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04-27-2010, 09:41 AM   #1
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Just getting in, what body should I buy?

I have a Pentax 35mm SLR which is growing dust so I'm looking to move away from P&S and into the DSLR world. I'm glad I bought Pentax back then because my two lenses are still good. My question is where do I start. I have a limited budget for buying a body so I'm probably limited to used or refurbished.

I have been borrowing a friends *ist DL with just over 9000 pictures taken and it seems to work well. He has offered to sell it to me for $200. I also saw a refurbished K100D for $224 through Best Buy and am considering it for the shake reduction and just being slightly newer than the *ist in the technology realm. Is a refurb for that price worth the risk or would my friends *ist be a good purchase?

Ultimately I'd love to go bigger, but using better judgement (read, I don't like sleeping on the couch) I need to stay with the lower price to begin and then over time work my way up.

As far as what I'd like to shoot, I'm primarily interested in shots of my family but will happily shoot pictures of anything that is pleasing to the eye or memorable as long as I have the camera in tow.

04-27-2010, 09:51 AM   #2
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I've been told - and from personal experience I can verify - that photography is an expensive hobby. Buy as much camera as you can afford. I can't speak to the *ist but I know that it's still got a dedicated following. I have a k100ds which is a fine camera as well but I much prefer my k10/k20 to the k100. If you could get a referbished k10 that would be better yet. Although given the facts you present, I'd expect you should go for the referb'd k100 as it's more like the k10/k20/k7 series. Also there isn't that much price difference and SR is a useful tool.
04-27-2010, 10:08 AM   #3
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I would buy K200D,I have mine for 18 months, and love it,put on the extra grip makes handeling a little nicer, there is a lot of custom settings for anyone.:ugh:
04-27-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SLCMatt Quote
I have been borrowing a friends *ist DL with just over 9000 pictures taken and it seems to work well. He has offered to sell it to me for $200. I also saw a refurbished K100D for $224 through Best Buy and am considering it for the shake reduction and just being slightly newer than the *ist in the technology realm. Is a refurb for that price worth the risk or would my friends *ist be a good purchase?
I've never purchased a refurbished camera but not because i have any reason to worry about it. I would rather have the K100D than the *ist DL.


QuoteQuote:
As far as what I'd like to shoot, I'm primarily interested in shots of my family but will happily shoot pictures of anything that is pleasing to the eye or memorable as long as I have the camera in tow.
Keep in mind that you, as a consumer, have options now you didn't use to have. Used to be, you could buy the crummy little point and shoot cameras, or you buy a real SLR. Even if you never bought a second lens, and even if you never learned much about your SLR, the SLR probably took better photos than the Kodak pocket camera.

But things have changed. There are lots of crummy point and shoots, still, but these days there are also fixed-lens cameras that cost less than a DSLR but take really, really good photos. I've never used it so I don't speak from experience but the Canon PowerShot S90 seems to be a good one—and it costs less than $400 from Amazon right now.

I mention this because I don't think we serve ourselves well if we buy SLRs because we simply aren't aware of the alternatives. There are many good reasons to buy a DSLR, but five of the very best reasons are
  1. you plan to build a systems, spend money and buy more lenses; or
  2. you really really need to be able to get razor-thin depth of field (hard to do with a point and shoot); or
  3. you plan to get seriously into controlled lighting (flash etc); or
  4. you really want to get serious about photography and learn how to take control of what you're doing, in other words, you're as interested in the process as in the results; or finally,
  5. you are planning to go into pro photography and you realize that it won't inspire confidence in your client if you show up with a pocket camera.

These are solid reasons to buy a DSLR. But these reasons don't apply to everybody. Actually I don't think they apply to many people. If none of these reasons applies to you, I would suggest you give some real thought to buying a higher-end fixed-lens camera. You can get a helluva lot of camera these days for $400 or less.

Good luck.

Will

04-27-2010, 04:42 PM   #5
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The K100D is a fine camera. Make sure it has an updated firmware so that it can use SDHC cards.
I have the K100D super and am very satisfied with it. It has a better high ISO performance too.
Refurbished is fine and if you do a search on the forum for "refurbished" you will see discussions about it and how it might be better than the regular cameras.
04-28-2010, 02:48 AM   #6
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I have an *ist DS, very similar to the DL. I love it, but given the choice you have, I would go for the later model. If the warranty that comes with the K100 is good, go for it.
04-28-2010, 03:13 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum SLCMatt,

I'd have no reservations recommending both the *ist DL and K100D.
Both have a very good 6Mp sensor, and decent build quality.
As you've mentioned, the K100D's advance on the *ist DL with SR is a worthy upgrade for $24 difference. It does work, albeit not as well as that of the K200D or K10D, but it does increase your hand-holding capabilities significantly.

My ultimate suggestion to you in your budget, in the case of you wishing to pursue photography reasonably seriously, is the K10D. Only a few more dollars on top of what you'd pay for the K100D, it simply trumps the K100D in every aspect except perhaps high ISO capabilities. The K10D is good to use up to ISO 800 at least, but the K100D is usable up to ISO 1600 with adequate exposure.

Have a look at reviews of both of these cameras for more details, but when all is said and done, I prefer the K10D for growing into the vocation and being a more positive investment into the hobby. I've owned both and found them both very capable, but appreciate the advanced features and speed of the K10D more - and in terms of value for money, the K10D's the way to go.
04-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Welcome to the forum SLCMatt,

I'd have no reservations recommending both the *ist DL and K100D.
Both have a very good 6Mp sensor, and decent build quality.
As you've mentioned, the K100D's advance on the *ist DL with SR is a worthy upgrade for $24 difference. It does work, albeit not as well as that of the K200D or K10D, but it does increase your hand-holding capabilities significantly.

My ultimate suggestion to you in your budget, in the case of you wishing to pursue photography reasonably seriously, is the K10D. Only a few more dollars on top of what you'd pay for the K100D, it simply trumps the K100D in every aspect except perhaps high ISO capabilities. The K10D is good to use up to ISO 800 at least, but the K100D is usable up to ISO 1600 with adequate exposure.

Have a look at reviews of both of these cameras for more details, but when all is said and done, I prefer the K10D for growing into the vocation and being a more positive investment into the hobby. I've owned both and found them both very capable, but appreciate the advanced features and speed of the K10D more - and in terms of value for money, the K10D's the way to go.
So is the K10d. True that if you're going to take a picture of black on black in a dimly lit room, the K10d is quite noisy at ISO 1600. However, if you remember that the operative component of photo-graphy is Light, The K10d is a very worthy and capable camera. The K10d also allows you to turn off the Dark Frame Subtraction (don't know if the others do or not) which you may find useful in long exposures.



04-28-2010, 09:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SLCMatt Quote
I have been borrowing a friends *ist DL with just over 9000 pictures taken and it seems to work well. He has offered to sell it to me for $200.
That seems a bit steep to me, I wouldn't go over 150 for that, still very capable camera.

QuoteQuote:
I also saw a refurbished K100D for $224 through Best Buy and am considering it for the shake reduction and just being slightly newer than the *ist in the technology realm. Is a refurb for that price worth the risk or would my friends *ist be a good purchase?
The SR alone is more than worth the 24 bucks.

QuoteQuote:
Ultimately I'd love to go bigger, but using better judgement (read, I don't like sleeping on the couch) I need to stay with the lower price to begin and then over time work my way up.
Haha! I hear you! I went from the K110D to the K20D through the K100D-Super in about 4 years by convincing my wife that I could sell the old body and by adding just a little money, make so much better pictures of the kids she would be foolish not to say "Fine!". That way, I stayed off the couch permanently.

No doubt it would have been the garden shed for me were I to have suggested "Dear, I'm going to buy an $800 camera because those guys at the forum say it is so good" right from the start.

QuoteQuote:
As far as what I'd like to shoot, I'm primarily interested in shots of my family but will happily shoot pictures of anything that is pleasing to the eye or memorable as long as I have the camera in tow.
The K100D will serve you fine and it's 6Mp sensor has very decent high-ISO performance.
04-28-2010, 08:32 PM   #10
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The K100D kind of looks like the *ist DL on paper - a lot of the same parts and specs. The SR feature makes it a lot better. That feature is the one that keeps me thinking about upgrading; the rest is just nice.

One thing not mentioned yet is that you should get a DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 along with your new camera if possible. Since your old lenses were used on film, they are very unlikely to cover the wide angle end of the range as well and cheaply as the DA 18-55. It might tack on $50 to the price, but it's worth it.
04-30-2010, 10:57 AM   #11
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Update

Thank you all for your feedback. The amount of information and good prices on other cameras, including here in the forum made it even more difficult to decide. In the end, I went with the K100D from Best Buy. Here's hoping the refurb experience goes well.

I must say I'm excited to have finally decided and now I have to wait for the shipping process. Between now and then I'll keep reading on the forum and learning a little bit better on how to use the camera.

Thanks again!
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