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Old May 9, 2005, 4:25 PM   #1
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Having used a Minolta Maxxum 35mm for many years, I bought a Kodak p&s digital two years ago. It is a fine camera, but the "delay" and 3X zoom makes me miss the old Minolta with changeable lens, controls, etc. We are headed to Alaska this summer and with the scenery and wildlife, I decided to upgrade to a DSLR.

After reading many reviews/ratings/website/ads, etc., I have selected the Pentax ist DS (about as much as I want to spend). It seems to stack up well and head to head with the Canon 350D (2nd choice) it also does well. Plus, I have a small fortune in SD memory cards and with the AA batteries, I can buy a charger that works in Europe and not have to worry about plugs, etc. for the camera.

So here's the quesion: Does this make sense? And for those of you with the ist DS, do you have regrets? Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old May 9, 2005, 5:19 PM   #2
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hey naplesam,

Im currently im the same boat, im trying to choose between the canon 350D XT and the pentax *ist DS, right now im leading towards the XT because it is SOOOO much faster, if u havent already gone to a shop and had a good play wiht both i suggest you do, there is still quite alot of shutter lag i feeel on the *ist DS compaired to the XT and overall the XT feels better in my hands, the 3FPS is great and the 8 mp over the 6, for me who gets my prints blown up is a god send, but i also love the pentax and as a kit it comes with a better lens at the beggininng. So its hard to choose.

-Sam-
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Old May 9, 2005, 7:29 PM   #3
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I purchased the Pentax primarily based on camera feel - just fits my hand better and felt more solid in construction. The speed of the Pentax was fast enough for me, and the reviews I read didn't leave me with a significant discriminator -I waited for the 350 to come out before selecting so I could tryit out before final selection. I like the SD card and AAA battery. The pictures I have taken have met and exceeded my expectations (I have the kit lens), but I am sure that would be the case with any of the cameras I was looking at - D70, 350 and istDS. The Nikon was larger than I wanted, the Canon felt a little awkward and not as solid. The Pentax won out based on feel, SD card, battery, kit lens, but not price - even when it was $200 less. I would have purchased the D70 over 350, at another $100 over the 350.That said, I don't think you can go wrong with either. I have not seen the new Nikons, but they sound like they are worth looking at.

Pentax has a great reputation on supporting its legacy cameras and lens. But Canon has the lion share of the digital market, and there is no question that there will be plenty of accessories for the Canon. My only concern in investing in a Pentax DSLR is how aggressive they will be in rolling out future cameras, if I want to upgrade and take with me the lens, etc. that I have purchased. Since my last SLR purchase was done 30 years ago - aMinolta, that turned out to be not too significant - but, in my mind, no question Nikon and Canon will have more DSLR options for the future than will Pentax, so if I was going to invest in lots of accessories - particularly expensive lens, I may have gone with the Nikon or the Canon - but if Canon, probably the 20D over the 350, based on feel.

Net, I really like the Pentax - and after three weeks, would highly recommend it. If I were to purchase a DSLR now, three weeks later, it would be the Pentax.
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Old May 10, 2005, 4:38 AM   #4
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I purchased the Ds a couple of months ago, and have no regrets.

I've bought some old Pentax smc, and new Tamron zooms but if I was going to get just two lenses it would be the Pentax 16-45 and then their new 50-200 of which I saw a running prototype at Samy's Camera last weekend.

With the little Ds I take photos that are above my expectations .... the size of the camera fits my hands and IMHO the quality of the body is better than the Canon 350 (the Canons hand grip is to close to the body and cramps my fingers).

I bought the Ds because I owned a Pentax before and liked the way it performed and because I have faith that they will have another upgrade to the ist D, which I will get. (I could not wait any longer to get a dslr as I decided to use one for small photo stuff at work.)

I think Pentax is in a rebuilding to digital stage and we will see lots more from them later this year or early next year. If I had it to do over again, I would without hesitation get the Ds. Many feel that Canon will be producing full frame sensors in the future, and that the 1.5 sized unit is a downfall, I disagree ... with that size sensor the camera can be kept small and so can the lenses, I want less weight. As far as image quality, I can't see me going over 16 x 20 and in reality have done only 8.5 x 11's which are just incredible. In the 80's I had Canon F1n's and most of their FD lenses ... yes they were great, but my little Pentax is MUCH nicer to use and the images are just as stunning.

I spent LOTS of time and research before buying, including going to camera shops and checking out my choices, which were the Nikon D70, the Pentax istD, the Pentax istDs, and the Canon Rebel. I choose the istDs over the istD because it did just about everything the istD did and would wait for their upgrade to the istD as it is up for one. I was very close to getting Nikon, but the size of the camera swung me to Pentax, the Canon felt "flimsy", and if Canon would have been my choice it would have been the 20D, but that is a much bigger camera, and I wanted a smaller package to lug around.

I for one am glad Pentax is on a serious mission to produce new lenses just for digital (as evident by them stopping production of almost all the 35mm lenses in the last few months) ...... now all they need is a good ad agency to promote their new products when they come out !!!!


wll
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Old May 10, 2005, 12:58 PM   #5
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I've had both the Canon and Nikon and now have the istDS-wouldn't trade it for either one again! Best DLSR I've owned to date, including build quality and photographic capabilities. As fast as you need and the lenses available are superb. I currently own the kit lens, FA 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5, DA 16-45mm f/4 and 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6. Have the new 50-200 on order, as well as all three of the Limited series. This camera will do things neither one of your other choices will do and less expensively as well!
Don't let marketing hype sway you-in fact, get the June 2005 issue of Popular Photography and read the article called "Resolution Roulette" on pages 46-47. SURPRISE! An istDS takes BETTER photos under most conditions than the super expensive Canon 1D MkII 16.7MP Pro camera! Imagine that!
You will NOT regret going to the istDS for your choice.
Rob "MacDaddy" White
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Old May 10, 2005, 2:21 PM   #6
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Thanks macdaddy. I'm sold! In fact, the store was sold out or I would have it now. Should be in tomorrow.

Thanks!
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Old May 11, 2005, 5:53 PM   #7
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I guess I can "officially" join this board now. New *ist DS in hand this afternoon. Will need your help soon!

Thanks!
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Old May 11, 2005, 7:52 PM   #8
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naplesam,

You will be very pleased, it is a fine little camera.

wll
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