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05-01-2008, 04:51 AM   #1
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purchasing a new SLR system

I am looking at purchasing a digital slr system. Currently considering the D300, 40D and the Pentax K20D. I started into photography with a Pentax k1000 35MM camera many years ago. In my 35mm days I used Pentax, Olympus and Minolta. I took some wedding and event photos and sports.

I want a system that will grow with me as my skills progress. What I really like about the Pentax system is the relatively low price for the pro grade lenses. I have $3500.00 to spend for the camera lenses and flash. I was considering the K20d with 16-50 and 50-135 lenses. In the area I live, most people shoot with Nikon or Canon and I don't know anyone using the Pentax system. I am unsure of the Pentax flash system and how good it is compared to nikon and canon. I know this is the pentax forum and wanted to get some thoughts frome people that had the same dilemma before purchasing the Pentax system. I guess I am hoping to make my decision in the next week of whcih system to go with. The pentax system will allow me to get the pro grade lenses with IS and 2.8 glass.

Your comments are appreciated.

RWA

05-01-2008, 05:32 AM   #2
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Pentax system will allow you to get IS with any lens as the shake reduction is built into the body. Of course K20D is the top Pentax model so starting with it at least for now there is nothing that you could be upgrading to. But if K20D has all the features you need, then I think it is a good system because of the lenses that you can get for it. There are some old gems, fast relatively inexpensive lenses and new ones with SDM technology. So in this aspect Pentax can please almost any demanding photographer.
05-01-2008, 06:14 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwa Quote
I took some wedding and event photos and sports.
Your comments are appreciated.

RWA
You are right about it being the most affordable system but there are a few down side things you should be aware of.

The AF system is a little slower than the other brands you mentioned. If you shoot a lot of sports you might find the others easier to use.

There have been a significant number of bad copies of the 16-50 lens that have had to be returned for replacement. A hassle to say the least but Pentax seems to be good about getting it fixed.

The Nikon flash system, from what I have read, is the best on the market but the Pentax systems seems to be OK.

If you like to use prime lenses as I do the Pentax is for you. The D300 is, IMO, a better system but at a much higher price. If you feel image stabilization is important as I do in a zoom lens neither Canon or Nikon offer much in the way of quality glass below the 70-200 range.
Ken

Last edited by regken; 05-01-2008 at 07:49 AM.
05-01-2008, 07:37 AM   #4
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The Pentax autofocus system is a weakness, but one that is not properly understood right now. SDM motors are a new feature. Old Pentax tests all used the in-body focus mechanism which is rightly slower and louder than SDM. The lenses you've listed, however, are both SDM and will have different focusing qualities than older lenses. I'm not sure that anyone has conclusive tests on whether the new SDM lenses are actually much worse than those from other brands.

Make sure you get a good copy of the 16-50.

I can't intelligently comment on any other part of your question.

05-01-2008, 12:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwa Quote
I am looking at purchasing a digital slr system. Currently considering the D300, 40D and the Pentax K20D. I started into photography with a Pentax k1000 35MM camera many years ago. In my 35mm days I used Pentax, Olympus and Minolta. I took some wedding and event photos and sports.

I want a system that will grow with me as my skills progress. What I really like about the Pentax system is the relatively low price for the pro grade lenses. I have $3500.00 to spend for the camera lenses and flash. I was considering the K20d with 16-50 and 50-135 lenses. In the area I live, most people shoot with Nikon or Canon and I don't know anyone using the Pentax system. I am unsure of the Pentax flash system and how good it is compared to nikon and canon. I know this is the pentax forum and wanted to get some thoughts frome people that had the same dilemma before purchasing the Pentax system. I guess I am hoping to make my decision in the next week of whcih system to go with. The pentax system will allow me to get the pro grade lenses with IS and 2.8 glass.

Your comments are appreciated.

RWA
I have the K10D + DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135. This is a great combination of lenses and bodies. I also have the DA 12-24, which takes me really wide, and is a winner of a lens. I fluked in and got a good copy of the DA* 16-50 on the first try. The DA* 50-135 is as sharp as a prime lens, fast focusing (for a Pentax) and not too heavy.

The weather proofing on the combination you have in your post above is a real advantage. Go for it. If you get one of the 2.5% of the DA* 16-50 lenses that is not good, just ship the camera and the lens to Pentax, pay the premium for priority service, and get back a 100% cannot-be-beat-for_twice-the-money system.

I managed to fit the 12-24 in and come out under $4,000, so it might be worth the try.
05-01-2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The weather proofing on the combination you have in your post above is a real advantage. Go for it. If you get one of the 2.5% of the DA* 16-50 lenses that is not good, just ship the camera and the lens to Pentax, pay the premium for priority service, and get back a 100% cannot-be-beat-for_twice-the-money system.
When somebody comes on this forum and asks for advise I think we should be as factual as possible. Is your statement that only 2.5% of the 16-50 lenses are bad a fact or supposition on your part? If it is an estimate, I've got to say my estimate is close to 30% need to be sent back.

Ken
05-01-2008, 01:00 PM   #7
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Just a quick note on flashes: with any system, you'll probably end up using the flashes in manual (assuming off camera), because the IR trigger methods used by both Nikon and Canon aren't really very reliable except indoors when you have time to set things up right. Radiopoppers might change things ($$$), but for right now, there isn't really a huge difference between the flash systems. On camera, however, PTTL is slightly terrible
05-01-2008, 05:21 PM   #8
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If I was starting with nothing and had to buy a system tomorrow, I would buy a Canon 40D. But this is because I'm getting into a bit of sports photography, and despite what some old-time photographers did, faster autofocus and a higher frame rate helps.

05-01-2008, 05:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwa Quote
I am looking at purchasing a digital slr system. Currently considering the D300, 40D and the Pentax K20D. I started into photography with a Pentax k1000 35MM camera many years ago. In my 35mm days I used Pentax, Olympus and Minolta. I took some wedding and event photos and sports.

I want a system that will grow with me as my skills progress. What I really like about the Pentax system is the relatively low price for the pro grade lenses. I have $3500.00 to spend for the camera lenses and flash. I was considering the K20d with 16-50 and 50-135 lenses. In the area I live, most people shoot with Nikon or Canon and I don't know anyone using the Pentax system. I am unsure of the Pentax flash system and how good it is compared to nikon and canon. I know this is the pentax forum and wanted to get some thoughts frome people that had the same dilemma before purchasing the Pentax system. I guess I am hoping to make my decision in the next week of whcih system to go with. The pentax system will allow me to get the pro grade lenses with IS and 2.8 glass.

For 3.5k, you can have 40D, 17-55/2.8IS, 70-200/4L IS & 580EX II. The Pentax system is fine but AF & P-TTL are rather weak unfortunately, something you don't want to take chances with for wedding, events & sports.
05-01-2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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Alrite. My take on it is this:
First and almost foremost, run what your friends use. If your friends dont use these than it's n.a/
Pentax has some of the nicest build quality in the biz, and the K1/20D is no exception. Also, pro grade glass is much cheaper with pentax, and other camera users are even converting pentax lenses to work on their cameras. (I saw an olympus user using a 77mm Ltd. on his e-3.)

The k10d does not have a pc synch, and has a lesser autofocus system compared to the Canons. BUT, when the K10d Locks on focus, it is generally spot on.
With the K20, all the ISO problems go away, and I think its a great system.

Compare a DA*16-50 at 700 bux avg, to a Nikon 17-55 2.8 for around 12-400 dollars avg. You could buy a 16-50 and a 50-135 for the price of just that lens.

Go figure, and get what you feel like you want. Thats the most important thing
05-01-2008, 06:21 PM   #11
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Alan, the Canon system I am looking at is exactly as you list. I do not have the best feeling about Canon due to a lot of quality issues that I read about. I appreciate the comments.

RWA
05-01-2008, 06:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwa Quote
Alan, the Canon system I am looking at is exactly as you list. I do not have the best feeling about Canon due to a lot of quality issues that I read about. I appreciate the comments.

RWA
If you don't have the best feeling, dont get it. Trust me. You may have good equip. but you will always be wishing you got what your heart was set on.
05-01-2008, 08:57 PM   #13
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Hello RWA. Sounds similar to my recent thoughts. 3 months ago I bought
a K10D (first DSLR) cuz the price was right, though I wanted a 40D.
Bucks are/were tight so......I lived with it. I'm an old film shooter and
enjoy some sports pics. Found out the K10D is a bit slow at times.
Now, I'm still considering a 40D, and selling the K10D simply because I want
to take more/better sports pics. Moral of the story: Be sure you buy the body
that will do what YOU want it to do.
Ergonomics/buttons/controls of the Pentax are very good, however, with
only a few details that I'd change.
I hope you make the right choice no matter which brand.
05-02-2008, 05:44 AM   #14
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Wouldn't trade my K20D for the Canon 40D any day of the week. The Canon does shoot fast. Pictures require more messing with than Pentax to look good. If high frame rate is the deal don't forget the Pentax burst mode. I know 1.6mp. Still if you need speed it has it. Did this to a guy in class after he shot his mighty 40D. His jaw hit the floor.
We still have higher reolution than 40D. Over 24 million IS lenses with SR. Does Canon have IS: fisheye, fast 50mm equivalent, macros, etc? No. Can C&N do multiple exposures and exposure compensation to reduce noise? No. Do they give you choice of two raw formats? Have either shown any attempt lately at keeping compatibility of older lenses? Talked to the photo professor at university. Class has use of the Canon 16mp Eos 1xxx, Nikon D200, Pentax K10D. He said no one wants to use the Eos. They all grab the Nikon and Pentax.
Only other digital camera I really lust after is a Leica M8.
thanks
barondla
05-02-2008, 08:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwa Quote
I am looking at purchasing a digital slr system. Currently considering the D300, 40D and the Pentax K20D. I started into photography with a Pentax k1000 35MM camera many years ago. In my 35mm days I used Pentax, Olympus and Minolta. I took some wedding and event photos and sports.

I want a system that will grow with me as my skills progress. What I really like about the Pentax system is the relatively low price for the pro grade lenses. I have $3500.00 to spend for the camera lenses and flash. I was considering the K20d with 16-50 and 50-135 lenses. In the area I live, most people shoot with Nikon or Canon and I don't know anyone using the Pentax system. I am unsure of the Pentax flash system and how good it is compared to nikon and canon. I know this is the pentax forum and wanted to get some thoughts frome people that had the same dilemma before purchasing the Pentax system. I guess I am hoping to make my decision in the next week of whcih system to go with. The pentax system will allow me to get the pro grade lenses with IS and 2.8 glass.

Your comments are appreciated.

RWA
RWA,

My 2 cents here:

- Unfortunatly you will not be choosing for a camera but for a system.
Someone told me that before I got into DSLR's, it took me some time to realize, but it is very true.
Changing systems is hard.
If you decide now for one system over another because of 1 specific camera body feature, you are tricked.

- Glass is where the real investments goes.
Glass stays with you for a very long time.

- Camera technology is a VERY temporary snapshot in time!
What you buy today will be old fashioned tomorrow.
Think of them as items to be replaced in a relative near future.
Over 3 years there will be a K50D and a Canon 70D, no way we can predict which one is better than! Although it is a very relevant issue....

- Pentax glass is excellent stuff for they price they ask, only Oly does better on price / performance here.

- Pentax AF system is slower, but much more precise than Canon.
Canon has LV AF today.

- The K?0D Weather and dust sealing is a much bigger plus than I expected before the purchase of my K10D and DA* 16-50mm.
It took me using the system to experience the advantages (shooting in rain, on a stormy beach, etc)

- Tamron and Sigma are slower on releasing Pentax glass and they do not offer their complete gamma in K-mount.

- The K20D has (arguably) better IQ than the 40D (and isn't IQ what it is all about?)

- The biggest issue that I have with Pentax that it is relatively hard to get lenses and other K mount items in this part of the world

Hope this helps,

- Bert
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