My first impressions - and some info...

Started Jul 28, 2001 | Discussions thread
Randy Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: My first impressions - and some info...

Wayne wrote:

Well, I finally got my camera today. I only had to call FEDEX half
a dozen times and then go into my neighbor's garage to find it!
That and a stray cay chewing on my arm has been the highlight of my
day. Now my impressions:
1. Lightweight plastic-feeling comments: sorry don't agree. This
camera is tiny, it's about 2/3 the size that I expected. Lesser
mass equals lower weight, it feels perfect. I don't have a problem
with anything feeling "cheap" about the camera. The two plug-in
jack covers at the back could have been better-done. And the 4-way
toggle protrudes a little further than necessary, feels a little
loose, will probably last forever.
2. Tripod socket misplaced: agree - but. The proper place for the
socket would have had it in the middle of the batteries - it's a
compromise that I can live with.
3. Poor balance: disagree. Yes it is a LOT heavier on the left
where everyhing is located. But have any of you handled a medium
format camera with an L-grip? The proper way to use a camera is to
cradle it in the left hand and only use the right for steadying,
firing and film advance (where is that lever?). This camera feels
perfect in my hands - as far as balance is concerned.
4. Plasticy-handgrip: agree. They really should have spent an extra
dollar and used a better covering material. On the other hand the
size is perfect for me (I never did become accustomed to the new
grossly-oversized 35mm grips).
5. Heat: yes the grip does get warm. Haven't really shot with it
yet - don't know if it will irritate me or not.
6. EVF: Love it! I wear glasses (-2.25 and -2.75) and can see the
whole screen, the edges appear o.k., haven't had time to look for
blurring. It does blackout during extreme changes of illumination.
I found that the switch to B&W approximates the light level where
the rods takeover for the cones in my own vision. In a darkened
room (before my eyes accomodate) I can see more through the finder
than with my normal vision (just a little more - this isn't a night
vision device). As far as refresh rate - not a problem for me.
7. Stiff zoom: sorry, it feels ideal to me. It's moving several
lens groups on cams within the lens, tighter can mean tighter
tolerances inside. I never liked sloppy zooms.

I haven't had time to play yet - as I said it was an adventure just
finding the camera (3 hours and half a dozen neighbors houses - and
none of them admit to owning the damn cat that mauled me).

Some answers to questions others have asked and some other info:
1. Mine came with a Minolta USA warranty - I don't know WHAT the
rest of you got.
2. The video out does not recognize camera orientation - do a
vertical and you need to lay the t.v. on it's side to see it -
major bummer to me. If you include this feature why not do it right?
3. Macro. The camera has a minimum horizontal field width at the
macro 200mm setting of 2". Add a +3.8 diopter (Minolta #2) and this
becomes 1.2". Add a +10 diopter (Hoya) instead, and you're around
0.85". The guy who wants to do jewelry - get a Minolta #2 and a
ring will fill the entire field of view. Reversed Nikon 50mm
enlarging lens vignettes very badly (damn!) you're down to a field
width of about 0.3" but only half the sensor is covered. My
reversed 50mm camera lens covers almost the entire field (about
75%) and the width is about 0.6" - the 24 vignettes very badly. The
best bet for me is to limit use to the regular diopters.
4. The lens feels nice and tight. It extends a great distance
(relative to it's size) during zooming, but never gets wobbly like
the newer 1:1 macro lenses for 35mm. This is good, since locking on
the bayonet lenshood requires a bit of force. The heavy 35mm lenses
attached during the macro tests didn't seem to stress the lens at
all - but I don't advocate attaching anything that heavy (8-9 oz.)
onto the end of this lens.

My one gripe so far having to do with the ergonomics is that during
manual focussing my fingertips contact those of the hand wrapped
around the grip - this is a small camera and the clearances will
take some getting used to. Also, when I dropped the batteries into
their holes they almost jumped back out - they installed some hefty
springs in there!

I may have a theory about the autofocus problem at 200mm - camera
shake! While I was playing around I noticed one or two times when
the lens racked itself in and out before locking, I also noticed
that I was offbalance and shaking. It is a 200mm equivalent -
shooter steadiness will have an impact on the autofocus being able
to lock on. When I braced myself it locked on a lot quicker.

My overall opinion: This camera is just plain NEAT!
Now I've got to sit down and read the manual (has about 2-3 pages
of warnings before you get to any information!) tonight. Starting
tomorrow I'll probably be gone for a few days (maybe weeks?) while
I play. Hope you guys have fun with yours also.


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