I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Started Mar 8, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Chuck A
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I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D
Mar 8, 2005

I have been seriously thinking of getting the DS. I wanted a smaller camera to carry easier that uses the APS sized sensor so that I can get better image quality and less noise. I figured that I better look at one first. Well I finally found one about an hours drive away and went there on Sat. Obviously he did not have a 350D to campare it to but they did have a black 300D. Which was much nicer looking than the silver version. I focused on a few things that worried me. The viewfinder, menus, size and weight and the AF speed. Here are my conclusions.

1) The DS is very well built and sturdy. But, I was surprised at how heavy it felt for its size. Is that a good thing, you will have to decide. The 300D is a little heavier in the specs but it seemed lighter to hold. The 300D does feel less sturdy and probably would not take a fall as well as the DS. But it has proven itself to be a reliable camera.

2) The viewfinder was larger and nice but it was actually a little dimmer than the 300 D. Now I know that the lower mag of the 300D viewfinder will make it brighter. The DS was a little easier to manual focus, but not much different than the 300D. Especially in lower light.

3) The menus on both cameras were clear and easy to use and I was able to decipher the setings and buttons without a manual. It was pretty intuitive if you have used any digital cameras before. The DS menus were organized a little better.

4) There was quite a difference in AF speed. The camera store was pretty dark so I was able to test the AF of both cameras in low light. The 300D won here and was noticeably faster in lower light. Sometimes twice as fast when going from close to far in lower light. In brighter light it was closer but the 300D was still a bit faster. I was not able to test AF acurracy though.

My impressions were these. The low light AF speed of the DS disappointed me. I was expecting it to be a little better. Now to be fair it was better than my old Canon D30 in low light. So it is not terrible and would be useable.

I found the 300D to be easier to hold and it felt a bit lighter. The new 350 D is lighter still but it is the same size as the DS. I will definitely have to hold it to see how it feels.

I really didn't see a huge difference in the viewfinders. They were both marginal and certainly not up to a good 35mm SLR viewfinder.

I did this to try and make up my mind between the DS and the new 350D. When it comes out I will look at it and make a decision. I am not sure which camera is better for me yet, I have no real affinity to any one camera company. I generally buy whatever camera suits my needs at the time. So don't flame me for being anti Pentax or Canon. This was not a scientific review, just the impressions of a long time (30yrs) photographer who is looking to upgrade his D30.

One other thing is that while they had a large selection of used lenses, there were no used Pentax M, A, F or FA lenses and just a couple of used EOS lenses. These newer less expensive cameras are clearing the shelves of compatible used lenses.

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Thanks & God Bless,
Chuck
http://www.pbase.com/candrask

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