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11-21-2015, 03:07 PM   #1
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how old is too old in terms of camera bodies?

So my wife wanted to move up from a point and shoot to a dslr. After researching cameras for a few weeks we decided to go with the pentax k-50 with the 18-55mm kit lens. It should be here Tuesday. After doing weeks of research I realized that dslr photography is something that interests me as well. My wife is not one to share her toys, (nor should she have to), so I will need to get a camera for myself.

I don't want to spend new camera money again on something I just want to try out and may not stick with. I have found several *ist D and k-100's for sale with lenses for around $100. My question is are these cameras still good to learn on or are they so out of date that they aren't worth bothering with?

11-21-2015, 05:30 PM   #2
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They are good to learn on, but I would totally recommend the K-50.
Amazing camera!
11-21-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by baldrob Quote
So my wife wanted to move up from a point and shoot to a dslr. After researching cameras for a few weeks we decided to go with the pentax k-50 with the 18-55mm kit lens. It should be here Tuesday. After doing weeks of research I realized that dslr photography is something that interests me as well. My wife is not one to share her toys, (nor should she have to), so I will need to get a camera for myself.

I don't want to spend new camera money again on something I just want to try out and may not stick with. I have found several *ist D and k-100's for sale with lenses for around $100. My question is are these cameras still good to learn on or are they so out of date that they aren't worth bothering with?
I totally understand your situation. After 38 years as a film photographer, I finally decided to cross over to digital by purchasing a Pentax k100D Super Camera. I should mention here that this camera has been a complete joy to use and carry around. It has the "The Hand Shake" feature which is invaluable when not mounted on a tripod. It is lightweight, very versatile and is compatible with just about any lens, Takumar, Pentax, etc. I do not believe it is compatible with the M42 screw mount lenses unless there is an adapter available. In addition, when not in use, you do not have to remove the batteries because when you turn the camera off, everything goes off. For example on my Nikon D70 when I turn the camera off, the LCD shows the number of shots remaining. This can lead to eventual battery drain. I like this camera very much. I was fortunate to find it on ebay with the kit lens for a little over $100.00 and that included shipping. Now, here is a caveat, please be sure on insisting that any seller provides you with the actual shutter activation count. On digital cameras, it is common to have every shutter click added up. Get a print out as I did. I was fortunate to have found this camera with only 848 shutter clicks, which is very low when considering that the average shutter is good for up to 100,000 clicks or better. This camera is feature rich, so rich that they are too numerous to mention here. You can find a review on this site to give you a comprehensive perspective as to whether it will suit your needs. Again, I am very happy with my purchase. Good luck,

Tonytee
11-21-2015, 05:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
I do not believe it is compatible with the M42 screw mount lenses unless there is an adapter available.
Yes there is and it works very well.

11-21-2015, 05:39 PM   #5
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My first DSLR was a K100D, I bought it in 2009. So, no, they're not too old to learn on. I come from Pentax film cameras, so I was not totally new to photography and slr standards. But the first time using a DSLR and the K100D was a nice camera to bring me into the digital world. You would be fine with either of those for learning on.
11-21-2015, 05:41 PM   #6
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Obviously the newer the model the better the features. But, for a basic camera with good performance the older models are still relevant.

I have tried the ist L, K100, K200, K10, K20, K7, K5, K5iis, K3 - all decent cameras within their limitations. Really basic notes are as follows (check out the review database):

istD L = dedicated for macro work as it is one of two digital cameras produced by Pentax that can use TTL flash (older flashes). There is a plethora of old useful flashes out there that mate well with this camera for macro. Downside is 6MP and AA batteries.

K100 = basic walk around. not feature rich. Probably not a great body to use. ISO performance poor.

K200 = as above with slightly better features. ISO performance poor.

K10D = very good step up to above cameras. Has poor manual lens compatibility (light metering). Good walk around with useful features. Noise a problem at higher ISO (>400). Cult camera

K20D = step up from K10D with different sensor. ISO performance not the best. Cult following is less so for this reason.

K7 = step towards K5 with improvements over the K20D. 14 MP camera - so pretty good performance. AF and noise not the best.

K5 = flagship camera for a number of years. Feature rich and easy to use. Has ISO80 - very nice. Autofocus not really the best especially for fast (f2.8 or less lenses). Excellent camera to start with if not using fast lenses.

K5iis = flagship camera with modification. Removed AA filter to help make sharper images. EXCELLENT camera.

K3 = recent flagship camera. Highest MP rating. EXCELLENT camera.

My recommendation is a K5 body (second hand) as it represent excellent value for money. But if you can get a K5iis for a similar price I would definitely go for that camera.

Have fun choosing.
11-21-2015, 05:48 PM   #7
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What kind of budget are you looking to stay around? And do you need weather sealing?
11-21-2015, 06:16 PM   #8
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All you really need to keep in mind is that the *ist D,DS,DL and K100D, 110D won't work with SDM or DC autofocus (or Sigma HSM etc). Some SDM lenses still have the old screw drive autofocus, but the DA 17-70 and the newer lenses do not. If the lens says it is KAF3 the AF won't work.

All bodies from the K100D Super onwards have KAF2/3 and will work with all lenses.

11-21-2015, 06:20 PM   #9
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Personally I wouldn't really recommend the earliest DSLRs (*ist series, k100d, k10d) at this point, as modern tech is pretty far ahead of what it was back then. The K-50 is probably the best Pentax camera you can currently get value-wise.

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11-21-2015, 06:24 PM   #10
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I had the ist* D and loved it! It has the ccd sensor which has a certain lovely look to it. Its super slim compared to the new ones and had a feel more akin to a film camera. If you can get one super cheap go for it and get some eneloop rechargeable AA batteries (theres a black Friday sale on these at Costco)
11-21-2015, 07:11 PM   #11
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It depends on your budget but you can actually get a KS-1 kit for dirt cheap. There's a black friday deal right now for 200$...
11-21-2015, 07:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
There's a black friday deal right now for 200$...
Never tried - but gets good reviews. A camera well worth thinking about at this price.
11-21-2015, 07:33 PM   #13
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Played with one of the KS-1 cameras that I bought for gifts at 200 with the kit lens. If you're wanting cheap, and don't need WR, then these at 200 dollars with a lens and warranty are hard to beat. In face, probably impossible to beat.
11-21-2015, 08:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Played with one of the KS-1 cameras that I bought for gifts at 200 with the kit lens. If you're wanting cheap, and don't need WR, then these at 200 dollars with a lens and warranty are hard to beat. In face, probably impossible to beat.
It really is a very hard to beat deal.
Pentax K-S1 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black) | 06424 is the link. I think they also have the K-50 for a good price as well.
11-21-2015, 08:59 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of the replies. That ks-1 deal looks really good but sadly after spending ~$400 on the k-50 for my wife, spending $300 more before the rebate is not really an option. Really I'm working with a budget of $100-$150 which is why I was asking about the older models. I realize that budget won't get much, but I don't want to spend a lot of money until I know it is something that I will stick with.

It sounds like I should be alright starting out with one of these older camera bodies but I may wait until I have a little more money to spend. It depends on how impatient I get.
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