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-   -   which dSLR should I buy? (

sapro11 Aug 3, 2006 9:26 PM

Trying to narrow down a digital camera to buy. Have been looking at dSLR's due to the great picture quality & versatility. I figured a dSLR would be my best bet because I enjoy taking pictures of family, landscape/nature shots, "studio" type pictures of my newborn, and any other pictures I can take (sports, vacations, etc….) I'm no pro, but I enjoy taking pictures. I have an interest in photography, and can see myself getting more into it.

I don't want to break the bank. Just want a camera that will allow me to grow as a photographer. Over time I can see investing more on lenses and accessories, but want to be able to carry them over to other cameras.

I have been looking at the Canon Rebel XT because I have a 35mm Canon Rebel 2000, and was happy with it. Or is there another camera in this price range ($600-$800) that I should consider?

Need some advice because I'm new to this and have been told so many different things.
  1. Can I use 35mm lenses on a digital rebel? [/*]
  2. Are all lenses & accessories interchangeable between the 35mm Canon Rebel 2000 & the Digital Rebel XT? [/*]
  3. Can you use 3[suP]rd[/suP] party lenses on Canon's [/*]
  4. I've also heard a lot about the Nikon D50 and the Olympus E500. Any input on those or any other dSLR I should consider [/*]
  5. If I go with the digital Canon Rebel XT (or something comparable), could I save money and buy just the body and use the lens I have from my 35mm Canon Rebel and invest in a better lens?[/*]

LightSwitch Aug 4, 2006 11:28 AM

i was in the same boat as you last week, and ended up going with the D50. so far im very happy with it, picture quality is very good and everything about it is fairly straightfoward. i tryed both out, and unless you have very small hands i dont know if the XT will be what your looking for, it was very uncomfertable in my hands and felt slightly cheap.

all i can say is i would go try them out/hold them for yourself and YOU decide on what works best for you

stowaway7 Aug 4, 2006 11:41 AM

I know many Canon 35mm lenses will cross to the digitals (with a crop factor). A little help here Canon crowd! If it turns out you already have a stable of lenses and accessories that will fit the Digital Rebel than my suggestion would be to stay with a model you've got the investment in...not switch and start building a whole new system.

Notwithstanding, the D50 and E500 arefine DSLR's.

sapro11 Aug 4, 2006 12:23 PM

Thanks for the input. This site is great and is helping me become more educated to make a better decision. With doing some more research, I have a list of more questions:

  1. I don't have a supply of lenses yet and was told that having a 35 mm Rebel alone (with a 28-80mm) lens was not worth being Canon loyal. That I should look at the Nikon D50 because it had a better package with 2 lenses for the same price as the Rebel with it's single standard issue 18-55 lens.[/*]
  2. I was thinking of buying the Black Rebel XT body and trying to upgrade to a better lens. I've read about the Tamron 18-200mm & Sigma 18-200mm. I was interested in the versatility or "all in one" capabilities of these lenses. Again, I want to slowly ease into photography and buy things in the future once I've learned more of the trade. These lenses I thought could hold me over until then as a lens that I could keep on all the time. But here is the problem. Do they have a lens that is so versatile (18-200) that I can also use on my 35mm and are around the same price?[/*]
  3. If I buy just the body, can I use my lens that I already have (28-80mm) from my 35mm Rebel on the Digital Rebel XT?

Damfino Aug 4, 2006 3:38 PM

Don't forget the Penix istDL, which you can currently get (with 18-55mm lens) for $439 after a $100 rebate. (Beach Camera, and other places are similarly priced.) It has the same CCD as the Nikon so comparing the picture quality is up to the lens, and the included one is quite good and their 50-200mm lens (which has a $50 rebate currently) is supposedly excellent - I hope to pick one up soon.

Pentax also has better compatability with old lenses than the Canon or Nikons. Plus, I've seen several anecdotes of people preferring the size and feel of the Pentax to those, as well, but I haven't had the opportunity myself to compare them.

Check the Pentax DSLR forum here for some terrific examples of what you can do with them. Don't be fooled by the low price, it's really an excellent DSLR. I'm absolutely ecstatic with mine!

interested_observer Aug 4, 2006 11:06 PM

Hi, I am somewhat in the same position as you and have received quite a bit of assistance here. Pentax in addition to their *ist line, has the K100D and K110D that are new and just showing up on the store shelves this week. They are entry level (6MP) that compete with Canon and Nikon very well. There are several main attractions,
  • Just about every Pentax lens made in the last 30+ years is useable (depending on the lens it might not be autofocus or autoexposure) with a very active resale market that is reasonably inexpensive. [/*]
  • The K100D has image stabilization built into the body, thus any lens attached becomes stabilized, as opposed to paying extra for individual stabilized lenses from Nikon and Canon [/*]
  • There are 2 kits – 1 with a single zoom lens (18-55MM) and one with 2 zoom lens (18-55mm and 50 – 200mm) with the 2 lens kit going for about $890 USD.[/*]
There are several active posters here, especially mtclimber who is a professional photographer (teaches photography) who has Canon, Nikon and Pentax, who just received a K100D a couple of days ago. She is actively along with others posting on the "Pentax Digital SLR" thread.

K100D Threads;forum_id=80;forum_id=80

Lens Threads

Samsung is a co-developer with Pentax and are coming out with their own line of cameras based on the Pentax (I think that they are just re-branded and priced a bit less – so that may be another option)

I have not purchased yet (my wife put me on a budget after receiving her multi-year anniversary gift), but have basically decided on the Pentax – You can read about my finding the new Pentax at this thread

Hope that helps….

mtclimber Aug 5, 2006 4:07 AM


The really significant thing emmanating from thr Pentax-Samsung partnership is that Pentax is beginning to use Samsung CMOS chips as their imagers, not the traditional Sony Chips. I look to hear much MORE news about that change in chips. Just wondering? Isn't there a new Photokina of sorts in South Korea about now?


interested_observer Aug 5, 2006 11:19 AM

I agree with you on Samsung. Actually it is beyond imaging. I believe that Samsung now has all the parts, in addition to imaging, flash memory and specialized processing units so that very large System on Chips (SOC) for specialized applications are the basis for the consumer cameras. In teaming up with Pextax, they now have the specialized imaging expertise and access to large consumer markets to make large runs of chips, just like their cellular telephones. This provides both Pentax and Samsung with an extremely large market base to sell their products into across multiple maker names. With the large SOC approach, higher levels of integration are possible for much larger complex systems, thus reducing part counts which only add to manufracturing costs. Samsung's cell phone market will only help the camera line with more integration and fewer parts along with better energy management (battery life). This in turn will greatly help both companies with profitablity on lower priced items. Phone camera sensor arrays will only enhance the technology and ability to run larger designs. It also gives Samsung a lower market to move the 6MP capability to when it wears out the camera market.

Samsung is a smaller version of Sony, with a full line of integrated products. Sony's profits fell 80% last year - blamed in part to decreasing profitability from cameras among other areas. With a much more healthy Pextax, in addition to Samsung's production capability, along with specialized engineering from both companies, I believe that Pentax is positioned to be able to put out some very competative and exciting products. I believe that Sony is trying to do the same with their KM acquisition, but they have so many other problems, that they are probably not as focused as Pentax is on the technology & market opportunities at hand. That along with their reduced profitability is constraining their investments across their markets.

I am thinking that the K10 and K1 rumored products may just push the envelope - and possibly seperate Pentax from Sony. If they are lucky with adding features (progressively higher ISOs with lower noise) on these lines with image stabliztion, with possibly jumping to a full 35mm frame size for the sensor array at a greater pixel array, then Pentax will have effectively re-positioned the entire market on their terms. The Pentium chip is hugh physically - so the effective size of the chips and with the larger wafers (keeping the yields up), the ability to go to larger sensor arrays is already here (with CMOS which is relatively an old technology). It is only the cost of producing a quality item then.

Do I know anything special - no - just my reading and what they pay me to do at work is to determine when & where to move my market next.

If the K100D is as good as you indicate in the upper ISO numbers in the reduction of noise (which is key to everything), I would expect that Pentax would position to take advantage of that as quickly as possible (if they wait till next year to introduce everything, they may loose the window they may be after). If they do market the K10 in the next couple of weeks , then I think you can bet that Pentax's management has determined that this year will be theirs - at Christmas (I think that the K10 is rumored to be out for Christmas), and thus the K1 with all the bells and whistles will be coming right after it (no need for Christmas with the professional market). This begs the quality and production issues - as it might be a little too agressive to keep the quality up across 2 or 3 new production lines - but who knows - I am just speculating. But it is all healthy for Pentax. They have surged in the small pocket camera market in the prior year, they just may have found a way to try to surge in the consumer SLR market here. I think that the quality issues will for tell this on the K100 lines. If the quality is consistently high, then I think that there will be much more to look for in the future.

On another website, one gentleman wrote that he had sent numerous letters over the last couple of years to Pentax detailing what he thought was wrong with their design. He was ready to give up on them and move on, until he received the K100D, in which they have effectively answered the vast majority of his observations.

mtclimber Aug 5, 2006 8:14 PM


I very much agree with you. Pentax could very well be on the edge of a hugely increasing DSLR market. I like Pentax cameras, and the K100D in particular. I believe that it is the firstin aseries of three camera introductions.

The K100D is an excellent basic DSLR designed for theentry level consumer DSLR market, the K-10 rummored to be the next DSLR to be introduced, will be a progressive upgrade to the already introduced K100D. Likewise, the K-1 is rummored to be even more sophidticated, it will be the third new DSLR camera to be introduced this year.

My guess is that both Pentax and Samsung will market these cameras, using individual brand names in various markets throughout the world to achieve the largest market penetration.

Well time will tell.


sapro11 Aug 5, 2006 10:45 PM

Ok. Now I'm confused again. With more research comes more questions & concerns.

I've been reading info on the Pentax K100D since it was recommended in this forum. Lens compatibly is a big issue for me in making my decision because I understand that lenses are a huge percent of the expense in photography.

I was reading in the Pentax forum that this camera (K100D) would allow you to use any lenses ever built for a Pentax. So buying used lenses was an option. Can the same be said for a Canon? Could you use lenses on the Rebel XT that fit any old Canon SLR's?

I guess I want to make sure what "system" or line ( Canon, Nikon, Pentax) is better in the long run?

From all of my research I keep hearing about these DSLR's

Canon Rebel XT
Nikon D 50
Pentax K100D

I thought I was sold on the Canon, but now I have doubts

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