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04-24-2008, 02:12 AM   #1
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Need advice, maybe therapy :P

Hi everyone.

This is gonna take a while, please bear with me.

I'm currently the proud owner of a Panasonic FZ18, a lightweight and versatile bidge camera.
My Gear Acquisition Plan (GAP, a cool acronym for my photographic aspirations) was to buy a versatile bridge and then a DSLR.
The bridge is to use when I cant be bothered to carry the extra weight, or when I dont want to risk more pricy gear.
This camera has limitations (primarily the noise, theres loads of it), but I'm happy with it. Its fullfilling its purpose, and its gotten me more involved with photography. Taken photos with is fun and I'm seeing great improvements in my skills. The enthusiasm is somewhat dampened when I see the end result in the screen (I was expecting this, that why the DSLR is in the plan).

I've been leaning more and more about photography, about SLRs and lenses. As a consequence I'm more and more eager to get my hands on one. To maek things "worse" I kind of fell in love with Pentax cameras.
Weird I know, its got faults that Canon or Nikon dont have. I've held a 40D, it even feels sturdier than the K20D. But I still prefer Pentax...
I've actually started looking at prices for old used Pentax lenses, druling in the prospect of using them... (God, I hope its not a bad case of LBA coming)

What a predicament... In short, I'm trying to shorten my GAP's timescale and get a Pentax as soon as financial circunstances permit.

Now on to the advice part.
I'm considering the K10D and K20D (the K20D being the maximum I'll ever need as an eager amateur).
I've read about bad/soft focus, VPN, not so good high ISO noise on the K10D. The K20D seems to improve on all of this (although in some cases only slightly). But, there is the price difference, with the K10D I can get a decent lens and be on the same price tag as the K20D body only...
So, people that use either or both cameras, which option would more satisfatory?

04-24-2008, 05:09 AM   #2
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Having both the K10 & 20D I can throw some light on this situation. Both are the same "Body" so it is easy to switch from one to the other. They use the same lenses and accessories. Both take great photos. Handling wise, wouldn't know which I was using, if not looking at the camera.
Both cameras are aimed at real photographers (not P&S). This is good. There will be a learning curve. This is also good ( same with Canon 40D).
Of the two cameras I prefer the K20D. Can only think of one thing the K10D does better than the K20D. That is the ability to turn the dark frame noise reduction off for long time exposures. Other wise the K20D does everything as well or better. It has larger buffer for shooting more shots in raw, has better jpegs (**** setting plus better edge sharpening), Quieter shooting noise, Higher iso settings ( 6400 vs 1600), greater resolution and less noise (usually don't go together), ability to fine tune AF for each lens, Better AF (could still be better in low light), pc studio flash connecter, more in camera processing with dual pics on screen, ability to store in camera processed pis in TIFF, lcd screen that is bigger and can be adjusted for color, intravalometer, burst (20+ frames a sec. - showed this to a 40D owner in class he about fell over),and live view.
Probably for got something. Bottom line the K10D is now my backup. It only gets pulled out if something happens to the K20D or if dad goes shooting with me and needs a camera. It just does every thing a little better. I am getting more keepers with the K20D. Metering is more accurate (especially with flash and older A lenses).
If you have the money get the K20D. Its just more refined. What lenses are you considering?
thanks
barondla
04-24-2008, 06:54 AM   #3
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In terms of lenses, I'd probably get the new 18-55 kit II, if I buy the K20D. It seems to be quite good (especially considering its a kit lens).
My first buy after this would probably be the 18-250 mm. A one lens fit all, to take on trips. I'm not sure I really need to go as far as 250mm, are there other alternatives that start as low (18mm)? My FZ18 has spoiled me in this aspect, so I'd really like to keep some flexibility.

I shoot loads of landscapes, so in the far future I wouldn't exclude a 12-24 or 10-20, something around there. Its not really that vital though. Plus, is the price justified just to get that extra edge... Pitty I cant get an old wide wide prime.
I haven't done much macro, but thats something I'd like to explore more, so maybe the 100mm macro. Even M version is ok (cheaper).
I like portraits, I think its one of the hardest photos to get really good. But, when you do... fantastic. I've considered getting a 50 mm for portraits, but since I'm not used to primes, and I only consider doing those at casual situations with friends, I dont think it would work. With a zoom, you can be at a party, and hardly moving pick, out people and their natural expressions.
I'm not into studio work or sports or birding (so no long tele for me).
04-24-2008, 08:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
I've been leaning more and more about photography, about SLRs and lenses. As a consequence I'm more and more eager to get my hands on one. To maek things "worse" I kind of fell in love with Pentax cameras.
Weird I know, its got faults that Canon or Nikon dont have. I've held a 40D, it even feels sturdier than the K20D. But I still prefer Pentax...
Why? Just a gut feeling? That's fine.

If I were starting from scratch today (but could retain all the knowledge I've picked up since 2006) I might go with Pentax once again, especially since the K20D was released. But I would look harder at Canon and Nikon.


QuoteQuote:
I've read about bad/soft focus, VPN, not so good high ISO noise on the K10D. The K20D seems to improve on all of this (although in some cases only slightly). But, there is the price difference, with the K10D I can get a decent lens and be on the same price tag as the K20D body only... So, people that use either or both cameras, which option would more satisfatory?
The K20D is basically a K10D with more megapixels and a number of other relatively minor improvements. After shooting thousands of low-light shots with both the K20D and the K10D, my impression now is that the K20D's high ISO performance at the pixel level is NOT significantly better than the K10D's - but the higher resolution of the images (especially if you shoot raw, which I do) allows you to squeeze that noise out in post-processing and still have a sharp photo. And even then, it's not a dramatic difference. I shot a wedding a month ago using both a K10D and a K20D inside the fairly dimly lit church. As I was processing the church photos in Lightroom and looking pretty intently at every image's details, I NEVER noticed right off the bat whether a shot was taken with one camera or the other.

THIS IS NOT A KNOCK against the K20D. I am very happy to have the K20D and if I had to give up one camera, there's no question that I'd sell the 10 and keep the 20. But I am happy that the K20D isn't THAT much better than the K10D. If it were, I'd agonize about which camera to use for a given shoot; but I don't, because I know that the K10D can handle the job as well as the K20D in most situations. Actually, I really hope we've reached the point of diminishing returns in camera marketing. The K100D with shake reduction was a big advance over the *ist DS. The K10D was a big advance over the K100D. The K20D is a great camera - but the K10D was a great camera, too, and the K20D doesn't blow the K10D out of the water.

So where does that leave you?

If you can afford the K20D and still have money left for everything else you need, then by all means, get the K20D.

But remember that, if it's image quality you're interested in primarily, then lenses are a more important component of your camera as a tool than the camera body. Other things being equal, a K10D with, say, a nice Pentax prime, is going to take a sharper, cleaner, better saturated photo than a K20D with the kit lens or some other mediocre piece of glass.

So if your choice is simply K10D or K20D, don't feel bad, because you can't go far wrong. Just figure out what you need in addition to the body. Don't forget lenses, bags, a good tripod, flash units (get the 540 FGZ), etc. Now, what can you afford?

Will

04-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #5
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What I'd really like to get asap after getting the body would be glass.
Flash is not in my list of top priorities. I'll enjoy handling available light better first, and then learn how to take advantage of better lighting capabilities.
I've got a tripod (not a good one) which for now satisfies me.
I've got a Crumpler Pretty Boy L, which now holds my FZ18, extra battery, filters and hood, plus some space. It should allow for the body + 2 lenses. I like the bag, but I've notice in a recent trip to the highlands, its no hiking/hill walking bag. I'll probably want a Lowepro 100/200 AW slingshot.

What can I afford...
I probably I should have already said it wont be an imediate buy either way.
Its more what am I willing to fit into my finances. I like to leave a confy cushion of savings in the bank (for unexpected problems), therefore I want to spread out my shopping list.
I'd buy this way:
body (with kit lens?)
walk-around lens (18-250mmm or similar)
other lenses
flash+extra battery+new bag
good tripod

This would vary between K10D and K20D...
If I buy K10D:
$800(UK) body +$300-500(US) (18 - 125/200/250mm lens - I'd be confortable buying it in July

If I buy K20D:
$1500(UK) body + kit lens (ouch) - I'd ask a friend of mine who is going to the US in November to buy it (hopefully at around $1000(US)).
(UK)-buying in UK, converted from pounds.

So clearly K10D would allow me to get more gear sooner. I am willing to pay for K20D, no problems. But it would mean staying with weaker glass for much longer.

The answers so far incline me towards getting the K10D.

Thanks for the answers.
04-24-2008, 10:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
So clearly K10D would allow me to get more gear sooner. I am willing to pay for K20D, no problems. But it would mean staying with weaker glass for much longer.

The answers so far incline me towards getting the K10D.
OK, I'm going to break my rule and offer my advice - with the caveat that it's worth what you pay for it and that I could be all wrong.

Get the K10D, body only.

About the only distinctive recommendation that can be made of the kit lens is that it's supposed to be somewhat better than the kit lenses found on Nikon and Canon lenses. I don't mean to criticize the choice of anybody who sticks with the kit lens only, especially for understandable economic reasons. The galleries here are full of really nice photos taken with the kit lens. But the truth is, nearly everybody who can afford to do so, chucks the kit lens a.s.a.p. and gets something better (or if you prefer, "even better"). My recommendation would be to get either the Pentax DA 16-45 f/4 or the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 DC macro, if you like (or think you will like) to go wide; these are both much better lenses than the kit lens. This should give you a great camera with a very good lens for less than the K20D will cost with the kit lens or even no lens.

There are of course lots of other alternative first lens choices worth considering, including the Tamron 18-250; Pentax 35 f/2; and many more. But if you really want the most bang for the buck and you don't want to waste too much money with mistakes (mediocre lenses), then get the K10D body only, and get a good lens to go with.

Good luck and when it happens, don't forget to let us know what you bought!

Will
04-24-2008, 10:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice!
04-24-2008, 10:41 AM   #8
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My 2 pence

If I was you, I would buy one of the used K10 bodies off of this forums marketplace.
At $500 ish U.S. and our worthless dollar... it would be almost nothing for you. You could then buy better, or more lenses within you budget.... Use it for 8 months, if you want to upgrade at that point, sell the K10d for $400 and get the K20d for a cheaper price than it is now... A win win in my eyes...

Since the bodies are the same you will move right into the K20 with all your used K10 experience and the good lenses you already own.

That is what I would do.
gus

04-24-2008, 10:55 AM   #9
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A mild rant perhaps, but

I own the *istD and K10D.

As far as I am concerned, and this comes back from someone who shot B&W film pushed 3 stops to 3200 ISO and color slide film (E6 process) to 1600 ISO, I can tell you that anyone who thinks any DSLR has unacceptable noise at high ISO does not know what they are talking about.

the ISO 1600 performance of the K10D is excellent. Yes there is some noise, and yes, especially with blacks they can loose a little detail, but we are talking here about the difference between a good image (considering the conditions) and a magazine quality low ISO print. The comparison is not fair.

please see the attached, and tell me if you think it is too noisy.

Keep in mind, this is an ISO 1600 shot, using a 2X TC behind my 70-200 F2.8 zoom, and cropped in to 1/16 of the total frame.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/208249-post1.html

Either the K10 or K20 will fit your needs as an amature for the next 5 years.

True, technology will improve, hopefully in the noise area at high ISO, but keep in mind that the images youo can take now, even with my lowly *istD are better than anything you could ever do with film.
04-24-2008, 11:32 AM   #10
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My Suggestions

Hi,

IMHO

Please go in for the K10D, Body only.
Glass: I use Sigma 10-20 f 4-5.6, Sigma 24-70 f 2.8, Sigma 70-200 f 2.8.
Here in Dubai the 3 lenses cost me around 2000 $ together, and I feel it must be far less in UK.
Even if you cannot buy them all, buy 10-20 and 24-70, both very good pieces of glass.

Cheers,
Happy snapping,
Kris
04-24-2008, 03:35 PM   #11
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Hi, welcome to the forums. I bought my K10d with the kit lens for two reasons: 1) The price, as part of the kit, can't be beaten for a reasonable lens. 2) This was my first DSLR after having p&s for many years. I decided that the kit lens would be a good benchmark for measuring the performance of other lenses. The K10d is an easy camera to start shooting with straight out of the box.
If I hadn't bought the kit lens I probably would have made expensive mistakes with any other lens I might have bought, you can't trust the salespeople most of them would rather sell you a Canikon. I have since moved on to better lenses but I am still reasonably happy with those early pics I took with the kit lens. For my penny/nickel worth, K10d with kit lens is probably the best VFM out there at the moment.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 04-25-2008 at 12:23 AM.
04-25-2008, 01:06 AM   #12
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Again, thanks to everyone for the help.
I'm confident I'll be going for the K10D. Lets hope its still being sold in a few months...
04-25-2008, 01:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
Hi everyone.

This is gonna take a while, please bear with me.

I'm currently the proud owner of a Panasonic FZ18, a lightweight and versatile bidge camera.
My Gear Acquisition Plan (GAP, a cool acronym for my photographic aspirations) was to buy a versatile bridge and then a DSLR.
The bridge is to use when I cant be bothered to carry the extra weight, or when I dont want to risk more pricy gear.
This camera has limitations (primarily the noise, theres loads of it), but I'm happy with it. Its fullfilling its purpose, and its gotten me more involved with photography. Taken photos with is fun and I'm seeing great improvements in my skills. The enthusiasm is somewhat dampened when I see the end result in the screen (I was expecting this, that why the DSLR is in the plan).

I've been leaning more and more about photography, about SLRs and lenses. As a consequence I'm more and more eager to get my hands on one. To maek things "worse" I kind of fell in love with Pentax cameras.
Weird I know, its got faults that Canon or Nikon dont have. I've held a 40D, it even feels sturdier than the K20D. But I still prefer Pentax...
I've actually started looking at prices for old used Pentax lenses, druling in the prospect of using them... (God, I hope its not a bad case of LBA coming)

What a predicament... In short, I'm trying to shorten my GAP's timescale and get a Pentax as soon as financial circunstances permit.

Now on to the advice part.
I'm considering the K10D and K20D (the K20D being the maximum I'll ever need as an eager amateur).
I've read about bad/soft focus, VPN, not so good high ISO noise on the K10D. The K20D seems to improve on all of this (although in some cases only slightly). But, there is the price difference, with the K10D I can get a decent lens and be on the same price tag as the K20D body only...
So, people that use either or both cameras, which option would more satisfatory?

Start with the K10D. Purchase the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and if you can afford it the Pentax DA* 50-135 f2.8 lens. You will be covered from 17-135 mm or 25.5 to just over 200 mm in 35mm format.


Ben
04-25-2008, 04:37 AM   #14
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Tanks for the advice Ben. I think stared lenses is a bit out of my league... honestly above what I'm willing to give for a lens, for now.

BTW
I'm still thinking on getting something very flexible at first (18-135/200/250).
A walkaround lens that covers the majority of what I'll want to photograph. I havent made a serious survey, but I'd say that covers the large majority of what I shoot now.
Further down the road I'd get better glass for certain applications.
What are the cons of this, to say getting the usual bundle I see, with the 18-55 kit + 50-200mm.
As I see it, I'd probably want to get rid of those lenses as they are not too bright (pun intended). Whereas I'd allways keep a versatile 18-250mm (or at least, keep it longer).
Although maybe not as good a glass as the 16-45, 17-70, 50-135DA*(definately not), it is still a good performer, from what I heard.

SO:
As anyone been through a phase of focal length restriction?
*LOL, this almost sounds like something you'd go through detoxing from LBA*
Is it worth enduring it, but getting better glass in the end? I know better glass is allways positive, but honestly...?
04-25-2008, 05:37 AM   #15
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Lenses

Get DA 18-55 II and the upcoming DA 55-300. I would recommend against DA 18-250. From what I know now I think that 18-55 II + 55-300 combo will give you better image quality. If you need compact and versatile camera you already have your P&S camera to carry around. I use Fujifilm F20 as my carry around camera. DO NOT EXPECT that with any body+lens DSLR combination you will be able to build a replacement for a superzoom P&S compact pocket camera. So don't think that way. Think "quality", not "potability".

For some situations you may need highest possible quality so you should consider a prime as well. DA 40/2.8, FA 43/1.9 Limited or FA 35/2 AL are the best options to start with only one. If you need a faster lens consider FA 50/1.4 as well. I would recommend FA 35/2 AL since it can be used in most situations (field of view is approximately equivalent to a normal lens on film), it is fairly fast (f/2) and not too expensive. However, it may be hard to find new or even used. DA 40/2.8 may be your next best choice. WARNING: if you buy any Limited lens you may begin to feel the urge to complete the set and buy other limiteds: note that it may be a very expensive sport!!!

So think about 2 zooms and 1 prime for now. But learn how to properly expose and post process your photos. That would add more value than any collection of lenses you may think of.
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