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Old Mar 20, 2006, 1:11 PM   #1
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I currently have a Fuji S5100 and am considering gettinga dSLR that gives me primarily better image quality, and then low light shooting, better burst preformance, external flash, no shutter lag, etc.

The S5100 lens is equivlent to 37-370 mm@ 2.8 - 3.1 f

Sensor: 3.87 MP images (2.75 resolution score via imatest (http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com) )

ISO 400 is pretty much useless for anything larger than 4x6 (I like printing larger images) but 64-200 are very useable.

I love the fact it takes AA batteries.

The following dSLRs are one's I am considering (all of which I can buy from B&H). Since image quality is the primary concer I have posted the difference of resolution between these camera's and my S5100. I am not using advertised resolution but the values from imatests resolution results.

D50 - 33.9% more overall resolution

D70 - 25.6% more overall resolution

300D - 43.3% more overall resolution

350D - 59.5% more overall resolution

10D - 43.3% more overall resolution

20D - 59.5% more overall resolution

*ISD - 22.1% more overall resolution

When it comes to IQ all of the canons appeal to me the most. However the grip on the 300d and even worse 350d turn me off since I have big hands but I guess I could sacrifice comfort for IQ if needed.

The D50 feels great in my hand and is one of the cheapest (509.95 for the body at B&H). But I worry about it's IQ compared to the 350d or 20d (or even 10d).

When it comes to mtbudget the less I spend the better. When it comes to IQ is the 20D worth 2x the cost of the d50? IS the 350d worth 1.4x the cost?

The *ISD may be the cheapest of all the cameras but it appeals even less to me.

When it comes to the 350d vs. the 20d what else is different other than the fell and ISO 3200? Is the 20d worth the price difference? Would I regret getting the 350d if I already don't like the grip? (btw, I've already usedmy friend's20d fora few shots).

Now that those questions are out of the way. Here are some more considerations. I love the fact my S5100 uses AA batteries. Do any of these listed dSLR take AA's as well? IF not are there any options I am missing out on? I realize that I shouldn't let batteries determine which camera but I love using my MAHA (powerex)AA charger with my S5100. I am used to 400 shoots off one set of 4 2500 maHenegizer batteries. Do any of the above cameras have a 400 shoot battery life off one charge (without adding a battery pack/grip)?

Lastely, I don't have any media except for xd cards. you probably are wondering why I didn't list Olympus? Well I don't fell their dSLRs are up to par with the competition and are even less of what I am looking for than the *ISD. So memory doesn't matter to me. But I do like the idea of using 4GB (or more) Hitati microdrives since they are inexpensive now.

Regarding lens, I am thinking about buying the body only for any of the above listed cameras and either purchasing a Sigma 18-125 lens for an added $279 or a Sigma 18-200 for $379 to give me either a 7x or 11x zoom which will be comprable to my Fuji's 10x albeit a slower lens (which with the added ISO shouldn't be a problem).

I will be going to France, Germany, and Poland this summer and that is another reason I am contemplating upgrading my camera (and looking for a single lens soluition). Any other suggestions, personal experiences, or thoughts are welcome as well.

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Old Mar 20, 2006, 4:16 PM   #2
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This topic has been discussed many times before in horrific detail. Why not do a bit of research of the old posts, there is a huge amount of data in them. Also keep in mind three things please:

(a) all consumer dSLR camera will produce great photos, the choice becomes more a personal than a quantative choice.

(b) many others, as well as the old files, will tell you that the difference between 6mp and 8mp is not large at all.

(c) the next generation of dSLR cameras will soon be at 10mp, but that is again not a huge change when you reach the dSLR level except if you are doing poster sized prints on a regular basis, or shooting for book publication which commonly demand 10mp+

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Old Mar 20, 2006, 5:23 PM   #3
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The lens will have more of a significant impact on image quality than the lens. Unfortunately, the super zoom lenses you are considering are optically the least desireable lense for image quality. They have the most distortion, especially at extremes.

Any of the DSLR cameras will provide great images. A more expensive camera likely will not provide better images, only more bells and whistles and better build quality. Unless you need extra durability, or specific features, your better off with a cheaper body and a good quality lens.

In terms of batteries, I own the D70 and D50 and regularly get 500-1000 shots on a single charge, depending on how much I use the flash and AF.
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Old Mar 20, 2006, 7:14 PM   #4
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I would not rule out the Olympus at least in your early stage of making a choice. From your list of needs the burst speedwill be a concern. In regards to noise at higher ISO levels the problem seems to be overblown.

After a few weeks of research in moving from my Nikon 5700 to a DSLR I narrowed the field down to the Olympus E-500 and the Canon 20D/30D. Heavily leaning towards the Canon.

In the endI went with the Olympus after taking a series of shots with both theE-500 and the 20D in a camera shop. I was very surprised that the results with the Olympus where much more pleasing to my eye. Which ever way you go taking some shots before purchasing is really the only way to make a rational choice.

As a bonus with the current rebate it cost me under $700 for the body and the 14-45 and 40-150 lens. With the four third system that gives me a range of 28-300 mm. The Canon with the twolenses I was looking at would have been over $2000.
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Old Mar 20, 2006, 11:09 PM   #5
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I had the 350D, but I realy liked my friend's 20D, so I sold it and got the 30D, when it comes to IQ its the same using the sigma 18-200 its a great travel lens , not the best ,but I don't think there is a lens or lensesout there that will give you thisfocal range and IQfor under $320, even if IQ is the same, I think a good camera body that you are happy with is very important, and most importantly, how much do you want to spend? you did not tell us that.
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 6:08 AM   #6
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I have the Pentax *ist DL and love it. Read Steve's report. As for the Sigma 18-125 lens I got mine at Broadway Photo http://www.bwayphoto.com/ for $220.00. Great lens at least on my Pentax. The Sigma 18-200 is also available for $286.00. I tried the D50, Olympus 500, Canon Rebeland the Minolta 5D. After seeing all of these cameras in the store it was a no brainier to buy the Pentax. I ordered it on line for $490.00 with the 18-55 kit lens for Duydig.com. The Pentax just felt better in my hand and the build quality was equal to the Nikon and much better than the Olympus and Canon. In fact the Canon felt cheap in its build. One thing for sure you will enjoy your new camera, I do. :-)
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 6:35 AM   #7
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rritter wrote:

I have the Pentax *ist DL and love it. Read Steve's report. As for the Sigma 18-125 lens I got mine at Broadway Photo http://www.bwayphoto.com/ for $220.00. :-)
Are you sure about that? Was it new? You may want to check your credit card statement.

If you got a good deal on one item, based on many stories from consumers who shopped there, they probably *more* than made up for it somewhere else (batteries, shipping, extended warranties, insurance, etc.).

The forums are littered with posts from upset customers that did business with this vendor.

They are one of the better known brooklyn based stores that you hear stories about, doing business under more than one name.

Also, watch out for vendors padding their own ratings. See the note at the top of this page:

"We detected and disabled 50+ fraudulent "Very Satisfied" reviews for this merchant. Due to the continuous submission of said reviews, we are no longer accepting new reviews for this store as of 1/19/2006."


Also, see their BBB report:

"Complaints to the Bureau indicate that this firm uses high pressures sales tactics after consumers place their orders. After ordering merchandise consumers report receiving a phone call from the firm's customer representatives attempting to sell additional items. Representatives allegedly try to persuade consumers to buy the U.S. warranty, as well as accessories like cables, peripherals, and software, or lead consumers to believe the product will not work if additional merchandise is not purchased. In some cases, if the consumers declined, an email was sent advising them to cancel their orders because the item was on back-order despite being listed as available on the firm's website. Consumers also reported unauthorized charges on their invoices. When trying to dispute such charges, consumers report difficulty talking to management, claiming they are verbally abused by the company's staff."


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Old Mar 21, 2006, 7:20 AM   #8
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nelmr wrote:
I am not using advertised resolution but the values from imatests resolution results.
I really can't stand the way that site uses the Imatest results, because they can be deceiving. To give values in megapixels is outrageous from my perspective, especially given the dependencies, and I would not use it as a guide when choosing a camera.

I've seen more than one member upset because they thought their camera manufacturer lied about the sensor resolution after reading the tests at this site.

That site is on my "avoid list".

The detail a camera can capture is influenced by the camera settings, image processing algorithms, lens quality and more. If you shot with equivalent lenses in raw and processed the images the same way, you'd see the differences between them begin to diminish.

Each manufacturer tends to have a certain "look" they're trying to achieve within a given market niche. For example, more contrast, sharpening or brighter exposures to minimize the amount of post processing needed. That makes the photos look better, but it can adversly impact the so called "resolution tests" you sometimes see.

That's one reason many DSLR users don't increase the values of parameters like sharpning or contrast (so they have more to work with in Post Processing). But, if you want better photos "straight from the camera", you may need to let the camera process the images more.

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Old Mar 21, 2006, 8:13 AM   #9
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Jim, I can understand how you feel about that site regarding their use of MP values. I just found it intriging (sp?). What I did was take their MP value say for my camera 2.75 and then did the math to figure out the length/width values (I have a calculator to do this). Once that was done I compared the resolution differences between cameras. So I still think it is a valid way of comparing but I agree that them using MP values instead of LPH and LPW values is a little odd.
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 8:29 AM   #10
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I find it very confusing (and misleading). I can remember one thread where someone wanted to start a class action suit against a manufacturer for advertising the wrong sensor resolution (just because the poster read a report at that site). :-)

BTW, another thing to keep in mind when comparing models is that resolution in area is computed by multiplying width x height.

So, for print size purposes (pixels representing your subject), there is not as much difference as meets the eye.

There is only about a 16 percent difference between a 6MP and 8MP model as far as pixels per inch of detail is concerned as far has how much larger you can print with one versus the other. That's because you're looking at area (width x height) for computations.

After cropping an image from a 6MP DSLR model (Nikon, Pentax, Konica Minolta) to get the correct aspect ratio for an 8x10" print size, you'd end up with 250 pixels per inch of detail.

After cropping an image from a Canon 8MP DSLR model to get the correct aspect ratio for an 8x10" print size, you'd end up with 292 pixels per inch of detail.

Unless you're comparing them up close with a loupe (versus normal viewing distances), I doubt you could even see the difference, even if everything else besides megapixels was equal.

Also, more megapixels does not necessarily equal more "real" detail captured by a camera.

If you've got more real detail due to sharper images (better lenses, less blur from camera shake or subject movement), more accurate Autofocus, better aperture selection for the desired depth of field, better metering for the scene, etc., then you can always interpolate that real detail to add more pixels.

Even framing just a bit tighter can get you just as much or more detail, too.

Chances are, a photographers skill is going to be more important compared to the differences in these camera models.

I'll take a sharper 6 Megapixel image over a blurry 8 Megapixel image any day of the week.

For that matter, I've got some pretty nice looking 8x10" prints made from a 2 Megapixel camera.

If you're considered about detail, print some photos yourself at the print sizes you'll use. You'll see full size samples in the reviews of these camera here so you can compare detail for yourself, both on screen by viewing them, and by printing if you want to download them. Then, let your own eyes be the judge of how the output looks.

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