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02-28-2016, 12:20 PM   #1
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2016 Camera Upgrade

Hi there,

I've been using a Rebel XT / 350D for the past 4 years and recently I thought about upgrading. I'm using a lot of m42 lenses with AF confirm adapters so I'm not bound to any Camera makers in particular (I'm free!). I really like my 350D, it's a little workhorse but I could use a bigger viewfinder and the live view.

Requirements:
- Can shot with m42 lenses.
- AF confirm need to work with m42 lenses as I wear glasses and can't solely rely on my eyes (Well, sometimes I'm spot on, sometimes I'm not).
- The budget is between 180/250USD

I've been thinking about the Pentax K-7, Canon 50D, Pentax K-30 & Canon 550D.

Thank you for your time.

02-28-2016, 12:32 PM   #2
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new K-50's are under $300 at B&H... that may stretch your budget a bit, but it's a great camera....
02-28-2016, 12:34 PM   #3
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+1 the K-50, you can't go wrong
02-28-2016, 12:42 PM   #4
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If you like your Canon, you'll be more familiar with the layout/ergonomics of another Canon.

But I'd have to say +2 on the K-50, by far the best value and IQ for a new camera plus warranty. With it you'd get In Body Image Stabilization with your lenses, a body that is WR, bigger-brighter pentaprism finder, AA batteries in a pinch with an adapter, better low light/high ISO, and the live view.

02-28-2016, 12:55 PM   #5
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The 50D will likley feel better in hand than the k50. It will also have better autpfocus but thats a mute point for m42 lenses. But the sensor is worse than the k50
02-28-2016, 01:04 PM   #6
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You need to check if the mirror clears with your M42 adapter and each Takumar lens you use if you get a different Canon. Some Tak/adapter combos hit, I hear. I'd avoid a K-7. While for the price you probably can't go wrong but I think you can get a better sensor for just as cheep.
02-28-2016, 01:09 PM   #7
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I've noticed that there is no confirmation chip on m42 to PK adapters?

---------- Post added 02-28-16 at 01:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Venom3300 Quote
The 50D will likley feel better in hand than the k50. It will also have better autpfocus but thats a mute point for m42 lenses. But the sensor is worse than the k50
I always use Manual mode and manual Stop Down (Unless the lens has a A/M Switch).
02-28-2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Helios 84-5 Quote
I've noticed that there is no confirmation chip on m42 to PK adapters?
Don't need no chip in Pentaxland! All mechanical!
When you use m42 adapter, you can input the focal length and you get Shake reduction. If the lens (or adapter, if it has flange; though that has its own downsides) covers the AF contacts, then you can use Catch in Focus (aka focus trapping), which gives you something similar to AF even with manual lenses.
m42 lenses do not have auto-aperture on K bodies, regardless of adapter. So the A/M switch doesn't really do much. You need to focus wide open, then stop down, meter (m42 lenses in Av mode or with Auto-iso do this continuously), and take the shot. With a little practice this can be done quickly without problems
QuoteOriginally posted by Helios 84-5 Quote
- AF confirm need to work with m42 lenses as I wear glasses and can't solely rely on my eyes (Well, sometimes I'm spot on, sometimes I'm not).
It will work with many m42 lenses, but not necessarily perfectly on all. This depends on lens contrast and aperture. If you wear glasses, you can use the diopter on the DSLR viewfinder to adjust it to your needs. If you use mostly m42 lenses, I would also recommend you install a focusing screen made for MF. There are plenty of threads about this. Simply put, the focusing screens on modern DSLRs are made for relatively slow zoom lenses with AF; not for fast manual focus primes.
Finally, cameras like K-01, K-30, K-50 have Focus peaking. This means you can use live view and the parts that are in-focus will light up on the monitor. This is a great feature with fast m42 glass.

So I would recommend the K-30 or K-50. Both can be found for a really good price, I think. Often the K-50 can be cheaper than the K-30, despite being newer and having a more "classic" style. In terms of sensor and features, they are virtually identical. Only important difference is that the flash hood of the K-30 protrudes further, which can prevent it from being mounted on some very exotic lenses (like telephoto mirror lenses), so take that into account if you use lenses with a very wide base.

I also recommend you go to a store or local camera club where you can see the camera and hold it in hands, take a photo or two. For many photographers the feel, weight, and general button layout of the camera are very important

Tl;dr: Buy K-30 or K-50, install a focusing screen, adjust viewfinder diopter, use Catch in focus, Av mode with auto-ISO, use live view with focus peaking. Main advantage that Canon might have is video mode, which is traditionally a Canon strength/Pentax weakness.

02-28-2016, 01:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Don't need no chip in Pentaxland! All mechanical!
When you use m42 adapter, you can input the focal length and you get Shake reduction. If the lens (or adapter, if it has flange; though that has its own downsides) covers the AF contacts, then you can use Catch in Focus (aka focus trapping), which gives you something similar to AF even with manual lenses.
m42 lenses do not have auto-aperture on K bodies, regardless of adapter. So the A/M switch doesn't really do much. You need to focus wide open, then stop down, meter (m42 lenses in Av mode or with Auto-iso do this continuously), and take the shot. With a little practice this can be done quickly without problems

It will work with many m42 lenses, but not necessarily perfectly on all. This depends on lens contrast and aperture. If you wear glasses, you can use the diopter on the DSLR viewfinder to adjust it to your needs. If you use mostly m42 lenses, I would also recommend you install a focusing screen made for MF. There are plenty of threads about this. Simply put, the focusing screens on modern DSLRs are made for relatively slow zoom lenses with AF; not for fast manual focus primes.
Finally, cameras like K-01, K-30, K-50 have Focus peaking. This means you can use live view and the parts that are in-focus will light up on the monitor. This is a great feature with fast m42 glass.

So I would recommend the K-30 or K-50. Both can be found for a really good price, I think. Often the K-50 can be cheaper than the K-30, despite being newer and having a more "classic" style. In terms of sensor and features, they are virtually identical. Only important difference is that the flash hood of the K-30 protrudes further, which can prevent it from being mounted on some very exotic lenses (like telephoto mirror lenses), so take that into account if you use lenses with a very wide base.

I also recommend you go to a store or local camera club where you can see the camera and hold it in hands, take a photo or two. For many photographers the feel, weight, and general button layout of the camera are very important

Tl;dr: Buy K-30 or K-50, install a focusing screen, adjust viewfinder diopter, use Catch in focus, Av mode with auto-ISO, use live view with focus peaking. Main advantage that Canon might have is video mode, which is traditionally a Canon strength/Pentax weakness.
All my lenses can be found the Pentaxforum database, so I supose that it is safe to assume that they'll pair will with the K-50 ( Jupiter-21M, Super-Tak 135mm f/3.5, Super-Tak 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2, Helios 44M-4, Tessar 50mm f/2.8). My only lens that is not on the database is a Auto Sears 28mm f/2.8 which is an undercover Rikoh Auto Rikenon 28mm f/2.8.
02-28-2016, 03:20 PM   #10
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My first DSLR was a Rebel XT/350D that I found on a clearance rack in Walmart for $270 in 2009 or so. I learned on it and think of it fondly for that reason...and that reason alone!

No auto ISO, harsh shutter sound, teensy-tinsy screen, no live view, one control dial. It was a second gen intro level DSLR, and it shows. Whatever you get will be head and shoulders above the Rebel, and not just in image quality.

I went from the Rebel to the K-7. The sensor was significantly better, though still noisy by today's standards. But where the K-7 spoiled me was build quality, features, and ergonomics. You've probably heard it said, but lesser cameras will feel like plastic toys once you've handled something like the K-7.

The K-30 has a newer, cleaner sensor. The 50D has good build quality by all accounts--it was Canon's top APS-C body at the time.

So my recommendation for using M42 lenses would be to go with Pentax for the reasons others have said. The K-30 will have the newer sensor, but the K-7 would be my choice from what you mention.

But if you can stretch to a used K-5 you'll get a body and a sensor which you can be very satisfied with.

The thought of using a Rebel XT for as long as you have gives me the shakes--whatever you do, upgrade! And soon!
02-28-2016, 03:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by filoxophy Quote
My first DSLR was a Rebel XT/350D that I found on a clearance rack in Walmart for $270 in 2009 or so. I learned on it and think of it fondly for that reason...and that reason alone!
The Rebel XT is my first dSLR, it was giant leap over my General Imaging a950 and since I don't know any better, it's my reference point.
02-28-2016, 06:55 PM   #12
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The K50 is a great option if you can swing it. The k30 is basically the same camera. I have two k30's and simply love them. You can get k30 bodies on ebay for 225 to 279 with free shipping and shutter counts less than 4000. I would recommend Roberts Camera Shop as a good seller. I have bought several items from them and they tend to be very accurate descriptions of the items.
02-28-2016, 07:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Helios 84-5 Quote
The Rebel XT is my first dSLR, it was giant leap over my General Imaging a950 and since I don't know any better, it's my reference point.
Yes, please understand I did not intend to denigrate your judgment or anything. The point I hoped to make is that whichever model you choose of those posted, you'll be making a considerable upgrade. When I put that K-7 in my hands it was like the scales fell from my eyes, ha! YMMV Best of luck with your decision.

Oh, one minor note--the XT does have that black LCD which most entry level DSLRs lost. So if you like checking certain settings without having the color screen fired up all the time, keep that in mind.
02-28-2016, 07:54 PM   #14
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The k7 was my primary camera until just recently. It was a wonderful camera and taught me a great deal, but if I was buying today the K50 would win hands down. At this point the k7 sensor tech is just too old to mess with now. The K50 sensor just puts it to shame and the controls and interface are excellent.
02-28-2016, 08:14 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by macman24054 Quote
The K50 is a great option if you can swing it. The k30 is basically the same camera. I have two k30's and simply love them. You can get k30 bodies on ebay for 225 to 279 with free shipping and shutter counts less than 4000. I would recommend Roberts Camera Shop as a good seller. I have bought several items from them and they tend to be very accurate descriptions of the items.
Noted. The more I think about it, the more Canon and Nikon are fading away. It will be either the K-7, K-30 or K-50, the one that I will be able to snag at my price. As long as I can use my vintage lenses, get a reliable camera & hear a 'Beep' when I'm in focus, everything will be just fine (Not asking much? loll)

QuoteOriginally posted by filoxophy Quote
Yes, please understand I did not intend to denigrate your judgment or anything. The point I hoped to make is that whichever model you choose of those posted, you'll be making a considerable upgrade. When I put that K-7 in my hands it was like the scales fell from my eyes, ha! YMMV Best of luck with your decision.
Oh, one minor note--the XT does have that black LCD which most entry level DSLRs lost. So if you like checking certain settings without having the color screen fired up all the time, keep that in mind.
No offense taken I'm tempted by the K-7 however the weight is a drawback as I'm used to lighter. I remember holding my friend's 7d and thought it was way too heavy for my taste...however the magnesium body is quite appealing Both K-30 & k-50 are very interesting too, I had appeased the 'Upgrade Fever' for a 50d, when I saw a picture on Flickr taken with a K-30.
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