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Old Jun 28, 2006, 6:12 PM   #31
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Here are my 2 cents: Get a KM 5D (or 7D or Sony Alpha A100 if you have the extra cash) and a Tamron 28-300f3.5-6.3 ultra zoom lens ($149 on ebay). That setup is perfect and made me sell my Panasonic FZ30 because I never used it anymore. While you lose a couple of f-stops at the tele-end, you make more than up for it by being able to use up to ISO 3200 at better quality than the FZ's ISO 400.Thus you got an image stabilized DSLR with an ultra-zoom lens that covers almost any rangeyou'd ever want. And then you can add on faster lenses, a super-wide angle, etc. But for about a hundred bucks more than the FZ30, you got a DSLR that can do everything and more than an ultra-zoom digicam.

Rainer

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Old Jun 28, 2006, 9:11 PM   #32
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Sorry. I never got back to this last night. And, I see I've had more comments added to my query. This really is a great group of people. Knowledgable and helpful.

Thank you for the breakdown of the differences between the KM 5D and 7D. I can see advantages to both. Ritz only had the 7D body with no lens. So, it was difficult to compare to anything. I don't really think I'm ready for any of the high-end type stuff yet. You mentioned the 5D allowing you to magnify raw files on playback. I hadn't thought about that. But, one feature I do use on my p&s is the zoom and scroll feature to check out areas of a photo. I will still be able to do this with a DSLR won't I?

At this point, I'm going towards the 5D, 7D or new Pentax. Reading up on the Pentax it seems to have everything I'm looking for. At least that I think I'm looking for. And, if the 5D or 7D might be difficult to find by the time I can see the Pentax..... well......

Next questions - jpeg, raw, jpeg+raw. What's the difference? I see that the Pentax K100D doesn't do jpeg+raw. Do I care about this? I have been taking classes on using PSE4 since January. Have learned a lot. So, I am familiar with being able to tweak my photos.

Okay, so, comments about the TTL have gone over my head. From what I'm reading here it sounds like it's a good thing that I shouldn't have to worry about as it will do what it needs, when it needs???? We only had one lesson on flashes in my photography class and it was mostly about making sure you don't aim the flash directly at what you are shooting and how to set the controls on it to match what your camera settings were.

You are right, I may want a newer camera next month. That is the way with electronics. I think the companies do it on purpose. But, like withmy cars, I tend to shop and shop until I find exactly what I want and then keep it until it dies. I may want to add fancy features, but as long as it still getsme back and forth to work, it's mine. (My 1995 Nissan Maxima, 220,000 miles is a one of a kind. I really liked the car, but insisted on the adjustable windshield wipers. They only came with the automatic or sport model. They knew I wanted it and opted to buy the part for me and install for part cost. It may be a standard item now, but my 95 is the only one like it.) As for my current cameras, they still do take photos and I can switch back and forth between the digital and SLR to get what I want, but I'm getting tired of it. Hopefully I won't regret switching to a heavier, larger camera and still carry my small digital with me for quickies.

On the Pentax, for lens mounting it says "power zoom feature not available, K-mount lenses usable with restrictions, S-mount lenses usable with adapter and with restrictions, 67/645 lenses usable with adapter and restrictions". Does this just mean if I buy used lenses, I'll have to watch for these type mounts??

One thing that I had problems with the Canon in my class was something about the focusing system. I think it was I could not manually control where the focus was. I don't remember what it was that my instructor said the camera didn't have. But, it limited what I was able to do in class. I think it was it didn't have spot metering. (Remember I took this class two years ago.) I just remember there were many shots that when we'd view them in class, my instructor would ask what I was trying to get and when I told him he'd say that's the limitation of my camera not allowing me to do that particular shot. Is this making any sense? Anyway, I noticed the Pentax has TTL open-aperture metering with choice of: 16 segment, Center-weighted and Spot metering.

Looking at the K100D, K110D and iST, the only differences I see are the K100D has IS. I know I had more questions and I can't think of them right now.

Anyone know when in July Pentax will be releasing the K100D so I can look at it. I can write them, too, I guess.

Thanks for all the discussion here. It's not only answering my questions, but letting me know what other things I should be considering.
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Old Jun 28, 2006, 10:04 PM   #33
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nhmom wrote:
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You mentioned the 5D allowing you to magnify raw files on playback. I hadn't thought about that. But, one feature I do use on my p&s is the zoom and scroll feature to check out areas of a photo. I will still be able to do this with a DSLR won't I?
Yes, you can zoom in and check out areas of a photo. But, it's only about a 4x Magnification. Depending on what you're used to, you may want more than that for critical examination. That's a weak area from my perspective (only 4x magnifcation on playback). But, it's not a real big deal.

Both the 5D and 7D will allow magnification on playback. The 7D just can't magnify raw files (you'd need to shoot jpeg, or raw + jpeg to zoom in on an image with one).

Quote:
Next questions - jpeg, raw, jpeg+raw. What's the difference? I see that the Pentax K100D doesn't do jpeg+raw. Do I care about this? I have been taking classes on using PSE4 since January. Have learned a lot. So, I am familiar with being able to tweak my photos.
A raw file is unprocessed data from the camera's sensor. Instead of the camera trying to process it into a viewable image in fractions of a second between shots, you can use a high powered PC to process it instead, giving you some advantages over shooting jpeg.

You need raw conversion software to process a raw file into an image that can be viewed by other editors and image viewers. Photoshop Elements 4 can use Adobe Camera Raw, which will convert the raw files into a viewable image from many popular cameras that are capable of shooting in raw.

Shooting raw + jpeg gives you a raw file that you can convert with powerful tools for best results, along with a jpeg image that's usable immediatley (most viewers and editors support jpeg images, as it's the most popular file type supported by digital cameras).


To get an idea of how a camera's sensor works, along with some of the algorithms used to convert this data, see these articles:

http://www.dalibor.cz/files/Ting%20C...erpolation.pdf

http://www.ece.gatech.edu/research/l.../bahadir05.pdf



Quote:
Okay, so, comments about the TTL have gone over my head. From what I'm reading here it sounds like it's a good thing that I shouldn't have to worry about as it will do what it needs, when it needs???? We only had one lesson on flashes in my photography class and it was mostly about making sure you don't aim the flash directly at what you are shooting and how to set the controls on it to match what your camera settings were.
That depends on what you need. Most modern cameras have dedicated flashes available, so that you don't need to worry about setting the camera and flash to match each other. Instead, a manufacturer's flash is designed to communicate with the camera so that it's aware of things like ISO speed and Aperture.

But, you can still find older type strobes to use if conditions permit (where you shoot in manual exposure and set the camera and flash to match each other).

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On the Pentax, for lens mounting it says "power zoom feature not available, K-mount lenses usable with restrictions, S-mount lenses usable with adapter and with restrictions, 67/645 lenses usable with adapter and restrictions". Does this just mean if I buy used lenses, I'll have to watch for these type mounts??
I'm not a Pentax shooter. But, they've got a good reputation for backwards compatibility. If you want to avoid any compatibility headaches (needing to meter with the aperture stopped down and use manual focus), just make sure to buy newer Autofocus Lenses for one (although you'll find that manual focus lenses are popular among Pentax DSLR owners, too). You'd need to check with Pentax owners for specifics.

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I just remember there were many shots that when we'd view them in class, my instructor would ask what I was trying to get and when I told him he'd say that's the limitation of my camera not allowing me to do that particular shot. Is this making any sense?
Any camera has a limited dynamic range (range of bright to dark that it's capable of capturing in an image). So, if you have darker portions exposed properly (for example, a backlit subject in shadows), the rest of the image can be overexposed. Or, if you have brighter areas exposed properly, the rest of an image may be underexposed (too dark to retain detail).

How you meter the scene impacts the aperture and shutter speed choice a camera will use, and most cameras have multiple ways of metering a scene. Spot metering is only looking at a small spot. Center Weighted metering looks at the entire image, but places more weight on correctly exposing the center. Matrix metering also looks at the entire image, using manufacturer specific algorithms to try and make an educated guess on how to expose the scene. No metering system is perfect and you'll have dynamic range limitations with any solution, even if you don't use the camera's built in meter at all.

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Old Jun 28, 2006, 11:41 PM   #34
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To answer your question on the Pentax lenses - Pentax says there are limitations on what functions are available with certain lenses, but only because the lenses themselves have limited functions available. The old K-mount lenses are manual lenses - they don't have the ability to auto focus or have the camera control the aperture (they weren't made that way). You have to set the aperture with the ring on the lens, and then you have to push one button on the camera (easy to reach) to temporarily stop down the lens and let the camera meter and set the shutter speed. It's not a big deal, but I do occasionally forget and have either over or under exposed pictures, depending on what shutter speed the camera had used for the previousframe (I have a number of K-mount lenses that I use all the time and a couple that I have but don't use much). If you are in the market for used lenses, it's important to know something about the lenses so that you'll know what they can do (will you have to manually focus the lens?).

At one point Pentax made some lenses that had a power zoom. I don't know how many cameras they made that could use them, but I don't think it was very many (I was happily using my manual camera and lenses when they were made, and don't know anything about them. From what I've read, I got the impression they have been discontinued).

The older screw type mount lenses can be used but they are a different mount. There's an adaptor you can get so they can be used also. Some of these lenses are very sharp but the camera doesn't control them at all.

I have a DS and usually keep it set at spot metering and center focus (what I'm used to), so having all the exta points on the K100D and K110Dwouldn't add all that much worth for me. Just my opinion, but to me it would come down to the DL or the K100D, and (assuming the reviews of the K100D are good) the K100D's IS would be worth paying extra for. I don't think there will be enough difference between the K110 and the DL to justify waiting or any extra cost (unless those extra metering and focus points are important to what type of pictures you want to take).
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Old Jun 30, 2006, 7:45 AM   #35
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Thank you, mtngal for the lens info.

I heard back from Pentax about the K100D shipping date. They don't know (or so they say). They said to just keep checking with my local supplier until they have it in. So, guess I'll be visiting Ritz a lot this month!

I may look around this weekend for some KM 5D's to see one of those. But, I suspect I am going to have to either make a decision on getting one of those without seeing the K100D, or buy the K100D later because there are no more 5 or 7D's available anywhere. It'll work out.


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Old Jun 30, 2006, 10:37 AM   #36
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If I were you, I'd grab the deal at Wal-Mart on the 7D for $699 with the 18-70mm lens while they still have it in stock (and they've already removed it from the search engine, which means supplies are probably running low).

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4898002

This is a steal on this body. Wal-Mart must have made a pretty good deal on remaining stock. Adorama had some kits with the 28-75mm f/2.8 (brighter and heavier lens) on sale at $899 for a while (which was also a super deal). But, they just went back up to $1,299.90

http://www.adorama.com/IMN7DK1.html?...&item_no=1

The KM 7D sold for $100 MORE than the Canon EOS-20D when it was first introduced, and it was $600 MORE than the Nikon D70.

Now, you can get one for less than half of what it was selling for while supplies last at Wal-Mart (and I doubt they'll last for long, since used 7D bodies are selling for more than they want for a new one).

This is a very high quality body compared to anything else you could buy at anywhere near it's price (buffer size, viewfinder, control layout, ergonomics, focus points/speed, etc.), with anti-shake for every lens. Most entry level bodies feel like toys in comparison.



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Old Jun 30, 2006, 11:07 AM   #37
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P.S.

Here are articles about the Konica Minolta 7D that you may want to read through by Mike Johnston (a professinal photographer and writer):

He was so impressed with his 7D that he devotedsome of hisweekly Sunday Morning Photographer articles to it (a discontinued series now, but Mike was writing this weekly column for a long time).

Catch the Rave!

The Tale told by Two Pictures
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Old Jun 30, 2006, 3:48 PM   #38
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Make sure to check your local Circuit City, too. They've got some super deals on remainng KM DSLRs:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=84

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Old Jun 30, 2006, 5:04 PM   #39
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I would go with the super zoom. Like me, you are still very much in the learning stage. The best way to learn is to take lots and lots of pictures, landscapes, portraits, macro, action, still life, indoors and outdoors. With a DSLR that means a big camera and at least three lenses. How often are you going to be able to carry all that around and use it? I keep my super zoom in my car and any time I see a photo opportunity I can pull it out of the console and be shooting in under two seconds. I have been driving down the street, seen a bird close to the road and grabbed a shot out the window before it flew away. Yes there are limitations to the single lens and relatively small sensor. In the process of learning how to get the best possible shot given the limitations of the camera, you will find that you are really learning a lot about the technical aspects of photography and you will also learn about the art of photography as you develop the skills to frame your shots to make the best use of available light and the limitations of you lens.
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Old Jun 30, 2006, 6:17 PM   #40
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bill.guenthner wrote:
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I would go with the super zoom. Like me, you are still very much in the learning stage. The best way to learn is to take lots and lots of pictures, landscapes, portraits, macro, action, still life, indoors and outdoors.
Putthe mode dial on Auto while you're learning with a DSLR. ;-) You can learn on any camera.

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With a DSLR that means a big camera and at least three lenses.
No it doesn't. There are all in one lens solutions if you want to go that way.

A lot of our forum members have buying the Tamron 28-300mm XR Autofocus Lens in Minolta mount for $145 from Cameta (a reputable vendor that also sells at great prices on Ebay).

Ona Konica Miniolta DSLR model, that would give you a 35mm equivalent focal range of 42 to 450mm, and it would be stabilized.

You have to multiply the focal length of a lens by 1.5x on a Konica Minolta DSLR to see how the angle of view would compare to the same focal length on a 35mm camera.

A lens like the Tamron 28-300mm XRis relatively small and light for a lens with it's focal range, and since you've got ISO speeds up to ISO 3200, that more than makes up for the difference in brightness you'd have with any of the lenses you'd find on most ultrazoom models, since ISO 1600 on a Konica Minolta DSLR is most likely going to be cleaner than ISO 400 on most Ultra Zoom models.

Then, buy an even brighter lens as money permits if you really need one (and you can't improve the brightness ofan Ultra Zoom's lens). ;-)

Some users also prefer a lens that starts out wider like an 18-200mm instead (giving you a 35mm equivalent focal range of around 28-300mm onmost entry level DSLR models).

There are many choices in lenses, which is what makes a DSLR solution more flexbile. You have "all in one" lens solutions available if you want to go that route, or you can get super bright primes and get shutter speeds many times faster than you could with an ultrazoom model in the same lighting.

Also, lenses become an investment with a DSLR, and you can usually carry them with you within the same brand if you upgrade your camera body later. In the case of Minolta Autofocus Lenses, they'll also work on upcoming Sony Alpha DSLR models.

The first one should start shipping on or before July 28. Make sure to read the preview:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_.../alpha100.html

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