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Old Dec 7, 2006, 3:26 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I have spent a fair bit of time looking around on the internet, and I think that I have narrowed it down to these 3.

So what am I looking for? Iam mostly interested in travel photography. I travel about 50-80 days a year, often for business with a couple of personal days tacked on. Last year I was in several countries with still subjects as diverse as Delicate Arch in Utah, the SwissAlpsand the Taj Mahal, along with some photos of strangers (with permission). In the next year I'll be back in India and I'm going to Kenya for the first time.

We are also definitely into the outdoors (running, cycling, hiking, paddling), so many of our pics are landscape (or features of landscapes), or people in front of a landscape, and we need to be able to do some action shots.

I currently own a Pentax Optio. The form factor is outstanding, and I can pop it in my bike jersey pocket on every ride. Unfortunately I have almost no control and the quality isn't what I'd like. GenerallyOK photos on screen, though, and I'll keep it for various situations.

My previous camera was a Canon G1. I loved it. I learned a little (not enough), and had just the amount of control I wanted in a range of situations. I thought briefly about getting a G7, but I'd rather think of that as my next point and shoot, rather than my Optio upgrade.

I have found a local college photo course to sign up for and am willing to put in the work for any learning curve.

I'll follow a previous format for what I think of each camera...

Canon 400D

Pros:

Many lenses; light and small; Good at higher ISOs; Great images without PP; Similar enough to G1 to pick up quickly, including software; lots of lens choice; dust control

Cons:

Feels 'plasticy' in my hands; kit lens bad - have to start from scratch; Poor multi-frame(?) shooting (I race bicycles - pretty quick ); Kit lens;

Nikon D80:

Pros:

Incredibly quick. I hate waiting for focus lock or for the camera to start up!; Seemed great in my hand; Lots of lenses; Good IQ; nice kit lens; clearly a step up in 'level' from the other 2 in IQ and (especially) control; can grow into more; Great UI

Cons:

More expensive (NOT the primary consideration, but don't tell the store ); heavier than other options (only 1 carryon in UK, and always have laptop too);

Pentax K100D

Pros:

GREAT value for money (thanks to the Pentax forum to save me £100+!); IS in the body - not the lens; AA batteries - easy to get ANYwhere; nice and light;

Cons:

Less lenses to choose from; RAW seems more awkward (big file; no JPG+RAW; slow) -IF I put in the PP time!; 6MP - I'm not apixel/marketing slave, but it counts some at least ; Image stabilisation may be only 1-2 stop, less than IS equivalent lens solution; continuous shooting

This is ALL based on reviews and30 minuteshandling (thanks to Sarah for what to look for). I have probably missed some things and overrated others. I may have missed something big. I may have left out a camera. ALL advice is welcome.

Thanks

Dr. PITUK


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Old Dec 7, 2006, 3:59 PM   #2
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2nd question .

Based on your recommendation above, which lenses would you choose? Other than (possibly) the Nikon D80, I wouldn't choose the kit lens. I definitely need something like a 15ish-70ish and a tele lens (70ish-200ish), and possibly a prime, though that can wait.

I am still learning, so I am open to learning why to choose each. I do know that 'good'lenses can hold value, but I have no intention of buying pro equipment that is beyond my station .



Thanks,

Dr. PITUK
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 6:03 PM   #3
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Hi all,

Any thoughts?

I'm likely to buy tomorrow.The Pentax is less likely at the moment (despite the GREAT price) .

I'd also love to know what I should get bundled... cards? case? filters? What else will I need? I'd be interested to know for any of the cameras.



Thanks.
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 6:18 PM   #4
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Dr. Pintk-

I am sorry to hear that you are beginning to shy away from the Pentax K100D. I happen to think that it is a really great camera. In fact, just this afternoon when I was browsing over at B&H I stumbled on the wonderful fact that the Sigma 30mm F 1.4 lens in the Pentax mount is now available and in stock. I am delighted, because I use this lens with my Nikon D-50 and really like it a lot.

Yes, the lens selection for the Pentax mount is somewhat limited, but you can use any lens that was ever made for a Pentax, and that allows you toperuse the selection of used lenses, which is fun, interesting, and often nets you a real bargain.

I also read a review on the Pentax K10D today which was just glowing. So, glowing, in fact, that I am seriously lookinginto getting the K10D, myself.

Can we chat so more about this, please?

MT/Sarah
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 6:29 PM   #5
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I shoot Canon, but I don't like the XT(i) body, it's too small and toy-like for my taste. The image quality is just as good as the 20D/30D however, and just as good as the D80 too, with the K100D not far behind.

Of the 3 you list I think the best camera is clearly the D80.

The best system however is still Canon IMO, because of the very large range of good and reasonably priced lenses.

So you really need to think about the camera and lenses you are likely to want for the next few years as a whole, not just decide on the basis of the body.

The good news is that I don't think you can really make a mistake with the 3 options you have shortlisted.


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Old Dec 8, 2006, 6:43 PM   #6
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
Can we chat so more about this, please?

MT/Sarah

You have PM

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 6:49 PM   #7
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peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
I shoot Canon, but I don't like the XT(i) body, it's too small and toy-like for my taste. The image quality is just as good as the 20D/30D however, and just as good as the D80 too, with the K100D not far behind.

Of the 3 you list I think the best camera is clearly the D80.

The best system however is still Canon IMO, because of the very large range of good and reasonably priced lenses.

So you really need to think about the camera and lenses you are likely to want for the next few years as a whole, not just decide on the basis of the body.

The good news is that I don't think you can really make a mistake with the 3 options you have shortlisted.


Thanks peripatetic,

I have to admit that I'm drawn to the Nikon, despite the value of the Pentax and the Canon system . It just FEELS quicker and more solid. I'mglad that I can't go wrong - there's not a lot of sure bets around!

Unfortunately, it is tough to decide what I'll want in the next few years. This is a big jump for me and I have a steep learning curve with any of them. I've signed up for a course, so hopefully that will help.

You suggested a range of 3 lenses at various price points in another thread. Does it make sense to buy the 3 right away or just stick with the Kit lens (especially on the D80) until after my course when I might know better? I'm going to buy from my local shop in Exeter.

Thanks,

Dr. PITUK

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 6:52 PM   #8
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I happen to have the K100D and love it. Last weekend I took several pictures with the new K10 and the K100D (posted here in another thread) and when you reduce them to forum size, you can't tell the difference - that's why I don't think the 6 mp of the K100 is any handicap at all (I'm keeping it fora second camera body - convenient and does have 3200 ISO if I ever really need it).

Just my opinion, but I have 5 lenses, and have no need for anything else (though there's a pro-level zoom coming out in March I have my eye on. There are a number of options out there that fit the Pentax, but when I get serious, I wouldn't use them much - how many lenses do you really need (want is a different matter). The in-camera stabilization works great for me- I've used it walking the Las Vegas strip at night, it has made it possible for me to use a long tele (300mm) without too much problem, and helps if I'm not careful about my stance. It's nice to have my 25 year old manual lenses stabilized.

All of these cameras take excellent pictures, so it mainly comes down to which feels better in your hands and which has any special features you want that might be a tie-breaker. For me, personally, the in-camera IS is enough to tip the edge to Pentax.
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 9:15 PM   #9
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For travel photography you'd definitely appreciate image stabilization. Luckily all three systems offer something that works.

The XTi can be paired with the 17-85 IS zoom, or for better quality, the 17-55 IS. On the long end, there's now the 70-200/4 L IS.
The D80 can be paired with the 18-200VR.
The K10D gives you some IS with any lens.

Comparisons among the three bodies have been made all around the web. Try these:

Canon Rebel XT vs Pentax K100D discussion
Canon Rebel XTi vs Nikon D80
Nikon D80 vs Pentax K100D

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 9:35 PM   #10
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You said, " We are also definitely into the outdoors (running, cycling, hiking, paddling)..."

In that case and I hope it is available where you are, then have a look at the Pentax K10D, fully weather sealed and image stabilisation built in.

The Nikon D80 is a good option too, but here is the kicker. Once you buy a DSLR you will be looking at buying lenses, some of us can control the urge and some can't.......:lol: Don't say you won't... because you WILL.

Tamron, Sigma, Tokina and so on all make lenses for Pentax cameras.

Focusing speed is dependent on the lens fitted to the camera, I have a 24mm f/1.7 that a Nikon user friend of mine couldn't comprehend the focus speed, he swore blind that the lens hadn't focussed yet, but it was focusing so quick he couldn't see it. Effectively instant.

The Focus speed on the K10D is faster than the K100 and the new lenses coming out in 2007 are designed with USM built in, fast and quieter focusing.

Pentax cameras can use all the old lenses, the others can't and the Image Stabilisation on Pentax is in the camera. This means you can buy a lovely second hand used long lens say 300mm f/4 very cheaply and put it on the K100 or K10 and it is fully stabilised.

Go and price an image stabilsied 300mm f/4 for Nikon or Canon and take a chair. you will need it when you hear the price.

Enjoy what ever camera you buy and enjoy takng those pics in exotic locations.

Crash
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