Test of A1 anti-shake with new firmware v1.10 and teleconverter tcon-17

In a previous test test I found that the Konika Minolta A1 anti-shake function could only compensate for about 0.5 stops of shutter speed reduction without increasing the handshake blurring. This rather poor performance can be explained by the fact that the camera does not know the actual magnification of the lens. I therefore suggested that KM should release a firmware update that allows the user to enter the converter magnification factor when a lens converter is used. I also predicted that they probably would release a new firmware upgrade together with their new lenses ACT-100 and ACW-100.

New firmware versions v1.10 were actually released for both the A1 and A2 models together with the new add-on lenses. Recently these have become available for download on the www both from the KM japan site and from another site. See this thread for more info. Unfortunately, the firmware update only allows the magnification ratios of the KM converters to be sellected via the options "Teleconverter", "Wideconverter", or "None" in the new "Lens acc." menu. Fortunately, my tcon-17 has a magnification ratio (I measured 1.6x) that is close to the 1.5x magnification factor of ACT-100. Also, the popular Raynox 1.54x converter is very close.

To include the app.brd file on the CF-card while upgrading turned out to be essential to achieve improved AS results! More about this will be added later...

A number of handheld shots were taken with the A1 and the Olympus tcon-17. To limit the amount of image data the 2x digital zoom option was used. The test motic photographed without digital zoom is shown below for reference.

Original size: 2560x1920 pixels
Full tele with tcon-17, Shooting distance: 8 m

Pictures were taken using different camera settings:
  - 4 shutter speeds with AS on and Lens acc. = "Teleconverter"
  - 3 shutter speeds with AS on and Lens acc. = "None"
  - 4 shutter speeds with AS off (Lens acc. = "None")
  - 3 shutter speeds with AS on and Lens acc. = "Wideconverter"
Aperture and ISO setting were varied to maintain correct exposure.

130x130 pixel crops have been taken from each picture and are arranged below in collumns according to the shutter speed used. First, a comparison between results obtained with the camera in the standard "None" converter mode and the "Teleconverter" mode. (You will need a wide screen to compare the pictures side by side.)

The improvement with the "Teleconverter" mode is clear! Between one and two stops are gained. Below follows a a comparison between results obtained with AS turned off and those obtained with the "Teleconverter" mode:
From these results I would say that the AS provides allows for slightly more than two stops of shutter speed reduction, similar to what I previously found for the case without a teleconverter.

Those interrested can see the results obtained with the Wideconverter mode here .

Note: The magnitude and speed of my handshake motion might change during the shooting session. I therefore started out by shooting only three pictures with every camera setting, making up the first three rows in each picture above. Then I completed the pictures for the next three rows, and finally the pictures for the last three rows. This should provide a reasonable statistical material for judging how well the AS improves my shoting results.


Erlend Rønnekleiv, www.eronn.net
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