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View Poll Results: Which would you recommend for me?
Nikon D50 2 40.00%
Pentax *istDL 2 40.00%
Something else (please elaborate in post) 1 20.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Feb 8, 2006, 2:29 PM   #1
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Hi. I've got a new baby and have decided to enter the hobby with a DSLR. I'm not interested in the Canon mainly because of price. I'm working with a $600-$700 budget. I've narrowed my choices to the Nikon D50 (@$650 with the 18-55mm lens) and the Pentax *ist DL (@ $550 with the 18-55mm lens). I would love to get a 50mm prime with either camera, and I've read a lot of good things about the Nikon prime for about $100. I like the Nikon's ergonomics and I've read that the quality is better than the Pentax, but my brother has a few older Pentax lenses that I can use (Sigma stuff). I keep reading that people prefer the Nikon - but is that just because more people own the Nikon? What do you all think of these cameras and what are your recommendtions/considerations? Also, if you know of these cameras or other DSLRs at a good price, feel free to say where they are availableI take a lot of indoor low light shots (I loathe the flash and only use it when necessary) and I also enjoy landscape shots. Thanks in advance!Best regards, pu
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Old Feb 8, 2006, 2:56 PM   #2
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Im in the same boat as you are except that I dont have a baby comining. I've also been looking for a good entry level dSLR. I also dont want to get a canon mainly because of the price and also everyone has a canon.:?

After months of looking, reading and playing with the camera I came up with the Pentax DS, Nikon D50 and the KM 5D. I really wanted the KM 5D because the camera has the best feel to it, best grip, nice 2.5" screen and KM's anti-shake built into the camera. I decided to drop the KM because I couldnt find it in any local place that had a good price on them. A lot of them seem to sell the package deal which i wasnt intrested. The GOOD online store are out of stock or priced similair to in store retail price.

So I ended up with the Nikon D50 and the pentax DS (no the DL). I am planning to buy the Pentax DS because it has a better screen and it feels better on my hand compaired to the Nikon. Also the main selling point for the pentax was that it use standard AA size battery which I have 2 sets from my current camera. I dont mind the extra weight of carrying 2 sets of AA (8 AA battery) and save a lot more money then to buy 2 special size battery which can cost as much as $70 each. Rechargable AA battery are A LOT cheaper and are more easier to come by if you forget to charge the battery. I have a friend who has the Pentax DS2 and swear that he gets 600+ shots with this AA 2500mah battery.

I think the Pentax DL is also a great camera because the feel of it is similair to the DS. To me the way the camera feel and how comfort it is is one of the most important factor when buying a camera. I dont care if the camera is amazing but if it hurts my hand while taking picture, I wont want to use it. Also the DL has a bigger LCD screen. I think the main difference between the DL and the DS is that the DS has 11 point AF sensor while the DL only has 3 point. There maybe other difference that could be a major selling point too.

The Nikon is a good camera too, dont get me wrong. I lot of people say its quicker then the pentax ist camera. Also the d50 is cheaper then the Pentax DS that I am about to buy. The D50 at costco sells for $629 w/lense and the Pentax DS goes for $699 w/lense and a carrying case.

Tomorrow I will go and buy the Pentax DS.
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Old Feb 8, 2006, 5:51 PM   #3
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I bought the *ist DS at Costco 2 weeks ago for $699 andI love it. I don't know that its worth the extra $100 because I haven't compared the DS with the DL, but I don't regret it at all - I've had so much fun taking photos, and I get along with it much better than the FZ30.

The main reason I got it was that I didn't need to buy any more lenses beyond the kit lens - I have several very nice manual lenses that I purchased 20 - 25 years ago that work beautifully with it. I have the choice of either buying new lenses or trying to pick up an old one in good condition, or just using what I have. The Nikon doesn't have the same backwards compatibility and for me, that was the key factor.
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Old Feb 8, 2006, 7:39 PM   #4
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TAke a look at the Konica Minolta 5D.

Very price competivite, anti shake built in, second hand lenses readily available.

-- Terry
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 5:12 PM   #5
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I'm also down to the same choices - I like the way the Pentax feels and sounds.

There are 3 differences between the ist DS and DL - DS has a 2" screen, 11 point AF, and PentaPrism. DL has 2.5" screen, 3 point AF, and PentaMirror (D50, 350D, etc all have mirrors as well)

I looked thru both of them, couldn't really tell much difference... the DS has a slightly larger view as well (95 vs 85% I think)

The ist cameras and the D50 use the same sensor. The Kit lens on the Pentax seems to get better reviews than other kit lenses.

I'm leaning towards the DL, since most of the differences don't really make a difference to my style of shooting. But I'm also a tech gadget freak and want the best I can get
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 5:45 PM   #6
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I cant word it any better then that. I just bought the Pentax DS from costco today. took it home and tried it out. Unfortantly the 128MB card that was supposed to be in there wasnt so I wasnt able to really play with taking the picture and stuff.
I dont really if the difference between the DS and the DL is worth the extra $100, but like you said, Im a tech gadget freak, I need the best of what I can get.

ccallana wrote:

.... But I'm also a tech gadget freak and want the best I can get
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 6:35 PM   #7
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There is no contest between the viewfinder on the Nikon D50 and the DS, with the DS being much brighter. You can use any Pentax lens on the D series (including screw mount) and still use the meter and with Nikon (D50/D70) you can not use the meter on older lenses.

The D50 will focus faster than the D series Pentax cameras, but the Pentax is more accurate in short DOF situations. They both use the same sensor, but the Pentax does a better job of capturing highlights than the Nikons do.

The DSLR's from Pentax and Nikon are all good cameras, but I find the Pentax to be more user friendly, easier to carry and has sharper lenses for less money than Nikon.

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Old Feb 11, 2006, 1:47 AM   #8
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I got the Canon rebel xt body only and it's great. Had a few old lenses around from the old Elan that work. Now I'm checking around for some good lenses. The body cost me about $700 and change but was well worth it. If you have to add a few dollars it will be worth it down the road. Thought I'd let you know about the canon anyway. Fast camera, light, and tons of features if you use them or not. You can also add lots of lenses, canon, sigma, etc.

Good luck with what you decide

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Old Feb 11, 2006, 1:28 PM   #9
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After months of research I was unable to decide between KM 5D and Nikon D50.

I have liked KM 5D because of its Anti-shake. I liked Nikon D50 as it handles higher ISO's very well and for its ease of use. After trying Nikon and KM at couple of electronic stores, I have ended up with Nikon D50 and do not regreat.

Most of the DSLR's are very good, so it comes down to your personal chioce. Also consider the ease of use and manual controls on the camera.
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