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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:12 am 
Hello to all the experts out there,

I'm not only new to digital photography, but also to this forum (just re-
gistered an hour ago or so).

Being 57 years of age, I must confess that many things and terms related
to digicams still make me confuse. But even though, after reading a lot of
reviews I'm ready to take the risk and go for a DSLR.

I only need a camera with o n e high quality (wide angle) lens which
would enable me to take nice landscape pics as well as photos of a larger
group of people.

I heard and read quite often that DSLR's do have a problem with dust. For
this reason it might be a good idea to take a look at the "K10D" of Pentax
because that camera is weather sealed.

The E 510 from Olympus also seems to be a good option but somebody
told me that the 4/3 sensor of it would be a limitation. I've no idea if that
is correct or not.

Nikon's D40/D80 are also excellent cameras. And what about Sony's
A100?

To conclude these lines I must say that it's really not easy to choose the
right camera. Therefore, please give me some advice.

Best wishes to all of you,

John_0812

:D [/b]


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:11 am 
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Hello John and welcome to the CameraLabs forum!
First of all let me assure you that especially when you don't intend to change the lens, then you will probably not encounter problems with dust.
Secondly you should give us some more hints on your preferences:
1. Do you want the highest quality pictures with the lowest noise and the potential to print DIN A3 (30x43cm)?
2. Do you often like to shoot under low-light conditions / indoors?
3. Are you ready to invest 1000$ or would you like to stay below 500$?
4. Do you wish to buy a smaller camera or are you not overly concerned with the bulk of a big DSLR?
5. Do you need lots of manual control or is a good fully automatic setting your primary goal?
6. Do you have (former) experience with a 35mm film camera?
7. What is the perfect wide angle for you: 28mm, 35mm, 42mm (in 35mm film equivalent)?

Just some remarks so far: Most modern DSLRs come with a kit lens (zoom) starting at 17/18mm which is equivalent to a 28mm for a 35mm film camera. This should be wide enough for your purposes. If you buy a good point and shoot you have to look careful to find a lens starting at 28mm (35mm film equivalent) like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2. Normally this type of camera starts at 35-38mm.

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D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:08 am 
Hello, tombomba2!

Thanks for your quick response.

I'm more than willing to give you further clues on my inclinations:

1. Indeed, I'm looking for the highest quality pictures with the lowest
noise. Image quality is on top of my priority list.

2. I don't intend to print pictures at all!!!

3. I'd say that only occasionally I'd take photos indoors/under
low-light conditions.

4. I'm ready to pay between $600 and $1,000 for a DSLR.

5. I'm fully aware of the fact that some DSLR's are a bit bulky, but
that woudn't be a problem for me.

6. I don't need lots of manual control.

7. I've some (former) experience with a 35mm film camera but not
too much and I'm totally new to digital photography.

8. I'd prefer a high quality wide angle lens which starts at 24mm or at
least at 28mm (in 35mm film equivalent), 24-120mm, 28-84mm,
28-100mm, just for instance.

9. I'm not interested in point and shoot cameras because I strongly
believe that DSLR's have by far the better image quality especially
at higher ISO settings.

Once again, thank you very much and I'm eager to get your answer.

John_0812 :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:19 pm 
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Ok, your answers regarding quality, bulk and budget put P&S aside.
I also understand, that a zoom starting wide is ok with you, you're not necessarily looking for a fixed focus (prime) lens. BUT: as I already pointed out, all kit zooms that I know of start at 28mm equivalent focal lenght. So you have to make a decision as to whether that is enough for you or you'd like to start with something wider.
What are the alternatives?
There are wide-angle zoom equivalent to say 16-35mm or 18-36mm but they are around 600-1000EUR for the lens alone if you want to buy them from the original camera-manufacturer (like Canon or Nikon). But even a third-party lens like the Sigma AF 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 can cost over 600EUR. So this is certainly not within the budget. The Sigma AF 10-20mm 4.0-5.6 at 450EUR might be within reach, but before you try, read my sad story on the quality of this lens here: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=182

Even going to a wide(r) angle fixfocus lens (like 24mm equiv.) is not helping: They are not really cheaper!

So, to wrap that up: Your best option is to take a standard kit-zoom starting at 17mm (Canon) or 18mm (Nikon/Sony) or 14mm (Olympus). There are a lot of nice lenses around in this range. Most of them have been tested by Gordon. Personally I think, they're wide enough for most purposes.

Regarding another very important aspect let there be a word of warning: You should go for image stabilization whether in-camera or in-lens. But: The Nikon standard kit-lenses and the Canon 18-55mm don't have image-stab! The Canon 17-85mm has but then again you're over budget :(
Whereas the Sony, Pentax and Oly with their camera-based anti-shake don't have such problems.

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:40 pm 
Thanks tombomba2 for your reply.

What do you think of the following cams?

- Sony A100,
- Olympus E 510 and
- Pentax (K10D, K100D)

Which camera would be best for a beginner like me and why?

John_0812


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:57 pm 
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Sorry John! But as I don't have personal experience with these cams I can only refer you to Gordon's test and the user reviews here in this forum. And as Gordon always says: pick these cams up in person to get the feel of the bodies and the viewfinder!

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D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:58 pm 
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I don't know anything about the cameras you've shortlisted either but believe me, you will have to deal with dust whichever camera you purchase. I only have one lens and don't swap it but dust is sometimes present. I've read it's to do with suction created when the lens is zoomed. A prime lens of course might not suffer from this problem. either way, dust isn't that big of a hassle to deal with. I'm actually getting pretty good at it :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:35 pm 
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Bonjour John_0812,

Picking a camera is not an easy choice.

I bought a Pentax *ist DL one year ago with the "duo-pack" bundle, which includes a 18-55mm anf a 50-200mm zooms at an attractive price. I then changed it for a Pentax K10D one month ago, keeping my lenses.

I'm very happy with the K10D, despite some learning curve. I posted a user-review with pictures that may help you :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=543

The K100D (and the latest K100D Super, a revamp of the K100D) has built-in scene modes, which could be easier that full- but only-manual controls as per the K10D.

Have a look at the CameraLabs videos: they provide a unique "hands-on" review and bring the perfect complement to the more classic written review.

Best regards from France,

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:01 pm 
Hello rei_vilo,

In the first place, please allow me to thank you for your very informative reply to my post.

I certainly admire you for being such a master of digital photography and
I wish I had only 10% of your knowledge about that field.

Like you, I really appreciate the Pentax K10D and I put it meanwhile on top of my priority list. But on the other hand, I became confused when Gordon while reviewing the K10D and comparing it with the Nikon D80 said

"There were many occasions when the K10D required exposure com-
pensation while the more sophisticated metering of the D80 remain-
ed un-phased."

Gordon also stated "that the K10D is only completely weather proof when
fittet with a pricier lens." Which kind of lens does Gordon mean??

Maybe you have an idea and can tell me what to do. As I already menti-
oned, I'm a little bit confused.



:D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:08 pm 
zorro wrote:
I don't know anything about the cameras you've shortlisted either but believe me, you will have to deal with dust whichever camera you purchase. I only have one lens and don't swap it but dust is sometimes present. I've read it's to do with suction created when the lens is zoomed. A prime lens of course might not suffer from this problem. either way, dust isn't that big of a hassle to deal with. I'm actually getting pretty good at it :wink:


Hi zorro,

Thanks for your message.

In the meantime I'm a bit confused because on the one hand I would like
to go for the Pentax K10D with its great features (on top weather sealed),
but on the other I also like the pricier Nikon D80.

For a beginner like me it's indeed difficult to pick the right camera.

Thanks again and good luck to you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:13 pm 
tombomba2 wrote:
Sorry John! But as I don't have personal experience with these cams I can only refer you to Gordon's test and the user reviews here in this forum. And as Gordon always says: pick these cams up in person to get the feel of the bodies and the viewfinder!


Hello tombomba2,

Thanks for your reply.

I'll study your recommendations very carefully and hope to make the right decision some day.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:44 pm 
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John_0812 wrote:
zorro wrote:
I don't know anything about the cameras you've shortlisted either but believe me, you will have to deal with dust whichever camera you purchase. I only have one lens and don't swap it but dust is sometimes present. I've read it's to do with suction created when the lens is zoomed. A prime lens of course might not suffer from this problem. either way, dust isn't that big of a hassle to deal with. I'm actually getting pretty good at it :wink:


Hi zorro,

Thanks for your message.

In the meantime I'm a bit confused because on the one hand I would like
to go for the Pentax K10D with its great features (on top weather sealed),
but on the other I also like the pricier Nikon D80.

For a beginner like me it's indeed difficult to pick the right camera.

Thanks again and good luck to you.


Don't worry about it. I (and probably others) faced exactly the same dilemma. Take heart from the knowledge that none of these cameras is a bad camera. In the right hands they'll all take great shots. Go to a shop and play with them. Most likely one will feel better in the hands than the others and then your choice is a lot easier.

Zorro.

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Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


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 Post subject: Choosing
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:49 pm 
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Hi John,

I went through the same issues when I bought my first DSLR last year. I made a list of must have features (camera body and lens) which allowed me to disregard a number of models.

By definition, what I was left with wasn't going to disappoint. After that, go with your heart.

Bob.

P.S. Whatever you choose there will always be the odd moment when you think "I wish my camera had that feature" but that's life unless you can find a PentaSonCanOlympNik. :)

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:53 pm 
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Bonjour John_0812!

John_0812 wrote:
In the first place, please allow me to thank you for your very informative reply to my post.

You're welcome! Just as you, I was just a dSLR beginner one year ago. The more pictures you take, the more you learn!

Actually, I didn't expect to change my first dSLR camera so fast, but I realised I was asking the Pentax *ist DL more manual control and I wanted to push the limits. So here came the K10D.

John_0812 wrote:
Like you, I really appreciate the Pentax K10D and I put it meanwhile on top of my priority list. But on the other hand, I became confused when Gordon while reviewing the K10D and comparing it with the Nikon D80 said
"There were many occasions when the K10D required exposure com-
pensation while the more sophisticated metering of the D80 remain-
ed un-phased."

I couldn't answer since I've no experience with the Nikon D80. That's the really difficult part when looking for a camera: each camera owner is proud of his/her toy! :) So getting unbiaised comparison is not an easy job.

Back to the Pentax K10D, I did experience some metering surprise and compensation need. In such given situations I started to identify (such as the small figurine shot twice in my review), I use the exposure bracketing to avoid lost pictures and/or RAW shooting for post-proccesing.

John_0812 wrote:
Gordon also stated "that the K10D is only completely weather proof when fittet with a pricier lens." Which kind of lens does Gordon mean??

Pentax today's lenses (such as 17-55mm and 50-200mm I'm using) are not water-proof.

Pentax has launched two new and pricier lenses, the DA* 16 - 50 mm f2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM and the DA* 50 - 135 mm F2.8 [IF] SDM. Gordon expects to review them if Pentax supplies them to him :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=761

I haven't experienced water-proof camera, so I don't know how effective it is. From my point of view, I consider cameras and lenses as very delicate material so I take grand care of them. :)

However, you could start and play first with standard lenses and then upgrade to high quality lenses. That's the nice part of an SLR.

---

One big point to check I would like to emphasise: ergonomics. How the camera fits in your hands? Is it comfortable? Are the buttons at the right place? Is the viewfinder clear enough? Do you feel confident with it?

I think ergonomics could make a difference between a camera you're going to use and a camera you're not going to use. A visit to your local store could help and answer these questions.

Good luck with your choice and best regards from France!

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:21 pm 
zorro wrote:
John_0812 wrote:
zorro wrote:
I don't know anything about the cameras you've shortlisted either but believe me, you will have to deal with dust whichever camera you purchase. I only have one lens and don't swap it but dust is sometimes present. I've read it's to do with suction created when the lens is zoomed. A prime lens of course might not suffer from this problem. either way, dust isn't that big of a hassle to deal with. I'm actually getting pretty good at it :wink:


Hi zorro,

Thanks for your message.

In the meantime I'm a bit confused because on the one hand I would like
to go for the Pentax K10D with its great features (on top weather sealed),
but on the other I also like the pricier Nikon D80.

For a beginner like me it's indeed difficult to pick the right camera.

Thanks again and good luck to you.


Don't worry about it. I (and probably others) faced exactly the same dilemma. Take heart from the knowledge that none of these cameras is a bad camera. In the right hands they'll all take great shots. Go to a shop and play with them. Most likely one will feel better in the hands than the others and then your choice is a lot easier.

Zorro.


Hi zorro,

Thanks for your attempt to comfort me.

"See" you later.


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