Only YOU can tell me what to get...

Ok - which of these do I get?


  • Total voters
    61

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 31, 2004
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A geographical oddity
Ok, after much concentration, research, focus, input, frustration, blood, sweat, and tears, I have decided to get one of three cameras. I am looking at the K100D, D50 and FZ7 (yes, the freak of the bunch). Most of you know what I am planning on doing with the camera, primarily the coming baby, landscapes, and travel.

Please vote - your opinion does matter :D
 

Gee

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2004
1,023
0
London, UK
nbs2 said:
Ok, after much concentration, research, focus, input, frustration, blood, sweat, and tears, I have decided to get one of three cameras. I am looking at the K100D, D50 and FZ7 (yes, the freak of the bunch). Most of you know what I am planning on doing with the camera, primarily the coming baby, landscapes, and travel.

Please vote - your opinion does matter :D
Canon 350D?
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,414
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If you get the Pentax with the 18-200 mm, you'd have image stabalization on that lens all the time, which is great. It's not as good as the VR is on the Nikkor 18-200 mm DX, but the K100 and a 18-200 mm is a much cheaper combination that'll give you decent IS on all your shots, even when using other lenses. :) IMO, having IS isn't the be-all and end-all of all your problems though if you're planning to use this camera to become more of a "photographer" rather than just a "child documenter." ;)

If you want better IS (or "VR"), then the Nikon D50 with 18-200 mm VRII is going to be better. However, it'll be a much more expensive combination for you with the baby coming along in a few months.

If you and Lori have already come to the conclusion that the cost difference between the D50 + 18-200 mm VR, and the K100D and 18-200 mm lens isn't an issue, and you're willing to pay for either option, then I'd go with the D50 + 18-200 mm VRII. Fact is that 18-200 mm lenses generally provide only average performance at best because it needs to cover such a wide range of focal lengths, and it requires more glass elements to move around inside to give you the best compromise of a wideangle and telephoto lens. However, the Nikkor 18-200 mm VR seems to offer very good optics (with barrel distortion at 18 mm and pincushion distortion at 200 mm), which makes it an exception. The 18-200 mm Pentax lens option likely isn't as good.

Yes, the D50 + 18-200mm VRII lens may be more expensive, but you're getting better IS, and likely better optics. Don't get me wrong.....I'm sure both cameras will churn out great photos, especially for what you want to do, but if the cost difference between the 2 options isn't prohibitive, then go with the Nikon. :)
 

mromero

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2005
34
0
Los Angeles
nbs2 said:
Ok, after much concentration, research, focus, input, frustration, blood, sweat, and tears, I have decided to get one of three cameras. I am looking at the K100D, D50 and FZ7 (yes, the freak of the bunch). Most of you know what I am planning on doing with the camera, primarily the coming baby, landscapes, and travel.

Please vote - your opinion does matter :D

The Canon Rebel XT might see an update very soon.
 

Mike Teezie

macrumors 68020
Nov 20, 2002
2,205
1
I say 350D/Rebel XT too, but I'm a Canon guy.

If that is absolutely out of the question, I'd say the D50.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Well, since he has not mentioned any Canon models in his listing of choices, clearly he has decided against them for whatever reason(s). Maybe he doesn't like the feel of the Digital Rebel, maybe he doesn't want to spend more on the 20D or 30D..... ?
 

freebooter

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2005
1,253
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Daegu, South Korea
Go Sony DSC-R1

I have a Sony DSC-R1. I'd recommend it for the following reasons: big sensor with low noise lets you crop and shoot with higher iso; the live LCD that swivels and lets you easily shoot at waist/low level--great for kids (some reviewers found it strange to use but i think they are way wrong on that point); all-in-one design that eliminates dusty sensors and add-on fever; lower price than body/18-200 combos; exceptionally solid, well-built; and most importantly, covering 14.3-71.5 mm (24-120 mm equiv.), ideal for the uses you mentioned, it has one of the sharpest/best zoom lenses ever made (check out the quote below).

from http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/R1/R1A6.HTM

"...when we look at the R1's optical test results, we see graphs so good that they're almost boring. Sharpness across the frame and across the aperture and focal length range is almost perfect, as shown by the exceptionally low and uniform blur numbers.

Worst-case chromatic aberration is likewise low, and the average CA numbers are lower still, indicating that what CA is present doesn't extend very far into the frame. Shading (or vignetting, as it is more popularly called) is also very low, reaching a maximum of about a third of an f-stop at the 24mm equivalent focal length and maximum aperture, but in all other cases being less than 1/4 stop.

Worst-case geometric distortion is about 0.8% barrel, at maximum wide angle, dropping rather rapidly to about 0.2% pincushion at 20mm actual/35mm equivalent focal length, rising just a bit at 50mm equivalent, and then gradually decreasing to nearly zero at maximum telephoto.

To understand just how good these results are, you'll need to visit SLRgear.com and look at some of the test results for the more expensive lenses there. Even a cursory comparison will reveal that you'd easily have to spend several thousand dollars on lenses alone to get this kind of optical performance with a conventional digital SLR."
 

beavo451

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2006
483
2
freebooter said:
all-in-one design that eliminates dusty sensors and add-on fever; lower price than body/18-200 combos; exceptionally solid, well-built; and most importantly, covering 14.3-71.5 mm (24-120 mm equiv.), ideal for the uses you mentioned, it has one of the sharpest/best zoom lenses ever made (check out the quote below).

...

Even a cursory comparison will reveal that you'd easily have to spend several thousand dollars on lenses alone to get this kind of optical performance with a conventional digital SLR."
The whole point of a dSLR is to use different lenses and get those extra features. If you notice in the comparison, one of the lenses they pick out for the XT is f/2.8 from 24-70mm. It is very expensive to design and produce a zoom lens that maintains a constant aperture. This feature in itself blows away the lens on the R1. What are you going to do when you need to shoot at 200mm? 300? Based on your post and the link, the only thing that the R1 holds it's own is the image quality. LCD screens are questionable in their ability to provide accurate framing, clearly indicate focus, and promote unstable holding techniques. The ability to frame with it in awkward positions is nice though. The viewfinder itself is not even an optical VF and instead uses a small LCD screen. Most everything on a dSLR body is also better. Faster fps, bigger buffer, ability to take accesories, better AF systems, and more flexibility. I'll bet a D50 with a 50mm f/1.8 (~$700 total) lens will produce an image as good, if not better than the R1 with the addition of all the dSLR advantages.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 31, 2004
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A geographical oddity
Clix Pix said:
Well, since he has not mentioned any Canon models in his listing of choices, clearly he has decided against them for whatever reason(s). Maybe he doesn't like the feel of the Digital Rebel, maybe he doesn't want to spend more on the 20D or 30D..... ?
You nailed it. Holding the XT just felt really uncomfortable - almost as bad as the A100 (which was the worst of entire gamut of cameras I looked at). Since I'm looking for an affordable body to build on, the 20/30D and so on are well out of the question. I mean, I love my A70, and it will remain on duty as the pocket shooter, but the DSLR line just doesn't meet my expectations.

The D50 has gotten a lot of good reviews, but the Pentax seems just as highly rated (if not better), just going through the dpreview forums. I am holding off for the dcresource and dpreviewreviews before any final decision though.

To clarify why each is on the list:
FZ7 - it is a much cheaper alternative that will give me a lot of the zoom and IS features that I think I will need (I doubt the kid will listen to my request to let me set up the tripod before doing funny things indoors), while letting me "get by" for the next couple of years while I invest 40-80 hours a month agonizing over lens ratings and quality comparisons.:D

D50 - The lens catalog from Nikon and TP companies is amazing. Just incredible. Canon is the same, but like I mentioned above, the XT feels like crap in my hands. The body itself has a nice range of features, and there is a big enough lineup that there will always be a body for me. the weight and better handling of the the D50 (and DSLRs in general) makes me think that IS is really not that essential. But, with Nikon, it is just the insane availability of lenses everywhere and anywhere - I'd almost bet I could pick them up at the local 7-11 ;)

K100D - Lots of good feedback on the body, and the newest of the bunch. Pentax lenses are apparently generally well respected - it felt like they are just as good as Canon/Nikon. The K mount means that every Pentax lens ever (just about) will work with this camera. I don't know how often other companies change mounts, but this was really impressive for me. The IS is nice, because as above, I don't expect to have a lot of opportunities for tripod setup and would like to avoid blur. Also, I can't remember where it was that I read it (maybe the Pentax SLR dpreview forum), but it seems that the consumer lenses from Pentax are better than the Nikon, while Nikon tends to focus more on the pro glass (look at me trying to sound educated :)). With the TP companies, the lenses are the same, the mounts are the only difference.

I would love to know the correlation between what people use and what they recommended (doing that is fair enough - I recommend what I know as well), since almost nobody likes the Pentax option - I really thought it would be a closer vote...
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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freebooter said:
I have a Sony DSC-R1. I'd recommend it for the following reasons: ....
I've read a similar review to yours before, and it wasn't from Imaging-Resource.com, so multiple reviewers are just drooling over this thing, especially that lens, which they say should be a $1000+ lens retail. ;)

DPReview also had a glowing review of it, but it's not good for specific applications. So if you need to a zoom lens with a wide aperture (f2.8), it can't give you that. It's not great as a portrait lens. A DSLR has the option (!!) of giving you all that. But if you have no intention of switching lenses, then......moot point. :)

Anyway, the point is that the Sony DSC-R1 has a general lens with wide focal range, and the lens probably as good as any similar all-purpose lens on the DSLR market. However, the Nikkor DOES have VR, so...... ;)


beavo451 said:
LCD screens are questionable in their ability to provide accurate framing, clearly indicate focus, and promote unstable holding techniques. The ability to frame with it in awkward positions is nice though. The viewfinder itself is not even an optical VF and instead uses a small LCD screen.
Not true. Since you still have option of looking through the optical viewfinder (I know it's really an LCD and not really an optical viewfinder ;) ), you won't have to frame in "awkward positions." DSLR optical viewfinders give you only 95% frame coverage, so it's slightly off. The LCD contained inside the R1's viewfinder will give you 100% view of the frame, and with a "through the lens" viewpoint as well.

However, you're right that it would be hard to manual focus with the R1, but if he doesn't plan on manual focusing on his baby, then......moot point again. ;)


Beavo said:
Faster fps, bigger buffer, ability to take accesories, better AF systems, and more flexibility. I'll bet a D50 with a 50mm f/1.8 (~$700 total) lens will produce an image as good, if not better than the R1 with the addition of all the dSLR advantages.
Irrelevent. A D50 with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens is also better than a D50 with any 18-200 mm lens in terms of photo quality, so it's not good comparison of the cameras themselves, nor is it a comparison of the lenses. The question should be whether the DSC-R1 is better than a D50 + 18-200 mm VR lens, because he's interested in big zoom, and is relevent to him.

I'd still go for the D50 + 18-200 mm VR, but that's because I love the Nikon's ergonomics, along with the VR. However, that R1 has it's own advantages and isn't a bad choice for him, and you really can't say that a DSLR is best for everyone, especially for someone who's not going to changes lenses like he changes clothes.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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nbs2 said:
I would love to know the correlation between what people use and what they recommended (doing that is fair enough - I recommend what I know as well), since almost nobody likes the Pentax option - I really thought it would be a closer vote...
I try to remain unbiased, and recommended a Pentax instead of the Nikon D50 to someone else in this forum just last week. I'm only recommending the D50 because you'll mainly be using a 18-200 mm lens of some sort, and since the VR on the Nikkor lens is much better (4 stops improvement instead of 1.5 or 2 stops), and because it's proven to be the best optically (for an 18-200 mm lens), I'd recommend that.

I always recommend from the shortlist made, because you have obviously done your research and aren't really looking for "Get a 20D because I have one" type of advice. ;)

(but in a way, I can understand why people do: It's hard not to.)
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
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Gone but not forgotten.
nbs2 said:
...
K100D - Lots of good feedback on the body, and the newest of the bunch. Pentax lenses are apparently generally well respected - it felt like they are just as good as Canon/Nikon. The K mount means that every Pentax lens ever (just about) will work with this camera. I don't know how often other companies change mounts, but this was really impressive for me. The IS is nice, because as above, I don't expect to have a lot of opportunities for tripod setup and would like to avoid blur. Also, I can't remember where it was that I read it (maybe the Pentax SLR dpreview forum), but it seems that the consumer lenses from Pentax are better than the Nikon, while Nikon tends to focus more on the pro glass (look at me trying to sound educated :)). With the TP companies, the lenses are the same, the mounts are the only difference.

I would love to know the correlation between what people use and what they recommended (doing that is fair enough - I recommend what I know as well), since almost nobody likes the Pentax option - I really thought it would be a closer vote...
Many people don't have their own opinions. That's why you hear so many people talk Canon or Nikon. It's like saying that Microsoft is the safe option because everyone has Windows.

In any case, Pentax was one of the later camera makers to switch away from their screw mount (I hesistate to say that they went to a bayonet mount) and, in the late 1970s they created their K mount and Fuji followed them to it. Considering all the technology developed over the years, I'd certainly put them above most brands. They're always my second choice when it comes to SLRs.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 31, 2004
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A geographical oddity
Abstract said:
I try to remain unbiased, and recommended a Pentax instead of the Nikon D50 to someone else in this forum just last week. I'm only recommending the D50 because you'll mainly be using a 18-200 mm lens of some sort, and since the VR on the Nikkor lens is much better (4 stops improvement instead of 1.5 or 2 stops), and because it's proven to be the best optically (for an 18-200 mm lens), I'd recommend that.
That's good to know - and I appreciate your honesty. Just to make sure I'm not doing something silly in aiming for the 18-200, I should make mention that it will be a general purpose lens (which is what I take the 18-200 range to be). If you think it is too heavy/bulky for regular GP use, I'd love to know what I should look at - it's been fine while trying it out at the store, but day-to-day experience cannot be extrapolated from that. If there is a better GP lens, I can adjust accordingly - finding my needs is one of the reasons I plan on using the kit for the foreseeable future.
 

cookie1105

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2006
426
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London, UK
Fair enough that you don't like the 350d.

I voted for the d50 option. I think you would get more out of this in the long run.

GP lens: 50mm prime + foot zoom. More fun and gives you time to think about your composition.
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
It sounds like you did your research and whatever DSLR you choose - I hope you will not second guess yourself and enjoy your camera.

I just wanted to add (from my experience as a mother of a 2yr old and 3yr old) that you WILL want a point and shoot. It doesn't have to be top of the line and heck, it could even be used. If you spend about $129, you can get a decent SMALL Sizepoint and shoot.

If you don't have one, you will miss pictures because your wife didn't have the camera in the diaper bag when he/she were out doing something very routine. Also, I'm sure you are getting a video camera, but again- the little video clips with audio that come with your P&S don't have the greatest quality but the p&s can go everywhere with you and you'll appreciate the fact someday that you got a little video of the baby giggling histerically (for the first time) at a passing puppy dog or whatever and you got a 15 second clip to put on the website or even better just reside in the iPhoto library next to the other pictures. one day you will look through the baby pictures and click on the little picture with a movie icon on it and remember that funny moment.

Lori is not going to lug around a DSLR and a video camera everywhere she goes. Trust me you have enough stuff with diapers, change of clothes, wipes, medicines, bibs etc. Both are nice to have but if you add 3-4mpx digital elph to the mix, you may be surprised that some of those pictures are your favorite because it captured a spontaneous moment that would have otherwise been missed.


EDIT: Sorry, I read the thread again and you slipped in that you have an A70 so just ignore the above advice. :)
 

freebooter

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2005
1,253
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Daegu, South Korea
"The whole point of a dSLR is to use different lenses and get those extra features."

Call me crazy, but I think the whole point of owning any camera is to take pictures, sharp ones with nice colour and composition, if possible.

He wants to take baby, travel and landscape pictures. He isn't setting up a photo studio or trying to prove the existence of Sasquatch. 24-120mm=perfect
 

beavo451

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2006
483
2
Abstract said:
Not true. Since you still have option of looking through the optical viewfinder (I know it's really an LCD and not really an optical viewfinder ;) ), you won't have to frame in "awkward positions." DSLR optical viewfinders give you only 95% frame coverage, so it's slightly off. The LCD contained inside the R1's viewfinder will give you 100% view of the frame, and with a "through the lens" viewpoint as well.
Only some. My D2H gives 100% VF coverage. "But, that's a pro body and is expensive!". You can find a used D2H for ~$1000.

I am assuming (maybe falsely) that he has an interest in photography and if he is considering a dSLR, he can/will want to take pictures of other stuff. Just because he says he wants to take pictures of his baby, landscapes, and for traveling doesn't mean that he will not be interested in sports (maybe when his kid grows older?), people/baby portraits (kid and friends?), and other things. I would hate for him to spend $1000 now and one or two years later, he has all these interests and wants a dSLR again, then there is $1000 down the drain that could have been used on lenses, lights, point & shoot, etc.