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Old Dec 28, 2005, 4:57 PM   #1
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Sony R1 or Canon 350D (XT) or Nikon D50 or Konica Minolta 5D or even Fuji 9000?

I will mainly be taking photos of my son (1 month old). The rest I will be out and about taking landscapes, parties, normal stuff.

I really like wide angle. I dont need a big zoom. And would rather avoid changing lenses. I dont own any lenses at the moment.

I really like a great optical viewfinder. one that looks really big when you look in it.

I really love sharp focused portraits with narrow DOF. And landscape photos that look almost 3D.

I have never used manual controls before, but intend to learn. Still, I would be keen for the camera to have a reliable auto mode.

I love wide angle, so I am keen on the Sony R1. However, I have not seen many great photos from it. The focus problems worry me also. It's about $1699.

The 350D seems to produce fantastic photos, and consistantly. I am worried it is pretty small and might be a pain to use. I am looking at the 17-85 IS lens. With this lens, it is about $1739 (including a $400 rebate on the lens). It's about $1429 with the 18-55 kit lens.

The Nikon D50 feels great to use. That's about all I know about it. It seems overlooked by people. it costs about $1199 with the 18-55 kit lens.

The KM 5D is pretty good too! Unsure if the stabiliser will be useful to me. it costs about $1275 with the 18-70 kit lens.

I am even considering the Fuji S9000. It seems nice to use. Unsure if it will have the full range of colors to take really great photos. I even looked at the Kodak P880, but it feels terrible.

Help?
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 3:46 PM   #2
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It would seem as if everyone is recommending the DSLR route because they are at the top of the class,but you have to consider what you will be using it for.
I have owned and used a Fuji S7000 with over 5000 pictures taken so far and I personally think the 9000 would fit the bill for just what you need it for.
A DSLR is for very serious Photographers,or those that have Lens from old SLR Nikon, Canon etc.
I am absolutely satisfied with the 7000,and I am sure the 9000 will have some improvements over it.
Sometime in the future I will go DSLR for special photography mainly Astrophotography,but the 7000 will not leave my possession,plus in a year or two DSLR Cameras will be much improved,so by then you will be ready for one.
According to your needs right now,the 9000 will do a fine job,and you save some cash for other accessories plus....
Hope this will help a bit to point you in the right direction.
Les
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 4:37 PM   #3
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I had a play with the S9000 at the shop. it definately felt good to use. I heard the S9000 was noisy compared to the S7000. I will take another look at the reviews.

I am still keen on the R1. However, it costs a lot more. I really like the wide (24mm) lens, the live histogram, the top mounted LCD, the excellent manual focus mode. I still have not had the chance to pick one up in my hands, however.
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 7:53 PM   #4
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I've had the Rebel XT in my hand and it fits well. The Rebel XT is a light camera as well. The XT has a 8mp CMOS sensor, similar to the much more expensive 20D's sensor. Your getting top photo quality in a somewhat inexpensive package in the XT.

The R1 is pretty expensive for a fixed lens cam. You could probably do better with an entry level DSLR.

The Minolta 5D is the clear winner if you're on a tight budget.

I've heard that the 5D is a little slower than other DSLR's in terms of shutter lag and auto focus speed. However, the price is so low that it makes sense as an absolute budget DSLR.

I wouldn't discount the 5D's anti-shake, as it's a nice feature to have and play around with.

Certainly the Nikon D50 is an attractive offering.

The D50 seems to take decent pictures, and the flash synchronization at 1/500th is a nice to have. You can stop the action of most sports, running kids, etc. and still throw in some fill flash.

All told there's lots of choice.

I wouldn't get too worried about the feel of the camera, as most cams feel a little strange at first, then after a while you just get used to the cam, and learn to work around it's shortcomings.

I wouldn't worry about changing lenses. I keep one lens on my camera most of the time, and then I only change it for specific photo situations where I know I would benefit from a different lens. It's not big deal. You could keep one lens on your DSLR for your whole life, orlater buy a second lense and use it if youneed to.

This is only my personal opinion, and a million photographers would disagree, but here would be my recommendations:

1) A DSLR is a better performer.

2) If your budget is constrained, take a hard look at the Minolta 5D. You should be able to find it cheaper than the Nikon D50 online, however if the Nikon is the same price, consider the D50.

3) If budget is less of an issue take a hard look at the Canon Rebel XT. The Canon 8mp CMOS sensor is well worth it. The 17-85 is an excellent lens.

-- Terry


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Old Jan 1, 2006, 2:28 AM   #5
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the XT with the 17-85 lens is within my budget. The S9000 would do a good job, but I think I'd be compromising. I already own roughly 4 digicams (Sony U10, Contax SL300R, Fuji 3800, Fuji F10). So I really want to get something great this time.

It is probably a choice between the XT and the R1. Unsure if the lens on the R1 is optically better than the 17-85, although it possible. The R1 has a slightly longer zoom range, but no stabilisation.

I think the live histogram on the R1 would be great for getting good exposure levels.
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 7:51 AM   #6
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I think you're on the right track to look at lenses first, then look at the quality of the body stuck to the lens.

The R1 has a pretty good lens, being F2.8 at 28mm, but quickly erodes toF4.8 at the 120mm end which issomewhat slow.

If you ever want to go out further than 120mm, you'd probably have to buy some kind of attachment, which I'd question the quality you'd get with an attachment.

I try to keep my lenses F2.8 in the range where I'd like to use them.

I use three lenses;

Tamron 17-35 (F2.8 - F4)

Tamron 28-27 (F2.8 throughout the zoom range)

Canon 70-200 (F4, but if I did it over again, I would have got the sigma F2.8 70-200)

I also have a Canon 50mm F1.4 lens for indoor and portrait photography.

So the disadvantage of the R1 is your essentially stuck with one lens.

I don't change my lenses all day long, but if I'm going out on a particular type of shoot, I take the lens I will likely need.

Most of the time I use the 17-35, which works well for indoors and people shots.

Sometimes I take the 28-75 when I need the longer reach, and if I'm shooting telephoto stuff (I shot a border collie sheep herding effort a while ago), I will take along the 70-200 telephoto.

The one nice thing about the R1 is the 10mp CMOS sensor.

Subjectively, I like the look of photos coming off a CMOS sensor than a CCD sensor. The CCD photos, in my opinion, have that old fashioned over sharpened "digital" look.

Chances are you will probablyfind yourself shooting RAW format images evenutally, asRAW represents the best quality your camera can deliver, and you can adjust yourphotos with no loss in quality using RAW.

The R1 wouldn't be a bad choice by any stretch of the imagination.

You just have to wonder if you'll ever get the itch to use different lenses purpose built for different photographic situations, which in your case would probably be less than 20 percent of the time.

The R1's lens will probably be suffice in 80 percent or more of your situations, and you can probably compromise in some way to get around the rest of it (move back, move closer, crop, etc. etc. )

-- Terry
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 1:26 PM   #7
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www.dpreview.com just gave the Sony R-1 a "highly recommended" rating. The review has a great amount of high praise for the lens on the R-1, saying the lens alone is worth the price of the R-1. I personally think that you should give it a good look.

I had a chance to handle the R-1 this week and I was quite impressed with the R-1's feel and ease of handling.

MT
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 1:42 PM   #8
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I'm not sure why Phil Askey would indicate that an R-1's lens, a 28mm-120 F2.8to F4.8 lens would be worith $1,000.

I doubt anyone would pay $1,000 for a lens with a spec like that.

The review also indicates the R1's poor performance at ISO1600 and ISO3200.

So, if someone's looking for a cam that will work in low light, this one is a little iffy.

Also, the 20mb raw file would be a concern.One of the nice things about owning a high end cam is the ability to shoot RAW.

I'm not sure if I'd want to deal with a 20mb RAW file.You'd need a 2 gb card just to hold 100 images!

Pretty slow to toss around 20mb RAW files on a computer.

I'd only want to deal with a 20mb RAW file if I was dealing with 20mp sensor and the high res image that goes with it.

I doubt the above considerations will make much of a difference to Lord_Ultra, but for the discerning high end amateur or semi pro, the poor ISO performance and 20mb RAW files should be the yellow flag.

-- Terry
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 2:36 PM   #9
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thanks for the advice Terry. Also good to hear from mtclimber about the feel of the R1.

That Sigma 70-200 F2.8 lensalone costs more than the R1. I think I would have trouble convincing the wife on that one.

It would be great if there was an affordable lens that covered the range I'm after (really wide angle to mild telephoto). Then I could just go with whatever camera matched it. If the affordable DSLRs were full frame, then that would be a lot easier (I think!). The Canon 17-85 IS is the best one I have heard about. I would like it better if it was 11-100, or something like that.

I doubt I will use the RAW format. The differences shown in all the reviews are pretty subtle, to my eye. All that post processing sounds like a lot of effort!

I think I am talking myself into getting the R1..
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 3:50 PM   #10
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Well, there's the Tamron 18-200 that produces reasonable results.

I checked out the R1 review and examples on DPReview.

The cam does take very nice photos, for sure.

The lens seems to be pretty good, definitely a $500-700 lens in my estimation.

Having said all that, go for the R1 if you feel most comfortable.

It's probably the best (and most exciting) of the high end prosumers out there.

I'm sneaking around my wifey (well, she's a significant other) in terms of buying a 10-22 Canon lens, but I'd feel real guilty purchasing it!

-- Terry


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