Anyone Dimage owners tempted to buy a 10D

Started May 14, 2003 | Discussions thread
Petteri Sulonen Forum Pro • Posts: 24,585
One of the fallen...

Mark Caplin wrote:

Ive pretty much made up my mind to buy one, but Im curious to hear
the thought of other D7 owners who have seriously thought about it,
and what convinced you to get one or stay with minolta.

I recently switched from a D7i to a 10D. (Which, by the way, I took to the warranty service this morning -- one of my lenses has a sticky diaphragm and there are a few hot pixels I want to have mapped out; that's the SLR world for ya. The up side is that they should have the camera sorted out by the afternoon, although the lens could take a little longer.)

My reasons for the switch are here, in approximate order of priority:

1. Depth of field control.

The small sensor on digicams means it's very difficult to isolate your subject with narrow depth of field. Since this is a device I really like to use, it became a serious annoyance.

2. Primes.

I simply enjoy shooting with primes more than with zooms. While the lens on the 7i is extremely good, it just doesn't work for me as well as a set of two or three primes.

3. Low-light performance.

I really like shooting in low light, but I find a tripod is limiting. I've always felt I can only "breathe freely" at ISO400 and f/1.4 or the equivalent. The possibility to go to ISO400 with virtually no image quality penalty and to ISO1600 with acceptable results is tremendously liberating. (In fact, I just got a monopod to get better results in these conditions.)

4. Shutter response and focusing accuracy.

I like to shoot situationals. The AF on the 7i was barely adequate for the job, but it did become limiting.

Things I've really learned to appreciate after the switch:

1. Image quality.

The 7i is very good... but, let's face it: a DSLR with a good lens is in a different class. (It had better, considering the price difference, too.) The down side is that I may be becoming too focused on the technical aspects of the pictures rather than what's in it: I feel that a stint with some cardboard disposables might be in my future.

2. Feel and handling.

Again, the 7i isn't bad -- it's very good, in fact, in its class -- but again, a DSLR is in a different league.

3. Upsides of OVF

It's simply much easier to see the scene through a "proper" optical viewfinder than the D7i's electronic one.

Things that are not so great:

1. Bulk.

I went out to practice with my monopod yesterday. The 10D, two lenses, and the monopod were a noticeable weight, significantly more than the 7i.

2. Dust.

Yep, it's there. So far, I've gotten by with a blower bulb, but it's an issue that needs to be dealt with.

3. Downside of optical VF

On a number of separate occasions, I've accidentally changed the white balance or forgotten to set it, and happily blazed away: the viewfinder gives no cue that anything is wrong, and I don't review every frame. Similar things have occurred with AE compensation and such. Practice will help, but the EVF does have its advantages: it would have avoided some boo-boos.

4. Stuff mania

Polarizer. Step-up rings. Viewfinder widgets to adapt the camera better to my glasses or eyesight. Monopod and ball-head with quick release plate. Better tripod legs to fit the ball-head. Remote release so I can actually use the tripod. Spare battery pack. Bigger camera bag to fit all the stuff. Another backpack-style camera bag to carry some of the stuff in the field and keep my hands free. Bigger memory cards, because this thing actually works in RAW (not that I've gotten spectacular advantage out of it yet). RAW conversion utility program. Better printer to get the archival quality A3's that the camera can do. And then there are those discounted lenses from a shop that's closing, which I don't really need , but...

I keep telling myself that I've got all the stuff I need, but somehow keep buying those little widgets that add up -- price-wise and weight-wise. After blowing the couple of thousand €/$ on the camera and the lenses I planned for, blowing tens or hundreds on the "little stuff" is a lot easier... and in the end, I'm not sure if it'll do that much for my photography.

Bottom line (for now): I don't miss my Minolta (yet anyway), and I feel the 10D fits my photography much better, but the trade-offs are significant. And if you can stick to the camera body and lens or two that you think you need, more power to you... but the siren call of all the cool and actually useful stuff that complements the camera is really hard to resist.

At least I don't feel tempted by L glass yet...

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