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Old May 1, 2006, 12:38 PM   #1
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I too am looking to make the jump to a DLSR for recreational use only. I have spent too much time going through these and other forums reading about D50, Rebel XT etc. and notice how rarely the Pentax DL series makes this "short list" of contenders for newbie purchases. While of course, people in the Pentax threads are very "pro Pentax" and some of the DL reviews have noted the "notso great" out of camera jpg image quality, many other reviews, commentators and users have noted that the camera actually delivers very good image quality and is a good "beginner" camera.

These days with the price of a brand new DL with lense available online for as little as US$460, I am curious why so few people seem to be shortlisting it when asking "what DSLR should I buy".

Any comments, or is the D50, for example, that much better (even for a beginner) and worth the incremental price? (Assuming no previous investment in lenses).
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Old May 1, 2006, 1:40 PM   #2
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I have the DS. There are complaints from some about the difference between the very good RAW image and ok JPEG images from this camera. The JPEG is good to my eyes, but I am not an expert. However, I heard that the JPEG image quality in the DL has improved over that in the DS. Can't remember where I heard it but it was in one of these forums, I think.

The D50 is good, and very good for the price. Lots of people like Nikon and sometimes new lenses are cheaper for Nikon and Canon cameras.

To me, it seems a toss up.

You'd probably be happy with either camera.

Good luck!
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Old May 1, 2006, 3:59 PM   #3
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Because I own both a Pentax DS and the Nikon D-50, perhaps I can offer a somewhat different point of view. While the Pentax DS is a very competent DSLR camera, in actual use I prefer the Nikon D-50. It is simply an easier DSLR camera to use, with more lens choices.
MT
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Old May 1, 2006, 4:18 PM   #4
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Some people don't like the fact the DL is as small as it is - that was a huge plus for me.

Some people don't consider it because it isn't a Canon or Nikon so it can't be any good - not true at all! It's a very nice camera, and I find it easy to use. I might not use all of the options I could, and if I'm using old, manual lenses (which I do often) I sometimes forget to push the button to stop the lens down so the camera can meter using the aperture set by the ring on the lens (these are 20-25 year old manual lenses).

If you don't mind the smaller size, or if you're like me and you prefer as light as possible, then get the DL and enjoy it.
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Old May 1, 2006, 4:18 PM   #5
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I have a DS and unlimited use of a D70S and a D200 Nikon (not the D50) and I prefer the DS over both Nikons and find the Pentax lenses better and less expensive at the high end even though there are more choices with Nikon lenses.

That said, you will be happy with either choice even though I prefer the Pentax.

This is a jpg file from my DS using a Pentax 300mm lens with a Pentax 1.4X-S converter and it seems sharp to me.

Tom
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Old May 1, 2006, 7:04 PM   #6
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Although I have a number of other Pentax K-mount lenses, my main "kit" consists of the 18-55mm kit lens (actually a freebee since it was included with the camera and there was a rebate at the time), an FA 28-80 f3.5-5.6 that came with my old MZ-7 and an FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8 lens I got for only $60 in like new condition. I recently purchased a brand new Sigma 24-135mm f2.8-4.5 lens for $70.89!!! This lens has caused some controversy due to some faults reported by some owners, but I have no problems so far, the same seller asks $269 for Nikon and Canon mount examples.

My point, I am getting very good image quality (minor post processing is all I do) in jpeg. Tom's work, especially with bird photography, is magnificent, and he only shoots jpeg. My total investment wouldn't purchase a Canon 350D with kit lens (it would barely cover a Nikon D50). This is a good camera, it should not be overlooked.

As I have said before, regarding image quality the worst DSLR on the market today is merely fantastic. All DSLRs require a little more from their users than p&s cameras do but the results make it worth while.

Ira
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Old May 2, 2006, 2:44 AM   #7
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I have a little to add.

I bought a nikon D50 but........ I actually wanted a Dynax 5 or a Pentax DL seing as i shoot mostly lowlight ( would have loved iso3200 noise or no noise ) but It seemed all the retail minolta stores had closed in beijing, and i didn´t even see pentax anywhere.

I personally love my nikon d50! But i still wake up in the middle of the night thinking i´m holding a DL or Dynax 5......

Summoning up what ira has said. Coming from a P&S all the entry level DLSR will give you a positive response. In my book it´s the conditions you are shooting under that should determine your choice not the brand!
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Old May 2, 2006, 2:59 PM   #8
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Just ordered my DL with lens kit from buydig.com this morning and I just received a notice that it has already shipped!

I can't wait to get it. Thanx for all the support.
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:56 PM   #9
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I have owned a Pentax Super Program SLR for years. I have the Pentax A 50mm 1.7 lens that came with the camera. I also have the Pentax-FA 28-80 (3.5-5.6) and Pentax 100-300-FA (4.7-5.80) lens. The last two are less than 3 years old. I am going to upgrade from a Pentax Optio 33L 3.2 MP digital camera. (by the way, I also have a Pentax 105 P&S film camera) I have been looking most seriously at the Sony H2 and waiting to have a look at the new Kodak z612. I keep reading about the istDL and thinking that I should strongly consider that camera rather than an ultra zoom. I have always been very satisfied with my Pentax cameras including the 3.2 digital. With the lens I have now and the 18-55 lens that most often comes with the DL, what do you think I should do? I had my heart set on getting some form of Image Stabilization, but I know I will give that up if I go with the DL. I have a good tripod, but as I get older, it seems for just standard shooting the IS would be a great feature. I take a variety of pictures, but really enjoy buildings, landscapes, close-ups of flowers and people. Any comments or help would really be appreciated. I am not even sure what I will have if I use one of the FA lenses except that manual focus will always be necessary. Will aperture or shutter priority still work on the DL if I set one of those lenses to Auto? Many thanks.
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Old May 2, 2006, 11:42 PM   #10
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All your lenses will work very nicely with the DL. I'm using old K-mount lenses I got with a Pentax ME camera in 1980, and they work very well, though they really are manual lenses. From what I understand, you won't lose any functionality with the FA lenses, and that means keeping auto focus and all exposure modes the lens is capable of. I'm using lenses that totally manual on any camera, and they work very well (the camera beeps and has a light that comes on when it thinks you're in focus, so you do have some focus assistence even with the manual lenses).

I owned an FZ30 for a month before I bought the Pentax DS. It had IS and I found it didn't help all that much - I seem to do better with the DS for some reason, even with the 50-200 lens. I got really frustrated with the FZ30 and decided that I'd only be happy with a dSLR. Since I had all my old Pentax ME lenses, I never considered anything else and I couldn't be happier.

If you could, try out the Sony H2 first if you can. I find a really light camera harder to hold still for some reason. The H2 is a nice camera for a fixed lens camera but you give up the mechanical zoom and a number of other things that a dSLR can do. As long as you know what you are getting into (and more importantly, what you would be giving up) then get the H2. However, if you think you might want to get a dSLR, then buy a DL and enjoy using your old lenses.
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