|Sony Alpha DSLR camera - JPEG & RAW format
Like nearly all other digital reflex cameras, the Sony Alpha 100 can take photographs in both RAW and JPEG. What's more, it can now do this simultaneously. The RAW format is the same as Konica Minolta's but is now called ARW (Alpha RAW). The main advantage is that programs like Adobe RAW Converter in Photoshop can read the raw images directly. The number of JPEG options is somewhat limited and that is a pity. As you know, there are many more correction options with RAW and if you first process a RAW file before convert it to TIFF, you will get more out of the photo than if you had worked in JPEG, especially if you make a 16-bit TIFF. The JPEG files are of such a good quality that you don't often have to turn to using a RAW picture. RAW is ideal, if for example, you have set the white balance incorrectly.
Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR - White balance
The white balance offers more than enough possibilities. An automatic white balance is present and it usually works correctly in most situations. There are also a number of pre-programmed white balances. Because most have an average value, you often have to make slight corrections. With most cameras you will need Photoshop, but with the Alpha 100 you can adjust the white balance in the camera. It's a real luxury, but you will need to know what you are doing, especially if you are taking photographs in JPEG. You can also set the colour temperature yourself, if you need to know it or make a manual white balance in a simple way. To really get the most out of the white balance, it is a good idea to experiment a few times. Of course, the same applies to every camera.
Sony A100 SLR camera - Sensitivity
Sensitivity is an important setting. The higher the sensitivity, the less light needs to fall on the sensor. You can therefore work with a smaller aperture or a shorter shutter speed. The noise ratio increases when the sensitivity is increased. This is something you definitely do not want as it gives a grainy picture. To suppress noise, you need good algorithms on the processor and good noise suppression. With the Sony Alpha 100, you can activate an extra noise suppressor that is effective at longer shutter speeds. The range of the Sony Alpha 100 runs from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, and this is excellent.
|The sensitivity can also be automatically selected by the camera, but then you will not know beforehand how much noise you can expect. Up to and including ISO 400 there are no problems and noise is practically insignificant. Noise is already clearly visible at ISO 800 and at ISO 1600 you can see it clearly yourself. Although the noise suppression removes some of it, this is at the expense of the details. A tricky choice.
Sony Alpha A100 SLR - Dynamic range
More pixels on a sensor not only means more noise, but the dynamic range also comes under pressure. The Sony Alpha 100 tries to combat this with software, but it only works in JPEG. It doesn't do anything if you are working in RAW and JPEG simultaneously. With the dynamic range on standard (D-R), contrast and coverage will be corrected in the entire picture on the basis of the measured contrast. This can lead to the light parts getting lighter and less rich in contrast, which is not usually the desired effect. You want to keep the light parts the same and clarify the dark parts. This is possible with the advanced setting (D-R +). The picture is then analysed and split into parts. Each part is then corrected separately and this gives very good results. Although it is no replacement for a fill in flash, it improves the results considerably.
Sony Alpha 100 digital reflex camera - Menu
Several settings cannot be approached via a button. You can only find them in the menu, which is very well organised. The Alpha 100's menu can be used in many languages, so there is a good chance that you will be able to set this camera in your own language. This is something that a lot of consumers really want. If you have ever used a Konica Minolta camera you will recognise the menu immediately. There are a number of tab sheets available and each tab sheet consists of one page. This saves a lot of scrolling. Thanks to the big screen, the letters are large and easy to read. Via the menu, for example, you can choose to save the pictures in a folder according to the day. This is handy if you are working with a memory card for a few days and want to know immediately which pictures you took on which day.