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06-20-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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A difficult decision

A big hello to all pentaxians.....after weeks of deliberations over whether to go in for a SLR and then deciding on the make and model with my limited budget ...I am finally here after buying the K200 with the 18-250mm lens. Ofcourse the posts on this forum were a great help in making the decision.

Background:
I am from India and am presently in Australia on business. Photography was always a hobby but did not take off until about 5 years before when the digital cameras came in vogue. I did use the Agfa film compact and got to grapple with my uncles second hand Hasselblad during my youth. I travel a lot because of work and till last month used the Sony super zoom compact for most of my photographic needs. And it has served me well. However, I started requiring more and more and hence decided to move to a DSLR

Requirements:
1) I did not want an entry level DSLR as my Sony compact gave me more than some of the entry level DSLR's.
2) I love shooting wildlife and hence needed a good zoom range in a single lens (also because of my travel needs) and image quality on the lens and a fast autofocus capabilities
3) I hated the noise levels of my Sony compact at higher ISO's even at 400 and hence needed decent if not spectacular performance at higher ISO's
4) Most of all, my budget was around AUD 1000


The Options:

1) My first choice was the Canon 450D/Rebel Xsi but for around AUD 1300 would get the cheap twin kit lens. PLus a host of auto focus issues with the 450D as stated in some photography forums deterrred me from going the 450D way. I obviously did not want the Canon 1000d for want of spot metering capabilities which was absolutely essential for bird photography and requirement 1 above. Canon 40D was way beyond my budget

2) The Nikon D60 did not meet requirement 1. Nikon D5000 was again a bit pricer and I would have had to invest in expensive VR lenses not to mention the absence of Autofocus motor on the body. The Nikon D80 was a good choice but was hard to find as the prodcution was stopped a month and a year back and lacked shake reduction sensor cleaning. the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens would itself have cost me AUD 1000

3) Most of what I read and heard of the Olympus E520 did not entice me much though the quality of their kit lenses is excellent

4) I did not consider the Pentax in the beginning. But when I saw the K200 and 18-250 lens going for around AUD 1200 camera shop at I included it in my options. What was really enticing was the quality glass and the all in one zoom range for the price of entry level slr twin lens kit. I never wanted the Pentax K-m because of the build quality and limited number of autofocus points

5) Being a Sony user for the past 5 years (2 models) though I was impressed by the technology and user friendliness of the Sony cameras the image quality left something to be desired in low lights. I must however say that my Sony DSC-H3 has never failed to to impress me. I must admit the live view system implementation in Sony SLR's is by far the best and incomparable. For people who are upgrading from compacts and want to use live view going forward, Sony is the way to go.

The decision:

1) After researching a bit I got to know that the K200 can be rated at a level higher than the basic entry level DSLR's and to an extent meet some needs of the semi pro photographer
2) The test shots at higher ISO's on review sites did not show a remarkable difference between the canon's and nikons
3) Though the autofocus was a bit slower with the 18-250mm lens I was led to believe that it is better than some of the best with other lenses in the Pentax family
4) The burst speed is crippled but I knew I cannot ask for everything
5) The Price for the body and lens combination hit the nail in the coffin

The problem:

Pentax had stopped producing the K200 about 6 months back with the launch of the K-m. All the stock for K200 had been gobbled up by keen enthusiasts as the prices tumbled. I rang up all camera stores in Melbourne only to figure out that only one shop stocked body-lens combination but all were display pieces. I requested them to check with thier stores in other states and was lucky to find one fresh piece which was specially delivered interstate

The result:

I am now a proud owner of the Pentax K200. Have given it a whirl on the last two weekends. A detailed review should be with you guys in the next couple of weeks.

KP

06-20-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Your analytical and methodical approach flies in the face of normal human purchasing whereby we follow all your steps right up to the selection process, then just buy the pretty one! Of course, for most of us that happens to be a Pentax at the moment.

Enjoy the forum. As you have already discovered, we like to engage in educational arguement when you throw out the right question. Isn't it great?
06-21-2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, glad to have you aboard.
06-21-2009, 01:28 AM   #4
Ash
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Welcome and congrats.
I echo Lee's response - you've thought it all out very well to purchase the camera just right for you.
Well done, and we look forward to your contributions (and questions) in the forum.

06-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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Welcome! I'm sure you will enjoy that camera! And I'm sure the forum too!

Andras
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06-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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A belated welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your purchase. Please post some photos from your new camera.
06-24-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum KP, thanks for sharing your rationale for deciding on Pentax, I'm sure you won't regret it.

One thing about the AF, yes it can be slow but it does tend to be accurate.
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