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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Question Cheap dslr comparison comments please

    I was just looking round at potential dslr combinations that would be a suitable replacement for my FZ20 & give me a bit better low light/low noise performance and I found a couple of what seem like good offers for here in the UK. Both on jessops.com in the sale they have a Pentax istDL2 with 18-55 lense for 349.99 & offer a sigma 55-200 lense for 109.99 or a Nikon D50 with 18-55 & 55-200 lenses for 549.99. I know these are not quite up to the cheap dollar prices you get in the US but they seem quite good bargains to me here in the UK. Feel free to comment on the suitability of these for an FZ20 replacement, in particular the Pentax one is not much more than I paid for my FZ only 18 months ago!
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    122
    As a previous Panasonic FZ 15 owner and current D50 user, I can whole-heartedly recommend the Nikon D50. I don't miss spontaneous shots waiting for the camera to start up or the zoom to move, the D50's response is immediate. I love being able to shoot in low light with out a flash, though my wife doesn't like the sound of the mirror clicking when I'm shooting at the theater.
    If you can, bring your FZ20 to the camera store and shoot the same picture with the Panasonic and then the D50, (use your SD memory card), then take the photos home and compare. I think you will be nicely suprised at the quality of the D50.

    The list goes on and on but basically a digital SLR is the next step in the development of a serious amateur photographer. You won't go wrong with either camera. I, myself, like the large selection of lenses available for the Nikon, (I think it's larger than the Pentax), especially when one considers third party manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina.

    Regards,

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    884
    I switched from the FZ20 to the Pentax ist DS a year ago (or little bit more?) I only had the FZ20 for a couple of months before I switched and the DS cost me barely more than the FZ20 cost me... And yes there is a world of difference, very difficult to compare DSLR to all-in-ones they are a different kind of beast..

    I would suggest waiting until July for the Pentax K100D to be released though, as you won't loose image stabilisation that way.. The stabilisation (called SR) is in the camera so all the lenses you buy (Pentax,Sigma Tamron etc) that mount on the K100D will benefit from it..

    Pentax is not as huge a lens selection as Canon or Nikon, but there is more than enough choice (if you have the money to spend) also all Pentax lenses from the last 50 years work with full features, so you can get some real quality bargain priced fast manual focus primes.. Also you have a growing range of very compact pancake lenses (that no other lens manufacturer has)...

    I prefer first party lenses but most Sigma and Tamron lenses are also made in Pentax mount if you so wish..
    Last edited by jeisner; 06-27-2006 at 04:30 PM.
    ------
    Joel - Canon 50d, EF16-35/2.8 Mk1, Σ 50/1.4, EF100/2.8 Macro, EF70-200/4 IS, 430EX II
    http://www.eisner.id.au

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Either of the dSLR's will work fine, but the lenses may be an issue. Your FZ20 has an image stabilized f/2.8 lens which puts it at an advantage over the dSLR's on the block. You would have to shoot the dSLR's (with standard f/3.5-5.6) lenses at ISO200-400 to get the equivalent of the FZ20 f/2.8 lens and fast, image stabilized, long zoom, SLR lenses are not exactly inexpensive.

    The older Konica Minolta 5D and 7D both have IS built-in as does the new Sony version (alpha100), but the Sony is $999 with an 18-70 f/3.5-5.6 or $899 body only (but still within your budget in pounds). On the plus side is a 10MP sensor, fast processor and the afore mentioned IS and "dust buster".

    The jury is still out on the Sony image quality, but I'm betting that it will be more than acceptable.

    Just a thought.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  5. #5
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    Feb 2005
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    Common dilema eh?

    Thanks for the comments guys I guess this trade up dilema is pretty common. I was really waiting for the next crop of dslrs to emerge before trying to pursuade my other half I should part with more cash on "another camera". The new Sony & Pentax offerings look to be pretty good with stabilisation but I was just very tempted by that cheap offer on the Pentax istDL2. I had considered the Minoltas with stabilisation in the past too but didn't really want to go Minolta now Sony had taken over. Its just a fact of life I suppose that buying the best P&S you can afford at the time just makes the trade up decision that much harder & more expensive. And it also means that I wouldn't want to replace my FZ20 but add another camera to join it so the pursuasion has to be that much better .
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Hi Phill, havent seen you since I moved over to the Nikon forum from the Panasonic forum As you may remember, I too had an FZ20. I traded up to the D50 for the same reason you are looking to upgrade, low light. I could not be happier! I thought I would have to shell out big bucks to get lens equivalents with IS, but thats not true. With DSLR you really dont need it, you can shoot slower and use higher ISO, thats the main benefit of DSLR, higher ISO capability! I would strongly suggest the D50, you will NOT be dissapointed. I bought the D50 body only for $520 or so(cant remember for sure) Sigma 18-125mm for $300. its a great walk around lens and the shots outa the box are sharper than the FZ20. I recently bought the Sigma 18-50mm 2.8 for weddings and portraits. Both suit low light needs for me (sports, candids, family). As I am sure you know, the Z20 is pretty bad above 200 ISO, D50 preforms very well at 400 and higher! Lastly, the D50 is much faster focusing than the FZ20! I hope this helps and good luck with your decision, let us know how it goes!
    Last edited by jcon; 06-30-2006 at 11:56 PM.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    1,807
    my 0.2 cents:

    i'd suggest looking at lenses to get an ideas of what you want to buy, then choose the body from there. for example nikon has the 18-200 VR and cheap, but high quality primes. canon has a 70-200 f4, 17-40 f4, 28-105 f3.5- 4.5 but probably the weakest set of low priced primes from 50mm down (though i know you didn't mention them).

    pentax and sony offer the anti-shake sensors which are definately huge advantages. before you buy into a set of kit lenses decide what you want to do and what you expect, then get opinions on the quality of the kit lenses and see if they match your uses and expectations. sorry, i don't know much about the kit lenses except on the canon side so i can't say much there.
    canon 17-40 L, 70-200 f2.8 L, 400 f5.6 L, 50 f1.4 & f1.8, 1.4x TC, sigma 15 f2.8 fisheye, flash 500 DG Super, kenko extension tubes

    note to self: don't participate in sad, silly threads unless you're looking for sad, silly responses.

    "anti-BS filter" (from andy): http://dcresource.com/forums/showpos...94&postcount=4

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    6,590
    Quote Originally Posted by ReF
    my 0.2 cents:

    i'd suggest looking at lenses to get an ideas of what you want to buy, then choose the body from there. for example nikon has the 18-200 VR and cheap, but high quality primes. canon has a 70-200 f4, 17-40 f4, 28-105 f3.5- 4.5 but probably the weakest set of low priced primes from 50mm down (though i know you didn't mention them).
    Strangely enough Nikon's reputation in wide primes is not really deserved... they actually do not have that many really good primes. And Canon's 35mm primes are actually good too...

    So, in this area (single focal point lenses) Canon and Nikon are very comparable. I know it is often said that Nikon is better there, but in reality a lot of Nikon primes are not as sharp as they should be and show other problems too. So much so, that the Tokina 12-24 f4 beats all Nikon primes in that range in sharpness and even contrast!
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    my big beef with many of canon's cheap primes is the 5 bladed aperture and the resulting ugly bokeh. i also hear many complaints about the two 28mm version and aparently poor QC in regards to the 50mm f1.8 II. just not all that appealing.

    to me, the big important factors in a prime are reliable accurate AF and appearance of bokeh. the cheaper 24,28,35,50 are all missing USM and 28,35,50 have only 5 blades.
    Last edited by ReF; 07-01-2006 at 04:42 AM.
    canon 17-40 L, 70-200 f2.8 L, 400 f5.6 L, 50 f1.4 & f1.8, 1.4x TC, sigma 15 f2.8 fisheye, flash 500 DG Super, kenko extension tubes

    note to self: don't participate in sad, silly threads unless you're looking for sad, silly responses.

    "anti-BS filter" (from andy): http://dcresource.com/forums/showpos...94&postcount=4

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    6,590
    ColorFoto magazine was not that impressed with either the wide Canon primes or Nikon primes.
    Two big tell-tale examples of how "good" the Nikons are on photozone.de too:
    About the Nikkor AF 20 f2.8 D:
    The Nikkor AF 20mm f/2.8 D had a very good reputation during the film era but the D200 didn't really like the lens. The resolution is fine for most of the APS-C image frame but the extreme corners never really reach impressive results even at medium aperture settings. Vignetting is fairly high at f/2.8 and CAs are pretty bad. All-in-all you may prefer to look elsewhere to cover this focal length on an APS-C DSLR.
    And about the Nikkor AF 24mm f2.8 D:
    The Nikkor AF 24mm f/2.8D didn't really convince during the tests due to various shortcomings. The resolution figures were generally very decent but otherwise the lens left something to be desired for a fix-focal with relatively high barrel distortions, very high vignetting at f/2.8 and very pronounced CAs. Spherical aberrations (focus shifts when stopping down) on top don't make things any better. So despite the relatively ambitious design (floating elements) the lens doesn't seem to be overly attractive anymore. This doesn't mean that the AF 24mm f/2.8D is a bad lens, it's not, but fix-focals should perform better than good zoom lenses.
    Now what do they think of the Canon EF 24 f2.8?
    At the optimal focus distances the EF 24mm f/2.8 is an excellent performer capable to deliver images as sharp as it gets on an 8MP APS-C DSLR. For most situations this is generally true but residual spherical aberration can be a problem at close-focus distances (as explained in the MTF chapter above). Other than that vignetting is a little on the high side at f/2.8 but no issue beyond and the slight barrel distortions are usually very acceptable as well. The construction quality is decent though not stellar.
    So at the end of the day it remains an excellent lens ... with a little bug.
    And what about the Canon EF 20mm f2.8 USM?
    Since the release of the EOS system we have seen several updates to Canon ultra-wide zoom lenses but they didn't really care about their fix-focals in this range ever since their initial release back in the early 90s. The Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM feels a little dated by now - less so regarding its mechanical qualities but optically it isn't really something special anymore. Most good quality zooms can match its quality by now. The fix focal lens can still convince regarding distortions and CAs. Resolution-wise it is still a good to very good lens for sure - just not more than that. Vignetting is a little on the high side at f/2.8 which is a little disappointing for a full format lens tested on an APS-C DSLR. So unless you require an affordable, large aperture lens in this range there're few reasons left to favor this lens over e.g. the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L.
    Hmmm... so it does seem that with these 2 types, the Canon lenses actually are quite a bit better than their Nikkor counterparts. Despite the 5 aperture blades versus 7 aperture blades, the Canons offer a much better IQ. Unless of course you like pronounced vignetting (and that is with a full frame lens on an APS-C body!) and CA. And a lack of sharpness.

    I have no idea why time and time again it is said that Nikon has a big advantage over Canon in the wide angle range... Their wider zooms are not overly amazing either. It is one of those Nikon myths, I do not know what it is about Nikon that makes their owners a lot less critical. You see that on Fred Miranda too, in the review section.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

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