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Old Dec 30, 2005, 7:51 AM   #1
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Hi all,

Looking to upgrade tomy firstDSLR and the main ones are KM D5, Pentax ist DL and the Olympus E-500.

I have loads of high capacity NIMH cells and a few high speed 512mb and 1gb SD cards. the only DSLR to use all of this is the Pentax. Don't like the feel of the Nikon D50.

I have read a review which says the images of the ist DL are not that good and to get the best out of the camera it would be better to shoot in RAW mode.

I prefer to do as little as possible post processing, so I would like to know if someone can tell me if the shots from the ist DL are useable straight from the camera.

Not been able to try any as yet in my area.

The other major fact is"CURRYS" a bigUKelectrical store is selling the Olympus E-500 with twin lens, 1gb CF card, Loweprocase and throwing infor FREE the Olympus P-S100 Dye-Sub printer for......£599!

What a bargin! ( admittedly I don't like the case, don't need the printer and it's only 1 CF card)
but do I just start from scratch and go with the Olympus Kit above as it's such a cracking deal?

Anybody had the pleasure of trying both the Olympus and Pentax?

Thanks in advance

Ian
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 8:29 AM   #2
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I am sorry that I cannot fill you in on all of the details but here is all that I know.

I just got a Pentax DL for Christmas, I am very much aware of the comments about the jpg image quality but I think that depends on your purpose for the pictures. If you want 4" X 6" prints right out of the camera than turn up the sharpness, contrast and saturation in the camera, the result will be images similar to those from a good point and shoot camera with the advantage of high ISO. I do not do this however because a little post processing on computer will typically produce better images than the in-camera processing. I use Photo Shop Elements (the original version) and simply use Auto Levels, this one click brings the soft out-of-camera images alive.

The only disadvantage of the Olympus (that I can get from my reading) is that it is a little noisy above 400ISO (Pentax is good at 800, fair at 1600). I considered both cameras but went with the Pentax because I had lots of batteries and I already had two AF Pentax lenses and a number of MF lenses. If I had no lenses I possibly would have gone with the Olympus because of that sweet deal.

Here is a 100% crop from a telephoto shot taken at 210mm with an old Sigma zoom (not a very contrasty lens) and the Pentax DL. The right is the original out-of-camera jpeg, the left is the same shot with only the "Auto Levels" clicked (under "Enhance" on the menu bar in PS Elements). This is truly a one-click operation.

Ira

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Old Dec 30, 2005, 8:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

Very difficult to choose, I think in this price range they will all be a very good camera and all will more than likely need some work doing to them in a photo editor.

I just like the small compact type of Dslr's, which is why I'm not to keen on the Nikon.

more investigating me thinks, my brother has just informed me he has bought the Olympus kit......

Will have to see If I can play with that for a while before I do anything

Cheers

Ian
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 9:32 AM   #4
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Ian, if it is any consolation, all of these cameras are good in terms of image quality. They are not optimized for snapshots, like the point and shoot cameras are, so they may require a little more "fiddling" but the results are worth it. As I said, my choice was based on the fact that I already had lenses (I had even better Minolta glass but KM closed up shop in Canada so they were off the list). The Olympus was my other choice (either an E-300 or E-500) since I had lots of CF memory and it came with a very complete lens set ( those two lenses cover the same focal length range as my three Pentax lenses).

Try both cameras and remember that it is the handling and the cost that are most important. A camera that is not comfortable to use will take some of the joy out of the process, I find that more important than the nit-picky details of how images look at rediculously high screen magnification.

Good luck and enjoy your camera, whichever you choose.

Ira
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 9:52 PM   #5
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My sense is that the negative comments about jpeg quality were based on the original firmware that came with the DS.

The DS2 and DL do not share that level of firmware, and the firmware in fact on the DS has recently been upgraded.

I'm not an expert on digital images, but what comes out of my DS2 in either jpeg or raw mode is exceptional.

Rich
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 11:37 PM   #6
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Rich

I read that same comment about jpeg processing being improved in the latest Pentax products, I know that my new DL gives very good results (and seems to be improving as I get a better idea of its strengths and limitations). The only images that need post processing seem to be from the Sigma zoom which is very sharp but has very low contrast (as you can see in the cat picture). I am still getting an occasional out-of-focus shot so I need to get the idiosyncrasies of the AF system straight (had the same issues when I used the Minolta Maxxum 5000 for the first time).

I believe Ian has an easy choice here really, whichever camera feels right and costs less. None of these cameras is a dog, the Canon 350D is a great camera as well. To me:
1- the Pentax has the greatest potential for cheap lenses (ebay has lots of MF K-mounts). It also seems to be more tolerant of older flash units (trigger voltage up to 30V are tolerated)
2- the Olympus comes with a very complete kit, and its design allow it to use adapters for most other lens mounts (see the Camera Quest siteat http://www.cameraquest.com/adapt_olyE1.htm), add the supersonic wave filter and you have a serious contender.
3- KM has had some rough spots of late but seems to be getting back on track (to bad that is not true of their Canadian operation which is now non-existent), the in-body image stabilization is a big plus.
4- the Nikon D50 is a great camera with a mediocre viewfinder, a real speed demon in this group, and at a very low price (forget about old MF Nikon lenses though, the meter will not function with them)
5- the Canon digital rebels feel like they are very cheaply built but give excellent results. Great image quality and a great jumping off point to a professional camera system.
None of these is a bad choice, so how can you lose. BTW as a long time Pentax user I have a soft spot for their products, but the AA battery size is a big plus and I already had several lenses.

Ira

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Old Dec 31, 2005, 12:15 AM   #7
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Sounds like you want a P&S.

If your not into any fuss or muss, they'll suit your need just fine.

The Oly, which I really wanted because I had their UZI and loved it, has a 2x crop factor, so, insted of buying 16mm lens to get a wide-angle shot (say 24mm), you'd need a 12, and so forth. Isn't wider glass more expensive?

And who sells the lenses? I got mine from a neighbor who wanted to get rid of his old film stuff. That's NOT going to happen to the Oly owner, new's all you're gonna get.

Worse yet, how long, with increasing sensor MP (and likely size) do you think Oly is going to keep that lens series?
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 9:20 AM   #8
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Hi Ira;

I know what you mean about the out-of-focus issues. Some of my shots are downright annoying.... especially when I am taking candid flash shots of people. My problem is/was using the portrait auto feature --- it doesn't set the F-stop for an appropriate DOF. When I set it to Av and F8, all seems well and the flash can cope quite nicely (I have the AF360FTZ -- found it on eBay at a good time when noone else wanted to buy for some reason).

What I want to do sometime is take my old SF1 and check out what the metering system sets the camera to. The SF1 has a program mode for landscape, normal and moving objects. Then compare to what the DS2 thinks.....

I may have mis-stated what I meant about the firmware --- the old firmware on the DS seemed to be the problem with jpeg porocessing but the new DS firmware may have corrected that, bringing it up to the same excellent level you and I see on our Dl and DS2.

Regards, Rich
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies,

Got the Olympus E-500 twin lens kit in the end.

had it a few days now seems really good, love the handling and yes your right using auto-levels with this camera the pictures are very good.
I just need to learn how to use it better!!:lol:

Got this as the handling and the way it felt made all the difference, the Pentax does have a much brighter view finder but seemed a little too small to hold, to me anyway.

Shovel hands!

Thanks again!

Ian

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Old Jan 9, 2006, 4:11 AM   #10
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IanWgglswrth wrote:
Quote:
Hi all,

Looking to upgrade to my first DSLR and the main ones are KM D5, Pentax ist DL and the Olympus E-500.

Ian
http://www.photo.net/equipment/pentax/istds

Although it refers to ds model, the advantage of Pentax system is the same as its backward compatibility is outstanding given the number of pristine pentax lens in the 35 mm available.

Daniel
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