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09-01-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Looking at buying a new Pentax DSLR

Hello everyone I'm new here.

I would like some advice about which Pentax DSLR I should buy.
First of all I had a new Nikon D60 two lens kit for the past 6 months or so and I just sold it. I did enjoy using it but I wished that it had live view at times and I wished it would allow me to tweak some of the other settings in the camera. Also it looks like Nikon has stopped production of the D60. Before I bought my Nikon I was really wanting to get a Pentax K200D but I could not find one locally. I really liked the weather sealed body and the in camera RAW processing and other features the K200D has. I also think Pentax has the very good optics. To me from what I have seen in the reviews all over the internet the Pentax and the Nikons take the best photos. (I mean photos not edited in PS etc)
Also my father bought a new K1000 35mm and some lenses back in the day years ago. He has given me this K1000 and lenses they are all made in Japan and seem very well made.
Also my father has K110D DSLR that I have been using since I sold my Nikon. I really enjoy shooting with this K110D. I like the features that it allows me to make such as custom white balance, image adjustments and filters and others. I like the K110D more than my Nikon D60. Also I will say I don't care if the camera shoots video or not. I don't buy a still camera for shooting video I think this idea is really dumb but I know this is something that really sells.

So now this time I really want to buy a Pentax camera. I'm looking at the K2000/KM two lens kit. I can find the K2000 at some local stores but I think they have the older AL lenses not the new AL II. Also I'm thinking about the K20D body only and using the old Pentax lenses and the 18-55 mm that is on my dads K110D. Then buy new lenses as soon as I get an idea of what I want. Also I notice B&H has the K20D with some other Pentax lenses but that takes me up to near or above the $1000 price. I feel that if I'm going to spend that much maybe I should just go for the new K-7.

K2000 things I like.
I like the price
I like the smaller size of the camera
I like the newer Pentax menu system
And its one of the newer Pentax cameras
I like that it runs off of AA batteries

K2000 things I don't link
No live view (But I can live with out it)
CCD sensor I don't know how this camera will do in low light with out flash.
Build quality no weather sealing or alloy body all plastic.
Its the bottom of the line entry level DSLR I'm not sure how long it will be before wishing I bought the K20 or K7
I've read where AF light only lights up in the center. Does this mean you cant choose your own AF point?

K20D things I like
Live view
CMOS sensor
Build quality and weather sealing
Seems more like a pro camera
I like the in camera features and settings the user can set

K20D things I don't like
Out of production
The 14MP sensor and noise and hot pixels I don't know if this is a problem or not.
Also because of the sensor I might have to get the best lenses to really get the best from the sensor. I also don't really think I need 14MP sensor I'm happy with the 6.1 MP sensor on my dads K110D. I don't plan on making big photo prints.
The live view wile it does have it I which it could display shooting information, A live histogram etc but I guess you cant.
Slower AF I hear the K2000 and the K7 are faster.

K7 things I like
Fast AF
live view
Build quality and size
Pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage
The 3 inch nice LCD
Its a current model

K7 things I don't like
Video mode this really something I don't use and does me really no good.
I just hope that most of the price of the K7 is not just for its video recording.
The price is a little more than I want to spend at the moment but I could do it.
Also I worry this camera may be more that what I really need. I'm not a pro and I don't plan on buying $1000 plus lenses etc.
I dont think I need that big of sensor

I mostly just take photos of airplanes, landscapes, sunsets and sunrises, birds and other wildlife. Also I like to take night photos of city lights and Christmas lights at Christmas time.

I see that Sony and Canon announced new cameras. Dose Pentax have anything coming up? Should I wait and see of they bring out a updated K2000 or a new K30D or something?
Also I wish Pentax would market there cameras in the stores more. It would be really nice to be able to walk in some place and buy and K7 or K20. I get tired of going to local camera stores asking "Do you guys stock Pentax cameras?" Then about %50 of time I get this responce " Pentax hmmm I think there out of business or going out of business". And that brings me to my last thing here.
As bad as I want a Pentax camera I am a bit worried now as they only have the K2000 and K7 in production. And it seems they are cutting back on there marketing. I makes me wonder if the company is pulling back and is getting ready to sell or what. I hope this is not the case.


Thanks for any advice.

09-01-2009, 10:56 PM   #2
Ash
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Welcome to the forum.
A comprehensive personal treatise on your preferences.
You've done your homework well too.

Put simply, if you don't care much for video, the K-7 won't give you much more than extra frames per second & faster AF over the K20D - if those 2 things are worth the extra funds, go for the K-7.
It's unlikely that Pentax have something else up their sleeve given the recent release of the K-7.
The K-m is still a formidable competitor in the mix, despite the CCD sensor, which is actually quite good comparatively. But you're right, the AF points are quite light on, and aren't as slick as that of the K200D or K20D. The K200D is again a step up from the K-m, but doesn't have as refined an AF system, but makes up for it otherwise.

If you don't plan on investing big in lenses, Canon and Nikon are out, esp. if you want image stabilisation. Sony lenses don't seem to be cheap either, and Olympus could be another option, though some don't like its user interface.

If you want Pentax lenses, just go with the big guns that have stock just about all the time (B&H, Adorama, KEH, etc.) You're actually quite fortunate living in the US - lots of options for buying new and used lenses. I'm happy with Pentax but there is absolutely NO Pentax stock within over 150km from where I live. And the stock that's there in the state's capital city is VERY thin. I've resorted to those US vendors myself and have never been happier with their service.

If you do a search in this forum alone, there is no end to discussion about whether Pentax is dead or dying. I personally couldn't care less - I have my useful collection of glassware, and the way it's going there seems to be a GROWING supply of K-mount lenses, both new and used popping up around the place.

All the best in your decision.
09-01-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Viewfinder size: http://i29.tinypic.com/6yf4so.jpg
09-02-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
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I'm not sure if you have special needs that make live view a priority, but if you want it just because you're used to it from some P&S with a terrible or non-existent viewfinder, you should know that on even on DSLR's that have live view, it's really no substitute for the viewfinder most of the time. Sure, on a couple of rare occasions it might be nice to see the scene withut looking through, but given that virtually all DSLR live view implementations are awkward at best due to the mirror - the thing that makes the viewfinder posssible. Again, unless you have some sort of special needs (eg, a vision impairment that makes it impossible to use the viewfinder, or if a significant amount of your photogrpahy is done on a tripod that is it either too low to the gorund or too high above it for the viewfinder to work, you're really better off not making live view a determining factor. I'd rate it as even more of a gimmick than video.

As for high ISO performance, CMOS in't necessarily always better than CCD. It all depends on the specific camera. And really, while people argue back and forth all the time about which camera has better high ISO performance than which, we're really talking about *tiny* differences as they affect the real world. Which is to say, for viewing images full screen on a computer, or printing anything less than poster size, you probably couldn't reliably tell the difference between any of these models on the basis of noise.

And BTW, Pentax has pretty much always just has a couple of DSLR's in production. They are a smaller company, and always have been.

09-02-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replys.

I just ordered the K2000 with two lenses kit from Costco.
They show the K2000 coming with the new AL II lenses but I see from one of the Costco reviewers that he got the older AL lenses.

Also I went to a local camera store today and looked at the K2000 there. I liked the feel of the camera and the menu system seemed good. But they wanted $130more than Costco. So I came home and ordered it from Costco.


Now I guess I need to get some good batteries. I was looking at some Sanyo Eneloops at my local Costco store. They come with 8AA 2AAA and some C and D shells to load the AA's into and a charger. Would this be a good set of batteries to buy?
09-02-2009, 04:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
This may interest you too...
Viewfinder size: http://i29.tinypic.com/6yf4so.jpg
I second Octav's comment. The bigger viewfinder was a huge selling point for me on the K20. It sounds like youre trying to talk yourself in the the smaller camera though. That's not a bad thing. You can pick up a nice lens for the difference you'd spend on a higher priced camera.

And although I love my K20, I wouldn't even mention LiveView as a bullet point. it sucks. I dont care because i dont use it, and if i do, its just a gimmicky thing anyway....
09-02-2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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I think you'll be glad for the K2000. It is a sweet little camera. My brother has one and I enjoyed playing with it. Small size is nice and the auto focus is very nimble.

Every one says buy Eneloops, so I guess that is the way to go.

As far as I know, the k2000 kit comes with new version II, but with a plastic mount (the 'L' version), so you should be fine there. Have fun shooting!
09-02-2009, 07:28 PM   #8
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K2000 is not all plastic

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron720 Quote
Hello everyone I'm new here.

K2000 things I don't link

Build quality no weather sealing or alloy body all plastic.


Thanks for any advice.
According to Pentax USA's website the K2000 (K-M) construction is:

Body dimensions (W x H x D) - 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7; Body weight, without battery or removable memory - 18.5 oz, Loaded and ready - 20.8 oz (lithium); Construction material(s) - Fiber reinforced plastic polymer covers around a rugged stainless steel chassis; Operating temperature - 32-104 degrees F

So, its construction is similar to that of the K10D and K20D, a plastic skin over a stainless steel chassis. I have a K10D, and it feels like a tank in my hands.

The K7, on the other hand, has a magnesium allow body. No plastic skin.

As far as the 14 MP in the K20D being more than you need: perhaps you aren't planning on making wall-size prints, but the increased pixel count makes cropping easier. You can crop a small section and still end up with 6 or 8 MP. The same crop from the K110D that you mention would give you about 3 MP, which would make even an 8 x 10 a little iffy.

As for using AA batteries, some people love them. I have no real opinion, but I can say that the proprietary battery in my K10D has never been a problem for me. I have a spare that I keep charged and almost always carry with me. I routinely get 500-600 shots out of a single battery. I don't use the onboard flash very much, and I keep chimping to a minimum.

The only thing I don't like is that the battery charge indicator on the top LCD of the K10D is very inaccurate. It only has two positions: full charge and "Oh my god, where's my spare battery!?". When it shows half charge, its time to change. I've heard that the K20D is the same.

I've had Pentax cameras for years. I don't think you can go very far wrong with any of them.

09-02-2009, 10:08 PM   #9
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I use the Sanyo Eneloops

I've been using the Sanyo Eneloops on both my K110 and my K100 D Super. I love them and they seem to last forever. Never really kept track of how many pictures I can take with them, but it seems like it is over 400+ per charge.
09-04-2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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Eneloops are batteries?

Manufactured by the loup garou, maybe?
09-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #11
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Yeah, batteries. They are the best rechargeables I have ever had the pleasure to use, they make all the other brands of regular rechargeables look like 70's technology.

Anyways, just wanted to chime in and say that the K-m indeed won't let you select any AF point. It uses either all of them or the central one only.
09-04-2009, 01:18 PM   #12
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I was going to suggest you buy the body only and get a DA 16-45 lens, which I find much better in every way than the older 18-55 kit lens (gen1). With all the older manual lenses to play with you'll have a good time, I'm sure.

You'll have to let us know which older lenses you now have.
09-04-2009, 09:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
<snip>

The only thing I don't like is that the battery charge indicator on the top LCD of the K10D is very inaccurate. It only has two positions: full charge and "Oh my god, where's my spare battery!?". When it shows half charge, its time to change. I've heard that the K20D is the same.
<snip>
That has to do with the characteristics of the output of the type of battery used. They go and go and go and suddenly stop. The voltage (which drives the charge indicator) is extremely constant, then drops as if it fell off a cliff. Annoying, but with two batteries on line with my K10 and grip, set to use the grip battery first, I get a half charge warning when the first battery dies. The camera quits until I turn it off and on again to tell it to switch batteries. I got almost two weeks out of the two batteries on our last trip. Some idiot I have lived with all my life left the charger at home. Note the "almost".
09-05-2009, 03:23 AM   #14
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Don't worry about the build quality of the K2000, it's not weather-resistant but it's still more solid than competitiors' cameras that cost over $100 more. They use the same plastic that you'd find a walkman or a phone made from, whereas the Pentaxes use fiber-reinforced. It's only bottom of the line for Pentax, this still puts it a few steps about bottom of the line Sony or Nikon.

It sounds like you'll really like the K2000. If you have extra cash then spend it on lenses & upgrade the camera if you ever feel that it is limiting your photography, rather than experience or lenses.
09-06-2009, 08:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron720 Quote
Thanks for the replys.

I just ordered the K2000 with two lenses kit from Costco.
They show the K2000 coming with the new AL II lenses but I see from one of the Costco reviewers that he got the older AL lenses.

Also I went to a local camera store today and looked at the K2000 there. I liked the feel of the camera and the menu system seemed good. But they wanted $130more than Costco. So I came home and ordered it from Costco.


Now I guess I need to get some good batteries. I was looking at some Sanyo Eneloops at my local Costco store. They come with 8AA 2AAA and some C and D shells to load the AA's into and a charger. Would this be a good set of batteries to buy?
Batteries..........this thread will keep you entertained. :-)

vamx84

4-Pack Duracell Precharged Rechargeable Batteries (AA & AAA)- $6.45 YMMV - Forums
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