I think the main issue here is more related with your camera usage and plans. Do you plan to invest in lenses?. How light do you plan to travel with your camera?.
IMHO the DRebel is the best of the three, despite some lack of functionality (mostly solved with the hacked firmware) and the greatly exagerated dust problems. I cleaned the sensor once in a year and I change lenses A LOT, and it was mainly a maintenance cleaning, because the dust were not noticeable at normal apertures. AF is far better than the Pro1 and probably better than the f828 too, and of course the image quality, mostly at high ISO settings, is no contest. But a DSLR means interchangeable lenses, so it means multiple lenses too. The kit lens is less than stellar, and only 3x, so probably you'll want to buy better/longer lenses. Suddenly, you'll need a case to move all of that.
But beware, DSLRs generates "lens lust". It's a very common disease between photographers. The 17-40 seems a fine lens, but the 100-400IS can't be ignored, and what about the new 10-22?? And so on. You get the idea... At $300-$1000 per lens, it isn't cheap. But is actually where the real investment in SLR cameras is.
Some of my lenses are 6 years old, and they are already using their second body (the first was a film EOS 5), and soon the third (a 20D).
Bottom line, the Pro1 and f828 are a more compact solution, and a far cheaper one when you count the TCO. But of course I'll never change my DRebel for any of those cameras. For a really compact one, and everyday use, I'm still using my trusty and pocketable S50. Guillermo..
Thanks for the advice! Will the Pro 1 or the Sony give me a picture at least equal to my Dimage 7, aside from the obvious pixel count advantage? I started thinking about the EOS route and the expense... You are right! Another option may be the venerable 10D. I will have to look up information on the 10-22. Thanks again!..
Probably you'll have more resolution but also more noise with the Pro1 and the f828, at least at high ISO settings. Just download some test pictures for the 3 cameras at various ISO (as the football M&M figure in Steves digicams site) and print them to see if they are ok for you.
Regarding the now replaced but also cheaper than before 10D, remember.
It doesn't support EF-S lenses, so the 10-22 is out of the question. It'll only work (along with the 17-85IS and 18-55) in DRebel/300D/20D bodies. Guillermo..
How do you feel about the Minolta A2? It is available for $650 now. Seems awfully good. I was happy with my Dimage 7, just not with the speed and some focus issues that seem to have been fixed. That is very tempting... I really don't NEED extra lenses and the like.....
The A2 is an evolution of the Dimage 7 body. So probably you will feel "at home" using it. I dont know how better the AF is compared with the 7, but noise probably will be higher because 8MP sensors are noisier than 5MP ones. The AS system is similar than the IS one in the Pro1. Seems a very capable camera. Some reviewers love it, and some dont care about it, as with the f828.
The other cameras usually are very good in one aspect but lacking in others, but again, reviewers seems not to agree.
I've used none of the 8mp digicams. I've used a F707 (the ancestor of the f828) briefly a couple of times, and AF is very good even in low light, thanks to their laser based hologram AF assist, used also in the f828. Guillermo..
A friend of mine just got the 300D and loves it. I played with it and I too found it very nice. I like the feel of the standard size camera. With the kit and an extra Canon 55-280 lens, I think he was around $1100. His new lens is labeled "ultrasonic". What in it makes it ultrasonic? Like a lot of folks, I was very impressed by the 20D reviews and possibilities.
I am going to try like mad to get the 20D... That should satisfy my camera needs for quite some time. We will see though; $1600 (with lens) is quite a chunk of change.
I noticed that you are very knowledgeable on Canon cameras. Will you be getting the 20D? Thanks again!..
As soon as I can grab one!!.
Ultrasonic motor lenses (know as USM lenses) have a very silent, quick motor design. The "true" USM lenses (the ones having Ring USM) usually have a focus ring in the middle of the lens and focusing scale, and allows FTM (full time manual) focus. That means you will be able to change focus manually even if the lens is in AF mode. Your friend's lens is a Micro USM design. Silent as Ring USM design, but is a cheaper, different one, lacking FTM ability. They usualy don't have a focusing scale either.
"The Ultrasonic Motor (USM) is an AF (auto focus) driving motor which Canon commercialized for the first time in the world. Conventional motors convert electromagnetic force into rotational force. Ultrasonic motors, on the other hand, are based on a completely new principle in which rotational force is generated from ultrasonic vibrational energy. The basic motor construction is very simple, consisting of an elastic stator and a rotating rotor. The stator has piezoelectric ceramic elements that, when energized by an AC voltage, make it vibrate to generate ultrasonic vibration energy.
USMs make focusing faster, more accurate and quieter (almost silent) than conventional focusing drive by a motor and speed-reducing gear train. Most USM-equipped EF lenses allow full-time manual focus in the AF mode. The ring USMs are suitable for large aperture lenses and super telephoto lenses, and the Micro USMs for smaller lenses.
The amplitude width of the elastic stator is only around 0.001mm." An example of an affordable Ring USM lenses are the very popular 28-105 USM and 28-135IS USM. The latter has also IS (Image stablization.
), very good to compensate camera shaking. Sigma has a similar design called HSM (hypersonic motor) featuring FTM, and the cheaper Micro HSM. I've a Sigma 12-24 using HSM, and performance and noise are similar to the 28-135. Guillermo..