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01-16-2010, 12:10 AM   #16
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I am also a beginner to DSLR's. I had the same debate and went K-7, though I'm sure the K-x is a great camera. I also travel for work. I chose the K-7 over the K-x due to the sealing, metal body and smaller frame size. Traveling on a regular basis (80% of the year) is tough on your equipment no matter how well you try to take care of it. (just watch TSA drop your laptop a few times while your getting a pat down). So ruggedness played heavily into my decision. I highly considered the k20d or a refurbished k10d for same reasons and solid reviews on this site. However, the higher continuous shooting rate of the k-7 made a difference to me.
I debated heavily on the "I'm a beginner and should start with a beginner camera" theory. After buying the k-7 I don't regret passing up the k-x. The manual and camera guides, while daunting at first, are understandable. After a few days the Menu options went from intimidating to fairly straight forward to navigate. Though it doesn't have as simple an auto mode as the k-x for various picture types, I am find the P mode great to use. I'm already finding the e-buttons convenient for quick shutter, f-stop and ev adjustment that are not on the k-x.
Also, if you fly alot, that gives you time to read up on using a DSLR's and photography in general.
Though not rich, I had a higher budget. I got mine with kit lens for $1300. As the experienced people here will tell you, you may not want to blow your budget on a camera if you then can't afford lenses later. The k10d and k20d I also believe are weather sealed and refurbished ones can be found.

01-16-2010, 11:55 AM   #17
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Thank you guys for the help!

Hmm do you think that it would be smarter to get a cheaper camera body so that you can get more lenses or is it worth it to spend so much money on the k-7?
01-16-2010, 12:23 PM   #18
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Again Marie that would depend on you and whether you'd find value in weather sealing, solid construction and advanced features and customisation to grow in and expand your photographic horizons. As said before, you're not about to outgrow the K-x anytime soon, but you may find the K-7's versatility handy.

Having said this, considering price is a concern to you, the K20D makes a very handsome option to you, also being weather sealed and with most of the advanced features of the K-7, together with excellent user customisation and versatility. Those front and rear e-dials are in themselves worth the extra dollars to have all parts of the exposure triad at your fingertips.

The K20D (if you can find one) is only a few dollars more than the K-x but with just about everything you can ask for (other than video and true HDR effects).

Lenses are important, and you can build on them with time, but start with the right body for you and the basic kit lenses for starters. They are usually offered in the bundle you get with the camera.
01-16-2010, 12:40 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
Thank you guys for the help!

Hmm do you think that it would be smarter to get a cheaper camera body so that you can get more lenses or is it worth it to spend so much money on the k-7?
Lenses are always a better investment than DSLR camera bodies.
As i mentioned earlier, if you can afford the K7 and the lenses you want, then the K7 is a good camera. If getting the K-x will allow you to pick up a nice lens or two, then the K-x would be the better camera to start with.
One of the problems with threads like this is that it is always hard to know whether or not a person is on a budget.
What you have to spend, and what you want to buy have to mesh somehow, and sometimes compromises need to be made in that regard.

01-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #20
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Marie
The comments on lenses are very pertinent indeed. Do you know already what lenses your want to buy ? Will you get the Pentax kit lenses WR ? Of you do you have already made a choice ?

In my case, I was not (and still am not) interested by the kit lenses. I need a walk-around (all-rounder) zoom like a 18-250mm, and a low-light lens. I bought a Pentax DA18-150mm: an excellent super zoom. Its only disadvantage (in my opinion) is the lack of WR, but there is no WR walk-around lense at present on the market. The Pentax 18-250mm is a rebranded Tamron 18-250mm. Both are excellent and I encourage you to read the recent thread in Pentaxforums.com Pentac DSLR Lens section on the 18-250mm by a very experienced and renown photographer. Very interesting and enlightening fro anyone including new dSLR users. My other lens is a robust, sturdy Nokton 58mm f1.4. An excellent prime lens with beautiful image quality, perfect for indoor and outdoor low-light (and not so low-light) conditions. Both 18-250mm and Nokton 58mm are about US$350/380: not cheap but reasonably priced in view of their respective qualities

In this way, I have an all-rounder lens that I can carry on the camera all the time in a small top-loader bag, and a prime (fast lens) for evening and early mornings.

With my specific needs for these two lenses, the budget difference between the K-7 and K-x (incl. lenses) was relatively small, and the selection of the K-7 was an easy one considering its advantanges (viewfinder, WR, continuous shooting, processing options, ...).

Hope that it will help.

Last edited by hcc; 01-16-2010 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Typos
01-17-2010, 01:40 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If getting the K-x will allow you to pick up a nice lens or two, then the K-x would be the better camera to start with.
While I agree with you in general that lenses are more important than the camera, your above advice works on the premise that a camera body is more or less dispensable and to be replaced regularly. I think in the case of the OP -- and for many other amateurs -- the idea is to get a body and keep it for a long, long time.

The problem with cameras like the K-x is that even if you think now it has all you need, when becoming more advanced in your shooting, you may notice that there is a reason some higher-speced models like the K-7 have some extra buttons, displays, indicators, and features. Given the thoroughness you displayed in your research, I don't think you're in the market for an entry-level model that is designed to outgrow it. Having said that, some people are completely fine with the limitations of a K-x and even people with "bigger" cameras get it in addition to their more advanced gear for its small form factor and great low-light capabilities.

But I'd think twice if I wanted to limit myself to some of the restrictions imposed by the K-x as opposed to the K-7.

QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
Hmm do you think that it would be smarter to get a cheaper camera body so that you can get more lenses or is it worth it to spend so much money on the k-7?
If you have the funds for the K-7, I'd say go for it. It is more responsive than the K20D and has quite an array of little but useful extras. If you think that what the K20D offers is all you'll ever need then why not? Note that it is a bigger camera and does not feature video (there is a fast burst mode which you could use for faking video, but I don't think that's what you are after). If you like the size of the K-7, you may not like the size of the K20D.

You don't need a lot of lenses to make great images and hopefully your interest in photography will be long-lasting so that you can slowly but steadily built up a set of lenses. You can go a long way with the kit lens and one additional fast prime (fixed focal lens with a wide maximum aperture opening). Have a look at the FA 50/1.4, I recommended in your welcome thread. A camera like the K20D or K-7 will allow you to build up your set of lenses longer without changing the camera body as well.

Final remark: If you really want to save money on the body, try to find a good used one. I'd rather do that than pay a new price on a model that I may find I want to replace in the future. If you replace a used body, at least you won't lose as much money in the process.

Last edited by Class A; 01-17-2010 at 01:54 PM.
01-17-2010, 02:01 PM   #22
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Get the camera and build the lens kit for it

QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
Thank you guys for the help!

Hmm do you think that it would be smarter to get a cheaper camera body so that you can get more lenses or is it worth it to spend so much money on the k-7?
Lenses are forever and the bodies can be easily replaced with the next best thing. That said, all K mount lenses will work with the K7 in one way or another. Some require you to manual focus and meter your shot. Once you learn to use the K7 you'll have a better understanding of what your lens need really is. I would suggest to get you started you go for something like the K7, 18-55 WR kit lens and a DA 55-300. There won't be too much you cannot capture with that type of outfit. If you later decide to purchase more lenses, you'll have a better understanding of what suits your specific style.

Keep in mind that if you really intend to use the camera to it's potential, practice makes perfect. There IS a learning curve, even if you're stepping from another Pentax model.

One more thing.. Not to open this particular can of worms but the K7 does not take AA batteries unless you buy the grip. Grab yourself a couple aftermarket spares and a small wall charger for your travels and general use.

Enjoy your new camera



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01-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
While I agree with you in general that lenses are more important than the camera, your above advice works on the premise that a camera body is more or less dispensable and to be replaced regularly. I think in the case of the OP -- and for many other amateurs -- the idea is to get a body and keep it for a long, long time.
To a great extent, cameras are a disposable commodity these days, but that wasn't my reasoning behind that post.
To a great extent, the camera body no longer really matters a whit.
They are all good, and they are all good enough for most of what anyone wants to do with them.
Some are better than others to be sure, but the bar is set very high at the moment, so even the lesser cameras are very good.

With this in mind, the Kx is a very adequate body. I'd take it if I was budget constrained enough that it came down to buying another lens or two if I bought it instead of the K7.

01-17-2010, 09:04 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
First, I travel a lot so I definitely wanted to get a camera that took great quality images but also something I could get creative with to take some artistic shots.
Both the K7 and K-x take great quality images. If you printed images from both cameras at 8 x 10 and asked someone to guess which camera took which photo, they'd fail.

QuoteQuote:
Second, I want a camera that is very durable where the weather/location would not become an issue to take pictures with.
Yes, the K7 is more durable, but the K-x as well as most modern dSLRs are pretty sturdy. I had a plastic, non-weather sealed Nikon D70 and I subject it to -40 degree weather, tropical floods, and hundreds of miles of motorcycle travel and it never failed me. Unless you plan on getting really wet and/or really cold, the K-x should be fine.

QuoteQuote:
Third, I wanted to find a camera that could easily switch to a video mode so that I wouldn't have to lug around a big video camera.
Both cameras do this. The resulting files are big, so plan on having a way to store them, like a netbook.

QuoteQuote:
Fourth, I did not want a big bulky camera that would be a pain in the butt to drag around with me on my travels.
The K7 is small, but the K-x is smaller. The K-x takes AA batteries, which may be a benefit if you find yourself in faraway places.

QuoteQuote:
Fifth, I need a camera that will last me a while. I do not want to buy a camera that I will outgrow in a short period of time.
I've been taking photos for 20+ years. I love the K-x, and I suspect that a lot of experienced photographers feel the same. You will only outgrow it if your needs change, i.e., you progress into a specific genre of photography that the K-x may not be best for, i.e., sports or extreme outdoor. But since you are starting, by the time you get there, there will be other choices in the market.

QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
Hmm do you think that it would be smarter to get a cheaper camera body so that you can get more lenses or is it worth it to spend so much money on the k-7?
In a word, probably. For the same price as the K7 plus kit lens you can get the K-x plus 2 kit lenses, plus another lens like a fast prime (single focal length), macro, or ultra wide angle, plus a small flash, a little travel tripod, a netbook and maybe even a bag.

Hope this helps.
01-18-2010, 05:19 AM   #25
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It sounds to me like the OP wants several things in a camera a) weather sealing b) video and c) small size. The only camera on the market today, from any company that fits this build is the K7. With that being true, I would recommend it and the 2 WR lenses (kit, 50-200). It is true that lenses are a better "investment," but that is only true if you are planning to sell your gear in a year or two and buy more. If you use your camera body for several years, then this reasoning isn't applicable.

As far as whether the K7 is "too much camera" for a beginner. The answer is definitely no. You certainly can begin shooting in green mode, but as you learn, you will want to learn the other modes such as Av, Tv, and even Manual. The beautiful thing about Pentax is that with the green button, all of these modes begin easier, because the camera will help you by giving its best guess at the correct settings.

One last word: if you don't have lenses right now and aren't used to shooting an SLR, I wouldn't advise going out and buying a lot of lenses now anyway. Who knows what focal length you would want, or if you would want a dedicated macro? Shoot for awhile with the kit and see what you like and where you feel impeded and then decide where to go from there. Some folks around here are only happy when they are buying lenses, but if you are new, it is better to wait and see what fits you best.
01-18-2010, 06:19 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
One last word: if you don't have lenses right now and aren't used to shooting an SLR, I wouldn't advise going out and buying a lot of lenses now anyway. Who knows what focal length you would want, or if you would want a dedicated macro? Shoot for awhile with the kit and see what you like and where you feel impeded and then decide where to go from there. Some folks around here are only happy when they are buying lenses, but if you are new, it is better to wait and see what fits you best.
It's also wise not to blow ones entire wad on the off chance that they might want a lens or two in the near future. Some people's wells fill slower than others, so it's good to look at what you can afford, and what you might want to afford.
Buying a K7 tomorrow and deciding in 6 months that you really wish you'd bought a K-x because you want a macro lens but can not afford it because you blew the budget on the body might not be very happy making.
01-18-2010, 07:49 AM   #27
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I don't disagree, however there are a lot of people who are very satisfied with the kit lens and never go any further. I guess the real question is how important weather sealing is. If it isn't really important than the kx is an adaquate option. If it is the K7 with a sealed kit for about 950 (after rebate) is a pretty good deal.
01-18-2010, 10:18 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
I've spent endless hours researching cameras and i've finally come up with the camera that fits my needs the most, Pentax k-7. Now I am pretty much a beginner with DSLR cameras which i'm afraid might be a problem with buying the k-7. Is this camera too advanced for a beginner to learn on and if it is would any of the other Pentax camera's be better for a beginner?

Marie,

This is such a frequently-asked question that it ought to be a sticky.

The simple answer to your question is NO, the K-7 (or K20D, or the Nikon D90 or whatever you like) is NOT "too advanced for a beginner."

A camera is simply a tool for taking photos. This is true of every camera, from the cheapest point and shoot to the most expensive full-frame digital SLR or the even more expensive, bigger format cameras. And all of these tools work pretty much the same way. At the low end of the price spectrum, when you pay more money, you may get a better tool, that is, a tool that actually takes better photos. But at some point - somewhere around the point where you enter the digital SLR market - paying more money doesn't really get you a tool that takes better pictures, rather, it gets you a tool that takes pictures better.

The least expensive Pentax DSLR can take GREAT photos with image quality that is superior to what was regarded as very high end just a couple of years ago. So why do people pay more money for "higher" models? For a couple of reasons. More expensive bodies may have a few features that, while not really "advanced," simply aren't required by the majority of photographers. Most photographers for example don't care about shooting in VERY low light, so they don't need top-quality performance at high ISO. But there's nothing "advanced" about better high ISO performance. It simply adds to the cost of the sensor and therefore to the cost of the camera and most photographers don't need it. More expensive camera bodies tend to be better built - designed for taking more abuse while taking more photos, and perhaps with weather sealing (like the K-7 has).

There are a few main differences between the less expensive and the more expensive cameras in the Pentax line.

- The less expensive cameras have one e-dial, while the more expensive (like the K-7) have two. Having two e-dials MAKES THINGS MUCH EASIER for you, because you use one for adjusting aperture and the other for adjusting shutter, while with the less expensive cameras, you have to hold down a modifier PLUS turn the e-dial to get the second function. I hate shooting on a camera with one e-dial.

- The less expensive cameras have "scene modes", while the more expensive cameras (usually) do not. The scene modes appear on the mode dial with icons, for example, an icon of a flower is supposed to be the mode you would use to take a picture of a flower. I think the scene modes are a total waste of space on the camera and a terrible thing for anybody to ever bother with. If you're going to spend the money for a DSLR you might as well learn how to put it into P mode at least - and then go from there.

- The more expensive bodies are better built. This doesn't make them harder to use!


So if you're deciding on a body, don't talk yourself out of a better body because somebody gave you the idea that it will be "too much" for a beginner or too hard to use. That's just not true - no matter how many people think otherwise.

Does that mean you should buy the most expensive camera you can afford? Of course not. You don't have to care about the advantages of the more expensive bodies. You may not need them. And you want to save money for lenses and other accessories.

Good luck,

Will
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