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09-30-2010, 08:06 PM   #1
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In need of some recommendations for gift - affordable DSLR

So, with all the talk about the newest models, this thread might seem kind of out of place. I myself am new to DSLR photography, having just picked up a K20D from a forum member less than a month back. But as it happens, I have a friend who loves photography, is always taking photos, and is still using a 5 megapixel Canon point-and-shoot he picked up a few years back. His wife and I are conspiring to get him his first DSLR for Christmas, but really don't have the money to go for a K7 or K5. Even if I had the money, a friend getting him something so expensive would make him uncomfortable.

Besides, I think he'd be just as happy with something gently used, honestly. I have considered a K-x, as they might be had for around $400 soon with the advent of the K-r. I think $400 for the body is going to be our limit, and if we get something for even less, all the better. My question, though, is how much camera is going to be the right choice? The right camera, the right affordability, etc. When the K-5 comes out, will the used market be flooded with K20D's for less than one can be had for now? Or perhaps a K10D would be a good compromise between price and function...

His flickr stream is here, to give you an idea of the type of photos he likes to take. I'm thinking, possibly even a *ist DL, maybe. Those are only 6 megapixels, which makes me sort of hesitant, but they can be had for sub-$200. (And I confess I myself am intrigued by the compact body as a possible vacation DSLR! Add a smallish lens, and the prospect is more intriguing than a point-and-shoot to me. But I'm getting off track.)

What do you all think? He's expressed no unhappiness with his little point-and-shoot, but his wife definitely thinks he would be totally fascinated with all the options and features of a DSLR once he gets one.

09-30-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
So, with all the talk about the newest models, this thread might seem kind of out of place. I myself am new to DSLR photography, having just picked up a K20D from a forum member less than a month back. But as it happens, I have a friend who loves photography, is always taking photos, and is still using a 5 megapixel Canon point-and-shoot he picked up a few years back. His wife and I are conspiring to get him his first DSLR for Christmas, but really don't have the money to go for a K7 or K5. Even if I had the money, a friend getting him something so expensive would make him uncomfortable.

Besides, I think he'd be just as happy with something gently used, honestly. I have considered a K-x, as they might be had for around $400 soon with the advent of the K-r. I think $400 for the body is going to be our limit, and if we get something for even less, all the better. My question, though, is how much camera is going to be the right choice? The right camera, the right affordability, etc. When the K-5 comes out, will the used market be flooded with K20D's for less than one can be had for now? Or perhaps a K10D would be a good compromise between price and function...

His flickr stream is here, to give you an idea of the type of photos he likes to take. I'm thinking, possibly even a *ist DL, maybe. Those are only 6 megapixels, which makes me sort of hesitant, but they can be had for sub-$200. (And I confess I myself am intrigued by the compact body as a possible vacation DSLR! Add a smallish lens, and the prospect is more intriguing than a point-and-shoot to me. But I'm getting off track.)

What do you all think? He's expressed no unhappiness with his little point-and-shoot, but his wife definitely thinks he would be totally fascinated with all the options and features of a DSLR once he gets one.
I'd consider strongly to find a Kx!
Great reviews and people here who use it have nothing but positive comments.
I am quite sure there are still a few on sale in several stores.
Better yet: you may start seeing some Kx's (lightly used) very soon right here on this forum.
Check the MarketPlace (link below) and of course you may want to see other ad's by Googling a bit.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/

JP

Last edited by jpzk; 09-30-2010 at 08:15 PM. Reason: added info
09-30-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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K-x definitely.

All the options he needs, nothing he doesn't (except maybe video, HDR mode, etc). He can borrow your lenses, you can borrow his, there will be no problems with incompatibility (the *ist series don't support SDM, for example).

I learned this when I bought my Nikon D40: It's many times better to overbuy than underbuy. I thought the D40 would last me forever, but I quickly outgrew its capabilities.
09-30-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
So, with all the talk about the newest models, this thread might seem kind of out of place. I myself am new to DSLR photography, having just picked up a K20D from a forum member less than a month back. But as it happens, I have a friend who loves photography, is always taking photos, and is still using a 5 megapixel Canon point-and-shoot he picked up a few years back. His wife and I are conspiring to get him his first DSLR for Christmas, but really don't have the money to go for a K7 or K5. Even if I had the money, a friend getting him something so expensive would make him uncomfortable.

Besides, I think he'd be just as happy with something gently used, honestly. I have considered a K-x, as they might be had for around $400 soon with the advent of the K-r. I think $400 for the body is going to be our limit, and if we get something for even less, all the better. My question, though, is how much camera is going to be the right choice? The right camera, the right affordability, etc. When the K-5 comes out, will the used market be flooded with K20D's for less than one can be had for now? Or perhaps a K10D would be a good compromise between price and function...

His flickr stream is here, to give you an idea of the type of photos he likes to take. I'm thinking, possibly even a *ist DL, maybe. Those are only 6 megapixels, which makes me sort of hesitant, but they can be had for sub-$200. (And I confess I myself am intrigued by the compact body as a possible vacation DSLR! Add a smallish lens, and the prospect is more intriguing than a point-and-shoot to me. But I'm getting off track.)

What do you all think? He's expressed no unhappiness with his little point-and-shoot, but his wife definitely thinks he would be totally fascinated with all the options and features of a DSLR once he gets one.
I checked out his work, really nice for a point and shot actually, he could put a DLSR to use I would say, The Kx is a nice camera from what I have seen, If you are looking at a K10D or K20D I would check Pentax Digital Camera Bodies - KEH.com

Also the K-7 might drop more when the K-5 is released, so keep an eye out for that.

09-30-2010, 08:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abstract Quote
I checked out his work, really nice for a point and shot actually, he could put a DLSR to use I would say, The Kx is a nice camera from what I have seen, If you are looking at a K10D or K20D I would check Pentax Digital Camera Bodies - KEH.com

Also the K-7 might drop more when the K-5 is released, so keep an eye out for that.
I don't think the OP would want to spend what the asking price is (will be) for a used K7!

JP
09-30-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I don't think the OP would want to spend what the asking price is (will be) for a used K7!

JP
I guess so, just an option, they did have some fairly good prices for the condition on some models though, also ebay can be great if you know whats what there.
09-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for the quick replies!

Yes, the K-x is a strong contender. Just wondering if a K10D or similar might be as good a choice...I think I saw one go for around $300 on the marketplace here recently, which is a good $100-200 less than a new K-x. And if the new K-5 means a used K20D in good condition might drop from the $500 price range to something more where we're at, well...that would be nice!

I also thought there might be models I hadn't considered due to my own inexperience that people here might suggest. I definitely don't want any problems with compatibility. I thought all Pentax DSLRs were fully compatible with the same lenses, but if not, that definitely puts the *ist out of the running. It would be handy to be able to trade lenses.
09-30-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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The *ist series are compatible with SDM lenses as far as metering, etc; but they don't support SDM (or possibly the DC motor in the new 18-135, not sure on that one), so it will be manual focus only, unless the SDM lens has a screw-drive AF as a fallback (some do).

09-30-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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To me the three essential issues separating the K10D and the k-x are weather resistance/build quality, size/weight, and high-ISO capability. The K10D has WR and has a pro-quality body; the k-x is built to a consumer standard only. The K10D is one of the largest of the Pentax SLRs, ever, the k-x one of the smallest since the move to digital. The K10D has extremely limited high-ISO ability, the k-x the best (until the kr becomes available).

Unless pro controls (K10D), video (k-x), lowest price (K10D, for now), AA batteries (k-x), or pentaprism (K10D) are important features, I would weigh the importance of build quality, size/weight, and high-ISO and purchase accordingly.
09-30-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
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Man, he will be completely happy with a K-x. It has everything that's needed for a beginner and he'll be able to pick it up quickly without being overwhelmed. On top of it, it packs a modern sensor that will last some good years before getting surpassed by modern technology, and using AA batteries means he won't get caught with a lack of proprietary batteries available later.

Go for it.
09-30-2010, 10:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Impartial Quote
To me the three essential issues separating the K10D and the k-x are weather resistance/build quality, size/weight, and high-ISO capability. The K10D has WR and has a pro-quality body; the k-x is built to a consumer standard only. The K10D is one of the largest of the Pentax SLRs, ever, the k-x one of the smallest since the move to digital. The K10D has extremely limited high-ISO ability, the k-x the best (until the kr becomes available).

Unless pro controls (K10D), video (k-x), lowest price (K10D, for now), AA batteries (k-x), or pentaprism (K10D) are important features, I would weigh the importance of build quality, size/weight, and high-ISO and purchase accordingly.
I'd add to that, auto focus. I believe AF is much faster on the K-x
09-30-2010, 11:59 PM   #12
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the k-x is the steal.........i don't know u have a budget for lens as wel while u mention the body budget is $400. One thing about Pentax is the MF glass will work on the new body ! Try serach some local listing of garage sales, u ll be suprised that u are able to snap a very nice lens for $10
10-01-2010, 11:57 AM   #13
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The K-x is great if you can find it cheap enough.
But I would also consider a Samsung TL500, I am not sure that your friend will find the benefits of a SLR in the pictures he has shot. A DSLR could broaden his horizon, but it quite often does not.
10-01-2010, 12:34 PM   #14
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Samsung TL500 looks like its amazing, wonder if its gonna be better then my LX3....
10-01-2010, 01:21 PM   #15
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I just got my hand on a Kx for the very first time today. My friend just bought one and wanted me to come help her with it. I shoot with a K10 and there is a HUGE difference in size/weight. I only got to take one picture with the Kx and it was inside at ISO 6400 and I was quite impressed. (Granted, my beloved K10 only goes up to ISO 1600 and doesn't handle the noise so well) After looking at his flickr, I think I'd go Kx also.

Saw on Amazon that one can be had new w/the 18-55 mm kit lens for $499 free shipping. wonder what that will drop too once the Kr is released.
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