Jeremy's almost but not quite entirely moribund blog

Monday, September 04, 2006

Update on the DSLR choice has their review of the Pentax K100D online. A few disappointments:

  • No backlight on the status LCD - could make it difficult to use in low-light situations
  • Noise levels, while nearly comparable to Canon with shorter exposures, seem to degrade noticeably in longer exposures - not good for astrophotography
  • Slow autofocus in low light
  • Shallow buffer

So that would push me toward the Canon 400D, except that I've read on the forums that the new Rebel is 2/3 stop less sensitive than the 350D. In other words, while the noise levels at "ISO 1600" are comparable between the two cameras, the 350D is actually shooting at ISO 2000, but the 400D is only doing ISO 1250. So Canon's claim to increase resolution without increasing noise levels is a steaming pile of marketing. (I guess I shouldn't be surprised; they did the same thing with with the Powershot S3 IS.)

I'm interested to see a more scientific test of the sensitivity difference. For available light and astrophotography, both high priorities for me, this could be a deal-breaker for the 400D. Disappointing, too, because the improved AF system, deeper buffer, and wider LCD view angle would all be nice to have.

Stupid megapixel race. The 400D would have been a better camera had it kept the 8MP sensor from the 350D, but they needed those additional 2 megapixels to match up on paper with Nikon's D80 and Sony's A100. Even if squeezing them into the sensor actually does more harm than good.

That leaves me looking at the 350D now. Hopefully its price will come down now that its new and "improved" successor is on the market...


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