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 Post subject: New Camera Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:56 pm 
Hello everyone, I just got signed up for the forums here, found you all as part of my research into buying a new camera.

My Situation: My experience in photography up until now is mostly just point and shoot family pictures. Though on a trip down the Rhine river in Germany I really wished I had a greater ability to compose and take higher caliber pictures. As far as digital cameras, I have only used an old Canon digital Elph, which is dying. My wife and I have been unsatisfied with the type of shots we get from this camera and probably should have moved up a long time ago. We are at a point now where we are looking to get a higher quality camera. After talking about it,we decided to get a DSLR as prices have come down on some of them. I see my wife mostly using it in auto settings. As I have been looking into DSLR cameras and photography, I am looking forward to learning more about photography at a higher level and trying to use more advanced features that a DSLR would allow.

Through my research so far and considering the types of cameras at my price range I think the Nikon d40, Pentax K100d and Olympus e500 are pretty strong cameras to consider. I could most likely get two lense kits with any of these and have a decent starting set-up to handle most situations.

The Nikon seems to be a high quality camera that has good auto features and a good amount of high quality lenses available, though the VR image stability lenses are very expensive it seems. No anti dust or image stabilization though as part of the camera.

The Olympus has a strong anti dust system it seems and good lenses available , though no image stabilization and the picture quality seems a little suspect from what I have read. Also this one has a higher MP level , though I dont see myself needing larger prints, so this is kind of a wash.

The one I am really leaning towards now is the Pentax K100d. The features seem to be on a higher level than the other two. I have gotten mixed reviews I have read regarding image quality issues in indoor settings. Many people have said they get great indoor pictures, so im sure what to think about this. he built in image stabilization system on the Pentax appears to be a really big plus. Would the Pentax camera have good auto settings for my wife to use and still allow me to grow into the camera? It seems to have alot features and good advantages for higher level control of pictures. And given the $150 rebates on a two lense set up right now this seems a very strong package. Are there any problems with the Pentax that I am missing or that i need to consider, the camera seems to be harder to find information on and in the shadow of other names like Nikon and Canon. I always thought the Pentax name was a strong brand in the photography world.

Any advice or comments would be appreciated, I am really looking strongly at the Pentax but this is a big investment and want as much input as I can get.

Thank you for your time.
David B

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:13 am
Posts: 379
Location: Sale, UK
Firstly pretty much any dSLR will give a better picture than a P&S. This is down to the size of the sensor in the camera.

I believe you need to ask yourself 2 questions when you buy a SLR:

1. What do subjects do you want to photograph?
2. Which manufacturer offers the best selection of lenses to shoot you chosen subjects?

This is because I firmly believe you are buying into a lens system as much as a particular body.

What do you want to shoot? Are you planning to buy further lenses in the future? If you are what are they likely to be and do Pentax offer those lenses?

One of the main reasons why Canon and Nikon sell so well is they have an extensive range of consumer, semi-pro and pro lenses. This allows a user to buy a body and lenses then take their lenses with them when they buy a new body.

Nikon D80, Nikkor lenses: 35mm f1.8 G AF-S DX, 50mm f/1.8 AF D, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR, SB800 flash
My photos on SmugMug

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:14 pm 
Thanks for the reply Phil,

As far as subjects I think that will be quite varied to start, I will be doing family and kids/sports type of subjects for sure as this will become our main camera. I can see myself trying macro, landscapes and architechtural subjects as well. I cant say how "serious" it will actually become, but the possibilities intrigue me. Id have to say im looking to get into a good all purpose system to start given my lack of photography experience. I want to learn, but where it takes me ....well, that remains to be seen.

I think the Pentax with the base kit lens and the 50-200 lens is a good start, especially with the current rebates. Though I could get into a similar 2 lens setup with the Nikon or Olympus i think. I like the Pentax because of the anti shake built into the body, I think this is a strong feature for an entry level DSLR. Then whatever lense I use will benefit and I may be able to look at some used and financially reasonable alternatives for lenses at some point. The ability to use AA batteries in a pinch is a nice feature. I dont see that I will have lots of money to be spending on lenses in the near future and the image stabilization lenses in general seem pretty pricey. I also dont see that I will be buying a new body anytime soon either. So Im at a point of choosing my system, body and lenses. I understand your point on buying into a "lense system" and agree that this should factor into one's choice. Ive been looking at lenses from the different manufacturers Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Olympus. Though Im having a hard time getting information on the brand lines in general. There are lots of individual lense tests, but they quickly become more detailed then my knowledge base in lenses or photography in general. These companies all seem to have many options in lenses for all types of situations. Does Pentax have a good name in lenses with many options? What exactly should I be looking for in lenses? What makes one company better than the other? Is one company better in specific types of photography than another?

Ive read lots of reviews on quite a large range of cameras over the last few weeks and frankly its an awful lot to digest. Ive noted a fair amount of conflicting information at times which just "muddies the waters", so to speak. My instincts after what ive read is that these cameras all will function at an acceptable level for a beginner. Im trying to sort through it all so that I can make the best educated purchase initially, because I will be sticking with that choice for quite awhile im guessing.

Thanks again
David B

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 8003
Location: Germany
David, did you have the chance to get your hands on one of those cameras? Especially with your wife using it too, there are some likes and dislikes that only develop when you really hold the cam and look through the viewfinder :shock:

Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D810+assorted lenses

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:04 pm 
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi David, welcome to the forums!

I'd agree with everything suggested so far - think about future lenses you might buy and also crucially, pick up and handle each camera in person as some are bound to feel better to you - and your wife - than others.

If you're after in-body anti-shake, you should also consider the Sony A100 which can be had for pretty good prices...


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