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06-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
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Need Help on Moving up from a Canon EOS 10D to Pentax

So, I'm taking a photography class at school and I'm really loving it so far. I have owned a Canon 10D for a while, a got it dirt cheap from a friend due to the flash not working. It's a nice camera but, I really want to upgrade. Preferably something with live view and lower noise at higher ISO.

I wear glasses as I suffer from astigmatism and nearsightedness. Using a viewfinder is "ok" but, we recently got to play around with some Canon 7D's at school and I really like live view. I don't use it all the time but, it sure is a nice thing to have for precision focusing or taking pics from awkward angles.

I am a very budget minded person, at the moment I'm barely paying for school, but I think I'm getting the photography bug since I just have to take pics all the time now.

I figure if I sell some of my stuff I can come up with about $500 to get a new or used camera. So the question is which one to get?


1. I only shoot manually,
although I do sometimes hit the auto-focus when I get frustrated on focusing if I'm shooting Macro or something.

2. I want to be able to use some old lenses from different cameras. I have a few Vivitar and kiron zooms that are completely manual. It isn't important that the autofocus or whatever works I just want to be able to attach an old lens to the camera and use it, whether it be a 42mm or a Canon FD mount or something else.

3. I really want some form of Live View.
It doesn't need to have a zoom for focusing but, I"ll take it if it has one. I really liked that feature on the 7D. The important thing is that some form of live view is available.

4. Video would be nice but, only if it allows for Manual or Semi-Manual exposure, so it isn't a requirement at all. I do own a Canon HV-30 camcorder that I would be prepared to sell to get a camera with video if it offers manual or semi-manual exposure. The HV-30 is semi-manual but, there are work-arounds.

5. Build quality and Size are somewhat important.
My 10D is built like a tank so when I go outside to shoot I dont' worry too much about it. I can also put fairly heavy lenses on it without worrying that they will be too heavy for the camera. The 10D is a little large and heavy in my hands so I'm just wondering if the Pentax cameras are lighter and smaller by a decent amount.

6. I'm on a budget. I'm really broke which is why I want a camera that can let me mount different types of older lenses to it. I have a Canon 50mm, Sigma 70-300 APO DG, and a few Kiron and Vivitar zooms I picked up on ebay that are either 42mm or Canon FD mounts. I want to continue to at least use the Kirons and Vivitars. I could sell the Canon and Sigma to fund a new camera body.


Cameras Ive been considering are...

A. Pentax K20D
B. Canon 40D
C. Canon T1i
D. Pentax K-x
E. Canon T2i (Only if I decide to sell my Camcorder and it's sturdy enough of a camera to use the old lenses on and it has manual controls for movie mode)


So, what should I go for? I'm leaning towards the K20D but, I'm not sure if ebay is a decent place to get one from.


Last edited by User01; 06-13-2011 at 02:25 PM.
06-13-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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I think there is some real confusion here. None of the cameras you list as a possibility (and, indeed, NO DSLR) can use Canon FD lenses natively. Not to mention with a few exceptions (like Tamron Adaptall lenses) you can't use lenses made for one manufacturer with another manufacturer. You can't stick Minolta lenses on an Oly, and etc. Your Vivitar and Kiron zooms are going to be made for a given brand of camera, and you probably won't be able to use them on another brand of camera.

Most DSLRs can use M42 adapters to shoot screw mount lenses.

The Pentax has the longest historical lens support, AFAIK. There are great manual lenses available for the Pentax, many inexpensively (I just got a Helios 44M for $27 that, paired with a $20 adapter, is just amazing).
06-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
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Of those you listed only 40D and K20D feature high built quality, but their liveview is rudimentary. K-x may actually be the best compromise. Good liveview, quite well built...
Are you sure you cannot hope for 50D or K-r? Much better screens on those...
06-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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I think you have accurately listed the only two Pentax choices that fit your budget and have live view.

The K20D doesn't do video, but it is built well, weather-sealed, big in Pentax terms, and has a lot of nice features. At about ISO 1600 you start to turn to noise reduction software, maybe higher if you don't mind noise that much. It's pretty close to the K-7 that I use and I use a lot of old lenses.

The K-x is going to feel really small to you, I think. You can count on at least one stop better ISO performance over the K20D, maybe more. The K-x doesn't have visible AF points in the viewfinder and uses a pentamirror viewfinder, but you don't care because with older lenses, the camera can only use one AF point for focus confirmation and you're using live view anyway. The K-x does do video.

The Canon EOS registration distance allows for more lenses to be used than Pentax. To use FD lenses you have to go to a smaller sensor system. With Canon, you might be able to keep some lenses you already have. I would check out the specs for rear LCDs too. The two Pentaxes have something around 230,000 dots. A higher-resolution screen would be better if you're relying on live view.

06-13-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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How about Samsung NX? Great screen, cheap, and would accept all SLR lenses with some adapters.
06-13-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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if video is really important, get a t2i

if video is semi important, get k-x

if video isnt important and you can see yourself shooting in the rain out in the wilderness, get a k20d

ergonomics wise, i hate how canon bodies feel in my hands. Bulky yet not comfortably so.
pentax bodies feel a bit small, but they have fairly comfortable grips for my hands.

as for all other gear, consolidate down to what you need, sell off anything unneeded or redundant. Seriously consider what you shoot, i.e. dont keep a macro around if you dont shoot macro. If i werent shooting so many events for my university, i probably wouldnt own my autofocus zooms right now. If you want high quality, you're going to pay for it. Old manual focus lenses are out there if you're willing to do your homework (tamron adaptalls, SMC-M/A/K lenses, M42 lenses, etc). If you're intent on adapting your gear, go for a canon body, pentax can only really adapt to M42 and adaptall without major lens surgery.
06-13-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I think there is some real confusion here. None of the cameras you list as a possibility (and, indeed, NO DSLR) can use Canon FD lenses natively. Not to mention with a few exceptions (like Tamron Adaptall lenses) you can't use lenses made for one manufacturer with another manufacturer. You can't stick Minolta lenses on an Oly, and etc. Your Vivitar and Kiron zooms are going to be made for a given brand of camera, and you probably won't be able to use them on another brand of camera.

Most DSLRs can use M42 adapters to shoot screw mount lenses.

The Pentax has the longest historical lens support, AFAIK. There are great manual lenses available for the Pentax, many inexpensively (I just got a Helios 44M for $27 that, paired with a $20 adapter, is just amazing).

Ah, I think I understand now. So basically, I should "pretty much" either plan on using Pentax lenses or M42 type lenses? Anything else is either not going to work at all or, even if they do with some type of adapter or modification, could lead to an undesirable situation, headaches, and trauma.

That makes selling my canon 10D and the lenses alot easier to stomach.


Thanks for the responses and clarification. I'm now leaning towards the K-x but, I'm still afraid to commit due to reading about the Memory Card of death error and that the chrome band around the grip/camera tends to crack off. I've also heard of other quality control issues like sticking buttons.

So what about the K-r? It looks like it's only about $100 more than the K-x and has higher ISO. I'd imagine there are minor improvements elsewhere including build quality to some extent, maybe? I know it doesn't have the plastic band around the camera body.

The problem with the Canon's are the price. I know they are well built but, even a D40 is going for an arm and a leg.

Pentax k-r = $550 new
Pentax K-x = $450 new
Canon T2i = $700 new
Canon T1i = $600 new, maybe less if I look around.
Canon 40D = $500 used $800 new?
Pentax K20D = $400 - $700 used


So T1i, K-r, or K-x
...hmmmm or a Canon T3?

Does Photoshop natively support Pentax RAW files and are they the same quality as Canon Raw?

-edit-
Higher ISO of the K-r looks pretty useless. So yeah, for the money I'd say the K-x or the K-r may be the camera I end up with. I know that means giving up my canon lenses but, I think it's worth the trade for a better camera. That 10D is still a great camera but, it starts to gets noisy at 400/800 ISO and the flash doesn't work even though I never use it.

Last edited by User01; 06-13-2011 at 08:31 PM.
06-13-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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I've been using the Kx a great deal and have had no problems with it. A great little camera IMHO.

06-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by User01 Quote
-edit-
Higher ISO of the K-r looks pretty useless. So yeah, for the money I'd say the K-x or the K-r may be the camera I end up with. I know that means giving up my canon lenses but, I think it's worth the trade for a better camera. That 10D is still a great camera but, it starts to gets noisy at 400/800 ISO and the flash doesn't work even though I never use it.
ACR/Photoshop supports PEF (The Pentax raw format) and the k20d/k-7/K-5 will create DNG files ( I believe the K-R will also, but I can't get the specifications page to load ) if you so choose.

I don't know about the K-R's high iso performance. I was under the impression that it was a similar sensor to the K-5's, where high iso performance is exceptional; but I don't know what you mean by "high" nor "useless". I shoot ISO 6400 with my K-5 without hesitation for final reproduction images of 8x10 or smaller. Again, I don't own a K-R, so YMMV; perhaps someone else can fill in that bit.
06-13-2011, 09:41 PM   #10
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Well, since the prices on the K-r I"ve seen aren't much higher than the K-x I might as well get the K-r. Still not sure though. Thanks for all the input though guys. It's past my bedtime.
06-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by User01 Quote
Well, since the prices on the K-r I"ve seen aren't much higher than the K-x I might as well get the K-r. Still not sure though. Thanks for all the input though guys. It's past my bedtime.
Just be aware of the FF issue with the k-r under Tungsten light. It doesn't effect me but for some it's critical. Check the k-r forum for details.
06-14-2011, 12:50 AM   #12
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i've had the kx for about a year now, no issues to speak of (besides my constant complaining over its lack of a battery grip)
06-14-2011, 01:10 PM   #13
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I know this will sound hard to believe but, today my financial aid came through. Looks like I'm going with the Canon T3i now. That way I can sell my HV-30, Canon 10D, Android Tablet I never use, and keep my good lenses.

Thanks for the responses though guys. This doesn't mean I won't get a Pentax in the future I just see no reason to go the Pentax route now that I have the money to get a T3i.
06-14-2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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You still won't be able to use the old lenses. Canon FD lenses can be used on old Canon FD mount cameras, and that's about it.
06-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by User01 Quote
I know this will sound hard to believe but, today my financial aid came through. Looks like I'm going with the Canon T3i now. That way I can sell my HV-30, Canon 10D, Android Tablet I never use, and keep my good lenses.

Thanks for the responses though guys. This doesn't mean I won't get a Pentax in the future I just see no reason to go the Pentax route now that I have the money to get a T3i.
As Jodokast said, if you have manual focus Canon lenses, they won't do you any good on that Rebel anyway. There are adapters, but they suck (as they've got an element in them that acts as a teleconverter, and not a good one). I tried a Canon FD to P/K (I used to shoot Canon Manual Focus and still have some lenses) adapter, but it sucked out loud. Great for macro after I pulled the glass, but not good for anything else. Soft, no contrast, and magnified.
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