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05-30-2009, 03:06 AM   #1
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Need a recommendation for no-frills Pentax DSLR

Can anyone recommend a simple-to-use Pentax DSLR that I can use basically like an old Polaroid camera for checking things like still lifes before I push the shutter on my trusty old film camera.

It should have the following attributes:

1. Easy to use - I use film cameras so I know virtually nothing about digital
2. Cheap
3. Needs to be Pentax so I can use my current lenses
4. Used is fine, it doesn't have to be a current model


Thanks

05-30-2009, 03:09 AM   #2
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I believe a used K100D or K110D would suit your purposes quite well.
05-30-2009, 03:24 AM   #3
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The km seems a nice one, much better AF than the older models.

but as mike suggested, second hand ones are very cheap. especially now with the k-7 coming I can imagine there will be more second hand bodies available.
05-30-2009, 04:17 AM   #4
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Best for your purposes:
1. K-m
2. K100D/K110D
3. *ist DS

Best value:
1. *ist DS
2. K100D/K110D
3. K-m

Basically, buy the best entry-level model you can afford.

05-30-2009, 05:49 AM   #5
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I recently sold my *ist DL..easy to use...great pics,,,,,find one with low actuations. Oh Yeah...and you don"t have to buy film !!! :-))
05-30-2009, 05:59 AM   #6
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No film, but don't forget the memory card

QuoteOriginally posted by Daveinozbikes Quote
I recently sold my *ist DL..easy to use...great pics,,,,,find one with low actuations. Oh Yeah...and you don"t have to buy film !!! :-))
All of the digital Pentax's should fit your requirements, just don't forget the SD memory card. (Well, I think all of the listed have 32MB internal memory - maybe check for online manuals for specifications).
05-30-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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The problem here will be, you can check all you like using a DSLR, but:

a) due to the "crop factor" the field of view will be entirely different if you really do use the same lenses

b) you'll also get differences in DOF for similar reasons

c) there is no guarantee the ISO rating of the digital camera will really match that of the film you are using, so might find that an exposure that looks fine on digital looks different on film

d) the dynamic range also differs, so even in pictures where the exposures match perfectly in one area of the image, they'll probably differ in another

e) colors will differ too

See the thread comapring APS-C to 35mm in the General forum for some pretty shocking illustrations of the differences you can expect, and then ask yourslef if you'd really be gaining anything. Of course, there are any number of ways to improve upon the results shown in that thread - but they would require taking the time to become much more familair with the digital camera, and many of them require doing post-processing on the computer.

None of this is to say that a DSLR can't be used as you propose, but I again, I think you you really need to have a much deeper understanding of how the DSLR works in order for it to actually provide any value above and beyond, say, a handheld light meter.
05-30-2009, 10:16 AM   #8
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Marc makes some excellent points. If you understand all the differences and are prepared to accept them, then an *ist DL would be your cheapest option at roughly $200 for a 'like new' copy. Paying more for things like shake reduction or weather sealing would be a waste of money for your purposes, IMO.

Whatever you choose, be prepared to spend some time 'calibrating' it to your film camera(s).

05-30-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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There's a lot of new K100D/K110D around different marketplaces now because of the Ritz Camera clearance sale.
You could snag one for $250-$300.
At times with lens, at times without..but all are brand new with warranty!
05-30-2009, 03:14 PM   #10
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Any Pentax DSLR will be just fine for their purpose. I snagged a *istD a few weeks ago from a closing Ritz. As a K10D owner I was surprised by how good the pictures from the *istD were. The older cameras just take longer to write the pictures to the card and you can't review them as quickly. Other than that - very nice pics. Last night, I was walking around A-kon 20 in Dallas and came across another *istD user. Always nice to find another Pentax user in the wild...
05-30-2009, 11:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zarkon Quote
Any Pentax DSLR will be just fine for their purpose. I snagged a *istD a few weeks ago [...]
The only problem with the original *ist D is the tiny (1.8" ?) LCD. I don't think the OP intends to download/process/view any images - he just wants to look at them on the LCD as a substitute for an old Polaroid.
05-31-2009, 03:06 AM   #12
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Pentax K-m will not permit effective use of manual Pentax K-mount lenses as it appears not to have a provision for "permitting" use of the aperture ring. It has no green button used in the K200D for setting exposure, and also does not have an optical depth-of- field preview, used in for adjusting exposure.
05-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chhayanat Quote
Pentax K-m will not permit effective use of manual Pentax K-mount lenses as it appears not to have a provision for "permitting" use of the aperture ring. It has no green button used in the K200D for setting exposure, and also does not have an optical depth-of- field preview, used in for adjusting exposure.
This would be big news were it true, but the manual says otherwise.

There's a "permit use of aperture ring" setting in the custom menu, and you use the EV +/- button to take a stop-down meter reading just as you'd use the green button the K200D.
05-31-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
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Don't rule Samsung out. My brother has got a GX-10 and is very happy with it.
05-31-2009, 03:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
This would be big news were it true, but the manual says otherwise.

There's a "permit use of aperture ring" setting in the custom menu, and you use the EV +/- button to take a stop-down meter reading just as you'd use the green button the K200D.
Yes you are quite right. I missed the aperture ring setting when looking at the screen shot of the custom menu. So all is well.
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