I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Started Mar 8, 2005 | Discussions
Chuck A Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

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.

-- hide signature --

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

OP Chuck A Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

You might wonder why I didn't deal with image quality? The image quality is so close that it really is not worth nitpicking. I found them to be very similar with the 300D having a very slight edge with noise at high ISO. When printed there is really no difference.

-- hide signature --

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

Tulsaman Regular Member • Posts: 431
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Chuck,

Long time, no hear from! I have enjoyed your posts down on the Panasonic forum. And you are now addressing an issue I am faced with as well--istDS or XT?

Right now, I have a Canon G5--good image quality, but not as usable as a DSLR would be in lower light, action, etc. Plus, I feel more comfortable with an SLR in my hands. I am very, very old--or at least my kids say I am!

I held the DS yesterday. Feels very good in my hands, sturdy, good placement of controls. But while others talk about the great viewfinder, I found it a bit darker than the Canon Rebel as well. Maybe just my eyes?

Our local shop here in Tulsa is supposed to have XTs in today or tomorrow, so I can compare the two then. But the price of the DS--$850 for the kit on Amazon--is very tempting. I don't have lenses for either brand, so that is not an issue.

Anyone else have comparison thoughts between the two?

-- hide signature --

Jeff
'A brief glimpse of God's creation is all that we can handle in this
life.'

Dale Severson Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Chuck,
I was comparing the Pentax against a D70 and 300D in December.

Slower focus of the ist DS was the deal breaker for me. Slow focus just caused way to much shutter lag in most shooting situations.

Chuck A wrote:

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.

-- hide signature --

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

River Side Senior Member • Posts: 2,068
not surprising..

300D has the fastes AF in it's class.. well faster than some cameras higher in class even!

Chuck A wrote:

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.

-- hide signature --

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

parallaxproblem Veteran Member • Posts: 5,335
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Tulsaman wrote:

Chuck,

Anyone else have comparison thoughts between the two?

I'm going through exactly the same process...

I have to admit that I'm beginning to swing in the direction of the DS for one reason: Pentax's 16-45 f4 lens at ~$400

With a few exceptions, I really have not been terribly impressed by what I see coming out of the 18-55 'kit' lens supplied with the XT/350D and I personally want something better. Unfortunately Canon's 18-85 & 17-40L alternatives are both rather large and too expensive IMHO

A good CCD/CMOS is important, but I suspect a good lens is even more so (I have a Canon SD10 with a crummy 2.5" CCD which 'creams' many P&S with 1.8" CCDs just because it has an OK-quality prime instead of a sub-mediocre zoom)

I would expect to have a 'standard-zoom' on the camera for at least 80% of my shots (damned if I'm going to carry a bag of lenses with me everywhere!) and so the availability of a 'decent' option for this lens is a major factor for me. There appear to be just too many issues with third-party (eg. Sigma) alternatives (backfocus, consistent quality etc) to make this a worthwhile option if purchasing mail-order IMHO, unfortunately

The Pentax 16-45 is at least $200 cheaper and more than 100g lighter than Canon's alternatives!

Rebel XT + 18-85 = $1,500 in 'kit form'

Pentax *ist DS + 16-45 = less than $1,200 (in US, as a European I will have to import from US if I choose this option as the prices here are very high)

Of course if Canon drop the price of the 18-85 then that would change things totally

These feelings are just 'provisional', I'm still going to see what the handling is like on on the XT/350D before I make my final decision

 parallaxproblem's gear list:parallaxproblem's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 NEX5R Sony a77 II
jlibus Regular Member • Posts: 308
Itraded my *ist DS for the 350D...

This is what I found (and it is only my own opinion):

(1) The Pentax *ist DS is well build and it has a metal frame with a plastic body cover. It is a good walk around camera due to its lightweight and small size (well balanced).

(2) The viewfinder is only cover 90% (although it is relative large in size) of the scene and it is dimmer than the Canon 300D (I tried the 300D when I traded in the DS).

(3) The JPEG image quality is disappointing IMO, I compare that to my Olympus C5060WZ P&S camera. Also find the JPEG from DS has much less headroom to work with when post processing. There are only a few reviews available on the web for the DS. Most reviews are positive but one reviewer said “If the picture quality is what you’re looking for, then you should consider the Canon 300D or the Nikon D70 instead”. I ignored that comment because the other two reviews are very positive. Guess I pick the wrong reviews as the guild line?

(4) The RAW image quality with the DS is excellent (did not compare that with the 300D) and I am willing to just shoot in RAW. However the RAW file is NOT lossless compressed, so it is about 11MB file size. Which is a big concern for me because my 20GB e-film device will not hold that many of these gigantic files (for a three weeks trip that I normally take).

(5) The auto focus is slower than the 300D (both on the kit lens). Also I found auto-focusing issue with the DS in wide opened aperture under medium lighting condition (i.e. the flash assist is not needed). May be this is only happen with the kit lens? I wouldn’t know. I was forced to either switch to spot/center or manual focusing.

(6) The Pentax *ist DS is using standard AA size battery and which is what I’m looking for. However, then the DS turn into using propriety (non-standard) USB and VIDEO out connectors. Disappointing to find that out after and no reviewers have pointed that out. So, one more free USB port is needed and do you know how many USB cables are already hanging out of my PC? MANY.

(7) Also find out the selection of lens is limited (compare to what Canon offered). The Canon’s EF-S 17-85MM IS lens is the perfect range that I’m after. No such animal to be found for the Pentax that is even close.

Bottom line, there is no perfect camera. It all depends what you consider is acceptable or tread offs that is good enough for you. I mentioned about the bad JPEG image quality of the DS in the Pentax d-SLR forum and got blasted for it. Even someone in the forum was daring to side with me and they also got blasted. My experience from this is not to look at the Pentax forum for advise with regard to this because you will get 99% biased point of view.

Chuck A wrote:

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.

 jlibus's gear list:jlibus's gear list
Canon PowerShot A720 IS Canon PowerShot S30 Canon PowerShot S3 IS Olympus C-5060 Wide Zoom Canon PowerShot S95 +10 more
Dale Severson Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: Itraded my *ist DS for the 350D...

Got blasted there myself many times. Hey, was that you?

If you don't have anything but positive to say about the ist DS suggest you stay away from the Pentax DSLR forum.

Not all but many over there seem to be a little uptight, touchy and defensive about their DS's.

jlibus wrote:
This is what I found (and it is only my own opinion):
(1) The Pentax *ist DS is well build and it has a metal frame with
a plastic body cover. It is a good walk around camera due to its
lightweight and small size (well balanced).
(2) The viewfinder is only cover 90% (although it is relative large
in size) of the scene and it is dimmer than the Canon 300D (I tried
the 300D when I traded in the DS).
(3) The JPEG image quality is disappointing IMO, I compare that to
my Olympus C5060WZ P&S camera. Also find the JPEG from DS has much
less headroom to work with when post processing. There are only a
few reviews available on the web for the DS. Most reviews are
positive but one reviewer said “If the picture quality is what
you’re looking for, then you should consider the Canon 300D or the
Nikon D70 instead”. I ignored that comment because the other two
reviews are very positive. Guess I pick the wrong reviews as the
guild line?
(4) The RAW image quality with the DS is excellent (did not compare
that with the 300D) and I am willing to just shoot in RAW. However
the RAW file is NOT lossless compressed, so it is about 11MB file
size. Which is a big concern for me because my 20GB e-film device
will not hold that many of these gigantic files (for a three weeks
trip that I normally take).
(5) The auto focus is slower than the 300D (both on the kit lens).
Also I found auto-focusing issue with the DS in wide opened
aperture under medium lighting condition (i.e. the flash assist is
not needed). May be this is only happen with the kit lens? I
wouldn’t know. I was forced to either switch to spot/center or
manual focusing.
(6) The Pentax *ist DS is using standard AA size battery and which
is what I’m looking for. However, then the DS turn into using
propriety (non-standard) USB and VIDEO out connectors.
Disappointing to find that out after and no reviewers have pointed
that out. So, one more free USB port is needed and do you know how
many USB cables are already hanging out of my PC? MANY.
(7) Also find out the selection of lens is limited (compare to what
Canon offered). The Canon’s EF-S 17-85MM IS lens is the perfect
range that I’m after. No such animal to be found for the Pentax
that is even close.
Bottom line, there is no perfect camera. It all depends what you
consider is acceptable or tread offs that is good enough for you. I
mentioned about the bad JPEG image quality of the DS in the Pentax
d-SLR forum and got blasted for it. Even someone in the forum was
daring to side with me and they also got blasted. My experience
from this is not to look at the Pentax forum for advise with regard
to this because you will get 99% biased point of view.

Chuck A wrote:

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.

ScottMiller Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Chuck,

Thanks for the post, I was deciding between the Pentax and the 350D recently. However, no one in town has a Pentax to go look at. So, I would be interested to hear your thoughts after you actually get to see a 350D.

-Scott

ScottMiller Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Itraded my *ist DS for the 350D...

Dale Severson wrote:

Got blasted there myself many times. Hey, was that you?
If you don't have anything but positive to say about the ist DS
suggest you stay away from the Pentax DSLR forum.
Not all but many over there seem to be a little uptight, touchy and
defensive about their DS's.

In all fairness, that happens plenty on this forum as well.

River Side Senior Member • Posts: 2,068
to be fair..

it doesn't..

I frequent other forums but can't say much about the Pentax one.. the *ist never really appealed to me.. athough some Pentax lenses do make my mouth water..

i think by far the 300D users are very accepting of their camera's 'shortcomings'.. they KNOW their camera has 'faults' so to speak.. but they ARE sold on image quality and they ARE willing to demonstrate it.. i've found others severely lacking in taking any criticism of their purchase... thought it was just the D70 forum.. but Minolta D7D was worse and now it's back to Nikon with their D2X forum..

and yes.. 300D users can't be too proud of the 1D/1Ds forums.. and to some extent even the 20D/10D forums..

ScottMiller wrote:

Dale Severson wrote:

Got blasted there myself many times. Hey, was that you?
If you don't have anything but positive to say about the ist DS
suggest you stay away from the Pentax DSLR forum.
Not all but many over there seem to be a little uptight, touchy and
defensive about their DS's.

In all fairness, that happens plenty on this forum as well.

Tulsaman Regular Member • Posts: 431
Still no XT in Tulsa...

Just got back from our local shop--they expect a shipment of at least 20 XTs today or tomorrow. So I played with the DS a bit more, and found a used Sigma 28-200 lens for $150. So, for $899 I can get the DS kit, and $150 more get the 28-200; $1050 for the body and two lenses. Compare that with $999 for the XT kit.

Of course, my Canon dedicated flash (Promaster 7500) won't work with the DS, nor will my CF cards. Sooo...

The autofocus on the DS seemed a tad slower than the current Rebel, but not bad. It just feels right in my hands, and that is a biggie to me...

Not much of an update, but there you are...
--
Jeff
'A brief glimpse of God's creation is all that we can handle in this
life.'

thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Where did you go to trade in the DS? Henry's? /nt

thw wrote

thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

Slower focus of the ist DS was the deal breaker for me. Slow focus
just caused way to much shutter lag in most shooting situations.

That and the lack of continuous focusing except in the Action mode bother me.

thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Re: I checked out the *istDS compared to 300D

I have to admit that I'm beginning to swing in the direction of the
DS for one reason: Pentax's 16-45 f4 lens at ~$400

I have the DS and if I stay with Pentax, it's for this lens alone. Because of their full-frame and 1.3x sensors, Canon lenses tend to be larger, heavier and more expensive.

thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
BTW...

(7) Also find out the selection of lens is limited (compare to what
Canon offered). The Canon’s EF-S 17-85MM IS lens is the perfect
range that I’m after. No such animal to be found for the Pentax
that is even close.

It will be a great lens for me too but I haven't heard many good things about this lens. You may want to consider getting the 28-135 IS lens.

Doug Kerr Forum Pro • Posts: 20,898
"*" can stand for any letter, even "P" (nt)

Doug

 Doug Kerr's gear list:Doug Kerr's gear list
Leica V-Lux 4
dscullyfan Regular Member • Posts: 354
Chuck, did you try the E-300?

just curious...

jlibus Regular Member • Posts: 308
Good guess, I traded it in with Henrys...

Hi Thw,

You are absolutely correct. However, I did not get the DS from Henrys. It is good that they toke it as a restock item. Which I lost C$300 for it but I consider myself lucky. It is because no other store will take it back since they afraid of not able to sell it again. The Pentax brand is not very popular in GTA let alone their d-SLRs.

I posted the question and read many posts with regard to the EF-S 17-85mm IS lens quality. I have received mixed messages and different opinions. Majority of my picture taking is landscapes and macro, so a 28mm focal length (minimum in 35mm equiv.) is a must. The 28-135mm IS lens do not even come close. I own three film Canon SLRs before and I realize the zoom lens image quality will never match the fixed lens (this will be my first zoom lens). But then again, I do not want to pull out the big metal casing again for all lens used. I am willing to take some hit with the image quality of a zoom lens so the 17-85mm really fits the bill. My next lens will (could) be the EF-s 60mm IS macro lens. I can use it for both macro and portrait photography. After that, no more new lens (or else my wife will kill me). I am waiting for someone to purchase that macro lens first and post some results before I make the decision. I can wait.

thw wrote:

(7) Also find out the selection of lens is limited (compare to what
Canon offered). The Canon’s EF-S 17-85MM IS lens is the perfect
range that I’m after. No such animal to be found for the Pentax
that is even close.

It will be a great lens for me too but I haven't heard many good
things about this lens. You may want to consider getting the
28-135 IS lens.

 jlibus's gear list:jlibus's gear list
Canon PowerShot A720 IS Canon PowerShot S30 Canon PowerShot S3 IS Olympus C-5060 Wide Zoom Canon PowerShot S95 +10 more
OP Chuck A Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
No XT here for at least 2 weeks

ScottMiller wrote:

Chuck,

Thanks for the post, I was deciding between the Pentax and the 350D
recently. However, no one in town has a Pentax to go look at. So,
I would be interested to hear your thoughts after you actually get
to see a 350D.

-Scott

I won't have an XT close to me for at least 2 weeks. My local Best Buy is way behind the times and the other photo shops won't have it till the 20th.

-- hide signature --

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

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads