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Old Jun 26, 2005, 10:54 PM   #1
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Hello everyone. I've lurked here for a bit but this is my first post so if I make mistakes please overlook them. I am considering the move from film to digital and therefore the purchase of a digital slr. I am a clueless newbie so I hope some of you might share your wisdom with me. I am considering the dslr because I have been using a borrowed panasonic fz10 and while I'm sure it is a good camera it doesn't fit me that well. I have found ways to take good photos with it but the conditions have to be good and the resulting photos always appear soft to me. Most of my photos are of nature subjects and I want better picture quality (leaves with sharp edges, birds with sharp individual feathers - that sort of thing - detail). In addition the shutter lag can drive one crazy when you happen on a subject on the trail with only a few seconds to get the shot before they run/fly away. I went to a store and picked up several cameras. The best feeling camera was the Nikon D70 with the Canon 20D a very close second. I suspect the D70 felt better because I am used to the Nikons I use now. I read in reviews that the D70 has a problem with moire and it seems to have more noise (grain?) than the 20D and more reviewers seem to rave about the 20d than the D70. The others (such as the 350D) felt too small in my hands so that trimmed the selections down pretty quickly. I think I've decided (based on what I've read) to switch to canon and get the 20d. I am thinking of the 17-85 kit lens for walking around and the sigma 80-400 OS for a bird/wildlife lens (again based on reading - more reasonable cost and no dust issues like the canon 100-400 and I think I can up the ISO without significant grain increase to compensate for stopping down if I need to with the cheaper lens?). Since this decision will put my nikon lenses on the shelf and drain my bank account for the forseeable future (I'm a working guy and not rich by any means) I wanted to ask people who really know something about this dslr realm if I am missing something about the D70 as a wildlife camera. The D70 would be a better fit with my existing equipment (and therefore much easier on the bank account) but I do want the best quality I can achieve and want to think about long term use. As I said I'm very much a beginner but once in a while I get a photo that is a keeper rather than a snapshot and when that happens I want it to be tack sharp, well exposed, and have accurate color (assuming the photographer did his job of course). I print my few keepers typically at 8X10 with a few 11X14's. I am not trying to start a brand war. I just want to make sure I have as much information as I can get before I drop this kind of cash on this addiction I seem to have.

thanks in advance for your help,

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Old Jun 26, 2005, 11:16 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on camera technology by any means. I do feel that either camera you choose will take excellent pictures. With this being said I recommend you buy the Canon. The reason is that I see Canon moving to improve their product lines at a very quick pace. They are, IMHO, ahead of Nikon overall in the DSLR race (and trouncing them in the P&S market segment). Unless something happens that I don't forsee I think Canon will continue to take a bigger and bigger share of the DSLR market as time moves on. This in turn will give Canon more R&D ability to further widen the gap. Also, third party lens makers etc. will follow the market and be more competitive for dollars from Canon users.

To all you Nikon users, I'm not trashing the Nikon brand. I think Nikon makes great camera equipment but seeing their market share shrink year after year will eventually take its toll.
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 7:15 AM   #3
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Perhaps there is another viewpoint. I conduct digital camera workshops all over the world, as because the focus has been moving more and more toward dSLR cameras, we are teach more dSLR worshops. Thus I own the Canon 20D, the Canon 350D/XT, the Nikon D-70, and the Pentax 1stDS which I use both for personal shooting and in the workshops.

Of the four, I use the Pentax 1stDS the most. I much prefer the grip, sizeand especially the viewfinder. It is a true pentaprism as oppossed to just a mirror on the Canon 350D/XT, for example. Moire, by the way is a very rare phenomena on the D-70.

Here is a Pentax 1stDS sample take at ISO 3200 from over 100 feet away using a Sigma 28-300mm lens at 1/125th.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 10:19 AM   #4
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I'm very happy with my 20D, but you should read this article I think:

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Old Jun 28, 2005, 4:03 AM   #5
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As you are used to Nikons does this mean you already own Nikon lenses. If so they will probably fit the D70 and that could be a big cost saving.
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