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11-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #1
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Moving from Film to Digital

Hello! I am currently studying photography as a black & white film student. Next semester I am moving into digital, and am not sure which dslr to purchase. I currently have an all Pentax/k-mount kit, and would obviously like to continue on this route. I plan to pursue a Masters in photography next year, and would like a camera that will grow with me, rather than one I will grow out of. That being said, I have researched all of the Pentax dslrs and am still torn. Ideally I would like the K-5 but it is out of my price range. I am leaning towards the K-7 due to the weatherproofing, but am still not sure. Thank you, sorry for rambling!

11-05-2010, 08:21 AM   #2
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By next year, the K5 may Be in your price range. The K7 is a fine camera and would probably serve you well but as you know, the camera is just box to put the lenses on. So in choosing a dSLR, outline the features you want and pick the best match. Odds are None of them will be an exact fit however.

11-05-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
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Do you own weatherproof lenses? The weatherproofing of the K7 will only really help in the most mild conditions without a seal between the lens and the camera body. That said the K-7 will grow with you comfortably since it has phenomenal ergonomics. However, it's Achilles heel is low-light performance, where the lowly K-X blows it away. As a trade off, the K7 outperforms the KX in low ISO performance. I'm going to bet you would prefer the cleanest ISO 100 over a usable ISO 6400.

I would suggest buying a very cheap DSLR, and then buying a used K-5 in about a year to year and a half's time. The K7 is an improvement over the K20d, but the K-5 is a major leap in all regards. A used k20d can be had for very cheap. Same goes for the K-X. Either one you can treat as a throwaway in a few year's time, and therefore, you don't have to worry too much about it "growing" with you per-se. Your logic is sound, but camera technology is advancing so rapidly that it makes little sense to buy the latest and the greatest. Instead buy last year's model off of someone who MUST have the latest and the greatest, and save yourself money that you can spend on lenses (the real investment in photography).

An example (you likely have no real need for the kit lens and could do better elsewhere):

http://moofi.woot.com/moofi/specialcode

Last edited by paperbag846; 11-05-2010 at 08:30 AM.
11-05-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kMc Quote
I am leaning towards the K-7 due to the weatherproofing, but am still not sure.
The real problem with the k-7 is the mediocre sensor, which is outclassed not only by the k-5, but by the k-x and k-r. So you need to ask yourself, What is more important: weather sealing or sensor performance?

Unfortunately, the only camera that you can really grow into over the long-term is K-5, which you can't afford. Perhaps another strategy to consider is to get a used Pentax DSLR (e.g., a K200D?) and use the money you save to start a k-5 fund.

Also don't forget the importance of glass. No DSLR will perform particularly well if you use mediocre glass with it. With your budget limitations, you may be better off focusing on the lens, rather than the glass. All DSLRs produced nowadays are pretty damn good, whether entry level models or not. In normal light, the quality of the glass will generally have more impact on your images than which DSLR you are using.

11-05-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
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İf you are tight in budget, get a K200D it's weather sealed also, you'll love the CCD sensors colors. The only thing it lacks is X-Sync for flash, I don't remember K10 has weather sealing also.
11-05-2010, 10:16 AM   #6
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given that you are already knowledgeable with DSLRs, I would agree with the others that you should invest in a higher-end body with more buttons and dials (we all love more buttons)

I think if you can find a K-7 affordably, I am thinking $700 or so, it would be at the sweetspot.
11-05-2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to look into either a K20D or a K-X for now, and then save up for the K-5 and get that next year. Hopefully I will be able to snag a new piece of glass soon too. Now the question is....K20D or Kx? Hm.
11-05-2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kMc Quote
Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to look into either a K20D or a K-X for now, and then save up for the K-5 and get that next year. Hopefully I will be able to snag a new piece of glass soon too. Now the question is....K20D or Kx? Hm.
If you want really hight quality photographs and you have access to lights and good glass, certainly the k20d. The exterior is nicer to work with, but also, the k20d has a really REALLY nice ISO 100. The K-X cannot match the k20d at low iso, and this is what you are going to want to be shooting at if you can! The k20d retains a lot of shadow detail, and if you are working in raw you can really manipulate those files. The K-X only start outperforming the k20d past iso 800/1600, and the difference is noticeable. However, considering you want to do you masters in photography, I would think you would want a clean base ISO for the maximum possible quality.

11-05-2010, 01:44 PM   #9
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You don't mention what lens(es) your current film kit includes. But there are some absolutely beautiful manual-everything Pentax lenses available on eBay for pretty-reasonable prices. Depending on what kind of shooting you do, autofocus and auto-aperture may be expensive frills compared to high-res, high-contrast glass. For the shooter on a budget who's fanatic about image quality, it's hard to beat Pentax.

Oh, and about the K-7: The K-5's sensor is really something, no doubt. But in RAW and at lower ISO speeds, I'm perfectly happy with what I get out of the K-7. And the thing is just a joy to hold and work with.
11-06-2010, 04:52 AM   #10
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if you don't want to spend a lot of money, get a 2nd hand kx or new pentax. You can always buy a better camera is u think the camera had limited what you want to do.
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