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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:45 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Some great threads on here already debating between DSLR and higher-up P&S and I don't mean to just add more noise but figured I'd throw this out there anyway as a specific comparison case. Any comments (even just quick thoughts) greatly appreciated.

My situation:
Baby on the way and given relatively free reign by DW to upgrade our dear old CyberShot and APS cameras in favor of a new cam and camcorder (the camcorder selection is a whole different nightmare) to record all the new milestones (how obvious is it that this is our first?).

My experience and interest:
I do not have very much photography experience at all but have always been fascinated by photography and (theoretically) very interested in learning more. With the baby on the way, who knows if that will actually happen.

I've been researching for 3-4 weeks now and am just having trouble pulling the trigger; I keep flip-flopping between the inherent future expandibility offered by DSLRs tempered by the need to spend more on different lenses and the enhanced (but more finite) out-of-the box features of the P&S. I am looking at these two as my last/latest contenders. In order to keep the comparison fair price-wise, let's assume that it will be some time before I upgrade from the *ist DL kit lens.

I am digging the ultrazoom with IS capabilities of the S3 (10x zoom just sounds cool) and the reviews sound like it offers plenty of manual control options that someone like me can learn with and keep me occupied for quite some time. On the other hand, I love the idea of getting better quality pictures right off the bat with the larger sensor of the *ist DL and the auto mode on that seems plenty capable of holding my hand until I learn more and then I am all set to continue building off this base.

I am guessing that I will be happy with either but would appreciate others' comments as well. Thanks!
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 11:10 PM   #2
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jakelrot-

Look at it this way. For about $100 more than the cost of the Canon S-3 you can get a Pentax DL with the kit lens and a Tamron 28-300mm XR lens. IMHO it really is worth the $100 because you will get a much better camera.

The Pentax DL is better than the Canon S-3 because:

(1) The DL aps-C imager is 8 to 9 times larger than the CCD used in the S-3. Therefore, it will generate far less noise in your photos.

(2) The DL has a much higher ISO capability than the S-3.

(3) The zoom reach of the described DL package and the S-3 are almost identical

The choice is yours.

MT
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 11:52 AM   #3
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i just sold my panasonic fz30 and am getting the ist DL in the mail. can't wait! you sound alot like me...i bought the fz30 in october last year, and it was great for learning. that learning could have been done on an entry level dSLR though, and the price point of the DL is simply amazing at the moment. Whether you take the time to fully learn the workings of a camera, or never really do and keep it in Auto mode all the time, you're always going to get a better looking picture from the dSLR. the 12x zoom was a cool novelty to me too, but as stated here previously, you can get relatively inexpensive zoom lenses online (check out www.keh.com for instance, or ebay) that give you comparable range to the prosumer megazooms out there (s3, fz30, etc.). because of the sensor size, a 100-300 slr zoom lens gets multiplied by 1.5, which actually puts you closer to 13x zoom. but, you're upgrading your camera and camcorder for your new baby. think you'll need 10-12x zoom for that? not at all, you'll be holding him/her, taking pictures in the crib, crawling around inside - all closeup opportunities. so, i don't think you should really be thinking about the s3, the prosumer megazooms are novel for the novice, but you'll find your photos lacking when it comes time to actually enjoying looking at them in the future. i'm just glad i could turn around and sell my panny fz30 and get more than enough to cover the price of the istDL (it really is a steal). go to circuitcity (actually it's $427 after rebate there, if it was last week i would already have the DL!)and try them both out if you have any doubts. the DL is a great camera, i can't wait to get home today and crack it open! The only thing i'll personally miss is the ability to take some videos that a p+s offers - but you're getting a camcorder for that. a camera is for photos, and i'm willing to get used to that for good quality images!
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 11:10 PM   #4
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mtclimber - Thank you for those points and for the heads up on the follow-up lens if I really feel the need for more zoom. I think one of my first steps before I even think of doing that is to get my head fully wrapped around the numbers for lenses so I have a good idea what means what. Unless, of course, the price is too good and I'll blindly stumble forth again.

milrodpxpx - Nice point about not really needing an ultrazoom for a new baby.

I really appreciate your taking the time to reply. It's helpful just talking this out a bit more and mulling over your points and organizing my thoughts in the process. I'm going to bite the bullet and gowith the *ist DL because the potential upside is just so much greater. I'll see you guys around on the other boards for tips on working my up to that potential. Thanks, again!
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 11:59 PM   #5
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I'm not sure how the s3 is as I've never used one, but I just recently upgraded from a Sony 717 to the DL and I'm loving the DL... The biggest thing I noticed was the shutter lag, there is none!!! You press the button and it takes a picture(when in manual focus mode, AF can take a little while sometimes). The high ISO capabilitys of the DL are really good too(ISO 3200 on the DL is like ISO 800 on the 717). I would recommend the DL, simply because its always ready to go when you press the shutter.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 12:58 AM   #6
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I'm new here, and I was surprised to see someone choosing between the exact two cameras I'm chosing between, so I'm going to butt in and piggy-back on this thread, hope that's okay here!

I am looking to buy a birthday gift for my husband. He is interested in photography, but hasn't taken more than snapshots...hmmm, since our kids were born I guess! He doesn't have a digital camera, he uses either his camcorder or my point and shoot when he needs one now. Before that, he was using my old camera, a Pentax MX. We have several lenses for the old Pentax, at least one is a Pentax (I want to say it's a 50-100mm), and one or two are Tokina zooms, with Pentax bayonet mounts.

Under the circumstances, do you think I should get the *ist DL, or will it just be more camera than he needs right now? (Since he hasn't been using one lately.) Or do the combination of lenses we own and the great prices on the *ist DL make it the obvious choice? If I do a P&S, it will most likely be the S3, if that makes any difference.

Anything I should be aware of, or wary of, regarding the use of really old lenses on a new DSLR? I understand they will fit, but some functions may not work properly?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 4:05 AM   #7
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there is really no contest here. get the Pentax and forget about the S3 :G
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 6:37 AM   #8
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How does the *ist DL compare to the KM 7D? An entry level DSLR has always been in the back of my mind as a future purchase, but I prefer a compact, take anywhere camera. The thought of having to lug around a heavier, bulkier DSLR and then change lenses to capture a shot, have deterred me from buying one. Right now I have an ultracompact FX-01 and UZ FZ7 and I enjoy them both, but the temptation of a DSLR lingers......... Of all the quality entry DSLR's, which is the most compact and user friendly? Thanks all.

Justinian

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Old Jul 11, 2006, 8:12 AM   #9
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Terresa - Best answer - get the Pentax DL and use allhis old lenses (won't matter if they are Tokina or Pentax). That's what I did - I had lenses left over from an old ME purchased years ago, and am happily using a mix of a couple of new lenses plus my old lenses. If he could use an MX, he'll have no problem using the DL.

As far as budget dSLR cameras go, the Pentax is the smallest and lightest. It's really nice when you are several miles up on a mountain top tothink you aren't carrying the extra weight of the Rebel XT.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:49 AM   #10
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Teresa-

Your question has been pretty well answered already, but may I add one more salient point. With the quality of the photos produced by the Pentax DL, it may indeed be you, not your husband that becomes the family photographer. It is a great little camera and a whole lot of fun.

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