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Pentax *ist DS versus 300D

 
 
Rene Schmidt
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      03-15-2005
I know this is the kind of question that invites all sorts of comments, but
nevertheless I dare it.

I can get the DS for 1000 ? in a shop and for maybe 800 ? in the Internet,
the 300D for 700 ? in the shop. Both equipped with a 18-55 lens. I know
about the obvious differences in size and card format. I like the compact
size of the DS more and I opt for SD cards, since I already have two 512 MB
cards for my Pentax Optio 550. I have an old Sigma 28-200 for the EOS 300,
which would probably fit on the 300D. But all that is not decisive on the
long run.

So what do YOU think is the better camera in terms of handling, picture
noise and quality, auto focus, speed and robustness? Can give me any advice
to think about?

Rene


 
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papenfussDIESPAM@juneauDOTmeDOTvt.edu
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      03-15-2005
Rene Schmidt <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: I know this is the kind of question that invites all sorts of comments, but
: nevertheless I dare it.

: I can get the DS for 1000 ? in a shop and for maybe 800 ? in the Internet,
: the 300D for 700 ? in the shop. Both equipped with a 18-55 lens. I know
: about the obvious differences in size and card format. I like the compact
: size of the DS more and I opt for SD cards, since I already have two 512 MB
: cards for my Pentax Optio 550. I have an old Sigma 28-200 for the EOS 300,
: which would probably fit on the 300D. But all that is not decisive on the
: long run.

: So what do YOU think is the better camera in terms of handling, picture
: noise and quality, auto focus, speed and robustness? Can give me any advice
: to think about?

I just finally bought one (after a few years of waiting for a DSLR at
reasonable prices that was compatible with my 35mm). Your dollar amounts seem
reasonable.

To those that suggest that the Pentax isn't a professional camera, they're
correct. It's also correct to say that comparable brand C and N cameras are also not
professional. While many may dismiss brand P as a toy simply because no professional
lenses are available for it, I say that normal people can't afford them anyway so it's
a moot point. I'd say that the compatibility with quite old lenses and their
associated low cost is a huge plus for P vs. C. Mid-range lenses (read: affordable
for mortals) are available for all.

From what I understand, the image quality is pretty much the same between
the brands, so that's not really an issue to get your panties in a wad about. About
the memory format, the CF snobs need to get over it. They're just too big to be
useable in all digital doodads (cell phones, PDAs, mp3 players, etc), so SD is the new
ubiquitous standard. They're already pretty much equal in cost and availability.

For batteries, I still say that *standards* are a good thing. Having my
external flash and camera using the same batteries I could potentially buy at
Quik-E-Mart is a big plus to proprietary ones.

For build quality, from what I've read the Pentax with its SS subframe is a
lot more solid than the 300D. It also uses a pentaprism vs. pentamirror so the
viewfinder is supposedly brighter.

Anyway, you can tell where my opinions lie. To each there own... everything
*I personally* feel important can easily be of no importance to others.... flame on.

-Cory

--

************************************************** ***********************
* Cory Papenfuss *
* Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student *
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University *
************************************************** ***********************

 
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scharf.steven@gmail.com
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      03-15-2005
Rene Schmidt wrote:

<snip>

> So what do YOU think is the better camera in terms of handling,

picture
> noise and quality, auto focus, speed and robustness? Can give me any

advice
> to think about?


The SD versus CF is a minor issue on point on shoot cameras, a bit more
of an issue on D-SLRs due to the large capacity CF cards that are
available. The *istDs is the ONLY D-SLR that does not use Compact
Flash. Still, this is a minor issue, it just means that you need more
SD cards.

The biggest thing favoring the EOS-300D or EOS-350D is image quality
and low noise. Another issue with the *istDs is the poor selection of
lenses, especially super wide angle zoom.

The *istDs may be a good choice if you have a bunch of compatible
Pentax lenses, and a good deal at less than $800, though the Canon
EOS-350D and Nikon D70 are superior choices in the same price range.

The *istDs doesn't have an available vertical grip, but that may not be
an issue for you.

You may want to wait a couple of weeks for the the EOS-350D. Even if
you decide on the EOS-300D, once the EOS-350D is out, the EOS-300D
price is sure to fall.

Check out "http://digitalslrinfo.com/" .

 
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Larry R Harrison Jr
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      03-15-2005
To me, the *ist DS using SD cards is a major drawback. The mad rush to
SD-cards by camera makers--especially in a D-SLR--is totally absurd. That
said, since you already own SD-cards, that makes a difference.

To "papenfuss"--we so-called "CF snobs" are NOT going to get over it. The
thing of it is, the camera makers are being "SD snobs," cramming SD down our
throats in everthing--including in places like D-SLRs where it clearly isn't
needed.

But, the SD vs CF issue aside, the issues for me are this.

The *ist DS does not have program shift, which is a silly drawback in a
modern SLR. I rarely use P-mode, but it is handy at times--and to not be
able to shift aperture/shutter speed combinations in P-mode is silly. Even
cheap 35mm SLRs like the Nikon N55--which is as basic as 35mm SLRs get these
days--has program shift.

Also, things like white balance, ISO speed, flash exposure compensation, AF
mode and quality of image have to be changed in the menus, while other
D-SLRs including the 300D allow you to change these quickly without having
to enter the menus. This is particularly the case if you install the "Wasia
firmware" in the 300D, as the 300D actually won't have flash-exposure
compensation at all otherwise, and would also require you (as the *ist DS)
to use the menus to change the image quality.

Image quality is about the same between both as I understand it. I think the
AF-speed of the 300D is a bit quicker.

I think the 28-200 lens that you already own can be a factor, but a bigger
factor would be other lenses that you would acquire in the long run. I do
like Pentax, but the "big boys" like Canon & Nikon have more lenses and
other accessories available for them, a big factor for a D-SLR.

I'd opt for the 300D myself. Ignoring the SD/CF issue (I prefer CF, but you
own SD already), the having to enter menus to change settings which the 300D
& other D-SLRs allow you to change much quicker without menu-itis and lack
of program shift--those make the 300D prefereable. Just make sure you
install the "Wasia firmware" to obtain a lot of features that the 300D
wouldn't have--enough so that I'd opt for the Pentax instead even with the
SD/CF issue.

LRH


 
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hotchkisstrio
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-15-2005
Why not get the Canon 350D (Rebel XT) without a lens and keep your 28-200
lens? Or maybe get it with the lens anyways since it's only $100 more. It
has alot of feature upgrades over the 300D.


"Rene Schmidt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I know this is the kind of question that invites all sorts of comments,

but
> nevertheless I dare it.
>
> I can get the DS for 1000 ? in a shop and for maybe 800 ? in the Internet,
> the 300D for 700 ? in the shop. Both equipped with a 18-55 lens. I know
> about the obvious differences in size and card format. I like the compact
> size of the DS more and I opt for SD cards, since I already have two 512

MB
> cards for my Pentax Optio 550. I have an old Sigma 28-200 for the EOS 300,
> which would probably fit on the 300D. But all that is not decisive on the
> long run.
>
> So what do YOU think is the better camera in terms of handling, picture
> noise and quality, auto focus, speed and robustness? Can give me any

advice
> to think about?
>
> Rene
>
>



 
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Paul Mitchum
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      03-15-2005
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> To those that suggest that the Pentax isn't a professional camera, they're
> correct.


Cameras aren't professional. The people who use cameras can be
professional. And even people who use Pentax *istDs can be professional
photographers.
 
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papenfussDIESPAM@juneauDOTmeDOTvt.edu
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      03-15-2005
Larry R Harrison Jr <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: To me, the *ist DS using SD cards is a major drawback. The mad rush to
: SD-cards by camera makers--especially in a D-SLR--is totally absurd. That
: said, since you already own SD-cards, that makes a difference.

: To "papenfuss"--we so-called "CF snobs" are NOT going to get over it. The
: thing of it is, the camera makers are being "SD snobs," cramming SD down our
: throats in everthing--including in places like D-SLRs where it clearly isn't
: needed.

I'm sure I would feel the same if I'd invested lots of money in the past for
CF cards. I was mostly protesting those who emphatically argue that if it doesn't
take CF, it's a dead-end piece of crap. Bottom line is if one is jumping into digital
*now*, CF vs SD is not a deciding factor. In the OP's case, he already has SD, so I
would consider that an edge. At least a $60-$100 edge, anyway. My point is that
newer doodads other than DSLRs will be embracing the smaller, equally inexpensive SD
media. Just like the AA argument, getting something that's generic and useful for
things *besides* the camera is a big bonus. Yes, CF will (likely) always be
availably in larger capacities since they're physically larger. For someone not on
the bleeding edge, however, waiting for the next generation to get 8GB that'll work in
*all* their doodads vs. a 16GB one that will only work in their DSLR is probably not
that big of a deal.

If I had an investment in CF, I'd definately avoid the Pentax DS in lieu of
something else.

: But, the SD vs CF issue aside, the issues for me are this.

: The *ist DS does not have program shift, which is a silly drawback in a
: modern SLR. I rarely use P-mode, but it is handy at times--and to not be
: able to shift aperture/shutter speed combinations in P-mode is silly. Even
: cheap 35mm SLRs like the Nikon N55--which is as basic as 35mm SLRs get these
: days--has program shift.

I'll definately agree with this. I must admit of probably a bit optimistic as
I use open-source computing and flashable products. I don't see a "firmware issue" as
part of the product. Realistically, I'll get burned on this (since I doubt they'll
make a change like that). Camera manufacturers are much more of the mindset, "Here's
our product, deal with it and if you don't like it, buy the next model." IIRC the
Canon Powershot G3 I used had equally stupid lack of menu shift and lack of RAW
metering with a flash. Lots of these usability issues are (un)learned behavior.

: Also, things like white balance, ISO speed, flash exposure compensation, AF
: mode and quality of image have to be changed in the menus, while other
: D-SLRs including the 300D allow you to change these quickly without having
: to enter the menus. This is particularly the case if you install the "Wasia
: firmware" in the 300D, as the 300D actually won't have flash-exposure
: compensation at all otherwise, and would also require you (as the *ist DS)
: to use the menus to change the image quality.

True enough. I would argue that some settings like white balance don't
necessary need to be at fingertip grasp for instant change. It's generally a setting
at the beginning of a set of photos. If you're a novice, you'll set it at auto and be
happy. If you're more advanced, you'll probably shoot RAW where it doesn't matter.

: I think the 28-200 lens that you already own can be a factor, but a bigger
: factor would be other lenses that you would acquire in the long run. I do
: like Pentax, but the "big boys" like Canon & Nikon have more lenses and
: other accessories available for them, a big factor for a D-SLR.

Absolutely. Many of the accessories available for the "big boys" are either
unwanted, unnecessary, or too expensive for many casual shooters. I know I won't be
blowing $1500 on a fancy IS lens anytime soon. For me it's more fun to blow $100-$200
a pop on quality, old glass.

To each their own... I knew responding to this post would be fun...

-Cory

************************************************** ***********************
* Cory Papenfuss *
* Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student *
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University *
************************************************** ***********************

 
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Ben Thomas
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      03-15-2005
Larry R Harrison Jr wrote:
> To me, the *ist DS using SD cards is a major drawback. The mad rush to
> SD-cards by camera makers--especially in a D-SLR--is totally absurd. That
> said, since you already own SD-cards, that makes a difference.
>
> To "papenfuss"--we so-called "CF snobs" are NOT going to get over it. The
> thing of it is, the camera makers are being "SD snobs," cramming SD down our
> throats in everthing--including in places like D-SLRs where it clearly isn't
> needed.
>
> But, the SD vs CF issue aside, the issues for me are this.
>
> The *ist DS does not have program shift, which is a silly drawback in a
> modern SLR. I rarely use P-mode, but it is handy at times--and to not be
> able to shift aperture/shutter speed combinations in P-mode is silly. Even
> cheap 35mm SLRs like the Nikon N55--which is as basic as 35mm SLRs get these
> days--has program shift.


My previous digital and Nikon D70 don't allow you to change aperture or shutter
speed in P mode. Makes sense to me. If you want to change the aperture, use A
mode, and if you want to change shutter speed, use S mode. What's the point of
being able to change them in P mode?

Ben

 
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Larry R Harrison Jr
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      03-15-2005
"Ben Thomas" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> My previous digital and Nikon D70 don't allow you to change aperture or
> shutter speed in P mode. Makes sense to me. If you want to change the
> aperture, use A mode, and if you want to change shutter speed, use S mode.
> What's the point of being able to change them in P mode?
>
> Ben
>


Hmm, according to the Dpreview.Com review of the D70, you **can** "shift"
aperture/shutter speeds in program mode.

I do sort of hear what you're saying; the Av (A) and Tv (S) modes are the
most "serious" modes besides manual, it makes perfect sense they'd be the
ones to use for serious shooting not P. But there are a couple of reasons
why having shiftable values in P is a good thing, and both reasons are based
on these two words--extreme values.

Extreme values meaning--say, f/2.8 in aperture-priority outdoors in
bright-light, 1/4000 second shutter-speed indoors.

One, my wife uses P a lot because she's more of a "point & shooter," and by
using P I'm assured that she will get a more "middling" combination but yet
she does at least have the option of changing the aperture/shutter-speed
combination. With Av (A) or Tv (S), there's too much of a chance of an
"extreme" number being the last one used, and her not having the forsight to
shift the number; with P, this doesn't happen, but then if she DOES remember
she can still "shift" as needed.

Two, if you're in a hurry to shoot something that's transpiring very
quickly, P is best because in Av (A) or Tv (S) you may have an "extreme"
value as your last setting which won't work (say, 1/4000 second indoors, or
f/2.8 outdoors), requiring you to spend that extra second or two "shifting"
the numbers so you don't under or over-expose. In P-mode, you don't have
that--BUT, if you end up finding yourself with an extra second or two to
change the numbers, you can still do it--without going back to Av
(aperture-priority) or Tv (shutter-priority) mode.

Really, more than anything else, the main thing about the *ist Ds omitting
"flexible" program is simply that practically every other modern SLR--35mm
or D-SLR--has this, so why not them? Even professional cameras like the
Nikon F5 or Nikon D1x--hardly point & shoot material--have it. Why not this
one?

LRH


 
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Larry R Harrison Jr
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      03-15-2005

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:d17hmh$dnv$(E-Mail Removed)...

> Absolutely. Many of the accessories available for the "big boys" are
> either
> unwanted, unnecessary, or too expensive for many casual shooters. I know
> I won't be
> blowing $1500 on a fancy IS lens anytime soon. For me it's more fun to
> blow $100-$200
> a pop on quality, old glass.
>

Oh, I hear you there. With my 300D I first got their 80-200 f/4.6-5.6II
lens--one that a lot of Canon shooters like--and only paid $90 for it with a
52mm UV filter & lens hood. Then I found myself wishing for more reach, got
an older Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens (about a 1992 model), only $85 for it,
slightly used. That, and I have the 18-55 "kit" lens. So it shows you MY
dedication to expensive accessories (hee hee).

But at least--I have the OPTION to do this, if I ever become so inclined.
The other thing--when I see fine lenses for sale at websites like Fred
Miranda--lenses like the highly-regarded Sigma 70-300 APO Super Macro
II--they almost always are Canon-mount or Nikon-mount. Of course if you buy
new it doesn't matter--but when looking at places like Fred Miranda for
good, low-priced used material--you find very little Pentax material. And
that's too bad--because, again, I do like Pentax.

LRH


 
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