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Old Aug 7, 2006, 8:10 AM   #1
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i have a panasonic Lumix FZ7, which is a great camera bar the fact that if you use any ISO above 100 the picture looks like a really badly tuned tv station. theres just too much noise. i take a good few photos in low light suituations of animals. my only option here is to have a low iso and a long shutter speed, which doesnt work with animals, so im looking to move up.

the camera i pick must allow me to use high ISO levels with little or no degredation in photo quality, have a feture so i can lock the exposure , then recompose the pictuere to focus on something else.
must use SD Cards, must not use regular AA batteries.
i will be looking for a good zoom lens ( in know they are expensive but i will need one) so the camera must be able to take a decent zoom lens (10 - 12X) . after that, i dont really know what features i want.

o, must be an entry level camera, im not loaded!

i think the nikon D50 ticks most of the boxes, but im not sure. i like some pentax models also. let me know what you guys think.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 11:12 AM   #2
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Well, the Nikon D50 and Canon 350 lead the pack of entry level DSLRs in terms of high ISO performance. The new Sony Alpha appears to be a great camera too, but at least according to initial reviews does not have the same quality high ISO performance of the Nikon or Canon.

But, I have to ask - what types of low light animal pics are you taking? The reason is - high ISO is only part of the equation - if the animals you're photographing are moving you will likely require lenses with wide constant aperture or you may require some sort of flash solution. So, can you be more specific about the shooting situations you're interested in?
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 12:52 PM   #3
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there was 2 suituations.
1) in the reptile house, its very dull lighting, and impossible to get a good shot at ISO 80 - 100 ( all thats useful on my panasonic ) without a shutter lag of 1.5+ seconds, which is not useful when the snake is moving.

likewise with the monkey house and the bat house ( sounds like a prop from batman the adam west series!) , but its worse in the monkey house as the monkeys move quite quickly so you would need an exposure of less than 1/40 at least id imagine, and for that id need a high ISO value.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 1:01 PM   #4
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JohnG-

No offense intended, but the information regarding maximum ISO setting is incorrect.

Here are the correct maximum ISO settings:

Canon 350D/XT - 1600 ISO

Nikon D-50 - 1600 ISO

Sony A-100 Alpha - 1600 ISO

Pentax K100D - 3200 ISO

If light and its natural partner, shutter speed is an issue, your ISO setting will play into your ability to get good photos in a low lighting situation just as much as the use of fast or wide aperture lenses.

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Old Aug 7, 2006, 2:20 PM   #5
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MT,

Sorry for the confusion - Meant to say the Sony's ISO 1600 performance is reported as worse than the Canon and Nikon - at least according to the DP REview site which is usually a very objective reviewer.


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Old Aug 7, 2006, 3:01 PM   #6
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Just another follow-up - I have yet to see a review of the Pentax K100 and how it performs at high ISO so I can't comment where it would fit in with the other 3 cameras in that department.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 3:13 PM   #7
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JohnG wrote:
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I have yet to see a review of the Pentax K100
No idea who this is...But, it looks like a review (w/ ISO comparisons)

http://www.ephotozine.com/equipment/...fm?test_id=466

Anyone have any comments on this "negative" they posted? I have no idea what they mean by this...

-> Pause between focus and shooting in Single Servo AF
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 3:27 PM   #8
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He is a tech reviewer for ephotozine. I've never followed his work so can't comment on whether or not he's reliable. I'm not sure why there was a noise comparison between the K100 and the Canon 5D - they're completely different markets. So, I don't find that relevent.

His comment about the focusing (which has some back-up text in the review itself) seems to indicate that in the servo predicive focusing mode there is a longer shutter lag than the reviewer expected. Something to note - especially since servo focusing will be required by the OP I just can't say one way or another if the reviewer in this article is a good source, but I really prefer a more competitive analysis like you'd get at Steves or DP Review. Especially comparing the camera against it's true competition - the D50, 350D, Sony alpha.

As a general rule I find those reviews to be of more benefit than magazine reviews which would have you believe that every product released is the greatest piece of gear ever made.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 4:39 PM   #9
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I agree with JohnG-

Let's wait and see what kind of reviews the K100D receives from steve's, dpreview, and dcresource. Those would be much more definitive, and creditable in my opinion.

In actual everyday use, I have found the Pentax K100D to focus very quickly and to be instantly ready for shutter release. There is IMHO no shutter lag at all. Ihave beenusing the K100D very heavily over the last three days as I work to complete a brand new Flash Module formy most popular workshop, called: "A Hands-On Introduction to All Consumer Level DSLR Cameras."

The K100D is a fun DSLR camera that is fast, very responsive, and easy to use. So if you are wondering why I own a Canon 350D/XT, a Nikon D-50, a KM 5D, an Olympus E-500, the Pentax DS and K100D, now you know why. I am a professional digital camera instructorteaching for our state university and conducting my own workshops as well.

You might also wonder what DSLR camera I use the most? The Pentax K100D. You might ask what DSLR camera I use the least? The Canon 350D/XT.

MT
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 6:20 PM   #10
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just out of interest , if i did go into the dslr market, i would be looking at lenses. whats the chance of getting a lens with as high a zoom factor as the FZ7, with a near end of 36mm ( standard i think). not looking for somehting very wide angle, just regular at the close end, but with a nice bit of zoom ( more than 3x).only starting to learn about zoom, what the lens numbers mean, sensor size etc , its very complicated to a beginner
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