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Old Nov 23, 2006, 2:02 PM   #1
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I have a Minolta F100 that I am very satisfied with for P&S, but now an ready for high resolution/large prints. Note: I am not as fussy as most of you.

1. 8 or 10 mp for poster prints or cropping.

2. Wide angle - 24mm equiv

3. Telephoto - above 200mm equiv

4. good low light performance.

5. price with lenses under $800 usd. Preferably less.

6. Must be rugged and reliable.

I have seen the Sony DSC-R1 online for about $600, looks interesting but will need a teleconverter for the long shots. It's also no longer produced. it does seem like the only alternative to DSLR, or am I missing something.

DSLR seem all good, but I am inexperienced with them and the choices are overwhelming. My last SLR was a Nikon F1, what's that 30 years ago.

I'll need 2 intermediate quality lens recommendations, wide zoom and tele zoom covering 24 to 200+ in 35 mm equiv.

Allcomments appreciated.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 12:40 AM   #2
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Try to get your hands onto a Konica Minolta 5D. They can now be had for about $550, inlcuding the 18-70 mm lens. With the crop factor of 1.5, that comes to a 27mm equivalent at the wide angle. Not quite as wide as 24mm, but almost. You can always add the Sigma 10-20mm lens when your budget allows. The only additional lens you need for most puposes is the Tamron 28-300 XR, which stays on my KM5D 95% of the time, and it can be found for under $200 now on ebay. Therefore you will stay below your $800 budget. This will give you an excellent combo with in-camera image stabilization, great performance at a reasonable price. Also, check out the Pentax K100D, which has similar features. I am not as familiar with the lens choices, but any Pentax compatible lens will work. I am definitely partial to CCD based image stabilization as you might notice. To me it is an indispensable feature, and no Nikon or Canon has it.

Rainer

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Old Nov 24, 2006, 10:34 AM   #3
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The K100D is also a nice camera, and is currently being made (KM is out of the camera business, Sony has taken over the lens mount, etc.).

When I decided to buy a dSLR, I went into the camera store with the idea of buying a Canon XT, because it seemed like the Canon was rated a bit higher. However, I owned a number of old, manual Pentax lenses (bought in 1980) so also looked at the Pentax DS. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out that I preferred the Pentax ergonomics. I bought the K100D when it first came out and have been very happy with the quality of the camera and the Shake Reduction system.

I don't do much wide angle stuff and find the 18-55 kit lens fine for my needs. I also have the DA 50-200 (35mm equivalent 300, it has a 1.5 factor also) which I use much of the time. I recently bought a used A*300mm lens (manual focus, auto exposure) that is top quality and I love it! I would never have bought that long of a lens without having the SR of the K100D.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 10:49 AM   #4
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There is the obvious flexibility and convenience of the DSLR design, but with the price drop on the Sony R-1, one cannot help but consider it, as the lens is worth the price of the entire R-1 camera.

So, if you enjoy wide angle shots, the R-1 is surely worth some consideration. It cannot do everything, but it costs less and when paired with another camera to fill out the longer shots, the R-1 is a worthy addition.

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Old Nov 24, 2006, 11:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the useful input. So far the Minolta 5D looks to have the best image to my eye, based on just looking at DCRP night shot. I need to do some more comparing between all the different DSLRs and package prices. If you see deals let me know.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 1:08 PM   #6
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This looks like a killer deal: http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-Maxxum-5...QQcmdZViewItem

A hardly used KM5D with 2 lenses and a bunch of accessories.

I'd offer the $600 Buy It Now price before it's gone.

I am not worried about the future of the KM mount and lens compatibility since Sony will continue the Minolta tradition, just under a new brand name. In fact, Sony is already taking on the big players in the DSLR market by offering its new Sony Alpha A100 (built upon the KM5D) at a price point and with features that are unequalled.

As farasimage quality is concerned, I think all DSLR's are pretty comparable, and all areahuge leap from any digicam (other than the above mentioned Sony R1,which really is a DSLR with afixed lens) simply due to the MUCH larger sensor.Personally, I always have my KM5D at a +1 Sharpening setting since DSLR's tend to be softer (less in-camera sharpening) than digicams. Most of my recent gallery shots were taken with the KM5D: http://euromaninla.zoto.com/galleries.

However, also consider the Pentax K100D. If I was in the market now, it would be another viable choice. Here is a good deal on that one: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-PENTAX-K100D...QQcmdZViewItem.

Rainer


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Old Nov 24, 2006, 10:15 PM   #7
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The Pentax K100D is surely worth considerig. It is great camera and the difference between 10mp and 6mp is very small indeed. Save some money, and go for the K1000D. You will enjoy the camera, and learn a lot about photography in the process.

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