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Old Dec 28, 2008, 6:15 PM   #1
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Not looking to spend very much, buying second hand but willing to wait...

Considerations so far...
Sony A100 - $300 Body only
Pentax ist D - $300 With 18-55mm lens kits
Canon D300 - $300ish With basic lens kit
Olympus E300 - $300ish basic lens kit
Nikon D70 - Maybe 400 with kit?

300 = NZD

Opinions?
Give me something to think about...
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Old Dec 28, 2008, 6:52 PM   #2
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Rogan-

All of the DSLR cameras that you have listed are around 3 to 4 years out of date. Also have you read the thread in this folder entitled, "Thinking of Purchasing a DSLR Camera?" It will give you a lot of background on DSLR cameras.

If it were me, I would save up a bit more so you can get a new DSLR camera. In that way you will get improved, modern technology, and most important of all, a 1 year guarantee on the DSLR camera. That way you are protecting your investment.

When you purchase a used DSLR camera you really have no knowledge about how much it was used (how many shutter actuations), nor if the former owner has had problems with the camera and that is the reason that he is selling it.

I am sure that others will voice their own opinion. However, my advice is to wait. Or if you want to start taking photos and learning now, consider an ultrazoom camera that you can purchase new and get a guarantee.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 28, 2008, 8:11 PM   #3
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Buying a dSLR is not like buying anything else. When you buy a dSLR, you're only getting started. The cost of lenses and accessories can greatly exceed the cost of the camera body. And when you talk about starting out with a used camera body, the choice of a system is even more important. First, there is no way to know what kind of use (abuse?) the camera received before you got it, and how long it will continue to function properly (if, in fact, it doesfunction properly when you get it.) And while you may getyour money back if it fails, you won't be able to return the lenses and accessories you bought for it. So when you buy a used dSLR, you're making a commitment to a system without the comfort and reassurance of a warranty.

If you are confident that, by the time your chosen used dSLR does fail, you'll be in a position to replace it with something that can use the lenses and accessories you already have, then good luck. But I think you'll need it.

Those were all good cameras in their day, so in picking one, you really need to consider not just the capabilities of the camera you select, but the system you are buying into. So, what do you want to take pictures of?
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Old Dec 29, 2008, 3:09 AM   #4
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I'd not use the term "out of date"... I'm well aware of technology, and have researched many comparisons between these older, entry level DSLRs and the newer far more expensive and the differences are minor enough for a beginner like myself to tolerate for the next year or two till I make a more informed decision on a larger investment.

I'm not in a position to save in the near future, and keen to begin my learning now with a small investment so in future I can expand.

Shutter count should not be an extreme issue on these cameras as most are rated to at least 100k actuations, and those of which I've enquired on the shutter count have ranged from 5-10k for low used ones and 40k for well used ones.
I'm sure the remaining 60k will last me a year or two as I'd estimate making 15k shots a year.

I do not intend to purchase an UZ.
I'm aware of their abilities, and they're not what I'm after... It's sort of like learning the recorder to in future learn the oboe, a silly practise in my opinion.

I'm well aware of other costs, hence my interest in the Pentax as I've some old SLR lenses that will fit it's mount.

The system is a large issue for me, the Sony seems to have some issues I'm not to fond of as well as my lack of knowledge of compatible lenses although minolta ones fit?, the Canon doesn't feel right in my hands, I've not experienced the Pentax but I know they made great SLRs so I assume the trend continued... And the Nikon, I've used one, it felt wonderful, the system seems expensive but branded as the best...

It's all very confusing XD
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Old Dec 29, 2008, 7:05 AM   #5
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The Sony can use any lens made for the autofocus A Mount, though there have been problems with some older Sigma lenses. The Pentax, Canon and Nikon dSLRs can also use older lenses, and since you already have some Pentax lenses, it sounds like you've already got a pretty good reason to go with the Pentax. Olympus is the only brand that started from scratch when they went digital, so its selection of OEM, third party, and used lenses is considerably smaller than for the others.

The Sony is the newest of the cameras you're considering. It includes sensor shift image stabilization, so any lens will be stabilized. The Pentax you're looking at was made before Pentax includedimage stabilization (and it is the last Pentax to use CF Cards; when it comes time to replace the *ist D with a newer model, you'll need to get all new memory cards.) The Canon and Nikon use optical image stabilization in some of their lenses, so while the selection of OEM, third party and used lenses is quite good, the selection of stabilized lenses is quite small, and they are mostly bigger, heavier, and more expensive than the non-stabilized counterparts.

The Sony has a 10MP image sensor, while the Olympus has a 8MP sensor and the Canon, Nikon and Pentax have 6MP sensors.

From among the dSLRs you've listed, I think the Sony is the best deal, especially for someone on a limited budget. It is relatively new, has a 10MP, stabilized image sensor, and can use any of the millions of the Minolta A mountlenses manufactured since 1985.
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Old Dec 29, 2008, 9:30 AM   #6
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TCav brings up a number of valid points. It's my opinion, however, that the 6 mp sensor used in the Pentax *istD is a better sensor, with noticeably less noise than the 10 mp sensor used in the Sony A100 (that seemed to be a big complaint with people when the A100 came out). However, if you are planning on cropping or printing large format often, the extra mp of the Sony would be an advantage. The Pentax has some features that were not included in later models until the K10, its supposed to be a nice camera (I originally bought the DS and loved it - mine is still going strong in someone else's hands, by the way). The fact that you already have some Pentax glass makes it an attractive option.
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Old Dec 29, 2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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The Pentax 1st D is probably the best of your proposed group. Why not focus on that camera and determine if your old lenses will work and match with some research the kind of lens needed to the kind of photos that you want to take.

That could get you started in a hurry.You might also look at the Pentax DS model as well. It used the same imager and had some better controls. I have attached a photo from my Pentax DS model which I still use.

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