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Old Oct 22, 2005, 8:09 AM   #1
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Based on feedback here and the ongoing reading of reviews, I have narrowed the selection down to these three cameras.The DSLR is to compliment a ultra-compact P&S. While I have some experience with an older SLR, I am finding these newer cameras to be so much more complicated. My intent of going to a DSLR is to: *indoor & outdoor family shots, high quality - no red-eye, *sport shots (karate, baseball), *macro features, albeit an additional lenses likely, *ability to crop 30-50% of the photo, max. picture size 8X10.

I think I would be happy with any of three cameras above.All of the reviews are favorable & I don't know enough about photography to know the subtle differences. The Nikon 50 is the most comfortable in the hand (& would get the 18/70mm lense). The E500 seems to have a nice layout for the controls & the kit is well-priced.I haven't been able tosee the Maxxum 5D, but Ilike the idea of IS and the kit lense range is higher.

Can you provide any thoughts on how intuitive the operations and controls are? Does one camera have more dial controls vs. menus? Does setting up preferences make the menus less of an issue? Do you like the way the camera allows reviewing (buttons logically arrange, scrolling, etc)? I feellike the only way for me to really absorb the ease of use is to actually get one, but at that point its really to late. If I go with the Nikon, I would also try to take the first 2 Nikon School courses.

Any other thoughts given the likely use of the camera? thank you
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Old Oct 22, 2005, 8:24 AM   #2
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Obviously you have found that this is not an easy choice:? All are entry level cameras so in terms of control, many features that would have a button or command dial location in the higher end cameras will be found in menus in these three cameras. I currently own a D50 (as well as a d70) and find it to be easy to use with excellent image quality, especially at high iso's (I find it to be a better performer than my D70!!). I have also used Minolta SLR's in the past and really only switched because Minolta was a little late getting into the market. I must admit the anti shake is a compelling feature, and you can still find reasonably priced lenses in the used market. In fact, comparing lens prices to the Nikon VR lens prices, the Minolta is a real bargain, and I'm considering purchasing one at some point in time myself. I'm not sold on the Olympus system, despite the price. By all accounts, performance and image quality (especially at high ISO's) lag behind the other 2. There is also a lack of lenses availble on the used market, especially bright primes.

You should go out and handle both cameras (the 5D and D50) to see which one feels the best, and is easiest for you to use. I don't think you can go wrong with either the 5D or the D50.
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Old Oct 22, 2005, 12:08 PM   #3
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All of these little cameras are good.

I wanted a camera more useful for lower light (or when I needed to stop down the aperture for greater depth of field without the need to increase ISO speeds as much), and decidedto get aKM 5D. I like taking photos of local bands, etc. and the light is usually *very* low in some of the local restaurants and clubs.

The antishake is really nice. The first time I went out with it,I was taking hand held photos at shutter speeds as slow as 1/10 second in a dimly lit restaurant at ISO 1600 wide open with a 28mm f/2. :-) That would just not be possible with the other choices (or your "hit" rate would be *much* lower). LOL

The next time out (a restaurant with slightly better light), I was using a Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 with it, shooting wide open at f/2.7-3.5 at ISO 800 using shutter speeds as slow as the first time, just trying to see what I could get away with. LOL

Also, this little camera can go to ISO 3200 (something missing on the Nikon, unless you deliberately underexpose a stop tosimulate it brightening up later in software). Of course, you don't *really* want to use ISO 3200 unless you have to with any of these cameras. But, it's there if you need it.

The KM 5D also has some things like a Depth of Field preview button (so you can see how Depth of Field would look like with the Aperture set to how the photo will be taken) missing on the Nikon D50 (it's on the D70 but not the D50).

I'm playing with some lenses now (I'll be giving it a very good workout over the next couple of weeks).

I'm just starting to get "comfortable" with the control layout (knowingwhat buttons to push, without needing to look at the camera to make fast changes). It's really growing on me. There are some areas I like the 7D better in (for example, the display, viewfinder,sync port for external flash,and external controls),

But, you make tradeoffs if you want smaller and lighter (and you also maketradeoffs going from a Nikon D70 to the smaller D50).

Try them out in a store.This little 5D is going to be a keeper for sure from my perspective. It takes nice photos with very good color (and you've got fast write speeds to media for shooting in raw). The buffer is smaller than on the 7D, but it will write one *raw* frame per second *after* the buffer is full to a fast card like the Sandisk Extreme III.

So, you can process the data from the sensor any way you want to using a variety of tools. JPEG processing isexcellent, too (if you don't want to shoot in raw because you need a higher frame rate).

The Konica-Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens seems to be pretty good, too (especially since it only adds about $100 to the price of the kit). It's not as bright as some (f/3.5 on the wide end, dropping off to f/5.6 as you use more optical zoom). But, the size and weight is great, focus speed is better than expected,flare resistace seems outstanding, and color/contrast are excellent, too.

I'll probably use more primes going out (28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8 )for local concerts, etc. where I want the best low light performance. But, I just don't see how you'd find a better package for this with Antishake, higher ISO speed ability, and a wide selection of lenses from Minolta, Tamron, Tokina, Sigma, Vivitar and others in Maxxum/Dynax mount.

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Old Oct 23, 2005, 3:29 PM   #4
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Thank you for the respones. I am still undecided on which way to go. I really need to find a retailer that carries at least two of them in the same place. In terms of reviews and users comments, the Nikon and Minolta have a lot more information than the Olympus. As a result, the Olympus is a dark horse.

I am under the impression that the Nikonrelies more heavily on menus than most, but they are intuitive and easy to navigate.It also seems the lenses kit from the D70 is more favored than the base lense for the D50.

All of the comments on the D5 seem positive, albeit I am not sure how that translate to ease of use. I am still not overly familar with the brand, but I keep searching. This camera also seems to be a bargain compared to the Nikon mated with the more expensive, D70 kit lense. Once again, thankyou.

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