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10-08-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
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First time buyer needing advice

My wife and I have decided to purchase the Pentax k10d. But we're becoming increasingly confused about what to buy with it. I know we'll need an SD card but what kind? How big? How fast? What kind of battery charger should we get? What about one that allows a charge from your car? Most online stores say that their package (with the kit lens) comes with a body cap but only one (B & H) mentions that a front and rear lens cap is also included. Is this a given or is this something extra that we would need to purchase?

So, if you were just starting out, what would you include along with the body and the kit lens (we've decided to start with this lens)?

Secondly, we'd appreciate advice on where the best place would be to order our camera. Adorama? 17th Street Photo? B & H? Beach Camera? Circuit City? We're looking for dependable dealers who will help us should something go wrong.

Oh... and a UV protective filter. Hoya?

As you can see, we need help. Thanks everyone.

10-08-2007, 10:46 PM   #2
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Okay, here are some quick answers. Most people chose one or two high-speed 2GB SD cards, usually the fastest available. I use the Panasonic 2GB Class 6 cards, but most prefer the Sandisk 2GB Extreme cards (currently the Extreme III). If you want to buy an SDHC card, make sure your computer's card reader can handle this newest format (most card readers can't).

Of course, the K10D comes with a battery charger. A charger for the car is a matter of your own preference. The K10D also comes with a body cap, and most lenses (99.9%) come with both front and rear lens caps.

All of the places you listed to buy from are popular, but I prefer B&H. However, that's simply a matter of preference based on previous positive experiences.

Finally, some people prefer the keep a UV filter on the camera to protect the lens, while others feel it is unnecessary extra glass that might degrade image quality. Again, your preference. And Hoya filters are just fine.

stewart

Last edited by stewart_photo; 10-08-2007 at 11:09 PM. Reason: clarification
10-08-2007, 11:55 PM   #3
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Well, I think the first decision you and your wife made is the right one. You and your wife will enjoy the K10D very much and, the great thing is, it will be a LONG time before you outgrow this camera, if ever.
As for extras, I'm a big fan of growing in to your gear and buying it when you find the need for it instead of trying to get stuff up front without knowing a lot about it. The only place I've heard of where lenses are sold without caps is E Bay so I wouldn't worry about that. It's part of the package, as is the battery charger.
The battery lasts about 500 shots but it is not bad for it to keep it charged like a cell-phone battery so, unless you will shoot more than 500 shots on an outing, you should be good to go. Otherwise, get an extra battery or battery grip.
The body cap is actually a cap that goes in the opening on the body when the lens is not attatched. Typically, most people leave a lens on their camera and the only time you would want a body cap is if you are sending the camera body in for servicing.
The only thing you will need right away to use your camera (as long as you get the kit lens) is an SD card. SD cards are available everywhere from Wal Mart to your local office supply store. Keep in mind that the processor on your K10D is only so fast (can't find the specs right now) so don't blow money on a card faster than your camera would use anyway. Personally, I don't shoot fast enough to warrant an expensive SD card. Sports is one place you would want it, some facets of nature photography is another. You will want the card to be at least 1GB. I would recommend 2 or 4GB or, my favorite, several 1GB cards. Sometimes they're on sale bundled that way.
You also want to consider lens papers/cleaners to get the dust off the lenses (available cheap from any dealer you decide to go with) and one of those cheap blower bulbs for the eventuality that you will have to blow off your camera's sensor. Finally, I would recommend a screen protector (same ones used on a Palm Pilot or IPod) to protect the review screen.
B&H is considered by most to be an excellent company. A main chain like Best Buy or Circuit City is always pretty safe as well. I believe most customer service is through Pentax itself and I've heard (haven't needed it yet myself) it is excellent. Your K10D is rated for 100,000 shots so, unless anything is wrong right out of the box, you hopefully won't have to worry about that for a while.
Many enthusiasts talk about how much better primes are than the kit lens so you'll find a lot of opinions to disagree with this but I love the 18-55mm kit lens. I would recommend starting with this and then shop around as you discover what you want from your camera.
To see what this kit lens can do, go to here:
PENTAX Photo Gallery
Click on IMAGE DATA, then on LENS and then click on your SMCP-DA 18-55MM F3.5-5.6 AL
It's a great site to poke around in if you haven't checked it out yet.
The Hoya filter is completely unnecessary. Skip that for now and get a lens filter(s) later if you decide you want one.
Finally, I really like the Magic Lantern Guide for the K10D. I've seen it in book stores and at Circuit City but you can also get it from Amazon. The instruction manual that comes with the K10D is quite good but, you know how instruction manuals can be. The Magic Lantern Guide has the same information fleshed-out plus it is presented in more "layman's" terms.
Hope this all helps. Have fun with your new camera!
10-09-2007, 08:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the excellent advice (and for taking the time to address my questions so thoroughly). I really appreciate this since I can imagine, the question has been asked countless times before.

This morning upon reading your answers, I placed my order for the k10d. If all goes well, I'll be placing a second order in two weeks for my own. This one was for my wife who is actually keener than I on photography. But I'm finding that my interest is being renewed since my wife's enthusiasm is contagious. It's been many years (seventeen to be exact) since I left the camera club and sold off all of my slr equipment. Long story.

I've another question for you.... well... two others. Please bear with me.

We already have a Lowe Pro bag that will be great for the one camera. Has anyone any experience with the "sling" bag being offered by Lowe Pro? What advice would you give in getting a bag? Should we each have our own or should we share?

Secondly... would it make more sense when I order my camera to order the body only and the 50-200 zoom so that we can bounce between the kit lens and the telephoto with one another? It just doesn't seem to make much sense to duplicate another kit lens but I really don't know. I will say that my wife seems to prefer telephoto shots whereas I'm more in the normal to slightly wide-angle range in my shooting.

Any more help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

10-09-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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Among bags I use a hybrid backpack for traveling so it can fit the gear plus some other things (food, pullover...). Problem is that the access is not easy, the advantage is that it is more confortable.

You might find yourselves needing a tripod but my advice is to use first the camera and see if you need it and what kind of tripod do you want. (keep this always in mind: sturdy, light and cheap does not exist below several hundred of dollars)

With time you will eventually want to have some filters (circular polarizers, and neutral density..), specially if you are doing landscapes.

Among telephoto zooms I think that the most popular are the DA55-200 and the tamron 70-300 macro. Both have similar prices and from my experience and for what I have read, both are good performers for the price. Other options is to hold on a little and wait until the new Pentax 18-250mm lens is released. It will cost 500$ and if you like it and dont want to wait you can buy the tamron 18-250 which it is pretty much the same lens (literally)

Referring to stores,I think BH is the most popular with Adorama, 17th Street is also respected, as it is Beach Camera and buydig. For used items, KEH and Cameta camera are very well known. IMO the best way to see if a store is good is to visit resellerrating and see the scores.

Good luck and good choice. Hope you enjoy the camera.
10-09-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JamesD Quote
Secondly... would it make more sense when I order my camera to order the body only and the 50-200 zoom so that we can bounce between the kit lens and the telephoto with one another? It just doesn't seem to make much sense to duplicate another kit lens but I really don't know. I will say that my wife seems to prefer telephoto shots whereas I'm more in the normal to slightly wide-angle range in my shooting.
If it were me...I'd go ahead and get another kit lens. They are so inexpensive when purchased with a body. It is an excellent lens also and covers a wide focal range. If both of your are out together, with your cameras, you'll both want to have the wide to short telephoto covered, which the kit lens does (~27mm to 83mm in 35mm equivelant field-of-view). Then, get the 50-200 also for your telephoto needs...another excellent lens.

Bags are a personal choice. I've tried so many, it's ridiculous. My current favorite is a Lowepro Micro Trekker 200. That's a packpack style bag that holds most of what I need for everyday shooting. If going on travel, I'll take a larger, shoulder bag if I expect to use more lenses. Also have a Lowepro Photorunner for a more compact travel kit.

On the battery/battery charger. I purchased two extra batteries for my unit and a dual voltage charger that came with a car charger. The dual voltage charger came in handy on our Italy trip, but have never had an occasion to use the car charger...even once. Doubt if you'd ever use it. But, if each of you get a K10D, then an extra batter to share between you would be a wise investment, and won't take up much space in your bag.

SD cards? My favorite place to get cards are from Costco. They sell SanDisk cards. You can find less expensive prices on the internet, but the Costco cards come with a coupon to get twenty 4x6 prints free of charge. Not that big of a deal, but a nice gesture nevertheless. They currently sell two types, the older Ultra II 2Gb cards and the fairly new 4Gb Ultra II HDHC cards. The HDHC cards come with a USB card reader, so if you computer can't handle HDHC, with the reader, it will be able to read it fine. (By the way...use a computer card reader to transfer your images...not the supplied camera-to-USB cable. Lot faster transfer!)

How much to get depends on your style. For normal, around town, casual photo opportunities that may arise...a single 2Gb card is plenty. For any type of outing where you'll be doing a fair amount of shooting...such as a family visit/day at the park/Rose Festival/etc., you'll need more. One thing you will learn real quick is that you will take a lot more exposures with digital cameras than you ever did with a film camera.

Digital 'film' is so inexpensive, that the financial 'burden' of shooting film is quickly forgotten. The benefit of shooting more is that you will discover you will become a better photographer. "Practice makes Perfect", or something like that?

I have a lot of cards...when not using them for photographic acquisitions, I use them as we used to use 5-1/4" and 3.5" floppies in the old days...for transferring files from computer to computer, not just photographic images, but for anything that needs to be moved, for whatever reason.

Welcome to the wonderful world of digital photography. I've had a film Pentax since 1976, and getting a Pentax dSLR several years ago has renewed my love and enthusiasm for the art of photography.
10-09-2007, 09:21 AM   #7
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Rebates

A bit of a Hijack, sorry, but anyone know if the rebate will be making a come back for K10D?
10-09-2007, 10:00 AM   #8
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Inexpensive Pentax Gear Blog Post

I have this blog post sharing my thoughts on all the inexpensive gear that I chose for my frugal budget with Pentax K100D body, you are more than welcome to visit and comments

Inexpensive gear with Pentax - Hin's Tech Corner

which includes my thoughts on DA 18-55 (the kit's lens), DA 50-200 (my favorite in the combo), FA 50 f/1.4 (fast prime for indoor portraits without flash), watch list for ~ $100 external flash, M42 lens under $100 with adapter information. Also my free editing software on Picasa is in the post with sitemap to demos.

Thanks,
Hin

10-09-2007, 11:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Morgan Quote
Keep in mind that the processor on your K10D is only so fast (can't find the specs right now) so don't blow money on a card faster than your camera would use anyway.
Well, K10D processor fast enough to "outperform" fastest SD cards currently on the market
10-09-2007, 12:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JamesD Quote
My wife and I have decided to purchase the Pentax k10d. But we're becoming increasingly confused about what to buy with it. I know we'll need an SD card but what kind? How big? How fast? What kind of battery charger should we get? What about one that allows a charge from your car? Most online stores say that their package (with the kit lens) comes with a body cap but only one (B & H) mentions that a front and rear lens cap is also included. Is this a given or is this something extra that we would need to purchase?

So, if you were just starting out, what would you include along with the body and the kit lens (we've decided to start with this lens)?

Secondly, we'd appreciate advice on where the best place would be to order our camera. Adorama? 17th Street Photo? B & H? Beach Camera? Circuit City? We're looking for dependable dealers who will help us should something go wrong.

Oh... and a UV protective filter. Hoya?

As you can see, we need help. Thanks everyone.
As a Pentax retailer I would suggest buying form a local camera shop because many shops just don't give our system enough coverage and if enough people buy them more stores will carry them and the accessories unlike web retailers who could care less about you and me and Pentax. Sure it does cost a little more but you get to try the camera, make sure it handles the way you'd like it to and you get quantum shipping at no extra charge. Returns are typically better at a store plus most retailers are educated enough to answer questions and help you make a more educated purchase.

I'm personally not a fan of B&H or Adorama because they sell things online to make little or no profit in order to undercut the smaller camera stores who sell at MAP or retailer set prices in order to stay in business. It's just my personal preference plus you don't get to try things before you buy them at online retailers. If you're in an area that is filled with camera stores who don't carry Pentax, push them to get it in or let me know and I'll call our rep to find out who the rep is in your area and have them come out and push the product line there.

Pentax is one of the few companies that care about the retailer and even more so the one who purchases their products. Pentax repair is a dream and there speed is only rivaled by Canon in our area because the nearest Canon repair center is 48 miles away in Aurora Illinois. The dream of a larger product line grows when people purchase things from reputable dealers.

For other items, I am a fan of the two lens kit from Pentax. For $1049 you get 18-200mm covered and a price where you can still buy a 50 1.4 or an AF360 and still be cheaper than a Canon 40D body only. UV filters are a toss up for me and I tend to not use them because digital seems to see things in a different perspective through the extra glass IMO. If you shoot a lot try either a Battery Grip or just a spare battery because you'll prolly end up shooting a lot. If you want more range I recommend the 18-55 kit lens and the Promaster or Tamron 70-300 Di to give you that extra range at under $1000.

Those are my two cents, and about the mail-in rebates I've got a meeting with our sales rep and the VP of marketing from Pentax on Thursday so I'll ask and give some input that I've come across the forums lately.
10-09-2007, 01:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
As a Pentax retailer I would suggest buying form a local camera shop because many shops just don't give our system enough coverage and if enough people buy them more stores will carry them and the accessories unlike web retailers who could care less about you and me and Pentax. Sure it does cost a little more but you get to try the camera, make sure it handles the way you'd like it to and you get quantum shipping at no extra charge. Returns are typically better at a store plus most retailers are educated enough to answer questions and help you make a more educated purchase.
Very true.

I donīt know about the US situation, however here in Holland we find a few retailers that have a (normal) shop and a webshop at the same time. Like fotohuset.nl, fotobooms.nl etc. I do almost all camera shopping there. Both are family businesses I guess. Their prices are typically much better than the big, big electronic retailers and competitive with the webshops. You can go there and "feel" the stuff. They give you proper advise and their service is much, much better.

So, buy from your local shop, but don't pay >10% extra for that. You will support businesses that in the end can give you the support that you sometimes need.

- Bert
10-09-2007, 05:59 PM   #12
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I've been at work all day so I've not had an opportunity to read the many responses. You guys are the best. Thank you all so much for taking this time to assist us. I'm going to take a little more time right now and study your answers in more depth as well as visit the links provided.

All the best.
10-10-2007, 06:54 AM   #13
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I would not get another kit lens unless it's 'free.' Since I got my 50mm 1.7 and my 135mm I have put the kit lens on ONCE and took it off quickly unhappy with the results. The quality difference makes it well worth 'zooming with my feet.'
10-10-2007, 07:32 AM   #14
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Thanks but from what I've been made to understand, it's a relatively good lens (certainly not of the quality of your two primes) and at $70 is essentially free. You have to bear in mind, that I just purchased two k10d's (one from my wife and one for me) along with some of the extras mentioned. That has set me back a few dollars so I need to exercise a little restraint here. Someone earlier in this thread gave me a link to a site containing images made with the kit lens. They looked exceptional to me; certainly better than anything I've ever dreamed of making. The other aspect of this is that while I am not new to photography, I'm still a newbie in terms of digital photography and certainly new to the k10d's and its foibles. I will need to explore this camera and discover what it can do and I suspect this is going to take me several months. Hopefully by then my American Express card will have cooled down and then I'll certainly go for a bit more quality.

But I really do appreciate your input as I do everyone here who has helped us out. You're really one of the best bunch of photo enthusiasts I've come across. Thanks so much.
10-10-2007, 10:35 AM   #15
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I agree, the kit lens is great! The only reason I suggested not getting another was because I didn't think you would want 2 of them once you really got going. I got my 50mm 1.7 for $70 also. If I had a choice between the 2... and already had 1 kit lens in the family. I would go with a 50mm.
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