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09-22-2009, 12:49 PM   #1
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DSLR purchase advice

i think i am set on getting a pentax.
the current contenders are the k-7 or waiting for the k-x.....or going with the nikon d90.
any advice or wisdom welcome.


Last edited by klim; 09-22-2009 at 01:11 PM.
09-22-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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K20d

I just bought a K20D.. i was orginally looking at the Nikon D90... but listening to the reviews and doing my own research i bought the K20 instead. The K20 is close to the D90 in IQ. Its a bit overwhelming but it does have a bit of a learning curve and thats what i wanted..to learn. I mean no camera has everything unless u wanna buy a 3000$ Hasselbad or something like that . And the K20 is a bit cheaper than the D90. And so are the lenses. Just because its not the ever popular Nikon or Cannon doesnt mean its second rate... Pentax has been around a long time . Im very happy with my purchase. Just my 2 cents worth
09-22-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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Eventhough the specs may seem similar, the K7 and K-X are very different camera bodies. A lot of info can be had by searching and reading the forum. In my opinion, if you're trying to decide between the two as your only (or main DSLR), buy the K-X. Don't forget you are going to need lenses, a flash or two, etc.

As a beginner, the K-X could keep you overwhelmed for some time. Heck, part of my income is from photography and I haven't found a need to buy a K7 yet. I may want one, but that's another story.
09-22-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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i'd add to what jjweave and joeyc said.
if you were initially thinking about D90 and K20D, forget the K-x, its not in the same league. get a K20D. its a great camera and now available at a great price. or if you can spare $500 more, go for K7. i bought a K20D about a month ago and am verry happy with it.

09-22-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Hi Klim,
Welcome.
As above, the K20D, K-7 and D90 are all decent choices. I personally would go with a K-7 even over the D90 but I guess I'm biased towards Pentax's user interface, build quality and array of features that are easy and intuitive to access.
09-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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I just purchased a K20D after almost buying the D90. Couldn't be happier with my decision. I got the body and a high-end lens for $500 less than the D90 and a lower-end lens.
09-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by klim Quote
i think i am set on getting a pentax.
the current contenders are the k-7 or waiting for the k-x.....or going with the nikon d90.
Others have suggested the K20D but notice that it hasn't got any video capabilities if you are after that. Also, if you have the funds for a K-7, I'd go for it. Compared to the K20D, the AF has been considerably improved and there are very nice new features like an extended auto white balance, electronic spirit level with optional auto correction, etc.

In comparison to the D90, the K-7 is weather resistant and offers the possibility to use some old bargain lenses which are nevertheless optically top notch. Due to the built-in image stabilisation, even buying modern lenses should be more affordable with a Pentax. Some lenses are simply not available as image-stabilised Nikon versions, like a pendent to the very affordable but optically excellent "nifty-fifty" Pentax FA 50/1.4.

Even if I didn't have an array of Pentax mount lenses already, I'd chose Pentax (the K-7) again. I like the Pentax colours and the way the cameras handle noise (unlike Canon/Nikon noise isn't fully suppressed in-camera, which retains more details and leaves it to you how much noise reduction you want to apply in post-processing).

I've heard that the Nikon flash system is unsurpassed and if you are into birding Nikon/Canon may offer you more options regarding extreme telephoto lenses.

Your choice mainly depends on what you will try to do with a camera, so if you already have plans it would be worth sharing them so that we can give you more detailed advice.

Last edited by Class A; 09-22-2009 at 03:13 PM.
09-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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Original Poster
thank you!

thank you everyone, for all the advice!!

yes, to share a bit of my thought process...(i suppose i really should have done this initially):

this will be my first dslr, and i want to grow with it.
also, simultaneously with my purchase, i will be taking a intro photo class this semester.

i really like the color of pantex, the user interface, and the possibility of using old lenses; as i also would like a film slr along the way.

if k7 were a bit cheaper, it would be easier.
as for the k20D, there are a few capture modes on k7 and k-x have that the k20D doesn't (such as the toy camera and fish eye) that i am being greedy of, although perhaps a bit amateurish of a concern and also understanding that the effects can be achieved with software.

i agree that perhaps even the k-x would keep me quite occupied for awhile, but another issue there is that my classes start this week, and while i may be able to hold off on my purchase for little while, the availability of k-x is noted as 'october', and if that turns into late october, i would waste quite a bit of my class?

which may not be the best reasons to put a strain on my pocket with the k7 if i am never going to be able to appreciate all its functions, but hopeful of that not being the case, k7 still remains in the list.

the d90 was a consideration because of the price vs. k7, but yes, i understand now that i can go for the k20D instead...

clearly, i am thinking in circles.


Last edited by klim; 09-22-2009 at 03:48 PM.
09-22-2009, 03:53 PM   #9
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You're thinking clearly - there are just lots of choices out there.
To me, the camera is an investment both in the joy of taking photos as well as the results thereafter.
The joy will be most enhanced with the K-7, but also with the D90 (quite a responsive camera), but results will be the same or better with the K-7 and K20D.
No video for the K20D, but not something that the K-7 will set a standard in for very long (video will continue to evolve).

You will grow quite well into the K20D/K-7, and you needn't necessarily have to use all the functions for you to appreciate the value of the camera. It is something you will care for and use extensively and for years to come, so to me the added cost of a K-7 should not be the biggest concern.

To me, you ought to decide which between the K20D and K-7 you would find more fulfilling to use, with the faster AF and sleeker body design of the K-7.

All the best in that!
09-22-2009, 03:54 PM   #10
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you should really hold them all to see what you feel more comfortable with.

If you don't care about video, get the k20d. Plus you get weather sealing over the k-x.

When it comes down to imaging, look at the lenses. You may want a d90, but when you compare apples to apples lenses (nikkor vs. pentax), you'll save a ton of money for equal (if not superior) image quality.
09-23-2009, 01:54 AM   #11
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From your elaboration, I believe that a Pentax would be the better choice for you.

QuoteOriginally posted by klim Quote
as for the k20D, there are a few capture modes on k7 and k-x have that the k20D doesn't (such as the toy camera and fish eye) that i am being greedy of, although perhaps a bit amateurish of a concern and also understanding that the effects can be achieved with software.
You are right, that's not a good reason to go for a K-7 rather than for a K20D. It is very likely that you'll do some post processing with software anyhow and you'll soon grow out of using in-camera "filters".

If you don't want the K-7's smaller size, video capabilities, better AF, and some useful extras like the electronic level function, lens correction, etc. then the K20D is the camera for you. It's image quality is equal to that of the K-7.

You could use the K20D (possibly even a second hand one) to build up a lens collection and then switch to the K-7 or a later model once they have become more affordable.
09-23-2009, 07:43 AM   #12
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Good Morning, Out of all of the choices, I too think that you will be very happy with a Pentax - the overriding question is which one. There is a lot to learn about photography, and the KM/2000 is excellent. This is being replaced by the KX which will be out in a few weeks - sounds like that you might not be able to wait that long.

Quite frankly, I would go with the K20 for a number of reasons. Its cheaper and with the difference in money, you will be able to afford lenses (without lenses, a dSLR is worthless). The K7 is nice an overall improvement, but the K20 at around $600 for the body leaves at least $600 for lenses. The K20 is such a deal (considering the functionality), that it is difficult to pass by. I also think that the 3 year warranty extension offer is still available (I do not remember off the top of my head).

The K20 - 6 months ago was Pentax's top of the line body. There is very little you will be left wanting. The KM is less, and the capture modes such as the toy camera and fish eye, you may use once, but probably not a second time - especially after your photography class.

I had a K100 for the last 4 years (forerunner of the KM and KX) and it was a wonderful learning platform. Since you are going to a photography class, the two wheels of the K20 will help, you will be able to make use of the more advanced functionality in no time.

Lenses - take the kit lens - 18-55 and either the 50-200 or the 55-300. The 18-55 and the 55-300 would be my choices. I have them both and you will not be disappointed. You can pick up a manual 50mm f2 for about $20 off of ebay. You should be set for the class.

If you like and stay with photography, the K7 is an improvement, but I am going to wait for its replacement to get a larger jump in improvement. In the mean time, invest in lenses - which lasts much longer than depreciating electronics (camera bodies).


Last edited by interested_observer; 09-23-2009 at 07:48 AM.
09-23-2009, 08:04 AM   #13
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All these responses....

And I am not sure one person even asked what you were going to shoot...

I have a K100d and K20d... I truly have enjoyed them both...

If you have kids or plan on shooting sports the K7 or Nikon D90 would be the way I would head. The K-x may have the faster AF like the K7 but no one knows for sure yet.

If you are going to be doing a lot of bounced flash shooting indoors, then I would opt for the D90. The nikon flash system is hands down more accurate from my experience.

If fast moving kids and Action shooting are not of primary concern to you. I would choose the K20 over the the K7 and put the extra $600 bucks into lens/flash options.

The K20 is an great camera for a ridiculous price right now...

good luck and P.S. we have all thought in those same circles... It is a tough choice!!!
09-23-2009, 09:34 AM   #14
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I was, three months ago, in the same boat. I chose pentax (also over the D90). Specifically I chose the K20D even though I knew the new flagship model was on its way. The K20D was (and is) alot of DSLR for the money. As recomended above, spending the savings on lenses was what I did, and I am glad I did. In a few years when I (may) outgrow the K20D I will look into a K7 (of K9, or whatever).

In reference to the post immediately above, I am not contradicting, just offering my observations. Most of my shots are of my kids, and they are very energetic. I generally do not find myself missing shots, especially now that I have become familiar with the K20D. Of course I spent the savings I mentioned above on a couple fast lenses, the DA43/1.9 limited, and the FA50/1.4. I use these lenses almost exsclusively when doing indoor shots, and quite often outside kid shots too. So I am shure the faster lenses help "capture the moment." I bought the body only. I don't have the kit lens. Also, I don't break it out much, but I have had no problems with the external flash, other than user error. It has worked fine for me. I have had not problem with photographing my always moving kids, or with external flash shots. That being said, maybe I just do not know what I am missing.

BTW, I personally consider the money spent on my DA43 and DA 50 to have a much greater positive effect on my photography than the step up to the K7 from the K20D would. And I am very happy I went with the K20D over the D90.
09-23-2009, 09:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
If you are going to be doing a lot of bounced flash shooting indoors, then I would opt for the D90. The nikon flash system is hands down more accurate from my experience.
Hi, Gus, I am not trying to contradict this... just want to learn more about it. I have been successful (and happy) with P-TTL in A mode and M mode to get shots balanced with ambient and flash light. Is there any officially documented deficiency (with samples) of P-TTL vs Nikon's TTL? Most people (including Nikon users) I know don't get it right (overexposed problem) are usually due to user error or lack of knowledge on how to use flash as far as I am aware of. Be great if you can enlighten me, thanks.
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