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cgmann Feb 20, 2006 12:06 PM

I'm looking for a new DSLR that'll be a good all around camera.

I'll be shooting sports, people, indoor and outdoor. I'll be hiking a lot and taking plenty of photos along the way, and i'll be wanting to take nice macro shots and night shots aswell.

So, as you can see i'll be shooting quite a bit with the new camera, so I have some specs I want it to live up to:

Ability to print nice looking images up to 8.5X11 (or greater)
A good line of lenses that are not only good in quality, but easy on the wallet.
I'll need a good flash recomendation (aside from the onboard flash)
Ease of use, but without sacrificing features.
and most importantly, the price. I need a new camera ASAP, so something around the $1000 mark. Not too much over it, but to get me started with a nice camera body and good lense, I dont want to spend over $1000(ish) for now.

I'd list some cameras im looking at right now, but i'm more curious as to what you'd suggest for me.

RECAP: I take fast action photos, landscaping, people, indoor and outdoor, wildlife, night life, concerts and parties, macro close ups, etc etc. I'll be taking this everywhere with me. Ability to print nice looking presentable photos, good line of quality/affordable lenses, ease of use, and cheap. All this should be lingering in your mind when making a camera suggestion ;)

Thank you all, and great website. I've read quite a few reviews, but would like to know what you guys think before I get set on one.

robbo Feb 20, 2006 3:38 PM

I have a Pentax *ist DS, and am happy with it. It fit my budget and takes good pictures. It also uses AA batteries, which I find convenient. Following that line, you might consider the newer models *ist DL (very cheap now) and the slightly higher grade *ist DS2.

However, what I would have gotten, had I waited a few months would probably have been the Konica Minolta 5D. Two things attract me to it: (1) its built in image stabilization which makes all your lens functionally image stabilized. (2) its very good performance at high ISO's. The strike against this camera is that Konica Minolta is going out of the camera business, although Sony (to which many of its assets have been sold) will provide warranty care and build cameras withcompatible mounts.

Most people at this site seem to like the Canon Rebel XT for it excellent image quality - almost as good as that of the much more expensive 20D.

cgmann Feb 20, 2006 7:40 PM

Thanks Robbo, anyone else?

The Pentax and the Cannon where some of the cameras I had my eye on.

[email protected] Feb 20, 2006 9:12 PM


Given your needs, you'll probably need a variety of lenses over time.

However a nice setup, in my opinion, would be the Rebel XT in combination with the Canon 17-85 IS (image stabilization) lens.

The Rebel XT has a great 8mp CMOS sensor, and is very responsive.

The 17-85 is a great walk around lens, and a great lens to start building up a collection of other lenses around.

Later you can add a telephoto lens, macro lens, primes, etc.

-- Terry

cgmann Feb 20, 2006 9:45 PM

Well im looking at the D50 right now, and it seems like the ideal camera so far.

Cheap, good line of affordable lenses, and I think I may do this:

Buy a 50mm lense.

And with that sitting on my desk, and no camera to use with it, it'll force me to save my money a bit more.

I can afford it easy, if only I stopped wasting my excess money.

So I think my next check, i'll get a lense to make me want the camera even more. Trust me, it'll work ;)

cgmann Feb 21, 2006 12:32 PM

Does anyone have anything to add to this?

As of now, the D50 is looking good.

Next Wed. when I get payed, I may go ahead and order a 50mm f/1.8D AF for it (cheap, $100 +/-)

That lense box on my desk should be enough motivation for me to use my next two checks to get the actual camera body.

I think the 50mm is a great starter lense, as i'll be taking a lot of portraits to start off with, and its great in low light.

My girlfriend of three years will be moving this summer, so it should be a good lense to capture our last months together. (She's off to college, i'm a dropout), so i'm looking forward to getting a nice camera.

Do you think the D50 is capable of print images greater than 8.5X11? I dont plan on making poster sized images, but I do plan on having nice large prints of my favorite photos framed and hung on my wall.

I'll continue keeping my eyes open for other cameras, but i'll be making a decision soon.

JimC Feb 21, 2006 12:51 PM

For your night life and concerts shots, I don't thinik you'd find a better DSLR solution compared to the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D using a bright prime (28mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4 or f/2, 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7, etc.). I keep a 28mm f/2 on my 5D more often than not when going out in the evening.

You'd have ISO speeds up to ISO 3200 with it (versus ISO 1600 with some choices like the Rebel XT and Nikon D50), and anti-shake with every lens, including bright primes. You don't really want to use ISO 3200 unless you really need it. But, light is low enough at some of the clubs around here, you need it. ;-)

But, these are getting hard to come by now (many vendors have sold out since the recent Sony/KM announcements). However, stay tuned, and we may see some announcements from Sony soon about their plans for DSLR models using KM's technology.


I'm biased since I have a KM 5D, and one of the reasons I got it was so that I've have a solution for taking photos in dimly lit clubs and restaurants in the area with live music. Most entry level models don't have ISO 3200, and no DSLR models except for the KM 5D and 7D can give you anti-shake with a bright prime.

A word of caution though. If a camera looks too professional, you may not be able to get it in at some venues. That's one reason I went with a 5D over a 7D. I figured that a smaller package (especially using a small prime) would not attract as much attention and would be less likely to be objected to.

I'll find out the next time I try to bring it to a concert with a better known band. Most of the smaller clubs in my area don't seem to mind a larger camera. But, I've seen objections to cameras at some concerts in the past.

ccallana Feb 21, 2006 12:53 PM

The D50, KM5D and the Pentax DL/DS cameras all use the same Sony sensor. So Image Quality should be somewhat similar - especially if using RAW.

If you need a wide variety of lenses, and don't mind manual focus, you can't go wrong with the Pentax line - almost every lens made for Pentax cameras in the last 30 years works just fine. :) and many of them can be had fairly inexpensively.

All in all, they are all good cameras - and all would suite your needs just fine.

JimC Feb 21, 2006 1:13 PM

ccallana wrote:

The D50, KM5D and the Pentax DL/DS cameras all use the same Sony sensor. So Image Quality should be somewhat similar - especially if using RAW.
Well, I'm not so sure it's the exact sensor in each model, even though they are all made by Sony and have similar characteristics.

For example, the Nikon D50 has a higher x-sync speed compared to any of it's competitors, probably due to a difference in sensor design, allowing a combination of electronic and mechanical shutter to achieve it.

You'll also have differences in AA filter design between models, with some designed for slightly more detail at the expense of some Moiré. Ditto for differences between the color filter arrays on the sensors if I had to guess.

In addition, there may be some differences in the supporting chipsets used (analog to digital converter, etc.).

So, even though they have the same basic sensor design from Sony, I doubt they are using the identical sensors, and I doubt that everything else is the same either, even if you're shooting in raw.

cgmann Feb 21, 2006 10:10 PM

Wel... I think i've decided on the D50.

I'll have about $200 to blow on stuff next Wed... should I get a 50mm f/1.8, a diffrent lense than that, or the 50mm and an externflash (if I can get both for that price).

What do you think?

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