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Old 23-01-2006, 11:26 PM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Question Dslr?

I am trying to help my step-father buy a DSLR and I am having difficulty. It is certianly bringing back bad memories of when I was looking for my own camera (I was seeing reviews after reviews in my sleep ). I was wondering if anyone has any recomendations as to what camera to get and/or any first hand experience with the recomended camera. The difficult part is he can't pay more than $1200. Any help would be appreciated as the endless reviews of the endless number of cameras is making crazy (ok crazier).

Thanks ,
Leon
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Old 24-01-2006, 12:05 AM
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janoskiss (Steve H)
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After a quick look around, I'd say you could get the 350D locally for around $1200. By all accounts, that seems to be the camera to get in the under $1500 range.
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Old 24-01-2006, 05:46 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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The 350D is definitely the best option. You can buy it as a package/twin kit with 2 lenses for about $1600, or cheaper off ebay.

If you can get the body only cheaply, then westsky is selling the 2 lenses that come with it (in the buy/sell forum).
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Old 24-01-2006, 08:35 AM
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acropolite (Phil)
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350D, without a doubt, even if it's necessary to add a few dollars.
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Old 24-01-2006, 10:19 AM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Ok, I will keep this in mind. Don't think the budget can stretch though. The KonicaMinolta Dynax 5D looks good though, and with very favorable reviews .

http://www.teds.com.au/www/6/1001102..._1005803_.html
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Old 24-01-2006, 10:58 AM
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acropolite (Phil)
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It's worth noting that Konica/Minolta are quitting the Digital Camera business. For that reason I would stay away from Konica/Minolta as future support and repair may be difficult if not impossible. If the budget is tight the Pentax DSLR is quite good (brilliant if you ask h0ughy...) and the 1stdl can be had for around $1000, but it's nowhere the camera that the 350D is.
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Old 24-01-2006, 11:27 AM
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Phil, Could you elaborate? What's the Canon got that's lacking with the Pentax?
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Old 24-01-2006, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeek
Ok, I will keep this in mind. Don't think the budget can stretch though. The KonicaMinolta Dynax 5D looks good though, and with very favorable reviews .
Keep away from K/Minolta have exited the camera business completely as of last week.
If the Pentax doesnt appeal and at the same price as the K/M is the Olympus

http://www.teds.com.au/www/6/1001102..._1005803_.html

Ive got no experience of this model but have got the Olympus z5050 which is up with, if not the best 5mp Non SLR DCs
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Old 24-01-2006, 12:29 PM
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The 350d and twin lens kit is selling around Brisbane for $1455.00, now thats a bargain.

David.
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Old 24-01-2006, 12:38 PM
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Yeah, the Olympus E-500 is ok but the image quality and noise is worse than the Konica-Minolta. I know that KM have sold to Sony and this is a bit worrying, but still it is meant to be a great camera. I had a look at the 350D in the shop today and the lens that comes with it (18mm-55mm I think) seemed absolutly crap. The manual focus ring wasn't smoth and the whole thing seemed cheap (which I know it is but compared to the other lens' in this price range it seemed crap). Strange that such a good camera comes with such a crap lens. It may have just been the one I looked at though, what are your experiences with it? Manual focus is going to be used almost all the time so it has to feel good. I also didn't like the position of the manual focus ring. All the lens' with it at the end seem very nasty to me, but that may just be me.

Leon
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Old 24-01-2006, 12:39 PM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Forgot to say that I can get the KM for $1097
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Old 24-01-2006, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeek
I had a look at the 350D in the shop today and the lens that comes with it (18mm-55mm I think) seemed absolutly crap. The manual focus ring wasn't smoth and the whole thing seemed cheap (which I know it is but compared to the other lens' in this price range it seemed crap). Strange that such a good camera comes with such a crap lens. It may have just been the one I looked at though, what are your experiences with it? Manual focus is going to be used almost all the time so it has to feel good. I also didn't like the position of the manual focus ring. All the lens' with it at the end seem very nasty to me, but that may just be me.

Leon
G'day Leon,

I find it odd that you think the 18-55mm is on the dodgy side. I purchased my 350D with that lens and am able to use the other 2 lenses that I already had from my Canon 500N. The 18-55mm will not fit the 500N though.

As you probably saw, the 18-55mm is an ultrasonic lens with quite good automatic focusing but there is a problem and I have heard that it is true for all autofocusing lenses - it is able to focus beyond infinity. So for astrophotography this can prove to be a problem.

The manual side of things I have found to be quite good. I am playing with my 18-55mm as I write this and the focusing ring moves smoothly with ZERO slop. There is enough friction in the mechanism to allow the lens to remain focused - in other words it wont accidently slip out of focus. While trying to battle the above mentioned problem of beyond infinity focusing, I have been able to manually move the focusing ring by very small increments to try to find the best position to get those stars looking like pin pricks.

I will also add that my other 2 lenses (28-80mm and 75-300mm) share all the characteristics as the 18-55mm.

The 350D is a wonderful camera and has served me well in 2 overseas trips. The trip to the USA took in observatories and planetaria which meant I was shooting in low light so had to use manual focus. All in all I took 2.8 gig worth of images over 4 weeks. Please see the attached image of the counter weight of the 24" of the Alvan Clarke Refractor used by Percival Lowell. Following are the data for that image (all of the data is supplied by the camera). Please note: The camera was hand held and the attached image has been reduced to conform to IIS protocols.

File Name
IMG_2553.JPG
Camera Model
Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
Shooting Date/Time
22/09/2005 3:15:34 AM
Shooting Mode
Manual Exposure
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/5
Av( Aperture Value )
4.5
Metering Mode
Evaluative Metering
ISO Speed
800
Lens
18.0 - 55.0mm
Focal Length
34.0mm
Image Size
2496x1664
Image Quality
Fine
Flash
Off
White Balance Mode
Auto

AF Mode
Manual focusing

Parameters Settings
Contrast Mid. High
Sharpness Mid. High
Color saturation Mid. High
Color tone 0
Color Space
sRGB
Noise Reduction
Off
File Size
1922KB
Custom Function
C.Fn:01-0
C.Fn:02-0
C.Fn:03-0
C.Fn:04-0
C.Fn:05-0
C.Fn:06-0
C.Fn:07-0
C.Fn:08-0
C.Fn:09-0
Drive Mode
Single-frame shooting

Maybe, if you have time, find another shop and have a fiddle with a different 18-55mm. I am well aware that even good brands like Canon can let a lemon slip through.

Peter.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (counterweight.JPG)
105.6 KB18 views
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Old 24-01-2006, 03:38 PM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Ok, good to hear that the one I was playing with was most likely a dud (maybe from lots of rough handling in the shop) and I will try to try another one. My step-father might be able to stretch the budget to the $1400 required for the basic setup (cam + 18-55mm). Anyone know anywhere in Melbourne where I can get one cheaper (or maybe secondhand)?
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Old 24-01-2006, 07:39 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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It's unfortunate that people assume the standard 18-55 lens is poor quality. For the price the 18-55 is quite a good lens as many reviewers have commented. The E300 has received very poor reviews (Noise and colour balance problems) and has a smaller sensor that most other DSLR's. Steve, the Canon 350D has an 8mp sensor (as opposed to 6mp for the Pentax), more options and the sensor is lower noise than the Pentax. I tried a Pentax before buying my 20D and was disappointed in the performance, particularly in shadow detail, but as h0ughy has shown, they do produce great pics. If anyone is seriously considering buying a DSLR It's a good idea to read a few reviews.
http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com/
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraList.php
http://www.dpreview.com/
http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html
If you're curious about lenses this site has good info.
http://www.bobatkins.com/photography...00dlenses.html

Last edited by acropolite; 24-01-2006 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 24-01-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeek
Ok, good to hear that the one I was playing with was most likely a dud (maybe from lots of rough handling in the shop) and I will try to try another one. My step-father might be able to stretch the budget to the $1400 required for the basic setup (cam + 18-55mm). Anyone know anywhere in Melbourne where I can get one cheaper (or maybe secondhand)?
You can get the 350D here
http://www.cworld.com.au/order_onlin...0SLR&qsearch=1

with twin lens kit for $1432 or $1328 with 18 to 55 mm.

Bert
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Old 24-01-2006, 08:31 PM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avandonk
$1328 with 18 to 55 mm
It's actually $1348, but thanks for the link. Every dollar counts so $50 less is not to be sneezed at
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Old 24-01-2006, 08:41 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Don't forget no matter what you get, you'll also need a memory card, allow around $100 for 1G card (give or take a few dollars depending on type).
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Old 25-01-2006, 09:30 AM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Acropolite, yeah I know. Good thing is that the cam is for buisness (runs his own) so he can get the gst back. $110 back then spend $100 on card, so ends up $10 cheaper
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Old 25-01-2006, 07:07 PM
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astrogeek (Leon)
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Well now he's decieded that he can't afford anything, after I have spent days researching. Anyway thanks for the help guys
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