how-to block ads
2.7 SLR and Backs
In my opinion, Canon has targeted many advanced hobbyists or advanced amateurs with their new digital SLR, the Digital Rebel. It feels and acts just like a Single Lens Reflex camera in your hands. You can change lenses, plus you have a wide range of control over how the camera acts. The narrow depth of field available from a larger lens is almost always a plus as your pictures come out more defined. The 3:2 aspect ratio of the photos equals the ratio of 35mm prints, so no cropping is needed when having your digital pictures sent off someplace to have 4x6" prints made.
The image quality is superb. Because of the larger sensor and its more advanced technology, higher ISO speed photographs at lower noise levels are offered. I own the Canon Powershot G2 as well as the 300D, and I can readily achieve ISO400 photos on my 300D that are cleaner than the G2 at ISO50. No joking.
Battery life - the battery (BP-511 li-ion pack or equivalent) battery that is used in the 300D lasts a LONG time on a full charge. I can get 500+ (4/5 of them being without flash) shots out of it on a single charge. I bought the optional BG-E1 battery grip which holds two of the BP-511 battery packs. I can get 1300+ shots (again, 4/5 of them not taken with a flash) with two fully charged batteries in the grip. The camera offers a nice external charge that wll fully charge a battery (from my experience) in just over 2.5 hours.
Overall, I don't regret spending a single penny on the Digital Rebel. I also don't regret the $2000 that I have spent on accessories thus far.
If you're looking for something light in weight and requiring minimal add-ons, this is NOT the camera for you. If you're looking for a SLR that offers you superb digital image quality and versatility, and you're willing to spend a bucket of money on accessories when your interests mature, the 300D / Digital Rebel may be for you.
As always, I encourage those to go out and TRY the camera out in a camera store (or wherever it may be sold locally) before one makes a purchase. I also encourage you (if you are within the US) to order your camera online from a reputable retailer because you can most likely get a better price than you can if you were to walk into someplace like Best Buy.
A few cons that I need to mention in order to make this a fair review:
•Canon really needed to include an AC adapter with the camera so that you could use the camera while hooked into a wall outlet. Such a thing is made but not included with the camera.
•I often smear the screen with skin oils from my nose and accidentally press buttons when looking through the viewfinder. Canon should have extended the eyepiece out a few more millimeters and they would have done well.
•Contrary to most people's initial concerns with the camera's AI AF settings, the AI AF on the 300D and the lack of an option to switch AF operation modes does not really pose a problem under many uses.
One thing to clarify: I tossed around the names "300D" and "Digital Rebel" a lot. Both are the same thing essentially, the proper US name being Digital Rebel.
Now, I was at my cousins wedding one day and inside the church it took forever for my G3 to focus on the people coming down the aisle. This really aggravated me. The AF took forever on the G3 for those types of situations. I didnt have the money for a new camera so I kept the G3 for a few months longer. Then My other cousins tells me to shoot his wedding for him. Nothing special, just take some shots, candids etc. So the first thing that came to mind was the last wedding I was at and how my G3 would NEVER LIVE UP TO THE TASK. I said what the hell, and bought a Canon EOS 300D with my Dell Account.
As Soon as I got the camera I noticed it came with no CF card, I really wish CANON would have included one to get started. So I was all excited when camera came in, but then the excitment went away when I had to rush to store to get a CF card. The good thing is by that time my Battery had fully charged :). SO anyway, I start her up (didnt bother reading manual as I have a Film REBEL SLR and its basically same stuff) and test for the auto focus and WOW!! Really fast AF, I was in heaven. So I go outside to take a few pics, come back in, connect camera to PC installed software and drivers and I was really impressed with the pics. The problem with the G3 was that at full zoom pics got too soft, and not as sharp. The 300D handled this really well.
With my little story being said here are a few pros and cons for the Rebel IMO.
1.) Fast AF
3.) Battery Life
4.) Light Weight
5.) Comfortable in my hands
6.) User Friendly, Easy Menus etc.
1.) Lack of Metering Modes
2.) No FEC
3.) No Mirror Lockup
2 and 3 on my Cons list are easily fixed with the Hacked firmware though! I really wish they would hack some Metering modes in there and I would be all set!
All in all the 300D is more than most people will ever need. It is perfect for the starter photographer.
Also see a review at dpreview.
The D100 is a "prosumer" 6.1 Megapixel digital SLR based on Nikon's F80 body. Some of the features include Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, and various programs modes. There are three color modes including daylight, tungsten, and flash, as well as auto white balance and custom white balance.
The D100 accepts most of Nikon's standard Auto Focus lenses and other accessories. An optional grip adds a vertical shutter, sound capabilities and allows the user to load a second battery pack. The camera has an LCD display and pop up flash. Optional Nikon Speedlights designed for digital cameras are also available.
The basic D100 package includes a Quick Start Guide and users manual, in Spanish and English, a video cable, body cap, USB cable, one battery pack (with cap), battery charger, clear plastic LCD cap, strap. and Nikon View software on CD. Also included is a 30 day trial version of Nikon Capture which allows you to work in Nikon's raw NEF files, tether the camera directly to your computer, and download custom settings. Lenses and compact flash cards are not included.
Upgrading from a traditional N90s took was a considerable learning curve and I spent the first couple of days just going through the 200 page users guide and getting accustomed to the software. Not only does the D100 have numerous digital options. but many of the standard camera functions are located in different areas and controlled in different ways. For example, lenses used on the D100 must be set at the smallest aperture, and the aperture is controlled by the camera. When shooting in Aperture Priority Mode the aperture is controlled by the "Sub Command" dial located in front of the shutter button, rather than the lens ring.
I've used this camera for about a week now and the picture quality of picture is excellent. However, the D100 is known to underexpose a bit so some of the settings may need to be tweaked, either with exposure compensation, custom curves, or in PhotoShop. Images shot at 1600 ISO have less noise than expected and the camera showed essentially no lag time between pressing the shutter and actuation. Shooting in fine mode with large 3000 pixel wide images, I wa able to capture about 75 eighteen magabyte files at 200 ISO images on a 256mb compact flash card.
Overall the D100 is smaller than the N90s and other traditional SLRs. It's a wonderful camera for experienced photographers who are eager to tackle the learning curve. Those who are happiest grabbing a camera and shooting right out of the box might prefer one of the point-and-shoot alternatives.
Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
I did indeed receive the camera and it has yet to disappoint me. Switching from a simpler camera like the 5000i that I had was a bit daunting, I must admit. There are a lot more controls but that's a good thing, it gives me ultimate control over my shots. Even the six megapixels hasn't been a disappointment. I get great 8x10 prints on my Epson RX500 (haven't tried a lab yet) using Xtra-Fine JPG mode.
1) APS-C CCD (23.7mm x 15.6mm)
2) Wide range of ISO modes (Auto, 100-3200*)
3) White Balance is superb
4) Recording to the flash is very fast (using Sandisk Extreme 1GB)
5) Image processing is quick
6) RAW and JPEG can be stored simultaneously
7) Large 2.5" TFT LCD monitor
8) Viewfinder shows 95% of the field of view.
9) Instruction manuals are printed separately for each language, keeping the size down.
10) Works well with my older Sigma lenses from my Maxxum 5000i
11) Anti-shake built into the body so there is no need to buy expensive image stabilization lenses.
12) Ergonomic and well spaced out controls. You can manipulate any camera control while looking through the viewfinder, even this 6'10" hamfisted guy can :). And if you can't, most buttons can be changed from "you must hold it" to a toggle mode.
13) 2 second timer with a mirror lockup when you press the shutter release, this is great for macro shots or telephoto shots and you don't have a cable release or you need to minimize vibration.
1) Not 8 megapixel (but the image quality is still outstanding)
2) Does not include an AC adapter (but one is available)
If you are already invested in the Minolta AF system (Maxxum/Dynax), this is the camera for you. It performs at a par if not better than its Canon and Nikon rivals (in the 1500 dollar price range). The camera can be fully automatic to fully manual and an almost infinite number of modes inbetween. If you are not invested in a lens system and are looking for a top quality, well built digital SLR camera, you cannot go wrong purchasing this digital SLR. KM might be one of the last to release a digital SLR but they took their time to deliver a package that does nothing short of absolutely delighting its users.
* ISO 3200 must be enabled in the setup menus.
Well after a 4 day trip to east Texas with the new gear, here are my unprofessional reviews if the stuff I have.
Canon Digital Rebel XT/350D with kit lens:
I love it. It starts up and shoots fast, the controls are pretty easy to figure out, and it's light enough that you don't get worn out with it hanging around your neck all day. The battery lasts a long time. I got over 600 shots off of the first charge with using the flash probably 25-30% of the shots. I bought a 800MAH battery off of ebay for $8.50, and it is as good as the factory battery so far. The small size is not a concern for me as I have fairly small hands, but I can see where it may be a problem if you have very large hands. I shot mostly in Av mode and some in full auto, and just a few in portrait mode and the shots were all very good in regards to color reproduction. Shooting in full manual mode, setting the f-stop is a little awkward as you have to hold the AV +/- button with one finger and turn the control wheel with another, but with a little use, it will not be so awkward. Overall, I guess it's a real nice starter DSLR, and a good stepping stone to a 20D or whatever might come out next.
Sigma 28-80 and 70-300mm lens kit:
Not really knowing much about lenses, as this is my first SLR type camera, all I can say is that I have read that these lenes are soft, and uncapable of taking sharp photographs, but I do not find this to be true. The kit came with the two lenses, lens hoods for both, and a pretty nice case that makes a nice home for them when they are not on the camera. The 70-300 is nicely balanced in it XT even when at full zoom, it did not feel awkward, and the 28-80 is light enough to stick on the camera and walk around all day without getting a sore neck. Both were noticeably heavier than the kit lens which also took some nice crisp shots. AL-in-all, I think the lens kit was a good deal for $215.00.
CompactDrive 20GB Portable Storage Device:
This thing performed flawlessly. After every little jaunt with the camera, I popped the CF card out of the camera, stuck it in this thing, turned it on and hit the copy button. It creates a folder for each transfer you do, which helps keep your shots semi-organized into sessions. When I got home, I just plugged it into a USB 2.0 post on my PC, and copied and pasted the pics over to my hard drive. Windows XP recognizes it as a portable hard drive, no software to install.
Lexar 4x 1GB CF card:
What can I say. It's a memory card and it worked. I had to get this because my 1GB80x Lexar Pro card did not arrive before I left, but I'll use the 4x for a backup now. I had no problems with the card.
Makeshift Camera Backpack:
Basically I got a small cheapo camera bag with the Sigma lens kit in one of those "bonus" kits that had a tripod, bag and cleaning kit. I stuck the camera and Storage device in it, the Sigmas in their bag, and put them in a laptop backpack that I had in the attic. Functional, but a pain in the a** as every time I wanted to change lenses I had to take off the backpack, open it up, take the camera bag out(it was in top of the lens bag), open the lens bag to get out the lens I wanted, and reverse the process. I will be getting a LowePro bag SOON.
I guess that's it. Hope someone finds this entertaining if not helpful.
COST: $499 (Amazon)
Includes: Red Pentax K-x, Red 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 DAL lens (plastic mount, camera strap
Battery style: 4xAA
Data Connector: Mini-USB
Screen: 2.7" 230k pixels
Full specs here: »www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxkx/page2.asp
This is my first DSLR (first SLR period). I have found this camera to be very good for taking just about any picture that I wanted. Coming from a P&S Fuji FinePix S3000, I was a little underwhelmed at the zoom (18-55mm kit lens). The kit lens and picture quality did blow away anything I ever had on the Fuji, and I could purchase a zoom lens (purchase Sigma 18-200mm). The main reasons that I purchased this camera over the competition (at the time - Canon Rebel XS, Nikon D3000 - same price) was the following:
- High speed multiple shot (4.7 frames/second) - this was my first reason on getting a DSLR. Canon and Nikon were ~2-3/second.
- Movie mode (XS and D3000 did not have these).
- AA batteries - this is/was a mixed bag - previous cameras all took AA batteries - I didn't want to haul a charger + special battery everywhere.
- Lenses (I was less concerned about) - K-x takes lenses going back to ancient screw mount (60's?). Also, the camera has the lens motor in the camera itself, making lenses less expensive (as well, optical stability is in the camera body)
- Color - A red SLR sticks out like a sore thumb. On my trip to Hawaii - I had MANY comments on it. Comes in up to 100 different colors.
- High speed
- Low cost (relatively)
- High ISO range (pictures good up to ISO 2400)
- Fast shutter + multiple shot (1/6000, 4.7 fps)
- AA battery
- Compact size (compared to other SLR/DSLRs)
- AA batteries drain quickly on live view/movie mode - recommend Lithium for those occasions (fixed in K-r)
- Autofocus hunts in dark areas
- Autofocus points are not in the viewfinder (live view only) (fixed in K-r)
K-x has now been replaced by K-r, which is physically the same size, but improves on K-x's features.