Popular Photography entry-level DSLR rankings

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Rich, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest

    In the March 2006 issue;
    The categories were:
    -Image quality (sharpness, colour, noise, resolution)
    -Ease of use
    -Control (how adjustable)
    -System flexibility

    (Standard "kit" lenses used)

    Overall: 1 being best

    1. Canon Rebel XT
    2. Olympus E-500
    3. Nikon D50
    4. Konica Minolta 5D
    5. Pentax (Samsung) *ist DS2

    Image Quality
    1. Canon Rebel XT
    2. Olympus E-500
    3. Nikon D50
    4. Konica Minolta 5D
    5. Pentax *ist DS2

    1. Olympus E-500
    2. Canon Rebel XT
    3. Nikon D50
    4. Konica Minolta 5D
    5. Pentax *ist DS2

    Ease of Use:
    1. Konica Minolta 5D
    2. Canon Rebel XT
    3. Pentax *ist DS2
    4. Nikon D50
    5. Olympus E-500

    System Flexibility:
    1. Canon Rebel XT/Nikon D50 Tie
    3. Konica Minolta 5D
    4. Pentax *ist DS2
    5. Olympus E-500

    Notable Comments (Positive)
    Rebel XT: Most detailed, best tonality
    Olympus E-500: Most advanced when it comes to creative control, even
    has a vignetting eliminator and of course, anti dust sensor cleaner.
    Nikon D50: Lowest noise level, fastest AF, better than it's D70
    Konica Minolta 5D: Easiest to use, anti-shake, fastest AF, and good
    noise control.
    Pentax *ist DS2: Low noise, good in low light, cheap.

    Notable comments (Negative)
    Rebel XT: No spotmeter, noise at 1600 unacceptable.
    Olympus E-500: Exposure latitude narrower than other cameras, small
    optical array, thanks in-part to poor aftermarket support.
    Nikon D50: Somewhat difficult to use, not as high resolution as the
    Rebel and E-500 (6 meg versus 8)
    Konica Minolta 5D: Slightly high contrast and lower shadow detail
    than the Nikon.
    Pentax *ist DS2: Worst image quality of group, sharpness and detail
    lowest. Minimalist control capability.

    I think the most surprising thing of all was the noise ratings of
    the Canon Rebel XT versus the Olympus E-500

    Rebel XT:
    400 ISO: Moderately low
    800 ISO: Moderate
    1600 ISO: Unacceptable

    400 ISO: Moderately low
    800 ISO: Moderately low
    1600 ISO: Moderate
    Rich, Feb 18, 2006
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  2. Rich

    cactuslicker Guest

    I have the Pentax *istDS and I would have to agree with most of what
    the article said about the *istDS2 even though it is a different
    camera. I bought my pentax because it is tiny but sometimes I can tell
    it isn't the best camera. I think the N50 results are interesting
    because it is a lowend camera.
    cactuslicker, Feb 18, 2006
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  3. Rich

    Tony Polson Guest

    The Pentax *ist DL is a later model than the DS and has improved image
    quality. You can upgrade your DS's firmware to improve its
    performance to something approaching that of the DL. The Pentax USA
    web site has details. The upgrade is free of charge, and is easily
    done at home.

    The Nikon D50 (not N50, that's a film SLR) has remarkably good image
    quality from virtually the same Sony sensor that is used in the Nikon
    D100, D70 and D70s - also the Pentax *ist D, DS, DS2 and DL and the
    Konica Minolta 7D and 5D. The later Pentax models come close, as does
    the Nikon D70s, and the earlier Pentax models with the firmware
    upgrades, but the Konica Minolta models and the Nikon D100 lag far

    It is well known that Konica Minolta were very short of cash following
    their merger and this clearly affected development of the K-M DSLRs,
    resulting in poor imaging performance and - eventually - the demise of
    the company as a manufacturer of photo gear.
    Tony Polson, Feb 18, 2006
  4. Rich

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Why is that surprising? How many reviewers are capable of
    distinguishing lack of noise from aggressive noise (and image)
    JPS, Feb 18, 2006
  5. Rich

    bmoag Guest

    What you should realize about PopPhoto is that it never reviewed a product
    from an advertiser in a negative fashion. Why would it bite the hand that
    feeds it?
    That is why there is a high rating for some aspect of every camera in this
    "round-up." Something for everybody. PopPhoto, any enthusiast magazine, also
    would not want to offend readers who have plunked down significant chunks of
    their income on less than stellar gear.
    I have been reading this magazine for decades and at this point the only
    part of the magazine that I really enjoy is the Time Capsule.
    If you were to look up issues from 25 years ago you would find favorable
    reviews for cameras and lenses that are now recognized as paragons of poor
    design and manufacture.
    The most recent example of this would be the PP review of the Nikon 55-200.
    If this is a worthwhile lens then I guess I have been looking through the
    wrong end of the camera all these years.
    bmoag, Feb 18, 2006
  6. Rich

    Stacey Guest

    Stacey, Feb 18, 2006
  7. Rich

    Tony Polson Guest

    Perhaps he's a fan of Herbert Keppler.
    Tony Polson, Feb 18, 2006
  8. Rich

    Larry Lynch Guest

    Come on Stacey....

    You know we all need SOME comedy in our lives....

    I read it regularly..its good for as many laughs as theo old "MAD"
    magazine used to be.

    Larry Lynch
    Mystic, CT
    Larry Lynch, Feb 18, 2006
  9. Rich

    Alan Browne Guest

    Tony Polson wrote:

    Those of us who actually shoot photos with the 7D, and know what it
    does, say different.

    We know who you're trying to bait, we're laughing our ass off at you Polson.

    Why don't you put up your Paris Match cover? Or the best 5 photos from
    your many years of shooting "50 rolls per average *week*"?

    Anything, in any case, that's better than your recent train photos.

    Alan Browne, Feb 18, 2006
  10. I have the Pentax *istDS and I would have to agree with most of what
    I don't know that any of the firmware updates affect image quality
    except in a few rare isolated cases - bug fixes invovling noise
    reduction on long exposures, I think. Was there really any change to
    the default image processing algorithms?

    However, it is worth noting that the issues Popular Photography had with
    the DS image quality came down to one thing and one thing only, as I
    recall: JPEG's produced using the default settings are rather soft
    compared to the competition. This is a fairly common observation in
    other reviews of the DS as well. Popular Photography attributes this
    softness to the DS's attempts to reduce noise even when not specifically
    using the optional noise reduction that applies only to long exposures.
    I don't know how much truth there is in that, but most other reviews go
    on to note that if you capture in RAW mode instead of JPEG on the DS,
    you get the same sharpness as everyone else (not surprisingly in the
    case of comparison to Nikon, as they use the same sensor). Some reviews
    cast a positive spin on these same observations, noting that the DS, in
    not attempting to apply aggressive sharpening in its JPG's, manages to
    avoid the somewhat harsh colors and artifacts that one sometimes sees in
    other consumer-model digital cameras (including, allegedly, other low
    end DSLR's). It seems most photographers using the DS use the "Natural"
    mode instead of the default "Bright" mode for in-camera image
    processing, which results in a somewhat sharper image to my eyes - but
    also even less of the artificially harsh color one associates with cheap
    digital cameras.

    Anyhow, most serious reviews spend long enough with the cameras to
    address these issues and consider the tradeoffs. Popular Photography
    apparently did not, hence their blanket statement on low image quality.

    Marc Sabatella

    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    Marc Sabatella, Feb 18, 2006
  11. Rich

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Not to sound pedantic, but all of your pluralized acronyms in this post
    use apostrophes, but those apostrophes don't belong there. Apostrophes
    are for possession and contraction; not for plurality. When I read your
    apostrophied plurals, I keep thinking possession, and the sentences are
    hard to read.

    These are plurals:

    "DSLR's" means "of the DSLR".
    "DSLRs'" means "of the DSLRs".
    JPS, Feb 18, 2006
  12. Rich

    Alan Browne Guest

    Most of the people here (including me) are sloppy usenet writers. So
    you have to have to develop on-the-fly edit while reading skills.

    (And remove the "Not" and ", but" above...)

    Alan Browne, Feb 18, 2006
  13. JPEG's
    Actually, different style guides give different rules on this matter.
    The style guide we used in school called for apostrophes to be used for
    plurals of numbers, inidividual letters, abbreviations, and symbols -
    basically, anything that wasn't a word. I believe this is the Oxford
    standard, whereas the MLA, Chicago, and other style guides suggest more
    limited usage of apostrophes (such as advocating it to pluralize single
    letters only, as in "mind your p's and q's"). To me, JPEGs looks as
    wrong and confusing to (I wonder what the "s" stands for, since it is
    apparently partof the acronym?) as JPEG's does to you.

    Marc Sabatella

    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    Marc Sabatella, Feb 18, 2006
  14. Rich

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    I have heard that the one exception often granted is when using capital
    letter in signs, small esses can be used for plurals because no small
    esses are available, or for aesthetic pruposes. To me, using
    apostrophes for plurals is just one way of diluting language into
    meaninglessness. Somebody in charge must be making a lot of kickback
    money on miscommunication.
    Why? The 's' isn't capitalized.
    JPS, Feb 18, 2006
  15. Rich

    Frank ess Guest

    Frank ess, Feb 18, 2006
  16. Rich

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Why do you read this drivel?

    More to the point -- after reading it, why do you insist on coming here and
    posting about it? Most of the people in this group know more about photography
    than anyone at that crappy magazine ever will, and most of us know how
    seriously their "reviews" deserve to be taken.
    Jeremy Nixon, Feb 18, 2006
  17. Rich

    Jeff R Guest

    One man's opinion; no more valid than a Usenet post.

    Another man's opinion - possibly more respected generally - goes like this:

    " The ordinary purpose of inserting an apostrophe before
    a final _s_ is to show that the _s_ is possessive, not plural;
    it originally indicated the omission of the _e_ from from the
    possessive inflexion _es_. It may occasionally be used before
    a plural _s_ as a device for avoiding confusion...
    ...We may reasonably write _dot your i's and cross your t's_ "

    Fowler's Modern English Usage
    1926 (reprinted 1965)

    English evolves. Americans drop the letter u and even spell elements such as
    aluminium as abbreviations.
    Ever read Shakespeare as he was writ? Or (God forbid) Chaucer?

    Get used to it. Pedantry cannot win in the fight against common usage, even
    when defending aesthetic pruposes.
    80 years ago Fowler acknowleged _'s_ for plurals *in some cases* - i.e.
    where confusion is avoided, not for plurals such as cat's and dog's.
    Jeff R, Feb 18, 2006
  18. Rich

    Frank ess Guest

    And the horse's you rode in on...
    Frank ess, Feb 19, 2006
  19. Rich

    JPS Guest

    In message <43f7b32d$0$7191$>,
    That's what I would call "dissolving", not "evolving". Eveolution would
    imply increased clarity, not chaos.
    JPS, Feb 19, 2006
  20. Rich

    Matt Clara Guest

    Neither's the i in NiMH, but it still stands for something, though,
    admittedly, it's not specifically an acronym.
    Matt Clara, Feb 19, 2006
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