The "A" gets an F

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Senior MemberPosts: 8,915Gear list
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Re: The "A" gets an F
In reply to Shotcents, Jun 13, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

IMHO the P7700 is a superior camera to the A in too many respects. And the A still ends up in a small bag. It's just not small enough for me to call it a pocket-cam.

FWIW, I spent a weekend in New York shortly after I got my first loaner copy of the A - I've had two, the second to compare to the Ricoh. I took the A and the RX1 and X100s I was also testing. I walked around for a couple hours each day with all three in a small bag. But each evening we'd go out to dinner and/or theater, and there was no way I was going to carry a camera bag, even a small one. So the RX1 and X100s stayed at the hotel, the "A" went into my shirt pocket (in fairness, a semi-heavy cool weather shirt - not a dress shirt) and went everywhere with me. And much of my best shooting from that weekend was the night-time street shooting I did on the way to and from various of our activities.

So I'd say its pocketable, at the very LEAST coat pocketable. Not like an S100 or even quite as easily as an RX100, but its pretty small. And while its less versatile than the 7700, its also vastly superior to it for its more limited purposes. I get that it's not to you for your uses, but to some of us, it definitely is. Those low light street shots simply wouldn't have happened with the 7700. Most were shot at ISO 6400 using zone focus techniques that simply wouldn't have been possible with a small sensor camera with slower reflexes and limited zone focus capabilities. This is my favorite type of shooting - not only at night but I've gotta be able to do it at night too...

I own a lot of prime lenses and love using them, but I have no desire to suddenly have one crazy-glued to one of my cameras.

Hence, the lack of obligation to buy one!!!

I see that folks who are defending the A are doing so by comparing it to a zoom. What would make the A ideal would be a small set of compact primes, say 2 or 3. 18mm, 28mm, 50mm. 90mm.

Ideal for some, not for others. Fortunately such options exist and are getting rather plentiful, just not from Nikon. Until a couple of months ago, there were ZERO fixed lens 28mm APS cameras that were at least somewhat pocketable. Now there are two and I and many like me are jumping for joy over it. So, as I think we agreed previously, its good there are such choices - none of us have to like all of them...

Would it cut into certain DSLR sales? Yup, but until such a system exists I'll continue to ignore these so-called "niche" models. They just don't do enough, even at half the price.

You're ignoring it? I must have missed that part...

I'm glad people like the A. It's inevitable that some shooters would find it "just right." But wanting such a cam to also be good at portrait work is hardly a travesty and violation of the design. They limited it's bandwidth of versatility for marketing reasons and NOT to meet more serious demands.

I think it actually would be a pretty serious violation of the design in the sense that interchangeable prime lenses would inevitably stick out of the camera a good deal farther than the collapsable lens in the A. Look at Sigma - they basically saw the same demand you speak to and they built three nearly identical cameras at three different focal lengths rather than make it interchangeable. And you could more easily argue that an ILC approach would not violate THAT design because even the smallest of those lenses extends out from the already larger camera body an inch and a half or so.

So I fully get that this is not the camera for you and I understand WHY its not and I don't in any way criticize you for not wanting one. But that doesn't make it a failure or an inferior camera to the 7700 any more than an orange is an inferior fruit to a pineapple.

So, hooray for choices - you have several of them out there for your stated desires. Now I have two of them for mine as well...

-Ray

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