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12-29-2010, 08:22 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Impartial Quote
Well, I wanted to pick up this thread to muse about a couple elements of your analysis. On the one hand, I agree that Sony does offer some bargains on lenses and bodies, especially if video or full-frame are high on your lists of priorities.

On the other hand, you write about MILCs and DSLRs as if they were the same. Do you really not care whether you get optical viewfinder/electronic/no viewfinder at all? Do you really not care that Sony seems to be following Oly, Pana and Samsung out of the DSLR business properly speaking?

Also, I don't know about replacing SR with ISO; you would be hard pressed to find a Canon or Nikon e.g. that performs with a prime comparably to a Pentax K-7 or k-r with prime. And going with SR zooms would undermine your argument about Pentax zoom costs.

So by all means get the camera that will make you happy, from whatever brand. I am just not sure that you have identified your needs or wants clearly, or considered the relevant factors . . .
for me they are the same (yes i understand the difference) but just for me, I rarely use the view finder (almost never), I face that problem in bright sun light (LCD just won't cut it there). But other wise it's not too bad, there are advantages on all of them (MILC, DSLR, SLT). I think think compensating SR with ISO is a viable option if you own cameras without SR... it is rare to be poping up in the 3200 ISO range, sure it's a little noiser but if the system is costing you much much less... it's something to think about.

Bottom line is, the pentax system is one of the highest cost IMO even if you're using MF lens. Pentax lens are like nikons, they can be put on other system bodies = relatively high price. All nikon/canon/sony offer their nifty fifty for ~100 to lure in consumer, but pentax nifty fifty is in the 200. As a starter set, pentax is the least cost (The K-R with dual lens kit is an exceptional value, beating out everyone in term of price/cost), but if you ever think about upgrading lens, you'll realize the price of pentax lens are quite high compare to their competator (relatively speaking, 3rd party lens are same price for all mounts, but for other brands, they have alternative besides the 3rd party lens).

as for body, i would rank the K-R up there with some of the better mid range body out there. that thing is awesome. I might have tested a faulty k-x but the AF was alot slower than the K-R (Pretty sure a faulty body since it moved super slow).

12-29-2010, 09:57 AM   #17
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So my further thoughts come down to this piont: I don't know that comparing currently Pentax primes with currently available Sony, Nikon or Canon primes simply by price is avalid exercise, without considering value for money.

Pentax only has one budget prime, a 35mm in the $200 range, and then the DA 40 and the FA 50 sit around $350 these days (though neither -- in fact none of the three lenses -- has the optics of a "budget prime" for other brands). For A mount, Sony has a 50 for $150, a 35 for $200, and an 85 (missing in Pentax!) for $250. For E mount, Sony has the 16mm pancake und das ist alles, as far as I know. So for Sony, the budget primes are all you get: nothing like the range and quality you can get in Pentax if you are willing to spend $400-$500 (used) or $500-$650 (new) -- that can get you a 100 WR, a DA*55, a DA 70 or DA 15 Limited, or an for that matter an FA 43 Limited, most of which have equivalents in any other mount, and certainly not for Sony.

The Nikon 50mm starts at $120, the 35mm at $200, the 28mm at $250 and the 60mm and 85mm (both missing in Pentax) at $400, so you do have a range there at the bottom end that Pentax lacks. And in this case there is also a top range: the image stabilized primes start at $500 and go up to $1000 or more, while the exotic wide-aperture and tilt/shift lenses )that Pentax users) envy start at $1500 . . . and in all of this there are no clear equivalents to the DA Limiteds while the only weather-resistant primes cost twice as much as Pentax WR and DA*. Canon is much the same story as Nikon: 50mm at $100, 28mm at $250, 35mm and 24mm (!) at or just over $300, 85mm and 60mm as you approach $400, but image stabilization and weather-sealing only available in the L-series at $1000 a pop. Tilt-shifts starting at $1200, and wide aperture from $1400-$2000. No equivalents to the Limiteds, either.

The bottom line is that Sony, Nikon and Canon each offer a grade of primes _below_ the current Pentax offerings, in price as well as quality. Nikon and Canon also offer a grade of primes (arguably at least) _above_ the current range of Pentax primes, at least in the sense of Tilt-shift and wide aperture lenses. But for both Nikon and Canon, glass in the $500-$550 range is essentially consumer-grade glass, while for Pentax this price range gives you access to the all the DA Limiteds, the FA 43, the DA*55, and the 100 WR -- some of the best optics Pentax has (or ever had) to offer. Pentax produces a mid-level range of primes that simply has no equal.

There are gaps in the Pentax line-up, certainly -- I would love to see a 24mm, an 85mm, and a 60mm Macro, for instance, and budget versions of a 24 and an 85 for Pentax might turn some perceptions around very quickly -- but reality is much more complicated than just "Pentax primes are more expensive". $750 will get you all 4 currently existing Sony primes (for both mounts) or 35/50/85 in Nikon or Canon; in Pentax it will get you a 35/2.4 + 15 Limited or 35/2.4 + 70 Limited combo but not more than one Limited at a time. But whether 20/35/85 in Canon or 15/35/70 in Pentax is a better use of your $1100-1200, I leave as an exercise for the reader. :-)
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