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stevem1928 Apr 6, 2006 5:45 PM

I am trying to decide between an low end dSLR or one of those high end point and shoot cameras which appear to look like a dSLR with a 10-12 x zoom. I want some manual capabilities for managing low light situations.

I will be needing the camera for taking picutres of our new church construction. My present camera is working fine for the early construciton outside. But, my present camera will not do well when the interior work is nearing completion. I need something that can work well with low indoor lighiting at distances of 100'. This rules out using a flash. I am not sure if anything other than a dSLR would work well.

I would also like to use the camera for some semi-pro studio portait shots; using my continous lighting softboxes which I use for video.

I would like the keep the entire package under $600 -$700. I am also a heavy Photoshop user and would like something that does camera RAW. I have not found much in the non SLR category that shoot RAW. I don't plan on printing any larger than 8x10, so 6 mp should be enough.

rduve Apr 6, 2006 5:50 PM

See this topic, especially the last few postings addressing the subject of low light shots:;forum_id=23. I can definitely recommend the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D with a fast zoom (the Vivitar 70-210 2.8-4 is only $79 new and pretty good) for the kind of shooting you need to do. No small sensor camera is going to do as well in low light without flash.

mtclimber Apr 6, 2006 6:07 PM

I truly believe that rduve's link and comments are right on target. An ultra zoom point and shoot just will not be up tp the indoor shots due to the chance of excessive noise. Plus you must factor in the fact that any ultra zoom wil set you back at least half of what you will spend on the Ultra Zoom.

It would seem prudent to eliminate that intermediate purchase step with the Ultra Zoom, because you willmost probably end of with a con sumer DSLR camera anyway somewhere down the road. However, it is up to you to make the final decision.


mtngal Apr 6, 2006 6:08 PM

Not only are you going to have trouble in low light with the high end point and shoot cameras, you will also have trouble with your interior shots - you could easily need a wider angle than they are capable of giving you. So I would definitely look at the budget dSLR cameras to meet your needs.

I have the Pentax *ist DS, which has the same sensor as the DL model. It's also an excellent camera and has the advantage of being able to use old Pentax lenses, including old, manual ones. These lenses can often be picked up cheaper than new ones, keeping your costs lower than they might be.

bobbyz Apr 6, 2006 6:15 PM

What are you shooting inside the church?

If stationary objects then you don't need low light lens. You need wide angle and a tripod.

If people then something like f1.8 would be nice.

stevem1928 Apr 6, 2006 7:43 PM

I am not quite sure what I will be shooting inside the church. I suppose it will mostly be architechtural. My wife volunteered me to document the building of the new church.

I do have some time before I really need the better camera. Maybe about 9 months to a year. Is there any new technollogy coming that I may want to wait for?

It looks like I may be leaning toward the dSLR's.

I have checked the cameras mentioned in the above posts. They are some that I have been looking at here on this site for the last couple of weeks. I will need to price a zoom lens, and see what the total comes up to.

It was mentioned that old Pentax lens are still good. How about Canon? I have an old (25 years) Canon AE-1 with a couple of lenses. Any chance they are any good?

rduve Apr 6, 2006 7:52 PM

I am a big supporter of the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D. You can also get older SLR lenses on ebay for cheap. I recently got a Tamron 90-300 zoom lens with a film SLR body for $26(!). The KM5D is a great cam with pretty much any of the features that the Canon 30D has PLUS in-camera Anti-shake (Image Stabilization), avoiding having to spent a fortune on IS lenses. Best bargain in DSLR's today, I find.

As far as new technology is concerned, I am not sure if there will be any breakthroughs, other than ever increasing pixel count. In 3 years or so Fuji will release some cameras with the new 3-layer CCD they just patented, building on the defunct Fovean chip technology. That will be a big step toward getting digital images to mimic film images more closely. I anticipate that to be the biggest advance. I also predict that Image Stabilization will become a standard feature and the KM cameras (soon Sony) certainly got a leg up in that department.

stevem1928 Apr 6, 2006 9:50 PM

Are you saying that old Konica lenses will work on new dslr's?

I had read one of your other posts where you mentioned the 300mm lens. Lucky you. If I could pick up a 200-300mm lens for under $100 and a dslr body for $600, I would be within budget.

Is there anyway to know which old lenses will work with new bodies?

Is there any drawbacks to using old lenes? (assuming they are in good shape)

rduve Apr 6, 2006 10:18 PM

All lenses made for any Maxxum AF SLR (which have been in production since 1985)should work on theKM5D. Any I tried so far have worked very well.

JimC Apr 6, 2006 10:39 PM

stevem1928 wrote:

Are you saying that old Konica lenses will work on new dslr's?
No, old Konica lenses will not work.

Konica had their own line of cameras that used a different mount compared to the Minolta Autofocus mount used on Minolta Maxxum and Dynax series cameras (and this Minolta AF mount is now used on KM DSLR models).

The Konica mount is obsolete and is not used by any DSLR model. The same thing applies to older Minolta Manual Focus models. The Minolta MC/MD mount is also obsolete (it was replaced by a newer autofocus mount in 1985).

With a KM DSLR, you have to use Minolta Autofocus Lenses (a.k.a., Maxxum, Dynax, Minolta A-Mount). Minolta has manufactured 16 Million lenses in this mount since 1985.

This is the mount rduve is referring to with this post (with the key words being Maxxum and AF, as older (manual focus) models used a different mount.


All lenses made for any Maxxum AF SLR (which have been in production since 1985)should work on theKM5D. Any I tried so far have worked very well.

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