July 20, 2022


Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

Sony posts excellent "Tahiti meets Alpha" Flash showcase

Sony of Japan has an interesting Flash presentation entitled Tahiti meets α (Alpha A100). Most of the Flash info is in Japanese, but there is enough English that you can tell which lenses were used, although I don’t know who the photographer is.

You’ll have to click around a bit until you find the right combination of buttons to start the slide show. There is also a gallery page that will show you all 21 images, so you can pick and choose which image you want to view.

This being Tahiti, you might expect that the images would be stunning — and many of them are. The scenery and tropical colors are wonderful.

In some of the photography forums I’ve lurked about in, I’ve been annoyed by several know-it-alls who complain about the lack of image quality of the A100 — even though they haven’t seen or used the camera and haven’t had an opportunity to judge the A100’s images in a real-world setting. I am very impressed with the quality of images in this presentation.

Of course you cannot use images in a Flash presentation to judge final image quality. In the first place the images must be PNG or compressed JPEGS. Secondly, because each monitor is different, the Flash file will look different on each computer. When I viewed the Flash movie on a client’s PC, many of the images looked like they were dark, with poor shadow detail. The colors looked a little muted as well. When I looked at the same file on my Mac, the very same images looked glorious. There was great shadow detail and the colors were so vibrant they looked ready to pop off the page.

That doesn’t mean that every Mac will show the movie better than every PC, although Windows PC typically display images more darkly than Macs. If you doubt that, open any RGB image in Photoshop and change the “Proof Colors” option between Windows and Mac. If you can get the image looking very good in the Windows setting, it typically will look washed out on the Mac. Adjust the image so it looks great on the Mac and it will look slightly too dark on the PC. That’s just the nature of the two platforms, and each person’s monitor will differ as well.

So enjoy the presentation, but don’t try to judge the images too closely, because your monitor and computer settings will make a huge difference. If you really want to judge images from an A100, do a web search and find a site that offers downloadable, high-res images from an A100. I’ve stumbled across several such sites where you can obtain images for personal evaluation. But don’t try to judge color and exposure from the Flash presentation.

What the Flash file can do, however is show you the Alpha 100’s dynamic range. There is one evening scene showing a glowing, lighted swimming pool in the background, surrounded by decking, palm trees and lounge chairs. The image manages to show the pool perfectly exposed, with plenty of detail in the decking and walkways. There are several ocean images shot at dusk that show off the α 100’s dynamic range as well.

Most of the images are shot with the 11 – 18mm, F4.5l-5.6 lens although several other lenses were used, including the 500mm mirror lens — which if you consider the A100’s 1.5 crop factor equates to 750mm.

I think it is a great sampler, and I will be happy if I can achieve similar results when I get my hands on a A100.

What do you think? Does this presentation get you excited about the α?

Until next time, stay focused!

_ Tom