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07-02-2010, 05:55 AM   #1
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Just buy older body and focus on lenses?

The more I read, the more I realize that the lenses it where it's at, particularly because most of my shots will be fast moving objects (kids/pets) in low light (indoors). I'm unlikely to get fancy with features. I just want the camera to delivery crisp sharp images and to work quickly - the rest will be about composition.

What would I be missing out on if I went "backwards" to the K100D, K10D or even the *istD models for my DSLR body and then focused on getting a fast lense or two? Would I even be saving much by going with an older body (I'm just assuming the prices are lower, maybe that's an inaccurate assumption?)

07-02-2010, 06:23 AM   #2
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How much cheaper do you want to/ need to go?

The price of a K-x body new, or even a K-x body/lens kits, isn't going to be much more than buying an old K100D or K10D. And you get more megapixels, better IQ etc out of the body, which helps improve your pix as much as good glass does.

And as any sports photographer will tell you, it's not just fast glass that you want, but a sensor that can give you usable high ISO, so that you can hold onto a higher shutter speed under more lighting scenarios and using a variety of [usually long telephoto zoom] lenses. Put a camera with good high ISO performance together with fast glass and you have a winning combination for fast moving subjects.

Putting fast glass on an old camera body that has poor image quality at 800-1600 ISO would probably end up frustrating you. It could work, but even if you had great f1.4 primes, you'd never want to be shooting at f1.4 all the time.

And something like the K-x also does high-def video, unlike older bodies. Video can be very useful for capturing fast moving kids and pets.
07-02-2010, 06:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leftyplayer Quote
What would I be missing out on if I went "backwards" to the K100D, K10D or even the *istD models for my DSLR body and then focused on getting a fast lense or two? Would I even be saving much by going with an older body (I'm just assuming the prices are lower, maybe that's an inaccurate assumption?)
Compared to the Kx? I have the K100 as a second body, and the AF is slower that the KX, and you loose some higher ISO speed from what I understand. With the *ist you loose in body SR.

I agree lenses are where its at, but the body does bring a certain level of capability to the party....
07-02-2010, 06:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote

I agree lenses are where its at, but the body does bring a certain level of capability to the party....
i think it's definitely a 'film era' way of thinking to think that glass is more important than body

in body SR and high ISO are good substitutes for fast glass, and high megapixel count means you can crop, which is a fair substitute for telephoto lenses

that being said I still shoot on an ist dl, yes it sucks, iso's only usable at 200 and 400, no wiggle room for cropping, no SR, no live view- I do have nice lenses though...

07-02-2010, 07:05 AM   #5
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Well, some of us here are still quite satisfied using our older cameras (K100D here). I think what you give up in terms of IQ from say the KX is almost nothing (except the ability to crop), you just lose some features (which may be convenient to you) such as live view, faster AF, higher continuous shooting and a bigger buffer (which would probably be important to you). The K10D is more interesting to compare, as with the K10D you gain weather sealing and have more resolution and speed that the K100D. You can use the advanced search feature here and narrow a search to Marketplace-Sold items to give you a good idea of the prices each are running used. Even with the K10D, you'd probably be saving about $150 from the K-X. I'm a big fan of getting good lenses, and really do think that, provided you can live without some of the new features, that it's better to spend the extra on lenses, as they'll outlast your cameras, so buy well. However, a nice fast zoom like the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (which is probably the kind of thing you're thinking of) isn't incredibly expensive as it is. My advice is to figure out how much is your budget, then see what lenses you really want, and calculate then how much is left over for the body. Then you are in a good position to make the decisions regarding lenses versus body.
07-02-2010, 07:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leftyplayer Quote
The more I read, the more I realize that the lenses it where it's at, particularly because most of my shots will be fast moving objects (kids/pets) in low light (indoors). I'm unlikely to get fancy with features. I just want the camera to delivery crisp sharp images and to work quickly - the rest will be about composition.

What would I be missing out on if I went "backwards" to the K100D, K10D or even the *istD models for my DSLR body and then focused on getting a fast lense or two? Would I even be saving much by going with an older body (I'm just assuming the prices are lower, maybe that's an inaccurate assumption?)
If by fast you mean fast focus, it isn't so much about the lens, but the camera it's mounted to. There is nothing particularly wrong with buying the older cameras, I'm still a fan of the K10d, but the later models have improved things in many areas. As someone else has already mentioned, you can get a Kx and won't go broke. The price of the K7 is coming down too. I can tell you from practical experience that even with a Fast lens, indoors, in low light, moving pets and kids really puts the K10d to the test and you'll have more deletes than keepers.

07-02-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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Regardless of price, I wouldn't pick anything older than the K100D Super, because there is no point spending money on a body that doesn't have SDM support (or even SR, in the case of *ist series). I personally think any of the newer cameras are enough of an improvement over the K100D Super to not consider that. K10D is a nice body if like them relatively large and heavy, but IQ won't necessarily match the newer bodies for the most part, so there's a tradeoff. Mostly, I'd be thinking K20D for high end but larger/heavier bodies that can be had cheaper than the K-7, or K-x for small/light but cheap bodies. I don't think any other body would be enough cheaper than either of these K-x to be worth what you sacrifice, personally. Unless you want both weather sealing and relatively smaller/lighter, in which case the K200D could be worth seeking out. Some might recommend the original *stD or DS as kind of a dark horse - no SDM or SR, but a better viewfinder than similarly small cameras, and TTL support if that matters to you (doesn't to me - I have no problems with PTTL or autoflash on the rare occasions I use flash at all).
07-02-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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kit vs old bodies

i think the most important aspect of a kit purchase is that the kit lenses are relatively good quality and relatively inexpensive. you may end up getting other better lenses (primes for example) later, but the kit from the get go gives you a good starting point. i never have used the 50-200 that i think comes in the k-x kit, but an 18-55 and a 50-200 sound like a great starting point.

i have purchased a K100D new as a kit (18-55 only), and gave that to my daughter. i purchased a used K100D (body and 18-55) and gave that away to another relative (they made great gifts). i bought a used K200D body for myself, as well as a handful of 28mm, 40mm, 50mm and 135mm primes (all used, from ebay and local craiglist adds), and a few AF zooms from older pentax film cameras. i have been quite happy with the quality of the used bodies and lenses i have purchased.

prices i have seen for used bodies only (here, ebay, craigslist) in the last 3 months are:

k100D: $200
K200D: $300
k10D: $300
k20D: $550-$600

07-02-2010, 02:53 PM   #9
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If the things you plan on shooting don't move very fast and are in usually in good light or you can use a flash or tripod, then go ahead with an older body.

If they move or are not well lit, it's hard to argue against the K-x.
07-02-2010, 04:36 PM   #10
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I come back to the video thing too. It's a fun feature to have, particularly for domestic subjects like pets and kids.

I still do WAY more still photography than video, but when I am doing family shoots the video, no matter how crappily shot, is what everyone wants to see afterwards.
07-02-2010, 05:07 PM   #11
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Short answer: YES, get the cheapest body you can and spend the money on excellent glass. Start with the FA Limiteds.

Slightly longer: If you can get K10D / K20D / K-7 then do so -- the viewfinders are better and the ergonomics are improved and the features are top-notch. If you cannot then the K100D Super is a great deal. Do not bother with a camera that lacks SR since SR rocks the house.
07-02-2010, 07:44 PM   #12
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I think you are overestimating the ability of both bodies and lenses to produce good pictures of the type you want. As with wildlife and sports and other fast-moving subjects, you're going to have a high percentage of failures. Equipment might get you from 10% to 20% success or something - it's not going to get you from 10% to 90%.

Paul
07-02-2010, 08:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clark Quote
i think it's definitely a 'film era' way of thinking to think that glass is more important than body

in body SR and high ISO are good substitutes for fast glass, and high megapixel count means you can crop, which is a fair substitute for telephoto lenses

that being said I still shoot on an ist dl, yes it sucks, iso's only usable at 200 and 400, no wiggle room for cropping, no SR, no live view- I do have nice lenses though...
Clark is spot on IMO. Everytime i hear "fast lens" it makes me cringe. Sure, one can dial up to 1.4, 1.8, 2, 2.8, when things get darkish, but its at the cost of DOF and it also puts a demand on the camera to get an accurate focus. With a large DOF, its not so important to get high AF focus, just to get close as the DOF will cover it.

After i shifted to small apertures, and bumping my aperture to F4 ISO to 3200 on my K20 compared to F2.8 and 1600, i got way more keepers in the live theatre shooting that i do. There's been at least 2 articles in popular magazines in the last 12 months about how fast iso bodies like the D3 are changing the way pros work, e.g. buying a F4 telescopic lens instead of renting an F2.8 lens.

"slow" glass isn't slow when you boost iso :-)
07-02-2010, 11:55 PM   #14
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kx body is a good value. iso 1600 is very doable.
07-03-2010, 06:00 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
I think you are overestimating the ability of both bodies and lenses to produce good pictures of the type you want. As with wildlife and sports and other fast-moving subjects, you're going to have a high percentage of failures. Equipment might get you from 10% to 20% success or something - it's not going to get you from 10% to 90%.
I'll second that, I'm getting about the same ratio of keepers/trashcan shots as with film from my K-x, at least now that I'm halfway comfortable with manual focus again. 20% maybe, on a good day. I'm shooting mostly wildlife and sports, (little league baseball) with mainly a Makinon 135mm f2.8. But I am finding I get good shots at motion stopping shutter speed even at 200 ISO a half hour before dark...and some good shots in fairly dark under the trees situations, and without flash. That ain't bad...now if I could just get my focus up to 80% I'd be cooking with gas.

But I agree with the general consensus, get the newest body you can afford, I passed up some older models at lots better prices, other brands too, to get the highest megapixel newest sensor and best autofocus capability, larger monitor, and the use of AA batteries instead of those horrid proprietary rechargeable things was another big plus, although unexpected. After using the K-x for a month or so, I think I chose well. I wouldn't be nearly as pleased with a 7MP camera and slower auto focus, older sensor, fewer shots per second in continuous and so forth...
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