Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 27, 2009, 12:46 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
algold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 369
Default

it looks like at the end it all boils down to K200D vs XSi kits - better feel/ergonomics vs. faster performance and better AF + better lens selection. Other cameras are above the budget.
The last Pentax I used was P30n :-), so I just don't know how good or bad Pentax AF is. With either camera a good fast zoom for sports is $700 and up. If the only point against XSi is it's size and handling you might consider buying a vertical grip for it. It doesn't cost a lot, there are cheaper third party offerings and it does change and improve cameras handling especially with a longer heavier zoom lens. I felt about the same with my XT, so my first addition to the kit was a grip, and it rarely comes off the camera. 40D is larger and more comfortable as is, so I don't feel I need a grip for it, my 70-200 is not that large/heavy.
Just a thought that can help you decide.

http://www.radiantlite.com/2008/12/c...canon-xsi.html

Canon's grip is about $100, third party are cheaper.
algold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 4:57 PM   #42
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

I like that idea.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 5:12 PM   #43
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 20
Default

Nope, not dropping in to inform you of my decision. In true fashion, I'm putting this off even longer until the last possible moment. There is a UPS location here in town that is open Saturday, so I should be able to ship the K200D back then if needed.



I was just going over something John had mentioned – continous autofocusing. On the Pentax Forums there was a post (haven't been able to find it again – sorry for the lack of a link) where someone had done an informal test taking shots of a car traveling towards them at around 60 mph – this was done at an airstrip. They used, among others, a K20D which had, by far, the worst performance – getting a total of around 20-25 percent of its shots out of focus. The 40D, by comparison, had something around 6-8 percent out of focus.



My understanding is that the autofocus systems in the K200D and K20D are pretty much the same – or that the K20D's is more accurate. Is this correct? Because if the AF misses 25 percent of its shots, then that helps nudge me towards the XSi again. I understood that the Pentax AF was not as accurate – but more than doubling the number of missed shots seems fairly significant.
Edward B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 5:18 PM   #44
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
I was just going over something John had mentioned – continous autofocusing. On the Pentax Forums there was a post (haven't been able to find it again – sorry for the lack of a link) where someone had done an informal test taking shots of a car traveling towards them at around 60 mph – this was done at an airstrip. They used, among others, a K20D which had, by far, the worst performance – getting a total of around 20-25 percent of its shots out of focus. The 40D, by comparison, had something around 6-8 percent out of focus.
See the post I made on the first page of this thread. It's got a link to the post you're referring to, citing a test by a popular German magazine:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...963160#p963160

But, lenses used can make a big difference (you really need to compare Autofocus speed on a case by case basis), as can subject type, distance to subject, lighting, speed and direction of movement, and much more.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 5:23 PM   #45
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 20
Default

JimC wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
I was just going over something John had mentioned – continous autofocusing. On the Pentax Forums there was a post (haven't been able to find it again – sorry for the lack of a link) where someone had done an informal test taking shots of a car traveling towards them at around 60 mph – this was done at an airstrip. They used, among others, a K20D which had, by far, the worst performance – getting a total of around 20-25 percent of its shots out of focus. The 40D, by comparison, had something around 6-8 percent out of focus.
See the post I made on the first page of this thread. It's got a link to the post you're referring to, citing a test by a popular German magazine:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...963160#p963160

But, lenses used can make a big difference (you really need to compare Autofocus speed on a case by case basis), as can subject type, distance to subject, lighting, speed and direction of movement, and much more.

I am a moron.

I just realized that I had seen that linked on this very thread and was hoping to correct my mistake before anyone found it, but, too late!

I'm going to a professional wrestling event tonight. What I'd really like to do is take the K200D out and see what it can do at this event. I wouldn't mind paying a restocking fee and, in fact, when I had first contacted the company I could have sworn that they told me I could do that for $100 fee, but in two conversations after that I was told that they do not have such a policy, so I'm just out of luck there.
Edward B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 5:34 PM   #46
Senior Member
 
algold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 369
Default

The big question with this informal test is what lenses they used for it. If you use something like Canon 70-200 L USM, Sigma 70-200 HSM, Tamron 70-200 Di, Tokina 80-200 AT-X (all f/2.8 lenses), or a budget Sigma, Tamron, what have you, with the same camera body - the focus speed and accuracy will be very different.
Buying a body and a kit lens is only a beginning of your DSLR system, within a year or two you will spend 3x - 4x on lenses and accessories, if you are half serious about your hobby.
If I was starting again from scratch now, I would probably pick Sony A700, but after investing almost $5K into Canon it's not easy to switch systems without loosing a lot, besides, I'm quite happy with what I have now.

PS. Sorry, I just looked at the comparison - it's not really fair to compare the pro grade top guns and prosumer bodies with a consumer body. All in all Pentax showed quite good results in such a company imho.
algold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 6:03 PM   #47
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

algold wrote:
Quote:
The big question with this informal test is what lenses they used for it. If you use something like Canon 70-200 L USM, Sigma 70-200 HSM, Tamron 70-200 Di, Tokina 80-200 AT-X (all f/2.8 lenses), or a budget Sigma, Tamron, what have you, with the same camera body - the focus speed and accuracy will be very different.
They used what appear to be the fastest lenses available in that general focal range for the test (at that time, anyway). The specs for the gear used are in the post about it here:

Magazine Review: K20D/SDM AF.C performance vs. 8 competitors

Of course, lenses are going to make a big difference in AF speed. Canon probably has the edge for basketball with their 85mm f/1.8 USM offering right now. If you want to go to an f/2.8 zoom, then you may see the differences narrow between brands a bit with equivalent lenses.

Quote:
If I was starting again from scratch now, I would probably pick Sony A700, but after investing almost $5K into Canon it's not easy to switch systems without loosing a lot, besides, I'm quite happy with what I have now.
I'm shooting with a Sony A700 right now, and I really like the camera. I would not trade it for any of the other models mentioned in this thread so far.

But, any system has it's pros and cons. Sony's 85mm offering (Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4) is a bit steep price wise, and it lacks an ultrasonic motor. You can get a Minolta 85mm f/1.4 AF lens on the used market for around $800. But, that's still significantly higher than a Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. Sony doesn't have a "budget" 85mm offering (at least not yet, anyway).

Of course, you could probably get away with an f/2.8 zoom for basketball using this body. For example, I've used my A700 with an old Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 AF lens for a few shots at one game, and I didn't think it did too bad. A newer lens with a Hypersonic Motor would be faster. I tend to use a Minolta 100mm f/2 AF lens for low light shooting when room permits, but this lens is a bit "pricey" on the used market for this focal length/aperture, and Sony doesn't currently have an inexpensive f/2 prime in this focal length).

On the budget end, you can grab a used Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lens for around $125, depending on condition. keh.com usually has some in stock. Here are a couple of examples:

Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lenses at keh.com

A model like the Sony A200 would work as a starter body (selling for $499 with an 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 AF lens). This model also has an available ISO 3200 setting (missing on most other entry level bodies).

But, the Sony 10MP APS-C size CCD sensor in the A200 isn't the cleanest around at it's highest settings (you don't want to use ISO 3200 unless you have to), and if you want to move up to a longer prime with f/2 or brighter apertures (i.e, 85mm or 100mm), it will cost you. The Nikon D40x, D60, and Pentax K200D all appear to use a Sony 10MP CCD Sensor (as in the Sony A200), although A/D converters and other electronics, image processing and noise reduction algorithms, anti-aliasing filters, etc., will differ between camera brands.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 6:23 PM   #48
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Edward B. wrote:
Quote:
I'm going to a professional wrestling event tonight. What I'd really like to do is take the K200D out and see what it can do at this event. I wouldn't mind paying a restocking fee and, in fact, when I had first contacted the company I could have sworn that they told me I could do that for $100 fee, but in two conversations after that I was told that they do not have such a policy, so I'm just out of luck there.
I'm going to suggest you're going to have a difficult time getting a good read on any Camera / lens combo for a professional wrestling event UNLESS you were shooting ringside and were able to get right up on the mat and get your lens between the ropes. Otherwise you're going to encounter 1 of 2 problems: if you're in one of the front few rows you'll have a poor angle for shots and the ropes will interfere with quality photos or 2 you'll be too far away for whatever lens you're using. In addition, I'm betting you won't get fast enough shutter speeds to accurately evaluate the AF tracking performance. If the event is at a professional arena you're probably looking at ISO 1600 f4 1/400 shutter speeds. Anything below top-end lighting and you get into ISO 1600 f2.8 1/400 area - and you don't have a 2.8 lens. Bottom line, the odds are stacked against you right off the bat. So, don't judge the k200 t badly - remember that kit lens isn't letting in a lot of light so the focus system will struggle. The canon, sony, nikon or oly cameras would also suffer.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 6:29 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
algold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 369
Default

Thanks a lot for the info Jim.
For what I do (mainly candids, portraiture, macro and a bit of junior league roller hockey) my 40D is more than enough for me atm. 85 f1.8 is a great lens, but the last time I used it I spent 20 min shooting and 2 hours in PS knocking down the sharpness and smoothing skin - my wife did not want to see all the little details :-).
A700 is a lovely camera, but the lens selection available over here is very limited and the prices are high. The only other body/system that is really tempting for me is Oly E3 with SWD lenses, guess I still miss my OM4Ti :roll:.
Sorry for sidetracking the thread, hope Edward will make his choice at the end.
cheers,
Alex

algold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 27, 2009, 6:33 PM   #50
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Edward B.

Let us know what you end up deciding, and don't sweat the decision too much.

With a $650 budget, your choices are going to be a bit limited. I'd get a bright 50mm lens to go with the kit you choose for low light shooting for starters (keeping in mind that focus accuracy and detail captured may suffer at further ranges to your subject).

In the Pentax lineup, you can get a 50mm f/1.4 AF lens for around $200.

In the Canon lineup, a 50mm f/1.8 AF lens will run you under $100.

In a Sony solution, a Sony 50mm f/1.4 AF lens will run you around $350 (or you can find a used Minolta 50mm f/1.7 Autofocus lens for around $125).

Canon has the edge right now in a bit longer lens with their 85mm f/1.8 USM for around $360.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:39 PM.