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Old Feb 1, 2005, 7:38 AM   #1
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I would like to direct these questions to *istDS owners.

1. How satisfied are you with this dSLR?
2. Any regrets / cons / dislikes?
3. How is low-light performance on this dSLR?
4. How accurate do you find skin tones?

I am looking for a dSLR and about 80% of my pics are of family members at gathering (school concerts, museums, candle-lit restaurants).

I am considering getting the following:
Pentax *istDS with 18-55mm lens kit
Pentax AF360FGZ external flash
Sandisk 1GB Ultra-II SD
Sigma 55-200mm DC lens

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Old Feb 1, 2005, 9:29 AM   #2
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agiaccio wrote:
Quote:
I would like to direct these questions to *istDS owners.

1. How satisfied are you with this dSLR?
Quote:
Delighted with it. Lovely feel to it, and nothing, as yet, to be worried about
Quote:
2. Any regrets / cons / dislikes?
Quote:
No
Quote:
3. How is low-light performance on this dSLR?
Quote:
Pleasantly surprised - expected flash to pop up, but it was not needed.
Quote:
4. How accurate do you find skin tones?
Quote:
OK. But I'm inclined to feel that all pictures, whatever the camera, could benefit by some adjustment, and what a pleasure not to have to do this in the darkroom any longer! Photoshop is superb!

I am looking for a dSLR and about 80% of my pics are of family members at gathering (school concerts, museums, candle-lit restaurants).

I am considering getting the following:
Pentax *istDS with 18-55mm lens kit
Pentax AF360FGZ external flash
Sandisk 1GB Ultra-II SD
Sigma 55-200mm DC lens
Quote:
Can't comment on the flash; I don't at present see the need for it. Would you really need such a large telephoto lens for your purposes?
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 9:43 PM   #3
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1. Very satisfied. Love the size, the picture quality, controls and menu layout. I considered (and tested) the Canon 20D, and Nikon D70 (which has the same sensor as the Pentax by the way). I liked the Pentax better than the D70, and liked it better than the Canon 20D considering the price is $500 less. The Canon is faster at mulitiple shots, and slightly faster focusing. However its LCD is inferior to the Pentax and it isa larger more bulky camera. The Pentax has good high ISO performance too, all the way to 3200. I haven't noticed much noise up to 1600, and really none at all at 800.

2. Regrets? Not really. 8M Pixels would be a little bit nicer for enlargements, but it really doesn't make that much difference. Definitely buy a faster lens to complement the kit lens. I just bought a Sigma 28-105mm f/2.8-4 which is a great general purpose lens with this camera, and it's faster than the kit lens.

3. Low light performance is better with a faster lens. Like I said, get an f/2.8 or faster lens and set the ISO to 800 and you'll be impressed. Low light focusing is pretty good too since the camera will "blink" the flash to focus in low light if needed.

4. Skin tones are very accurate if you set the picture mode to "natural", as opposed to the default which has more saturated colors. I'm very pleased with the pics when set on natural mode. I find a warming filter (#85?) also helps with skin tones.

I'd forget the Sigma 55-200mm lens as the low light performance probably isn't that good. Get the 28-105mm that I got (f/2.8) and then get a 100-300mm for those long telephoto shots (Pentax makes a pretty good one for less than $200).

I haven't purchased the flash yet, but I'm going to get the same one you are when I'm ready. I think a faster lens with the built-in flash is a better first purchase though.

I think you'll be very happy with this camera. Make sure you get some 2300-2500Mah NiMh batteries and a good charger. These should give you 250-400 pictures on a charge depending on flash usage. By the way, I bought a 1GB SD card too, and I find I almost NEVER take enough pics to fill the thing up before I download. A 512mb card would have been fine for me. A 1GB card holds about 340 pics in 6MB resolution with the best JPEG setting. If you are going to shoot RAW, it only holds about 90 pics so you may want the bigger card then.

Cheers.

Jay


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Old Feb 3, 2005, 9:32 PM   #4
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agiaccio wrote:
Quote:
1. How satisfied are you with this dSLR?
2. Any regrets / cons / dislikes?
3. How is low-light performance on this dSLR?
4. How accurate do you find skin tones?
1. Very satisfied, recomend to anyone without any hesitation. Sure some cameras can be better in some departments (D70 has fast AF, 20D has enormous fps rate and so on), but overall as value for money I believe that *istDS is currently unbeatable.

2. There is unperfect word anyway. I wish AF would be a little faster. Also I would happily move those pix modes in FN menu and put ISO setting on knob. And also I find it usefull if camera could produce RAW and JPG at the same time. And.... there is not perfect world anyway :-)

3. Low-light performance greatly depens on lens witch one use. As per high ISO performance (I guess this was right question :-) ) I am very satisfied. ISO 800 fully usable and even 3200 looksonly litle noticableon sertain pix - depens on shooting subject.

4. Providing right WB they look very OK to me (well, show me *ANY* colour pix with *GREAT* skin tones :blah Usually camera doing excellent job with AWB, but sometimes it full itself. For example with AWB and internal flush I shoot bluish wall and it appears as grey. I prefer to do MWB on *ANY* camera whenever I have time :-)

In all I believe you will not regret if you get this wonderfull machine.
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