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miguelito
10-18-2005, 03:42 PM
I am shopping for my first DSLR. Since I don’t have any legacy equipment, I have narrowed it down to two at the moment, the Pentax *istDS2 and the Nikon D50.

Can anyone tell me the main differences between *istDS & *istDS2?
Does it have a backlight on the status LCD? Is the viewfinder pentaprism focusing screen “better” that pentamirror like the one in the *istDL

Thanks a lot

Clyde
10-18-2005, 05:20 PM
I am shopping for my first DSLR. Since I don’t have any legacy equipment, I have narrowed it down to two at the moment, the Pentax *istDS2 and the Nikon D50.

Can anyone tell me the main differences between *istDS & *istDS2?
Does it have a backlight on the status LCD? Is the viewfinder pentaprism focusing screen “better” that pentamirror like the one in the *istDL

Thanks a lot

I have played a fair amount with a friend's D70, another friend's early *ist, and own the rebel XT. The pentax has the best viewfinder of any DSLR. The pentax also allows you to use old pentax lenses, the only decent lenses you can actually find cheap on Ebay. Those are, as far as I know, the only advantages to the pentax. Unless things have dramatically changed, on the pentax you are effectively forced to use RAW to get good pictures. That uses lots of memory and time. I find for most purposes, JPEGs are sufficient. I can shoot oodles of pictures with my total of 3 gb worth of cards. The pentax uses more expensive memory, that doesn't come in as high capacity, and has noiser high ISO performance.

There is one big advantage to looking at sales numbers. You can assume that the big sellers will stay in the game. Pentax is the runt of the canon, nikon bunch. Lacking any other consideration, I would stick with canon or nikon. My friend's D70 takes wonderful pictures. We often shoot side by side, and exchange cds of our photos. Hers make me jealous... Of course I suspect it is largely due to the difference in our lenses, but there it is.

She wouldn't know shutter from aperture, and I had to show her how to keep the flash from going off when she didn't want it, and yet she gets really nice photos.

Hope that helps...

Clyde

Balrog
10-18-2005, 05:32 PM
Yes, the pentaprism on the DS/DS2 is better than the pentamirror on the DL. The biggest difference between DS and DS2 is probably the monitor - the DS2 has a 2.5inch LCD as opposed to 2inches on the DS (same resolution, though.) I think there's a new Auto ISO mode or something as well. In addition, it's possible (likely..) that Pentax tweaked the AA filter and image processing algorithms a bit. Not that much of a difference really.

Between the D50 and the *ist DS (both of which I was considering, too, btw), the D50 felt a bit better in my hands, though the DS was very comfortable too. The D50 has better ISO performance, and faster focusing. The viewfinder and LCD are better on the DS. The D50 doesn't have DOF preview or mirror lockup, both of which the DS does. The D50 has a proprietary LiIon battery, the DS uses regular AAs (or CR-V3). The D50 has a lot more "pro-featured" lenses available - features like VR and ultrasonic AF motor lenses aren't available for Pentax. Pentax lenses, on the other hand, are renowned to be small, lightweight and high-quality - and since it's compatible with all Pentax lenses since the '50s, you can get some really good old ones used.

EDIT:

Unless things have dramatically changed, on the pentax you are effectively forced to use RAW to get good pictures. That uses lots of memory and time. I find for most purposes, JPEGs are sufficient. I can shoot oodles of pictures with my total of 3 gb worth of cards. The pentax uses more expensive memory, that doesn't come in as high capacity, and has noiser high ISO performance.
Hmm .. according to all the Pentax users I've talked to, the "bad-JPEG" is mostly a myth - changing the JPEG setting from "bright" to "natural" pretty much fixes that.
Also, the D50 uses SD as well, not CF like it's older brother. And as far as I've seen at this point, SD isn't more expensive or lower capacity anymore. Prices for a 1GB high speed CF are about the same as equivalent SD, and SD is available up to 4GB as well.

rprii
10-19-2005, 06:28 AM
I was going through the same decision process when I bought my istDS. Contacted Pentax and was advised that the only makjor difference is the size of the LCD Monitor (2.5 vs 2.0). Since I rarely use the monitor and pricing is better on the istDS, I went ahead an got it. I am amazed . . . have had many digital cams (Sony, Fuji, etc.) and the istDS outperforms them all . . . add to that being able to use all of my old Pentax lenses and I am in heaven. You cannot go wrong with the istDS!!!!:D

MatH
10-19-2005, 10:28 AM
I am shopping for my first DSLR. Since I don’t have any legacy equipment, I have narrowed it down to two at the moment, the Pentax *istDS2 and the Nikon D50.

I think you should consider KonicaMinolta 5D as well as it is a winner in it's price range. The viewfinder is probably not as good as DS, but everithing else is better IMO.

coldrain
10-19-2005, 06:04 PM
I think you should consider KonicaMinolta 5D as well as it is a winner in it's price range. The viewfinder is probably not as good as DS, but everithing else is better IMO.
So what is everything else? Because quite frankly except its image stabilization system it has not much over its competitors. Certainly not image quality, where the EOS 350D and D50 rule. Nor its viewfinder, where the Pentax rules. So... what is better exactly?

astro
10-20-2005, 02:37 AM
I have played a fair amount with a friend's D70, another friend's early *ist, and own the rebel XT. The pentax has the best viewfinder of any DSLR. The pentax also allows you to use old pentax lenses, the only decent lenses you can actually find cheap on Ebay. Those are, as far as I know, the only advantages to the pentax. Unless things have dramatically changed, on the pentax you are effectively forced to use RAW to get good pictures. That uses lots of memory and time. I find for most purposes, JPEGs are sufficient. I can shoot oodles of pictures with my total of 3 gb worth of cards. The pentax uses more expensive memory, that doesn't come in as high capacity, and has noiser high ISO performance.

There is one big advantage to looking at sales numbers. You can assume that the big sellers will stay in the game. Pentax is the runt of the canon, nikon bunch. Lacking any other consideration, I would stick with canon or nikon. My friend's D70 takes wonderful pictures. We often shoot side by side, and exchange cds of our photos. Hers make me jealous... Of course I suspect it is largely due to the difference in our lenses, but there it is.

She wouldn't know shutter from aperture, and I had to show her how to keep the flash from going off when she didn't want it, and yet she gets really nice photos.

Hope that helps...

Clyde

D70 and the *ist DS has the same CCD sensor, the iso performance should be pretty similar. I suspect that it's the lens.
Don't overlook Pentax's lens either. Pentax may not have any fancy zooms, but what they have a sold, very high quality primes that kills the competition. It's a trait of many high quality brands, such as Leica and Zeiss. They, too, don't have any fancy zooms, or USM autofocusing. Instead, they specialize in simple manual focus lenses that are the most solid you can get. Quality over quanitity here.

If you want solid quality lenses, then get the Pentax. If you want a great line of versatile professional zooms, then go for the Nikon.

MatH
10-20-2005, 03:35 AM
I was coparing DS and 5D. Although I have yet to hold a 5D, I read a review on a site that I trust (http://www.e-fotografija.com/artman/publish/article_799.shtml). The controls are less menu oriented than DS, image quality is on pair with DS and image stabilisation is a huge bonus.

WightWalker
10-21-2005, 11:46 AM
Owning a Nikon or Canon is rather like driving a BMW - I'm not knocking BMWs but there a myth that they provide superior quality but in truth there are other cars which are just as reliable etc but don't seem to have the desired 'street credability'.

IMHO, owing a Nikon or Canon is much like this - again, I'm not knocking these cameras as they are good but at the bottom end of the dSRL market which is where the *istDS sits they are all much of a muchness.

I've owned a number of SRL cameras & chose a Pentax K2 as it fitted well in the hand with controls that felt in the right place.

I viewed Nikon, Canon & Pentax dSRLs before deciding that again the Pentax has that feel good factor - it suits me just fine.

coldrain
10-21-2005, 12:12 PM
jpegs from both pentaxes are very good. RAW is actually less, when you use pentax' software. I do not know if you can use other tools with Pentax RAW. But if pentax' software is all you have, JPEGS are the way to go, and very good.

Balrog
10-21-2005, 12:59 PM
I'm pretty sure most non-brand-specific RAW software currently out there supports PEF (pentax raw) .. I know that ACR, and RSE both do; there's quite an uproar over at the DPreview pentax forum right now because apparently Apple's new Aperture software doesn't.