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Old Jun 11, 2009, 1:56 PM   #11
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Is this the right room for an argument?

Canon T1 + 18-55IS kit ($900) + 70-300 IS ($550) => $1450.
Nikon D5000 + 18-105 kit ($1050)+ 70-300 VR ($590) => $1650
50D + 18-55 IS + 70-300 IS~ $1850
D90 + 18-105 VR + 70-300 VR ~ $1850
A700 + 16-105 + 70-300 ~$2350

At that price range I think it's a no-brainer. The D90 by a mile. You get a much better camera and sensor than the A700, video, and cash left over to get a decent flashgun at the price of the A700. If money is a real issue then drop down to the T1.
Ok then, how about this?

A700 + 18-70 + Tamron 70-300 Di LD (stabilized, because stabilization is in the camera body) ~$1270

That comes in under your Canon T1, doesn't it?

Granted, the Sony 18-70 isn't very good, but I could drop that in favor of the new Sony 18-55. And the Tamron isn't quite as good as the Canon or Nikon lenses in the range that are stabilized, but it's close, and it's a lot cheaper. In fact, that package fits within the OP's original budget, doesn't it?
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 2:03 PM   #12
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... "take hundreds of photos a few of them will be usable" ...
Where did that come from?

I'm talking about 30%-60% keepers (multiple subjects will reduce the keeper ratio somewhat), and I'll come away with more keepers than someone that must wait for their flash to recharge between shots.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 5:00 PM   #13
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I had the day off work today so made a drive over to the local camera shop. I wanted to do some hands on with the models I was interested in. I talked with the sales person there and he advised me that all the cameras, I was considering were good choices however with my budget he recommended that, I get a Canon XSI and get some camera time with it with some decent lenses to get me started. Then he said as my budget allowed buy additional lenses that I need. He then said after I have a good set of lenses then I could upgrade the body if I decided to pursue the photography more in depth. He also said he could make me a good deal on a Pentax K20 as his store had about 2 left that they are no longer going to sell the Pentax cameras however they still planned to carry lenses for them. How good is the Pentax K20? I will only be shooting sports about 10% of the time most of the time wildlife is the K20 good in wildlife photography? He was offering me the XSI with the 18-55 kit lens with the and the 55-250 and said I could get an additional lens within my budget. He said on the Pentax he would sell me the Pentax with the 18-55 kit and a Tamron I belive it was that zoomed to 300 and a prime lens for under my budget as well. Is either of this a good way to go? I wanted to ask here before going back tomorrow and buying and being taken advantage of since I am new to the DSLR world. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks for looking

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Old Jun 11, 2009, 6:29 PM   #14
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That's a popular Canon package. The Canon XSi with the 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS lenses is available from Adorama for $850 (after a $200 rebate. See http://www.adorama.com/ICADRXSISK55.html ) That's a nice camera and two nice lenses. The 250mm maximum focal length might be short for what you want to do, though.

The Pentax K20 is nice. It's 14MP vs. the Canon's 12MP, and it has stabilization in the body, but it doesn't focus as quickly as the Canon. The 18-55 kit lens isn't as good as the Canon's. Adorama sells the K20D with the kit lens for $770. The telephoto zoom he's talking about is probably the 70-300 Di LD which is quite nice for a $170 lens.

You should try each of them in the store to see which you feel most comfortable handling.

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Old Jun 11, 2009, 10:33 PM   #15
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There are those who say the Pentax K20 isn't good for sports (which I won't disagree with at all) or wildlife. The K20's AF is slower than Canon's so it isn't as good for sports (though for many sports you can get good snaps with extra work and practice. It's significantly harder to get high quality shots and you'll miss more shots than if you shot with Canon). It's not a camera I would want to use if I were shooting sports all the time, but I've taken some reasonable tennis and track shots, just playing around (but then, they were ones that any entry dSLR camera would be capable of taking - nothing special).

As far as wildlife goes, you'll find a huge number of wildlife photographers (of varying experience) posting pictures of birds, etc. in the Pentax dSLR section of this board. Take a look at some of the threads and see what you think.

I, personally, find the K20 excellent for what I do - mostly macro and landscape, with some architecture and street photography thrown in occasionally.

The K20 was (well, still is until July when the just announced K-7 comes out) Pentax's top of the line camera. You'll find it for about half what it sold for originally because it's being phased out. It's got a number of very nice features and is a fairly advanced camera. It's weather sealing is very nice for snowshoers, hikers and people who frequent deserts. And it can use any Pentax lens ever made, though the M42 screw-mount lenses require an adaptor and would be completely manual. K-mount lenses retain whatever capability the lens had when it was made (if the lens was auto exposure and auto focus it will retain that capability, while manual lenses will still be manual), so there's the possibility of buying top quality used lenses for less than what new lenses cost.

The Tamron lens (assuming it's the one TCav mentioned) is a nice lens - you'd have to pay at least $100 or more to get a better one. If the kit lens is the older Pentax 18-55, it isn't as good as the Canon's latest kit lens. The new version is much better than the old one, and worth getting (especially since it is so inexpensive).
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 12:14 AM   #16
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Evening, As TCav and mtngal have said, the Pentax auto focus system is not the quickest, however folks have worked with it with good results. JohnG is the resident sports expert and you really can not beat Canon for the sports aspect, and probably the more difficult wildlife shots (especially in shadows).

The main reason for the post is to amplify a bit on what mtngal posted. Pentax has a kit lens 18-55 that came out with the K100 (6MP) which was very good at the time. With the release of the K20 at 14MP, they updated the lens to complement the higher resolution of the K20. So, if you are interested in the K20 I would, rather than purchase the pre-packaged kit as TCav linked to, purchase the body and the kit lens seperately making sure to get the version II of the kit lens, or make sure that the kit contained the version II of the kit lens.

http://www.adorama.com/IPXK20D.html - k20 body $660
http://www.adorama.com/PX1855AFD2.html - kit ver II lens $120

I just recently upgraded from the Pentax K100 to the K20. It is a lot of camera - great capability. You have received a lot of great information all through out the thread and really can not go wrong.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 1:46 AM   #17
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Ok then, how about this?

A700 + 18-70 + Tamron 70-300 Di LD (stabilized, because stabilization is in the camera body) ~$1270

That comes in under your Canon T1, doesn't it?

Granted, the Sony 18-70 isn't very good, but I could drop that in favor of the new Sony 18-55. And the Tamron isn't quite as good as the Canon or Nikon lenses in the range that are stabilized, but it's close, and it's a lot cheaper. In fact, that package fits within the OP's original budget, doesn't it?
Well I can think of a good reason:

The OP will be likely using the 70-300 for 90% of his shots, and a high percentage of those at 300mm. Are you serious? Optically it is not close at all.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/455/cat/23

A700 + coke bottle and coke bottle adapter is pretty cheap too. And of course it will be stabilised.

How about this? Buy the Canon or Nikon and stick Sony stickers everywhere that it says Canon or Nikon.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 7:22 AM   #18
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So comming back to the OP's question about which kit:

First question - you didn't mention what prices the camera shop was offering. People have provided some prices / links to online vendors. So, just make sure the local store isn't ripping you off (sadly, on-sale items can still be more expensive at a local store than a reputable on-line vendor).

As to the kits -
The canon 55-250 is a very nice lens. But, you indicated 70% of your shooting is going to be wildlife. The 55-250 is too short to be a good wildlife lens. So I think you'll be disappointed with the results for 70% of your shooting needs.

In the pentax kit, you still need to verify if the lens being offered is the Tamron 70-300. It's a nice lens too. A little more reach, but still too short for serious wildlife shooting. So the lesson here is - set your expectations correctly. Either of these lenses is just going to allow you to limp along until you save up for a longer lens. I understand not having loads of cash, but if you go into the buy with the correct expectations you're less likely to get down when you realize the lenses aren't long enough for your needs.

As to Pentax vs. Canon. Sounds like sports is a very minor part of the equation so I wouldn't factor that into the decision too much. IMO, it really comes down to what type of wildlife photography you want to do. If you want to get into Birds-in-flight then the focus advantage of Canon comes into play. And, it is a big advantage for moving subjects (both in terms of the camera and availability of fast-focusing lenses at all focal lengths). If you're doing more animal portrait work then both cameras - with an appropriate lens - are quite capable.

The k20 is a great camera and a fantastic bargain. If you're not doing action work then I think it's the better bargain for sure. If you are going to do action work then I would go with Canon. Buying a dslr is buying into a system and right now Canon has a very big advantage as a system (bodies and lenses) for action photography.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 8:51 AM   #19
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A lens longer that 300mm will be quite big and quite expensive. The least expensive >300mm telephoto zoom lens is the Tokina 80-400 which, despite it's $550 price tag, is not highly regarded. (It's also not stabilized.)

You may be tempted to use a teleconverter with a 70-300 lens to get the additional reach, but in addition to lengthening the focal length, also reduce the maximum aperture. In this eventuallity, you probably won't be able to autofocus at the longer focal lengths. In addition, inexpensive teleconverters will adversely affect image quality. You might want to consider an inexpensive 70-300 lens now that won't put too much of a dent in your budget, and will serve you well for outdoor sports, and save for a longer lens later.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 9:29 AM   #20
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How about this? Buy the Canon or Nikon and stick Sony stickers everywhere that it says Canon or Nikon.
This may be about the brand to you, but it's not about the brand to me.
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