For those new to Daz Studio, it is worth noting that there aren't many free things to be found for DS3 on websites, even on ShareCG (one of the largest resources). However there are lots of Poser items on websites. Daz Studio can use most of the Poser items like clothes, hair, props, etc. DS3 cannot use certain files types or some particular functions. A few file types are mc6, PMD, xml. Functions: layering (for makeup and such), proprietary dynamic clothes, etc. There are work arounds for some things but this for basics. First post for forum.
Personally I think this has a lot to do with Daz Studio being free. People have this tendency to think that "If it's free, it's probably crap". If I look at my own freebies, the poser stuff gets two and a half times more views and downloads over the same period of time than the DS stuff. That's probably about the number of times Poser gets downloaded from a torrent site for every download DS gets :-)
I've used the trial version I had of Poser8 a total of three times, before it expired, I don't feel like buying it, or even downloading it from a torrent site. I find the DS interface much more intuitive, everything is more structured whereas I find the Poser interface kind of daunting. Also, saving a material preset in DS is a breeze, in Poser it's a nightmare!
I also find it easier to create things for DS, the file hierarchy is a lot more logical than Poser's, where everything has to be in a certain folder for it to work.
I'm sticking with DS. Like you already said, just about everything that's available for Poser can be used in DS, so it's like having the best of both worlds, in some way.
I use Daz|Studio3, and I think it's wonderful. Creating a scene and posing is much much easier. Even though it misses the cloth-room and material setting from poser (such as overlaying images), the free version of daz is still something worth fiddling with. Daz does have dynamic clothing (but it doesn't support poser dynamics) and a plug-in for image layering (which is not free btw).
As it has been already said, daz's interface is much lighter and easier to learn than poser's. But here as well, it's a matter of taste.
All in all, Daz is a great alternative to Poser, though not as powerful as the latter, it still has its strong points. I use daz for everything from posing, creating a scene, rendering, basic texturing etc. Poser for the dynamics, material room, rigging and ocassional rendering (it does have good light system).
I started out with Poser - and still use v. 6 for a few things, particularly importing conent from other formats - but DS has been my primary app for about three or four years, now. I actually paid for the 64-bit version, mainly because of the morph follower (not perfect, but works well enough in most cases).
DAZ is definitely faster and easier to use...I have also found that about 98% of all Poser items work in DAZ, but I still find myself using the Poser runtime for virtually everything related to libraries...have never been able to figure out the DAZ runtime structure. (In fact, while I've had few problems using Poser content, I've NEVER been able to use DAZ freebies...)
The other drawback about DAZ is if you aren't careful about keeping the DAZ Runtime folder absolutely intact, you won't be able to open your old scene files (this happened to me when I went from v.2 to v.3, destroying months of work...) This does not seem to be an issue in Poser.
DAZ is also less flexible when it comes to importing props in different formats. It doesn't support texture tiling, which means some Poser props look like crap when loaded into DAZ.
One thing that I'm pissed off at DAZ for is the fact that their dymanic clothing is NOT supported in the paid 64-bit version (the free 32-bit version DOES support its dymamic cloth, however).
Another frustrating thing about DAZ, especially when it comes to big scene files, is that it takes them a L O N G time to open and save - and if you use DAZ for an extended period, it starts taking longer and longer to select body parts - and it eats up your RAM until you quit and restart the application. (Memory leak?)
One other thing....if you create a character with specific morphs and save it to a Poser library with clothes, don't expect it to work when you open it in DAZ from a Poser library.
Do you open the zip files first before storing them in a library? Dumb question, yes but have seen it happen.
Search for your programs library and install the unzipped runtime there. It should merge with Daz runtime files. If your afraid of corrupting the Daz library, then create your own runtime library, naming it what ever as long as it has the same structure as Poser or Daz. After this is done then on interface of the program you will find a tab that says "search for Content?" Click this and let it search. It will find every runtime library on your computer. If you don't know the structure of the library let someone know and we will give you the layout of the folders.