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Old Dec 27, 2006, 12:34 PM   #1
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I've asked before and come to the conclusion that I need the one with the easiest menus and most logic handling.

What camera do have the most logic and easy to use menusystem and overall a very easy to use camera?

Since I am a beginner, pentax, canon or Nikon will all suit me just fine and I am looking at the beginner models such as, Nikon D80, Pentax K10D or Canon Eos 400d or going for the cheaper Nikon pentax models such as D40, D50, K100D.

If I get a to complex camera that is not logic and not easy to use then I might not learn as quickly.

But the deciding factor will be the camera that is the most easy to use.

Any suggestions to which brand(or camera in specific)that will be?

Sorry for the english, not my native tongue.


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Old Dec 27, 2006, 1:53 PM   #2
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The most user friendly for a beginner are probably the Nikon D40 and the Olympus E-500.

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Old Dec 27, 2006, 3:09 PM   #3
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Ken,

I'm not sure I necessarily agree - those cameras certainly have the least feature set. But, let's face it - if you're learning photography, what are the 'basic things':

auto mode - every entry level DSLR has it

Program mode - every entry level DSLR has it

Various prefab modes (portrait, sports, night, landscape) - every entry level DSLR has it.

AV, TV and M mode - every entry level DSLR has it

Exposure Compensation - every DSLR has it.

ISO selection - every DSLR has it.

White balance settings - every dslr has it - and a camera that lets you set the WB externally vs. in a menu would be 'easier' in my opinion.

So, I wouldn't say cameras like Canon XTi, Nikon D80/D50, Pentax K100, k10 are any more difficult to use to set those basic parameters above. They simply contian more features that you could just as easily choose not to use until you are ready.

In my opinion, it's best to buy a camera that has the features you need now and think you might need in the next 2 years. It may very well be that the cameras Ken mentioned will suit your needs for the next 2 years, but I don't necessarily think they're easier to use for the basic settings. Remember, the more advance cameras typically have everything the more basic cameras have plus more. In fact, the more advanced cameras often have externall controls allowing you to change parameters easier - rathere than doing so in the menu (of course you can still change them via menu if you prefer that).

Just my take.


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Old Dec 27, 2006, 3:51 PM   #4
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Fenix wrote:
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Since I am a beginner, pentax, canon or Nikon will all suit me just fine and I am looking at the beginner models such as, Nikon D80, Pentax K10D or Canon Eos 400d or going for the cheaper Nikon pentax models such as D40, D50, K100D.
Nikon D80 and Pentax K10D beginner models? You must be joking.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 4:00 PM   #5
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John G I get your point and agree with you. More advanced cameras offer basic as well as more advanced features.

But what I was looking for is if there is any camera that is known for its user friendly interface and logic when it comes to handling and how features are being used.

I guess that pentax, Nikon and Canon all have diffrent menusystems and different buttons and hopefully a logic behind that. Is there any particular brand (camera) that is well known for a friendly user interface.

What concerns me is that the camera I am interested in Pentax k10d is according to one review not the most user friendly and some crucial features hidden whitin the menusystem.

D40 might be a good one and olympus is one that I have to examine.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 9:45 PM   #6
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I have both the Pentax K10 and the K100 (and will be keeping both). I would highly recommend a beginner just starting out in the dSLR world to get the K100 as the K10 is much more complex with far more options and adjustments - I can see someone without a photography background getting very frustrated. Is there something specific that the K10 has that attracts you?

I've handed my K100 to my husband (who has no interest in photography and has never owned a camera in his life), explained to him where the on-off switch was (I was driving so couldn't show him), and he took a number of really good pictures. That's how simple it CAN be. I didn't find the menu system that difficult to master, but it does help to have an understanding of basic photography principles (such as the effects of aperture and shutter speed, etc. has on a picture) to get the most out of the camera. With any of the dSLRs, plan on reading the manual a couple of times (I always do that, then read it again about a year later because I can'tremember everything).

Just my opinion, but the 6 mp of the K100 is fine for most uses. If you are shooting wildlife or printing posters, then the extra mp of the K10 would be important, but not if you plan on printing up to 8x10. I have two pictures, one taken with the K10 and one with the K100, then reduced the full frame picture to fit here. Without looking at the exif information, you can't tell which one was taken with the K10 (you can if you look at 100% crops, but not when you reduce the size).
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 10:48 AM   #7
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Pentax k100, k10 ,Nikon d40, d80, Canon Xt, XTi, 30d
they are all good and easy to use. you will spend more time learning photography then the menus anyways ... just get whichever feels better when you test them. rely on which one you like rather then what other people like.
it takes a few days to get used to manus on any camera and it takes longer to make great creative pictures.
BUT that said... all of the above DSLRs take amazing pics out of the box.
it really does not matter. the minute differences can only be seen when pictures compared one next to another.
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
White balance settings - every dslr has it - and a camera that lets you set the WB externally vs. in a menu would be 'easier' in my opinion.

So, I wouldn't say cameras like Canon XTi, Nikon D80/D50, Pentax K100, k10 are any more difficult to use to set those basic parameters above. They simply contian more features that you could just as easily choose not to use until you are ready.
Well, I agree about the importance of features and controls. But your grouping of these cameras is muddled. The 350D, D40, D50, K100D, and K110D are all basic entry level cameras, all lacking in some ways. The D80 and K10D are another class. But I wouldn't put a camera selling body only for $950 into the entry level class in todays market. Some of these others are half that.

The E-500 is if anything a step ahead of the other entry level models in features and controls.

Using your white balance example, on the Pentax models you would have to set that with a menu. On the 350D you have a dedicated button, but you have to view the display to confirm the setting and then press another "set" button for it to take effect.

On the E-500, you have dedicated buttons for white balance, exposure compensation, metering mode, autofocus mode, drive mode, and ISO setting. You press the button, turn the wheel, and the change is displayed on the viewfinder LCD. You don't need to take your eye off the viewfinder.

And when you set that white balance, for example, you have a choice of 7 presets, auto mode, and custom, or you can dial in a kelvin temperature. If you want to fine tune the preset, you can do that in red or green channels. Then, if you're still not sure that it's right, you can try white balance bracketing, again in either red-blue or green-magenta chanels.

That's just white balance, but the E-500 has the most complete set of controls of any of the 6-8MP models, from photographic controls, to image parameters, to recording options, to display options, to in camera editing and RAW development.

Some of these other models are even missing basic things like spot metering, mirror lockup, an orientation sensor, or a flash that pops up when needed in automatic modes. Some don't even include useable RAW development software.

And the E-500 is also known for it's ergonomics and ease of use. Compared to the entry level competition, IMHO, when it comes to ergonomics, ease of use, and photographic features and controls, the E-500 pretty much kicks ass.

Now if only they could give it a better sensor and a decent viewfinder :!:

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Old Dec 28, 2006, 12:39 PM   #9
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Ken pretty much pointed out what shopping for a DSLR is all about; compromise. If what you want is the easiest DSLR, or at least the one with the most accessible controls, the E-500 is probably the easiest (I'm not saying I know this, I'm just assuming he knows what he's talking about). However, it also has the worst low light performance (low image quality at higher ISO) than any of these, and having a small viewfinder can make it uncomfortable, or in other words, not easy to see what you're shooting.

The Pentax cameras are generally considered to have better ergonomics and are more comfortable in the hand. They also have big viewfinders and big bright screens. Shake reduction makes it easier to take longer exposures by hand. However, the menu system is a little odd and takes some time to learn, it has a small buffer so it's limited for continuous shooting, and it's auto white balance is way off in a lot of indoor situations.

The Canon XT probably falls somewhere in the middle with good all around performance, great in camera processing and auto white balance, but not necessarily the best ergonomics, a screen that is too dim in daylight (I think this doesn't apply to the XTI), and a smallish but not too bad viewfinder.

I can't say much about the Nikons as I didn't find any of the entry level models appealing for my shooting style. They seem to be bigger cameras, which I prefer over the tiny Canons, but overall I think they're probably very similar to the Canons.
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 2:48 PM   #10
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Thanx for all the input.

I am right now charging the battery for my new Pentax K10D.
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