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-   -   Which d-SLR kit option to get? (

Lincoln Apr 30, 2007 9:38 AM

Should I:

Get the Canon EOS 30D kit with the 18-55mm kit lens


the Nikon D80 kit with the 18-135mm kit lens


the Pentax K10D kit with the 18-55mm kit lens?

Which of the 3 produce the best image quality and have the best photographic controls?

I also want high dynamic range and low noise. Dunno, my friend keep telling me that low noise and dynamic range is very important, I also study photography with him in college and he recommend me to go dpreview and here to do research.

Is shooting with a fix lens better than the kit lens for the digital? Just asking only since my friend also shoot with a fix lens and his shots are very sharp and full of details, and we are only shooting with manual process B&W film now. I can change my mind to fix lenses if I want to, but I also heard from him that film produces more details than the digital sensor is it true? This is also the guy that told me that 10megs is pointless, but then he told me that the D80 and K10D are very good.

This is my first time asking in forums btw,


Oops I forgot,

If I want to shoot with a fix focal lens like my friend but on digital, how many mm would I need if I just want to shoot anything with it? Now my friend is using 50mm but on film, if I multiply by 1.6 then I will get 80mm on digital right? If I want to get 50mm I must get like a 30mm right? Any primes with 30mm? I think I want to shoot with a fix focal if it is really good.


JohnG Apr 30, 2007 10:28 AM


All the cameras mentioned produce great results.

I haven't seen anything that indicates dynamic range is going to be noticably different with any of them.

There's a slight edge in high ISO noise to the Canon but not enough that it will make a dramatic difference. The k10 probably has the weakest high ISO performance of the 3 (k100 has better high iso performance than the k10).

Primes vs. Zooms: it used to be true that primes were always sharper than zooms. Today it's still true to a point but zooms have gotten dramatically better in the last 10 years. But you get what you pay for. A high quality 70-200 2.8 lens will cost you $1000 or more. Don't expect to buy a $200 zoom lens and get high quality results comparable to the best prime lenses. But there is no such thing as a single prime lens that will 'let you shoot anything'. Sometimes you can't get close enough or move far enough away for a given prime lens to work for a given shot. Given the quality of zoom lenses, I'm always inclined to recommend that route FIRST. When you have more experience regarding the types of shots you like to take and the focal lengths YOU need (not the ones your friend needs) for your style, then you can go to using just prime lenses if you wish. But zoom lenses will give you flexibility to try different shots and experiment more.

As far as details - digital will provide just as much detail as 35mm film. The B&W isn't as nice - but if you're shooting color, digital is absolutely as good as 35mm film. 10mp isn't pointless as your friend would lead you to believe, but it isn't the most important factor by a long shot. It will allow you to print larger or crop more and still retain image quality. But the difference between 10mp and 8mp is pretty much neglible - certainly not enough to choose one camera over another.

It is important that you try out each camera as they will all handle differently. You may find you like the way one handles/feels to you over the others. That's something no one else can advise you on. If one person likes camera A because it's heavier another may dislike it for that same exact reason.

Lincoln Apr 30, 2007 11:30 AM

Thanks man, so you say that 10megs doesn't have much difference from 8megs, then is there any reason for me to get 10megs? I like to have low noise and the Canon 30D seems to be a good option.

K10D has weakest high ISO performance? OMG.

What about the Nikon D80, can it match the Canon in the noise profile? But 10megs..bigger files.

I tested the cameras but they all feel the same to me.

I like the 30D > magnesium alloy metal body they say.

Should I get the kit lens or another zoom lens?

Can today's zoom lenses match fix focal lenses in optics? I mean lenses around the same price range.

Sorry for so many questions, I am still learning.

JohnG Apr 30, 2007 12:17 PM

Lincoln wrote:

Can today's zoom lenses match fix focal lenses in optics? I mean lenses around the same price range.
The answer to this specific question is: NO. But it's not a fair question. A single prime lens will almost always cost less money than a quality zoom lens that covers the same focal length. But let's take the scenario of Canon's 24-105mm f4 lens. How many prime lenses would you need to cover the same focal range - 3, 4?

Prime lenses will always hold an edge because the optical design is much easier to implement.But zoom lenses have come a long way and are optically very good (if you buy the right ones - there are great zoom lenses and ther are junk zoom lenses). The key with buying lenses is to buy the lens that suits your needs.


Should I get the kit lens or another zoom lens?
That's always a tough call. The canon kit lens is mediocre (17-85 is better but not fantastic) and the pentax and nikon lenses are good kit lenses but again not the best lenses on the market. The problem with lenses is this: to get better quality you need to get more specialized lenses. So if you want a high quality lens right out of the gate you need to have a good understanding of what types of photography you want to achieve. There is no such thing as a high quality lens that will allow you to take shots of anything - it doesn't exist. So, when you step up to say the $500 range of walk-around lenses you want to be sure the lens is right for your style - if you shoot a lot of wide angle, how does the lens perform at it's widest - and is it wide enough? If you shoot wide open a lot - how does the lens perform there? Does it need to be stopped down to get the level of sharpness you want? Because believe me - even at $500 any lens you look at is going to have issues.

IMO, I don't like to go with a trade-in mentality. If I'm going to pay over $200 for a lens I want it to be the right one that I'm going to use for years to come. That's where kit lenses come in. For minimal amount of money (under $200) you get a very servicable lens you can use to learn what you need out of a lens and then invest the money in the quality lens after you know it. If you had a more concrete idea of what you needed Id vote for buying the best lens for that right out of the gate and skip the kit lens. But it sounds like you're still finding your style so I wouldn't recommend paying a fortune for your first lens. But there are some quality 3rd party lenses out there that are reasonable alternatives and still keep you under $200. But when you step up to the quality lenses (around $500 or so) or pro ($1000+) you really want to get it right the first time.


K10D has weakest high ISO performance? OMG.
Don't freak about this. It's a relative thing. It's worse than the other 2 in your list but still very good.

What about the Nikon D80, can it match the Canon in the noise profile? But 10megs..bigger files.

From the reviews, it's close. Not quite as good but close enough you're not going to really notice. The D80 does have some very nice features. IMO, the difference in noise performance isn't enough to put the Canon over the Nikon. And heck, the Pentax is a great camera too. From a feature standpoint, it's probably the most packed and is the best bang-for-the-buck out of the three. The only real gripe I have with pentax is availability of lenses. They can be tough to get a hold of sometimes because mmerchants don't stock as much of them as they do Canon & Nikon. But they do have some great old manual focus primes if you don't mind buying used gear and don't mind manual focus.

If you're OK with manual focus and buying used then Pentax is a great route for someone that likes using prime lenses.

If you prefer autofocus then Canon & Nikon have better lens availability.

But whichever of the three you go with - it sounds like you're still feeling your way on what your style is so I don't recommend spending a lot of $$$ out of the gate on your first lens.

Lincoln Apr 30, 2007 1:09 PM

JohnG, really really thanks alot, you really made me understand so much.

Since you say that the Canon 18-55mm kit lens is mediocre, then what would you recommend me? Actually I like the Canon 18-55mm kit lens because it looks nice on the Canons, but that is the only reason why I like it for.

The Nikon kit lens gives a good long range compared to the others, so I feel quite attracted towards the Nikon package, but I guess longer zoom range means worse optical quality right? One of my friend recently got the Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm kit and I really envy that combo, the looks of it I mean.

Just curious, do you think walking can solve the fix focal issue, maybe not so if I am stuck in one place right? I just like the quality of the fix focal optics.

I don't mind going for the Nikon D80 kit if the 18-135mm kit lens is decent, I just like the versatility of that lens.

I am still worried about zoom range and the expense of quality issue, I rather take less zoom range if lens quality is going to be worse, because I also don't need so much zoom range.

Anymore suggestions will be welcome.


Sorry, edited message.

PhotoFusion2 Apr 30, 2007 2:22 PM

I have a Nikon D70s which came with the 18-70 kit lens. This lens is actually a very very good lens and gives excellent image quality. I bought the D70s because I preferred the feel of that camera and the options that the camera gives along with one of the best kit lenses available at the time. I have not regretted my decision with the camera or the lens. I have since added the SB-600 flash and a Nikon telephoto lens.

If I were to purchase a D80 today, I would find out if the 18-70 lens were available instead of the 18-135 (knowing now what I know about the 18-70).

The 18-70 is versatile and a good walk around lens to have.

Lincoln May 1, 2007 3:40 AM

O yeah, I know that the Nikon D70s kit lens is good, the 18-70mm one right?

I have another friend who is also using the Nikon D70s with the 18-70mm kit. Yeah, maybe I should go and get the Nikon D80 with the 18-70mm, maybe it is better.

Shorter zoom range also means better optical quality right according to JohnG?

I read on another forum that the 18-70mm lens is also better than the 18-135mm and they also compare it to the expensive 17-55mm pro lens without any difference.

So I think I shall go and get the Nikon D80 with the Nikon D70s 18-70mm kit lens, I never though of that man, it makes me feel so excited now.

Thanks man, this is a nice forum.

In future if I have anymore questions, I can come back here and ask. :cool:

Bye guys,


Gozinta May 2, 2007 10:28 AM


Do you know a guy named Benjamin who also lives in KL Malaysia? He might be a good guy to ask because he does a lot of research.

Lincoln May 3, 2007 2:38 AM

You also know benjamin?

He is the one that ask me come here do research. He is also a member of steve forum right?

I went to search for my camera, my another friend say that the Olympus E500 kit is a very good deal, it comes with two lens, what do you think about it?

But I envy people with the Canon 30D and Nikon D80 la. The Olympus take longer time to start up and the viewfinder is somehow small. I donno, but my friend say it is a very good deal.

If I want to get the D80, I think I will get it with the older Nikon D70s kit lens. The newer D80 kit lens is very plastic and fake. Donno how come Nikon quality is downgrading today. Somemore the quality of the new lens optics is not so shook.


Give my greetings to Ben.

Sorry, edited msg.

Gozinta May 3, 2007 8:05 AM


Lincoln wrote: "You also know benjamin?"

I know 2 guys from Malaysia that like using names from early U.S.History as forum handles and they both like to use the word the Italian word Chao. What's up with that?

steve forum right?"[/i]

I don't know Ben he sent you here... his breadth of camera knowledge is impressive. He knows everything there is to know about cameras and he doesn't even own a camera. If I were you I would just buy whatever he tells you to buy.It might not be as easy as I suggest because I do recall that he had trouble making up his own mind.

If I were in your shoes, I would wait for the new Sony Prosumer and Professional models. Sony is going to kick the heck out of these other guys. Sure they are all cameras and they all take pictures, but there is only one "Sony".[/b]

Lincoln wrote: "But I envy people with the Canon 30D and Nikon D80 la. The Olympus take longer time to start up and the viewfinder is somehow small. I donno, but my friend say it is a very good deal."

Just order order labels from Canon and Nikon and stick them on your camera. Most people won't know the difference and you can impress all your friends and relatives. Don't try to fool Ben though... that guy is one sharp fortune cookie.

Lincoln wrote: "If I want to get the D80, I think I will get it with the older Nikon D70s kit lens. The newer D80 kit lens is very plastic and fake. Donno how come Nikon quality is downgrading today. Somemore the quality of the new lens optics is not so shook."

I am thoroughly amazed by your knowledge of cameras and their respective lenses.You should work for Consumer Reports or even start your own forum. Beware of forum trolls though... they can take a toll on you.

Take Care Ben.... err, I mean Lincoln... or as you guys on the other side of the world like to say, "Chao"

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