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View Full Version : Pentax istDS or a Canon S2IS



videosilva
10-28-2005, 05:52 PM
I currently have the option to purchase either a Pentax istDS or a Canon S2IS for the same price. I have BOTH cameras here with me now and am trying to figure out wich one to return. Why DO I need or anyone else need an SLR ??


I have ONLY taken in door tests so far and.................. The S2IS is MUCH better for in door low light shooting. The Pentax is dark and needs alot of light. I have ONLY tested the two under low in door lighting so far.


I'm STILL undecided !!

Balrog
10-28-2005, 06:31 PM
I just got the *ist DS after considering an S2 .. so let me tell you a few reasons:
For one, look at the available ISO ratings. Take a picture with the S2 at 50, 100, 200 and 400 ISO. Now do the same with the *ist at 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200. I'm quite sure you'll like the Pentax at 800 (even 1600) at least as much as the S2 at 200. Now, agreed that with the kit lens fully extended you only have f/5.6 which is 1.5 stops slower than the S2, and the stabilization on the Canon gives it maybe a 3, even a 4-stop advantage; however the ISO makes up for most of that. Have you even tried shooting at increased ISO?

Second - you're not stuck with the kit lens. Buy a 50/1.4 .. it's low light capability will blow you away. Try a fast telephoto .. try an ultrawide .. try a fisheye .. try a real macro lens .. there's just so much more you can do with an SLR. In fact, I'd say if you're NOT going to buy any more lenses, then just get the S2 .. it'll be far more versatile. (You could get the same convenience with an 18-200 on the SLR, but that would send the price up considerably).

There are more reasons .. the live view .. dynamic range (specially with raw capability) .. general responsiveness .. etc. It really depends on your needs, though.

astro
10-29-2005, 12:38 AM
Well said balrog.

Except I think ISO 1600 is more comparable to ISO200 on the S2 IS.

Crank up the ISO on the Pentax, and the light gathering will kill the S2 IS even with the kit lens. If you get a 50mm F/1.4 lens(which are dirt cheap on ebay for top notch quality takumar lenses), the light gathering capabilities will blow you away.

If you were using ISO100/F/2.8 on the S2 IS, and you were getting 1/5th exposure, on the Pentax ISO800/F/1.4 setup, you'd be getting 1/60th expsure on the Pentax.

Ironman11
10-29-2005, 04:56 AM
Lets see, why does anyone need a D-SLR?

For me, I needed the DS for night sports. I was using the S1-IS, and just couldnt get the shutter speed I needed. I grabbed a *ist DS and a Sigma 70-200 f2.8, and have been capturing amazing shots since then. As far as inside shots go, you might want to try the Pentax external flash, as opposed to the built-in. Of course, just as everyone else says, just crank up the ISO a little.

Whether or not you need the DS depends on what you're shooting, and if you have enough money to get some good lenses. If the price of the DS w/ kit lens is all you are paying, by all means get the S2-IS. If you'll be investing more in quality lenses, stick with the Pentax.

To demonstrate the noise of ISO 3200, I've attached a night racing shot I took.

Good luck with your desicion.

--Alex

rprii
10-29-2005, 08:01 AM
Well said Ironman11 . . . being an old Pentax fan, I recently upgraded from a Fuji FinePix 6900 to the *1stDS. Quite frankly, I was "happy" with the Fuji but am exstatic with the *1stDS . . . it blows the Fuji away! Plus, I can use all my old Pentax lenses and have been watching eBay to improve my "stable". Anyway, attached are a couple of pics I took the first night that I had the
*1stDS . . . used a very old SMC Pentax-F 70-210 zoom lens shooting in continuous mode . . . 170mm, 250sec, F8 at ISO1600 . . . probably should have been at 3200 but for printing I fixed the pics with PhotoShop. Can't go wrong with the *1stDS!!!:D

videosilva
10-29-2005, 05:06 PM
Lets see, why does anyone need a D-SLR?

For me, I needed the DS for night sports. I was using the S1-IS, and just couldnt get the shutter speed I needed. I grabbed a *ist DS and a Sigma 70-200 f2.8, and have been capturing amazing shots since then. As far as inside shots go, you might want to try the Pentax external flash, as opposed to the built-in. Of course, just as everyone else says, just crank up the ISO a little.

Whether or not you need the DS depends on what you're shooting, and if you have enough money to get some good lenses. If the price of the DS w/ kit lens is all you are paying, by all means get the S2-IS. If you'll be investing more in quality lenses, stick with the Pentax.

To demonstrate the noise of ISO 3200, I've attached a night racing shot I took.

Good luck with your desicion.

--Alex



Here is a NIGHT SHOT for all the SLR people ...................... This picture was taken at Bells park in Wasage Beach with the auto settings right out of the box. There is little to NO lighting here (Forest) except for the flash of the S2.

For night shots this camera seems to work well.

http://cgi.videosilva.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=30;t=7

Balrog
10-29-2005, 06:24 PM
If you like using "auto settings right out of the box", you should just go ahead and keep the S2. You'll be happier.

Anex
10-29-2005, 08:46 PM
If you're going to spend that kind of money and simply want something to point and shoot (i.e. auto mode everything), then SLR's are not for you. For my first instroduction into photography, I wanted something more simple but that also had the capabilities to allow me to learn more about it. The FZ20 was definitely the best choice for my needs. However, now that I've reached the limitations of that camera, I am definitely looking at upgrading to an SLR. I would've loved for Panasonic to lure me away from that idea but let's face it, the best bang for your buck in the SLR market has to be the Pentax *ist - I mean on what SLR can you buy 40 - 50 year old lens that are as good as, if not better, then the best lens's that are on the market today...and for dirt cheap!

I'm waiting for the DS2 myself...but unless it blows away the DS, then I'll just get it - already have my eyes on some nice old lens's.

Anyways, like I and another said, if you're just looking for a point and shoot type camera with a few bells and whistles, then the S2 or FZ20 or FZ30 are ideal for you. However, if you want more power to your creative side, an SLR is definitely the way to go - if you have the $ (and the *ist series is definitely the way to go if you only have a little extra $...Canon and Nikon are crazy expensive).

As with all comments, they are matters of personal opinon. In the end, you have to choose what best suits your interests, need, your current skillset, and most importantly, your wallet.

Just know, whatever you decide to do, be happy with it. All cameras have flaws and or limitations, try not to concentrate on them. Instead, learn to appreciate the things you like about the camera, then things that drew you to it. When it comes time to upgrade, then start remembering the things you didn't like.

Anyways, best of luck to ya.

Ironman11
10-30-2005, 02:52 AM
Here is a NIGHT SHOT for all the SLR people ...................... This picture was taken at Bells park in Wasage Beach with the auto settings right out of the box. There is little to NO lighting here (Forest) except for the flash of the S2.

For night shots this camera seems to work well.

http://cgi.videosilva.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=30;t=7

Any camera can take a night shot of someone standing still. These cars in my picture were probably going 60mph, under local short track lighting, which isnt the brightest thing in the world. I owned the S1 IS, and shot (or tried to shoot) both the night racing and night high school football, and I know first-hand the difference that the DSLR makes. Of course, that racing shot, and the football picture below, were NOT taken with the kit lens. They were taken with the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens, which is a nearly $700 lens, more than the price of the camera.

What is going to be your main goal with your next camera? If we know, we might could assist you a little better.

BTW, the small version of the picture below doesnt quite show the DS's great quality. In the full size, you can see the blades of grass kicked up by the running back. And BTW, the picture below was straight out of the camera. No color editing done at all! :p

rprii
11-03-2005, 03:14 PM
Hope you got a *istDS . . . I was out looking for an extra TP lens today . . . visited about a dozen different camera sites and none of them had the *istDS. Boy, am I glad I did not wait!:)

Ironman11
11-03-2005, 03:56 PM
Hope you got a *istDS . . . I was out looking for an extra TP lens today . . . visited about a dozen different camera sites and none of them had the *istDS. Boy, am I glad I did not wait!:)
The DS is just being replaced with the DS2. From what I've heard, this change is mostly just a bigger LCD screen.

Ishkabibble
11-03-2005, 04:08 PM
Comparing a point and shoot to a dSLR is going to prove a challenging task, especially if you don't have a lengthy photography background.

Until you have discovered your purpose, you can't make an educated decision. The S2 IS takes great movies, good pictures with a flash, and requires limited knowlewdge to utilize to its potential. The DS takes no movies, great pictures with or without a flash, and requires considerably more knowledge to utilize to its full potential. The S2 will not take good pictures in low-light situations unless you use a flash; the DS will function well without flash, capturing mood lighting. The S2 has a fixed lens with a good range, the range of the DS is limited unless you invest in add-on lenses, but these lenses will permit you to do things you can't do with the S2. Each piece of hardware performs better for some tasks than others.

If you are planning to spend considerable time learning to leverage your hardware, you will be more happy in the long run with the DS. If you plan to simply pull the camera out and shoot with it, the S2 is more suited to you. In short, it isn't the camera, its how you plan to use it that makes one option better than the other.

PS. From your comment regarding the low-light picture you took, I have a hunch you are close to selecting the S2. If so, you are likely a good results fast kind of person... in which case the S2 is a great choice. Mastering the style necessary to leverage the DS won't happen so quickly. :D Best of luck with whatever camera you choose.

videosilva
11-03-2005, 06:44 PM
Pentax istDS & Canon S2 IS Night Shot.


Here you can see a night picture with a Pentax istDS & Canon S2 IS.

http://cgi.videosilva.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=31;t=2

http://cgi.videosilva.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=30;t=7

Ishkabibble
11-03-2005, 08:08 PM
Thank you Videosilva, you prove my point.

The shot that you present is from the DS in point and shoot mode, right out of the box. This does not demonstrate the ability of the camera; it isn't a fancy point and shoot.

It has taken months since my DS purchase for me to unlock even the basics of this camera. I have studied photography in as much detail as time has permitted, probably investing several hundred hours over the past half year. Why? I'm not satisfied with point and shoots, and I don't want to miss any photo opportunity. It's somewhat of a passion for me.

The shots I took at the start were almost exclusively done with auto mode. These taught me enough of the basics that I was able to learn how to use manual functions. Now, several months later, there are few situations where I would still use auto mode. Its simply not optimal. It's a good way to learn so that novices (like me) can become more capable. But it doesn't show the ability of the camera.

Ironman11
11-04-2005, 09:13 PM
For us to help you better, you still need to tell us what kind of shooting you're going to be doing with this camera.

It sounds like you are leaning toward the S2 IS, and that you just shoot full auto and take what the camera gives you. If you're never going to shoot manual mode or take advantage of the DS's features(amazing low-light mode, great sports capabilities), by all means go with a the S2. If you are just going to go with the DS kit lens, definately go with the S2. If you're going to take your photography to the next level by buying more lenses, or will be in low-light situations where you cant use flash, use the *ist DS.

I have attached another football shot. I wouldnt dream of taking a shot like this with my old S1 IS.

mrbmarco
11-06-2005, 07:30 AM
Last March I bought the istds kit on line from J&R. I bought it from them because I have bought electronics from them for over 20 years. I loved this camera--The images were breathtaking. I was so happy, all my old pentax lenses worked perfectly. In June, I set up the tripod and started to take close ups of flowers on the patio. The pictures were the best yet, all of a sudden the camera started to act up, all the lights, bell and whistles started to go on and off. I shut the camera off, and the problem continued. I took out the batteries, put them back in and the problem continued. I shipped the camera back to Pentax in Colorado since it was still under warranty. After 6 weeks in September the camera came back still broke. Pentax said they found either water or motor oil in the camera, when they opened it up. It could not be fixed, the warranty was void. I was floored, I never opened the camera. I called several times with no luck. The camera still looks brand new. Do I have to pay out another 600.00 for a new body?? Any suggestions??

WightWalker
11-06-2005, 09:51 AM
If you've not abused your camera then you must assume that this ingress of water/motor oil (they are totally different and easy to spot the difference - water is water & will dry out but oil is oily & probably will not - couldn't Pentax really tell the difference - so much for their credibility) either this happened before you bought the camera or subsequently whilst away for repair. I don't know what kind of game Pentax are playing but this is just the kind of support that gives Pentax a bad reputation - well deserved if that be the case.

Personally, I would return the camera to the dealer stating that it is was defective when you bought it & it is nor fit for purpose. Reinforce the comment that you have never opened the camera body, exposed it to water of motor oil & if Pentax state that it contains either then it must have been whilst outside of your control.

If the dealer has any regard for customer loyalty, then they should replace the camera - I would force the issue & not rest until the dodgy camera that I had been sold was replaced free of charge.

Ishkabibble
11-07-2005, 11:22 AM
Mrbmarco,

I have started a new post for your concern, since it strays from the topic addressed in this one. You might want to look at my proposed solution, I've had success with it in the past.