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Old Jul 22, 2005, 12:18 PM   #1
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Hello folks. I've decided to get a SLR in a month or so and I'm currently getting as much info as possible before actually buying. The reviews on this site (and others) have kept me busy and I've also tried the leading contenders at a store. I still can't decide which way to go. Maybe you can help me a bit.

The cameras I've been looking at are Nikon's D70(s) and D50, Canon's Rebel XT and 20D and Pentax *ist DS. I know the 20D isn't really in the same category of cameras but I've included it since I'm thinking that maybe the extra $500 are worth it.

The cameras are similar enough in picture quality for it not to be a deciding factor.

The Rebel was, as everyone knows, small and light. The menus and buttons were well placed for me and it's operation was smooth. But I'm a bit worried that the grip and weight will become a factor if I put a heavier lens on it. Like a 70-300mm. There's always the vertical grip that makes the camera more stable, but still... it's got me a bit worried. The kit lens have gotten very mixed reviews and I was thinking about getting the Sigma 18-125/3,5-5,6 DC instead. Good choice or bad?

The Pentax felt better in my hand than the XT but I didn't like the moves I had to go through to change settings like ISO and WB. The menu system didn't seem as well thought out as Canon's or Nikon's. On the positive side it had a really nice viewfinder. A couple review sites have claimed that the kit lens is so-so. The site I'm looking at buying mine from sells it in a kit with the 16-45AL too. Would that be a better choice? Price difference is about $200.

The D70 was a pleasure to use. A friend who owns one came to visit and I played with it extensively. I liked the way it felt in my hand(s) and how it was operated. My friend was disappointed with it's focusing performance though. I've read tests that said the s-model was better at this but I've also read that the firmware upgrade brings the D70 up to the D70s' performance level. Is this correct?

The 20D. I have to admit I haven't tried it at the store (yet) and it's $500 more than the other kits (or thereabouts). Would it be worth it? Or is the differences between it and the rest too small to justify the extra expenditure for a newbie? I know you can't decide for me, but give me some arguments for and/or against spending more $. Basically I'm deciding between the 20D and a D70 since that's the camera which felt best using of the ones I tried. But I'm known to be easily swayed so you never know what I'm going to buy. The KM 5D is of course interesting, but I have no idea when exactly it's getting released and I learned some time ago not to wait around for the next model to come. You'll be stuck waiting forever that way.

Thanks in advance
Jocke Andersson
Sweden
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 12:22 PM   #2
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Jocke

I would say that the 20D is worth the extra money. I am swayed because I spent the extra money to purchase the camera for myself. The instant on, the better noise handling at higher ISO settings, the 5 frames per second shooting, and the quality of the camera feel made it worth it to me.

Phil
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 12:46 PM   #3
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i'm apt to agree.. the 20d is definately worth the extra money.. it really is in another class compared to the rest..

the rebel xt would be my pick of the others.. its image quality is quite comparable to the 20d and offers more resolution than the others in its class.. i just can't see gettin 6 mp these days..

heck i wish my 20d had 12mp sometimes.. but alas will have to wait on the 3d for that, which will make my 20d a nice backup =)
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 12:47 PM   #4
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Jocke wrote:
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The KM 5D is of course interesting, but I have no idea when exactly it's getting released and I learned some time ago not to wait around for the next model to come. You'll be stuck waiting forever that way.
It's expected to start shipping around the end of August (with some dealers taking preorders predicting Sept. 15th). Body only price in the U.S. looks like it will be $799.00

Anti-shake with every lens is attractive. I'm also hearing that high ISO (i.e, ISO 3200) noise performance from the 5D is outstanding, based on comments from beta testers of this camera. But, we'll need to wait on some controlled conditions tests after the production model is shipping to know for sure.


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Old Jul 22, 2005, 1:27 PM   #5
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P.S. -- The Konica-Minolta 7D is another model you may want to consider, and it's dropped in price ($1199 now in the US).

Mike Johnston seems pretty impressed with his 7D (so much that he devotedsome of hisweekly Sunday Morning Photographer articles to it). :-)

Catch the Rave!

The Tale told by Two Pictures


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Old Jul 23, 2005, 9:29 AM   #6
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Thank you for your replies. I went to a couple of stores today and played a bit with both the 20D and the 7D. I was horrified to find that the 20D felt just great in my hand. It's buttons, wheels and functions were just up my alley. Crap. The 7D wasn't as nice as the 20D. It's a great camera, especially the AS system, but it didn't feel as right as the others have. And I don't like the fact that KM doesn't have a nice mid-range lens. It's either the 17-35 or the 28-70/100. The 18-55/70/85 workhorses from the other brands are much more appealing. If the prices remain the same until late august (or drops) I will probably buy the 20D. Looking good.
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 9:41 AM   #7
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Jocke wrote:
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Thank you for your replies. I went to a couple of stores today and played a bit with both the 20D and the 7D. I was horrified to find that the 20D felt just great in my hand. It's buttons, wheels and functions were just up my alley. Crap.
It would happen to be the most expensive camera you're considering, huh? :-)

Ergonomics is very important. I'd go a camera you're comfortable with, provided it meets your needs. The difference between the prices of the camera bodies is likely to be a minor consideration after lens purchases over time.

Also, carefully consider the system you're buying into, too (versus just the camera body). Lenses are more likely to be a longer term investment (whereas digital camera bodies become obsolete quickly).

Make sure you save some money for this purpose, too (lenses). Why buy a >$1K camera if you're going to put a soft lens on it? Good Glass can be pricey (although some good glass is inexpensive if you stay with primes). ;-)

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And I don't like the fact that KM doesn't have a nice mid-range lens. It's either the 17-35 or the 28-70/100. The 18-55/70/85 workhorses from the other brands are much more appealing.
They have been a bit slow introducing new lenses. But, you've got lenses from Tamron, Tokina and Sigma available in Minolta mount.

Also, they do have some new lenses that should start shipping next month (including an inexpensive "made for digital" 18-70mm that it looks like they'll bundle with a 5D kit for about $100 more).

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/km...lenses_pr.html

Canon also has the advantage of USM with many of their lenses (KM only has two high end lenses with their SSM feature, and they're a bit on the "pricey" side).

Personally, I'm leaning towards a KM DSLR right now for my use (and I've already started buying some lenses in Minolta mount), even though I already own some Nikon 35mm gear and lenses.

I really don't need 8MP (or the fast frame rate of a model like the EOS-20D). For me, the Anti-shake would be a bigger benefit. If I change my mind, I'll just sell the lenses I've been acquiring on Ebay.

I'd go with the model that meets your needs best, making sure you're going to be happy with the overall system a manufacturer provides (lenses, flash, etc.).

Good Luck!

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Old Jul 25, 2005, 10:42 AM   #8
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I will soon be checking out some of these cameras in the flesh, like you. I am also considering numerous cameras, dSLRs, from Pentax, KM, Nikon (D70s) and Canon (20D).

Did the weight on the 20D concern you at all, especially after carrying it all day??? It seems that the D70s weighs much less (per specs) than the 20D, altho the 20D gets unanimously rave reviews...yes, it depends on how it feels to ME, but the thoughts of those who own them gives the rest of us an idea how you have coped or adapted to the "problem"...after all, it isn't until we have made our purchase that we are committed, but any flaws or problems noted by D70s or 20D users may give us an idea what to be on the lookout for...

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old Jul 25, 2005, 1:03 PM   #9
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I would go with the Pentax IST DS Why? You can use the older K mount lens with it.

:| I own this camera and I use it daily I found all kinds of used 10+ lens on EBAY saveing me tons of money. But that's me.
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Old Jul 25, 2005, 2:28 PM   #10
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The 20D is a little heavy but you get used to it.

I use a little point and shoot for weekend stuff.

But when quality counts, I haul out the 20D.

I can really see the difference when it comes time to print the images. The 20D rarely dissapoints.

-- Terry
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