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Old Feb 8, 2007, 12:35 PM   #51
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Hi!I had considered the Kodak P series. I looked at the P880 in the store and I have looked at reviews on all the cameras. The prices are definitely appealing and it would be a big step up from what I have. Do you think I would I notice the difference in speed as compared to a dSLR?

I don't really like using the automatic zooms but I guess I could get over that. The P850 could be a great deal but when I look at the newer models I wonder if I should add a couple hundred and get the dSLR!

I found a review that did a comparison of the d40, the d50 and the Pentax at

www.digitalreview.ca/Content/Nikon-D40-versus-D50-versus-Pentax-K110D-K100D.shtml

which was helpful to me in describing how each camera handled a tough lighting situation. I wouldn't call it a comprehensive review but it was helpful nonetheless.

I definitely consider the size of the SB-400 to be a plus.I definitelydo not need the "commander mode" at this point!Thanks to everyone for being such great resources. -Erin
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 12:38 PM   #52
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Sarah, Thanks for the size comparison on the Nikons. D40 - little camera with big LCD! Erin
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 1:41 PM   #53
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Thanks, Erin-

Not only does the D-40 have a larger LCD screen, but if also hassubstantially greater resolution than the D-50 or Pentax K100D LCD. Nikon has also made innovative use of that LCD on the D-40 to provide realtime information to the D-40 user.

The details on the LCD screen presentations provided to the D-40 user is documented quite well in Thom Hogan's review of the D-40, posted here:

http://www.bythom.com/d40review.htm

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 4:14 PM   #54
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Hi Erin-

Here is a follow-up post covering the performance of Kodak Performance Series cameras versus a DSLR like the Nikon D-40 or D-50.

Yes, I agree the kodak Performance Series camerasare a consideration. The P-880 is 8mp and has a fixed German made lens that offers (in 35mm terms) 24mm to 140mm of focal length zoom range. Zooming is done manually, which some folks prefer. The P-850 is 5mp and has a fixed German made lens that offers (in 35mm terms) 36mm to 432mm of focal length zoom range with IS. Zooming is done with a button on the back of the P-850's back. I do not own a P-712 camera so I could not provide Kodak P-712 photo samples.

The following four photos are all full frame photos taken with both cameras positioned to (in 35mm terms) the 50mm position (except the P-880 45 degree bounce flash sample photo)and using the accessory P-20 flash. The first photo forthe P-880is taken with the P-20 flash head in the full forward (facing the subject) position. For the second photowith the P-880 and the P-20 flash in the full upward position. For the third photo with the P-880 and the P-20 flash, the P-20 flash head was positioned to the 45 degree bounce position.In the first P-850 sample photo, the P-20 flash head is full forward (facing the subject) position. In the second P-850 sample photo we take advantage of the fact that the P-20 and the P-850's built in flash can be used simultaneously. So, for this second P-850 sample photo the P-20 flash head is in the full upward position and the P-850's built-in flash provides a fill-in flash capability.

Note: You can see a color variation in the wood panelling behind my husband which is mostly a function of flash head poition.











So there you have the comparison photos. Now, let's consider what are the pro's and con's of the Kodak Performance cameras versus a DSLR like the Nikon D-40 or D-50.

Pro's of the Kodak Performance Cameras:

(a) They cost less.

(b) No additional lens expenses

(c) Excellent quality photos: P-880=8mp, P-850=5mp, P-712=7.2mp

(d) The dedicated Kodak P-20 flash costs a bit less: $(US) 115.00-120.00 than the similiar dedicated DSLR flash units: $(US) 150.00to $(US) 300.00+ depending on the DSLR camera and flash combination selected.

(e) The P-850 camera has built-in IS or Image Stabilization. The P-880 does not have Image Stabilization Although not tested, the Kodak P-712 does have Image stabilization

Con's of the Kodak Performance Cameras:

(a) The Performance Camerasuse a smaller imager, which can produce more noise than a DSLR camera when used at high ISO settings.

(b) They have lower available ISO (average ISO 400)settings available than a DSLR camera (ISO 1600 to ISO 3200 depending on the DSLR camera)

(c) Some folks may find the quickness of the Performance Cameras to be somewhat slower than a DSLR camera. I did not find that to be the case personally.

(d) The Performance Cameras have a slower Burst Rate (the ability to take multiple photos one after the other) than DSLR cameras

(e) The Performance Cameras do not have the ability to change and use different lenses having different focal lengths

So there, in an attempt to look at various camera options fairly, I have attempted to give you somewhat similar photo samples. Thanks to my husband being so patient.

MT/Sarah



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Old Feb 8, 2007, 10:51 PM   #55
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potter99 wrote:
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Russ, Which flash are you using with your Pentax? Are you happy with its performance?

I am using the Pentax AFG360Z flash. I think I paid about $200 for it but there was/is a rebate ($25? $50?). It tilts but doesn't swivel. I think Sarah's Sigma flash will tilt and swivel which can be handy. The top Pentax flash is the 540 and it goes for over $300, I believe.

I owned the Kodak P850 with their P20 flash. It took nice pictures, but I wanted to take lower light pictures (night shots, indoor shots of my kid's recital, etc) and the small sensor on the Kodak (or any point & shoot) means that you'll get a little more noise in those situations. I sold the P850 on ebay after about 6 weeks and bought my first dSLR. I've had a blast playing with it ever since last summer.

However, I like gadgets and gear, and an SLR is a great excuse to learn a new gadget, and then to buy all these lenses. My wife enjoys the nice pictures I can take, but she could care less about all the gadgets. She just wants to snap a picture. She has a Kodak point & shoot (one of the small pocket cams) and it's perfect for her. Takes great shots in most situations (low light excluded) and the video mode is something we both like.

If you want to learn photography and have fun playing around with the camera, as well as take some of the best pictures that you can, then buy a dSLR (any one, they're all good). If you just want to take good pictures and you understand the (IMHO few) limitations, then buy one of the superzoom point & shoots, like the P850. For $225, that's a great deal! (I LOVE refurbished deals!)

If you decide on the dSLR, go handle them and buy the one that feels nice. If you think you'll want to add lenses in the future, make sure those lenses are available. Each brand has strengths and weakness in their lens lines. Nikon and Canon have basically all the lenses covered, though some of them can be quite expensive. Pentax (what I own) will use any Pentax lens ever made, but newer lenses are a little limited (supposedly that will start to change). Sony can use a lot of the old Minolta lenses, and Olympus is somewhat limited due to the different sensor size that they use.

Good luck.

Russ
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 11:35 PM   #56
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Russ-

Please! I have followed the prices on the Pentax flashesreligiously, day after day, and year after year! If you got itthat Pentax Flashfor that price, in all honesty, you had a gun in your hands. Please give us the facts... a bit of accuracry, a bit of truth,if you could please. Thanks!

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 9, 2007, 9:29 AM   #57
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Thanks Sarah and Russ for your ideas. Sarah I appreciate the samples from your 850 and 880. Your husband really is a sport!

The 880 with the flash in the 45 position was the most pleasing to my eye although the flash and fill with the 850 was nice too. I really need to think about whether the increase in noise/lower available ISO settings is an acceptable tradeoff for lower price.

The P880 seems to be going for a little under $400 new. At that price I think I'd rather just go all out and get the dSLR. Digitalfotoclub has the D40 with kit lens for $551 and the flashes on the D40 and P880, if new, would be close enough to the same price. I know it will cost a lot more in the long run by the time I add additional lenses. I think I can rule the P880 out unless I find a much better price.

The 850 refurbished is at a price where I wouldn't feel too bad if I upgrade to a dSLR in a few years. It might be hard to find the 850 in a store to hold it. Does it have a similar feel to the 880 (which I have tried in a store)? I know megapixels aren't everything but I kind of wanted 6 megapixels (and this is 5)so that's a tradeoff too. My Canon Powershot is 4 megapixels and sometimes that is not enough when you are cropping.

When you use a dedicated flash with either a superzoom or a dSLR do the flash recycle times in the camera's specs apply?

Sarah, the "bythom" review was helpful. I think I am the target audience for the d40.

Russ, I appreciated your thoughts about what has worked for you and your wife. I do have an interest in photography and I like playing with my husbands film SLR, so I am a little concerned that I would regret not getting the dSLR.

My gut tells me I would really like the d40.

Thanks again for all the great advice. Erin


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Old Feb 9, 2007, 10:26 AM   #58
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Erin-

I feel as if I sense what youmight befeeling. This is onlly a guess: A step to one of the Kodak Performance cameras would only be a temporary step, after about a year, or so,you might be right back to considering a DSLR once more. But as I said, that is just a guess.

However, in as much as you asked about the Kodak option, I did the samples for your consideration. Please don't get me wrong, the Nikon D-40, for example, will offer you lots of challenge. But at the endof the day,the Nikon D-40, or whatever other DSLR camera you might choosewill most probably put out better photos that are consistently morepleasing to your eye.

Weigh all the factors, then make your decision.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 9, 2007, 10:34 AM   #59
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Russ-

Thanks very muchfor sharing your experience. I think it added a lot to the thread. You progressed in large part, just as I did, experimenting witha "bridge" camera first, before heading for the DSLR. I am glad it had a happy ending. And that the DSLR experience has been a whole lot of fun for you and your family.

Yes, the Sigma EF-500 will both tilt ans swivel. However, I use the tilt function much more than the swivel function, so IMHO, and for what it is worth, you are not missing much at all without the swivel. I rarely use it.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 9, 2007, 1:14 PM   #60
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http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/prod...GZ&tab=acc

That Pentax rebate deal is still on, btw. The rebate is $50 if you get it with the K100D/K110D. You can get the camera, the 18-55 kit lens, the 50-200 lens, and flash, and still be under $800 for the K100D after rebate. K110D is about $100 less. If you buy it all at once.

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