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11-29-2010, 05:52 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
I have decided on getting the K-x with the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm, as this seems to be the group consensus and isn't much more expensive than the other options. First of all, has anyone spotted some Cyber Monday deals or discounts on it? I'm hoping to get it at $650, and the cheapest I can currently find is $700.

All the equipment I currently have is a cheap Radioshack rechargeable battery kit, a 2GB cheap Sandisk SD card, and an older tripod. My question is: what is most vital to get right away, and what can I wait on? Here's what I'm thinking:

Flash: Maybe the Pentax AF360FGZ? I don't have ANY experience with external flashes, is this a fine unit to start with? Something cheaper with similar abilities would be great.
Bag: Really no idea with so many options. I'd want to carry 2-3 lenses (maybe the 2 kit lenses and a prime) and a flash along with the body.
Lenses: I was thinking maybe a 50mm prime for cheap off of eBay? Nothing too expensive yet. Which one should I go for?
SD Card: It seems like many people have like 10 individual SD Cards. Would one 8GB Class 10 be fine? Recommendations?
Batteries: Eneloops? Is there a Eneloop kit with a charger too? Or get a separate charger?
Cleaning: Would a single lens pen clean all I need? Is a Rocket Blower necessary?
Lens Hood: I think I'm going to stay away from the filter route. Do the kit lenses come with caps and hoods? I feel intimidated by this part, it seems like it would be easy to buy the wrong one.

I'm sorry about all the questions, don't feel like you need to answer them all. Thanks!
Hi Clambake and welcome to the forums

Lots of questions! But that is good.

Flash: like others have said I'd wait a bit on the flash. Get to know your camera and lenses first.

Bags: I cannot give you a recommendation. Bags are highly personal, what I love someone else would hate. Basically there are 3 types: over the shoulder, convertible backpack(swings around to the front to change lenses) and traditional backpack.

Lenses: I think that the dual 18-55/50-300 is an excellent start. You don't really need more for now. What I would suggest is to down load exposure plot this nifty little (free!!!) program will analyze your shooting habits for you and give you a percentage breakdown of how often you use the different focal lengths, fstops etc. This will help you make a decision based on how you shoot.

SD cards: I use genuine Sandisk Extreme III 8gb cards. They cost a bit more but I've never had one fail on me. One caveat, buy from a reputable dealer, many e-bay sites sell fake Sandisk cards that are crap. Two should be more than enough even if you shoot Raw+Jpeg.
Cleaning: Lenspens are great! I use one all the time. However you need one of those AND the rocket blower. The lens pen is great for cleaning you lenses, but the rocket blower is used for blowing dust off the sensor in your camera. Two different tools, two different applications. They are cheap enough, get both.
Hoods: I can't remember which kits come with hoods and which do not, if they don't it's not hard to get one, I use the screw in rubber ones as they are inexpensive and collapse down so they take up less space. All you need to know is the filter size of the lens and buy the corresponding hood size.
Batteries: I actually use lithiums non rechargeables in my K-x. I don't use the camera much, it actually is a backup for my K20D, so I'm quite comfortable with the lithiums, they last a long time, I got my camera back in early summer and I just started on my second set.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O

11-29-2010, 06:15 AM   #17
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+1 on buying the memory card(s) from a reputable vendor, you'll get started with the 2G card you have (video might be a problem though). It would be good to test the cards throughly before using them if you can in any case. I do a couple of rounds with "badblocks" (linux), something similar should be out there for Windows/Mac as well? This way you can catch a flaky card early and exchange it. It seems that these are very reliable in general if not defective to start with.

+1 on that 18-55 & 55-300 should keep you happy and busy for a while, if/when you want to try a MF prime, a Pentax-A (or maybe M) 28/50 is a sure bet

+1 you should get quite a bit of mileage from the *included* set of lithiums so no real hurry with the Eneloops either (although it is nice to get all the essential stuff together and combining orders is economical for delivered stuff :-)
11-29-2010, 08:01 AM   #18
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SD cards are one of the single most likely items to be counterfeit. There are articles on eBay that are quite good on spotting fakes, the problem is that the sellers use pictures of real SD cards and packaging in their ads and then send you fake ones. I've been burned once this way by a seller with a 99.7% rating and thousands of sales. My guess is that most buyers never check out the card to see if it actually performs in the manner it is supposed to and just use it.

Amazon has had the best prices among the reputable sellers for both SanDisk and Transcend cards over the past few months. Make sure you are buying from Amazon and not one of their partners.

There are a number of articles around the internet that recommend 4gb or 8gb cards over the 16gbs for a variety of reasons. The most compelling to me is failure. The larger the card the more you loose if the card fails for any reason (and yes, it does in fact happen with real cards from good makers). Among my cameras I have several 4gb and 8gb cards and try to copy everything from them as often as is practical (every evening when on vacation for example).

Good luck.
11-29-2010, 01:46 PM   #19
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Thanks for the heads up on SD cards. The SanDisk Extreme III cards are a little bit pricey for me, but looks like a good option down the road. Do either of the following options look good? I was planning on going with the Transcend, but I'm worried about its authenticity coming from a smaller seller.

Kingston from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/715178-REG/Kingston_SD10_8GB_8GB_SDHC_Memory_Card.html

Transcend from Amazon
Amazon.com: Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card (TS8GSDHC10): Electronics

Are there any other good SD card options? Also, what about the LCD protector I menitoned briefly on the previous page? Is it a necessity?

11-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
I have decided on getting the K-x with the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm, as this seems to be the group consensus and isn't much more expensive than the other options. First of all, has anyone spotted some Cyber Monday deals or discounts on it? I'm hoping to get it at $650, and the cheapest I can currently find is $700.

All the equipment I currently have is a cheap Radioshack rechargeable battery kit, a 2GB cheap Sandisk SD card, and an older tripod. My question is: what is most vital to get right away, and what can I wait on? Here's what I'm thinking:

Flash: Maybe the Pentax AF360FGZ? I don't have ANY experience with external flashes, is this a fine unit to start with? Something cheaper with similar abilities would be great.
Bag: Really no idea with so many options. I'd want to carry 2-3 lenses (maybe the 2 kit lenses and a prime) and a flash along with the body.
Lenses: I was thinking maybe a 50mm prime for cheap off of eBay? Nothing too expensive yet. Which one should I go for?
SD Card: It seems like many people have like 10 individual SD Cards. Would one 8GB Class 10 be fine? Recommendations?
Batteries: Eneloops? Is there a Eneloop kit with a charger too? Or get a separate charger?
Cleaning: Would a single lens pen clean all I need? Is a Rocket Blower necessary?
Lens Hood: I think I'm going to stay away from the filter route. Do the kit lenses come with caps and hoods? I feel intimidated by this part, it seems like it would be easy to buy the wrong one.

I'm sorry about all the questions, don't feel like you need to answer them all. Thanks!
- As many have said, no flash to start with. Your pictures will be better. It takes a lot of skill and practice to use flash effectively.
- Bag. The right bag depends how you do your photography and they have pluses and minus depending under different conditions. Read my Camera Bag Buying Guide to figure out the right type of bag for you.
- SD cards. Get a good one, Lexar, Sandisk (Black or Red, not Blue) and Kingston all make excellent cards which they back with a lifetime warranty. You can get one very large one of many small ones, its up to you. If you buy cheap, then I'd go with smaller ones because you'll lose less when it fails.
- Cleaning: Lens pen is a must. Also micro fiber cloth for the rest of the camera, including the LCD screen. I advise a wet (ROR) lens spray too, if you smudge sunscreen on the LCD, that's pretty much the only thing that will remove it without damaging your screen.
- Lens hoods are usually included. They have to be made for the exact lens, even if they fit, they either will cause vignetting or not be effective.

Have fun!

- Itai
11-29-2010, 02:34 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
Thanks for the heads up on SD cards. The SanDisk Extreme III cards are a little bit pricey for me, but looks like a good option down the road. Do either of the following options look good? I was planning on going with the Transcend, but I'm worried about its authenticity coming from a smaller seller.

Kingston from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/715178-REG/Kingston_SD10_8GB_8GB_SDHC_Memory_Card.html

Transcend from Amazon
Amazon.com: Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card (TS8GSDHC10): Electronics

Are there any other good SD card options? Also, what about the LCD protector I menitoned briefly on the previous page? Is it a necessity?
Kingston is allright AFAIK, I'd get that as the seller is certainly reputable and the price is good. Personally I haven't found an LCD protector worthwhile. It has a clear plastic cover so it could get scratched, but the most important thing should be cleaning it carefully by removing any potentially gritty stuff first with something moist keeping rubbing to a minimum.
11-29-2010, 05:56 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
Thanks for the heads up on SD cards. The SanDisk Extreme III cards are a little bit pricey for me, but looks like a good option down the road. Do either of the following options look good? I was planning on going with the Transcend, but I'm worried about its authenticity coming from a smaller seller.

Kingston from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/715178-REG/Kingston_SD10_8GB_8GB_SDHC_Memory_Card.html

Transcend from Amazon
Amazon.com: Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card (TS8GSDHC10): Electronics

Are there any other good SD card options? Also, what about the LCD protector I menitoned briefly on the previous page? Is it a necessity?
The Transcend cards are ones I own and I was referring to in my previous post. They rated out as #2, second only to the MUCH more expensive SanDisks, and have superior read/write speed to anything else out there other than the SanDisks. I have had 0 problems with the 4 I own (2x8gb and 2x4gb) for various applications including my K-x.
11-29-2010, 09:08 PM   #23
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Well, it's all purchased with a total of less than $800. Here's what I ended up getting:

Pentax K-x with 18-55mm and 55-300mm lens from B&H Photo
18-55mm Lens Hood from eBay
55-300mm Lens Hood from eBay
GGS Screen Protector from eBay (like $5 just to see)
La Crosse BC-700 Battery Charger from Amazon
Eneloop AA 8 Pack from Amazon
DSLR Cleaning Kit from Amazon
2 Transcend Class 10 8GB Cards from Newegg

A lot of small purchases from a lot of places, but I am really happy with how it all turned out. The only thing I'm missing is my camera bag, which I will get soon. Thanks to everyone for helping me decide! I really couldn't figure this all out nearly as well without you all. I can't wait for all my packages to arrive!

11-30-2010, 03:12 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
Well, it's all purchased with a total of less than $800. Here's what I ended up getting:
...
Looks like very good choices to me, you should be set for a while :-)
11-30-2010, 05:49 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
Well, it's all purchased with a total of less than $800. Here's what I ended up getting:

Pentax K-x with 18-55mm and 55-300mm lens from B&H Photo
18-55mm Lens Hood from eBay
55-300mm Lens Hood from eBay
GGS Screen Protector from eBay (like $5 just to see)
La Crosse BC-700 Battery Charger from Amazon
Eneloop AA 8 Pack from Amazon
DSLR Cleaning Kit from Amazon
2 Transcend Class 10 8GB Cards from Newegg

A lot of small purchases from a lot of places, but I am really happy with how it all turned out. The only thing I'm missing is my camera bag, which I will get soon. Thanks to everyone for helping me decide! I really couldn't figure this all out nearly as well without you all. I can't wait for all my packages to arrive!
Congratulations, looks strangely familiar

Have fun with it when it arrives, I know I am with mine.
12-07-2010, 12:43 PM   #26
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k-x

can't wait to get a k-x
12-07-2010, 06:58 PM   #27
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Not sure why nobody recommened a good tripod...
12-07-2010, 07:28 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Not sure why nobody recommened a good tripod...
Well I guess it depends on your definition of "good" because the OP stated he had an older tripod and I recommended Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Camera & Photo
12-07-2010, 11:20 PM   #29
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Quick update: the UPS guy came by today but I wasn't home. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up my camera tomorrow! I've decided on the Lowepro Slingshot 102 AW for my camera bag, which should be here by Friday. Looking at bags in person really helped me decide, thanks for all the tips on that.

About the tripod, I'm hoping that my old one will work out for now, but the one Docrwm pointed out above seems like the one to get if I ever need a new tripod. Really reasonably priced too!
12-07-2010, 11:57 PM   #30
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I've been through the same process as the OP recently. HERE is what I ended up getting.
In that thread I note the monopod I got, and I find I use it much more than my tripod.
I still wish I had something better at the wide angle end...
As others have noted, the one thing I wish I would have held off in buying was the external flash. It looks like that will need some practice to be used effectively.
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