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Old Apr 4, 2007, 12:20 PM   #71
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Hi! Thanks for writing back. In the post you quoted I did mention birding, but it is far from my primary use. I made a list somewhere on page two of this thread...

I'll probably take the kit lens for political reasons - look honey, this is all I have to spend....then try to upgrade in two years.....but if I shell for a camer, and tripod, and ball mount...and lens....well....I may just as wellretain an attorney on my way home....

john
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 12:22 PM   #72
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I agree. Software was a bit of a stretch......sorry......probably should have said something about autofocus speed, color accuracy.....but I was getting tired. -- John
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 12:24 PM   #73
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jpmann66 wrote:
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Hi! Thanks for writing back. In the post you quoted I did mention birding, but it is far from my primary use. I made a list somewhere on page two of this thread...

I'll probably take the kit lens for political reasons - look honey, this is all I have to spend....then try to upgrade in two years.....but if I shell for a camer, and tripod, and ball mount...and lens....well....I may just as wellretain an attorney on my way home....

john
Just wait till you find outaboutlens addiction.
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 12:38 PM   #74
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I'm definetly afraid of that. Is there a vaccine?
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 5:09 PM   #75
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jpmann66 wrote:
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I'm definetly afraid of that. Is there a vaccine?
No. And the jonesing never goes away.

Just think "Used". That's what I do.
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 5:22 PM   #76
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TCav wrote:
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3. Quality of kit lens (because it will be two years till I can afford to upgrade.)
The kit lens isn't important. You can always buy just the body and whatever lens you want. Since you say that a primary use of the camera is Birding, you might get a body and a medium telephoto zoom instead. That would be good for Birding and still useful for general purpose photography. Maybe something like a 50-150mm (depending on the crop factor of the camera you choose.)
I think the Pentax kit lens is well worth the ~$75 extra you spend. I don't have experience with other brands, though, so that may not hold for other cameras. I noticed that the D80 comes with an 18-135 kit lens, which sounds like a nice range. Don't know what the price premium is over just the body, though.

TCav wrote:
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jpmann66 wrote:
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9. Software included.
Time for a poll.

How manypeople here have even installed the software that came with theirdigicam?

Not me.
Until I bought the Pentax, I'd have been in the same camp as you. However, I find that I prefer using the Pentax Photobrowser/Photo Lab software more than using my previous first choice, Photoshop Elements 5. I find that the Pentax software gives the best raw conversion (as it should) and I've finally figured out the interface. I've read that you have to buy the Nikon software upgrade to get nice software, but that it's very good. Don't know about Canon, though.



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Old Apr 4, 2007, 5:24 PM   #77
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jpmann66 wrote:
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1. Price (big surprise) . 2. Ergonomics (feel in the hand) 3. Quality of kit lens (because it will be two years till I can afford to upgrade.) 4. Exterior or easily accessible manual control. (especially ISO, WB, exposure compensation, and perhaps bracketing. 5. viewfinder 6. IS, VR or AS. 7. Lens catalogue (this fell to here because of all the third party lenses available). 8. Recording media. 9. Software included.
Sounds like a very good set of criteria. Ergonomics is definitely a huge factor for me. One bit about the lens catalogue though - be careful relying on third party lenses - they aren't always available in mounts for all camera systems. So if you have some idea of a WISH LIST (understand you wont be able to afford more lenses right off the bat), I would suggest making sure the camera system you select has the third party lenses you're interested in available in that mount (hint: check places where you will buy gear - just because the manufacturer's site says it exists doesn't necessarily mean it can actually be found). And while no one can predict what will happen 2 years from now, chances are if the system you buy has the third party lenses with that mount available now it probably will down the road. If it doesn't, that might be a factor for you to weigh in.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Best of luck in your search!
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 7:49 PM   #78
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Hi! I am the original poster of this now lengthy thread. My confusion was about which variables to weigh most heavily in my move up from point and shoot to Dslr.I know the industry wants to keep them coming to keep people upgrading, but I gotta figure some aremore important than others. In many of the discussion on this and other forums, the folks with experience often ask "what do you want your camera to do" or "what is your purpose [or goal}". That is hard to say for someone who has no experience with one of these machines! But I must say that reading this thread, other threads in this forum, and other forums has helped a great deal. Ive learned that the advertised features are not necessarily the most important ones. I've learned what features some consider important and why. From this, I think I've refined my feature list enough to actually make a more informed decision. Essentially, dust reduction is no longer in my topeight varialbes, and IS, while still on my list, comes in number 5 or 6 now........It seems IS should in most cases, be turned off when using a tripod (which I will do about half the time), and also turned off when panning. While I still thing the feature is useful for my birding purposes (telephoto) or low light indoor purposes, it is no longer top three or four for me. So, thanks to the many contributors, the my new list is thus:

1. Price (big surprise) . 2. Ergonomics (feel in the hand) 3. Quality of kit lens (because it will be two years till I can afford to upgrade.) 4. Exterior or easily accessible manual control. (especially ISO, WB, exposure compensation, and perhaps bracketing. 5. viewfinder 6. IS, VR or AS. 7. Lens catalogue (this fell to here because of all the third party lenses available). 8. Recording media. 9. Software included.

Handling the cameras is diffucult with the security devises attached! I was to the store and would buy the D-80 if I had the money, but I don't......I like the E500, D40. They did not have a K100. (Reading a lot about white balance issues with this anyhow) . The rebel XT felt awkward, bit me a little.....I must say the Alpha felt great, but so many people have so many questions, I am not confident enought to buy it. I was just wondering, Sarah seems to have almost every camera......Could she possibly spare one? I would not be so fussy about which.

In any event, thanks everyone, for all of your insight. I understand many will disagree with my list......keep talking and I will keep learning.

John (jpmann66)

Lots have been said about kit lenses and recommend buying the body only. I'd like to say it has alot to do with which camera you choose. I've heard that the Pentax comes with a decent lens. You also mentioned that you were considering the Oly E500 (the camera I own) and I would strongly recommend buying the two lens kit if you choose that camera. The 14-45 f3.5-5.6 is a very sharp lens. The 40-150 f3.5-4.5 is really a nice lens and it has what I would consider the minimum reach for your birding activities as it reaches 300mm in 35mm terms. I think that these kit lenses would allow you to grow with the camera and put off lens upgrades until you really want to. Olympus also has some really nice zooms in the mid grade line with f2.8-3.5 brightness at decent prices if you choose to upgrade. The down side is high ISO noise and low light photography is limited by this.

I'd say the 300mm (35mm terms) reach is a minimum for nature photography and would take about a 200mm lens in the 1.5 and 1.6 crop cameras.

Your list as far as the E500:

1. Good

2. Varies by individual but both of us like the feel of the E500

3. Very Good

4. Very Good

5. Poor

6. NA (But dust reduction is top notch)

7. Great Olympus zoom choices, limited Oly primes and limited 3rd party support

8. Supports Compact Flash whichis good. Also supports xd card which is crap.

9. Not too good, but there is tons of freeware that is available that does a nice job fine.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 2:10 AM   #79
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meanstreak wrote:
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We keep seeing many different points of view on thepros and cons of IS, but the original post is based on someone looking at the entry level market. .... it seems to me thatthat most "beginning photographers" looking at entry level DSLRs would benefit the most from IS
No again that is where you and others get it wrong.... they are the very ones to bitch about it not being effective enough because they want the cure all/panaceia.

IS is of most benifit to a trained or at least experienced photographer that has learned to be as still/steady as possible.

And as far as DSLRS the IS is quite different compared to the P&S's with it dues to the sensore sizes.... a SLR has todo much more compensation movement than the much small sensor P&S does.

You want "cure all" don't have to be careful IS then sticK with a P&S with it.
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 2:15 AM   #80
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TCav wrote:
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Time for a poll.

How manypeople here have even installed the software that came with theirdigicam?

Not me.
Not for a LONG time and several cameras/generations, until my Pentax K10D which comes with a decent RAW processing program... don't use its browser/offloader though.
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