Recommend a Camera like the Nikon 5700?

Started Nov 9, 2003 | Discussions thread
Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Get a Minolta A1 if you wish to buy NOW!

Photodabbler wrote:

I may be giving up the 5700 to my GF's deadbeat brother just so he
won't pester me to borrow a digital camera "for a few days" every
month. Can you guys recommend a camera that should I go to? The
D100?(what features over the 5700?) D2H? (back to big cameras,
more $$?) or just pick up another 5700?

If you want to buy NOW, IMO, the A1 is perhaps the best choice as some have pointed out. I am a 5700 user, and now a Minolta A1 owner. (I still keep my 5700, because it is a very fine camera.) The major reasons that I acquire a Minolta A1 are the following:

(1) Its AF speed and related capability. AF speed, accuracy and successful rate with the Minolta A1 is very fast even in low light and low contrast situation in which the 5700 fails miserably. Moreover, in the auto mode, the camera tells you which area was used for focusing whereas the 5700 does not making focus locked on an incorrect spot. One can use flex focus point (FFP) that allows you to position the focus spot nearly anywhere in the frame. Thus, one does not have to focus and recompose. Moreover, the continuous AF is very good but not error free. In other words, one can use the continuous AF mode and the focus point will track the moving subject. Minolta needs to increase its successful rate; but, the current situation is very reasonable. One potential problem: failure rate of shooting TV and monitor images is high, and when you use Continuous AF you will see the focus point jump around!?!??????

(2) Friendlier and easier access to camera functions. The 5700 uses too many menu screens. In many cases, one must go deep into its menu system to get something done. With the A1, most frequently used functions are dial and switch-based that can be easily accessible through a number of dials and switches.

(3) The anti-shake (AS) system is rather effective, although is not as good as the IS and VR lens systems currently available on Canon and Nikon SLR lenses.

(4) Manual zoom ring, manual focus ring, filter thread and lens hood. Yup, this is a big thing. With a 5700, you need to buy UR-E8 for converters, other accessories for filters, and a huge lens hood when you need to mount a converter lens. This is basically due to the 5700 choose a film P&S cameras' telescopic lens construction and an odd thread size (i.e., 50mm). The W and T buttons are difficult to use to position the lens at a particular focal length, and manual focus on the 5700, it seems to me, is a joke (e.g., without a distance indicator).

There are other nice things such as grid on EVF and LCD, and motion sensor that can switch on/off the EVF and LCD to conserve energy.

On the other hand, the 5700 does have some advantage. The 5700 lens reaches farther but its wide end is not wide enough. The Minolta can go wider (28mm) but can only reach 200mm. The A1 has higher noise level at higher ISO. But, since I don't use the A1 for critical work for which I use exclusively DSLR and SLR, I don't think the noise level at ISO 100 is bad. Moreover, some good noise reduction software such as NeatImage and Dfine can do a very job. Finally, Nikon produces the best converter lenses, while Minolta has NONE.

I am still experimenting A1's various setting to determine its image quality. So far, I have no comment; but, the default settings generate high quality images for sure.

Size-wise, the A1 and 5700 are very similar.

Just my $0.02

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 User Guide

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