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01-03-2007, 08:49 PM   #1
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Aid Me in my Decision

I've been wanting - for a while now - to purchase my first DSLR. A couple of years ago, I happened upon an old (circa 1972) Canon EX AUTO SLR and ended up tinkering with it until I figured out what all of those manual controls really did. I instantly fell in love with the freedom to control precisely how the camera took the photo.

Recently (within the past few weeks), I received a Canon A540 digital camera. I was really trying hard to find a DSLR that fit my budget, but I failed in that venture. Now, in hindsight, I feel that I should've held out until I could afford a DSLR.

At that time, I hadn't read about any of the Pentax DSLRs. I'm very interested in the K110D (or the K100D if I can squeeze the extra dollars) right now, because of its price, the flexibility of the controls, and the great reviews and image quality. Right now, I'm not convinced that I should shell out more money so soon after buying a relatively customizable digital camera on something that may not benefit me much. I've read some of WMBP's blog articles on his viewpoint of the differences and strong points of digital cameras and DSLRs. I'd like some input from those of you who have been in a similar situation and own a Pentax DSLR.

Here are some things that I feel are lacking in my current situation:

1) One of my favorite types of photography is night/astrophotography. With my current camera, I am limited to a maximum of 15 seconds exposure time. This does 'okay' for some basic shots, but it's not nearly enough to completely satisfy me.

2) Indoor photography without a bright, annoying flash all the time. High ISO settings on my small digital camera produce very noisy results.

3) Future expansion. When my budget allows, I would like to expand the 'possibilities' of my camera. There are some attachments available for the A540, but they are very limited, and often produce less-than-average quality results.

4) The feel. I love the way an SLR feels; it makes me much more comfortable in using it. I've used a more recent model Konica-Minolta SLR (which is larger than my Canon EX AUTO), and the size and shape made for a very comfortable shooting experience.

Tell me your thoughts, please!

01-03-2007, 09:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tparker Quote
1) One of my favorite types of photography is night/astrophotography. With my current camera, I am limited to a maximum of 15 seconds exposure time. This does 'okay' for some basic shots, but it's not nearly enough to completely satisfy me.
Will be solved by DSLR bulb mode (no limit)

QuoteQuote:
2) Indoor photography without a bright, annoying flash all the time. High ISO settings on my small digital camera produce very noisy results.
K100d and K110d have very good high ISO performance

QuoteQuote:
3) Future expansion. When my budget allows, I would like to expand the 'possibilities' of my camera. There are some attachments available for the A540, but they are very limited, and often produce less-than-average quality results.
Dangerous, lens buying addiction can take over ;-)

QuoteQuote:
4) The feel. I love the way an SLR feels; it makes me much more comfortable in using it. I've used a more recent model Konica-Minolta SLR (which is larger than my Canon EX AUTO), and the size and shape made for a very comfortable shooting experience.
Can't disagree there...

Your reasons all seem valid and fullfilled by the K100d or K110d.. The k100d will be even better for low-light though as it has Shake Reduction...
01-03-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
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Here are some things that I feel are lacking in my current situation:

1) One of my favorite types of photography is night/astrophotography. With my current camera, I am limited to a maximum of 15 seconds exposure time. This does 'okay' for some basic shots, but it's not nearly enough to completely satisfy me.
The K100D, K110D and K10D all have "Bulb" exposure modes.
2) Indoor photography without a bright, annoying flash all the time. High ISO settings on my small digital camera produce very noisy results.

The flash can be set to "Manual" so that you do not have to use flash at all. The WB and AWB settings will compsate for the types of light you will be using indoors. a Couple of good fast lenses, F1.4 or F2, will give you adeqate use for flashless indoor photography

3) Future expansion. When my budget allows, I would like to expand the 'possibilities' of my camera. There are some attachments available for the A540, but they are very limited, and often produce less-than-average quality results.

The accessories for Pentax, and all other brands, are virtually endless. Whatever you want is probably available.

4) The feel. I love the way an SLR feels; it makes me much more comfortable in using it. I've used a more recent model Konica-Minolta SLR (which is larger than my Canon EX AUTO), and the size and shape made for a very comfortable shooting experience.

Get your hand on a Pentax SLR and see how it feels.

Tell me your thoughts, please!
01-04-2007, 01:04 AM   #4
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tparker, I was in a similar situation about a year ago. A buddy had a DSLR, my dad had one, my mother had one & I was so green with envy it hurt, and I had lost most interest in shooting film because of the turnaround time. I was taking higher quality pictures with my SLR, but because I had to go get the photos developed after a trip, no one in the club I was photographing ever really cared. However, I never pulled the trigger.

(I did however, panic when the DS was discontinued and replaced with the DS2, which I didn't want. There was a moment of finance checking over a Panasonic p&s, and even a minute of "hey, dad, what do you think of Olympus?" In the end, it was really just the rumors of the K10 before it was announced that kept me from buying a K100d.)

So, you've bought a Can...er..point and shoot. At least you didn't purchase a bad one. The A540 is a bang-up little camera, and I frequently reference it as one of the best you can get for under $200 bucks. There are reasons for wanting more, however, and it sounds like you've got a few. You don't need much more convincing to sell the 540 and pick up an SLR--which is great, because I'm not going to give it to you.

I am, however, going to make a case for halting wily-nily trigger pulling. Don't buy second best and lengthy, uncomfortable, detours en-route to getting what you actually want. Want a DSLR? Want the K100d? Don't buy a k110 and lament the fact that you don't have SR. Line your pockets with flame-retardant material until you can save for what you want.


Err.. /end soapbox. Sorry. I just get fired up over things like these. I've even told customers that the concept of a 'starter camera' is stupid, and only applicable for toddlers who might later get a real camera. (Of course, because I am an evil sales rep who is out to get them. ) I'm just of the mind that anything worth wanting is worth working a little for, and I've got a pile of Really Nice Crap on an Embarrassingly Low Wage to show for it.


Last edited by bdavis; 01-04-2007 at 01:18 AM.
01-04-2007, 03:19 AM   #5
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Your point 2 - low light photography.

If this is important to you, I highly recommend holding out for the K100 over the 110. SR in low light, available light photography is a wonderful invention, and well worth the extra $60-100 or so.

-Alan
01-04-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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u will get better low light photography from a dslr.. fact

the ability not to use flash indoors is also overrated.. still life yes.. anything moveing no..

u will get a bigger heavier camera.. if u want that the dslr is better.. fact..

u will get better dynamic range from a dslr.. fact

but unless u are prepared to spend a great deal of money.. the expandability dslr factor is over rated.. for a given amount of money a dslr can be very limited..

it can be cheaper to expand to a newer better (more suitable) compact than buy another lens for a dslr.. he he

trog

ps.. its also reaching the point where the dslr body is the cheap disposable bit.. its all the other stuff that goes with it that boosts the price..
01-04-2007, 08:44 AM   #7
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Hi tparker. It doesn't sound like you need to be convinced, it sounds like you are already there. What I would do is try several different DSLR's in your buget range to see which one you like the best. In the same price range as the K100 (and I echo everyone else in saying that if you want flashless indoor pics the K100 is a MUCH better choice than the K110) is the Nikon D40 and D50. I'm not as familiar with other camera lines (Canon Oly etc) but there are probably choices in those brands too. Try to get to a local shop and handle all the cameras you are interested in. Get the one that fits YOU the best. Do not be swayed by sales talk or what other people think, they won't be taking your photos, you will. All of the "entry level" DSLR's are good cameras. They all are capable of taking wonderful photographs. If you have a camera you are comfortable with and enjoy handling, chances are you will take more pictures. The more photos you take the better you get and the more fun you have. I also have to agree with Beth, above, wait till you can afford what you really want, don't "settle".
One other point and I'll shut up. You should not ignore the second hand market. There are many new models that have just come out (Pentax K10D, Nikon D80, Canon XTI etc) and many people are upgrading. A lot of the older cameras are finding their way onto eekbay, KEH etc. You might find a second hand body and have enough left over to get an extra lens or three.

NaCl(climbs down off the soapbox)H2O
01-04-2007, 02:12 PM   #8
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1) One of my favorite types of photography is night/astrophotography. With my current camera, I am limited to a maximum of 15 seconds exposure time. This does 'okay' for some basic shots, but it's not nearly enough to completely satisfy me.

Apart from the "B"ulb setting, the Pentax timed shutter speed goes up to 30 seconds.

Beyond that, it's a watch with a second hand and a remote release!

01-04-2007, 04:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tparker Quote
I've been wanting - for a while now - to purchase my first DSLR. A couple of years ago, I happened upon an old (circa 1972) Canon EX AUTO SLR and ended up tinkering with it until I figured out what all of those manual controls really did. I instantly fell in love with the freedom to control precisely how the camera took the photo.

Recently (within the past few weeks), I received a Canon A540 digital camera. I was really trying hard to find a DSLR that fit my budget, but I failed in that venture. Now, in hindsight, I feel that I should've held out until I could afford a DSLR.

At that time, I hadn't read about any of the Pentax DSLRs. I'm very interested in the K110D (or the K100D if I can squeeze the extra dollars) right now, because of its price, the flexibility of the controls, and the great reviews and image quality. Right now, I'm not convinced that I should shell out more money so soon after buying a relatively customizable digital camera on something that may not benefit me much. I've read some of WMBP's blog articles on his viewpoint of the differences and strong points of digital cameras and DSLRs. I'd like some input from those of you who have been in a similar situation and own a Pentax DSLR.

Here are some things that I feel are lacking in my current situation:

1) One of my favorite types of photography is night/astrophotography. With my current camera, I am limited to a maximum of 15 seconds exposure time. This does 'okay' for some basic shots, but it's not nearly enough to completely satisfy me.

2) Indoor photography without a bright, annoying flash all the time. High ISO settings on my small digital camera produce very noisy results.

3) Future expansion. When my budget allows, I would like to expand the 'possibilities' of my camera. There are some attachments available for the A540, but they are very limited, and often produce less-than-average quality results.

4) The feel. I love the way an SLR feels; it makes me much more comfortable in using it. I've used a more recent model Konica-Minolta SLR (which is larger than my Canon EX AUTO), and the size and shape made for a very comfortable shooting experience.

Tell me your thoughts, please!
answers 1) 2) 3) 4) all perfect reasons to buy a DSLR

a DSLR will win hands down on all of the above.
do yourself a favour, spend the extra to get the k100, you will not be dissapointed with shake reduction. well worth it!

cheers

randy
01-06-2007, 07:24 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone for your input! Hopefully, if everything goes as planned, I will be able to purchase a Pentax K100D by late February or early March. I could probably gain a little extra money by selling my Canon, but I think that I'll have times when I prefer to use a more compact camera, so I'm keeping it. Everyone wish me luck! I am really looking forward to entering into DSLR photography.

The only reason I wouldn't decide on the K100D is if the Nikon D50 becomes substantially cheaper than the K100D, but there are features on the Pentax that I like a lot more than the Nikon.

Thanks again, everyone, and I look forward to reading about your experiences with your Pentax and seeing your photos over the coming months.
01-06-2007, 08:19 PM   #11
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Used digital cameras have poor resale value. I don't have a super wide angle lens, 17mm or so, but I DO have a trusty 7 megapixel Casio P&S on my hip that take fine wide FOV pictures when I need very wide angle. So the Canon could come in handy along with your new Pentax k100d on a shoot.

You'll love you k100d. It is a lot of camera for the $!

QuoteOriginally posted by tparker Quote
I could probably gain a little extra money by selling my Canon...
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