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09-03-2010, 12:58 AM   #16
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Go with the kx

You are right the d90 won't meter with the old glass.

09-03-2010, 01:25 AM   #17
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I would fully support the Kx option as well but there are 2 big annoyances IMO - the back LCD of Kx which is significantly worse compared with the D90's and the lack of focus points in VF.

For me, the quality of the back LCD is vey important because you can see right away if your pics are keepers or not and just save a lot of time in processing them later.

As said before, sensorwise they are the same, both can take very nice images. D90 is a more capable camera overall if one sticks to modern lenses, but it is bigger than Kx and lacks metering w/old lenses and in-body stabilisation.
09-03-2010, 02:44 AM   #18
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Hmm; after looking at DPR's specifications, I feel oddly like the K-x is actually a pretty god match, feature-wise, for the D90.

The K-x loses on the viewfinder, AF indicators, LCD, and a handful of other factors, but in general they seem pretty close.

They also mention the low-light performance, which is fantastic and very much suits the use case. Like kytra though, I just feel like the lack of AF indicators is a real shame... and I'll have to do some research on alternatives to the kit lens, and availability of hybrid rechargeable AAs and good chargers here in China.

Thanks everyone... the K-x looks like more and more of a contender. After taking a closer look, heck... I'm halfway tempted to get one for myself!
09-03-2010, 03:17 AM   #19
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All right, it looks like after some more thought and some pricing on Taobao (the "Chinese eBay"), you guys may have successfully thrown a wrench in my thought process.

Aside from the straight-up price and feature comparison, the K-x brings a lot to the game that I think she'd enjoy, like extra in-camera processing (tilt-shift, colorizing, HDR, etc) that -- as far as I know -- the D90 does not.

DPR also says that despite the lack of external buttons and just one wheel, the controls are intuitive... so who am I to argue with the professionals? This would be her first DSLR anyway, so she doesn't have any developed habits there (indeed, her G10 only has one rear dial).

Pentax K-x + 18-55 kit lens: ~3550RMB -> $522 US
Sigma 18-125 f/3.5-5.6 DC OS: ~1400RMB -> $206 US (this price is so low I'm going to call shenanigans)
LaCrosse BC-900 charger: ~480RMB -> $70 US (ouch... I bought mine for $40 on Amazon)
8 Eneloop AAs: ~160RMB -> $23 US

Total: ~5590RMB -> $821 US

Even if the Sigma doubles in price, as I think it should (it's listed at Adorama at $340), that still puts it pretty close to the local price on the D90 without an extra battery... and without an extra kit lens.

I'll put the suggestion to her and see what she thinks, especially about the AF indicators. Thanks again, everyone!

09-03-2010, 04:57 AM   #20
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Good summary and indeed the indicators are, for me, the only drawback of the K-x.
She can even choose the white one or any other color extra buck.
And she can find batteries everywhere if she forgets to charge the eneloop or if she looses them in travel... this can happen.

If she buys it, the last step will be to have her here in the forum
09-03-2010, 05:06 AM   #21
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I'll deliberately throw another wrench into the mix here

why not forget about the idea of a DSLR and go for a really good bridge camera.

I would obviously suggest pentax to be loyal to the brand and forum members, BUT....

I have used a Kodak DX7950 for years now, in addition to my DSLRs. While somewhat outdated by todays standards, 5MP and a 10x zoom (36-360mm equivelent) the camera can operate in full manual control, has flash sync to external flash, can take front end close up and ultra wide adaptors, and the lens is not slow, but actually quite fast at F2.8-F3.7. WHere else can you get a camera with a 400mm equivelent focal length at F3.7 that weighs less than 500 grams.

This camera is about 5 years old now, and many of the new bridge cameras have optics that are just as good, and much better sensors.

For someone who wants small, light , flexible, a bridge camera is a good bet. the only short coming is that at 26mm (the widest 35mm equivelent I have seen) they are somewhat lacking in wide angle, which I see as a shortcoming if you travel in cities. But that is why I have a .5x adaptor
09-03-2010, 05:27 AM   #22
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The Pentax kit lens is higher quality.

The K7 and Kx have the best low ISO performances on the market currently.

The Pentax bodies have image stabiliation, a great benefit for low light.

Pentax bodies are cheaper, and lenses prices are lower for similar quality.

You can use older lenses with Pentax bodies.

I would never recommend a Nikon. Sure they take good pictures, but so does every camera on the market. The price vs features makes Nikon and Canon bad purchases.

To each their own. I'm not rooting for Pentax because I own one, I own one because it just makes sense.
09-03-2010, 05:38 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by yenemy Quote
The fact the K-x has no visible AF points also seems like such a weird design decision to me, and certainly something she's gotten used to... big usability ding there.
I never think about focus points, regardless of which of camera I'm using. Like most photographers, (including about 80% on this site according to a poll last year), I use "center focus and recompose". I always know my focal point. Center focus and recompose is what she should use mostly, if she's serious. If on the other hand she never wants to learn photography and just wants to point and shoot, she can let the camera choose the focus point.

Note that the K-x does show focus point in the LCD screen, but for general shooting the LCD is barely useable. Contrast-detect focus is ridiculously slow. Phase-detect is noisy because of mirror slap, and the screen disappears during focus. Holding a camera at arm's length is poor form anyway, but she should know about this limitation in case she demos a K-x. The optical viewfinder is the only way to go.

PS There are rumours of new body and lens announcements in mid-September. It makes sense to wait a bit before making a decision.

09-03-2010, 06:55 AM   #24
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Let me throw one more thought into the confusion. Panasonic G-1, or 2. SLR look, feel, but small, good kit lens, execellent sensor and comes in colors! My daughter-in-law got the G-1 as a move up from p&s. It has been an excellent choice and she has done some very nice work with it. I now use the E-p1 but am considering a G-1 as second body for the VF and bright light.
09-03-2010, 09:15 AM   #25
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If she liked your photographs with a 50mm prime .... then I'm afraid she will be disappointed by the rendering, sharpness and poor low-light performance of a zoom. Especially the kit-ish lenses being discussed. Whether she ends up with a K-x or D90 is much less important.

I suggest a D90 with the new 35/1.8 AF-S DX, and/or the 50/1.8 AF-D. (Plus the cheapest 18-xx kit zoom she can get thrown in.)

I really wish Pentax hadn't completely abandoned the reasonably-priced FA primes. Sure the Limiteds are nice, but we should still have the FA 28 and the FA 35 and FA 50 shouldn't be priced like Limited lenses. So with the K-x I'd suggest the Sigma 30/1.4, plus the kit.

I don't think suggesting an older manual focus lens is realistic for someone like this (i.e. someone not obsessed with using older lenses like me!)
09-03-2010, 09:32 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by yenemy Quote
Like kytra though, I just feel like the lack of AF indicators is a real shame...
That's *you* though. The majority of photographers would never notice this, except to the extent they'd be relieved not see all that annoying flashing going on. unless you know for sure your friend has tried all the different methods of controlling focus out there - including focus-recompose using the center point which is almost certainly most popular by far - and has confirmed that she really absolutely needs to have the focus point indicators in the viewfinder, there's no reason to assume she wont be like the 99% of photographers for whom this is a non-issue.

QuoteQuote:
I'll have to do some research on alternatives to the kit lens
You might also consider here that while *you* might feel constricted by the kit lens, she might not be. And in any event, the kit lens comes basically for free (it's usually next to impossible to find a body only for significantly less). So I'd consider getting the single lens kit (assuming you really are right about her being averse to lens changes), and then *if* she finds it limiting, picking up some sort of superzoom. I'd say the various 18-200's probably hit the sweet spot in terms of price, size, and performance. Although performance is indeed worse than the 18-250's, it's probably not by enough for someone not seriously into this to ever notice.

BTW, I'd also note that if the reason she's considering the upgrade is because she saw better images from your camera with a high quality fast prime, I doubt *any* consumer zoom is going to give her that. Realistically, for "most" shots, her G10 can actually do quite well; it's only low light shots where you need the higher ISO and/or faster apertures. So even if you get her some kind of superzoom, she may find she's not getting hat she's looking for, and will have every reason to put it away and stick to her G10 most of the time. I'd be more inclined to get the 18-55 9and maybe the 55-300 because it's so cheap when bought as part of the kit and you never know - she might get into this and appreciate a higher quality telephoto lens), and then a fast prime for the indoor stuff. And not be surprised if she basically uses the G10 outdoors and the K-x & prime indoors.

[ just noticed that filmamigo above says more or less the same ]

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 09-03-2010 at 09:37 AM.
09-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #27
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I probably have a bit strange relationship to Pentax, but in your situation I'd never recommend Pentax - unless it's someone so close that you could share/borrow gear.

Why?

Because while there are many great aspects about Pentax as a brand and products, I think it's something that must be bought after serious personal consideration and research. One needs to figure out what the strengths and weaknesses of it are and what one finds important and what not. After all, one isn't buying just a camera, but ties oneself to a whole system. Somebody starting from scratch may not know where he/she is heading in photography and chances are the brand will not be able to supply some lens, accessory or functionality one needs some day that the bigger brands supply. Also (partly tongue in cheek), one wouldn't have to explain to passers by that it's a real camera and not some weird toy.

Last edited by emr; 09-03-2010 at 11:20 PM.
09-03-2010, 02:37 PM   #28
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I'd say Kx as a good recomendation also...

I'd also like to go out on a limb and say the D90 is marginally better at high ISO.... barely noticeable if noticeable at all. I have a good friend that has one, and we swap original files once in a while and I honestly don't get all the remarks about its good ISO performance. I remember how hailed it used to be when it first came out for its ISO performance.... I'd say from what I've seen the k20d is better

edit: I'd like to add that I am sorely dissapointed with all APSC camera's @ ISO 200-400. Still have yet to find one thats acceptable noise wise IMO. I could use ISO 400 so much when shooting macro's but i can't take the noise that comes with it.... I am very anal about IQ for my macro's.
09-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #29
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Go for the K-x!

The K-x sounds like a perfect fit. If she's used to compacts the switch to using a DLSR will be so great she won't miss the AF indicators, I'm sure.

As for 'not recommending Pentax' because of concerns about tying someone else to the Pentax system... can't agree here, because Pentax offers all the lenses and accessories an entry level enthusiast would want. I would go with the twin lens kit: 18-55 and 50-200 or 55-300, as these lenses cover 90% of what a relatively novice photographer would need.

And the high ISO and DR of the K-x is 'best in class' at the moment.
09-03-2010, 09:12 PM   #30
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Another point for the K-x is that it has a newer version of the sensor that Nikon uses in the D90. Equivalent sensor, less expense and much more manageable weight and size. I would recommend the 17-70. It's a much sharper and better made lens than the Nikon. It may not be as long, but I thought I would miss the length and ended up not even noticing.
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