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Old May 13, 2006, 10:25 AM   #31
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While I don't want to stir the pot on this topic, I will say that I had the decision narrowed down to these two cameras several months ago when shopping for my first DSLR. The Minolta won me over in the end, but listed below was my opinion on the pros and cons of each camera that weighed in my decision.

Nikon D50 Pros:

-Body slightly cheaper price, maybe better build quality (subjective)

-More expansive system to choose from (to be honest Minolta is no slouch here though)

-Higher flash sync speed (1/500s) Great for fill flash in bright outdoor light.

D50 Cons:

-Tiny viewfinder view, can be tough for accurate manual focus.

-ISO range limited to 200-1600 (though very good at ISO 1600)

KM 5D Pros

-Anti-shake, definately the trump card for this camera. If low light shooting is your thing this camera will save you thousands in VR lenses.

-Reasonablelenses on the used market. Surfing prices before I bought I often noticed the comparible Nikon glass was 25-50% higher on average, sometimes more.

-Bigger, brighter viewfinder. A pleasure to look thru.

-ISO 100-3200, though I don't use 3200 unless I really have to.

KM 5D Cons:

-Flash sync limited to 1/160s (with on camera flash)

-New and used lenses (and flashes) are now harder to find since KM is no longer making cameras and Sony has not released the new products yet.

I know this list is not a complete listing of specs for each, but to be honest I can't say the D50 has any features that my KM doesn't and I wish it did (I nowhave the 3600 flash unitso the sync speed doesn't concern me, but for some this may). However, if I had a D50 instead I would definately be wanting Anti Shake as any VR lens is out of my price range now. Plus after shooting the 5DI don't think I would be happy with the small viewfinder of the Nikon as I use manual focus regularly. These are both really great cameras, but if budget is a concern (isn't it always!), the nod for bang-for-the-buck goes to the KM I think.
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Old May 13, 2006, 10:37 AM   #32
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The faster flash sync of some Nikon models is nice to have (the D50, D70, D70s are the only ones that have a sync speed this fast).

But, in real world use, there's not as big of a difference as most people think.

That's because the minimum ISO speed on the Nikon D50 is ISO 200, and you can set the 5D to ISO 100 in bright light (which is where you'd run into sync speed limitations).

So, pushing the limits of the 5D sync speed outdoors in bright light if you need wider apertures, you could shoot at 1/160 second at ISO 100, versus needing to shoot at 1/320 second with a D50 at ISO 200, for the same lighting and aperture.

Also, using a KM strobe with High Speed Sync, you can get around the sync speed limitations if you need fill flash outdoors in bright light using wider apertures.

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Old May 14, 2006, 3:40 AM   #33
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Thanks for all the imput. It is certainly a great help. My bigest problem with the KM is that there is only the one that I know of available for sale. It is a display model, and has some minor marks etc. Therefore I dont know if it has been dropped or worse. I had a good look and honestly liked the Camera a lot, If therewere several in the shop I would be much more willing to purchase a KM but to buy this one, even the shop was reputable, if there was a problem, they cannot replace it. A shame really, as the AS is something that would have been truly usefull for me. None of the other storeswere I live have stock of them.

The D50 on the other hand are everywere. I am a little suprised that know one has given any pos feedback on the Canon 350D / rebel XT. Here they are what is being pushed. Perhaps Canon offer betterincentives to sales staff. I am just about ready to grab a D50.

The difference in value between that and the KM or 350D would let me get anither P&S for the wife to use. For that I am looking at the Canon S60 or Canon A610. Put a post for that, but got know replies on that subject, so still unsure what way to jump.

Anyway, if anyone has any last imput on maybe the Canon 350D/ Rebel XT, please give me the info as my decision must be this week.

There are so many choices out there, I think it does make things difficult, especially for those like I, that know so little.

Thanks everyone and a special thanks to JimC and mtclimber who have gone to great lengths to give me the information to ensure I make the correct choice.

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Old May 16, 2006, 1:35 PM   #34
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Here's a more practical example of Anti-shake helping out. It's a snapshot I took on Mother's day Sunday.

It was taken zoomed in all the way to 85mm using a Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5.

I shot it at ISO 800, 1/30 second and f/5

85mm on a DSLR like a Nikon D50 or Konica Minolta 5D would be like using a 127mm lens on a 35mm camera from an angle of view (apparent magnification) perspective.

You'd normally want shutter speeds of around 1/125 second or faster for a hand held camera at that focal length to reduce blur from camera shake (the "rule of thumb" is 1/focal length). In other words, more than 3 times as fast as this one was taken at with a KM 5D.

Sure, you can hand hold any camera at slower shutter speeds with practice. But, blur from camera shake is magnified at longer focal lengths and anti-shake is very nice to have. Anti-shake can also allow the use of lower ISO speeds than you'd need without it.

This is a light crop. Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, ISO 800, 1/30 second. Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 at 85mm and f/5. Saturation was set to +1, Contrast to -1. EXIF in image.
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Old May 16, 2006, 3:17 PM   #35
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Of course, if you don't care about how great Anti-shake is for low light shooting without a flash or tripod, then you can always use a flash. :-)

Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, ISO 200, 1/60 second with Flash.
Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 at 35mm and f/4.5

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Old Jun 4, 2006, 11:28 PM   #36
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JimC wrote:
For example, I've got a Tamron 20-40mm lens that tests pretty darn sharp. It's one of the sharpest wide zooms ever tested by http://www.photodo.com (scientific MTF tests versus user opinons). But, I don't use it a lot.

Jim, if you had to buy that lens all over sgain for that price you paid, would you? I can get on new for 174 and I need somethingwide to complete my collection. I'm looking at the 19-35Vivatar and the KM 18-70 kit lens also. Iimagine the 20-40 Tamron isbetter thanthe other two and the only advantage the KM has is range.
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