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Old Aug 24, 2005, 1:38 PM   #1
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Here is where I stand,

I now own a Maxxum 7000 along with a couple of flash units (which unfortunately are now obsolete due to the proprietary flash shoe on all Minoltas since the early 90s), a huge 70-210mm f1:4 lens (the crossed x model for all you Minolta trivia fans), a 35-70mm f1:4 lens (note that both of these are genuine Minolta with constant apertures). A 50mm f1:1.7 and a Phoenix (made in Japan) 19-35mm f1:3.5-4.5 ultra wide (normal for DSLR) lens.

I also own a Pentax MZ-7 with a 28-80mm f1:4.5-5.6 SMC AF lens, a Takumar 28-80mm f1:3.5-4.5 A series MF lens, a 50mm f1:1.7 M series MF lens, a Ricoh 28mm f1:2.8mm MFlens, a Ricoh 135mm MFf1:2.8 lens, a Sears (made in Japan) 80-200mm f1:4 constant aperture macro zoom lens, and a Samyang 500mm f1:8 mirror lens (T-mount). I also have an A series Takumar 2X teleconverter (no auto focus but retains auto aperture setting). All of these (with the exception of the mirror lens) are very good quality lenses (even the no-name Sears zoom). The only issue here is that most of these lenses have no autofocus and no automatic aperture (so they must be used in aperture priority mode with a special function set on the *istDS).

I also own a Fuji S7000 all-in-one digital camera which works well with my old Vivitar 285 flash (did a wedding just two weeks ago, great results). I like the freedom of the all-in-one camera, and it covers most of the focal lengths I used in 35mm.

I now want some opinions on which route to take, S9000 Fuji, covers the rest of the zoom range and gives near DSLR speed of operation, Konica-Minolta 5D, still unknown but will use my semi-modern Maxxum lenses (but not the flash units), or the Pentax *istDS, will use all of these old lenses, may work with the old Vivitar flash (M-mode), and uses AA batteries (compatible with my current supply of NiMH), only drawback, SD cards will not share with my S7000.

I need logical responses so please let me know what your views are on my choices. No rush, I am not buying for some time.

Ira
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 2:36 PM   #2
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Monza-

Your post is quite topical to me, personally. I own a Pentax1stDS and think that it is a great digital camera. I have had great result with the Pentax and have been able to very easily use some of my older Super Takamur lenses. I also like the availability of ISO numbers as high as ISO 3200.

However, I must be honest and share that the price of the package ended up being around $1200 by the time I got all of the pieces together. In retrospect, as I do like the ease of useand size of cameras such as the Fuji S-9000, had it been on the market last April when I purchased the Pentax, I feel that I would have saved money in the final analysis.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 5:04 PM   #3
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Sarah

I recently saw the *istDS (with lens) for about $900 Cdn, before taxes. Since I already have lots of lenses I would probably just get this package. I still don't know what to do. I really like the S7000 and the only real disadvantage of cameras like this is the EVF, it is not as clear as a real optical reflex finder.

DSLRs: Pros- lower noise, higher ISO, better viewfinder

Cons- Cost, sensor cleaning, hassle of changing lenses



EVFs: Pros- light weight (no bag of lenses needed), lower cost, no lens changes

Cons- higher noise, poor viewfinder (in bad light)



Well, any more suggestions?

Ira
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 8:49 PM   #4
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I owned the s7000 for about 17 months till it was stolen. I have owned the *ist DS for about a month. I was/am happy with both. I, too, had considered waiting for the S9000 to come out, but my brother's wedding is next week.

If you can get the *ist DS at anywhere near the lowest prices from a reputable dealer online (currently around $650 dollars US), I would go for that IF you can be content with your current lenses and the kit lens (which seems decent to me). If you are afraid of spending beaucoup on new AF lenses, and want an easy to carry one tool solution, go for the s9000.

The S7000 had, I thought, pretty decent images at ISO 400, and ok but shrunken (3 megapixel) pics at ISO 800. The S9000 maintains full resolution all the way through ISO 1600, doesn't it? If its 800 ISO images were comparable noise-wise to the S7000's ISO 400 images, that would make it very attractive.

Anyway, good luck. I think you will like either camera.
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 1:53 PM   #5
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I have been considering the same two cameras. The S9000 won't be available until after the first week in October here in Canada. I just emailed Pentax Canada inquiring on the availability of the new *ist DS2. I also asked if the regular DS will be recieving a firmware update to add improved features. Will post reply when I recieve it. One major consideration I give *ist DS is the two year Pentax warranty it carries here in Canada.
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 2:32 PM   #6
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Ira, you know which way I'd lean (go for the anti-shake in the 5D).

You already have one, but I just bought a Maxxum 7000 recently. Of course, that was mostly to get a lens that was included in a package (but hey, it still works). ;-)

I've already ran quite a bit of film through it playing with some Minolta AF mount lenses I've been buying over the past two months. The AF isn't as good as I'd like, and I'm not thrilled with the ergonomics. But, it is 20 year old technology, and it's small size (at least compared to Nikons I've owned) is starting to grown on me. LOL

I'm looking foward to getting my hands on a 5D to see how the ergonomics are. The idea of a small and light DSLR with a fast prime and anti-shake is appealing (I just wish they had kept the larger buffer size of the 7D). I'm probably going to buy one of these two cameras soon (7D or 5D).

As for the *ist DS, I really like the ergonomonics of the Pentax DSLR models (surprisingly good for such a small camera). If you haven't had the opportunity to hold one, try it.

When comparing lens availability, it did seem like finding lenses was going to be more difficult/expensive with Pentax. The used market has plenty of Minolta AF mount lenses at really good prices right now. Ditto for package deals. I only paid $49 for a Minolta Maxxum 7000, a Minolta 1800 flash, and a 50mm f/1.7. ;-) Yea, I know the flash is not compatible with newer models.

I've gotten some really good deals on other used Minolta AF lenses, too (for example: 28mm f2, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8 ). And they'll all have the benefits of stabilization with a KM DSLR (thanks to in body anti-shake). ;-)

I'm hoping that the ergonomics of the new 5D will be decent, too (hopefully, they'll hit the U.S. soon so I can find out). It's already shipping in some parts of the world (for example: Hong Kong, UK, Malaysia).

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Old Aug 28, 2005, 5:28 PM   #7
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JimC

When I can finally get my hands on a KM model I may change my mind, my problem is that I have gotten to at least handle DSLRs from every manufacturer except KM. I have gotten to use a Pentax *istDS enough to know that it does suit my handling style and has a quality feel to it. My Minolta film cameras take very clear sharp pictures (yes the autofocus on the Maxxum7000 is very slow, the 5000 is much faster), but I have some concerns over complexity in a camera body. Anti-shake is a great idea but it does add one more piece of hardware that can fail, the *istDS2 promises a well built high performance camera with no frills.

Right now here is the balance:

Pro KM - CF cards, anti-shake, Anti KM - proprietary battery, anti-shake (complexity)

Pro Pentax - standard AA sized batteries, relative simplicity, Anti Pentax - SD cards (already have CF cards), lacks Anti-shake (or any IS/VR lens options)

I am looking for a package of Camera and base lens only (cannot afford to collect more lenses), I outlined my present lens collection in my original post and feel that, although I would loose autofocus on longer lenses (and all of the primes), I still have a better seslsction of Pentax compatible glass. One other item, if you leave the Pentax body on AF with an MF lens you can actually prefocus on a spot, hold down the shutter release,and when your subject reaches that distance the camera will fire. (or alternatively you can slowly focus on you subject with shutter release held down and when you reach the correst focus the shutter will fire). Not quite autofocus but a workable alternative.

Ira

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Old Aug 29, 2005, 6:06 PM   #8
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Ira:

I actually like the little Pentax *ist DS. The first time I saw one, I couldn't believe how small it was (it's hard to tell from looking at pictures). But, the ergonomics are really good. The grip is especially nice.

I'd also disagree with some of the reviewers on the JPEG processing (I actually like the way the JPEG processing works from this model).

As for lenses, there are adapters for other models (if you don't mind using stop down metering). For example, I was just looking through some of theNikon to Minolta AF adapters today after a user reported using one on another forum.

As for reliability of something like Anti-shake... Yea, perhaps it is a bit complex. But, then again, KM probably stress tested the heck out of it. Only time will tell out well the system holds up.

One thing I have been impressed with. I've yet to see a KM DSLR owner report a problem withstuck pixels, that wasn't solvedby moving the date forward one month and power cycling the camera. Apparently, it's got some kind of hidden pixel mapping function that automatically works once per month, based on user reports I've seen.

In contrast, I have seen *ist DS owners with hot pixels (that sent their cameras back to Pentax for repair). Ditto for Nikon owners (although there is an unauthorized software package you can use for remapping them on some older models like the D100). For newer Nikon models, they require a trip back to Nikon to correct.

But, to be fair, KMhassome QC problems with the 7D (for example: backfocus in a large number of cameras, requiring calibration by KM; and flashexposure problems requiring users to send their 3600 and 5600 flash units in for updates).
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