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07-06-2007, 08:22 PM   #16
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The purpose of a tool is to achieve a desired result.
When/if you know what kind of result you wish to achieve, then seek out the appropriate tool.
It's a simple matter of "horses for courses".

07-07-2007, 04:37 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Took some of my camera/lens cache and splurged: Sturm-Ruger GP-100, 4 in stainless. Great shooter! Built in flash. Spot-on focus at 25 yards with almost negligible DoF. Shutter is a little loud.

Spent a very enjoyable 90 minutes feeding it 158gr lead semi-wadcutters-a variation on B&W. Every shot FLAWLESS!

Really shouldn't have signed in here because I'm tempted to tell you that the Canon or the Nikon or maybe the Holga or Diana is what you want----just to prolong my buzz and make another silly "which one is better/who's'is bigger thread and it's originator GO AWAY!.

Buy one, anyone; they all work! Who knows, maybe even YOU have the talent to make photographs with one!

Hey, that's my opinion, and I'll deny it if you ask...
I'm sure you are trying to make a point but it is not easy to decipher - are you sure your buzz is not from a chemical cocktail?

However, I agree that any of the cameras mentioned will do the job from an equipment point-of-view. My choice was a K10D....

Last edited by chrisman; 07-07-2007 at 04:38 AM. Reason: Missed a word
07-07-2007, 08:15 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by godwine Quote
I am sure there were plenty of debate on this, but which one is better in what way?

I was told that:

Pentax: Sharpest image
Nikon: Balance in speed and image quality
Canon: Fastest

Is this true? What do you think?
What you were told was nonsense.

First of all, an SLR is a "system" consisting of camera bodies, lenses, and accessories like flashes, extension tubes, etc. Within each system made by each manufacturer there are a variety of parts. Some are inexpensive and intended for the "consumer" market. Some are expensive and intended for the professional market. And some are in-between and intended for advanced amateur hobbyists. Within each category, performance may vary between poor performing duds to top performers. But, for the most part, performance is pretty good for the consumer parts and outstanding for the expensive "pro-grade" parts. Any generalization as to how each brand performs is pretty much impossible.

Second, what system is "best" depends on job for which the tool is intended to be used. Let's say you want to take family snapshots, vacation pictures, and occasional portraits of the kids. You intend to get a entry level 6-10 MPixel body, the wide angle to short telephoto kit lens, and use the on-camera flash. You may add a consumer grade mid to long telephoto zoom lens. In this case, I would say that the offerings from Canon, Nikon, Pentax (and Olympus) would all serve you equally well. Any differences in image quality and operation would be minor at best. Yes, there are some differences in features and performance, but overall the major brands are very similar in performance in this very competitive market segment. Your skills in picture taking and post-processing will make much more of a difference than the the brand of equipment.

Third, if you have other specific interests in photography that will require specialized equipment, then there may be some significant differences in brands. If I needed long, fast lenses for sports-action photography, then I would want to go with Canon for their superior selection of long lenses, high frame rates (in the professional bodies) and fast auto-focus performance. For serious macro photography, I might go with Nikon for their excellent macro lenses and their unique close-up flash system. Pentax makes some outstanding lenses, including some of the best ultra-wides for DSLRs (the DA 14mm and the DA 12-24mm) and the Limited prime lenses. There are also some very fine lenses available for the Olympus 4/3 system, such as the only telephoto zoom with a constant f2 maximum aperture. So for certain applications, there are definite differences between the manufacturers.
07-07-2007, 08:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Artyste Quote
The Canon cameras are well regarded as being the "sharpest" due to in-camera processing that produces a very stock-photography type of plasticity. I guess it depends on what you mean by sharp. Canon also has, probably, the best or easiest upgrade path.. so that's something to look at if you feel you ever need to go that way. As for what Canon cameras are best suited for - Sports, Wildlife and Photo Journalism due to availability of long, fast lenses and high FPS rates in their bodies.

Nikon has a very nice upgrade path as well, but the look of their images are a lot less plasticized like Canon. This is a good or bad thing depending on your preference. Lens availability is top-drawer. The real bonus in my view is build quality. Both Nikon bodies and lenses are top-quality and very solid. Canon, in their less-than-top-line bodies tend to be flimsy and plastic-feeling. Nikon is best suited for Photo-Journalism and Studio-Portraiture, due to solid body features that can take rough handling, even at the lower end, and a fantastic flash/wireless system.

Pentax is feature-rich for price. Bang-for-the-buck, you cannot do better than Pentax. They produce images that approach a more "film-like" status right out of the camera, which again is dependent on preference. You can use lenses that are 30 years old with few problems (metering can be an issue sometimes), and build quality is absolutely solid. Drawbacks include not being able to *find* lenses, or being able to pay for them if you do (and I'm talking good, fast lenses here, not M-50mm f/2s), and next-to-no upgrade path whatsoever. Pentax is best suited for Legacy shooting. Natural Light portraiture, Macros, and a viewfinder best suited for Manual Focus.

Some excellent points here. The "plastic" look of the Canon stuff vs. the "film like" look from the Pentax stuff is one of the main reasons I sold my 5D & lenses and picked up a K10D. I also prefer manual focusing, cheaper/better lenses, and Pentax's ergonomics. I am much happier in the Pentax world, and getting better images.

08-05-2007, 06:19 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
...snip...
Second, what system is "best" depends on the job for which the tool is intended to be used. Let's say you want to take family snapshots, vacation pictures, and occasional portraits of the kids. You intend to get a entry level 6-10 MPixel body, the wide angle to short telephoto kit lens, and use the on-camera flash. You may add a consumer grade mid to long telephoto zoom lens. In this case, I would say that the offerings from Canon, Nikon, Pentax (and Olympus) would all serve you equally well. Any differences in image quality and operation would be minor at best. Yes, there are some differences in features and performance, but overall the major brands are very similar in performance in this very competitive market segment. Your skills in picture taking and post-processing will make much more of a difference than the the brand of equipment.

Third, if you have other specific interests in photography that will require specialized equipment, then there may be some significant differences in brands. If I needed long, fast lenses for sports-action photography, then I would want to go with Canon for their superior selection of long lenses, high frame rates (in the professional bodies) and fast auto-focus performance. For serious macro photography, I might go with Nikon for their excellent macro lenses and their unique close-up flash system. Pentax makes some outstanding lenses, including some of the best ultra-wides for DSLRs (the DA 14mm and the DA 12-24mm) and the Limited prime lenses. There are also some very fine lenses available for the Olympus 4/3 system, such as the only telephoto zoom with a constant f2 maximum aperture. So for certain applications, there are definite differences between the manufacturers.
I'd have to agree with this poster, especially on the topics highlighted. Personally I'm very happy with my K10D, but also very curious about the Fuji S5 for it's high ISO/low noise among other things, and I can use my Nikon lenses on it (sorry, not one of the 3 mfg's mentioned, but still noteworthy). Canon? I'd have to say I like their higher end P&S's (G7 to name one), and the 5D's full frame is attractive but not enough for the price they want for it. Nikon? Most of my 35mm bodies are Nikon ... had a D1 for awhile ... it was okay but old technology, and a brick to tote around. I was originally saving for a D200 then decided on the K10D instead ... if that says anything! If I were to step up my Nikon Digital game, it would have been a D200 ... but can't see paying that much for a camera that is 2+ years old ... maybe if their is a significant price drop on it? Outside of that one, or a new Pentax model, and if I was going to pay for something in that price range, it would deffo be the Fuji.
08-05-2007, 10:21 AM   #21
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Which camera manufacturer is best? Not the relevant question.

The real question is what one meets your specific needs. Do you really need more than 3fps, 6MP or the ability to use old glass? Is the camera in question so big that if you have to carry it around hanging around you neck that you end up at the end of the day stooped over. Overall cost is an issue too – what can you afford. Do you have old glass?

If you already own a brand X DSLR – really why the need to change? All the stuff you have should be usable on the current model – at least that is the Pentax way. As for the other brands – I do not have them so I do not care.

As for how plastic the images look/don’t look – shoot RAW and take control. Don’t like AF – shoot manual and take control. Don’t like the metering system – shoot manual and take control. Do what you have to do.

Pick the cameras up – see what fits. Hang it around your neck with a fast heavy lens – see how that feels. Ask yourself just how much money do you really want to spend and go for it.

After you have bought it ----- please stop comparing brands. There is nothing worse than someone who b*tches about getting a bad deal.

It is all about the image. Subject, composition, intent and context add into this mix the basic fundamentals of exposure, lighting, focus and presentation not the camera/lens branding.

I have used this quote in the recent past – but here it is again:
The late John Szarkowski (curator of photography MOMA NYC) said it best:
"The truth is that anybody can make a photograph.
The trouble is not that photographs are hard to make.
The trouble is that they are hard to make intelligent and interesting.”
John Szarkowski 2000 (died July 2007)

Just work on making intelligent and interesting images.

PDL
08-06-2007, 12:26 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
(snip) what system is "best" depends on job for which the tool is intended to be used. (snip) If I needed long, fast lenses for sports-action photography, then I would want to go with Canon (snip) For serious macro photography, I might go with Nikon (snip)

I have to disagree to some extent. Since most don't have the money to buy individual camera systems for individual uses (one system for sports, another for macro, still another for portraits, and so on), they usually purchase a system based on it's overall abilities and overall performance. In other words, overall capabilities are "best" for most, making generalizations perhaps somewhat worthwhile. Affordability is another huge factor. Lets face it, if one can't afford a particular system, it clearly isn't the "best" for you.

In the long run, looking at a system overall usually works for most people since few have any idea what they'll be photographing in the future. Heck, I've been involved in photography for well over twenty years and still don't have a clue exactly what I'll be photographing next month. I know where my main interests lie, but clients, situations, and new experiences, always seem to throw a curve into any preconceived notions. Some things I've photographed in the past were certainly a surprise, and I suspect a few more of those surprises are waiting down the road.

Luckily, most camera systems today are fine overall, with experience and eventual skill able to overcome the few limitations. Skillful sports photographers, for example, were getting great action shots long before today's speediest cameras and lenses came along. Therefore, I wouldn't necessarily look at generalizations (disagreeing with the original poster), or a particular camera brand like Canon (disagreeing with you), for sports-action photography. The same with macro photography, or anything else. Instead, I would look for a good overall camera system I can afford, and then learn how to use that system to it's fullest. In my case, the Pentax K10D system fit those requirements very nicely.

stewart
08-06-2007, 07:04 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by CycloneBandDad Quote
didja get the infrared option for night shooting? :-)
and I think I'd avoid NYC and those overzealous cops we keep hearing about...
Jim
OT, I know... but "???" ...overzealous in what regard? Having homes on both LI and in Manhattan I'd categorize LI as more overzealous; NYC cops can't care less about anything I do. As far as based on 'press', I get the impression that categorization is more apt for LA cops.

08-06-2007, 08:23 AM   #24
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Old discussion reopened huh. Well I can contribute with my impression of the brands.

I wont mention Pentax, I obviously like pentax since I have 2 pentax bodies myself.

- Sony: Altho I thought KM wasnt bad in its time, I think the alpha is pretty bad, imho if u compare d80 to k10d its not easy to see IQ difference, but compare again to the a100 and its obviously worse, especially at higher iso, added to that the sony stabilizer system has been tested as the worst of the different systems. Sony has got a lot of accsessories and lenses but they are overpriced imo. typical sony. but its going to be interesting to see what they will come out with next (only because other manufacturers will use their sensors)
- Olympus/panasonic: 4/3.... just not good eanough. they have some interesting lenses and some leica glass. but their sensor is too small.
-Nikon: I would recommend nikon to my friends if they want a camera up to d80 level (and they dont want pentax). but I dont think nikon has got any real special features that set them apart, oh, their flash system is good. so for flashes i think nikon is best. am looking to pick up some old nikon flashes to use with my pentax. their high end models are a joke imho. at that steep price and compared to the canon 1d mk3, youd be stupid to buy it its just worse in every possible way. and i dont like the d200, its too noisy and has had its share of vpn problems. might as well get a d80 instead.
-canon: the rebel is a joke.... my dad has a 350 and its a plastic toy with a tiny tiny hole that u can look in to see what u are taking pictures of. the 30d doesnt really impress me either. but the 5D is great and the 1D and Ds are great, who wouldnt want one of those. and they have some really impressively specced lenses, altho extremely expensive. And if you have a 5D you can have a really killer 3 zoom setup: 16-35 f2.8 (holy smoke! and its full frame 16mm f2.8 on the wide end!) - 24-70 f2.8 - 70-200 f2.8 then u have quality and speed from 16 - 200mm. not bad. And the price is not terrible either. A 5D could tempt me, but frankyl if they took out the sensor and put in one of their 1.6x sensors instead then i wouldnt touch it with a 200 feet pole.

my camera buying guide:
up to d80/k10d class: Pentax (or nikon if u have sth against pentax)
above: canon

as for "equipment isnt everything" thats true to a certain extent. Do you think a sports photographer wouldnt mind changing his 1d mk3 to a k100d because "yea the equipment doesnt matter". But if u are a pro working in a studio with proper studio lighting then I find that u can get spectacular results even with entry level cameras and kit lenses so for them the equipment doesnt really matter because the lighting is "doing the work". So I disagree with people saying equipment absolutely doesnt matter, but its also not true to say that the equipment is all that matters.
08-06-2007, 09:53 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote

Originally Posted by GaryML
(snip) what system is "best" depends on job for which the tool is intended to be used. (snip) If I needed long, fast lenses for sports-action photography, then I would want to go with Canon (snip) For serious macro photography, I might go with Nikon (snip)


I have to disagree to some extent. Since most don't have the money to buy individual camera systems for individual uses (one system for sports, another for macro, still another for portraits, and so on), they usually purchase a system based on it's overall abilities and overall performance. In other words, overall capabilities are "best" for most, making generalizations perhaps somewhat worthwhile. Affordability is another huge factor. Lets face it, if one can't afford a particular system, it clearly isn't the "best" for you.
I wasn't really suggesting buying different camera systems for different purposes. My point was that most major brands are fine for most common tasks, and the significant differences are generally found in more specialized, esoteric lenses and accessories. If you need specialized equipment, then you might prefer a particular brand.

I think for the basic kit (6 or 10mp body, a couple of consumer lenses and a flash), the major brands are very similar in price. Obviously, the companies watch the competition and try to compete at a given price point. For example, Nikon brings out the D40X to compete directly with the Canon Rebel XTi on price and features in the "bargain" 10mp class. Not much difference in price or specs between these products. (And I'll bet that Pentax introduces a 10mp "bargain" body by Christmas to compete in this class, priced between the K100D Super and the K10D).
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