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Old Jun 11, 2005, 1:53 AM   #1
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Hello all! After about a month of going over reviews and reading posts from your wonderful forum here, I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase the Ds the other day. For a while there I was undecided between getting the Ds or the Xt (both are great cameras based on reviews). I finally decided on the Ds because of the use of the SD cards (smaller) and the AA battery format.

Just to give you a background, I am still basically new to photography having purchased my first digicam - the KM Dimage Z3 several months back. At first, I intended it for general family use but the longer I tinkered with the many features of the camera, the more I became hooked to photography as a hobby. The KM Dimage Z3 is a great little tool - 4Mp, 12x optical zoom, small size and weight, great ergonimics, and full manual and customizable shooting options.

Fast forward a few months and I think I've finally explored the limits of this digicam (I can even get acceptable moon and lightning pics). For anyone interested, I posted some of my pics over at Trek Lens: http://www.treklens.com/members/Nols/photos/

My reasons for purchasing a dslr are mainly to fill the gap in my shooting needs namely:

1) better portraits and indoor shots
2) better action and low-light capabliity

So, after just more than a hundred trial shots with my Ds, Here are some of my initial impressions/gripes/questions. Please remember that I have never owned any other camera other than the Z3 digicam so I have no idea about the other digicams/dslrs in the market.

1) Size and Weight: Wow! This is big and heavy! And to think this is one of the smallest and lightest in the market. I tried out the grip on the Xt and although it's true that the Ds is better, I still find my hands getting tired after holdingthe Dsone-handed after a few minutes.

2) View finder: Nice! I can finally do manual focus. The Z3's EVF is less than half the size and focus is often a hit and miss affair especially at long focal lengths. On the other hand, I miss the info display on my Z3. With the z3's EVf, you never have to take your eyes off even when navigating through the menus and custom functions. You get live histogram and all cutom settings can be seen. Why they cannot add another line (aside from the existing one) of lcd display on top or below the optical viewfinder, I have no idea.

3) Shutter: I did not not notice any advantage over the Z3 in terms of shutter lag. I did notice that the shutter was a lot louder than the digicam's. Also, it's a good thing the the Ds has mirror-lock up capabilities since I can really feel the vibration when I take a shot.

4) SD write speeds: One thing I really noticed was that the slow data transfer after taking a shot. It would take about 1 sec after each shot to finish writing. The 128 mb SD card I was using is Ultima brand which I just took from my Z3. With the digicam, it seldom takes this long. Maybe somebody can explain this to me. Is there a minimum spec for SD cards when using the Ds or is this normal for all dslrs? (BTw, I was shooting 1.5Mp Jpeg fine)

5) Manual Control of Aperture and Shutter Speed: Now this setup I really don't get. "To adjust aperture(shutter speed?) turn e-dial while holding down AE button.." Do they really make dslr's this way? In my Z3, I just use my thumb on the jog dial to change these settings. Up and down arrow to change aperture, left and right arrow to change shutter speed. All the while my forefinger remains on half-press ready to take the shot.



So that's it for now. Inital impressions aside, I really like the Ds and I think me and my Ds are going to have a longer getting to know period than my Z3. For all of you who read and endured my post here, thank very much. Please look forward to more questions from me.

Nols
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 2:49 AM   #2
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Nols wrote:
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4) SD write speeds: One thing I really noticed was that the slow data transfer after taking a shot. It would take about 1 sec after each shot to finish writing. The 128 mb SD card I was using is Ultima brand which I just took from my Z3. With the digicam, it seldom takes this long. Maybe somebody can explain this to me. Is there a minimum spec for SD cards when using the Ds or is this normal for all dslrs? (BTw, I was shooting 1.5Mp Jpeg fine)
What shutter speed are you using that you are getting slow writes? If they are long shutters, try turning off noise reduction n the custom settings menu. I always turn it off for long exposures and then fix up the hotpixels in photoshop manually. I have no trouble with write speeds with fast shutters.

Nols wrote:
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5) Manual Control of Aperture and Shutter Speed: Now this setup I really don't get. "To adjust aperture(shutter speed?) turn e-dial while holding down AE button.." Do they really make dslr's this way? In my Z3, I just use my thumb on the jog dial to change these settings. Up and down arrow to change aperture, left and right arrow to change shutter speed. All the while my forefinger remains on half-press ready to take the shot.
In M mode, moving the jog wheel will adjust the shutter speed, holding the AE button and moving the jog wheel will adjust the aperture, I never use the arrows
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 2:57 AM   #3
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Hmm... I have to check the noise reduction feature. I haven't changed the default settings yet. Thanks for the advice.

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Old Jun 11, 2005, 10:45 AM   #4
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The noise reduction is a pain in the arse for long exposures- like with lightning shots when you leave it open for quite a while and then take the shot, it takes that much time to do the noise reduction. Its easy enough to fix noise reduction in post processing anyway

Leave it on for normal shots like those under a second, its fine for that. Just curious, what speed is your SD card?
I have a lexar 256mb card which is only 32x and i take take lots of shots in succession very quickly
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 4:16 PM   #5
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Uggh!!!... You know what?I don't even know. At any rate, I'll be getting a new one just to check if my initial observations are accurate. Btw, for my first newbie question: What does the Dof preview button do? How do you use it when taking shots? Thanks for any reply.

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Old Jun 11, 2005, 7:00 PM   #6
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Nols wrote:
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Uggh!!!... You know what?I don't even know. At any rate, I'll be getting a new one just to check if my initial observations are accurate. Btw, for my first newbie question: What does the Dof preview button do? How do you use it when taking shots? Thanks for any reply.

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nols,,
it's to bad you have absolutely no prior photography exprience. then again it may be a blessing for you as you can just come and ask where alot of us had to suffer the slings and arrows.
at diff. aperture settings there is more of the field you are focusing on in focus. the smaller the aperture the more that is in focus. use to be w/all camera lenses there was a graph on the barrel of the lens that told you what would be in focus at a given aperture. what check DOF(debth of field) does is close your cams aperture down to where you have it set at. in other words if you have f16 chosen then ck.DOF will close the lens down to this aperture so that you can see what all is in focus. the view of what you are seeing will get a lot dimmer when you do this as you are looking thru a lot smaller hole in the lens. it takes practice to see it.

as far as you stating that you can see NO diff. in shutter lag than with the Z3 , i just don't believe that!!!! ALL EVFs have to transmit the image to the EVF electronically. i've got a fuji s7000. it's got one of the best EVFs on the market but it's still 1/10sec behind real time. with a slr you are viewing real time thru a mirror at light speed.

if you get serious w/your new hobby, i'll tell you, you're in for a great ride. best thing to remember about photography----PATIENCE!!!!!
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Robar. Re the dof preview I think I get it now. Whew! Major growing pains for me.

The comment about the shutter lag has nothing to do with the speed at which I see an image through the evf or optical view finder in this case. It's the time difference between the point when I fully depress the shutter and the point when the camera finishes taking the shot (This is what is called shutter lag right?). The Pentax is probably faster like you said, but for me it's not noticable.

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