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Rhys
05-23-2005, 08:19 AM
I've been studying specifications etc of all the DSLRs.
It seems to me that bar some being 8 megapixels and some being 6 megapixels, they all seem pretty much the same.

Pricewise, some are cheaper. The E-300 seems the cheapest on Pricerunner at the moment but is within $2 of the *ist Ds. The *ist has a wider range of independent lenses available.

I'm setting myself a budget of around $1000 although this could bend one way or the other.

I'd like to include a flash, two bodies, some lenses and a flash bracket (if the flash isn't already a hammerhead). I'm not sure which way to go with the lenses. The best would be to go for fixed focal lenths of 18mm, 28mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, 200mm as that gives the widest apertures. Having said that, this would push me over budget so it looks like the f3.5 zooms are the better bet. The second body, for economy, could be a film body.

I'm not so keen on multiple battery types so it'd be handy if everything took AA batteries. I expect the flash will take AA batteries.

This is a kit that will be constantly upgraded as and when money becomes available.

I love the idea of the Olympus anti-dust shaking sensor. I am disappointed by the line of lenses available for the e-300 though.

I have not touched an E-300 nor a Pentax. I have played with a Canon XT and with a Nikon D70. The D70 is heavier and bigger but I tend to prefer a lighter camera since my left wrist has an old injury.

The one bonus of the new dSLRs is that they are lighter than their film counterparts.

I was thinking (still thinking of wedding and landscape photography) that I should start out with an XT and a K7 (film camera) with the 18-55, 28-70 and 70-210 zooms plus a flash. I'm not entirely sure what flash to look at. One of the major problems is that in America, flashes are given guide numbers in feet wheras I'm used to guide numbers in meters. In meters, I'd be looking at 30 - 50 as the guide number. I guess that'd be 90 - 150.

I'm musing on the things that are available and trying to work out what's best because once the money's spent, it's spent and whatever I get has to perform well enough as to recoup the cost and more.

AllanMarcus
05-24-2005, 11:24 PM
Hey Rhys,

I too have been looking at all the new dSLRs, but I've touched many of them. I have small hands for a man, by the way, and I'll give you my impressions. These comments assume you have no glass or accessories for a specific brand to start with.

Also, Ritz camera tends to have almost all these cameras, so you might want to call your local store and see what they have in stock. I hate to browse local and shop internet, but that's what the world has come to. Sometimes Ritz even has competitive prices.

Rebel XT: Feels lighter (and it is) than all the others, but the lens can impact the weight significantly. The lens and grip are very close together, which can be uncomfortable. This is a camera that one could get used to, but no one would see is inherently comfortable. There's a dizzying array of lens and add-ons for the Canon. Also, 8MP is nothing to sneeze at. Clearly, this is the market leader and the one to beat. I'm told the metering with a flash like the Canon or Sigma is very good.

Olympus E-300: I've also held this camera and it's ok; nothing special and not bad. The flat top is a little odd, but again, no big deal. The dust cleaning system sounds great, but everyone I've talked to says that if you are careful, dust on the sensor is not a problem, you can learn to clean it, or you can take it in to be cleaned (especially if you buy it locally). The price is nice, but you have to look at the whole package. From what I've read, the E-300 comes with the best kit lens.

Nikons: The D50 and D70s are both good cameras. Nikon is a known quality brand. The D70 feels well made and hefty. The lens' seems to be more expensive than their canon counterparts, especially the IS/VR series. No one ever got fired for buying Nikon. While Nikon is a great brand, they've lost their "top of the line" image they once had.

Pentax: The *ist DS feels very very comfortable, and is just a tad heavier than the XT. It's only 6MP, but still takes great pictures. The main reason to get the Pentax if because you like the way it feels. Hard to describe, but Pentax did a great job with the smaller camera and the flat part of the grip. Amazing that Canon couldn't make their grip more like the pentax.

Konica-Minolta: The Maxxum 7D is a very good camera, but very heavy. It has just about every control available directly on the camera, so once you figure it out, you can change settings very quickly. The built in anti-shake system makes every lens IS, and that's a big plus. Right now you can get it for under $1200, the anti-shake system pays for itself after the second lens, assuming you want anti-shake. The 7D is also an 800g monster that out weighs them all. More on KM later.

Fuji: Haven't paid too close attention to fuji as they are just too expensive for me.

For me, I'm leaning toward the Canon, mainly because of the high resolution, relatively inexpensive IS lens, and overall feature set. I'd probably get the sigma ef-500 flash, a 50mm prime (1.8), and the 70-300 IS. Eventually I might get the 28-135 IS. Yes, "cheap" lens, but still great for an amateur. Of course there are many more expensive lens to get if you want to spend more money.

Once I get two IS lens, I've erased the price advantage of the Canon over the Konica, so I'm going to wait until September to see if KM comes out with the rumored Maxxum 5D. The hope is that it will be a 6-8MP, smaller camera in the weight/size range as the pentax and canon. The hope also is that it will have the anti-shake system. If KM can achieve this in the the $1200 price range, the KM will be the one to beat.

Yes, one can wait until the next great thing comes out, and stay waiting forever. My thought is that if KM wants to stay in the dSRL game it will have to come out with something very soon to compete with everyone else that has second or third generation cameras out already. I'm not dying to get a dSRL, so I can wait for a while.

Given your requirements, the KM 5D may be a good choice. They have plenty of lens and accessories, and plenty of film cameras. Their only problem is they are late to game with their dSLR products. Time will tell if they will remain a player.

Hope this helps,

Allan

scalia
05-25-2005, 01:29 AM
while you wait, maybe you can visit www.myfourthirds.com (http://www.myfourthirds.com/) too

;)

D70FAN
05-25-2005, 10:41 AM
while you wait, maybe you can visit www.myfourthirds.com (http://www.myfourthirds.com/) too

;)

Note that there is a combination of pictures here. The E-300 shots are mixed in with E-1 pictures. These are two (very) different cameras.

Web-site Pictures just prove that for $1000 (E-300) you can actually take nice pictures. I don't think anyone here will dispute that.

But, seriously, what is the real purpose of the four-thirds (4:3) system?

That is to say, what really sets this format apart from 3:2? If you see a picture from a 3:2 dSLR cropped to 4:3 will there be a striking difference?

Rhys
05-25-2005, 11:22 AM
But, seriously, what is the real purpose of the four-thirds (4:3) system?

What's the purpose of the 2:3 system? 4:3 fits most standard paper sizes better and also fits the ratio of PC screen sizes better.


That is to say, what really sets this format apart from 3:2? If you see a picture from a 3:2 dSLR cropped to 4:3 will there be a striking difference?

Let's turn that argument on its head...

What sets the 3:2 format apart from 4:3? If you see a picture from a 4:3 dSLR cropped to 3:2 will there be a striking difference?

Ant
05-25-2005, 11:32 AM
But, seriously, what is the real purpose of the four-thirds (4:3) system?

Well, considering that the 3:2 system is an anachronism from 35mm film days, and 35mm is itself an accident that arose from somebody cobbling together a home made camera that could be easier carried than the large format cameras available at the time it could be argued that in the age of digital...what's the point of the 3:2 system? ;) Yes, I know it's because of backward compatibility of 35mm lenses but you get my point.

If you're designing a digital camera system from scratch then 4:3 makes a lot more sense than 3:2, which is why there are no 3:2 P&S digital cameras. Computer screens are in 4:3. Most images in magazines and newspapers are closer to 4:3 than 3:2. Most subjects tends to better fill a 4:3 frame than a 3:2 one, in which you have a lot more dead space. I also believe that you can make lenses smaller and lighter for the equivalent focal length on a 4:3 system, which is the advantage that Olympus was pushing for their system.

Essentially Olympus decided that when it designed it's new DSLRs that it was going to completely cut ties with the old 35mm system. Whether it was the right decision or not only time will tell. :)

Ant
05-25-2005, 11:34 AM
DOH! just saw Rhys' reply and he managed to say the same thing in less words. ;)

Rhys
05-25-2005, 11:58 AM
Rebel XT: Feels lighter (and it is) than all the others, but the lens can impact the weight significantly. The lens and grip are very close together, which can be uncomfortable. This is a camera that one could get used to, but no one would see is inherently comfortable. There's a dizzying array of lens and add-ons for the Canon. Also, 8MP is nothing to sneeze at. Clearly, this is the market leader and the one to beat. I'm told the metering with a flash like the Canon or Sigma is very good.


I too find the XT to be nice and light. I'd love to know how it handles with a serious flash such as the Metz 45, 54, 60 or 70.



Olympus E-300: I've also held this camera and it's ok; nothing special and not bad. The flat top is a little odd, but again, no big deal. The dust cleaning system sounds great, but everyone I've talked to says that if you are careful, dust on the sensor is not a problem, you can learn to clean it, or you can take it in to be cleaned (especially if you buy it locally). The price is nice, but you have to look at the whole package. From what I've read, the E-300 comes with the best kit lens.


I'm getting very much the feeling that the Olympus is just a little bit too funky - no standard battery. No prime lenses. No independent lenses. It's altogether too much like the ill-fated Olympus AF system.



Nikons: The D50 and D70s are both good cameras. Nikon is a known quality brand. The D70 feels well made and hefty. The lens' seems to be more expensive than their canon counterparts, especially the IS/VR series. No one ever got fired for buying Nikon. While Nikon is a great brand, they've lost their "top of the line" image they once had.


I get the feeling that the D50 is a cut-down camera. The D70 feels heavy to me. I am very much in favour of things that are lightweight - more so as I get closer to old age. If the D70/D50/D100 maintained backward compatibility with my AI/AIS lenses then I'd probably stick with Nikon but as Nikon has deemed it not necessary to keep loyal customers then I'm free to choose other brands.



Pentax: The *ist DS feels very very comfortable, and is just a tad heavier than the XT. It's only 6MP, but still takes great pictures. The main reason to get the Pentax if because you like the way it feels. Hard to describe, but Pentax did a great job with the smaller camera and the flat part of the grip. Amazing that Canon couldn't make their grip more like the pentax.


The specifications for the *ist D and *ist Ds are phenomenal. This is a camera that I would love to have were it not for my reservations on Pentax quality. Their SFX was innovative and ahead of the competition with its IR AF assist. I wonder why that was dropped.



Konica-Minolta: The Maxxum 7D is a very good camera, but very heavy. It has just about every control available directly on the camera, so once you figure it out, you can change settings very quickly. The built in anti-shake system makes every lens IS, and that's a big plus. Right now you can get it for under $1200, the anti-shake system pays for itself after the second lens, assuming you want anti-shake. The 7D is also an 800g monster that out weighs them all. More on KM later.


Agreed - the anti-shake system is a huge bonus. Having said that, it seems that it makes the camera a lot more expensive. Plus the downside is the camera's very heavy.



Fuji: Haven't paid too close attention to fuji as they are just too expensive for me.


Aside from the minor interest that the dynamic range is better, the Fuji is basically just a Nikon D100 whose real saving grace is that it takes AA batteries.



For me, I'm leaning toward the Canon, mainly because of the high resolution, relatively inexpensive IS lens, and overall feature set. I'd probably get the sigma ef-500 flash, a 50mm prime (1.8), and the 70-300 IS. Eventually I might get the 28-135 IS. Yes, "cheap" lens, but still great for an amateur. Of course there are many more expensive lens to get if you want to spend more money.


I'm leaning the same way but more for the fact that the Canon takes an AA battery grip and is a lot lighter than anything else.



Once I get two IS lens, I've erased the price advantage of the Canon over the Konica, so I'm going to wait until September to see if KM comes out with the rumored Maxxum 5D. The hope is that it will be a 6-8MP, smaller camera in the weight/size range as the pentax and canon. The hope also is that it will have the anti-shake system. If KM can achieve this in the the $1200 price range, the KM will be the one to beat.


That's true. I expect a lot of new cameras will fall out of the tree in September. This, of course, will mean that the current crop will be lower in price. Of course, I'm hoping to buy maybe next month. Finances are a bit tight this month, what with having paid for all my residence documents etc.



Yes, one can wait until the next great thing comes out, and stay waiting forever. My thought is that if KM wants to stay in the dSRL game it will have to come out with something very soon to compete with everyone else that has second or third generation cameras out already. I'm not dying to get a dSRL, so I can wait for a while.

I have a feeling that KM will fade from the scene and end up making all-in-one compacts instead. Either that or they'll combine everybody's desired features and produce a monster that's way too expensive.



Given your requirements, the KM 5D may be a good choice. They have plenty of lens and accessories, and plenty of film cameras. Their only problem is they are late to game with their dSLR products. Time will tell if they will remain a player.


I dearly bought a Dynax 700i, many years ago. My reason for not buying one - I didn't like the idea of having a white plastic camera. I went for a Nikon FM instead.

It seems to me that waiting is still the order of the day. But.. That XT looks damned attractive.

Consider an outfit such as this:

Canon XT + AA battery grip
Metz 45 CL1 flash.
Sigma 18 - 50 f2.8
Tokina 28 - 80 f2.8 / Sigma 28 - 105 f2.8/4
Sigma 70 - 200 f2.8
Canon EOS 3000v (backup camera)

I'm not sure what the cost of that'd be in dollars but I'd estimate it's about what I paid for my Nikon kit.

TheObiJuan
05-25-2005, 12:19 PM
I love 3:2, I see 4:3 as pointless. My laptop screen is 3:2, more lenses are 3:2, as are cameras. Portraits and landscapes are better in 3:2, and the rule of thirds and composition is easier and looks better with 3:2.
With my Sony p150 I shoot 3:2 all the time. Same with my old kodak dx6490.

http://photoinf.com/Golden_Mean/Edwin_Leong/Camera_Hobby_-_e-Book_on_the_Golden_Ratio.htm

http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/golden_rectangle.html

D70FAN
05-25-2005, 03:45 PM
DOH! just saw Rhys' reply and he managed to say the same thing in less words. ;)

You'll be happy to know that Rhys made up for those short answers in a later post. ;)

But neither of you answers the basic question. What is the actual purpose of 4:3? What is wrong with the 3:2 legacy aspect ratio currently used by both film and digital SLR's?

Is there truely a future for 2 consumer dSLR formats?

Rhys
05-25-2005, 04:05 PM
You'll be happy to know that Rhys made up for those short answers in a later post. ;)

But neither of you answers the basic question. What is the actual purpose of 4:3? What is wrong with the 3:2 legacy aspect ratio currently used by both film and digital SLR's?

Is there truely a future for 2 consumer dSLR formats?

I don't really see any problem with 4:3. Look at a tabloid newspaper page. That's more 4:3 than 2:3. Magazines are the same. In fact, the smallest of the 120 formats 6 x 4.5 is the same as 4:3 so 4:3 is a legacy format and incidentally, is one of the most popular 120 formats.

D70FAN
05-25-2005, 04:25 PM
I don't really see any problem with 4:3. Look at a tabloid newspaper page. That's more 4:3 than 2:3. Magazines are the same. In fact, the smallest of the 120 formats 6 x 4.5 is the same as 4:3 so 4:3 is a legacy format and incidentally, is one of the most popular 120 formats.

Ok, I'll bite. How many photo journalists use a 4:3 camera vs. a 35mm or digital SLR? It's been a long time since I have seen paparazzi with a 645 hung around their neck.

Also how does 6 x 4.5 equal a 4:3 ratio? Isn't 4:3 equal to 8 x 6 full frame?

Maybe it's just been a long day...

Ray Schnoor
05-25-2005, 05:21 PM
Ok, I'll bite. How many photo journalists use a 4:3 camera vs. a 35mm or digital SLR? It's been a long time since I have seen paparazzi with a 645 hung around their neck.

Also how does 6 x 4.5 equal a 4:3 ratio? Isn't 4:3 equal to 8 x 6 full frame?

Maybe it's just been a long day...

It must have been, George. 4 x 1.5 = 6, 3 x 1.5 = 4.5, or 4:3 = 6:4.5 = 8:6.

Ray.

TheObiJuan
05-25-2005, 05:33 PM
5:7 is very popular for sports photography which is a big part of journalism.
They take a 2:3 image and just crop tighter.

Landscapes would be silly with 4:3. It would be a block instead of a wide image. Even if you do panorama, you still need to crop the center portion to get a landscape look.

Rhys
05-25-2005, 07:00 PM
5:7 is very popular for sports photography which is a big part of journalism.
They take a 2:3 image and just crop tighter.

Landscapes would be silly with 4:3. It would be a block instead of a wide image. Even if you do panorama, you still need to crop the center portion to get a landscape look.

Hence the occasional need for specific panoramic cameras?

TheObiJuan
05-25-2005, 07:14 PM
By panoramas I mean 2-3 stitched 3:2 frames giving a nice and wide image. 3 4:3 images wouldn't look too wide.

Norm in Fujino
05-25-2005, 07:49 PM
The dust cleaning system sounds great, but everyone I've talked to says that if you are careful, dust on the sensor is not a problem, you can learn to clean it, or you can take it in to be cleaned (especially if you buy it locally).

Or you can build your own piezzo-electric anti-static ioniser gun (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Ffovea.perso.cegetel.net%2 FIonizerF.htm&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=ja&c2coff=1&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools)

Rhys
05-26-2005, 04:55 AM
By panoramas I mean 2-3 stitched 3:2 frames giving a nice and wide image. 3 4:3 images wouldn't look too wide.

No but I've done 360 degree panoramas with stitched 3 megapixel 4:3 images.

jeisner
05-26-2005, 04:57 AM
Dan in the pentax forum on dpreview made the chart below... helps to visualise the difference :)

As I only print in 6x4 and A4, 4:3 holds no advantages for me over 3:2, and as I still shoot film aswell, I prefer to stay with 6x4 for my small prints (so the advantage goes to 3:2)...

http://www.pidcock.co.uk/Pictures/photo-cropping480.gif

jamison55
05-26-2005, 06:08 AM
WOW, now that almost makes me a believer in the 4:3 system... If only Oly could get their high ISO noise under control.

D70FAN
05-26-2005, 06:24 AM
It must have been, George. 4 x 1.5 = 6, 3 x 1.5 = 4.5, or 4:3 = 6:4.5 = 8:6.

Ray.

Yes it was. Not sure what I was thinking here. Of course 645 is 4:3! It was definately a long day.

Thanks Ray.

D70FAN
05-26-2005, 06:32 AM
Or you can build your own piezzo-electric anti-static ioniser gun (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Ffovea.perso.cegetel.net%2 FIonizerF.htm&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=ja&c2coff=1&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools)

Definately an interesting tool. Let us know how it works... ;) Thanks Norm.

Rhys
05-26-2005, 08:58 AM
One of my worries is about static from when I've been in the car. For some strange reason, here in SC, I get charged up with static. I have to touch something metal with my key in order to discharge as painlessly as is possible. In the garage at night, sometimes I see a bolt of lightning from my key, hitting the door, that's at least an inch long. I worry that with the static that the CCD might suffer.

jamison55
05-26-2005, 11:33 AM
We have that problem in MA in the winter. I've developed a habit of touching the back of my leg to the bottom of the door frame whenever I get out of the car b/c it hurts less. I have also fried my Ipaq a couple of times because of the static...I'm REALLY careful whenever I open up my computer!

Rhys
05-26-2005, 11:39 AM
We have that problem in MA in the winter. I've developed a habit of touching the back of my leg to the bottom of the door frame whenever I get out of the car b/c it hurts less. I have also fried my Ipaq a couple of times because of the static...I'm REALLY careful whenever I open up my computer!

I thought the car was what gave me static. I've been avoiding touching the car.

TheObiJuan
05-26-2005, 11:45 AM
It's too humid here in Texas to get any of that static business.

Ray Schnoor
05-26-2005, 11:49 AM
I have the same problem with the dry winter air as jamison here in upstate NY. As long as I am holding onto the metal doorframe before I put my foot on the ground, I will not get a shock. If, on the other hand, I put my foot on the ground and then grab the door frame, I will get a shock.

Ray.