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Old Apr 6, 2006, 11:52 PM   #11
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The Pentax will use all the old, manual lenses (K-Mount and forward) and will use the older Pentax lenses with an adaptor. I've been using a 1.7 50mm lens that I bought 25 years ago with a Pentax ME camera. The only thing is that it is manual focus and you have to remember to push the button totemporarily stop the lens down if you want the camera to meter and set the shutter speed.

I've heard that Canon has some backward compatability, but I don't know how much.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 12:39 AM   #12
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stevem1928 wrote:
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It was mentioned that old Pentax lens are still good. How about Canon? I have an old (25 years) Canon AE-1 with a couple of lenses. Any chance they are any good?
No. The FD mount is obsolete, too. Canon introduced a new EF mount in 1987.

Lenses designed for EOS cameras will work (but not for older models like the AE-1 that used Canon's FD mount).

You can get lens adapters (for example, using older MC/MD mount Minolta lenses on KM DSLR models, using FD Mount Lenses on Canon DSLR models, etc.).

But, they have drawbacks (need for stop down metering, degradation and light loss from optical elements used in the adapters if you want to focus to infinity).

You're probably better off sticking with modern Autofocus lenses (especially since the viewfinder screens in DSLR models are not really designed to work that well with Manual Focus lenses -- especially if you're shooting at wider apertures where DOF is very shallow and focus accuracy is critical).

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Old Apr 7, 2006, 5:25 AM   #13
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stevem1928 wrote:
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I am not quite sure what I will be shooting inside the church.¬* I suppose it will mostly be architechtural.¬* My wife volunteered me to document the building of the new church.
If what you would photograph there is stationary, like just documenting insides in different building phases dSLR wouldn't be absolutely necesssary, depending how much there's light even tripod might not be necessary.
But good wide angle is required so you can already strike out all "ultrazooms", zoom is just hype touted when they don't have better things to advertise! (plus, now what SLR has button zoom?)

I guess what you would need to take is like these:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=16708739


Also as you like RAW two years old KonicaMinolta A2 with its stabilized 28-200mm (22.5mm possible with ACW-100 converter) would be best non-DSLR, four months old firmware increased writing speed so that single RAW is saved in ~5 seconds with Sandisk Ultra II and Extreme III cards and it has three shot buffer.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15829683
I don't yet have those cards (Lexar 80x is few seconds slower) and haven't used preview but looks like for some reason camera might works faster when using 2 second preview of taken image:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15800490

Cameras internal processing isn't much over mediocre so RAW would enable better results than JPEG in about every aspect but here's quickly post processed (Noise Ninja) ISO400 and 800 noise test shots from Steve's review.
http://rapidshare.de/files/14515406/...essed.exe.html
(self extracting RAR-archive, save file to directory where you want those pics and run it)

Some comparison of it to dSLR.
http://www.neocamera.com/feature_dslr.html
It turns out that the anti-shake system works exceptionally well. So well that in cases where ISO 1600 does not allow a sufficiently fast shutter speed for hand-held photography with the 20D, the A2 managed to produce quite sharp and noise-free pictures using only ISO 200


So for stationary target photography difference isn't such big when compared to dSLR with normal non-stabilized zoom lens (those are quite slow) with similar range, A2's stabilization enables two-three stops longer shake free shutter time. Of course there's faster lenses for dSLRs but they're inexpensive only as fixed focal length primes. Fast zoomable lenses are quite expensive and can cost magnitude more than dSLR body, same goes for stabilized lenses.

dSLR is more like foundation for building required system, it has ultimate versatility but budget limit can cause much compromises. Fast big aperture prime lenses aren't very expensive but if you want zoomable lens then either aperture drops considerably or price takes sky-rocket ride.
Actually in that aspect KM dSLR would be way best dSLR for you because you would get stabilization "in every lens" while with other brands you would have to pay considerably from stabilized lenses.


Other aspect you might want to consider is might you use video clips for documenting construction, here's example what resolution video A2 can take.


If you won't need video taking ability and are ready to accept other kind compromises/limitations, like using multiple lenses, dSLRs are definitely able to give better results in every area of photography.
So it's just which own type of compromise is better for you, unfortunately we can't have that perfect convenient size all in one camera which would handle all situations.


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I do¬* have some time before I really need the better camera.¬* Maybe about 9 months to a year.¬* Is there any new technollogy coming that I may want to wait for?
Very propably still more noisier Point&Pray menu surfing cameras with just stronger overprocessing to cover still more megapixels too much in too small sensor.
About every maker wants to kick advanced users to dSLRs so don't expect too much really advanced non-SLR digicams.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 10:17 AM   #14
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stevem1928 wrote:
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I am not quite sure what I will be shooting inside the church. I suppose it will mostly be architechtural. My wife volunteered me to document the building of the new church.
For this purpose you don't need high ISO or the Low Light lens. Like I said earlier you will need wide angle lens and a nice tripod. I am only familiar with canons and very happy with them. The cropped sensors on the dSLRs mentioned in this thread will require a wider lens, aperture shouldn't be much of an issue. I would look at the cost of the dSLR along with the lens, not just the body.

If you don't need much wide angle, then even p&s should for what you plan to use it for. Just shoot at the lowest ISO setting while on a tripod. The greater DOF on these p&s might be an advantage here.


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Old Apr 7, 2006, 12:23 PM   #15
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True, if the subject is stationary, you can shoot on a tripod and use a point and shoot camera at ISO100 or below. I thought that the Panasonic FZ20 with the Raynox DCR6600 gave me very good wide angle shots, better than the FZ30 in fact. That might be a good setup if you don't want to spend the money on the DSLR.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 12:57 PM   #16
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stevem1928 wrote:
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I would like the keep the entire package under $600 -$700. I am also a heavy Photoshop user and would like something that does camera RAW.
Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D with the 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Kit Lens at $699 while supplies last at places like Ritz/Wolf Camera

That would give you a 35mm equivalent focal length of approximately 27-106mm after the 1.52x multiplier to account for angle of view differences compared to a 35mm camera.

You'd probably want to shoot on the wide end anyway in the environment you're describing (and the kit lens would have the same angle of view as a 27mm lens on a 35mm camera), and the wide end is where this lens is brightest (f/3.5 available, which is only a half stop down from f/2.8, which is the largest aperture you'll find on most non-DSLR modelsj)

The KM 5D would give you much higher ISO speeds (up to ISO 3200), compared to the half stop difference in lens brightness on the wide end + give you the advantages of anti-shake with every lens. It's anti-shake gives you a 2 to 3 stop advantage over cameras without any stabilization for non-stationary subjects + you have higher ISO speeds available with lower noise compared to most other cameras.

The Maxxum 5D also gives you the raw performance you want and has a 5 frame buffer shooting in raw + it's one of the fastest cameras you can find for writing to media (8.8mb/second to a 2GB Sandisk Extreme III)

It can flush one raw frame per second *after* the buffer is full.

http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/cfcard/index.asp?cam=5D

Disclaimer: I'm biased as I have this camera. :-)

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Old Apr 7, 2006, 1:42 PM   #17
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P.S. -- Make sure to see the Imatest resuilts performed by Dave Etchells if you like to shoot in Raw. The Maxxum 5D even bested the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II (Canon top of the line pro model with a 35mm film size sensor selling at $7000+) in Dynamic Range tests shooting in raw and converting with Adobe Camera Raw:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...M5DIMATEST.HTM

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Old Apr 7, 2006, 2:12 PM   #18
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If I had known about the KM5D being available for the price that I got it for, I would not have bought the Panasonic FZ30. It is in fact an incredible deal.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 2:35 PM   #19
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It look like Ritz has 'em at $649.99 with the kit lens:

http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/541496501.htm

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Old Apr 7, 2006, 2:43 PM   #20
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I can see the pros and cons for cameras on both sides. I will compare the A200 against the D5, & the Pentax ist. I went through all of the cameras on this site's "Best List" in the Semi pro digicam, Ultra zoom and amateur dslr.

I think I can rule out the ultra zooms due to their inability to take close range type of pictures such as groups of people in a small room (lack of wide angle ability). Is this correct? Do I get this info from the zoom's small (first) number? The larger the number, the narrower the field of view?

I am also concerned that any zoom lenses for slrs in my price range may be on the poor quality side and suffer in low light situations.
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