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Old Oct 27, 2007, 4:34 AM   #1
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hello everyone,

first I'll say that right now I'm fairly satisfied with my d50 plus a couple of lenses, and I'm not likely to exchange that for anything else in the near future. lately in technology they've been making and extra effort so that you have a reason for buying a new gadget every year or two, instead of offering the best they got for a fair price, and I'll avoid feeding that as much as I can

anyway, I bought my d50 because I had a n65, so I kept the accessories. and I bought the n65 because it seemed like a good deal at the time. but here's the question a lot of people ask and to which the answer is never clear: if I were to upgrade, why should I pay around 875 usd for a d80, if less omnipresent brands like sony or olympus offer so many features for less? I'll use the example of the alpha a100. comparing its specs, it seems like it's pretty much a d80 (the sensor is exactly the same, right?) that offers built in IS, a self cleaning sensor, seemingly better image processing (I'm not affirming it thought) and whatnot, for around 300 usd less? let's say I don't mind the hassle of selling my stuff (the sb-27 doesn't even ttl with dslrs anyway) for the switch. is there anything else I'm not seeing, besides the plain fact that you're likely to stay with your known brand? I mean, is that what I'm paying the extra hundreds for? for that money, I'll indulge myself to a zeiss 16-80 which I'm pretty sure is better glass than the 18-70, for instance. the lens selection seem to be fairly equivalent, though smaller in number.

I can see why high end pros with thousands of bucks worth of the best pieces of glass available would stick to nikon, but for the advanced amateur like myself and most of the users here... why not make the switch?
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 6:46 AM   #2
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When you buy a P&S from one manufacturer, and somebody else comes out with a 'bigger, better, faster', then chucking the old one for a new one isn't much of a problem.

But when you buy a dSLR from one manufacturer, you're making a commitment to that manufacturer in the way of lenses and accessories. In fact, it may not take long for the camera itself to be only a small part of your total investment. You can chuck the camera in favor of a 'bigger, better, faster' from the same manufacturer, but chucking everything in order to switch manufacturers is a much bigger deal.

I have a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (the 6MP precursor of the Sony A100) and an assortment of lenses. I would dearly love to be able to get a fast medium telephoto prime like the 85mm f/1.8 lenses that Canon and Nikon offer for less than $400, or the Pentax 70mm f/2.4for a little over $400. But all Sony has isan 85mm f/1.4 for $1,300! Even used, equivalent lensesusually gofor over $800! But that's not enough of a reason for me to drop everything I've got and buy a Canon, Nikon or Pentax.

So if you find yourself in a position where you are strongly tempted to switch dSLR manufacturers, perhaps you made the wrong choice in the first place, or perhaps your photography took you in directions you didn't anticipate when you first started out. And maybe you should switch. This is a personal choice that each dSLR owner must make occasionally, and over time the decision either gets easier and easier, or it gets harder and harder.
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 1:17 PM   #3
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TCAV nailed it. A DSLR isn't a digicam. You can end up paying a LOT more in the long run IF (note I said IF) your shooting requires lenses not affordable or not available in your system.

That's also assuming everyone stays in the DSLR business. Take KM for example. Sony has come out with 2 cameras now but KM users have been in kind of a lens limbo for the last couple of years - KM lenses being harder to find and Sony just now rolling on newer lenses.

This isn't to say Oly, Sony and Pentax don't have great offerings - you just have to look past the initial body/lens purchase and make sure the system you choose will support your long term needs - not just the initial purchase.
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 9:51 AM   #4
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JohnG wrote:
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That's also assuming everyone stays in the DSLR business. Take KM for example. Sony has come out with 2 cameras now but KM users have been in kind of a lens limbo for the last couple of years - KM lenses being harder to find and Sony just now rolling on newer lenses.
I wouldn't go that far. Certainly, Sony's recent efforts have been in camera bodies, not lenses, but there is still a significant number of Minolta lenses available on the used market.

Here's a quick survey I did of three retailers of used lenses:

Minolta Canon Nikon Pentax
Adorama (Items) 2222 28 27
B & H (Items) 49 27 58 3
KEH (Pages, ~10 per) 1919172


To be sure, many of the Minolta lenses at KEH are those bad 28-80 lenses that were sold as part of a two lens set along with the equally bad 75-300, but I suspect that some of the lenses for Canon and Nikon are also those bad lenses, though I have not confirmed that.

But I think that KM Maxxum 5D and 7D owners and Sony A100 and A700 owners have a wealthof lenses to choose from, if they don't mind used. At the very least, you must admit that they are better off than Pentax owners.
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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I went into the Pentax system mainly because the used to be larged used lens selections. Pentax used lens market was HUGE about 3 years ago and you can buy many of the prime lens for dirt cheap. Now, the market isn't so great. Many of the prime lens has been picked new pentaxian and the price for used lens when up by A LOT. I remember when I bought the Pentax DS a few years ago I was able to pick up some used prime 50mm f/1.7 and for about $20. Now consider yourself lucky if you can find it under $50. Now the very same lens goes for about $70-100.

I consider myself lucky because I got most of my lens before the price went shot up. But in a way I wish that I can get fast telephoto zoom lens that the other big two offers. But it is not enough for me to switch over. Most of my zoom lens are from Sigma because they offer really good glass for great price.


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Old Oct 31, 2007, 4:01 AM   #6
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TCav did nail it.

all in all, nikon (and canon as well) seem to rely on their lens and accessories selection to keep selling dslrs. but as TCav's research shows, that's not entirely true anymore, and tends to keep going that direction. sony is doing its homework, the 4/3s system seems to be doing alright, sigma has been doing often better than nikkor on the consumer level...

while it's true that the "2nd row" companies - sony, oly, panasonic, pentax, fuji, and so forth - don't offer the same selection nikon does, they do fulfill the requirements of almost any advanced amateur out there. so, while these have been investing time and money in new technology (superCCD, anti-dust, built-in IS, higher res, to name the most important ones, but also larger lcds, even the 4/3s system which with its flaws is still a brilliant initiative...), nikon seems to be comfortable selling "decent" and well built cameras at a considerably higher price. canon is ther as well. I've read pretty average reviews on their consumer level dslrs. now if I owned a pack of VR teles, I'd certainly stick with them (or maybe switch to fuji, why not?). but because I don't, if I were to upgrade today, I'm pretty sure I'd make the switch.

anyway, these are my 2 pennies to a discussion aimed at stimulating competition
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 8:19 AM   #7
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When you look at the sales figures for dSLRs, there's Canon, Nikon and the 'also ran's. The popularity of Canon and Nikon is self-perpetuating. Canon and nikon have made significant systems as well as significant cameras, so more people buy their products. And since more people buy their products, there's a larger market for third parties to sell to, so more of themmake more products for Canon and Nikon. And since more third parties make products for Canon and Nikon, more people buy Canon and Nikon cameras.

Consider lenses from third parties. All of Tokina's 6 current lenses are only available for Canon and Nikon. Of Tamron's 18 autofocus lenses, all are available for Canon and Nikon, 17 are available for the Sony/Minolta mount, 12 are available for Pentax, and none are available for the 4/3 mount. Of Sigma's 46 lenses, all 46 are available for Nikon, 41 are available for Canon, 35 are available for the Sony/Minolta mount, 35 are available for Pentax, and only 10 are available for the 4/3 mount. ANd that doesn't count the lenses available from the camera manufacturers.

If you consider the availability of lenses when shopping for a dSLR system, Canon and Nikon are hard to beat. Canon and Nikon could rest on their laurels and sell plenty oflast year's dSLRs for years to come, and that momentum would be based solely on the strength of the lenses and accessories available for their dSLRs. But they haven't. They continue to advance the state-of-the-art. And that makes Sony's, Pentax's and Olympus' jobs that much harder. Sony seems to be very ambitious, but they still an uphill battle ahead of them.
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 8:51 AM   #8
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I won't use the word poor But I am a low buget hobbiest.

Its taken me 20+ years to build up the lenses and other equipment I have. Much of it older than that bought used. The desision to go digital was a very tough one for me and required both saving and wiating for the right deal. If my d50 was not capable of using my old stuff I might not have bought a DSLR at all.
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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tjsnaps wrote:
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I won't use the word poor But I am a low buget hobbiest.
As am I.

tjsnaps wrote:
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Its taken me 20+ years to build up the lenses and other equipment I have. Much of it older than that bought used. The desision to go digital was a very tough one for me and required both saving and wiating for the right deal. If my d50 was not capable of using my old stuff I might not have bought a DSLR at all.
I started out with my Minolta SRT-202 and 3 lenses I bought new. When Minolta introduced the Maxxum Autofocus cameras in the '70s, I never caught up. When I married my second wife, an equestrian, I had a desire to get back into photography seriously. My SRT-202 couldn't cope, so I got a Nikon CoolPix 880. I quickly bumped into its limitations, and went with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, with the naive hope that I might be able to use my 30+ year old manual focus Minolta lenses. (Silly me.) I currently have 8 autofocus lenses for my KM5D, but plan to sell2 of them (maybe 3). All but 2 of them I bought used. I paid less for the 6 used lenses than I paid for the 2 new ones.

If not for the extensive selection of used Minolta autofocus lenses, I'd have either spent a lot more, or switched to Canon or Nikon.
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 12:37 PM   #10
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I don't do this often but I'd just like say well done to everyone who participated in this thread. This has been one of the most well-reasoned and even-handed discussions I've seen in a photo forum. Required reading for anyone interested in taking the plunge into the DSLR world or considering upgrading their current system IMHO.
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