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08-21-2009, 07:10 AM   #61
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I went from a D70 to a K20D

Based on your outdoor/adventure lifestyle, I'd start with the K20D and the new 18-55 WR (Weather Resistant) zoom. This lens will be much smaller than the 16-50/F2.8.

When you go camping with your friend, put both cameras on a flat surface. Spray your K20d with a water bottle, and then offer to do the same to his D70. End of discussion.

08-21-2009, 07:15 AM   #62
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I will vote for the K20D also. While not considered a beginners camera, I think anyone could start out with it and get very good results. The prices are excellent right now and you won't grow out of it. Also, a K10D if you can find one would be good.
08-21-2009, 07:33 AM   #63
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Decision graph

1. (i) Do you mind carrying a camera that's a bit heavier and larger?
(ii) Must your camera use AA batteries?

Stop reading further and get the K20D if answers to both (i) and (ii) are NO.
Otherwise, go to 2.

2. Do you need weather sealing?

I need weather sealing: K200D. Otherwise, go to 3.

3. Do you need a slightly higher FPS and focus speed?

Yes: K-m. No: K200D
(But if you really need high FPS, you should be looking for a body designed with this in mind, for example, in the same price range, there are used Canon 20D that can do 5 fps)
08-21-2009, 07:41 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Based on your outdoor/adventure lifestyle, I'd start with the K20D and the new 18-55 WR (Weather Resistant) zoom. This lens will be much smaller than the 16-50/F2.8.

When you go camping with your friend, put both cameras on a flat surface. Spray your K20d with a water bottle, and then offer to do the same to his D70. End of discussion.
I personally have never been confident enough to TEST the K20D's weather-resistance, even with my DA* 50-135 lens attached. But it would be kind of fun to pull the stunt described above!



QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I will vote for the K20D also. While not considered a beginners camera, I think anyone could start out with it and get very good results. The prices are excellent right now and you won't grow out of it. Also, a K10D if you can find one would be good.
I want to second this. There's this theme that comes back again and again that the K20D is hard to learn. If folks who don't have a K20D want to believe this, that's fine. (If so, stop reading now!) But it's just not true.

In most respects, the K20D is actually easier to USE - that's one of the reasons you pay more for a higher-end camera. For example, 2 e-dials are easier to deal with than 1 e-dial that you have to use for at least 2 different things. And hyperprogram (P) mode on the K20D is brilliant, allowing you to switch into effective-Av or effective-Tv mode without touching the mode dial.

But in addition to being easier to use, the K20D is also easier to LEARN - or at least it's no harder to learn than the alternatives, it's just different. The mode dial on the K20D is beautifully simple, because it lacks the scene modes. If you want to make things easy for yourself, shoot in green mode (full auto) or better, P. There are more options on a K20D or K-7 than on, say, an old K100D, but it's not like the less expensive camera is WITHOUT options. If you buy a K2000 and you want to know what all those options are, you're going to have to read the manual. But on the K20D, just as on the K2000, if you want to ignore most of those options for a while and just start shooting, you absolutely can.

Will

08-21-2009, 07:53 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfier Quote
1. (i) Do you mind carrying a camera that's a bit heavier and larger?
(ii) Must your camera use AA batteries?

I would be careful about making a decision on the basis of the batteries. You could be wrong about what you think you require.

When I finally bought my first camera that used a proprietary battery (the K10D), the fact that it used a proprietary battery was, in my mind at the time, a major drawback. I bought the camera in spite of that fact, for other reasons. I had been using cameras that took AA batteries for years and I thought this was how God intended things to be.

Turns out, I was wrong. The battery used in the K10D/K20D is great. Much better than using AA's. The proprietary battery lasts longer. Unless I have an event to shoot, I can sometimes go for weeks without changing batteries. Power seems to be consistent. And charging isn't a hassle worth mentioning, because I would be doing that anyway. (In devices that do take AA batteries, I use rechargeables.) It's easier to recharge a single battery than sets of 4.

The ONLY advantage of AA compatibility is that, if you unexpectedly run out of battery power, you could in theory run to the store and buy some extras and keep shooting. Perhaps if you're traveling internationally and have to go to a country where the power source is different from your native country and you don't want to deal with a converter, well, then perhaps AA would be easier. For this reason, I rather like the K-7's battery grip, which apparently lets you use EITHER AA batts or the proprietary battery.

But as a practical fact, if you can't have the best of both worlds with a K-7, then I would now much rather have the K20D's proprietary battery. I've never run out of battery power in three years shooting with a K10D and a K20D. I go to a wedding with both cameras, freshly charged batteries, and just one spare battery. I typically shoot close to 1000 pics over many hours. Rarely do I have to change the battery and when I do, it's always near the end of a long day.

Will
08-21-2009, 08:53 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I would be careful about making a decision on the basis of the batteries. You could be wrong about what you think you require.

When I finally bought my first camera that used a proprietary battery (the K10D), the fact that it used a proprietary battery was, in my mind at the time, a major drawback. I bought the camera in spite of that fact, for other reasons. I had been using cameras that took AA batteries for years and I thought this was how God intended things to be.

Turns out, I was wrong. The battery used in the K10D/K20D is great. Much better than using AA's. The proprietary battery lasts longer. Unless I have an event to shoot, I can sometimes go for weeks without changing batteries. Power seems to be consistent. And charging isn't a hassle worth mentioning, because I would be doing that anyway. (In devices that do take AA batteries, I use rechargeables.) It's easier to recharge a single battery than sets of 4.

The ONLY advantage of AA compatibility is that, if you unexpectedly run out of battery power, you could in theory run to the store and buy some extras and keep shooting. Perhaps if you're traveling internationally and have to go to a country where the power source is different from your native country and you don't want to deal with a converter, well, then perhaps AA would be easier. For this reason, I rather like the K-7's battery grip, which apparently lets you use EITHER AA batts or the proprietary battery.

But as a practical fact, if you can't have the best of both worlds with a K-7, then I would now much rather have the K20D's proprietary battery. I've never run out of battery power in three years shooting with a K10D and a K20D. I go to a wedding with both cameras, freshly charged batteries, and just one spare battery. I typically shoot close to 1000 pics over many hours. Rarely do I have to change the battery and when I do, it's always near the end of a long day.

Will
see:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/712315-post30.html
QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
-AA batteries (LSD cells are quite amazing now, and cheap, and everywhere, and when they become better, anything that uses them will benefit). Don't want to have to buy a grip to get this. I got 1400 shots on my kodak non-LSD not having even tried my duraloops yet, which reportedly get better than lithium AA and such.
I expect to get more than 1400 shots with duraloops, which cost $8 for a set of 4. They are cheap and everywhere. The good chargers (make sure to get some kind of smart charger and charges in at least 1 hour or it will heat them up too much) are just as cheap - $10. Buy another one and you have a travel charger. You can buy one with a car adapter. You can also get a USB AA charger (energizer makes the only smart charging one). Any increase in technology - and believe me, there will be, will result in a benefit for your camera. Years down the road they will be just as easy to find and better and cheaper.

Now the advantages of proprietary Li-Ion batteries include rechargable operation with Lithium batteries (Li-Ion works better in cold weather), lighter weight, higher voltage, (which mean slightly faster flash cycles but who uses onboard flash and slightly faster AF for the same camera, though K2000's AF is faster in general), inherently less self discharge (LSD's are a huge step in the right direction for AA) and size. In addition, you don't have to have *some* knowledge to buy batteries - you just get the charger and the battery. There are good AA's and bad AA's. Good chargers and bad chargers. If you buy bad AA's or even good AA's but bad chargers - you will not get good performance.

To be fair, when you got your K10, AA's really did suck. A lot. And you were smart for going Li-Ion. But technologies change, and standardization is good because you will always reap the benefits.
08-21-2009, 09:10 AM   #67
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Great presentation of the other side of this issue, Eruditass.


QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
I expect to get more than 1400 shots with duraloops, which cost $8 for a set of 4. They are cheap and everywhere.
You're talking (I think) about Duracell rechargeables. I don't find them anywhere as cheap as you say, but I admit they're not too expensive.


QuoteQuote:
Now the advantages of proprietary Li-Ion batteries include rechargable operation with Lithium batteries (Li-Ion works better in cold weather), lighter weight, higher voltage, (which mean slightly faster flash cycles but who uses onboard flash and slightly faster AF for the same camera, though K2000's AF is faster in general), inherently less self discharge (LSD's are a huge step in the right direction for AA) and size. In addition, you don't have to have *some* knowledge to buy batteries - you just get the charger and the battery. There are good AA's and bad AA's. Good chargers and bad chargers. If you buy bad AA's or even good AA's but bad chargers - you will not get good performance.
The knowledge part is important. I've gone to Eneloops to power my flash units and have had good experience with them. But I'm really not interested in this stuff and it makes my head hurt to have to do research before buying a new charger to make sure it's the right kind.

I would add also that I find it much easier to deal with just 1 battery than with groups of 4. I get the groups mixed up and I don't know that that's a good thing. I keep meaning to color-code them with tape.


QuoteQuote:
To be fair, when you got your K10, AA's really did suck. A lot. And you were smart for going Li-Ion. But technologies change, and standardization is good because you will always reap the benefits.
As I said, I think you have presented a good argument FOR high-quality AA rechargeables.

But I don't think your response is quite pertinent to the point I was making. I wasn't saying (well, I didn't really mean to say) that AA batteries stink. I was simply saying that the choice about what camera to buy should, perhaps, be made on the merits of the camera and that the type of battery it uses should not be a major factor for anybody. You make a case that AA batteries can be (about) as good as the proprietary battery in the K10D/K20D & K-7. That's fine. But "about as good" isn't BETTER.

If I overstated the advantages of the proprietary battery these days, I accept correction. But my point remains: don't worry too much about the type of batteries being used when you buy a new camera.

Will
08-21-2009, 09:31 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Great presentation of the other side of this issue, Eruditass.
Thank you, same to you
QuoteQuote:



You're talking (I think) about Duracell rechargeables. I don't find them anywhere as cheap as you say, but I admit they're not too expensive.
They are on amazon every so often with a coupon for ~8 to 9 for a 4 pack, but to be fair, you need to buy 3 or 4 packs for that price and free shipping. Right now they are on amazon for $7.60 ea with 15% off code SCHOOLO9. Also, I use a card with cashback in store and coupons for walgreens and stuff - and the batteries are everywhere. There are also different versions, made in china versions with black top (vs white) are rayovac type not eneloop type and don't perform as good.
QuoteQuote:




The knowledge part is important. I've gone to Eneloops to power my flash units and have had good experience with them. But I'm really not interested in this stuff and it makes my head hurt to have to do research before buying a new charger to make sure it's the right kind.
Agreed. I'm the kind of person that likes researching, so I guess it is different to me. Guidelines are don't buy value or <1 hr chargers, and doesn't say "remove batteries after xx hours" but has a status LED or something.
QuoteQuote:

I would add also that I find it much easier to deal with just 1 battery than with groups of 4. I get the groups mixed up and I don't know that that's a good thing. I keep meaning to color-code them with tape.
Very good point. Personally I use a sharpie and mark each group with a different amount of dots or rings. Sometimes I use a rubber band. However most of the time I just have my AA batteries in camera, and one extra set since they last long for me anyway. Sometimes I just switch them out for charging if they are low anyway with a 3rd set stored at home.
QuoteQuote:




As I said, I think you have presented a good argument FOR high-quality AA rechargeables.

But I don't think your response is quite pertinent to the point I was making. I wasn't saying (well, I didn't really mean to say) that AA batteries stink.
I responded more to "Much better than using AA's" which I disagreed with. It kinda strikes a cord with me on other forums - the zeitgeist today with all electronics is that proprietary lithium-ion batteries are much better and AA's is a distinct disadvantage.
QuoteQuote:
I was simply saying that the choice about what camera to buy should, perhaps, be made on the merits of the camera and that the type of battery it uses should not be a major factor for anybody.
Agreed
QuoteQuote:
You make a case that AA batteries can be (about) as good as the proprietary battery in the K10D/K20D & K-7. That's fine. But "about as good" isn't BETTER.
For me, it is better and actually was a factor (albeit not larger than other factors). However, it won't stop me from buying a K-7 or later model in the future. I agree with you on this: don't let proprietary batteries stop you from buying a good camera. But also definitely don't let AA batteries stop you from buying a camera as well, which I've seen a lot of. Personally, I prefer them, but it is preference.
QuoteQuote:

If I overstated the advantages of the proprietary battery these days, I accept correction. But my point remains: don't worry too much about the type of batteries being used when you buy a new camera.

Will



Last edited by Eruditass; 08-21-2009 at 10:33 PM.
08-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #69
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What makes Pentax special isn't their camera bodies, it's their lenses. So I would put my money into those. If you don't agree with this point, then there may not be much point in buying Pentax at all.

As for bodies, if you must have water-sealing then the K20d is the obviously choice at mid-range prices. If not, then the k-m/K2000 is an excellent camera, well built, very portable and a super offering at its price point. Personally I've found AA batteries more not less convenient than the normal proprietary ones. A couple of sets of rechargeables like Sanyo Eneloops keep costs right down.

If it is of any help, my strategy has been a k-m body and more money for lenses. When Pentax bring out a new mid-range or lower-end body I'll probably upgrade to it. Or I'll wait for 6-12 months by which time the K7 will have come down in price and second-hand examples will be available. In the meantime, a small collection of lenses rather than just the one because all the money went on a camera body is giving me lots of pleasure and the chance to learn new skills.
08-21-2009, 10:29 AM   #70
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Vote for the k20d-7 thoughts

I've owned my first DSLR (the k20d) for about three weeks. Thoughts...

1-It's not that it's so heavy when you pick it up, it's that it gradually gets heavier the longer you hold it.
2-The third party m42/k adapters may (mine did!) get stuck on the camera and call for a trip to the LCS. Buy Pentax adapters only or take the spring out.
3-If you aren't sure what settings to use, click over to green mode to get a general idea of where to start. i.e., if the camera suggests 1500@f11 then 2000@f4 may not be your best setting for that picture.
4-Dawn and dusk are truly the magic hours for outdoor photography, many shots taken in full sun would be better in different light.
5-Read the manual, read the Magic Lantern guide, go to the beginners forums and ask many questions.
6-This (in my opinion) is a semi-professional camera. It will take time to learn how to use it correctly. I know that a skilled photographer will take better pictures than I will at this time. That will change as I put time into it.
7-Overall, even though I find it intimidating at times, I am very satisfied and I'm glad I went with the k20d.

f.y.i.- I bought it through Amazon for $701.00 with a kit lens and an extended two year warranty.
08-21-2009, 09:52 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
"You could be wrong about what you think you require".
As a principle, I try not to judge the abilities of others to think clearly for themselves.

I used both types of batteries extensively, and to *me*, the pros and cons of AA vs Li-Ion are about even. It all boils down to personal preference.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
The ONLY advantage of AA compatibility is that, if you unexpectedly run out of battery power, you could in theory run to the store and buy some extras and keep shooting.
This is just plain INCORRECT to state it as the ONLY reason - it probably is the only reason TO YOU. There are plenty of reasons to choose Li-Ion over AA, and just as plenty of reasons to choose AA over Li-Ion. I'm not going to elaborate here.

As for "don't let the type of battery dictate what camera you buy" - I asked "if you *must* use AA batteries". I think I made my point very clear. Different people have different priorities, and *IF* using AA batteries happens to be at the top of the priorities for this particular person (hence the word "must"). It can and will trump the comparatively minor differences between a K20D and the other bodies.

I also try not to impose my priorities on others, especially when the poster already seems to know what he's looking at.

Last edited by wolfier; 08-21-2009 at 10:04 PM.
08-22-2009, 08:04 AM   #72
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I vote for the K200D. Cheaper than K20D. Learn how to shoot a DSLR with less money, then when you know what you want you can upgrade. The extra $200 would allow the purchase of a better lens or other "stuff".

Eneloops make the battery problems go away. They work great in a K200 - I know! When you move to a K7 or whatever, The eneloops are still useful for flash.

The K200D has scene modes, that can be useful for a newbie. Both the K200 and the K20 are weather sealed, and both have battery grips available, that is a wash.

The K200D can take great pictures. Check the photo posts here and see.

After you have learned DSLRs and you want to upgrade, you will be able to sell the K200 here or fleabay and get most of you money back.
08-22-2009, 10:21 AM   #73
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Though I wouldn't advise to buy a camera based on its resale value.
It'd be more worthwhile just getting the camera you want to get the most out of your photographic experience. If that means getting the K20D, then by all means get it.

Scene modes are overrated, but each of the cameras can take great pictures - it'll be more dependent on the photographer and the lenses put on the cameras than the cameras themselves.
08-23-2009, 08:55 PM   #74
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Without the selection of scene modes, the K20 will be a steeper learning curve, but it is an EXCELLENT camera. The K200 is also excellent and the technology is a bit more mature. Tested in previous models is what I mean by that. The K200 also has more user friendly features in the scene & picture modes that help you set up for some good photography.

Don't bother with the Nikon. I made a comparison with a friend & his shiney new D60, both in auto settings with his D-lighting and my K200 with D-range. He's returning it for a Pentax. I'll post a comparison screenshot.





I was actually quite surprised with the results. For all the hype surrounding Nikon & the D60, I expected it to edge the Pentax in almost every category. When it came to looking at the result, the K200 with kit lens won EVERY time - except possibly the flower/macro shot.

Last edited by TourDeForce; 08-23-2009 at 09:17 PM.
09-25-2009, 11:40 AM   #75
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I have decided on purchasing the K20D. It seems to be a better long-term solution for my needs. Thanks to everyone who gave freely in the opinion department. I was overwhelmed at the number of helpful responses. I can see I have joined the ranks of a passionate community of brand-loyal Pentax owners. I'm pumped.
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