Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 16, 2006, 4:49 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 67

i have discovered a digital slr for £350 at jessops (u.k.), with a lens included in the package, i have previously asked questions re megazoom cameras, but cannot decide because of the "noize issues" i had also considered the olympus e500, but have been waiting to see if the price would come down, (£550 2 lens kit) i realize at this point, the pentex does not match the megazoom focal length, but i could save foranother lens, but this price is smack bang in the panny fz7 cannon 3is and sony h2, obviously with less facilities, is this the camera i sould look at ?, i really wanted a cmera with i.s. and more scene modes, in particular the firework mode, as i said in my previous post, i will probably not get past auto mode and scene modes, am i wasting my money,

considering that is how i will use thecamera

should i stick with the upgrade to the mega zoom

each camera poses a problem for me, the zoom, is noize, the pentax is dust, which should i be most concerned about?

please offer advice :?
jad123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 16, 2006, 8:56 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 37

I just bought the Dl. The DL2 has a couple more focus points and some more preset scenes or something. Basically the same camera.

Size wise it is not much bigger or heavier than the Canon S2 I looked at. The zoom on the Canon is very cool if you like point and shoot. Can you get used to shooting only with a real optical viewfinder...no lcd screen? On the Pentax the giant, sharp, lcd is for reviewing your images, not composing.

Now I haven't seen the S3...only the S2 and the low resolution color viewfinder you look through drove me nuts. I have a point and shoot Canon A70 which I love but also came from the film world of the Canon Ae1 and the low res eyepiece just didn't cut it. Maybe they improved it on the S3? If the S3 has image stabilization it could be nice too because of the long zoom it has.

Now as far as noise....do a search for my username. I posted a lower light shot of my DL at ISO 3200. Add some free Neat Image for noise reduction and I was able to make a very useable 4x6 print of my cat in that photo you see.

The autofocus on the DL isn't as quick as I'd like in low light but I found a workaround by setting the camera to coninuos autofocus so I can snap the shot as soon as I think it is in focus even if the camera doesn't think it is. Plus the manual focus can be tweeked on the fly so really..now that I've played with it...I am fine with all that.

Also, do a search here in the Pentax DSLR(or maybe one of the other camera forums with a Pentax DSLR thread). Someone shot some lightning shots with the DL2. You can see the noise at their very high ISO but also see what Neat Image did to get rid of the noise.

I also saw some fireworks shot with the Pentax on like Pbase or elsewhere and they look fantastic.

Yes the DL does work as a point and shoot just fine you don't get the longer zoom range unless you spend extra to get that lens. But to me, the price was so cheap and the photos so good that I am very impressed with it and I have no doubt in my mind that for me jumping from the A70-or new A700 to the Pentax and bypassing the Sony/Canon/Panasonic longer zoom thingamabob bigger cameras was the right thing to do.

Oh...it runs on AA batteries which is fantastic in my opinion. My older NIMH only got like 120 shots but I was having problems with them. My brand new 2300ma NIMH from Maha have gotten over 300 shots and the battery guage is still full. Very sweet to be able to use AA's.

I'm sure some Canon users can jump in but while both cameras will give you nice photos...the Pentax may give you more versatility down the road with all it's fast, easy to use manual modes...I use the a lot and it is a breeze to manipulate this camera.

Oh...does the S3 shoot RAW? The Pentax does have that feature. This is my first intro to RAW over JPEG. Very cool that RAW is if you want to do something more than point and shoot.
corvairfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 16, 2006, 3:23 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 67


thanks for your quick response, on reading it, the main thing of note to me was the veiw finder/screen, i do not use the screen as i tend to get more camera shake, so that is no problem at all, i agree re the batteries, i hate the li-on batteries i currently use, i have held the s2, i did not realize the pentax would be that small, the only dslr i have held was the oly e500, you did not mention the dust problem, do you not change the lens? also what about macro? do you not use it or do you have a specific lens, the reason i did not buy the e500 was, i was quoted over £300 for the macro lens, thus putting me back to the all in 1 megazoom cameras,

is taking a picture with the kit lens on a dslr and cropping it a good trade off , compared to a true macro lens? in some respect i have been spoiled with my ultrazoom camera, because of ease off use

again thanks for your reply, alan
jad123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 16, 2006, 4:02 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,370

It depends on how much you crop it, and what the image is going to be used for.

If it's only for web viewing, you can get away with a pretty good crop.

If it's for prints, you're more limited.

Because resolution (like area) is computed by multiplying width x height, if you crop a photo to make it look like you used twice as much optical zoom (or were half the distance from your subject), you'd end up with only 1/4 the original resolution.

So, your 6 Megapixel Image would become approximately 1.5 Megapixels (still OK for up to about a 5x7" print).

But, if you cropped it much more than that, your ability to print is going to be very limited.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 16, 2006, 4:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
mtngal's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,004

The nice thing about the Pentax digital cameras is that they are backwards compatible to just about any Pentax lens ever made (the screw mounts need an adaptor, and manual lenses are still manual lenses so you would lose auto focus and auto exposure). You can often pick up very nice, older used lenses for not much money.

As far as macro, up until yesterday I was using a 25 year old M50mm 1.4 lens with a (sort-of) homemade extension tube. I ended up buying a new Phoenix 100mm macro lens for around US$140, which costs the same as a set of real extension tubes. I'm sure if I had wanted to wait, I could have found it much cheaper on ebay or else some other really awesome used lens. I think that's better than using the kit lens. The kit lens is nice for the price (definitely a good buy) but I don't use mine much any more. I prefer the DA 50-200 and if I want something wide angle, I use an oldmanual24mm 2.8 lens.

Dust is been a minor issue for me. Whenever I've had dust on my sensor I just use a hand air blower to blow the dust out. Takes a couple of seconds and has worked so far. You can minimize the chance of getting dust on the sensor by being careful about changing lenses (have your back to the wind, have the back cap off of the lens you are putting on before you take off the lens on the camera to minimize the time that the camera doesn't have a lens on, keep the camera's lens opening pointed downwards as much as possible).

One of the nice things about the DS (and I think the DL works this way also) is that if you have it set for "auto" the camera will choose one of the scene modes for you, whichever is appropriate for the situation. Personally, I have never used the scene modes - none of my previous cameras had them (main previous cameras were a Pentax ME and a Sony F717). I use P or else set the aperture or shutter speed for what I want.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 16, 2006, 4:54 PM   #6
greenphotos's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 40

Well, I am going to get the DL2 on Sunday so if you would like me to tell you anything about it before you buy it I'd be happy - I can post some photos of it if you like, if not there are some great shots here:

I've got lots of pentax lenses etc so can't go with anyone else.

Does anyone know if the Infrared remote I've got for my current Pentax film SLRs (MZ7 and MZ6)will work on the DL2?

Can't wait!!!

greenphotos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2006, 8:59 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 67

corvairfan, i have just read your reply to another question, for someone else, in it you you recommend to that person the dl2, however you say you have to tweak the pictures, to get them how you want them,

do you have to, or is it personal preference

in your opinion, are your pictures with this camera not good enough and need this extra work

mr lazy (me) only wants to use it as a point and shoot, if i do decide tobuy this camera, i have read numerous times on this site that dslr pictures need to be "tweaked", i do not wish to do this, other than an occassional crop, or auto improve, am i wasting my time and money?????, in your opinion

the reason i am looking at this is obviously price and less noize than the super zooms

your response would be much appreciated,

p.s. what exactly did you purchase, i.e. lenses, card, bag and so on as i would like to buy a bigger lens (focal point) in the near future, did you buy one or did you just get the kit lens

can or did you barter with jessops, as the one in boltonn seems to be top dollar (pound) for just about everything

jad123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2006, 6:44 PM   #8
Senior Member
Sintares's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 647

Jessops seem to be wising up a little.

They used to be known for cheating newbies with their extravangant prices, which is why most experienced people went into Jessops to handle the cameras then bought elsewhere online, but recently their cameras are at more reasonable prices, however I would still not buy accessories (memory, camera straps, tripods etc) from them

Two months ago they charged £87 ( $158 ) for a Sandisk 1gb sd card, now they have brought it down to £42.99

However they still can't compete with mx2.co.uk who have had the Integral 1gb, for £15.99, or £17.99 forthe faster x66 card for the last couple of months.

Also 7dayshop.com have a generic, random name, 1gb sd card for £12.49 !

Even so, when you remove the sticker with the company name you have never heard of, you stillfind the maker is a household name like Toshiba or Samsung.

Sintares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 25, 2006, 2:01 AM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 37

Hi Jad,

Yes I've been shooting a lot with my DL and asking a lot of questions here. Basically I have been blown away by the quality of my little point and shoot 3mp Canon A70. For the most part I can print right out of the gate with the Canon and be pretty happy.

I asked the question about tweeking in the Canon forum figuring the much more expensive Rebel XT might produce great shots out of the gate too.

From what everyone is saying the Pentax underexposes images so you can tweek them later and not have blown highlights.

Also, the nature of DSLR is you buy it so you CAN make the image the way you want it after the fact...you aren't relying solely on the camera for the final image.

So I wouldn't be so concerned about that. Thanks to the point and shoot world I don't see myself taking a DSLR on vacation. Why deal with that bulk when the P+S take such great pictures.

Now for getting real creative and wanting to get crystal clear shots for enlargements? That's why I wanted the DSLR.

I don't think you will be unhappy. It will be a learning curve using exposure compensation, continuous focus and one other thing I'm blanking on.

Definetly more work but I enlarged a photo to 8x10 today and it looks amazing at that size. Perfect detail and color. Oh, that was a bright sunny day but I did +.05 on exposer comp. But other than that? Shot was ready to print. Color and contrast was spot on.

corvairfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 25, 2006, 2:19 AM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 67

sinatres, thanks for your reply the only thing really holding me back for a dslr is the dust problem,

do you get it?

is it a common problem?

once i buy the lens i want i will keep that on, can dust still get in?

i presume if i buy a do it all lens ie sigma 28-300 dg lens (book also says macro????) for £190 andi would leave this on ALL THE TIME because that would be similar to a 12x on say panny fz-30, i also understand at this price it will not be the best lens in the world,i cannot see how i would get the dust problem, wildings camera shop in bolton, quoted approx £50 to clean up (or clean me out, more like) in a dust problem,

also am i bit naive in thinking this camera and lens (lens at this price point)would be a better camera than any megazoom

i am not concerned re the 6mp, as i think i am past the more pixels per camera better stage after reading some post on this site

to my way of thinking, i want the best point and shoot i can buy, IS THIS IT??????

jad123 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:31 AM.