Originally uploaded by Eve Livesey.
Originally uploaded by Lemon2.
I see you!
Great capture. Thanks for sharing!
I learned something new today. I stumbled upon a mosaic maker. It was pretty simple to do. I upload my image file and the mosaic generator pulls images from flickr to create a mosaic of my original image. I imagine that there are some real copyright problems with this use of the photos from flickr even though the mosaic generator puts a copyright notice on the Image Mosaic Generator site.
IMAGES USED IN THE MAKING OF IMAGE MOSAICS ARE COLLECTED FROM FLICKR AND COPYRIGHT OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.
That said, you may want to go about creating your mosaic from your own photos. There are several ways to do it. There’s online tools that you can use your own flickr photos with (or any other online photos). Also, take a look at the popular software, Mosaic Creator, at aolej.com or ArcSoft Photo Montage. Want to learn more about photo mosaics? Start with the wealth of info on Wikipedia.
UPDATED 3/15/07: See also, Rich Legg’s colored pencil mosaic post.
I’m going to address a debate that there is no clear answer to . . . actually, there is an answer: “It depends.”
Ask a handful of photographers which file format you should shoot with and you’ll get some strong opinions on both sides of the debate. Each side has some good points. The problem with the debate is that some folks with strong opinions believe there is only one way – JPEG or RAW. I tend to think that this depends on each photographer’s particular circumstances. [Read more…]
I see a lot of folks on photography forums or letters written in to photo magazines asking where they should start. It seems like I see roughly the same question every day. Lots of times folks know how to point and shoot with their digital camera but don’t necessarily understand what it takes to make a good photograph. [Read more…]
Sony announced the a700 on September 6, 2007. The new a700 is available in body only, kit w/ 18-70mm lens or kit w/ 16-105mm lens. You can find the original press release here.
Sony A700 Key Features
- 12.24 megapixel CMOS sensor
- BIONZ image processor
- 11 point autofocus system
- ISO 6400
- 5fps (for 17 shots in RAW mode)
- 1/8000th shutter speed
- 3 inch LCD screen (with 921,000 pixels)
- Optional battery grip
- Wireless Flash support
- Both MemoryStick and CompactFlash cards supported w/ dual slots
Sony A700 Reviews
Don’t be fooled by the hype that Nikon and Canon are the only two ‘serious’ competitors in the DSLR market because with the Alpha A700, Sony are undoubtedly making a push for the front.
This camera has the ergonomics, ease of use, and overall quality I have always had with Minolta’s high end film cameras.
The The Sony α (Alpha) DSLR-A700 is a solid piece of equipment that combines strong performance with affordability. I reviewed the Sony’s original DSLR, the A100, and liked it, and the A700 is a step up. It has a higher-resolution sensor, is more responsive and feels better built.
Offering a compelling combination of intuitive design and handling, sophisticated functionality and excellent image quality, the Sony A700 is an easy DSLR camera to recommend. Being based so clearly upon a previous Konica Minolta camera has given Sony the benefits of an already installed user-base, eager for a new body to use their lenses with, and a proven design on which to build.
A major advancement for Sony over the last year has been the development of the ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor. You can expect great images from the Sony DSLR-A700 from ISO 100 through ISO 800, and ISO 1600 is more than useable. The noise at ISO 3200 is not great however, becoming fairly useless when pushed to the ISO 6400 limit. It’s not so much the noise that’s an issue at this ultra high sensitivity – it’s the colour shift being much bluer and flatter due to the excess noise.
Overall then the A700 is a good performer with good overall image quality with a nice range of features – even if on the negative side there are some quirky design decisions which may or may not affect you. Best of all though is the fact that it weighs in at the lower end of the price band for this category of DSLR, that makes it about $400 less than the Nikon D300 and $300 less than the Olympus E-3.
It’s fast 5 fps frame rate and focus acquisition are easily on par with the 20/30D (which is my reference for comparison as I have used them for years) making it a joy to use for fast paced sports or news coverage. The A700 has a great viewfinder – large and bright, it’s also easy to see the outer frame with the information overlay through the eyepiece even with glasses and most importantly, with sunglasses. The camera is heavy, and very solid, inspiring confidence in its long-term durability, and comfortable to hold for extended shoots.
With their Alpha DSLR-A700, Sony has created a midrange digital SLR that keeps up with the “big boys”. The A700 offers an excellent mix of photo quality, performance, features, and build quality — not to mention support for legacy Minolta lenses. Yes, it’s lacking the live view feature of its competitors, but I don’t really miss it, to be honest. While I don’t see Canon and Nikon owners rushing to eBay to sell their gear to buy the A700, it’s a great D-SLR for those with a collection of Minolta lenses. I enjoyed my time with the DSLR-A700, and can recommend it without hesitation.
While the Alpha 100 was Sony’s first dSLR camera and the result of its acquisition of Konica Minolta’s camera division, the A700 is much more stamped as a Sony camera, and probably indicates the company’s intention to anchor itself solidly in the dSLR market segment. Still, although Sony products tend to command a premium, the A700’s price point places it in direct competition with very well established dSLR systems and lacks the Live View function adopted by most others, things that could hinder its success.
Having produced what is arguably the best entry-level DSLR on the market in the A100, Sony has followed it up with another outstanding camera. The A700 is a superb tool for the enthusiast or semi-professional photographer, providing high quality results in almost any conditions. The combination of rugged durability, fast performance, a class-leading AF system, on-board image stabilisation and great handling will prove hard to beat.
It also focuses faster than the Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D80, and Nikon D200 down to EV 4, then gives up a fraction of a second at EV 2 through -1. It’s slower than the Canon at EV -2, but faster than the Nikons. And it focuses faster at all light levels than either the Pentax K10D or the Olympus Evolt E-510.
My conclusion after extensively using the Sony DSLR-A700 in practice and testing it thoroughly can be short. Sony’s Alpha 700 is a beautiful DSLR and offers the demanding photographer as well as the amateur a perfect tool to practice photography on a high level. The camera is not perfect but if you put some effort in getting to know the camera and making it part of your digital work environment, you will soon find that you have a refined DSLR camera in your hands. If you are looking for a new DSLR or ready to get acquainted with an advanced camera system you definitely ought to put the Sony Alpha 700 on your wish list.
A top-of-the-line amateur digital SLR camera, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 will delight Konica Minolta diehards and makes a great choice if you don’t already have a stake in other lens systems.
Even though Sony says the “DSLR-A700 is the perfect DSLR for serious amateurs” I found nothing amateur about this camera. In fact it elevates the “Prosumer” definition and will have the other manufactures working to catch up.
What do I mean by that you say? How about the continuous 5 FPS advance at full 12.24 megapixel resolution? And what about the high-speed processing power of the Bionz™ engine, a quick-response coreless motor to drive the shutter, and dual mirror stoppers to prevent mirror bounce? All this enables the a 700 to shoot continuously to the limit of available memory in JPEG Fine mode. Not too amateur at that.
Despite taking a while to produce this camera, in the DSLR-A700 Sony has delivered a camera that enthusiasts can enjoy with features that will be of value to many professional photographers. A nice step up from the A100, it goes head-to-head against Canon’s recently-released EOS 40D and Nikon’s D300, which is expected in November.
I’m not really convinced by the image quality. Nevertheless, this is not the final production firmware, so let’s not judge too hastily.
. . . .
It seems to mee that there’s just too much noise reduction.
When we later viewed some of the images (unenhanced) on big HDTV screens, it was clear from the sharp, saturated images that the cameras were working very well.
DPReview.com has a thorough hands-on preview of the new a700.
Camera Labs (pre-production preview)
The Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 is certainly an impressive DSLR and a significant step-up from the debut A100. It proves Sony can produce a camera tailored for higher-end enthusiasts while also incorporating the neat gadgets we’ve come to expect from the electronics giant.
Sony A700 Sample Images
Sony Japan sample images.
Photoclub Alpha – More High ISO Samples (ISO 3200-6400)
Real World Sample Set (includes ISO 6400 shots)
Official Sony A700 Resources
Sony a700 product page.
Sony A700 Accessories
Where to Buy
Looks like Tamron is jumping on the super-zoom image stabilized band wagon the new Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC lens that was announced today. Bob Atkins has a handy preview article. You can also check out the features in the press release below.
Mr. Morio Ono, President of Tamron Co., Ltd., has announced the successful development of the AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO zoom lens, a high power zoom lens designed for SLR cameras with full-size format(Model A20), now equipped with a Vibration Compensation (VC) mechanism. The AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC is the ultimate high power zoom lens that covers everything from wide-angle to telephoto and macro. Tamron has incorporated a Vibration Compensator, an anti-shake mechanism developed by Tamron, into the highly versatile zoom lens. The new AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO zoom lens offers the convenience, comfort and versatility of a high power zoom lens and the capability to reduce hand-shake blur on SLR cameras using either APS-C size or full size format imagers.
When the AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC is used with a full size format SLR camera, it covers the tremendous focal length range from 28mm in wide angle to 300mm ultra telephoto. When mounted on a DSLR with an APS-C sized imager, the lens covers a 43mm wide angle to 465mm equivalent ultra telephoto* (full size format equivalent, in a diagonal angle of view of 5°20′).
(*) The ratio Tamron uses to convert from full size format to APS-C focal length is 1.55X.
1. VC (Vibration Compensation) Mechanism Reduces Hand-shake
The proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism developed by Tamron features a triaxial configuration using three pairs of driving coils and slide balls around the compensator group of the lens’ optical system. Since the compensator lenses are supported with rolling friction of the balls, the response performance is enhanced and the construction is simple, which results in the compactness of the lens. The lens incorporate a highly accurate gyro sensor for detecting hand-shake, which, combined with a 32-bit RISC CPU, offers comfortable anti-vibration effects.
2. Outstanding Design Realizing High Zoom Power, VC Mechanism and Compactness
The AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.5 XR Di VC integrates optical technologies that Tamron has accumulated as the pioneer and leader of high power zoom lenses in order to realize the desired compactness even while incorporating the VC mechanism. The optical system uses a number of lens elements made from special optical glass materials including XR (high refraction index) glass elements, GM (glass-molded aspherical lens) elements, hybrid aspherical elements, LD (low dispersion) glass elements to compensate for on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations and AD (anomalous dispersion) glass element. The lens offers high contrast, high resolution performance and flatness of the image field as a one-does-it-all zoom lens designed to match the characteristics of DSLR cameras.
3. Revolutionary MFD of 0.49m (19.3″) throughout the Zoom Range Provides 1:3 Macro Magnification Ratio
The AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD MACRO boasts an MFD (minimum focusing distance) of 0.49m (19.3″) over the entire zoom range, a top-class closing focusing capability among high power zoom lenses for full-size format SLR cameras, which provides the remarkable maximum macro magnification ratio of 1:3 at the 300mm telephoto end.
4. Internal Surface Coatings Minimize Ghosting and Flare
Through the use of “Internal Surface Coatings” (i.e., multiple-layer coatings on cemented surfaces of plural elements) and multiple-layer coatings to prevent reflections from lens surfaces, ghosting and flare due to reflections that occur when light enters through the front element as well as reflections caused by the imager itself in the mirror box are reduced to the absolute minimum.
5. Ultra-high Zoom Power, yet Lightweight and Compact Design Thanks to New Mechanical Devices
Tamron has reviewed the roles that respective barrel parts play in order to achieve the high power, compactness and light weight. As a result, dimensional increases are confined to a mere 17.8mm (0.7″) in overall length and about 5mm(0.2″) in diameter, when compared with the existing AF28-300mm (Model A061), despite the incorporation of the VC mechanism.
6. Zoom Lock Mechanism for Enhanced Portability
The zoom lock prevents unwanted barrel extension when carrying the lens/camera combination over the shoulder.
7. Flower-shaped Lens Hood
A flower-shaped lens hood is included as a standard accessory. The special hood provides optimum shading of superfluous light rays that enter from the rectangular frame outside the image field.
Model Name A20
Focal Length 28-300mm
Maximum Aperture F/3.5-6.3
Angle of View 75°23′-8°15′
Lens Construction 18 elements /13 groups
Minimum Focus Distance 0.49m (entire zoom range)
Maximum Mag. Ratio 1:3 (at f=300mm, MFD=0.49m)
Filter Diameter φ67mm
Overall Length 99mm *
Maximum Diameter φ78.0mm
Diaphragm Blades 9 blades
Minimum Aperture F/22-F/40 (28mm – 300mm)
Standard Accessory Flower-shaped hood
Compatible Mount Canon and Nikon
* values given are for Nikon AF-D cameras.
* The cosmetic design and specs are subject to change without notice.