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11-10-2007, 04:59 PM   #31
m8o
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You know by my being here I'll recommend the K10D over the E-510, but SHIFT in its defense, I think they got their algorithms sorted out this release...
150MM F2.8 www.four-thirds.cn Olympus
(really slow loading so be patient) That thread is the only thing that gave me some questioning of it vs the Pentax. I've covered why I did the latter noted in the link above.
Of course I love my pix of wildlife or landscapes with my Sigma 300mm f/2.8 or Voitlander 125mm f/2.5 better, but those are pretty darn nice!

Billy, B&H Photo Video | Digital Cameras, Camcorders and Digital cameras, all other cameras and everything photographic from Adorama Camera are two other great retail sites; not saying to try to buy internationally from there just great places to link through to the product and accessories.

I highly recommend:

- Extended warranty... First, I dropped my camera my 1st week in ownership, and cracked the bottom of the body. Then right after coming back from Africa, the camera bag fell back a foot off an ottoman onto its top, which happened to have the 1.2x viewfinder multiplier on the top and cracked the display of the camera... Neither will probably be covered; w/extended warranty things not covered by the manufacturer are covered by the add-on warranty.

- D-BG2 Battery Grip and at lease one (recommend two or more) extra batteries depending on how far or long you'll be away from civilization (I have 6 batteries myself). At minimum you want at least 3 IMO. Run one battery in the body, one in the grip, and configure the battery usage to use the grip 1st. When you run that battery down, cycle the power real quick to go onto using the body's batter. When you get a break, switch the battery grip's battery, and cycle the power of the camera quickly again when you get a chance to go back to using the grip's battery. That way you're using the body battery like a "reserve", and you don't have to mess around with unscrewing the battery grip too often to switch the in-body battery.

- a second 2 Gig memory card, especially if you plan to shoot RAW (which I recommend). Nothing worse then filling up a card at the most inopportune time. If you shoot RAW, that's only about 200 pix in PEF format; about 120 in DNG format.

- a friend of mine put it best "get a tripod, it's the best upgrade you can get for your camera". They're not convenient or possible to use in all situations. A good monopod should be gotten therefore too. BTW, a cheap tripod can ruin pictures if you're using a super telephoto, and the tripod isn't stable and gets shaken easily, or worse yet gets shaken by the flip of the mirror during a shot (which I've read stories about happening with cheapies).

- I didn't buy the Kit lens. I spent around $250 (USD) more then the kit lens's cost for the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8; I'll go out on a limb and say you'll be thanking me later if you make this your 1st lens! I personally lean towards 'fast lenses', as I shoot almost exclusively "available light" (means I don't use flash), so I can open the aperture in low light. You may read threads of people questioning how good the kit lens is, or posts defending it being ok, or pretty good or quite good; but a lot of debate about it. Well I haven't read one thread like that on the Tamron, all comments are always about how great and sharp it is and what an incredible value it is.

Oh, a 'prime' is a single focal length lens; common consensus are they are sharper and more 'contrasty' at its focal length than a zoom operating at the same focal length. ...unless you compare it to the best of the zooms however, like Pentax FA* or limited lenses and the best of the 3rd party zooms. I have two zooms (the super wide Pentax and Tamron I mentioned), but I oh so wish my Sigma 300mm f/2.8 was a 100-300mm f/2.8 zoom or something close. It would be so much more usable to me if it was a zoom.

woe, pretty long post. I better stop now.


Last edited by m8o; 11-10-2007 at 05:10 PM.
11-10-2007, 05:22 PM   #32
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Many of your questions were answered in the above post, Billy.

As for what you should get "with it", that depends upon your budget. If things are close, go for the kit lens. It's a great little lens that will give you semi-wide and semi-telephoto and it's dirt cheap. I've seen some excellent images from the kit so there's nothing to be ashamed of getting this lens. If, however, budget is not a concern, then by all means... go for something a little faster (see last post).

I would definitely not go for the extended warranty. To begin with the camera comes with a one-year warranty. Secondly, if you purchase it with your credit card, many cards have a two year warranty on good purchased so you've now got two years worth of warranty. And most things that will go wrong with the camera are likely to occur early on. I think that extended warranties are generally looked upon as a money grab by most folks.

Get a good bag. We got the Lowe Pro 200 Slingshot bag. It's just an awesome bag, feather-light and allows you to access your contents without removing the bag. Get a good strap. Tamrac have some very comfortable, quick-release straps that have a sort of foam padding making weight of the camera and lens negligible. Get an air blower (i.e. Rocket blower), an extra battery and at least a 2GB card (if not a 4GB). A cheap alternative to low-light lenses is the 50mm 1.4 which can be had for about $170 now.

All the best.
11-10-2007, 05:35 PM   #33
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I second the 50mm f/1.4. I like mine. It was a steal at $130.00 off ebay (no one was paying attention that day I guess)...love the battery grip too. Makes the camera more ergonomic in my opinion (and I don't have huge hands either) The Sigma 17-70 is a nice walk around lens. I enjoy mine. I also second the tripod motion. I have bought four since last year.....head the words about buying a good one if you are going to use a long telephoto lens for shooting birds or wildlife or what-have-you. You'll end up like me and spending money on stuff you aren't really happy with. I am happy with my Bogen tripod and ballhead and it wasn't terribly expensive. Anyway, best of luck in collected the gear you want. Check out transcend memory cards. I bought a 4gb for under $50.00 and it was a 150x speed. Essential for shooting RAW. I have both a 2 and 4 gig card from transcend and never have had problems.
11-11-2007, 11:38 AM   #34
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i think pentax k10d and canon 30d r best slr cameras under 1500$.

11-12-2007, 07:21 AM   #35
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Billy,

It seems that you have decided.
Welcome to the club

- Bert
11-13-2007, 12:11 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Billy Quote
Hi Misere,

Biased opinion is just as valid and welcome as objective information in my book, so many thanks for your reply!
I was thinking a similar thing in the shop today, I played with the Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus models and thought none of them felt as "right" in my hands as the Pentax.
But, I thought to myself, what do I know - what's wrong with the camera, its clearly better than all of these others just in terms of its build alone. The guy in the shop was very good but he was a Nikon man and was pushing the Nikon D80, but I think I will be a Pentax man!
I loved the Olympus too, but I'm 90% decided - its just the lingering doubt of not knowing what I'm doing that's holding me back from jumping in.
Fortunately I have a few more weeks before Santa's visit, so there's still time to do a little more studying before committing.
My officemate bought a Nikon D80a few months before I got my K10D. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow when I told him I was going for a Pentax. Thing is, after seeing the camera and all of its features (many of which the D80 doesn't have), and knowing that it was 30-40% cheaper, he seemed a bit annoyed. I don't blame him.

QuoteQuote:
Many thanks for the book recommendation, I'll be ordering this from Amazon if my local Borders doesn't stock it.
If you have any other book recommendations then feel free to chip in with them as I'm quite enjoying the idea photography now.
The only other book I've bought is "Digital Photography for Dummies". What a waste of money! Honestly, taking photographs with film or digital is the same up to the 99% level, and all that is addressed in the Understanding Exposure book. All the digital nuances can be learned hands on with your camera and on the internet (in forums like this one!). However, what I have ordered (awaiting arrival) are some books on Photoshop and post-processing techniques; this really is something you can't learn on your own.

QuoteQuote:
In a couple of months I may have swapped my f-words for f-stops and I'm quite looking forward to the challenge!
I doubt that any camera will instantly turn you into a photographer, that is probably a craft that has to be learned over time.
When we were in Yosemite we went to a gallery showing some work by Ansell Adams - that guy was amazing, and all he had was a big wooden box with a lens on the front and an enormous amount of talent. Well, if I get the Pentax I'll have him beaten on the wooden box, so all I need is a lifetime of talent and observation!
Ansel Adams was the first photographer I learned of, back when I was 11 or so, as some good friends of my parents (and sort of my adopted uncles) had a huge photobook of his. I loved staring at those pictures for hours! And yeah, all he had was a wooden box, some lenses, and tons of talent.

QuoteQuote:
Your posted photographs are beautiful, thank you for sharing them. Were they taken with your K10D?
I noticed you're from Boston, I've been there three times and its my favourite US city - there's the fabulous clarity in the air in the winter's chill and the incredibly blue skies, such a nice city to walk around with contrasts between the very techno glass tower and the common with the graves stones of the fallen. Great place.
Oh and Sam Adams is a very nice beer too!
Most of the photos on Flickr were taken with a Pentax Optio S60, one of their 6MP point-and-shoots. The ones taken with the K10D are those posted from October onwards ("Veiled Mistress" to top of page). Taking photographs with the limitations of a P&S taught me a great deal, and made me really hungry for more; hence the K10D.

And by the way, I grew up in London; I've only lived in Boston for the past 18 months. And I agree, it's a very nice city.

One more thing, if you can afford it, don't get the kit lens. Although it's a great lens for $70 (or whatever it costs), that doesn't mean it actually is great. I find it very limiting in that I can't really shoot indoors without loads of light (I don't like using flash), and when shooting landscapes at the wide end (around 20mm) I get a big barrel distortion which I have to correct with software afterwards. Also, if I want pics to be sharp, I have to use f/8; even at f/9 I can see a noticeable drop in sharpness. This means any landscape that is not in broad daylight requires a tripod (for example, dusk shots). So, again, if you can afford it, go for one of the Sigma or Tamron f/2.8 lenses that have been mentioned. Also, I find 28-70mm a more useful walk-around range than 18-55mm (I hate that it stops at 55mm!), but maybe that's just a personal thing.

The problem is, Billy, that you're buying your first SLR and you really have no idea what it is you will like/dislike about the equipment you buy. You will only find out after a few weeks/months of using it, like it happened to me. The only parts of my kit I don't regret getting are the K10D itself (of course!), the battery grip, and the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 lens (a fantastic prime at an unbelievable price!). All the other stuff I got, I would buy differently if I started all over again. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20

Whatever you decide to buy, stick with it for a while, learn with it, work around its limitations, and eventually you'll find out what works for you and what type of equipment you really want. Then you can sell your wife and baby and go buy it
11-13-2007, 12:47 PM   #37
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There is no comparison between the two cameras IMO.. The Olympus E-3 is a better opponent.
11-13-2007, 03:38 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
There is no comparison between the two cameras IMO.. The Olympus E-3 is a better opponent.
Thanks for the tip.
In that case it makes the argument in favour of the K10 even stronger, as the Olympus E3 is way over my planned budget

11-13-2007, 04:25 PM   #39
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Some great advice once again, thanks James, Paul, Misere, M80.
Things to add to my shopping list right away:
Memory cards - they're so cheap now I'll play safe and pick up a couple of 4GB cards, maybe 3 to be super safe.
A good case - I'll try a couple out at the local shop when I have the camera in hand to make sure it fits whatever lens I end up with.
A spare battery - I've been unfortunate (that should read stupid!) enough to run of out of power a couple of times before, and its really annoying.
To add to my shopping list when I know what I'm doing:
A tripod - I can certainly see the point, but would I ever bother taking it out of the car?
Battery grip - The extra controls sound handy but for the moment the fewer buttons the better, else option anxiety may set in and I'll spend more time tweaking that observing.

The big decision to make is what lens / lenses to buy....
11-13-2007, 04:45 PM   #40
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Hi Billy

Bear this little fact in mind:

The imaging area of the Olympus E3 four-thirds sensor is a measly little 17.3 mm x 13 mm.

By contrast, the imaging area of the Pentax K10D APS-C sensor is much bigger at 23.5 mm x 15.7 mm.

Look at it this way.....would you prefer to drive around in a cramped little sports car with your knees permanently scrunched-up against the dashboard or rather spread yourself out a little in a luxury four-seater saloon ?
As far as I can see, there's simply no contest ! The K10D wins hands down on so many fronts it's difficult to know where to begin. If you don't believe me, wait for the forthcoming announcements that are in the pipe-line for the K10D's successor.............
I can't say for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's simply 'gonna knock your socks off' !!!

Best regards
Richard

P.S. Re your query:
QuoteQuote:
A tripod - I can certainly see the point, but would I ever bother taking it out of the car?
Try shooting in a darkened environment where flash is not allowed.
"Darn it, if only I'd got a tripod. this shot would have been 'a piece of cake' !"
(Make mental note to buy a decent tripod at the earliest opportunity !!!).
Have a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 055....it's brilliant and beautifully bolted together. There are a number of versions to choose from and you'll need to budget for one of their range of heads.

Last edited by Confused; 11-14-2007 at 06:23 PM.
11-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
One thing I will recommend to you, which is independent of what camera you settle on, is the book Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson.
My local shop didn't have your recommendation in stock Miserere, so I've just ordered Understanding Exposure and I also bought Learning to See Creatively

If you're going to do something you may as well do it properly
11-13-2007, 05:03 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Billy
Look at it this way.....would you prefer to drive around in a cramped little sports car with your knees permanently scrunched-up against the dashboard or rather spread yourself out a little in a luxury four-seater saloon ?
Well now you're talking my language, as nice as my mate's AMG SLK is, on a long drive I much prefer my Volvo S60
11-13-2007, 05:07 PM   #43
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Hi Billy

Here's a Manfrotto link:

Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod - Black : Tripods : Tripod Legs : Buy a Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod - Black:Fotosense

Best regards
Richard
11-13-2007, 05:25 PM   #44
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I hope you don't get sick of me asking what must seem like bone headed questions - I'll make it up to you all if you ever need help with guitars or golf!
This is the important one - what lens will I need?
Well, firstly what am I going to be taking pictures of?
Everything really, some indoors, some outdoors, I really want to do some great pictures of the baby as he's growing up. And some landscapes, I'm pretty keen to try my hand on landscape pictures.
Will I need one lens for that, or two different ones?
I know its a lot to ask but could you include the exact name of the lens so I can look for it online?

The twin lens kit sounds like a lot of kit for the money but is it the right choice? From your comments above, it seems not.

Using this dealer as an example simply because there's a big listing of accessories under the K10, which lens or lenses should I go for?
Pentax K10D
11-13-2007, 05:50 PM   #45
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Hi Billy

You sure ask lots of questions for a newbie, so maybe I ought to start charging you a 'consultancy fee'...lol !!!

You really need one of these to start with, so click on the link below:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/108381-post6.html

But seriously, find a store in the near vicinity who have a Pentax-mount Tamron 18-250mm Di II superzoom in stock. It may be all the lens you ever need, but as you manually zoom this lens out from wide to telephoto, you'll soon discover what catches your interest most. Use this as a rough guide to which focal length(s) you prefer.

Best regards
Richard

P.S. Check out some of my images:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/83871-post6.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/83875-post7.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/97397-post5.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/85055-post8.html

And here's Pentax's brand-new 'clone' version:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/100958-post24.html

P.P.S: It's late now, so I'm going to get some much needed 'shut-eye'. Nighty night !

Last edited by Confused; 11-14-2007 at 06:26 PM.
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