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12-01-2011, 08:10 PM   #31
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I think the kit with 55-200 will do just fine. A lot of starters get frustrated with primes since they have to zoom in and out with their feet

12-01-2011, 09:01 PM   #32
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A number of my friends bought the two-lens kits and immediately got frustrated with changing lenses back and forth. After a while, they gave up on the promise of the DSLR. It seemed too much work on top of the already-steep learning curve.

I started by going into the shop and telling them that I had an interchangeable lens camera (new K10D to replace my Spotmatic) but didn't want to change lenses too often. I ended up, just as my research had suggested, with a Tamron 18-250mm. No fiddling with lens changes until I was far enough into it to know for myself what the next lens would be. But I wouldn't know that without trying a variety of focal lengths without constraint in a variety of situations.

So .... if the budget could possibly stretch, I'd go for a D90 (lots of gaps in the new low-end consumer bodies) and some 18-XXX consumer zoom. If she's serious, she'll figure out her own next steps. You just don't want her to get frustrated too early and give up on the idea. This desire needs to be carefully nurtured.

Otherwise send her off toward a bridge camera of some sort or an 8100. I fear that the D3100 and lenses that must be swapped regularly will end up boring/frustrating her quickly.

By the way, what sort of research did she do? Does she have some understanding of photography through a P&S or is she simply stuck on Nikon and trying to find anything that fits the budget?

I know two very unhappy 3100 non-users - unhappy and non-users because the whole thing adventure ended up too complicated and required (gasp!) study and practice. They discovered that a sophisticated (in historical terms) camera does no more than automate the taking of photos. It sadly fails to automate the process of taking good photos.

Last edited by glanglois; 12-01-2011 at 09:11 PM.
12-01-2011, 09:56 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
She wants a Nikon, give here a Nikon. Don't force a Pentax on her unless you want to end up using it
If that's the case, then I'd most certainly buy her a K-5 or better yet a 645D. When she rejects it, the father has no choice but to use it!!!!


Seriously John, I'd look at the Nikon One. Could be good for a beginner and it's got a big cool factor right now.
12-02-2011, 09:45 AM   #34
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This day and age, buying a DSLR is a trendy thing... especially for teenagers and younger folks that there is "peer pressure" to get certain things (ipad, iphone etc.) so that they can relate them with their friends. If you get her something else that is totally different from her friends, she will feel inferior in front of her peers. My recommendation is to get the most current popular model (e.g. D5100) with just a simple kit lens and don't waste any money on buying all sorts of gadgets until she has learned enough and ready to move up. At the same time, compare photos and results with her and get her exposed to the Pentax tools you have so that she gets interested in finding what she needs (more lens with different focal lengths and better features). That is the reality and the way I see it anyway... Good luck..

12-02-2011, 03:25 PM   #35
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I'm in a similar situation except the newbie is me. I want to make the move from P&S to something better yet still useable by a rank amateur. I keep looking at the Pentax DSLRs because of the great photos I've seen but I also know my own fickle nature. I suppose something like a K-5 would always fetch a reasonable return if I ended up selling it.
12-02-2011, 05:16 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnkane Quote
I suppose something like a K-5 would always fetch a reasonable return if I ended up selling it.
You never know, if there is a strong demand and Pentax is keeping it in the production line, then it may have staying power for the price... just look at the last price drop..(I got mine too).
12-05-2011, 02:36 PM   #37
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If she has done the research, what camera has she specified? If you're looking to spend within a certain range, tell her that and tell her to consider used to get a more pro level camera even if it is a model old.

I'd make sure she was invested by having her pick it out that way it is less likely she drops it early leaving you with gear you likely wont use.
12-05-2011, 11:36 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrpromod Quote
Ok guys thanks for all the input and info, so i am not going to try to change her mind anymore its a waste of my time and energy. So she looking at a Nikon d3100factory demo package with a 18-55 lense and also a 55-200 lense from cameta for 620.00 . Any opinions good or bad please.

Thanks
John
Fortunately I have 2 sons - and they are both in college (problem solved). I would just get the factory demo with the dual kit lenses and be done with it. I would think that after 6 months of non use - because its too big to carry and it does not fit in the purse (and how do I carry that extra lens thing), that you will be able to recover a reasonable chunk of the sunk funds. For that matter, I do really like the Nikon 1 suggestion - as in its a dSLR that fits in the purse. But her friends all have big Nikon dSLRs. Nikons are what the pros use. Nothing else can take a decent picture like a Nikon. Who wants an old geezer camera like a Pentax - its so yesterday. ... and look at the old cruddy lenses you use anyway - nothing like these new super cool Nikon auto everything lenses. The best thing that can happen is that she actually carries it around and still uses it in six months time.



12-06-2011, 06:11 AM   #39
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Why is everyone assuming this man's daughter is some stuck up brat caving to peer pressure? The comments in this thread about her wanting a nikon only because it is "popular" or "pro" is absurd. Like people only shoot nikon because of the brand name?? Or that his daughter couldn't have possibly of made an informed decision and NOT picked Pentax???

All you damn Pentax hipsters, you sound exactly like canikon users.
12-06-2011, 06:32 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by xfloggingkylex Quote
Why is everyone assuming this man's daughter is some stuck up brat caving to peer pressure? The comments in this thread about her wanting a nikon only because it is "popular" or "pro" is absurd. Like people only shoot nikon because of the brand name?? Or that his daughter couldn't have possibly of made an informed decision and NOT picked Pentax???

All you damn Pentax hipsters, you sound exactly like canikon users.
What a refreshing point-of-view. Thanks for posting. I guess that many on here (myself included) suffer a bit from us-vs-the world-itus.
12-06-2011, 09:04 AM   #41
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My daughter has a 3100 and I have a KX.We did a test to see if one was better than the other.Using kit 18-55 lens with same iso setting we did a series of photos as identical as practical and found no difference in image quallity.
Jake
12-06-2011, 09:22 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjake Quote
My daughter has a 3100 and I have a KX.We did a test to see if one was better than the other.Using kit 18-55 lens with same iso setting we did a series of photos as identical as practical and found no difference in image quallity.
Jake
I'm not surprised. All the current DSLR's take good photos. Choice comes down to ergonomics (massively subjective) and what I call "+ points" (Nikon has better flash system, pentax has great primes etc) and of course if you have some legacy glass. What I tell ppl that ask me for camera recommendations is that all the DSLR's take great photos and to try them out in a store if at all possible. The camera that you like is the camera you'll use. The more you use a camera, the better your pictures will be.

NaCl(you can't go wrong choosing the camera that feels best in your hands)H2O
12-06-2011, 12:37 PM   #43
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As I'm a newbie (hello pro world!) I can give my thoughts on the subject.

When I recently the tried the cameras in the store when searching for my first DSLR it only took me a couple of seconds to dismiss D3100 as a "cheap plastic toy" with a gimmicky guide-mode. When investing money in a camera I wanted to have something that felt a bit sturdy and pro, the D3100 felt exactly the opposite. When skimming through the guide-mode I couldn't get rid of the feeling that it was clumsy and I wanted to look up things on the internet instead.

I almost got the D90 instead of K-7. It feels good in every way and unexpectedly felt comfortable in my smallish hands despite the clunky size of the camera.

Two things I think is important or at least good in a beginners eyes is a good LCD to evaluate your photos and settings on and the God-sent two dials to easily change the settings with.
12-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
God-sent two dials to easily change the settings with.
Good observation!! most newbies would dismiss that.... heck even the expensive 5D MK II does not have the front+rear dial, (must be just a gimmick in their minds)
12-06-2011, 01:13 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Good observation!! most newbies would dismiss that.... heck even the expensive 5D MK II does not have the front+rear dial, (must be just a gimmick in their minds)
More of a lucky accident than an active choice but in retrospective it's a no-brainer! The biggest problem with DSLR's is the steep learning curve for beginners like me but two dials really puts focus on the things you always should keep in mind when starting out, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. More so than a cramped guide-mode.
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