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Old Aug 6, 2005, 6:45 PM   #11
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Astronut wrote:
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"We'll need to wait for reviews to see how it performs." Yep, that's a given, which goes back to my original question, "Should I wait until September?"

Like computers, Digital Cameras tend to change rapidly.So, anything you buy today will most likely be replaced by something smarter, faster, and less expensive later.

Of course, if you wait around for the "latest and greatest" model, you'll never get around to enjoying a camera, since there will always be newer models forthcoming.

Also, just because a newer model *might* be better (depending on how you're using a camera, shooting conditions, print sizes needed, etc.), doesn't mean that an older model stops taking good photos.

Only you can answer that question ("Should I wait until September?"). ;-)


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Old Aug 6, 2005, 6:56 PM   #12
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Monza76 wrote:
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Hey JimC... I have an 18-35mm f3.5/4.5 Phoenix, a Minolta 35-70mm f4, a Minolta 50mm f1.7, the 70-210mm f4 Minolta and a cheap 500mm Samyang 500mm mirror lens with t-mount. If I can swing a 5D with the kit lens I can toss the Phoenix and have a really complete kit.

It looks like the 5D will be selling for around $899 with the 18-70mm kit lens here in the U.S. That's the price I'm seeing from most vendors here taking preorders. But, I wouldn't rule out it being discounted by some vendors after it starts shippingif supply is meeting demand.
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Old Aug 6, 2005, 7:40 PM   #13
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Astronut:

There is no one "right" choice. If you're not shooting in lower light conditions, you may find that a non-DSLR model is just fine for your needs. You may even find that the photos are betterin many conditions (contrast, sharpness, saturation, etc.) since most are geared towards images that don't need as much post processing.

Also, you're more likely to have a camera with you if it's not too bulky (and the first rule of a gunfight is to bring a gun). ;-)

Lens costs can also add up quickly with a DSLRif you want/need higher quality, brighter lenses. That's one of the real strengths of a small sensored camera (ability to get a lot of focal range in a reasonably small and light lens).

On the other hand, you'll probably run into conditions where you wish you had a DSLR instead at times.

For example, trying to take photos at a dance recital where no flash is allowed (or you're outside of the flash range) and need higher ISO speeds to get faster shutter speeds to prevent blur; or if you want to take a portrait with a blurred background (something you'll need to use software to simulate with a small sensored camera shooting a larger subject); or if you need faster focus and cycle times (something most DSLR models excel at).

There wasthread not too long ago that I got involved with where pros and cons of DSLR versus non-DSLR models were discussed.

You may want to read through it to get a better perspective.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87

As for KM's DSLR products, Mike Johnston has a a couple of pretty good articles showing his enthusiasm for the 7D here (he bought one):

Catch The Rave!

The Tale Told by Two Pictures


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Old Aug 6, 2005, 9:04 PM   #14
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I had read Mike Johnston's article on the KM D7 a while back but I didn't really consider it because of cost. Since KM's announcement of the D5 my "short list" has been modifyed. Besides the in-body IS, theD5 kit lens (18-70mm) is a more useful "walk about " lens than the 18-55 kit lens supplyed by other manufacturers.

My only reservation is the rumors about the numbers of new KM D7s that have had to be sent back for repair. And I have been told that none of the major camera manufacturers focus on customer relations.

I'm still leaning toward the Nikon D50 body with the 18-70mm Nikkor lens. I just wish I could have the Pentax istDS viewfinder on the Nikon.

I'll make my decision in September, I promise!

Thanks all, this has been a wonderfull conversation.


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Old Aug 6, 2005, 9:53 PM   #15
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Astronut wrote:
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My only reservation is the rumors about the numbers of new KM D7s that have had to be sent back for repair. And I have been told that none of the major camera manufacturers focus on customer relations.
I've made it my business to learn as much as possible about thismodel (since it's at the very top of my short list for a new camera).

Yep -- you've got a very good chance of needing to send it back to KM for calibration.

There is a backfocus problem with some lenses. It usually manifests itself with brighter lenses (where depth of field is very shallow wide open). For example, the 50mm f/1.4

The camera problem boils down to 3 screws needing turning slightly clockwise. ;-)

I've seenthree 7D owners report doingthis adjustment themselves (with reports that it only took about 15 minutes, including the test pics to calibrate it).

There are 3 screws under a small piece of rubber at the tripod mount that controlAutofocus sensoralignment. Apparently, there was a QC problem where a large number of cameras were not adjusted properly.

All that is needed is a test photo to see if the camera is backfocusing (objects in back of the focus ponit in focus, but the subject is out of focus). Then adjust the screws until test photos show the proper focus (with appropriate distances in front of and in back of the focus point sharp, depending on aperture and focus distance).

Most users with this problem just send their7Dinto KM (and reports from users indicate that turnaround time has been great).

KM got a bad reputatioin from turnaround time with QC problemsrelated totheir Ax series cameras, and it appears that they've done a complete "about face" with the 7D.

Most 7D ownersin the U.S. have been reporting outstanding service. Outside of the U.S., reports vary (some areas could definitely use improvement).

This is not a "new" problem. You see the same problems with other manufacturers, too.

For example, I've seen numerous forum threads elsewhereabout backfocus issues with the new Canon EOS-350D/Rebel XT (and cameras that preceded it).

Even the higher end cameras suffer. For example, I've seenmultiple reports from D2X owners needing to send their cameras back to Nikon for Autofocus calibration.

Another issue with the KM 7D is flash. The 5600 flash hasexposure problems (underexposure or overexposure depending on focus distance and lens).

So, chances are, this flash will need to be sent back to KM for calibration. In this case, the problem appears to boil down to preflash strength (used for set exposure), and the "flash strength curve" used with D series lenses (which are designed to report focus distances to the camera for better flash exposure).

KM can quickly adjust this flash and send it back to you.

The KM 3600 flash doesn't seem to suffer from this problem as much. Personally, I think I'llgo with a Metz54MZ4 flash, using their latest 3002 module for Minolta cameras, which fullysupports the 7D. ;-)

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I'm still leaning toward the Nikon D50 body with the 18-70mm Nikkor lens. I just wish I could have the Pentax istDS viewfinder on the Nikon.
Make sure to check out the viewfinders on the KM models, too. Then, compare them to the D50 (or D70) viewfinder. ;-) Ditto for the camera controls.

Also, make sure to consider Anti-Shake.

I was out shooting film (yep, a dirty word on a Digital Camera Forum) a couple of weeks ago. I was shooting ISO 400 film very early in the morning along the bank of the Ogeegee River near Guyton, Georgia.

Well, I wanted to test a new lens both wide open at f/2.8, and stopped down to f/8 for better depth of field and sharpness.

I could not get shutter speeds up to more than 1/60 second in the early morning light (around 6:45AM), stopped down to f/8 at ISO 400. I was cursing myself for not bringing a tripod (since I was shooting with a 135mm lens).

If I would have had Anti-shake, the problem would have been solved. Sure, you can shoot at higher ISO speeds with a DSLR.

But, that still helps only if light is good enough (and your lens is brightenough), depending on light levels, focal length you're shooting at, etc.

I wouldn't underestimate the value of anti-shake. I've seen a lot of photographers that I personally respect report it's value.

Given the number of blurry photos that I've taken over the years for no other reason than camera shake, I'd definitely agree that anything that can been done to minimize it is worthwhile

I can't tell you the number of times that I've tried to steady myself, control breathing, slowly squeeze the shutter button, and still couldn't get the results I needed in lower light conditions (even when firing off multiple exposure to try and increase my number of keepers).

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I'll make my decision in September, I promise!
Yep... me too (probably before then). I'm leaning towards a new 7D right this minute.


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Old Aug 6, 2005, 11:00 PM   #16
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It is seldom you hear Mike Johnston rave about anything, but he has totally fallen for the Konica/Minolta 7D, the anti shake combined with a great user interface which depends upon buttons instead of menus have hime writing articles about it like a kid with a new toy. I want one, I do not suffer from Canon or Nikon envy, I'd rather have a Pentax or a Konica/Minolta (god I wish they hadn't strung those two names together, I liked Minolta).

I think digicams are somewhat underrated for the price, their price represents a complete package whereas a DSLR usually needs at least one more lens to match the digicam, however there is absolutely no doubt that in any out-of-the-ordinary lighting situation the DSLR will produce a technically better image. However for those of us who usually print 8" X 10" and smaller, and don't crop much after capture, the use of a noise reduction program can clean up most digicam images without losing too much detail. If you print posters get a DSLR.

If you can afford a DSLR get one, but if budget, or the need to travel light, are issues do not hesitate to look at the top models of digicams, they can be quite satisfying.

Ira
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Old Aug 7, 2005, 9:55 AM   #17
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Nuts! My short list is changing again!

One reason I was leaning toward the D50 was the graph located at the bottom of this link.

http://www.photocameramag.com/review...7D/index9.html

As you can see between ISO 200 and 800 thenoise of the 7D and D50 are essentially identical and considerably less than the 350XT and istDS. The 200-800 ISO range is what I shoot film 99.9% of the time (0.1% ISO100). The D50 costs a heck of a lot less.

This link:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page17.asp

Essentially iced the cake when considering the D50 over the D70.

Now! If the D5 has the same characteristics as the D7, (less a few options I'll never use)and service reports untill Septembercontinue to be good, it will be at the top of my "short list".

Thanks again


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Old Aug 7, 2005, 10:07 AM   #18
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Astronaut-

I sincerely believe that Monza really defined the selection criteria quite well. Photography, just in my opinion only, is about taking photos that you really like, rather than in counting pixels and determining exact curves in the levels.

Both the D-50 and the D-5 will give you great service. Personally, I think that the IS via the imager is the way to go. It will save you money when purchasing lenses. But that is only my opinion.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 7, 2005, 12:18 PM   #19
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Astronut wrote:
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Now! If the D5 has the same characteristics as the D7, (less a few options I'll never use)and service reports untill Septembercontinue to be good, it will be at the top of my "short list".
For future reference, I'd call these cameras the 5D and 7D versus D7 and D5. Minolta made bothDiMAGE 5 and DiMAGE 7 Digital Cameras that are often referred to as the D5 and D7.

The Maxxum/Alpha/Dynax 7 Digital is usually referred to as the 7D. The new 5 Digital will be the Maxxum 5D in US and the Dynax 7D in most markets outside of North America, but will be referred to as"Sweet" in Japan.

As for as your comment on "same characteristics", I have seen test photos taken with both the 5D and 7D at the same time, using the same lenses, in the same controlled conditions, at various ISO speeds.

The image quality (including white balance, color accuracy, contrast, resolution, sharpness, saturation, noise) is virtually indistinquishable between these two models.


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Old Aug 7, 2005, 10:55 PM   #20
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Let me make one final comment here, everyone should get the camera which is within their budget and allows them to take quality pictures of subject matter they are interested in capturing. In the past cameras such as the Diana and Holga roll film cameras were very popular with certain fine art photographers because of the fact that they took, what many of us would describe as, bad pictures. The particular distortions and colour fringingof the single element plastic lenses allowed the photographer to make a statement, not accurately record a scene, in other words they had terrible specs but made marvelous images.

This is an extreme case, lets look at something closer to mainstream,Henri Cartier-Bresson took most of his pictures with a Leica, a 50mm lensand black and white film. The results are often grainy and sometimes not all that sharp. Yet we see these as images to strive for.

The point, any digicam can also be a tool for artistic expression through photography, and it is not the resolution or noise level or purple fringing that the viewer will notice, it is the "qualities" of the captured image. Given the technically best camera does not mean great pictures, just technically accurate ones. A p&s diigicam in the hands of a true photographer will produce more interesting images than a pro SLR in the hands of the unimaginative.

Great images come from the mind of the photographer, not his camera bag. You do not have to put yourself in debt to purchase a camera with sufficient quality to allow you to create good images. This Kodak is not a perfect camera but it sounds like an acceptable tool for many photographers, for those whose requirements are different the tool must be different. When reading reviews remember that camera handling and speed are more important than nit picky image details (assuming that we are looking at quality cameras of similar specification).

Sorry I rambled again,

JimC. ... The KM DSLRs would be my pick right now as well, with the 7D beating out the Canon 20D and Nikon D70s in handling, and the built in IS providing so much more hand held success.

Ira
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