LV readouts (if you take two images in single burst mode) that some may not like but i guess most users won't take it as an issue.


Hello Kiklop, I am new to this forum and I would like to thank you for the exceptional information found on this site. I have used the lenses section extensively.

I was wondering if you would care to elaborate on the text quoted above?

Was you observation done with RAW turned on? Would you expect it to be much shorter without Raw?

Was the user blinded during the lag? Would you think that with this lag one could track a slow, confined, movement, such as a child playing?

Was there a significant slowdown after the first couple of shots?

Outside of the burst mode, does the LV go blind for a similar length of time between shots triggered manually?

How fast was the memory card you were using? Do you think that the lag is affected by the card speed?

Would you have an opinion on how a lower resolution would affect the lag? Are there other factors that could be configured to reduce the lag?

Sorry for the many questions. As you can see there are all aimed at understanding how serious the lag is and if it can be managed.

Thanks again,

Frank


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Post Options Post Options   Quote kiklop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2008 at 13:49
The lag in question is related to live view readout (from the LV sensor to the LCD). It isn't related to card speed, JPG size, file type (raw, jpg)in any way.
It is noticeable; some may find it a bit irritating while other may not even notice it.
I need to be honest and say that this lag is presented in some a350 materials i have and exact values are confidential so .. i can't speak about them openly; it is not my imagination only as suggested elsewhere but then again it's something you should really try yourself and see if it bothers you.
For what i needed and used LV this wasn't an issue (i would use optical finder in 90% of situations anyway especially if tracking objects) but i guess it is important to mention this in case anyone may find this problematic.

Happy shooting !
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Frank Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2008 at 15:06
Thank you for the quick reply. I had misunderstood your comment.

My concern actually is the blind time after taking a shot in LV mode. I had asked this question in the dpreview forum and you were kind enough to respond, somewhat briefly: "yes(nt)".

I would really appreciate some elaboration on that. Have you observed a one second blind LV after a shot? Was it with raw turned on? Would this time be affected by the card speed or a reduction in resolution?

The following videos show a much shorter blind time:
http://media.ncom.dk/index.php/video/id=649
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjQRACep6OI&feature=related

While this video shows the LV going completely blind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w51V7lB0Qdw

I am at a loss trying to understand these differences. I suspect it depends on whether raw is on or not.

I would not mind a manual continuous shooting without raw, where I press the shutter once a second. Would that be possible without loosing sight of a moving subject?

Thanks again.

Frank


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