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06-28-2010, 08:23 AM   #1
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Kx or K-7, for a lifetime?

I have enjoyed, immensely, the advent of the digital age in Photography, the economy and utility of printing only those images with which you are satisfied, often with corrections, crops, or other manipulations post exposure, (I use the Gimp).

Twenty years ago, I owned a Ricoh SLR, standard lens, long lens and a macro. Today, they gathers dust in the closet.
As much fun as they were, the expense and hassle of film limitation has made them irrelevant. The 10mp point and shoot, which I acquired, is adequate, I guess.
But, the fun and excitement of photography is gone.

Initially, I though about a Kx body with my K mount lenses. I was advised that the 18-55 mm lens would be a mistake to sacrifice for the few dollars I might save. That it would allow me to learn the camera in all its potential.

Last week, as I was beginning to become aware of a few specs and their significance, I discovered that the K-7 with the 18-55 could be had for just a few dollars more than the Kx with 18-55 and 55-300mm lens. The difference, for me, being that both the K-7 body and lens were weather resistant and the lens mount was metal, where-as, with the Kx, neither was true.

Since then, of course, the sale has expired. But the fact of my limited means (age and disability) will always remain. If I can stretch myself to make this purchase, it will be the last camera that I buy.

I can more easily imagine myself adding a lens than upgrading a camera body.

Even at a higher price, limitations of the Kx concern me as I contemplate a camera that I hope I will use for years.

Or, am I being silly?

Any advise?

06-28-2010, 08:26 AM   #2
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Only DA-L lenses have plastic bayonets- you won't have to worry about them if you stay clear of that series.

I don't think that 'digital' and 'lifetime' can be used together in one sentence. Technology keeps on evolving, and in 5 years your trusty K-x will likely be selling for $250. If you're looking for something that can last for as long as possible, I'd go for the K-7: it's also got more professional features and controls, in addition to the weather sealing.

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06-28-2010, 08:34 AM   #3
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I agree with Adam. Digitals change so fast, buying one for a lifetime seems silly unless you're talking about a modular Medium Format setup.

Though the K-x's low light performance is excellent, I would go with the K-7. It's got richer features, and between the two of them, it's the one constructed to last longer.
06-28-2010, 08:54 AM   #4

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There would also be some issues with Ricoh lenses, but I don't know what it is excectly and if you can use them.

06-28-2010, 08:55 AM   #5
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I think both of you missed the point of what he/she said. This is likely to be the last camera bought in part due to age. While I hope that's not true, it's certainly a realistic consideration. Not everybody is an annual upgrade hound (myself excluded).

To the OP, the Kx and K7 are two very different cameras. The only thing they really share is the K mount. Some will say that the Kx has the advantage of a clean high ISO shot and the use of AA batteries (no I'm not getting into that fight again). Others (like me with my K7) say that High ISO doesn't matter. It's more about the feel and build of the camera in addition to the features aimed more at the photographer.

Yes, it costs more but the K7 is a far more rugged machine in my opinion. Someone will likely come in here and say that in 10 years, batteries won't be available for the K7.. Maybe, maybe not. If that concerns you, buy the battery grip accessory and you can use AA for as long as the camera lasts.

The truth is that with either camera, you'll have a tool capable of stellar results. If you go the K7 route however, DO get the WR kit lens with it. It's surprisingly good for an el-cheapo lens.

06-28-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Unortunately, many camera's have become disposable electronic appliances. I still have my 30+ yr old Spotmatic while some newer film cameras that had all the electronic and auto features of the day are dead paperweights. They weren't Pentax. When I finally went digital, I chose the K10D, mostly because it had reviews like "built like a tank" and I'm an outdoors guy and it's weathersealed. So far, its taken a beating and held up fine. As for a lifetime, that remains to be seen. The K7 is the current top model in the Pentax line and it is also a sturdy, well built camera so it should last a long time.

When I bought my K10D, I thought also that it may be my last purchase. After switching to digital, something changed. I have shot more pictures in the last 3 years than the previous 20. Photography has once again become my main free time activity. I am adding even more lenses to my collection. I had to buy new hard drives because my photos were filling them up. I'm looking at upgrading to a newer body soon. A DSLR does that to you. Be warned!
06-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #7
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Not much advice coming from a newbie like myself - but being new to dSLRs (k-x), I also experienced an irresistible desire to experiment a lot. At what point does shutter life come into play? In the first month of owning a k-x, I easily shot around 1000 pictures (mostly silly pics of my kids playing around, but still count). Almost like car mileage, it could end up being 12-15K/year. I have read k-x is rated at 100K shutter actuations (not sure about K-7), so I am not sure either can really last "a lifetime"

06-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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As noted above, digital cameras have values something like computers. A K-7 costs twice what the K-x costs. Both will have lost the vast majority of their value four years from now--a much bigger proportion of their value than many film SLRs from 30 years ago have lost. Unless you need the specific capabilities of the K-7, there is no reason to buy it as one's last camera you will own. I'd say save your money and get the fun of two technological steps.
06-28-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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tbirdas, shutters can be replaced. Depending one what they shoot, I've known some people who have to have shutter replacements every few months.

As far as build quality goes, the K-7 is built very well; certainly better than the K-x, although the K-x sounds well build for a lower-end DSLR.
06-28-2010, 04:10 PM   #10
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I understand that shutters can be replaced - around $200 or so? The point is, 4-5 years down the line it may make more sense to buy a new body than replace the shutter - for an entry level one like k-x at least.
06-28-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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The K7 is more durable, if that is the question. The WR kit lens that comes with it is likely to have a lot longer life span than the kx kit lens as well. Digital does move quickly, but there is no reason that someone has to buy every new iteration of camera that comes along. There are still folks shooting with the * ist D, as far as I know, the first dSLR from Pentax. The photos still look good and they still enjoy shooting.

As far as shutters go, I take roughly 10,000 photos a year. That means that the shutter should be good for 10 years. As long as you don't drop it or treat it cruelly, it will last a long time (although probably give out before the shutter...).
06-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #12
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My digital is just a P&S and it's not even a Pentax but it's still lasted me for seven years and I do believe that it will last me for 2 more till I can afford a DSLR. I'm on the lower side of being middle aged myself. For me a digital camera is like a decent modern car. I expect that if I treat it well it will last me for a decade or more, but I also expect I'll either trade it in or donate it after a decade because it will indeed be obsolete.

My old film cameras are built like tanks compared to my digital. The whole film vs digital thing is a problem sometimes, true, but then again when my digital is brain dead in a bin at Goodwill someday my old film cameras will still be around and shooting provided I tech them once in a while and can still get 35MM for them.

The quality of my Fuji is okay. For an non-DSLR it's been a pretty good camera, but it's nowhere near the quality of my Pentax SLR's. That's not to say Fuji isn't doing their best to make good cameras, they are, but they still are working with plastic and computer chips and they will eventually give out.

I figure a decade maybe a bit more on any digital is about right if you take care of it so plan accordingly. I'd get those Ricoh's out of the closet, get them teched, and use them. Film isn't dead. Not yet, and you may just find you really like using them again.

As much as I love my digital, there is something about using a vintage camera that just makes it a really rewarding experience sometimes for me. I don't know that if I was shooting digital all the time, even with a DSLR, I wouldn't still miss it.

If you must go digital, I'd get the K-X, unless you need weather proofing. Yeah, you can get a battery thing, but it's cheaper to begin with and really fun to use I'm told, the digital camera equivalent of a flashy red Porche.

If it's really your last camera why not go for flashy and fun?

You only live once, grin.
06-29-2010, 06:01 PM   #13

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If you have limited funds, you're better off getting a nice used K100 and having enough money left over for lenses.

A lot depends on the use you'll make of the pictures. If the primary use will be for modest sized prints, or especially the web, you're not going to see huge differences between the bodies. But you'll see the difference between having a single 18-55mm and having a few lenses ranging from 10-300mm.

A lot also depends on what type of pictures you're taking. For example, you run out of bandwidth to the sdcard in a K100, so if you're trying to blast off rapid sequences - it's not going to happen. Or if you're working so fast then having the extra controls on the 10/20/7 might matter a lot. So when you say "limitations", that's a little vague. Everything has limitations. Occasionally I feel limited by "only" having a K100 and K200. But, if I had a K7, I'd occasionally feel limited by not having a full frame or 645 or whatever the next thing would be.

06-30-2010, 03:37 AM   #14
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I have a Kx and a K7. The K7 looks and feels like it's built to last a lifetime. It's rated to last for 100,000 shutter actuations. If you know how to be content without pining for the latest greatest, the K7 is a truly fine camera that should last you a very long time.
06-30-2010, 03:46 AM   #15
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I have K7 and Kx.

For a lot of reasons, I would choose the K7.

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