Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-05-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Newbie Needs HELP!

OK ya'll I'm a newbie, so be easy with me. First off, I'm not a newcomer to photography. I've been shooting film, both as an amateur and professionally for over 40 years.
I've shot Nikon, Canon, Leica (my favorite) and Pentax. All good rigs. I quit shooting several years ago when everything started going digital.
Now, I'm ready to get back into the game and need some advice. I've decided that I'm going with Pentax (more bang for the buck), but I can't decide which one to get. All of the digital cameras seem somewhat intimidating to me with all the buttons, controls, etc. With film it was all pretty straightforward. You had to know exposure, composition, shutter speeds, etc.
The question is this: Which camera would be best for me to learn digital: K2000, K200, or K20 ... the new K7 is out of the question due to price? I want to get back into photography at a serious level, but am concerned about learning the new technology and with all the different features, etc. I'm not sure which model would be the best starting point.
Bob Hillerby
Combat Photographer
B 1/9th Cav, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Republic of Vietnam 1966-1967

07-05-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,498
My experience in starting with digital with the K100 in 2007 is that it won't matter which camera you select. You will learn equally from any of them, or even an older model digital.

Since I added a K200 I have come to appreciate the weather sealing, but only because I've used it quite a bit in the rain, in conditions where water did infiltrate my K100 (but no harm seems to have been done.)

The other factor might be the viewfinder. I don't have one, but I understand it's bigger/brighter on the K7 and K10/20. If you have difficulty seeing, or want to use old, manual focus lenses, that might be a factor for you.

Otherwise, you won't "learn more" from one or the other.

If you just make jpeg images and don't do any processing, there is virtually no learning curve to digtial. You do everything the same way you did with film and the results just are what they are. The main difference in digital is in the post processing, if you do it, just as it was in the old days with film. After my b&w darkroom years, I just shot color transparencies, held them up to a light, and declared success or failure. You can basically do the same with digital if you choose, and get very good results.

Paul
07-05-2009, 02:16 PM   #3
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,692
Hi Bob, and welcome.
Well, seems you've been shooting professionally for some time, and the transition from film to digital shouldn't be as daunting as it seems to you. The essential functions are much the same but with a couple of added modes on the more advanced cameras like TAv and Sv, which you'll quickly get the hang of.

In this regard, I'd say your best value would come from a K10D/K20D. But it sounds like you want to buy new, so I'd go with the K20D. All of the current Pentax dSLRs are capable, and you'd be learning much from any you try, but the K20D has more practical advances on the K200D that would keep you going for some time yet.

And if you've already got an arsenal of decent K-mount lenses, you're set...
07-05-2009, 02:18 PM   #4
Veteran Member
GerryL's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 2,731
Once you have done photography, you can get easily back on the saddle again as pretty much the same principles apply..only this time more of it would be auto-focus or with the help of electronics (different ASA settings at your fingertips) and post processing (if you want to tweak your photos more, so no more lab work).
I myself came from film and finally dove into digital since the price was already affordable unlike before.
I shot mostly in Nikon before, F2, F3, FM2, FG..and some Canon.
I just bought a K100D super since I wanted a wiggle room to upgrade to a K7.
My suggestion is go for the K200D or K20D as you can tweak them more and you are used to going manual with the film bodies.
Believe me, it is easy since you already know the principles.
Some small differences are definitely in but they are more for the betterment of capturing a photo. AF (auto-focus), Aperture (with AF lenses, you now change on the camera dial as the AF lenses don't have the aperture ring.
ASA you can change on the fly upto 3200. Shutter speed is now upto 4000 and the you don't need a camera/battery grip to do continous shooting as this too you can change on the camera itself.
The battery grip nowadays is just for extended battery life.
If you want to find out more, google K200D/K20D for camera reviews.
The good thing about Pentax DSLR's is if you just want old school glass with you manually focusing and choosing and turning the aperture ring, you can do that by attaching old glass to pentax as even screw mount lenses are compatible with the appropriate adapter.
Welcome to the forums!

07-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
Damn Brit
Guest




Hi Bob, you're right about the digital cameras seeming imposing with all the buttons but you needn't worry. It won't take you long to get started (a quick read of the manual while the battery is charging) and the more 'complicated' stuff you'll pick up as your confidence grows with the new equipment. No different from buying a new DVD player or car really, just new stuff to learn.

With regards to which camera to buy, I would suggest you go with the K20D, it's the most advanced camera on your list and though it may have more buttons, I guarantee you will find them useful. The front and rear adjustment wheels for example are indispensable. This camera is going to last you for several years so you might as well get the best and it's also probably the best value of the ones on your list.
07-05-2009, 03:41 PM   #6
Veteran Member
chalion's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Photos: Albums
Posts: 628
All of your choices are good, solid, dependable cameras. If you feel comfortable with buying the newest on your list, the K20D is an excellent choice. Like Damn Brit states, it is the most advanced, but you'll get used to it pretty fast. Plus, there's nothing like using a digital camera and being able to use film lenses. Pentax stands alone on this reguard.

EDIT: the K7 is getting good reviews, but to me, it needs more time to find all the bugs and tweaks.
07-05-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 165
Bob Hillerby - Like you I have hav many years of experience with film cameras. Mine however were large and medium format. I did not take 35mm too seriously. After retirement I used a couple of Nikons and had a lovely Canon EOS3.
went to digital 4 years ago and being retired I have had the time to work on making up for lost time.
I recently replaced my "old" K10D with the K20. Prices are extremely keen on this model which has the same sensor as the K7.
Since I have Lightroom 2.4 and shoot in Manual mode take little notice of the camera's opinion of the correct exposure and like a heavier camera I opted to save a lot of money.
In any case isn't the lens the most important factor in getting quality images?
You will like the quality feel, the excellent balance, the sealed case (the lens is not sealed however). i strongly recommend having the BG-2 grip which I transferred from my K10. If you are experimenting with HDR the ability of the K20 to shoot a burst with one press is magic.
Regards
Ron McDermott
07-05-2009, 04:41 PM   #8
Site Supporter
eaglem's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Perth Western Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 27,353
Welcome to the forum Bob and yes I agree the K20D is probably the way to go.

BTW I notice you were in Sth Vietnam at the same time I was difference being I was based in Nui Dat with 1 Field Squadron royal Australian Engineers.

07-05-2009, 04:54 PM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,451
QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
OK ya'll I'm a newbie, so be easy with me. First off, I'm not a newcomer to photography. I've been shooting film, both as an amateur and professionally for over 40 years....<snip>...
The question is this: Which camera would be best for me to learn digital: K2000, K200, or K20 ... the new K7 is out of the question due to price? I want to get back into photography at a serious level, but am concerned about learning the new technology and with all the different features, etc. I'm not sure which model would be the best starting point.
Bob Hillerby
Combat Photographer
B 1/9th Cav, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Republic of Vietnam 1966-1967
Hi, Bob. You would like the K20D better, I think, than any other DSLR in the lineup for the two e-dials alone. The sensor quality is right up there with the best, too.

I came from a film SLR background of over 40 years myself, and chose the K10D (the latest at the time - same as K20D but with a 10Mp CCD sensor) because the vast majority of the useful controls were not hidden away in the menus. I can see the button [+/-] and figure out that since I push it with my right thumb the front e-dial will change it. As to all the list of functions, just skip most of them.
  • You used to pick a film for its ASA/ISO and whether it was for tungsten or daylight. With digital you can change "film" every shot if you want. Set the ISO and White Balance.
  • Noise is grain - looks a bit different, but same causes - underexposure and/or high ISO.
  • White balance is more flexible than tungsten/daylight balance - it's like having built in filters for every lighting situation out there. I shoot RAW, so I just set auto white balance and worry about the fine tuning later.
  • If you love any of your old Pentax glass, it will work fine. My two M lenses are among my favourites.They don't auto expose (except wide open) but Mr. Pentax has kindly provided the magic green button to set a starting shutter speed for the aperture you set. I actually prefer to hold over the dof preview (I have it set to optical-stops the lens down) and view the exposure scale in the viewfinder and/or top LCD.
  • You don't need to use snip tests to see if you got the ISO right - just look at the first frame right after you shot it.
I think you get the idea.
07-06-2009, 06:50 AM   #10
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
Welcome to the forum Bob and yes I agree the K20D is probably the way to go.

BTW I notice you were in Sth Vietnam at the same time I was difference being I was based in Nui Dat with 1 Field Squadron royal Australian Engineers.
How IRONIC! I went on an operation w/a contingent of Australian Infantry and also shot some coverage of a New Zeland Artillery Battery.... GREAT soldiers all!WELCOM HOME.
Bob Hillerby
Combat Photographer
B 1/9th Cav, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Republic of Vietnam 1966-1967
07-06-2009, 11:01 PM   #11
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 165
Hi Bob
Just a small but very important difference from film photography although not all of that different fron reversal colour film.
Exposing for negatives we exposed for the shadows and let the highlights look after themselves with digital we (well, some of us) expose to the right. That is we expose as fully as possible consistent with not "blowing the hightlights out".
Sperking digitally "when you reach the top of the number stack" there is nowhere to go and no way back.
With negative film the shoulder of the curve flattened out and protected your highlights.
Google "expose to the right" for more.
Ron McDermott
Brisbane Queensland
07-08-2009, 06:56 PM   #12
Veteran Member
res3567's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Houston Tx.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,876
QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
How IRONIC! I went on an operation w/a contingent of Australian Infantry and also shot some coverage of a New Zeland Artillery Battery.... GREAT soldiers all!WELCOM HOME.
Bob Hillerby
Combat Photographer
B 1/9th Cav, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Republic of Vietnam 1966-1967
Hi Bob and welcome to the forum. First off, thank you for you service. My dad went over there after I was born in '67 and he is a Bob too!

You will find great info on this forum and everyone is correct on this thread. I came from a film background as well.

I have a K10D and a K100D and both are great cameras.

If you can afford it, get the K20D as it is a great step up from the K10D.

The K10D, K20D, and new K7 are Pentax's top of the line cameras with ALL the bells and whistles you could ever want at a bargain price( the K7 is new so it is a little expensive, but give it time).

I learned very quickly how to use my D-SLR's as have owning several film SLR's which I still have.

The greatest advantage, IMO of the modern cameras is the ability to change the ISO in the camera.

You will learn quickly too and we are all here to help you!
07-09-2009, 04:15 AM   #13
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,009
I would favor the K20 now purely due to price. I own both the K10 and the K20 and the 20 is definitely my favorite. Just seems to be about perfect, although down the road, I think i see a K7 in my future.
07-12-2009, 02:03 AM   #14
Veteran Member
Andi Lo's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,925
If money is not an object, I'd say the K-7 due to the Autofocus upgrade. If you want something to keep you while waiting for K-7 prices to drop, K20 or K10.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, film, newbie, pentax, pentax help, photography, question
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello from a newbie johnnyjet Welcomes and Introductions 2 11-01-2010 03:41 PM
Another newbie here redspecial Welcomes and Introductions 4 02-26-2010 11:47 PM
Newbie also Gold Welcomes and Introductions 8 08-11-2009 02:54 AM
Help a Newbie 98CarmineRedTN Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 07-31-2009 04:15 PM
Another newbie! Inspection Guy Welcomes and Introductions 2 10-06-2007 07:25 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:48 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top