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Old Aug 17, 2006, 5:16 AM   #1
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I have zero experience with dslr cameras but I am about to buy one since I like taking pictures.

I am thinking of the Nikon D50 or the Pentax K100D.

I am not that price sensitive wich means that I can go up in price.

Since I have no experience with DSLR cameras is it worth to go with a more advanced camera than the ones mentioned above?

I am thining of the new Nikon D80 or something like that.

Rekomendations are more than welcome!!

Sorry for my english, not my mother tongue.
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 10:17 AM   #2
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Both the NikonD50 and the Pentax K100D will take outstanding pictures, and are excellent buys.

I was more or less in your shoes a very long time ago - my boyfriend presented me with a 35mm SLR camera for a present (still don't know why he did that - I was an instamatic person and had never said anything about wanting a more advanced camera. I suspect that today he regrets that first purchase, he's been my husband for over 25 years and has had to pay the camera bills since!).

It was a basic camera (Pentax ME) with a couple of lenses. I bought a couple of books about basic photography and learned about shutter speed and aperture, focal lengths and focus. That experience was absolutely priceless! That little camera with the basic prime lenses I got with it gave me 20 years of wonderful picturetaking memories, and those same lenses are continuing to give me pleasure on the K100D.

My point with this is that since you are just starting out, get a more basic camera like either the Nikon D50or the Pentax K100D. Learn the basics first and what you can do with a basic camera (TONS!). You might find that you never want to upgrade, or you might find out where you need some function that is only available on a more expensive, feature-filled camera. You'll be a much better photographer, and will have invested far less money than someone who buys the most expensive camera and then can't quite figure it all out because they don't grasp what all those extra functions do, so they can't use them to their full potential.
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 10:49 AM   #3
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A lot of people say "buy into the system, not the camera". With that said, which "system" do you think is better and in what respects? Are Nikon lenses more expensive? Are they (on average?) better? Sharper? Worse?

I know the K100D has SR built in. So, let's put SR aside and chalk that one as an advantage to the K100D...Looking at just lenses (without SR/VR/IS/whatever it's called)...

Macro photography. Standard everyday photography. Sports photography. Wildlife (perhaps same as sports?).

Which system has better (current AF) lenses for which areas?

I think that is important to consider, and quite frankly I have no idea. I'm looking into the same two camera's. I wish more reviews of the K100D would come out.
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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Because the Pentax system is backwards compatible: meaning that any lens ever made for a Pentax DSLR camera is useable by the latest model, in this case the K100D model, you have a much wider choice of available used lenses to use on your K100D than the D-50 by a huge margin. That is because Nikon and Canon both have changed their lens mounts over the years.

For example, I enjoy shooting shore bird photos. The lens that I use on my K100D is a Sigma 100-300mm lens that I purchased on ebay for $27.00. I happen to own a Nikon D-50 as well as all of the other consumer level DSLR camerasbecause I am a professional Instructor, and the cameras are used inmy workshops.

To me here are the issues that simply make the K100D BETTER:

(a) The basic camera body, costs less and is very well built.

(b) While the body itself is small and compact, the grip is excellent.

(c) The viewfinder is excellent. Just approach any DSLR display and handle the various makes and use the viewfinders. The difference is amazing.

(d) The Pentax K100 focuses very fast and accurately.

(e) The.jpg processor has been quite measurably improved.

(f) when compared to the D-50 it matches feature for feature and then adds in SR which Nikon does not offer in ANYof its DSLR cameras

(g) Lenses for the Pentax K100D will cost less, and you will have a wider selection available to select from than Nikon, Canon, or Sony.

(h) Accessories for the Pentax system cost less than either the Nikon, Canon or Sony systems.

(i) Quality-wise Pentax is right up there with Nikon.

Dollar for dollar the Pentax K100D is a tough DSLR camera to beat.

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Old Aug 17, 2006, 11:33 AM   #5
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If you can, be sure to go to your local store and hold them. Play with the menu and controls. Normally, you want the basic stuff accessable without going to the LCD menu. That's when you lose shots. Nikon do a good job at this, but I've never used Pentax so I can't speak for it. The only thing I wish Nikon made easily accesible on the D50 is switching between Matrix to Spot Metering, for that I have to go to the LCD menu.

But the main thing are lenses. What lenses do you want to use. I know I'll be shooting landsacpe most, so when I bought my D50, I had my eye on Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens, and Nikon's 18-200VR as my walk around lens.

If you decide on the D80, I would pre-order it now, since if you wait until it is available on the store you won't find one until sometime next year.

Lastly, keep in mind the cost of other stuff, like external flash, a stable tripod, camera bag, cleaning kit, etc.

Good Luck!



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Old Aug 17, 2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
Because the Pentax system is backwards compatible: meaning that any lens ever made for a Pentax DSLR camera is useable by the latest model
How many of the old lenses have autofocus functionality with the K100D? While I may want to get into manual focusing with my lenses, I would like to stick to the basics right now. AF is a must have for my initial 3interests.

mtclimber wrote:

Quote:
To me here are the issues that simply make the K100D BETTER:


Better than the DL, the D50, the XT? I agree with all your points, but some of them were directed towards competitors, while others seem to be directed towards Pentax's previous camera's.

rey wrote:
Quote:
But the main thing are lenses. What lenses do you want to use. I know I'll be shooting landsacpe most, so when I bought my D50, I had my eye on Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens, and Nikon's 18-200VR as my walk around lens.
I've been to the local shops twice now and plan to make one more visit. I would also recommend this to the OP (very helpful!).

Shooting I will be doing?

Soccer events.
Swim events.
Indoor family events.
Macro.
Wildlife when I get the chance (might be rare).

Based on this, I think my biggest interest is in a decent telephoto zoom lens (50-200 or 70-300...?). I don't plan on shooting soccer events at night, but that MIGHT happen. I doubt I'll have the cash to invest in a good telephoto 2.8 (or better) lens though...

I've only seen one comparison shot (review) that showed the camera's noise levels (D50 vs. K100D) and it seemed like the D50 was better. They were very small crops though. I'm hoping one of these sites puts up a review soon! If I do night sports, noise levels will bea big concern for me...
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 12:23 PM   #7
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sw-

A good portion of the lenses on the used market that fit the Pentax DSLR cameras will provide you with an AF function. The Sigma 100-300MM that I purchased for $27 on ebay is fully automatic. Try to find a fully auto lens for Nikon for such a price. They are very scarce.

Yes, the Pentax K100D is quite measurably better than the DL, the D-50, and the XT. All you have to do is to just what Rey and I both suggested: handle and use the other DSLR cameras.

The K100D with the excellent Pentax 18-55mm kit lens will handle your family shots and your macros with ease. All you have to is to add the telephoto lens of your choice. The Pentax 50-200mm lens is certainly a good choice, but as my used Sigma 100-300mm example shows, a good telephoto lens need not cost a lot.

I have attached two example photos for you. The first is a macro photo taken with the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens. The second example is a photo taken with my Sigma 100-300mm lens.





MT
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 12:37 PM   #8
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Thanks!
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 1:32 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the information!!

Since I live in Sweden the price of the K100D and Nikon D50 are about the same (US$700 for the body). Dont we just love the taxes over here, world champions!!!

I will be using the camera for all types of pictures but also to take pictures of birds wich means I need pretty good zoom.

Both cameras discussed are 6.1 MP and I am curious if that is sufficient?

The compact camera I have today is a 5MP(Panasonic DMCFX series) but that camera has accordning to my opinion alot of noise in the pictures. But that problem is maybe not related to the 5MP but to other aspcets of the camera.

Canon EOS 350D is also about the same price as the K100D and D50, how is that camera compared to the two other?

Why is it so hard to decide?
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 2:43 AM   #10
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The Sigma 100-300MM that I purchased for $27 on ebay is fully automatic. Try to find a fully auto lens for Nikon for such a price. They are very scarce.
As a matter of fact, your lovely Sigma 100-300MM can also be used on the Nikon dSLRs don't you know that? So don't onlytry to put it to your Pentax advantage here. In fact, it works on a Canon dSLR as well such as the EOS-350D.
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