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Old Feb 3, 2007, 8:57 AM   #21
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Hi Bill-

Yes, that will work just fine. And the older Sunpak 383 has plenty of output.

Have a great weekend.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 9:10 AM   #22
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Bill, Cute picture of your grandson! Erin
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 10:25 AM   #23
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http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1032/cat/59

[line]Major Features
  • Compatible with i-TTL and D40's M mode [/*]
  • Flash head can be tilted in four steps: horizontal, 60, 75 and 90 degrees [/*]
  • Flash shooting distance range: 0.6m - 20m (depending on the ISO setting) [/*]
  • Guide number: 30 [ISO 200, m, 20 degrees C] [/*]
  • Angle of coverage: 18mm (with Nikon-DX format cameras), 27mm (with Nikon F6) [/*]
  • Depending on the camera in use, the following flash modes are available: Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction, Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Rear-curtain Sync, FV Lock, Exposure Compensation, M (manual, only with D40 camera) [/*]
  • Power source: two AA-size 1.5V batteries (also compatible with lower voltage batteries) [/*]
Camera compatibility (as of November 2006):
iTTL with Nikon F6, D2Hs, D2H, D200, D80, D70s, D70, D50, D40; M (manual) only with D40.
[line]
Is the above information correct? Does this mean there's no iTTL with the D40?

From everything I've seen so far, the D40 sounds to me like a step back from the D50. The number one issue for me though is image quality. In every review I've seen so far there seems to be a large number of badly oversaturated images. That may be something I could adjust sufficiently to my taste using in camera adjustments, but the sample galleries I've seen so far don't give me confidence.

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Old Feb 4, 2007, 2:43 PM   #24
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Hi everyone, I went out to a several camera shops this weekend to get the feel of some of the entry level dSLRs. I was surprised at how little information the staff was able to provide so it wasn't much help except to see and hold the cameras.

I have narrowed it down to Nikon d40 or d50 and Pentax k100d. I have read all the the posts that I could find on this topic and I know the main advantages and disadvantages of each concerning getting lenses, etc. I had a very slight preference for the feel of the Pentax but not enough to rule out either of the other choices.

I will more than likely be buying the camera with the kit lens, then an external flash and then probably add a couple lenses as finances permit. I probably won't be the kind of person who needs a big collection of lenses. Can anyone tell me if one of these cameras will be easier or better to use for great indoor shots of children in terms of the flashes available or its general performance in indoor lighting condiitons?

Thanks a lot! Erin
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 2:46 PM   #25
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Also, Sarah, you had mentioned that you think Nikon has done the best job with flashes. Does the same information apply to the d50? Is this a reason to go with Nikon instead of Pentax for my purposes? Erin
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 3:18 PM   #26
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One thing you should be aware of is that the Pentax doesn't have the best auto white balance, indoor shots tend to look orange. If you set the white balance manually (tungsten usually does the trick) or shoot in RAW it's not a big deal, and I'm not sure how the flash affects it.

There's supposedly a firmware update coming out to improve AWB performance, but until it does I can't really say how much difference it will make.
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 3:21 PM   #27
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Erin-

Yes, Nikon has produced the SB-400, as well as the SB-600 and SB-800 flashes. The SB-400 works extremely well with both the Nikon D-50 and D-50 cameras. While the SB-600 and SB-800 flashes are much more sophisticated and more expensive, the SB-400 is really designed to be a fully automatic flash that is small and very easy to use.

And the SB-400 flash is just that. Small in size, easy to carry, and easy to use. I would recommend it highly if for nothing more than it is very simple and fully automatic in operation.

In addition, the Nikon SB-400 is less expensive and smallerthan the Pentax Brand flashes. Yes, there is a third party flash for the Pentax produced by Sigma, but again it is more expensive than the Nikon SB-400 flash.

Iown and extensively use the D-50 and the D-40. The D-40 is the newer camera, and it uses more in camera processing giving D-40 usersvirtually the kind of photos that they are used to seeing come from their point and shoot cameras. The D-40 is quite an accomplished DSLR camera. However, the D-40 does not have its own internal focusing motor built-into the camera. Therefore, there is a restriction on what lenses D-40 can use. In the Nikkor line of lenses, the D-40 will use all of the AF-S and AF-I lenses which gives you a pretty good selection of lenses. In addition, the D-40 can also use the HSM lenses produced by Sigma. For example the same Sigma 30mm F 1.4 lens that I use with my D-50 can be used on my D-40.

The Pentax K100D camera is also an excellent consumer level digital camera. However, you must keep in mind, as I think you probably saw during your camera store visit, that the Pentax K100D is physically larger than the D-40 and the D-50 DSLR cameras. Yes, the K100Ddoes have SR, or shake reduction. Is it a big enough factor to causeyou toshift in your preference? Personally, I don't think that it is. I have never had a shake problem with any of these three cameras.

Suggested lenses: the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens, the Nikkor 55-200mm lens. This can still be found and it is an excellent buy as well as being a small and compact lens that isvery easy to carry with you. At some time in the future you will want a fast, wide aperture lens. The Sigma 30mm HSM F 1.4 lens meets those requirements. In addition, I think that Nikon will soon produce a fast F 1.8 50mm lens that will be usable on the D-40. You might ask what advantage can you get with a fast, wide aperture lens? So, I am attaching a photo taken with my D-50 and the Nikkor 50mm lens. being a fixed focal length lens, rather than a zoom lens, it is much sharper.

Ihope this helps, Erin.

Mt/Sarah
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 4:30 PM   #28
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mtclimber wrote:
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... Yes, the K100Ddoes have SR, or shake reduction. Is it a big enough factor to causeyou toshift in your preference? Personally, I don't think that it is. I have never had a shake problem with any of these three cameras. ...
That is likely in part due to the use of flash in low light. I just plain don't like the look of flash even though not using it will often yield motion blur. The Antishake in my KM5D really does help with available darkness shots.

Like a lot of stuff in photography, it is a case of personal preference - not a hard and fast rule.

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Old Feb 4, 2007, 4:41 PM   #29
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Bill-

I also shoot with a KM 5D and find the the IS on that DSLR to be more effective than on the Pentax K100D, even though they are suppossed to be using the same system. Ialso dislikestraight on flash and harsh shadows. Therefore, I use and really appreciate bounce flash or a diffusser to soften that hard flash effect.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 7:19 PM   #30
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mtclimber wrote:
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... Ialso dislikestraight on flash and harsh shadows. Therefore, I use and really appreciate bounce flash or a diffusser to soften that hard flash effect.
I agree - that makes the best of a bad job.

To get the bounce/diffusser to work means having a powerfull enough flash to begin with so you can throw away a few stops worth of light. I suspect that power turns out to be more important than any of the automagical stuff that can be done when the camera and flash talk nicely to each other. At least that is my current theory for the basis of experimenting - and that is what I have the gear to try. It is also much cheaper than the automagical flash units.
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