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Old Aug 7, 2006, 5:25 PM   #21
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mtclimber makes some good points about the Pentax, and keep in mind that I think it's a great system, but I would like to make a few points.

Lens mounts:

Pentax may well have made 27.5 million lenses. But Canon have made a few more.

http://www.canon.co.uk/about_us/news...th_ef_lens.asp

That's 30 million since the introduction of the new EF - i.e. autofocus mount since 1987. All of those will work with their new cameras. So it's not as though Canon change mounts every few minutes.

With adapters all the Nikon lenses can be used, though with reduced features, on the Nikon bodies too.

I don't think any manufacturer really has any advantage here.

IS in the body:

Careful what you wish for. The IS in the body means that every time you change camera you have to pay for the IS again. :-) My Canon IS lenses will give me a stabilised image on my next body and the next couple after that probably.

Also IS in the lens is arguably technologically and ergonomically superior.

Also by putting IS in the lens you don't have to put motors around the sensor to move it around. This means the body can hold bigger sensors, like Canon do with their 1 and 5 series cameras. The 1 series really doesn't need to get any bigger.

No real overriding advantage to either approach, just different.


AA batteries:

Pentax apparently get very good life out of a set of rechargeable lithium AA's. The battery grips for the Canon cameras can use AA at a pinch, but their proprietary batteries get about 25 times as many shots as a set of Alkalines. I would rather recharge one battery than 4, and I can charge my spare Canon battery and leave it in my camera bag for 3 months - when I put it in my camera it will still have 95% charge.

With AA rechargeables you lose about 10% per day. So you'd better be willing to manage your battery stash. If you don't use the charge within a 2-3 days you're going to be in trouble.

AA batteries are LESS hassle? Not in my world. Nor are they significantly cheaper.

To me this is actually a significant disadvantage for Pentax.


Good viewfinder, AF speed and ergonomics:

An excellent reason to go for the Pentax.



As I mentioned before, I would go for the Pentax between the 3 cameras you have listed. I don't really like the XT, it's too small and light for me. Feels like a toy. The D50 is better, but the Pentax feels good.

If you can go for a Canon 20D (and there are some at very good prices now) then that would be a good reason to choose Canon.

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Old Aug 8, 2006, 4:20 AM   #22
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(d) The new K100D focuses faster, with greater accuracy,than the DS, DL, XT and D-50bodies.

(e) The K100D uses four handy rechargeable AA sized batteries. That may not be a factor to some users, but it is important to many Pentax users. Spares are easily charged and equally easy to carry.

(f)The K100D is capable of ISO settings up to ISO 3200, whereas, brand C and brand N have a maximum ISO setting of ISO 1600.
Mind if I ask where you found the information that the Pentax K100D focused faster and more accuratelythan the rest?

Regarding the high ISO matter;

The Nikon D50/D70s, and the CanonEOS 350D all have higher quality in the ISO 1600 range than the Pentax, no need to mention the ISO 3200 of the Pentax. I prefer qualitative ISO 1600 over less qualitative ISO 1600 and ISO 3200. (As far as I can see).

Feel free to correct me if the Pentax dSLRs have equal ISO qualities as the Nikon D50/D70s and the Rebel XT. (Proof needed). That includes detail retention, not just clean images. Look at thePanasonics, very cleanboosted ISOs but equally free of details.


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Old Aug 8, 2006, 3:00 PM   #23
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Benjamin-

No offence intended, but I get the impression that you just like to debate about cameras. I will respect that completely. I am a professional photographer, and I get paid for the photos that I take, unfortunately I have not reached the point in my life where I can sit back and philsophically debate miniscule point ad infinatum.

I own and heavily use to Pentax DSLR cameras, the DS and the K100D. In actual, day to day use, IMHO the K100D focuses 50% faster than the DS. As Ioftentimes usetwo camera bodies, one after the other on a shoot, the focus time minimization becomes very apparent.

MT
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 3:41 PM   #24
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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The Nikon D50/D70s, and the CanonEOS 350D all have higher quality in the ISO 1600 range than the Pentax, no need to mention the ISO 3200 of the Pentax
Actually, it's just as important to notewhich camera's havebetter noise as it is to note what ISO settings they have.

Just because the XT's noise level looks better than the K100D's at ISO 1600 doesn't mean the K100D's ISO3200 isn't useable. That's a very important distinction. If you don't ever want to use ISO3200, that's fine. But, these factsare important so that everyone can make their own opinion.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 4:03 PM   #25
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What about an underpriced istdl for $435 with kit lens and spending the rest on a f2.8 70-200 sigma? You clearly have a full range of photographic range, not to mention a bargain of a good camera.

This is what I am considering for sports at night and overall family and vacation pics.

I would appreciate any other suggestions.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 4:54 PM   #26
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a few comments on your post:

a) true, that's a nice feature that Pentax and the new Sony (and old KM) have. However, while IS/VR lenses are more expensive for Nikon and Canon compared to their respective non-IS/VR counterparts, the Pentax version (without IS/VR in lens) is sometimes more expensive than the N/C counterpart (see, for example, the 200mm f/2.8 for Canon vs. Pentax, or the 300mm f/2.8 for N/C vs. Pentax, or the 70/80-200 for N/C vs. Pentax (if you can find it!)).
There's no doubt that Pentax make great optics, but availability can be an issue. It's nice to add SR to a 50mm prime or a standard 18-55 zoom, but if you're looking for slightly longer telephoto lenses, you often pay a premium for Pentax even without IS/VR in the lens.

b) this statement is not quite accurate. Nikon can use all AI lenses. Canon can use only EF lenses, and older EF lenses from third-party manufacturers often have to be re-chipped, but Canon (and Nikon to a lesser degree) have a much wider variety of AF lenses than Pentax.

c) from what I understand, that's true, and certainly a great plus for the Pentax.

d) not sure how you really know that--did you measure it? under which conditions? using which lenses?

e) I don't really see how carrying four AA spares is easier than carrying one Li-ion battery. Charging is a pain, too, plus they self-discharge. The only advantages I see are that you can share batteries with your flash and you can pick them up anywhere if you run out, but carrying them around and charging them are two big minuses for me.

f) I'm unclear on how this is relevant. I'm fairly sure that ISO 3200 isn't native to the Pentax, so it's achieved via ISO-boost, the same as underexposing a D50 or Rebel XT at ISO 1600 by one stop and bringing it back up in PP. The E-1 has ISO 3200, but nobody's claiming that it's some sort of low-light king (because its native ISO tops out at 800). It's quite a bit more important how good ISO 1600 is than the option of ISO 3200 (which again, is probably achieved via boost).

g) definitely! at the end of the day, any of them would be a good choice, so picking the one that feels comfortable in your hands is very important!

mtclimber wrote:
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There are several real advantages to the Pentax K100D that perhaps should be noted for reference:

(a) Shake Reduction is built right into the camera body. Therefore, every lens installed on the K100D will have IS and you will not have to pay a measurably higher prices for IS equipped lenses

(b) Over their SLR history, which is a long one, 27.5 million lenses have been produced for the Pentax mount. Even the newest model, the K100D, can use any of those lenses, AND those lenses, no matter how old they might be, will be IS equipped because the IS mechanism is built into the camera body. That will greatly reduce the cost of lenses, one of the major DSLR costs. Older lenses do not fit C & N due to the fact that they have changed lens mounts over the years.

(c) The new K100Dhas a very bright viewfinder, brighter, in fact, than my Canon 350D/XT, or my Nikon D-50.

(d) The new K100D focuses faster, with greater accuarcy,than the DS, DL, XT and D-50bodies.

(e) The K100D uses four handy rechargeable AA sized batteries. That may not be a factor to some users, but it is important to many Pentax users. Spares are easily charged and equally easy to carry.

(f) The K100D is capable of ISO settings up to ISO 3200, whereas, brand C and brand N have a maximum ISO setting of ISO 1600.

(g) When most prospective DSLR buyers handle the C, N, and Pentax bodies side by side, they prefer the grip on the Pentax as well as the viewfinder on the Pentax. To actually experience and compare the handling and sighting qualities of the DSLR that you are going to invest in as a system, is very important, and should not be overlooked.

So these are just a few elements that you might want to consider in making your DSLR selection.

MT
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 5:29 PM   #27
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thebac wrote:
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f)I'm fairly sure that ISO 3200 isn't native to the Pentax, so it's achieved via ISO-boost
I didn't know that...If it's true, good info.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 5:52 PM   #28
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ISO 3200 is native to the Pentax DSLR cameras.

Any of the consumer level DSLR cameras on the market today are excellent, as well as capable cameras. You cannot go wrong with any of them.

So why doesn't everyone just pick the DSLR camera that seems best to them. That way we will save protracted discussion like this over what appear to IMHO be very small details.

I made my choice the Pentax K100D. It pays the bills and puts food on the table.

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Old Aug 8, 2006, 6:06 PM   #29
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mtclimber wrote:
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So why doesn't everyone just pick the DSLR camera that seems best to them. That way we will save protracted discussion like this over what appear to IMHO be very small details.
You sound like you are taking offense to this discussion, mt...I don't think anyone is bagging on the K100D.

It is these discussions that help us determine what camera is best for us.

I am currently looking to buy either the D50 or the K100D, and I know I won't go wrong with either. But, it is good to know the little details. I think we are all interested in the little details, otherwise we'd just buy a camera without asking questions.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 6:07 PM   #30
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The Canons (20/30D 5D and 1D)all have an ISO3200 expansion setting but it's NOT native - i.e. there is no extra gain on the sensor.

It has exactly the same noise profile as ISO1600 underexposed by one stop.

The same is true of the Nikons.

Having ISO3200 on the dial doesn't mean it's true ISO3200. I have no information about Pentax, but I'd be very curious as to how they manage a true ISO3200 when they don't manufacture their own sensors and none of the other manufacturers can manage it.

Most likely their ISO3200 is the same as everyone else who offers it. Worth knowing for the folk who rule out the XT and Nikon D50 because they don't have ISO3200, just shoot at ISO1600 and push the RAW file, you'll be no worse off than those cameras that have an expanded ISO3200 mode.

If anyone has a link to an article which settles the matter for the Pentax I'd be interested to read it.
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