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Old Mar 3, 2007, 7:03 PM   #11
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Thank you Ken,

Your advice makes interesting reading and I will research the products that you suggest.

I think that I will also steer clear of the "deals" based on the advice from other members.

I'll no doubt have other questions before I buy, but I am a little clearer now.

BTW, my current camera is a C4000 not a Z as I originally posted....told you I am a digital dummy!!!!!!

Many thanks....Paul.


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Old Mar 3, 2007, 7:05 PM   #12
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Thanks Fastglass, I'll check the products out that you suggest.
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Old Mar 3, 2007, 7:51 PM   #13
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Ratings seem good?

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/CCI_Camera_City

...also know as...

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Royal_Camera

...aka...

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/TCS_Camera

...akd...

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/The_Cameras_Source

...akd...

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Banana_Boat_Camera

You want to take a real chance? Send me $400, and I'll send you a D200 just as fast as they would have. What's that? You don't trust me? Awww shucks...

the Hun


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Old Mar 3, 2007, 8:11 PM   #14
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Thanks to The Hun and fldspringer I spent a couple of hours researching all of the companies offering the D200 for less than a grand.

Yep...you are correct. All bait and switch scammers selling cheap imported gray products.

I've bought 100's of products over the internet to date and have had 100% satisfaction. I guess I almost got carried away this time....thankfully only almost.

Thanks guys. I will stick to the companies listed on this site and lower my sights to a less expensive D model.

Oh well.....Back to learning about DSLR's
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 1:25 AM   #15
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Ok, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post a response, things are getting clearer.....just a little.

The D200 is out, due to the cost. The D40 is not for consideration, due to the lack of auto focus. The D50 is interesting as are the D70 & D80. Now I dounderstand that the D50 & D70 have been around for a while, but are they so inferior to the D80 to justify a $500 price difference? The difference between 6 &10 megapixels would probably mean nothing to me.The difference in price would enable me to purchase a better lens......or lenses.

Now the kicker. Is the Pentax K100D a true comparable to Nikon?

Grateful as always for your help.

Paul..
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 9:04 AM   #16
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Image quality of the Pentax is as good as the Nikon (I've read that the Nikon 6 mp cameras use the same sensor that Pentax does in their K100). The K100 has SR (their name for image stabilization) built into the camera, while the Nikon uses in-lens VR for their image stabilization. That means that if anti-shake is important to you (and it isn't for everyone) it is cheaper to get the Pentax because you buy it once and every lens you buy is stabilized, while with the Nikon you'd have to buy the more expensive VR lenses to get it. Right now Pentax has a nice line-up of fast primes (fast lenses are good for taking pictures in low light), but is weaker than Nikon when it comes to high quality zooms (that's about to change - Pentax is releasing a couple of new zooms this spring). Pentax can use any lens Pentax ever made (along with a number of third party lenses), though if you get screw mount lenses you need an adaptor. This can save you money if you don't mind buying used lenses, though if you go this route, make sure you know what you are buying - a lens that was a manual lens when it was made won't suddenly become auto focus-auto exposure, it will always be a manual lens (I know - I often use lenses I originally bought in 1980 without problems, they are old friends).

You can't go wrong with either camera. If anti-shake is an issue, the Pentax works out cheaper. If you don't mind buying and usingolder, used (sometimes manual)lenses, you can save money buying Pentax - some of their old lenses are incredibly sharp, wonderful glass. If you only want new automatic zoom lenses, then Nikon has the edge.
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 4:46 PM   #17
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Paul,

If comparing just the cameras, the K100D is about an even match with the D50, and may even be a bit better for your stated use. Nikon, however does have some system advantages, especially if your shooting needs expand. They have a wider range of lens offerings and more advanced camera bodies if you expect to move up. If you expect to do anything like sports shooting, they would more likely have the quality long telephoto zooms you would need, and you would also then appreciate the noticeably faster autofocus of the D50 (the K100D on the other hand has an edge in focus accuracy). Nikon also has more advanced offering available in flash accesories. And, you are also more likey to find support for Nikon from local photoshops, as far as more advanced gear and lenses being available for rental (or sale).

But, all you have talked about so far is shooting home interiors. If this is 90% of what you need, a camera to do this job most efficiently as a replacement for your digicam, and you aren't expecting to expand your photographic horizens (or budget) too much beyond that, the Pentax really offers better value and seems a bit more geared to your needs. And I'm not saying it won't take good sports or action photos either if that's an occaisional need. The difference in those two cameras overall really isn't great in any respect.

The Pentax also has the advantage of the in camera stabilization (assuming you buy the K100D--the K110D is the same camera without the IS), which might be useful if you want to take some of those shots without tripod. And the 16-45 f4 lens is an outstanding lens, and would give you a 24mm wide angle on a standard zoom, at a very reasonable price. The kit lens isn't abd either for a kit lens, but I'd suggest the upgrade for your purpose.

And if you are looking into Pentax, you should also be aware that there is a generous rebate offer available until March 27.

$50 back on K100D/K110D
$50 more back if AF-360 Flash purchased with camera
$100 back if 50-200mm f4-5.6 purchased with camera (about $130 after rebate)
$25 rebate on 50mm f1.4 (good luck finding it in stick)
$100 rebate on 16-45 f4 (brings cost to under $300 after rebate)

On the super wide angle end, the Sigma 10-20mm mentioned above is supposed to be available, but you would likely need to backorder it. And there is a Pentax 12-24 P-DA which is a bit pricey but likely very good, but I've seen little as far as user feedback or reviews.

You can figure from the above that you could get yourself into a pretty complete system, camera, flash, good quality 16-45 lens, and 50-200 zoom, for right about your budget of $1000 (after $300 in rebates).

If this budget is really all you want to spend for this purpose, then I do think you would get better value from Pentax. But if this is an initial investment in a system where you might want to move up to more pro (or semi-pro) level gear, then Nikon is the better bet. If you think you are going to eventually want that D80 or D200 down the road, you are probably better sticking with Nikon.

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Old Mar 4, 2007, 6:37 PM   #18
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Paul, your stated needs could best be met by any of the non-olympus DSLRs. The only reason I exclude olympus is because of the 2x crop factor. Any body, paired with a suitable ultra-wide lens would work fine. Add a tripod and possibly a flash and you're good to go. Any of the 10mm or 12mm lenses mentioned should work fine. I don't think 17mm is wide enough - I have a 17-40 lens for my canon camera and if I were shooting interiors I would want a wider lens.

So, if you can find the lenses mentioned in the appropriate mount, either the D50 or the K100D would do just great. You don't even need a very expensive tripod - the setup will be light enough for a $75 tripod. Whether you use a flash or not depends on the lighting in the room. The key is, you'll want even coverage of light - so while a tripod affords you long exposures, you don't want just one lamp in a corner - you won't get even coverage. That's where I think a flash could help you out.
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 10:24 PM   #19
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Wow, to mtlgal, Ken & JohnG a very big thank you.

Things are now becoming clearer. It would appear that both the K100 and the D50 would service my current needs (with the appropriate lens, flash & tripod). The choice depends on my choice of specs, in camera or in lens stabilization e.t.c. and of course my budget.

However, if I want to be a little more "future proof" and expand my options as time goes by, the D80 would be a better choice.

This an amazing forum, with so many knowledgeable people sharing their time and experience. Thank you to all of you.

No doubt I will have lots of other questions and I now know where to come for the answers.
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 11:49 PM   #20
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"However, if I want to be a little more "future proof" and expand my options as time goes by, the D80 would be a better choice."

Well, I guess another point to make here is that new bodies seem to get bettter every year (in part sensor technology keeps improving). So bodies tend to lose their value a bit more quickly than good lenses. So the D50 also gives you future options in that you can upgrade the body as well, and still use lenses, flash, etc.

This is true to some degree with Pentax as well. The K10D (and any succesors) offers a nice upgrade path for the camera from the K100D. But the lineup stops there. And there won't be as many upper end lens and flash options in the future either.

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