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11-30-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
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Pentax *ist DL upgrade question

Hi! My father has an old Pentax *ist DL 6MP camera. I would like to send him a gift, some 10MP or better body. Unfortunately I don't know anything about Pentax DSLRs. And I'm on a budget, I can't buy the latest and newest. I thought to spend maybe around $300 for used body (don't know if it's reasonable?).

Would you please advise what would be a decent upgrade? Important thing is that he has a lot of manual m42 (Pentax screwdriver) lenses, as well as AF Pentax lenses. And his current Pentax has some sort of focus confirmation with manual lenses (not sure, he says it beeps when image is in focus, must be sort of focus peak like on Sony NEX cameras?). So the new body has to have this feature.

Thank you for help.

11-30-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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You should look for a K10D or a K20D on our marketplace:
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11-30-2011, 02:22 AM   #3
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In addition to Adam's recommendations: Do not forget the K200D. If fulfills al of your father's requirements (it also has the same 10MP sensor as the K10D). I made the transition from *ist DL to K200D myself and can certainly recommend the K200D as a very capable successor!!!
11-30-2011, 05:51 AM   #4
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As I am in the same situation (would like to eventually upgrade from an ist-ds to a newer body), would there be any major advantages to upgradeing to a k-x over some of the ones mentioned? It seems that the k-x is selling on ebay for not much more that the original posters budget ( a couple close to 300$, a whole slew of them at various prices under 400$)?

@micksh, someone correct me if I am wrong but all of them will have focus conformation (a beep or some sort of indication that the image is in focus when using manual focus lenses).

11-30-2011, 07:01 AM   #5
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I too have been wondering about the same upgrade. I've been leaning towards a K20D or K200D as long as I can keep my wired remote switch.

One of the beautiful things about Pentax is that you can take all your lenses along the upgrade path. Unlike Canon and Nikon, Pentax hasn't really changed their mount (SDM aside). My sister went Nikon (D3000) thinking she could use my father's old Nikkomat lenses and nope, end of the road, can't get there from here.
11-30-2011, 09:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrickrea Quote
I too have been wondering about the same upgrade. I've been leaning towards a K20D or K200D as long as I can keep my wired remote switch.

One of the beautiful things about Pentax is that you can take all your lenses along the upgrade path. Unlike Canon and Nikon, Pentax hasn't really changed their mount (SDM aside). My sister went Nikon (D3000) thinking she could use my father's old Nikkomat lenses and nope, end of the road, can't get there from here.
That is indeed one reason - but only one of them - that i stick to my K200D. But I admit that for many, a K-x would no doubt be a sensible alternative if the price is all right.
11-30-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by micksh Quote
Hi! My father has an old Pentax *ist DL 6MP camera. I would like to send him a gift, some 10MP or better body. Unfortunately I don't know anything about Pentax DSLRs. And I'm on a budget, I can't buy the latest and newest. I thought to spend maybe around $300 for used body (don't know if it's reasonable?).

Would you please advise what would be a decent upgrade? Important thing is that he has a lot of manual m42 (Pentax screwdriver) lenses, as well as AF Pentax lenses. And his current Pentax has some sort of focus confirmation with manual lenses (not sure, he says it beeps when image is in focus, must be sort of focus peak like on Sony NEX cameras?). So the new body has to have this feature.

Thank you for help.
All Pentax DSLRs will have the focus confirmation with manual lenses and work with AF lenses, so that's no problem. All the cameras I'll mention here also have SR, a system that stabilizes the camera's sensor and reduces camera shake at low shutter speed. They also all work with SDM-only lenses.

The 10 Mp options, all using the same Sony sensor, are the K10D, K200D and K2000/K-m. The K10D was the top of the line when introduced, with lots of features, one not even on today's top line (remote computer control). It's a larger, heavier model, with two control dials instead of one. It has a better viewfinder (slightly brighter) than the other two 10 Mp ones. It uses a lithium battery, not AAs. It has an optional grip which holds a second battery, makes the camera even bigger and is good for vertical shots. Since it was intended as a more professional model, it doesn't have "scene" modes, preprogrammed settings for snow or flowers or kids. Those settings are aimed more at beginners. It was introduced about 5 years ago, a long time for DSLRs.

The K200D was intended to be a midrange model, between the K20D and K2000/K-m. So it borrows some from the top of the line and leaves some other features off. It has weather-resistant seals for more durability. The viewfinder is not supposed to be as good but it's a real challenge to see the difference. It has one control dial and uses AA batteries. It has scene modes and a top LCD. It was a newer model and Pentax had more experience with the sensor and supporting electronics, so it produces slightly better JPG output than the K10D. It's a smaller size than the K10D too.

The K2000 or K-m had different names in different markets, but is the same camera. It was the first Pentax DSLR offered with colors. With this model, Pentax really pared back the features to hit a price point: no top LCD, no wired remote jack, no AF selection points in the viewfinder. The interface using the rear LCD is better and more modern. The camera is quite small and works fine, but on the used market, the price difference is much smaller. I think this would feel like a downgrade from a DL. It does have some upgrades but the downgrades are more apparent.
11-30-2011, 11:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
As I am in the same situation (would like to eventually upgrade from an ist-ds to a newer body), would there be any major advantages to upgradeing to a k-x over some of the ones mentioned? It seems that the k-x is selling on ebay for not much more that the original posters budget ( a couple close to 300$, a whole slew of them at various prices under 400$)?
I really had to think about a DS to K-x upgrade a couple of years ago. At the time, the K-x kit was about half the price of the K-7 kit. Upgrading from the DS, you gain:
high ISO, probably at least 2 stops
SR, good for maybe 2 more stops
12 Mp, useful for cropping
bigger LCD
SDM compatibility
live view and video
ISO 100
1/6000 shutter speed
more fps
more range for Ev comp.
some other stuff

You lose:
top LCD
wired remote
pentaprism
AF points in viewfinder
TTL flash

About the same: AAs, size and weight

The viewfinder difference is really small. Any upgrade loses TTL flash. I never used the AF points. The wired remote is possible to work around. So it's a pretty good upgrade. A K20D might be another option, giving up some of the K-x's ISO and video gain but not losing anything except TTL flash.

I went with a K-7, hoping that the extra features would keep me happy for another 5 years.

11-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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I love my top lcd for a quick check of where my settings are and can't conceive of not having it. For those who don't have that top lcd, how do they like having to look at the large screen? Is it knocking much time off your battery life if you are checking frequently?
11-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #10
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Thank you all for useful information.
It's good to know that any upgrade loses TTL flash. I guess he will probably keep old body for indoor flash photography. So this will be rather outdoor body. Then lighter weather resistant K200D looks like it.
Found it here in marketplace. Posting second time so I could send private message to seller.

Thanks a lot!
11-30-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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I just upgraded from the ist DS to a K200D. So far I really like it. I've only done a couple of test shots so far, but they seem to be sharper with better color and contrast than I got with the DS. I think the SR has helped me a lot, as I can't hold the camera as steady as I use to. The K200 is a little bigger and heavier than the DS, but I like the feel better. Also the auto focus seems faster with the K200. I'm sure he will like the upgrade.

bluestringer
11-30-2011, 08:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by micksh Quote
Thank you all for useful information.
It's good to know that any upgrade loses TTL flash. I guess he will probably keep old body for indoor flash photography...
The flash issue is complicated. The short answer is, if a flash works on the *ist DL, it will work the same way on any newer Pentax DSLR. For example, my brother uses a Pentax AF360FGZ with his *ist DL.

But the same statement isn't true for the *ist DS, which can use older TTL flashes. TTL flash is different than P-TTL, but since all the cameras made since ~2005 use P-TTL, some references shorten the term incorrectly.
11-30-2011, 08:56 PM   #13
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I just purchased a K200D here on the boards as a second camera body. The husband and I wanted a camera we could take hiking and not worry too much about. I treat my K7 with lots of TLC, but a $300< camera body w/weather resistance we can use all of our lenses on was hard to say no to. I also like that it has the top LCD screen and some other features I like in my K7. All in all, I think it will make a great second body to play around with.
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