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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Update: The noise sections of this review (and the conclusions) were updated February 2009 to reflect significant changes in the way noise reduction works with raw files.
It's been almost two years since Konica Minolta pulled out of the photo business and transferred its entire camera division to Sony, and well over a year since the first Sony DSLR (the DSLR-A100) was announced. Two years is a long time in the digital SLR market, but the three years Minolta (latterly Konica Minolta, now Sony) SLR users have been waiting for a high end model to replace the innovative Maxxum (Dynax) 7D must have felt like a lifetime. But, finally, it's here, and it looks very much like the mockup shown earlier in the year.
Like the A100, the new camera still wears its Konica Minolta heritage very much on its sleeve, and when you start to look a little more closely at the specification it's obvious that there's still an awful lot of Konica Minolta DNA in the A700. This is hardly surprising given that the circumstances behind its development.
And, just as the A100 was obviously based on - and designed to be a successor to - the KM 5D, the A700 follows on from the 7D, and - despite lots of Sony touches and an attractive new design - 7D users are likely to find using the new model reassuringly familiar.
But of course Sony doesn't only have existing system users in its cross hairs; the A700 is designed to go head to head with the latest 'prosumer' models from Nikon, Canon and Pentax. Whether the A700 offers enough to really put Sony on the DSLR map will be decided when we get to look properly at the image quality, but on specification, features and handling it certainly seems to have what it takes to play with the big boys.
Interestingly the one thing the A700 doesn't have is any form of live view; when we spoke to Sony about this the answer was simple; they believe that the compromises involved in current systems are satisfactory, and they won't implement live view until they can 'get it right'. Whether the lack of live view has any real relevance in a camera at this level remains to be seen; we doubt it.
The A700 shares many technologies with earlier Konica Minolta models (including, naturally, the lens mount), plus all those introduced in the A100 - though virtually all have been uprated or upgraded in one way or another (we've been told the A100 and A700 share virtually no components). From the sensor to the construction of the body to the GUI to the extensive feature set, this is a very different camera to the entry-level A100 (more of which later in this review). We'll start by looking at what's specifically new to this model:
12.2 megapixel APS-C 'Exmor' CMOS
Bionz Image Processor
|New AF Sensor
The A700 features an 11 point focus system with a newly developed Center Double Cross AF sensor, claimed to offer 'the highest precision AD ever in a D-SLR'. The center focus point has two horizontal and two vertical sensors plus a new high precision (horizontal) sensor in the middle. This sensor has a baseline that is about twice as long as earlier AF sensors, enabling in theory, twice the focusing accuracy with lenses with a maximum aperture of F2.8 or larger.
Sony has also redesigned the focus mechanics, AF algorithm and microprocessor to offer faster AF. The target, apparently, was the fastest AF in any SLR, and to match Minolta's Maxxum 7 film SLR.
New High Speed shutter
Refinements to the Super SteadyShot CCD-shift stabilization system are now claimed to deliver up to 4 stops advantage.
Aluminum chassis/Magnesium body
|X-Fine 3.0" LCD
One of the first things you notice about the A700 is the stunning 3.0 screen. With 922,000 (well, 640 x 480 x RGB) pixels it has a resolution of 267ppi, plus high contrast and a wide viewing angle. A new high resolution GUI takes full advantage of the new screen.
Full 1080 HD output
|Wireless remote control
The A700 includes a wireless remote control offering a fairly comprehensive set of controls (though all but the shutter release only work when the camera is attached to a TV).
Dual Storage Formats
|New kit lens
Along with the A700 comes a new compact wide range bundle lens, the DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6. The lens covers a range equivalent to 24 to 160mm and has internal focusing (though not zooming).
New Vertical Grip
Before we look at the A700 and how it compares to Sony's first DSLR (the A100) and the rest of the market it's worth having a quick look at how it compares with the Konica Minolta 7D. Our first impression of the A700 was that in spirit (and very much in reality when you look closely) it is the successor to KM's first (and only) high-end digital SLR, introduced almost exactly 3 years ago at PMA 2004. it's obvious that the A700 contains a lot of Minolta DNA (there are elements of the D7D and the Maxxum/Dynax 7 film SLR in its design and control layout) and it's fair to say that - for users of Minolta's lens system - it can be considered a (long awaited) successor.
Although the styling has been given a modern twist and the D7D's button / switch overkill has been toned down a little, it's not hard to see where Sony's designers started from, and there are many features from the D7D that made it almost unchanged into the A700. These include the basic control layout (the second dial has been lost and replaced by a simpler on-screen 'Quick Navi' system), the magnesium alloy construction, the eye-start focus, CCD-shift IS and high level of customization and the optional vertical shooting grip. For potential upgraders looking for a reason to trade up from a D7D to Sony's new 'Advanced Amateur' model here's just a brief taste of what three years difference makes:
Turning ten years old this week is the A700, Sony's first high-end DSLR after fully taking over Konica Minolta's camera business. With plenty of Minolta DNA, it debuted in September 2007 to take on the likes of Canon's 40D and Nikon's D300.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a more powerful dual-grip evolution of the E-M1 II. Aimed at sports shooters it promises improved AF, including advanced subject recognition, along with the highest-ever rated image stabilization system.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
|Precious Past Dreams by Domenick Creaco|
from Your City - Industrial Landmark (rerun)
|Aurora by ALAziz|
from Best Photo of the Week...
|Cold rock by jr|
Lens manufacturer Tokina has officially released details, price and on-sale dates for the Opera 16-28mm F2.8 lens it first showcased at Photokina in back in September. Expected to ship mid-March in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, this wide-angle zoom will cost $699.
InukTech is planning to...well...kickstart its Kickstarter campaign for a unique take on a transformable tripod it calls Inuk.
The Ricoh GR series has long been a favorite of street photographers, and the latest iteration - the GR III - brings a new sensor, redesigned lens, in-body stabilization and on-sensor phase detection. We spent some time with a pre-production model in London and have some initial impressions to share.
The Ricoh GR III made its official debut today, and DPR contributor Damien Demolder got his hands on the camera for a quick photo walk through London. Take a look at the results.
Ross Lowell was a man of many talents who had more than 25 patents to his name, created a lighting company and created gaffer tape, a staple in the camera bags of photographers and cinematographers the world over.
Light has announced it's teaming up with Sony to combined experience and technology in their respective fields to create the next-generation of multi-camera smartphones.
The Ricoh GR III will be going on sale this March for $899. It has a 24MP APS-C sensor, newly designed 28mm equiv. F2.8 lens, in-body image stabilization and on-sensor phase detection.
Ricoh's new WG-6 is the company's latest waterproof camera, with a 20MP sensor, 28-140mm equiv. lens and the ability to go 20m/65ft underwater. If you need something that's both crushproof and chemical-resistant, there's the G900, which is designed for industrial use.
Version 6.0.0 of the open source image editing application digiKam is a major update and has been two years in the making.
Lomography has launched the Lomogon 32mm F2.5, a compact lens with full frame sensor coverage and a unique wheel of aperture stops that protrudes from the barrel.
At its Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S10 and S10+ with a triple rear-camera array, as well as a more basic S10e model with a dual main camera unit. As expected, the S10 series' display is the center of attention with a hole-punch style front-facing camera embedded in the screen.
Picktorial for macOS gets a major 4.0 update with new DAM, improved search functionality and overall stability improvements.
Samsung wasted no time unveiling the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked event today – a foldable device with a 4.6" display when folded, and 7.3" display when unfolded. The device contains a total of six cameras – three on the back, two inside and one front-facing camera.
The Mi 9 combines a 1/2" sensor in its primary camera with ultra-wide and tele options to cover a wide range of focal lengths.
Photographers Ben Horne is asking for help to find the owners of a battered Fujifilm camera that fell from the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
Taiwanese lens manufacturer William Optics is proposing to make a flatfield Petzval lens aimed at star gazers and photographers that it claims is the world’s sharpest 250mm.
After a rare Seattle snowstorm finally subsided, DPReview editor Jeff Keller was able to escape the snow and spend some time with the impressive Fujifilm X-T30, a camera that offers a lot of bang for the buck.
Given that it uses the same sensor and processor as the X-T3, it's no surprise that the Fujifilm X-T30 is capable of producing some excellent photos. We took a pre-production X-T30 all over the Seattle area and have plenty of photos for your viewing pleasure.
Tamron has announced three new full-frame lenses slated to launch in the middle of 2019: an SP 35mm F1.4 Di USD and 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD for DSLRs, as well as an ultra-wide 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount cameras.
Roger and his team at Lensrentals have switched things up and decided to build a lens rather than tearing it apart.
George Mendonsa, the gentleman kissing a woman believed to be Greta Zimmer Friedman in Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic image titled 'V-J Day in Times Square,' has passed away at the age of 95.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? We conducted a live Q&A that you can watch here. We'll be trying to address those comments we didn't get to in the comments.
Version 3.0.2 of Skylum's Luminar software has been improved for both Windows and macOS systems.
Until now, the word 'bokeh' has been a noun. But that may very well change with the help of Apple's recent video advertisement.
The EF-M 32mm F1.4 is a welcome addition to Canon's APS-C mirrorless lens lineup. It's a good performer all-around and enjoyable to use on the EOS M50, and we hope to see more like it introduced to the EF-M range.
The data breach we reported on last week did not only affect 500px but a total of 16 websites, including mobile image sharing platform EyeEm, Animoto, Artsy and Fotolog.
Camera Rescue, a Finnish organization determined to rescue more than 100K analog, has already saved 46,000 cameras and plans to more than double that number by 2020.
Independent lens manufacturer Sigma has announced that its new 28mm T1.5 cine lens for full frame sensor cameras will be available from the middle of March.
Panasonic has announced the impending release of two new cameras, the ZS80/TZ95 compact camera and the FZ1000 II superzoom camera.
At Dubai's recent Gulf Photo Plus event, Fujifilm showed off several of its early concept mockups for GFX cameras that (sadly) never made it into production. We took a closer look.