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Old Nov 10, 2006, 8:51 AM   #1
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Hello there,

I am deciding between the Sony alpha A100, the Pentax K10d, and the Nikon d80 or anyothers. I can afford any of the above, so money is not an issue. I want to get something interesting to keep me occupied for 3 years at the least because I don't want to change my next camera too quickly. I want something advance enough to contain my skill levels in future. I have choosen the above 3 cameras as a result, and they are allalso dSLR cameras. You can recommend me other camera models if you think those modelswill suit me better.

Thank you
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 1:15 PM   #2
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Well, there's no right and wrong choice.

Some models may be better suited for the types of photos you take.

For example, if you planned on using one in very low light at higher ISO speeds often, I'd probably stick to models using the less dense 6MP or 8MP sensors instead. For example, the Rebel XT, Nikon D50, Pentax K100D, Konica Minolta 5D.

Any choice is a compromise in one area or another. Most of the models are probably within about 1 stop of each other in noise levels. So, it's not that big of a difference to most users.

If you're shooting JPEG, Nikon has better image processing algorithms for noise, tone curves, etc., compared to Sony between the 10MP models. I'll wait for the K10 to start shipping and look at reviews before forming much of an opinion on it. But, it looks good on paper.

But, if you're shooting raw, my guess is if you exposed the images the same way (and you may have to use exposure compensation to accomodate differences in metering and ISO speed calibration between them) and shot in raw, it would be a toss up in the image quality area with the models you're looking at.

You may have a steeper learning cuve with one versus the other based on metering behavior in some conditions. But, any of them would make good tools in most conditions. Try them out in stores and see what you're comfortable with, too.

If I had to pick one of the 10MP models, I'd go with the Sony. But, I'm already using a Konica Minolta 5D (and the Sony DSLR-A100 is mostly based the KM 5D. So, I'm biased.

But, I wouldn't want to give up a usable ISO 3200 with anti-shake. So, I personally won't upgrade to a Sony DSLR-A100 since I have a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and I'd prefer it's high ISO speed ability. The Sony doesn't have ISO 3200.

Having both anti-shake and ISO 3200 is nice. For example, here's a cropped and downsized handheld snapshot I took over the weekend with my Maxxum 5D and Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, zoomed in to 85mm at 1/10 second shutter speed with no flash. To heck with a little bit of motion blur when you get photos in light this low. lol

Lighting provided by a campfilre

EXIF Info:
Camera Make: KONICA MINOLTA
Camera Model: MAXXUM 5D
Image Date: 2006:11:04 20:21:52
Flash Used: No
Focal Length: 85.0mm (35mm equivalent: 127mm)
Exposure Time: 0.100 s (1/10)
Aperture: f/4.5
ISO equiv: 3200
Exposure Bias: -0.30
White Balance: Manual
Light Source: Incandescent
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)

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Old Nov 10, 2006, 9:54 PM   #3
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Good detailed advice by Jim,

I went through the same question some time ago .At that time sony alpha was not out and i limited myself to canon vs nikon. Essentially what you need to decide what are you trying to shoot. Apart from the camera body quality of camera lens mounted on the body makes a difference as well. So whichever body you choose you would need to think of the available lenses both in quality and price as well in that system. So when you budget yourself look for your possible futur needs and as welll as budget for the lenses/flasy etc as well.



I choose Nikon D70 then as there was not many choices available. If i were to buy now i would have choosenNikon D200 if i could afford it and if not then Nikon D80. I just like the feel of nikon bodies in my hand.

Fuji also makes DSLR and so you can look into it as well.



HTH

ag
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 3:35 AM   #4
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Let meexpose my collection of Nikon D80 informations that I have gathered over the past few days; (All those statements have either been stated by members of a particular forum, or by certainreviewers themselves)

The Nikon D80 is the best one out there because of it's great Pentaprism TTL viewfinder; it is much more superior over the cheap and crappy cost saving pentamirror versions! (This is always what I hear over the forums...)

The ergonomics of the Nikon D80 is the best ever! No other camera comes even close! (People at forums say)

The build quality of the Nikon D80 is very solid and high quality; Nikon makes the best bodies out there. (A common statement I always hear)

The Nikon D80 have the very useful D-lighting feature that stitches two images together; amazing! No other camera does that. (I always hear this being propagated)

The Nikon D80 have the most custom features of all. (They say)

The Nikon D80 have the extremely useful noise reduction control feature. (Reviews and people say)

The Nikon D80 have the best high ISO performance of all; a great improvement over the NikonD50, and centuries ahead of the Nikon D70s. (They say)

The image quality of the Nikon D80 is the best among all, a terrific improvement over the Nikon D50 and D70s. (They say)

The focusing speed and accuracy of the Nikon D80 is a great improvement over the Nikon D50 and D70s'. (They say)

The metering of the Nikon D80 is much improved over the Nikon D70s. (They say)

The build quality of the Nikon D80 has improved; it feels more solid than the Nikon D70s. Overall,it ismore solid and amuch better put together camera than the Nikon D70s. (Review says)

The viewfinder of the Nikon D80 is a "Dramatic" improvements over the Nikon D50 and D70s. (Reviews and people all say)

The Nikon D80 belongs to a totally different level/class altogether, it is nearer to the Nikon D200 level than the D50/D70s level. (People complained at the dpreview forumsthat the Nikon D80 was not being placed together with the Nikon D200 & D2Xs category etc...)

The Nikon D80 is a level above the cheap Canon Rebel XTi model; Nikon is making the new D40 just to compete with it; the Nikon D80 belongs to a higher level...(They allsay)

The 200 dollars of difference between the XTi andthe Nikon D80buys you a much better camera. (Reviews and people said)

Unfortunately, the Canon Digital Rebel XTi has lost it's lead to the Nikon D80, which super-cedes it and posed far better image qualities and high ISO performance. (Cnet-Asia's claim)

The Canon EOS 30D looks overpricedcompared tothe Nikon D80. (A populer thread at the dpreview forums)

Nikon has never released something so revolutionary before like the D80. (Reviews said)

The LCD of the Nikon D80is a dramatic improvements over the Nikon D50 and D70s'. (They all say)

The Nikon D80 is a more advance digital SLR than the entry level Sony AlphaA100;the Nikon D80is more expensive, andit belongs to a higher class. (Claimed by the Nikon D80 users)

People now looking to get more advance from the Nikon D70s; they don't need to worry about getting the Nikon D200, because the Nikon D80 is just as good (If not havingbetter & newer technology). (They all said)

The Nikon D80's menu interface puts all the others to shame, it is the nicest looking menu of all; and much more functional. (Reviews and people claimed)

The high ISO images of the Nikon D80 are the best I have ever seen, they are all very film like; clearly a huge improvement over the Nikon D70s. (Claimed by members and reviews)

The Nikon D80 is the fastest camera around; the x, x, x, etc... of it completely blewus off, it was clearly the fastest digital SLRwe haveever tested!! (According toreviewers)

__________________________________________________ ______________________________________

Once again, I would like to stress that NONE of the above was stated by me, or was even thought of.

I clearly got all those informations from various forums, user opinions, and reviews.

I am also not trying to proof anything. in fact, Ihadearlierdecided to take theother route, anddisagree with"what I didn'tthink sounded approprate...". In the end, I just decidedto myself, that I would most likely get banned...if I ever did. (I know what is going to happen, so I just decided to kill the thought)

Anyway, earlier agendas aside; the Nikon D80 seems to cause a rather "unusual"wave ofexcitement (for a camera) amonganyone I couldeverimagine (around the forums etc...), eventotheproperreviewers...It really just seemsto me thatthe Nikon D80 has some kind of a charm in it.

If I want to be honest, I am witnessing a serious phenomenal in those forums (where people are truly wearing Nikon D80 tinted glasses)...I have seen countless Nikon D80 threads about high ISO performance shots; is it me or what, but I always noticed the same thing about the Nikon D80's high ISO shots; they all have the usual noise reduction artifacts and heavy handed N.R. look. (Something I just don't see on the Nikon D70s) Yet those people would alwaysbe saying how great are the Nikon D80's high ISO shots, and how much improvedthey areover the Nikon D70s'. (I am beginning to feel worried that all my past research just wasn't true afterall...) Similarly, I don't think that the image quality of the Nikon D80 is better than the D70s', but people keep on saying what an improvement! I also noticed that a recent thread at dpreview that compared 100% crops from the D70s and D80 at max resolution; I clearly could not decern any noticible advantage in the Nikon D80's shots, yetpeople therewere saying how much better the Nikon D80's images look. (Seemsthat they can see many things that I can't, besides my pixel peeping habit)

In fact, I find that the images of the Nikon D70s are more crisp, and clear looking than the Nikon D80's. (Based on review comparison shots)

I do not know about you, but when I read all those statements above (made by the various people and reviewers), I am sensing some kind of a bias in every sentence that I read. (I mean, my mind would always be bewilded) I would think that theyare ridiculous. (Iguess people will always remain people; they will continue to worship the Nikon D80) For what reason...is beyond me. Maybe the way people see things are different...

It is not to say that I can't afford the Nikon D80, that's why I am behavinglike that; I can afford the Nikon D80, especially I will be attending photographic classes next year. (So I would be able to spend more on cameras etc...) My parentsare also planning to buy me a U.S. $1200 drum-set. (I'm a drummer as well; and I can easily ask for a camera instead. (So affording the Nikon D80 isn't a problem for me; it's just a decision away) But my main problem is trying to justify the cost of the Nikon D80, I hate to hear informations contradicting, very importantly: "Contradicting" my research results. (Those I have spend many months on) (I hate to see things contradicting my research results) This is exactly what is happening up above, in the forums, and in the reviews etc...that is why I can be so mad.

Well, those statements up above (In the first part)have certainly made the Nikon D80 sound like a very supernatural camera indeed (The camera that seems to be the best in everything...); it is surely worth to take a look at it.

Who knows, I might even lay down my cash for the Nikon D80...Just for the fact alonethat it receive highly positive reviews every-time, and goldenhoney praises from everyone all the time...To the extend that EVEN EOS 400D users can agree that the Nikon D80 is more superior (Usually an impossible case...). One statementbelowIheard from a forum user;

"I use Nikon D80; my sister use Canon EOS 400D, andwe both agreed that the Nikon D80 is more superior." (You won't want to know what I have commented while reading it that time...kind of reminded me of someone irritating...) "My sister and I agreed that you don't get to play the game" Blah blah whatever...

I guess the next thing is: Canon, Sony, and Pentax join-venture agreeing that the Nikon D80 admittedly, is a farsuperior camera than theirs?

Since the camera is so good, go and buy it!! :?



I would bebuying it! To see what all the trill is about.

Reviews said that the Nikon D80 is a step above it's price class. (U.S. $1400)

Here I go again...:roll:

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Old Nov 11, 2006, 4:02 AM   #5
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Ken Rockwell (who is just about the world's biggest Nikon fan) thinks it's all rubbish.

http://kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/index.htm

Quick summary: Comparing the Canon 20D, 30D and Nikon D80, D200 there is no difference in the image quality that would be visible under any normal conditions. The image quality is essentially identical between all 4 cameras at all ISO levels.

You've gone off the rails again I'm afraid.

See this link to try to restore your perspective just a little bit...

http://kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 6:26 AM   #6
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I guess someone really dislikes the D80. The D80 is a solid camera, and alot of what Benso eloquentlystates (with a large dose of sarcasm :blah is somewhat true (despite getting some of the details wrong, ie, the D-lighting feature does not stitch images together). In my opinion, the D80 is a big step up from the D70s and packs more advanced features with added resolution over the D50 and is worth the added costs. Despite the glowing reviews thatBen haspointed out (and gotten in such a tizzy over), there are just as many complaints from longtime Nikon shooters about the D80. There are numerous threads about hot pixels and exposure problems (matrix metering tending to overexpose and functioning completely different from how it has traditionally functioned dating back to film cameras), quality control, impossible to find batteries and other complaints and critisicms. I personally have found no problematic hot pixels (whichmost cameras have at higher iso's) and have adjusted to the metering differences. The point is if you look around, you will find people that overstate the strengths or weaknesses depending on how they feel about the camera. The truth is, with any of the current crop of DSLRs (and most of the older ones), your skills as a photographer matter much more than which DSLR you choose. Peripatetic mentions Ken Rockwell (whom I'm not a big fan of) who is absolutely right in saying all four cameras are pretty close to equal, and it will take some work to spot differences in image quality under normal conditions. In fact, even the entry levelDSLR's are more than most people will ever need. The D50, XTI, etc, are all very capable and only missing some bells and whistles that will in no way negatively impact your images. Each camera has settings that can be customized to produce images in a way that you prefer, making the differences between each even smaller.

Go out and handle each camera, see which one feels the best and buy it. Then take some time to hone your skills. Your skills are much more important than which camera you pick.
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 6:26 AM   #7
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I want to thank you people for giving me good advice and idea, I decide to go for the great Nikon D80:-)

Nikon D80 lens kitisselling for S$2288 in SG here.

thank you
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 6:29 AM   #8
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I guess someone really dislikes the D80. The D80 is a solid camera, and alot of what Ben sarcastically states is somewhat true (despite getting some of the details wrong, ie, the D-lighting feature does not stitch images together), although there are just as many complaints from longtime Nikon shooters about the D80. There are numerous threads about hot pixel and exposure problems (matrix metering tending to overexpose and functioning compoletely different from how it has traditionally functioned dating back to film cameras). I personally have found no problematic hot pixels (whichmost cameras have at higher iso's) and have adjusted to the metering differences. The point is if you look around, you will find people that overstate the strengths or weaknesses depending on how they feel about the camera. The truth is with any of the current crop of DSLRs (and most of the older ones), your skills as a photographer matter much more than which DSLR you choose. Peripatetic mentions Ken Rockwell (whom I'm not a big fan of) who is absolutely right in saying all four cameras are pretty close to equal, and it will take some work to spot differences in image quality under normal conditions. In fact, even the entry levelDSLR's are more than most people will ever need. The D50, XTI, etc, are all very capable and only missing some bells and whistles that will in no way negatively impact your images. Each camera has settings that can be customized to produce images in a way that you prefer making the differences between each even smaller.

Go out and handle each camera, see which one feels the best and buy it. Then take some time to hone your skills. Your skills are much more important than which camera you pick.


Sorry for your late reply, I already decide to go for D80.

Thank you also

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Old Nov 11, 2006, 9:16 AM   #9
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Maybe it is two ways, or even three ways...

I also discovered that Sony Alpha dSLR-A100 owners are busy defending their A100(s) against the Nikon D80, and to the extend; tothe Pentax K10D as well! :shock:

The Sony A100 have S.R., andthis is a very important and significant feature; shame on those cameras that doesn't have it. (Even thePentax K100D ownerssaid thesame thing...)

The Sony A100 have anti-dust & dust remover (vibration)properties; features that the Nikon D80 can onlydream about. (Sony A100 owners say)

The Sony A100, like the K.M. dSLRs; have one of the best ergonomics and controls around. (Claimed by owners who had tested multiple cameras)

The Sony A100 have the best 10 mega pixel resolution among the current crop of 10 mega pixel dSLRs. (Claimed by reviews & general Sonyforums)

The Sony A100 have a much brighter and larger TTL viewfinder than the Canon EOS Rebel series; shame on Canon. (Claimed by A100 users and fans)

The Sony A100 have the best ergonomics ever, it felt the best among all of the others in my hands. (By a dpreview member who tested D80, A100, and 400D...)

The Sony A100 have avery useful eye start auto-focus featurethat only theK.M. dSLRs have. (Users of A100 and K.M. dSLRs)

The highlight and shadow based metering feature of the A100 is a useful & unique feature amongit's competition. (Sony talk)

The advance D.R.O. feature of the A100 is a feature that sets it apart fromthe competitions. (Sony talk and reviews)

The Sony Alpha A100have a stronger + lighter magnesium alloy body chassis than stainless steel versions. (Claimed by engineer members and Sony)

The Sony Alpha A100 have the most handy menu system of all among the others. (Stated by users)

The list goes on.

__________________________________________________ _________________________________

As much as I disliked Sony Alpha dSLR-A100 owners getting overly defensive of their A100s (Which I had left out some Nikon D80fanslike ridiculous statements), I certainly found it all a level more conservative and rational. (That is a good thing)

At least they don't say that a camera wins because of it's viewfinder etc.... (Just like saying that the 3.0" 230,000 pixels anti-reflectiveTFT LCD of my N1 makes it the best camera out there...) Personally, I think they could have said that the Sony A100 dSLR is the best out therebecauseof it'sS.R.. (But I didn't came across such things as of yet.)

Anyway:

All in all; the Sony Alpha dSLR-A100 is also a great camera, andit should alsobe worthy of your considerations in here.

I would definitely getthe A100over the D80 if it comes with a higher quality kit lens (Like the Nikkor 18 - 70 mm), new and available Minolta lenses, and if only the new Sony & Carl Zeiss lenses weren't that costly! :shock: (Otherwise; darn attractive!)
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 9:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
At least they don't say that a camera wins because of it's viewfinder etc.... (Just like saying that the 3.0" 230,000 pixels anti-reflective TFT LCD of my N1 makes it the best camera out there...)
I really don't think that is a fair comparison. It's easy enough to feel that any viewfinder will do if you're young and have good sharp eyesight, but there are people for whom it becomes more important... I don't care how good a camera's other features are, if I cannot *see* well enough to take pictures with it (i.e. if its viewfinder isn't usable for my eyes), then it's not a good camera for my needs.

The optical viewfinder on a camera that lacks any other viewfinder is important to a lot of people, so I don't think making this a point that deserves ridiculing. Is it the most important thing about a camera? No, of course not, the camera itself needs to be good too. But with other things mostly equal (as DSLRs in the same price range actually tend to be - give or take a few features, all things considered, for the average user the results, i.e. pictures that can be taken with them, are equally good), I am really not surprised that the viewfinder is by many people considered more important than whether the camera can take 2.8 frames per second or 3.1 frames.
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