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04-30-2009, 12:54 PM   #1
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Decisions decisions!

Hi all,

I'm a new member here. I'm finally upgrading to a DSLR from my dying P&S. I have done my research and I have narrowed it down to the Pentax K20D which I find has all the features that I want. Canon and Nikon are too expensive for my budget, plus they are not weather sealed like the Pentax cameras. I don't do sports but will be spending a lot of my time taking photos of my plants and flowers and my pets, dogs, cats, backyard wild birds and hopefully do some nature shots as well.

Should I wait and get the the newer K-7 or whatever it is going to be called which I'm sure will cost a whole lot more or should I save my money and just get the K20D? I have never used a DSLR before so I should probably just get the K20D and learn how to use one? Also, what lens should I get to take pictures of my flowers (mostly macro), plants, garden, pets, humans and wildlife nature stuff?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Peter

04-30-2009, 01:35 PM   #2
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Peter,

I would wait until the K7 comes out because there will be a flood of K10/20's hitting ebay and the market place here. The K7 will by all reports cost well over $1k so why not wait and try and scoop up a k20d for $3-500.

If you want to do macro work, buy a macro lens. I spent years using zooms and extension tubes before I finally bought a true macro lens, I went with the Sigma, and I love it.

The big decision will be 50mm or 90 or 105 or 200 (if you can find one) I think the 90-105 range is about perfect,,gives you some stand off room.

The other lenses I would recommend are the 12-24 Pentax, either the Sigma or Tamron 2?-7? and then a 70-200mm f2.8.
04-30-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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Well, if it were me, I'd wait to see if there's anything that the K-7 has that you really want that the K20D doesn't offer...it's only a couple of weeks, and after the official announcement the K20D prices could drop a bit and save you a few bucks.

If weather sealing is really important, remember that only the * lenses have weather sealing to match the bodies, and those lenses (while spectacular) are more expensive than non * alternatives. Can't give you and exact lens suggestion, your subject matter seems to cover everything other than architecture, way too many possibilities to list, sorry.
04-30-2009, 01:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jester_rm Quote
If weather sealing is really important, remember that only the * lenses have weather sealing to match the bodies...
... and to be more exact - DA * lenses, not the other variants...

04-30-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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I'd find a camera shop that carries Pentax and check out all the SLR line including the new model, if you aren't in any big hurry that is. See how they all operate and feel in your hands.

Will you be depending on AUTO features for exposure and ISO settings or will you be branching out and trying manual settings? If you just want to use Auto functions then the K2000 might be a better fit and smaller price tag. I know you mentioned you had researched the spec's for cameras and what kind of photos you would likely be taking but wasn't for sure how you would use the camera coming from a P&S.

Good luck with your decision!
04-30-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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Plus the fact that there's the rumor that the K-7 will ship with a weather-sealed kit lens. Definitely wait.
04-30-2009, 02:24 PM   #7
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I would wait till after the announcement of the K7. I have a feeling it will be at least several months b4 the K7 is readily available. In the interim you can decide if you absolutel HAVE to have the new K7 or if the K20D is 'good enough' Camera bodies, even more so than cars, lose value very quickly. If you are willing to wait you can save up to 50%. As far as lenses go, you didn't mention budget. How much you can spend will pretty much dictate what you get. If you can afford it, I'd recommend the Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8. Excellent lens for most of what you want to do, and I'm pretty sure they've gotten the problems that appeared in the earlier copies of this lens ironed out. If the 16-50 is too steep for you, or you would like a longer reach, I'd go for the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Another excellent lens and it has the ability to focus fairly closely. Not a true macro but it does get close. Another option is the Sigma 17-70, another good lens, that has more range than either the Tamron or the Pentax. IIRC it's cheaper than the Tamron. It's downside is that it has a variable aperture and is not as fast as the other two. What ever lens you decide to get, I'd stay with it for a while until you find what focal lengths you most like to shoot in. There is a nifty little program "exposure plot" that will look and all your shots and give you a graph of the various focal lenghts you use. You can use that information to determine future lens purchases.

edit: MacGirl's suggestion of trying out the various bodies in a store is a very very good one.
NaCl(there is nothing wrong with waiting, the prices can only go down)H2O
04-30-2009, 05:48 PM   #8
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Well if this is going to be your first DSLR then I would not recommend getting a K-7. You need to use a DSLR for a while to actually understand what features are important to you.

When I bought my first DSLR I also did a lot of research and bought the one which I thougth had the best mix of specs in my budget. However it was only after using it for more than a year that I truly started to understand what matters and what does not matter. A lot of the options which I thought were desirable based on reviews and specs were never really used. And certain things which I did not consider important turned out to be important for me.

Bottom line: Dont just charge in and get the latest SLR with best set of features and a large collection of lenses. Instead start slowly, start with any entry to mid-level SLR. Spend time taking photographs with it, learn what its limitations are and whats important to you. And then later upgrade when you actually understand what are the features that you want to use but are missing in your camera. I think even K20D is more camera than you need as your first DSLR.

04-30-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeterPP Quote
Hi all,

I'm a new member here. I'm finally upgrading to a DSLR from my dying P&S. I have done my research and I have narrowed it down to the Pentax K20D which I find has all the features that I want. Canon and Nikon are too expensive for my budget, plus they are not weather sealed like the Pentax cameras. I don't do sports but will be spending a lot of my time taking photos of my plants and flowers and my pets, dogs, cats, backyard wild birds and hopefully do some nature shots as well.

Should I wait and get the the newer K-7 or whatever it is going to be called which I'm sure will cost a whole lot more or should I save my money and just get the K20D? I have never used a DSLR before so I should probably just get the K20D and learn how to use one? Also, what lens should I get to take pictures of my flowers (mostly macro), plants, garden, pets, humans and wildlife nature stuff?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Peter
For wildlife, you need something >300mm. If you want to go the cheaper route--for flowers, humans and such--you can try a used manual focus PENTAX SMC-A 50 f/1.4 + diopter filters (the filters for flowers). When looking for used lenses, make sure their optics are good--i.e., make sure there is no fungal growth--and that their mechanically functional.
05-01-2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the helpful advice and suggestions! I like to wait but then I'm not patient and since this will be my first DSLR and I have no idea how to use one, maybe I should just get the K20D and get some experience first. Then again if I do get the K20D, I may regret it later if the newer model has better features that are missing in the K20D. Also, my P&S camera is dying and I will be needing a new camera soon and the new K7 will not be available for another few months.

Another question. I was given a Pentax lens (actually a JC Penny brand) 50-135mm which was used with an older 30 year old Pentax film SLR. Is it any good and will it be compatible with the newer Pentax DSLR cameras?

Thanks!

Peter
05-01-2009, 08:59 AM   #11
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My own decision process

I was in your postition a couple of years ago when I was trying to decide on the K10D or the new K20D. I wound up getting the K10D for about half of what I would have spent on the new model. It has been more than enough camera for me to learn on and I could go out now and get a K20D and wind up having both for what I would have spent for the K20D alone. Remember, there will always be a newer model coming along and sometimes it is just better to jump in, get one and start enjoying it. All of these cameras are more than able to take great pictures. In my case the camera cam probably do far more than I am able to ask of it.

As far as your older lens goes, you should be able to use it just fine, although probably in full manual mode. I picked up a couple of older lenses and although I haven't used them much yet I think I'll be "forced" to learn quite a bit that I wouldn't have if I relied on the more modern automatic functions. Good luck!
05-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeterPP Quote
Another question. I was given a Pentax lens (actually a JC Penny brand) 50-135mm which was used with an older 30 year old Pentax film SLR. Is it any good and will it be compatible with the newer Pentax DSLR cameras?

Thanks!

Peter
If it's a k-mount lens, it will work without an adapter. If it doesn't have an "A" setting on the aperture ring, it will work, but you will have to enable an option and use the Manual mode. Although with such lenses, after pressing the "green button" the camera stops down for you and sets the shutter speed automatically. Post a pic of the mount.
05-01-2009, 10:10 PM   #13
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Depends on your preferences and your budget for a first dSLR:

One fellow (tech-minded) may not be happy unless his/her first dSLR has the latest functions, like stereo HD video capabilities, whereas another (perhaps a more purist-type photographer) is happy as long as there's Av, Tv and M modes that can be set with reasonable ease on a body that will perform and go the distance.

First one will be buying the newest and best cam whenever they come out, regardless of whether he/she uses all those functions, second one will wear out a trusty *ist D/K10D.

Whether you're at one end of that spectrum or the other, good lenses are certainly not something to skimp over. The ones mentioned so far are all noteworthy:

Wides: Pentax DA 12-24 > Sigma 10-20 (DA 10-17 for FE)
Normal range: Tamron 28-75 or DA 16-45 (DA 16-50 if funds permit)
Telephoto: Pentax DA 55-300 > Tamron 70-300 (or the 70-200/2.8 range of lenses if so inclined)
Primes: take your pick, but must haves include the FA 50/1.4 and/or the FA 77 ltd (FA 31 ltd if funds permit)

There are so many choices - make the right ones for YOU.
05-22-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies! I'm glad I waited for the announcement and I have decided to get the K-7. I can hardly wait!
05-22-2009, 07:46 AM   #15
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It's always a tough decision on a new purchase when a new model is coming out whether to get a good price on the current model or wait and get the new. The K7 looks to be worth waiting a few weeks for.
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