The "A" gets an F

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
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Re: The "A" gets an F
In reply to Shotcents, Jun 12, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

Ray, I appreciate that you like the A and enjoy using it.

But my comments are well supported and stretch well beyond the limited focal length. Sluggish AF at this price point is an awful point and I have no idea why such a cam does not support the wireless flash system or employ VR.

I see the "A" as a direct competitor to the Ricoh GR, which we all knew was coming. It can be used for a number of things but it excels as a small street and landscape and architecture camera. AF is more than fast enough for buildings or landscapes. And for street shooting, this camera is great for zone focussing - not quite as good as the Ricoh in this regard. Slow AF couldn't be a less important issue to many of us considering one of these two cameras. I realize its a niche market - but so did Nikon. VR doesn't matter for 99% of my shooting and I'll never use it with a flash - I'd be surprised if I ever open the built-in flash.

Without a true viewfinder Nikon then builds a cute little hotshoe unit that costs about as much as my P7700! Are they on drugs?

Well sure, they all try to gouge on accessories - at least they provide a charger! More and more are moving toward only providing for USB charging. And you can get a much cheaper little OVF with the same field of view and same 3:2 framelines for about $100-$150. Or you can be a sucker and buy the OEM version for way too much. Ricoh does it, Sony does it (have you seen the Zeiss OVF for the RX1?!?!). But we have easy choices on this stuff. No, they're not on drugs - they're just hoping a few of us are...

The LCD of the A is VERY tough to see in bright light. So is the one on my P7700, but I can swing it out and tilt it down.

I don't have any trouble with it - most LCDs are getting better and better in bright light. Turned all the way up, I think this one is pretty good. Only the Sony's with their "sunny weather mode" are better IMHO.

Though the A seeks to be ultra small, gluing a 28mm lens to it was a mistake. They could have built two more lenses for it and still had a niche product that would have been amazing. I would have paid even more for it. I LOVE my prime lenses. But NONE of them are stuck on my camera. I like the 28mm G lens, but I love the 85mm more.

Actually, its incredibly hard to make ILC anywhere near the size of these fixed lens goodies with anything LIKE the same optical quality. If you've ever seen the exploded view of the X100 or RX1, you see that the lens assembly extends WAAAAAAAY back into the camera body, very close to the sensor, and they have to use various micro-lenses to straighten out the light before it hits the sensor. I'd be willing to bet that the Ricoh and Nikon "A" are doing a lot of the same stuff and they've got the additional challenge of a retracting lens. I'd be willing to bet that they couldn't do what you're asking with an ILC at anywhere near the same profile.

And, again, your basic argument is "if they'd done it differently, I'd have thought about buying one". They may get around to doing a serous small ILC someday, beyond the JV cameras with the 1" sensors. Or they may not. But that's not what they were after with this particular camera. So it doesn't appeal to you - I get that. But if they'd have attracted you with a larger camera with three prime lenses, meanwhile they'd have lost me and others like me. And they might have cannibalized some of their low to mid range DSLR sales while they were at it. I think they knew what they were going for with this. And for someone like me, they nailed it...

Unfortunately for Nikon, an awful lot of however many people there are "like me" in this niche are already Ricoh-philes. I am one too and if Nikon hadn't released this camera soon enough for me to shoot a loaner for nearly a month before the Ricoh was announced, I might have just bought the Ricoh and never even considered the Nikon. But I shot them both head to head for a while and although there were things I preferred about the Ricoh, overall I surprised myself and came down pretty clearly with the Nikon. But I suspect the loyal Ricoh crowd will mostly buy the Ricoh and ignore the Nikon, so they may not sell a lot of these.

As you said, we have choices and that's the good news.

Absolutely and overwhelmingly in agreement here! Fortunately there are plenty of cameras of the type you're suggesting. Have you checked out the Fuji X-Pro or X-E1 with their prime lenses? They're excellent. As are the Sony Nex models.

But this little fixed lens 28mm with an APS sensor that can comfortably fit in a lot of shirt pockets is something that some of us have been waiting for a LOOOOOOONG time. You weren't, it doesn't meet your needs, you won't buy it. I have no problems with any of that. But I think you have plenty of choices out there - now I finally have two when for a very long time, I didn't have any that came close to these two new 28mm fraternal twins from Nikon and Ricoh.

I mean no disrespect with my first response - I hope it didn't come off as harshly as Hans thought it did. But I stand by my point. This camera was obviously meant for someone with very different preferences than you have. Obviously you're entitled to your opinion about it, but you can't understand why ANYONE would buy it? Well, maybe you do now....

-Ray
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