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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:18 PM   #11
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gadgetnut wrote:
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I use a Tamron 28-300mm zoom that I bought for $140 new (and it's a lot cheaper on eBay). The quality is about what you'd find in a super-zoom point&shoot. On the Pentax, the 300mm is equivalent to 450mm due to the crop factor.

So, if you go with the K100D kit, you'll pay $608 (plus s/h) at Beach Camera. Add another $150 for the long zoom and you're at $760. (Just buying the body would only save you around $50 and the kit lens is worth more than that, IMHO).
Thanks, rfortson. I was looking at that Tamron lens too. Does it auto-focus with the Pentax? I was thinking the same thing you recommended (the K100d kit & the Tamron lens). I think it should cover most of what I want. Do you know if the 18-55mm lense the kit comes with would be any good for macro shots? I really enjoy taking those.
if the lens is an autofocus lens, then it will work as such on the dslr cameras too. The kit lens does reasonably well for macro shooting, and as was said in the last post it is definitely worth the $50 price difference. the 18mm wide angle (27mm equiv) gets alot into the frame and is great for indoor and landscape shots.

I bought my DL at beach camera when the $100 rebate kicked in so it was a steal ($367 after rebate!) but the k100D for $608 is a really good deal too - i wouldn't see that price going anywhere but down either. (by the way, i sold my panasonic fz30 and completely funded the DL purchase; as stated in a previous post, i was very disapointed in the quality of pictures that came out of the panasonic, and couldn't pass up such a good deal on a dslr - i'm definitely not sorry i got the pentax!)
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:29 PM   #12
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Wow...this is the kind of info I need! The more I talk to you guys, the more I feel the K100D is a great deal. There seems to be enough (resonably priced) lenses available to keep me very happy and learning for a loooong time. Now I just have to sell that rifle to buy the camera! Do any of you want to buy a super nice Browning 7mm mag. ? :lol:
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:37 PM   #13
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gadgetnut wrote:
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I know, I know...DSLR are better than fixed-lens. I'm currently looking at the Pentax K100D with 18 - 55mm lense for $608. This is supposedly a great camera. It's DSLR, so according to all I've read, it's better than any fixed-lens "all in one" camera ...right? The thing is, a 55mm lense is roughly a 3X zoom if I'm not mistaken. I already know (from a past poin-n-shoot) that a 3X zoom is NOT good enough for taking shots of my son playing football. If I go DSLR I will have to spend a lot of additional moneyfor a good telephoto lens. Then I will have to decide, each time I head out the door with my camera, which lens I'm likely to need or carry along a buch of accesories. I was also dissapointed to learn that most DSLRs cannot use the LCD as a veiwfinder. I have gotten used to that over the last few years, and I kinda like it; especially for macro shots.

I can spend the same$600 and get a Fuji S9100 and have a greatzoom range all built in. The problem with that is that I highly doubt the picture quality will be as good. Do Iwant a DSLR or not? :?

This is not gospel, but most consumers on the fence about buying DSLR verses Point and ShootUltrazoom cameras who end up buying a Point and Shoot end up buying a DSLR shortly thereafter or end up regretting their purchase. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, only a perception I have developed based on mine and the experiance of others. Many of us went threw the same dilema and were just not happy with the results of the point and shoot due to noise issues. Having said that, the Fujis are not as bad as some of the others in terms of low light shots.

As for using the LCD as a viewfinder that is a matter of preference, but most DSLR users would not have it any other way. In fact holding the camera up to your eye also allows you to hold the camera steadier as opposed to holding it at arms length. The other disadvantage to LCD or EVF displays are that you can't compose the next shot until the first one has finished processing and previewing.

The bottom line is your doubts are farily true... the picture quality will not be as goodas a DSLR and that is simply becauseof the larger sized sensor in DSLRs. The Sony R1 is an exception to the rule because its sensor is close to that of DSLRs. Having said that, it is more expensive than some DSLRs and it is an all-in-one solution. You can't expand on the lenses except to add convertors, which will diminish your available light and the potetial quality of your photos.

Ultimately how happy you will be will depend on your expectations and your past and future experiance in taking pictures.

BTW on a seperate note many of us who own DSLRsend up buying a smaller compact camera for those times when we just don't want or can't take a DSLR.

Right now there are a lot of good deals on DSLRs and you should think of a DSLR not as a camera, but as a system or solution to your needs that can grow along with your needs. Even if you start out small, you can add a lens here and there. You can save quite a but on lenses in the used market from retailers and on EBay.

BTW on a seperate note many of us who own DSLRsend up buying a smaller compact camera for those times when we just don't want or can't take a DSLR.

If you have doubts about anything including your ablilties, there are plenty of knowledgable people here who can help.

Good luck with your choice!



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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:45 PM   #14
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gadgetnut wrote:
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rfortson wrote:
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I use a Tamron 28-300mm zoom that I bought for $140 new (and it's a lot cheaper on eBay). The quality is about what you'd find in a super-zoom point&shoot. On the Pentax, the 300mm is equivalent to 450mm due to the crop factor.

So, if you go with the K100D kit, you'll pay $608 (plus s/h) at Beach Camera. Add another $150 for the long zoom and you're at $760. (Just buying the body would only save you around $50 and the kit lens is worth more than that, IMHO).
Thanks, rfortson. I was looking at that Tamron lens too. Does it auto-focus with the Pentax? I was thinking the same thing you recommended (the K100d kit & the Tamron lens). I think it should cover most of what I want. Do you know if the 18-55mm lense the kit comes with would be any good for macro shots? I really enjoy taking those.

Yes the Tamron is full auto focus, auto aperture. It's also listed as a macro lens, though I don't really know how that's supposed to work with a long zoom like this. I don't really take many macros. I did try to focus on something up close, and I had to move the lens abouta foot away from the object, so I would really consider it "macro". However, I'm not an expert by any means.

The kit lens is not listed as a "macro" lens. I did look at some macro adapters, though, that would give you more macro capability, but like I said, I don't really take macro shots that often.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:46 PM   #15
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If you don't mind changing lenses there are several excellent bargains in long zooms. I got a Pentax FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8 for $60 used but in excellent condition. Sigma makes a very nice 75-300mm APO lens that sells cheap and so on.

Remember the crop factor mentioned earlier, this 100-300 acts like a 150-450mm because of it. Many digicams such as the Sony R1 advertise (and label) their lens as 35mm equivalent focal lengths, that means that the 24-120mm lens actually acts like a 24-120mm, great at the wide end since the 18-55mm kit lens acts like a 27-82mm. This is not anywhere near the reach required for sports at the long end however.

The 28-200mm is a good range since this gives 42-300mm equivalent, there are newer digital lenses (smaller image circle so they are not compatable with film bodies) from Sigma and Tamron that range from 18-200mm (and even 18-300mm). This zoom range makes an excellent walk-around lens but the compromises intailed to produce such a large zoom range means that it would not be a good lens in places where sharpness is very critical.

Digicams are simpler but to catch action reliably, and to allow room for future growth in the hobby, a DSLR is a must. I used a Fuji S7000 for over a year and loved it, then I got a Pentax *istDL and found out what I had been missing, a camera as responsive as my old film SLRs.

Ira
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:53 PM   #16
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Gozinta wrote:
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This is not gospel, but most consumers on the fence about buying DSLR verses Point and ShootUltrazoom cameras who end up buying a Point and Shoot end up buying a DSLR shortly thereafter or end up regretting their purchase.
That's exactly what I'm afraid I would do too. If I went with a another all-in-one, fixed lens digicam, I would always wonder if I would have been happier with a true DSLR.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 2:00 PM   #17
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Gozinta wrote:
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This is not gospel, but most consumers on the fence about buying DSLR verses Point and ShootUltrazoom cameras who end up buying a Point and Shoot end up buying a DSLR shortly thereafter or end up regretting their purchase. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, only a perception I have developed based on mine and the experiance of others. Many of us went threw the same dilema and were just not happy with the results of the point and shoot due to noise issues. Having said that, the Fujis are not as bad as some of the others in terms of low light shots.

<snip>
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BTW on a seperate note many of us who own DSLRsend up buying a smaller compact camera for those times when we just don't want or can't take a DSLR.



This is exactly my experience. I bought (and still own/use) the Canon S1 last summer right after the S2 came out (I'm a "bottom feeder" on price). I like the pictures it takes (for a P&S) and I also like the video. In fact, I'm selling my miniDV camcorder since this is close enough for me. This spring, my Canon S400 finally died and my wife wanted another small camera. We bought the Kodak V530 for her (a fine little camera and takes good snapshots). This got me "jonesing" for a new camera as well, and I bought the Kodak P850 since it had raw files and image stabilization, plus full manual control. (See the progression here? :-)) About 6 weeks after getting the Kodak, Pentax dropped the price on the *istDL and offered the $100 rebate. I then jumped on the Beach Camera deal ($367 for the kit!) and sold the Kodak P850. The conversion was nearly complete. I really enjoyed the *istDL, but then saw the K100D (with shake reduction, the only thing I was missing) for $575, so I bought it and sold my *istDL body for $390 on eBay (yes, more than I'd paid for the kit 6 weeks earlier).

I swear I'm through buying camera bodies for a while. :G Now, I'll direct my funds to used lenses or post-processing software.

My final lineup is the Pentax K100D with the kit lens, the FA50mm/f1.4 prime (great lowlight lens), Tamron 28-300 zoom, Canon S1 with wide and teleconverters, and Kodak V530. I'm really pleased with this setup.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 2:03 PM   #18
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gadgetnut wrote:
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Gozinta wrote:
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This is not gospel, but most consumers on the fence about buying DSLR verses Point and ShootUltrazoom cameras who end up buying a Point and Shoot end up buying a DSLR shortly thereafter or end up regretting their purchase.
That's exactly what I'm afraid I would do too. If I went with a another all-in-one, fixed lens digicam, I would always wonder if I would have been happier with a true DSLR.
It wentbeyond wondering in my case. I was not happy with the results. Part of that was that I grew up onSLRs so my expectations were high as to be expected. That's not to say that a digital point and shoot can't take great pictures. Many of them have decentlenses and under theright conditions will take excellant photos, but why limit yourself to excellent conditions. The sad part and I'm not alone, is that I tried to convince myself that it wasn't that bad or that it was something I was doing wrong.


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 3:03 PM   #19
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Hi Gadgetnut - yours is a very interesting and real dilemna! I recently bought my first DSLR after having one point and shoot digital that I absolutely loved - Olympus C700 (10x zoom). I'm no pro but I'm not new to photography, either. I owned my first film SLR when I was 6 yrs old and used alight meter with itfor years. I've used different cameras over the last 47 years and went digital only 3 years ago. When I learned about DSLR's I jumped at the chance to go back to the SLR world. I was in for a shock. I learned after the purchase that DSLR's have a softer focus (some probably are sharper than others). I hated the first photos I took with my DSLR as I hate"soft" focus. Inow keep the sharpness bumped up to the highest Sharpness setting. It's ok in most situations.

Like you a big zoom is extremely important to me so I had to buy another lense. ($$$$)I decided on the Tamron 18-200mm because I hate changing lenses and I use the full extent of the zoom range constantly. I chose Tamron because I have the equivalent lense for my Canon Elan 7 and have been quite happy with it. There is distortion at the 18mm end but on the other hand I love having that extra wide angle capability very much.

I purchased the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D mainly for its Image Stabilization. Good thing because the Tamron lense is quite a bit heavier than the kit lense. I have a slight problem with unsteady hands and am a small person so it's sometimes challenging to hold the camera steady. (Something to consider.) The IS usually works extremely well and I'm so grateful to have it. As far as I know none of the other DSLR's have IS except for the new Alpha A100. So if IS is important to you - beware.

I'm now looking for a compact p&s digital to carry with me atall times. The KM is too big to carry around all the time. (A comment I hear from many DSLR owners!)

I also found that the depth of field is a lot different in DSLR's than point and shoots! I really miss those macro shots where everything was in focus automatically!

The plus side is this camera/lense combo takes amazing closeups (my granddaughter!) The focus is extremely sharp at close rangeusing the2+ Sharpness setting. The flashsensitivity is fantastic and I haven't needed to adjust it for indoor closeup shots.

Another plus is that the Sports Mode is great on the KM 5D. Very precise and fast focusing. (I'm not certain how the Sports Modes rate on the p&s's. It sounds like that might be a feature you'dlike to be excellent on whatever camera you choose.)

Would I do it again? Probably not. Our investment (to get the zoom we wanted) was about $1300. I think I probably could have found a really great ultra zoom p&s with high quality for the price of theDSLR alone ($700).

From your post it sounds like you really want a lot of zoom capability and don't want to carry around a lot of equipment so I would really think twice aboutbuying a DSLR.
I have a friend who bought a DSLR and an additional 70-300mm. Now all she wants is the 18-200mm lense because she hates changing lenses. (Lots of missed shots!)

Not being able to use the LCD as a viewfinder is somethign to think about, too. (I'm having the same thoughts in reverse as so many ultra compacts no longer have an optical view finder!)

I hadvery goodimage quality with my 2 mpp&s most of the time (until I wore it out!) My sense is you could fine thatpretty darn goodquality in a new p&s.

The technology is changing so fast....we'll probably all want the next best thing in a few years. It might be better to invest half what a DSLR-plus-zoom -ense would costand upgrade sooner.

Good luck with your decision!

Mary Rose


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 3:10 PM   #20
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I too am going through a similar experience.

I had bought a Sony T9. Its a lovely little camera when you want to take
nice pictures with family and friends. Won't part with it ...

But still ... I am now looking for a DSLr for taking landscapes and/or other
wide angle stuff.

Cheers,
--
Gaggu
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