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07-13-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
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Just starting, no gear, want to expand, value proposition

As tempting as the K7 is, I want to keep my initial costs down and focus on learning. While the current kit lenses appear to be very good, I may someday have wanted something like a 16-50 2.8.

Noting that at current B&H prices the K20D plus the 16-50 2.8 gives an incredible (to my beginner's mind) package to spring from for only about $20 more than the K7 body alone, especially if you subtract the $200 you might have spent and wish you hadn't on the kit lens.

$629 body
$690 lens
= $1319 vs $1299 for K7. (not to mention a $200 subtraction for kit lens, if you follow me).

I wanted to keep it less than $1,000, but this looks like a great starter kit.

Anyway, not much of a thread starter here, really just an observation FWIW.

07-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #2

I'd get the K20 myself. It would be a camera you grow into and as skill increases, along with $$$$$ you'd be able to get the next generation of the K series in a couple of years. You'll have a ton of fun with the 20 and it'll be a great springboard than a great second body. I still have the K10D and as much as I want the K7 I can't justify the outlay yet. I still use the K10 for work.
07-13-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Agree with that.
K20D's excellent value for money - sensor being the most important part is still good in today's ever evolving standards.

Cost being important to you, you can probably sift through the marketplace to find very reasonably priced K10Ds that you can match up with a stellar lens like the 16-50 - lenses are the key to great images... The K10D sensor ain't that bad also - so you could easily get a K10D/16-50 combo for under $1000....
07-13-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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What are you looking to do with your photography?

If you're looking for a new, high quality, point-and-shoot camera--for recording family, vacations, and the like--the K20d and 16-50/2.8 will serve you very well for years to come, perhaps with the addition of something like the 50-135/2.8 along the way. I agree that the K20d with 16-50/2.8 is a better value than K-7 with only the DA18-55; most people buying the K-7 already have a high quality collection of lenses for it.

On the other hand, if you want to learn about photography--taking pictures as an art or hobby--I think that there's no alternative to starting with a fully manual setup. I know that I wouldn't have the discipline to figure out difficult shots if the camera could do it automatically; going fully manual, with older lenses, will force you to learn about exposure, which will allow you to get the most out of any camera and be better than a computer ever can be.

For the value proposition, I think a K10d with Takumar lenses can't be beat. You can probably get a K10d, 35/3.5, 50/1.8, and 135/3.5 Takumars with an M42 to K adapter, along with the kit DA18-55, for about $500 total, maybe closer to $600 if you want it now rather than waiting for deals. All of those lenses can produce excellent images. You'll learn about exposure. You'll learn what focal lengths you like working with, what qualities of lenses you need (speed, size, weight, focal range, zoom versus prime, sharpness, bokeh, etc). You'll have the kit lens when you want convenience. And then you can sell all of those lenses for about what you paid for them and buy the perfect glass for your needs. Even though the K10d is two generations old now, the pictures it takes are still as good as when it was the $1000 camera everybody wanted.

Just an observation. :-)

07-15-2009, 11:53 AM   #5
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I have nine lenses, 28mm up to 200mm, all but one is a manual, all but one is a Pentax/Takumar and all are primes, a flash, a battery grip and a K10D. I have maybe $850 in to everything, and I paid $600 for the body a year ago brand new. I haven't really messed around with a K20D yet, but I love my K10D. I you want to keep it under the grand mark, you could probably get the 50-135, one or two manual lenses, I would suggest a fast fifty and a 28mm, and a K10D body. This might make it around $1100 if you bought from whats in the market place at the moment without haggling. Just my 2 cents.

07-15-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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I'm another one who would recommend the K20 and DA*16-50 over the K-7 (even though I don't have the lens). That's assuming you don't need higher frame rate for sports or something like that. If you are just looking at image quality, the K20 will do just as well as the K-7 and for a lot less.

I upgraded from the K10 to the K20 and definitely prefer its pictures. And my eyesight isn't as good as it once was - while I use two manual focus lenses all the time, it's SO nice to have auto focus for routine things.
07-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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Another option is the K200D. It is a very well made camera with weatherseals and the SDM capability. You state that you are a beginner, the K200D may be a easier camera to learn on, and will grow with your increasing skills. It is priced at about $500 and you may be able to afford more extras going this route.
I have owned my K200d for a year and I like it very much.

07-15-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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My thoughts are that unless you have a specific need with the latest camera (in this case K7), you should always go with the year old model. This generally gives you the best value. I recently chose the K200D and am very happy. Hardly my first DSLR, but like others have suggested, a little more geared towards a beginner. I have done some paid work with it and will continue to. My suggestion would be the K200D, grip, and 16-50. Should put you just over $1000.

07-15-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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Another vote for a K20D. On an absolute scale it's a very good camera and on a relative scale it's an outstanding value at 650 bucks.

07-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #10
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Hmmm... Depends on what you're doing with the camera, I think.

Have any serious need for autofocus or weather sealing? If you mostly do studio style work, consider the K7 and a few Takumar lenses. Even if you must have the occasional use of autofocus, the kit lens & an FA 50mm 1.4 can be had for little coin.

Otherwise, the K20 deal is a very nice setup.
07-15-2009, 04:45 PM   #11
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Another option would be to go real cheap until you have the experience & knowledge to know which body & lenses you want. To this end I would recommend an *ist DS body with the Kit Lens, & the standard prime trio of 35mm, 50mm, & 135mm M lenses. The whole kit & kaboodle should set you back about $400, which you should be able to recoup in full should you decide to get rid of it all at a later date.

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