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Old Aug 6, 2005, 8:22 PM   #1
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Ken Rockwell has never led me astray yet, so the D70s seems the best bet.
Still, lack of mirror lock up while shooting, inability to remember presets are a couple things that bug me. I'm about to get the two lens Nikon D70s kit, but feel a tad like I ought to look around one more time for someone with insight "who can say why this shouldn't proceed." Ifeel like this is amajor point in my life, like marriage. I'm 60, poor, and somewhat termially ill, so. Its a last hurah for me.

I have an AE-1 Prog, and an FZ20 with goodies that I might keep or sell. The FZ is currently "my precious." I seem to be in a bird phase. I hope it passes. I like trees and other things outdoors. I don't really know what else I'll get into. I live in the country and don't get around much. The FZ just doesn't have the sensor size for resolving large areas or for that matter small things at longer ranges. They appear like paintings. I really don't want to digiscope, or use a tripod any more than necessay.
Serious knowledgeable replies only please.
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Old Aug 6, 2005, 10:45 PM   #2
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I lecture professionally all over the world conducting seminar/workshops on both dSLRs and consumer digital cameras. Thus, I have to own sample cameras. I own the Canon 350D/XT, the Canon 20D, the Nikon D-70, and the Pentax 1stDS. So I have my unfettered choice of which dSLR to use when I take my own photos.

Do you know which dSLR I reach for when I want to use a dSLR? I reach for the Pentax 1stDS. It has a better viewfinder, a better grip, better controls, and its more fun. Yes, I agree, it is really alot of personal choice. But the phtos tell the REAL story. That is why the Pentax 1stDs is my #1 choice.

So, bottom line, it is your choice.

Here is a nice pentax 1stDS photo.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 8, 2005, 2:08 PM   #3
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I got the *ist DS about 3 weeks ago. I like it very much. It takes good pictures in JPEG (I think) and great pictures in RAW. It's small and light and uses standard AA batteries. You can get it with the kits lens for less than $700 online. I like www.buydig.com but there are other reputable dealers at near the same price. I bought a Tamron AF 70 - 300mm zoom lens for about $130 online, too. I know rival cameras have good points, but for me, the combination of low price and very decent picture quality has won me over. If you can, however, see if you can find one in camera store first. You need to see how it fits your hands. It fits mine just fine, though.
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Old Aug 8, 2005, 2:44 PM   #4
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All of the cameras you listed are fine d-slrs and all have pluses and minuses. I bought the pentax ist ds over the d70 and 350d for two main reasons. I liked the fact that the ist ds was small enough to take anywhere and still made very solid and the price was less than the others. The d70s was not out yet when I purchased the ist ds but I would have made the same decision. The nikons are faster with more analog controls than the pentax, they also have a less impressive view finder wich is important if you plan to use manual focus at all. The sony built processor is very similar in all pentax cameras and the nikons up til the d1/d2 series. The d100 and the istds have exactly the same sensor. If you shoot raw the sharpness and dynamic range will be the same for both cameras. If you shoot jpeg the nikon has a slight edge. Both cameras have importnant taditional slr features like dof preview, mirror lock up, and a true spot meter. For me the fact is even if the d70/70s has an edge as a camera with better performance, I take my ist ds everywhere because of its size (with a small m50 1.7 it is smaller than some prosumers) and has taken 8000 pictues in a few months. If price and size are not an issue, pick up the d70s, if they are you will be very happy with the ist ds. Good luck and I wish you years photograpy in your future.
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Old Aug 9, 2005, 2:00 PM   #5
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I have used, or at least handled, all of these cameras but the KM 5D. I therefore cannot speak for the Konica/Minolta but of all of the cameras listed I would choose the Pentax *istDS. I realize that the Nikons are faster andthe Canon has higher resolution but the overall handling, flexibility, standard battery,size, viewfinderand, of course, lens compatability of the Pentax makes it the clear choice for me.

The fact is that all of these cameras are great, depending on your particular preferences and shooting style to tip the scales. Look at the strengths (and weaknesses)of each camera (and the system it represents) and then decide which is best for you. Do not let image concerns be a part of your decision because all of these cameras are practically equal given similar spec lenses, the Nikons and the Pentax even use variants of the same Sony sensor.

Currently the Pentax does have one weakness which may matter to some people, it has no model to "step-up" to as Nikon and Canon do (although be aware that if you get a Canon 350D, with Canon's own digital specific lenses, these lenses may not be compatable with the D1 models which use a full 35mm sized sensor)

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Old Aug 11, 2005, 8:30 AM   #6
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I know you recomend Pentax ,butif yo had to choose between the d70 and the 20d which would work out better for my needs as expalined below because,I was offered to buy a 20d from a friend with the lens ,compact flash card, remote and mono pod for $1,000 its in awesome condition. I was how ever all set to get the nikon d70s , i have no experience with dslr's or slr's and have no lens. I had always thought that nikon was the cream of the crop. But when i was comparing cameras at the local store they claimed that the d70s and 20d were pretty much = . I was wondering if there would be any noticiable difference in pictures taken from each one if compared? I shoot my kids sports (volleyball,basketball, wrestling football and softball) as well as nature pictures,and was looking for a camera that would allow me the ability to create some stunning prints.Currently i have a point and shoot and my pictures are grainy when taken inside without a flash.I wanted some pictures i can frame and proudly hang on my wall.

Now i wwas looking at the statistics of each camera ,and there are some differences and i am not sure how they compare or what they might mean and was wondering if someone could help me .

Like flash sync 20d is 250, d70 is 500?

metering 20d=evaultive,partial ,and center weighted, d70= 3d color matrix,center weighted,and spot metering? what is the difference in the metering ability in the two cameras ? will one meter better in low light? which one is easier and is one more accurate?

focus area =20d has 9 af points,d70 has 5 , does this make a huge difference will one focus faster or more accurate?

does the 20d have rear curtain flash ,as the d70 does ? will this be a huge factor and what does that mean? rear curtain flash?

the ev steps 20d +/- 2 stops in 1/2 or 1/3 increments ,d70= +/- 5 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 increments ,does this have an advantage?

d70 = rgb ccd sensor, 20d is cmos is there a difference in the qaulity or accuracy of reproduction from one sensor to the other?

I know this is a lot to ask and i don't need specifics just trying to understand the differences and see if they will mean any huge difference to me and my use of the camera as i am new to this and want to start out on the right foot and this seems like a really good deal on the 20d.... Please email me at WButcher@kanebpipeline.com

thanks Bill Butcher, i can't help but notice in magazines i really don't see very many 20d pictures in the contests , but i have seen pictures in the camera shop and they looked really good, but wasn;t sure which one would be easy to use ,a camera you can grow with and one that will produce accurate color , and be able to focus in dim light , which i here is a problem with most digital cameras. The lighting in the gyms can be poor and sometimes flash isn;t an option. Again thanks Bill B
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 8:56 AM   #7
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Just one comment on the 20D: in low light situations it is best to turn off all of the focus points except the centre, if it gets fooled into focusing on the wrong thing you may lose an important shot.

As for image quality, I know three people who use the 20D, their results, especially at high ISO under low light, are amazing.

As for your sensor question, CMOS is cheaper to produce, and until Canon did their magic, it was used in very cheap digicams. Canon has made CMOS into a very effective, low noise, sensor capable of fantastic results. CCD is technically more complex and expensive to produce, it had been the standard for high quality images, and is still a very effective system. I would expect little to no observable difference between prints from these two cameras. The slight resolution advantage of the Canon would only be noticed in very large prints.

Either of these cameraas should have the speed and high ISO performance you need, if you can get the Canon at a good price I would go for it, if not the D70s is less expensive and would probably be my choice for that reason.

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Old Aug 11, 2005, 10:16 AM   #8
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Tazzie wrote:
I seem to be in a bird phase. I hope it passes. I like trees and other things outdoors. I don't really know what else I'll get into. I live in the country and don't get around much. The FZ just doesn't have the sensor size for resolving large areas or for that matter small things at longer ranges. They appear like paintings. I really don't want to digiscope, or use a tripod any more than necessay.

I don't want to discourage you from buying a DSLR. However, it may be a good idea to examine your reasons (and make sure you don't have any unrealistic expectations).

You may want to post an example or two of images that you consider to look like paintings. This could be caused by any number of factors (ISO speed, amount of JPEG Compression being used, sharpening settings, trying to use Digital Zoom,etc.). Chances are, you just don't have enough pixels representing your subject.

But, higher resolution is not really a solution unless you've got a lens to match up (to make sure your subject is represented by more pixels in the frame). There is no substitute for Optical Zoom to bring a subject in closer. If you crop a photo to make it look like twice as much optical zoom was used, you need 4 times (not 2 times) the resolution to maintain the same amount of subject detail in pixels per inch. Ditto for using Digital Zoom (I keep this feature turned off in cameras I own so that I don't accidently use it).

The FZ20 has averysharp,bright lens. So, if you go with a DSLR model and buy an inexpensive lensthat is not as bright, you'll need to use higher ISO speeds to get shutter speeds as fast (to help prevent blur).Using a cheap lenstends to reduce the benefit of going with a DSLR.

For example, if you go with a lens that hasa maximum aperture of f/5.6 on the long end (typical for manyinexpensive zoomlenses), you'd need to shoot at ISO 800 to match the shutter speeds you could get in the same lighting shooting at ISO 200 with the DMC-FZ20.

Also, the Panasonic's stabilized lens gives you 2 to 3 stops of leeway for hand holding a camera. So, you may not be able to get sharp photos without a tripod, even using higher ISO speeds with a DSLR model if it's got a slow (not bright) lens in less than optimum lighting.

Of course, quality varies a LOT between lenses, too (and most lenses are not going to beas sharp with the aperture wide open).

To match the focal length of the Panasonic with bright (i.e., f/2.8 throughout the focal range) lenses, yourcost, size and weight will increase dramatically.

Now, you may not need a lens as bright (due to higher ISO speed ability). But, I'd make sure you have an understanding of the "whole picture" before rushing into a DSLR. Lens costs can get pretty high if you're looking for a long focal length solution with a good quality lens that's usable in less than optimum lighting conditions without a tripod.

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Old Aug 11, 2005, 5:39 PM   #9
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they are all good cameras and would more than likely suit your needs equally well.. when it comes down to pure image quality the rebel xt/350d wins hands down.. it simply resolves details better than anything in its class.. and flesh tones and colors are reproduced more accurately..

the pentax is a good camera, and is very user friendly and everything.. however, it probably resolves details worse than any of the others.. the problem is not in its sensor, as it uses the same one as the nikon, but its chip holds it back a little bit.. but in real world shooting conditions, this is probably a negligeable disadvantage.. the focusing on the pentax lenses also tend to be a bit slower than the nikons and canons with USM/silent wave.. only a problem in action.. and if image stablization is something you would want in the future, your best bet is w/ the KM,Canon, or Nikon..

the nikon falls somewhere in the middle of the road here.. good features, easy to use.. but trails the canon a bit in image quality..

just wanted to give a bit of a counterpoint to the other ppl posting here.. i would also be sure to read Jim's post immediately preceding mine..

best of luck, dustin
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 9:46 PM   #10
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I think the rebel xt or 20D has the best image quality.

Personally, I haven't been impressed with the Pentax ist image quality from the images I've seen.

Nikons are pretty good cameras all round, althought their viewfinders tend to be tunnel like and they are built like tanks.

In a sense it all comes down to preference.

And by the way, in five years time most new cameras will blow away what w'ere buying now.

-- Terry
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