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01-14-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
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Good used pentax with decent high iso rating

I want to purchase a used, older camera, with decent iso capabilities, decent up to at least 1600. I need it for indoor photos, as my superzoom doesn't cut it, there is waaay too much noise. I already have a manual 1.4 lens I intend to use, and will probably add another lens later. I usually shoot scenery. I don't want to spend a lot, maybe no more than $300. I am a fairly experienced shooter, so I know what I am doing with an SLR.
I don't think I am too worried about megapixels, but at least 10, as I don't usually enlarge my photos. I am taking way too much time analyzing which I should buy, but I think that any decent body will be good, as I am fairly confident in my capabilities. And if I decide to move up to a better body later, I won't be out much.
I did try a KX, but the battery thing drained me....(pun intended). I loved the size, too. Very solid. I don't need live view, or video. I would like one with a decent AF, and easy to manually focus. I will use it outdoors, too, mostly around sundown.
Thanks for all of your help!

01-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by heralu Quote
Idecent iso capabilities, decent up to at least 1600. I need it for indoor photos
I did try a KX, but the battery thing drained me....(pun intended).
Well among Pentax the latest K-r and K-5 both have very good HighISO performance - but one is unlikely to find those used - the only other Pentax that keeps up with those two at HighISO would be the K-x (which I see you've tried).

I still think the K-x is the best bet as it is the class leader in HighISO performance - it is every bit as good as the K-r and although not a 1:1 comparison for the Mp it's in the same ballpark as the K-5.

As for batteries:

There are many here who do not have battery problems because they either -
use non-rechargeable/disposable lithium AAs as supplied with the camera.
or use eneloops with a good charger.

Either way depending on the way one shoots - those batteries give well over 1,000 shots per set.

The K-x is very well priced new right now, therefore I would think also as used. So the savings in price would go some way to affording to use of disposable lithium AAs - and I have read they can be bought more cheaply from places like Sam's Club or CostCo?

But with a little care and diligence eneloops with a good charger will also be good (and more economical in the long run) - eg: I use exclusively eneloops (or confirmed re-badges) in my K-x, and average over 1,200 shots per charge - and I do not have battery problems.
01-14-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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+ with Vincent

The K-x is your better choice for a used camera.

Several Pentaxians reported that the K-x works best with:

- the latest firmware update that does improve the battery management; and

- non-rechargeable Lithium batteries.

Some Pentax forum users reported more than 1,000 shots with the better non-rechargeable Lithium batteries in the K-x and that is phenomenal!

Hope that the comment will assist....

Last edited by hcc; 01-14-2011 at 11:21 PM.
01-14-2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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If you want to take a crack at a K200D to see if you can handle the noise, drop me a PM. Shooting RAW, if you don't underexpose, the noise is manageable for me.

The K20D and K7 will be a little bit better, but not as good as the K-x.

01-15-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Kx is the first thought; don't know about second hand prices.
K100D / K110D / K100D Super is second thought; only 6MP, but lower noise in my opinion than my K10D.
01-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Kx is the first thought; don't know about second hand prices.
K100D / K110D / K100D Super is second thought; only 6MP, but lower noise in my opinion than my K10D.
Agreed -
but the K100D/110/100D Super are also AA battery driven -
they are perhaps a bit fussier than the K-x (if that's even possible )
and they do not last as long as the in the K-x.....
01-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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K-x is the obvious choice.
01-15-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
K-x is the obvious choice.
I posted these elsewhere
- pasted here:

K-x, ISO5000, JPGs NO additional pp noise reduction -
humble 50-200 kit zoom wide-open

K-x, ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/125, 160mm
(EXIF should be attached, caveat: PhotoBucket can drop metadata)

even more humble 18-55 Mk 1 kit zoom @ 55mm wide-open

K-x, ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/80, 55mm

01-16-2011, 04:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Agreed -
but the K100D/110/100D Super are also AA battery driven -
they are perhaps a bit fussier than the K-x (if that's even possible )
and they do not last as long as the in the K-x.....
I tested a K100D with GP Recyckos. If I recall correctly, it did over 400 shots (without reviewing). I don't know if that's good or bad but it's enough for me
01-16-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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I haven't seen any decent used prices on a K-x to make used for this model an option.

The thing is already under $500 with the 18-55 new, so what kind of used priced can you expect to get? $400?

For that, I'd buy new.
01-16-2011, 10:01 AM   #11
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As far as the K110D goes price wise, I picked mine up last November for a shade under $300 and that was with the original lens kit, an extra 35mm prime lens, (2) 2 gig memory cards, a set of rechargeable AA batteries and a IR remote. I've never shot with any of the newer Pentax models such as the K-X or K-R, but I've shot with a couple Nikons and Canons and the K110D is just as nice, if not nicer, than the others I've shot with.

As far as the noise in the high ISO goes, it's nothing that isn't manageable. What little bit I've noticed at 1600 is easily cleaned up in PP. In a couple weeks, I'm going to shoot some of one of my friend's band in what is sure to be a dark, smoky bar. I'll try to get some of the shots up and that may possibly help you with some more insight for your decision.
01-16-2011, 10:22 AM   #12
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+1 with Vincent. K-x

You say at least ISO1600, then realistic options are K-x, K-r, or K-5. Your price requirement rules out K-r and K-5.

In the APS-C sensor range, the kings of high ISO seem to be K-x, K-r, K-5, and Nikon D300 & D90. (I stand open to correction, but if my facts are right, the K-x, K-r, and Nikon D300 & D90 all are related Sony 12MP CMOS sensor developments, while the K-5 and D7000 are related Sony 16MP CMOS sensor developments.)
01-16-2011, 11:19 AM   #13
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I have a K20 that I used outside under the lights at my niece's high school graduation at ISO 3200, using the 55-300 pretty much wide open at the long end. They turned out very well with a bit of noise reduction in post processing. The K20 and K7 share essentially the same sensor. Prior to the K5, folks were picking up the Kx for its high ISO low noise to augment their K7s. (See post #11 below)So, based on that I would go with the Kx. I have seen some pretty good Kx prices, especially with the Kx going end of life. Also, there was a couple of threads on the K5 area that talked about the new noise reduction utilities, that works wonders.

With all of that said, a Kx, shooting RAW, noise reduction utility software, a bit of post processing, and some good batteries - I would think you would be set.

On the battery issue, I have my old trusty K100D and have exclusively used lithium AAs. I usually get about 600 to 700 shots on average depending on my use. I have not had any problems at all. Ran out of batteries once in San Diego, and just pulled into the nearest drug store.A used Kx for $300 might be pushing the limit. It looks like new prices have risen a bit since the holidays. I would suggest watching the Marketplace for Kxs as they come available. You might search the Marketplace sold items archives to see what prices they went for in the past.

01-16-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I tested a K100D with GP Recyckos. If I recall correctly, it did over 400 shots (without reviewing). I don't know if that's good or bad but it's enough for me
Your battery life is just about what Pentax rates for the K100D -
from the manual:


My experience with the much recommended eneloops on my K100D averages over 1,000 shots/charge very little flash, review on minimum time.

GP ReCyles are very good LSD (Low Self-Discharge) NiMH batteries - when recently charged they last longer in the K100D than eneloops - but over longer storage (3+ months) eneloops fare better. (I have actually tested this - please see: Post #57 in eneloop vs. Kodak Pre-Charged Voltage Maintenance - note: Kodak Pre-Charged are suspected of being re-badged GP ReCycles)

I get on average over 1,200 shots/charge with the same eneloops in my K-x - similar shooting habits.

K-x battery specs -

(note: they've used lower capacity NiMH batteries for the shot counts
1900mAh K-x Vs. 2500mAh for the K100D -
in theory the count should be 2500/1900 x to get the same rating as that for the K100D
so 2500/1900 * 640 for normal recording = 842 for the K-x on 2500mAh NiMH)
01-16-2011, 11:33 AM   #15
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here's the scope, and my "observation". we all know the k-x/k-r/k-5 borrow sensor from sony... and apparently all the CMOS sensor from sony as of the 5XX series have great high ISO performance and so does the k-x/r/5

Ok. the earlier K10d, 100d ect... had CCD sensor... guess who else have CCD sensor? that's right, it's sony 100, 200, 300 series, guess who doesn't have great high ISO performance? you got it, the sony lol, i'm just putting 1 and 1 together and make a bold guess that the earlier pentax also borrowed sony sensor and does not have great high ISO performance.
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