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07-04-2016, 06:35 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
K10D is the highest resolution CCD based sensor camera that Pentax made as far as I recall. It is weather sealed and has a battery grip option. It will render colors in a way that is what you are used to more than modern CMOS sensors. That is not to say that the more modern CMOS sensors are not great - they are.

The K50 and others mentioned above are great 16mp cameras. That was the step I took from my K100D Super. The K100D Super was a fantastic camera for me but the jump to the K50 was awesome - I lost the top LCD but gained a ton of higher ISO performance and weather sealing and better autofocus and a brighter viewfinder.

K10D is the cheapest upgrade I think you might like. The K20D is very similar but with a CMOS sensor. The K30/K50 are basically the same and add a lot of nice features but lose a few like the top LCD. The KS-1 is a nice camera recently discontinued that has a very nice 20mp sensor and is very small. The KS-2 is the same but adds more subdued styling and weather resistance and a tilt/swivel LCD.

The options are numerous. The budget restrictions will help narrow things a bit.
I like the way you laid out the options, thanks.

After doing some checking, iIt looks like the K50, at its usual price, would be way out of my price range, unless I was lucky to find one that didn't get bid up that high on the auction site. K-30s also would tend to be too high for me, but might start out more often in my affordable range, increasing the chance that a real bargain might be snagged with luck. K10D/K20D might be a more reasonable expectation for me.

---------- Post added 07-04-16 at 08:43 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
. . . That said, for manual lenses and old film lenses, you might want to consider the brand new, slightly pricier (though still fairly priced) K-1. It has an FF sensor. This means the sensor is as big as 35mm film, so you can use your old lenses to their full potential. APSC sensors don't use the corners of those lenses, so the apparent FoV changes. Top of the line camera, Pentax flagship, should last you for a long, long time.
I keep wondering whether using the APSC sensor doesn't actually improve the images possible from some of the old lenses, especially if they tend to be a bit soft at the edges, especially at wide apertures. Also on the positive it gives telephotos more reach. But on the negative side, it turns medium wide-angle lenses into normal ones !

Price will probably keep me away from the FF sensor...unless I discover one at a yard sale.

---------- Post added 07-04-16 at 08:57 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
What's your budget? I was able to extend the usability of my K100D by purchasing an OM-E53 eyepiece magnifier. It makes using manual focus lenses much easier, especially with the K100D's smaller pentamirror VF (same as your K110's). For about $200 you can upgrade to a used K5, which would see you through for many years.
I got my K110D for a little less than $80 (including the shipping). My maximum for a dslr upgrade really couldn't be more than double that, and I'd have to save up for quite a while to get there. Perhaps on rare occasion a K-5 can be grabbed that low, but probably not normally.

As for manual focus, I think what gives me the most difficulty is the combination of any two of these things: a low contrast subject, low light (naturally or due to slow lens aperture), or slim depth-of-field from using a lens in close-focussing/macro mode. My main problem with magnifying the viewfinder is that I loose sight of the frame boundary and start shooting crocked pictures.

07-04-2016, 06:58 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
While I do know that as a general rule all Pentax DSLRs are backward compatible with respect to using old K-mount and M42 lenses, what I do not know -- and my reason for noting the issue in my post -- is whether certain models among the many that have come out since the K110D might be less friendly to old lenses or less suited to using them somehow. Perhaps some model might have fewer manual exposure related settings, or perhaps some model might have a flimsier mount that could be endangered by connecting it to a lens weighing 2 pounds. I don't know those particulars about those many models, but I assumed that other Pentaxians here would know if any models had such issues, despite their being technically backward compatible.
There no backward compatibility problems as far as I know, but I think there are some forward incompatibilities, some of which have been cured with firmware upgrades. Ever since the APS-C range came out with the K5/K30 onwards everything is compatible with everything else, even the formidable K1 has got the ability in it's firmware to cope with the lenses designed for the smaller sensors. As I understand it before the K5/K30 releases Pentax was falling behind Canon, Nikon, Sony et al, now the brand (with Ricoh money) is at least as good as the big players and in my mind much better value.

N
07-04-2016, 07:11 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nickrs Quote
Some more K50 photos, not that we are trying to twist your arm or anything! :-)

Notice the flying rock top right which Max the dog is about to chase and the black with white dots is a photo of the Andromeda galaxy at ISO1600.
Nickrs, thanks for posting the photos. There is a kind of three-dimensionality to the dog's fur that I can't quite imagine getting out of my k110D, perhaps even were it connected to the lens you used. And, at any ISO it can make, I don't think the K110D can get that kind of inky blackness with pinholes of light, that you have in the night sky photo, or, if it can, I don't know how to set it up to do that. When I have shot pictures of the moon, the sky around it has a more sedimentary texture to it, like a wash of ultramarine if there are any watercolorists reading along.

Strong arm twisting -- enough to keep alive the pipe dream of finding a K50 priced much lower than usual!

---------- Post added 07-04-16 at 09:17 AM ----------

Nobody has mentioned the K500. I found mention of it in an article about the K50 that I was reading this morning. Supposedly it is the "entry-level" sibling of the K50 but retains nearly all of the same features. Is that so? Did they make/sell many of them? I suppose if they are rare, they might occasionally get bid higher than K50s. Or perhaps they just aren't available very often, even if they do go cheaper when they come up for sale.

The specs I saw said the K500 uses AA batteries, but I'm not sure whether the K50 can't use them. I'm not a big fan of proprietary batteries, though having to go to them is not an absolute deal breaker for me.

Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 07-04-2016 at 07:23 AM.
07-04-2016, 07:35 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Nickrs, thanks for posting the photos. There is a kind of three-dimensionality to the dog's fur that I can't quite imagine getting out of my k110D, perhaps even were it connected to the lens you used. And, at any ISO it can make, I don't think the K110D can get that kind of inky blackness with pinholes of light, that you have in the night sky photo, or, if it can, I don't know how to set it up to do that. When I have shot pictures of the moon, the sky around it has a more sedimentary texture to it, like a wash of ultramarine if there are any watercolorists reading along.

Strong arm twisting -- enough to keep alive the pipe dream of finding a K50 priced much lower than usual!

---------- Post added 07-04-16 at 09:17 AM ----------

Nobody has mentioned the K500. I found mention of it in an article about the K50 that I was reading this morning. Supposedly it is the "entry-level" sibling of the K50 but retains nearly all of the same features. Is that so? Did they make/sell many of them? I suppose if they are rare, they might occasionally get bid higher than K50s. Or perhaps they just aren't available very often, even if they do go cheaper when they come up for sale.

The specs I saw said the K500 uses AA batteries, but I'm not sure whether the K50 can't use them. I'm not a big fan of proprietary batteries, though having to go to them is not an absolute deal breaker for me.
The K50 can take AA batteries in a special adapter which costs about $8.

The K500 does not have the weatherproofing and lacks the autofocus notification in the eyepiece (which I found useful), apart from that they are pretty much the same if I remember my research for three or four years ago. The strange thing I have noticed is that the prices for the K50 seem to be going up not down as they sell out.

Nick

07-04-2016, 07:47 AM   #20
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In your price range, you could probably look at at used K-x or K-r. They are turning up in the ~$150 range here on the PF Marketplace. More megapickles, and better high ISO abilities. Those bodies are similar in size and feel to your K110D, and can take AA's. Or you could look at a K10D, with CCD output similar to your K110D, except with higher resolution (10 mpx). Pro-style body with bigger VF, great handling and weather-sealing. They have been routinely turning up on the Marketplace in the $100-150 range.
07-04-2016, 07:59 AM   #21
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Weather-sealing is one of those assets I could go either way on. As someone pointed out, if none of my lenses have it, I'm going to be avoiding camera-risky weather anyway. On the other hand, anything that keeps any kind of crud or moisture out of the camera body can't be a bad thing. If I happened to snag a WR body with a WR lens on it, then I could risk venturing into what would be for me new photographic weathers. That's not a major goal, but might be nice to try Also, it might be reassuring just to be more prepared for the possibility of a bad weather-like mishap more than I am now.
07-04-2016, 08:23 AM - 1 Like   #22
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You price range does limit your choices. However there are always options. A K10D would be an upgrade since with a firmware upgrade you could use non screwdrive lenses like Pentax's SDM or Sigma's HSM lenses. Also full weather sealing. A K20D would be the next step up from that giving you Live view capability and a CMOS sensor. Both camera will also accept a battery grip which will help stabilize longer lenses handheld and give you an extra battery. The other option that most would not consider is a K-01. The K-01 shares the same 16mp sensor as the K5 series. The K-01 can be a quirky little camera but once you get past it's limitations you can really get some nice results. Of course many people hate the lack of a view finder.

With modern software these days I think can much out the older cameras than back when they were new. Noise reduction software has come a long way. Shooting in RAW is a big help. I've seen some KS-1's go pretty cheap, right around your price range. It seems a used K50 body should not go for much more than 200 USD. The K50 is a very nice camera. I use mine right along with my K3.

Don't doubt the old K10D sensor.





07-04-2016, 01:40 PM   #23
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Personally I only know the (relative) capabilities of cameras K-30 and newer, because that's when I joined Pentax. I've used a K200d a bit, and although I don't find any issues with the image quality, what bugged me the most was the controls/speed of the camera - it was just old. So in my limited experience, I'd recommend the K-50... but with your budget, take a look at what everyone else has recommended.

07-04-2016, 11:26 PM   #24
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Finding a K-01 for $160 or less seems a difficult task. K-50 is even less likely.
07-05-2016, 08:20 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scorpio71GR Quote
Don't doubt the old K10D sensor.
Beautiful shots Michael! For that matter, don't doubt your K110's 6 mp sensor either - what kind of glass are you using? And RAW is absolutely the way to go with these older cameras. I have my *ist D set up for fulltime Takumar/m42 use, and really like the results. It has the same sensor as your K110D, and it really seems to be a good match for the Taks. Super Tak 35/3.5:
07-05-2016, 08:30 AM   #26
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Okay, the comments thus far have been very generous and helpful and (I think) have begun to orient me in the dslr model number maze enough that I can begin to use the camera comparison page that I didn't earlier find. See if the following statements seem accurate:

* From my K110D, the cheapest possible upgrades affording some significant improvement in image quality potential would be either a K10D or a K200D.

* The next step up might be to a K-X or K-R.

* The next step up might be to a K-20

* A K-5 might usually be out of my price range but might be the most affordable 16mpx CMOS model I could hope for if luck or slightly better fortune smiled on me.

Does that seem to be a fair synthesis of the advice and commentary so far? Does anyone have any suggested corrections of amendments to this list? Does this list or the groupings within it suggest any additional features or points of comparison you want to point out to me?

I'm studying comparison chart printouts and may have some additional questions, too.


.
07-05-2016, 09:09 AM   #27
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Last year I loaned my Nephew-in-law's wife my K100D Super and Tamron 70-300mm LD DI MACRO to try as she had an Olympus 4/3 camera without shake reduction and was thinking of buying a longer lens that would offer long telephoto for wildlife and closer focussing for flowers. I did not mention the option of getting an adapter for her Olympus. My thinking was that she ought to try something that gave SR when using a long telephoto.
She loved it. Thinking she might ask for the K100D Super I picked up a K-R to have as my standby camera. I liked it though missed the top LCD a bit. I then loaned her this so she could see what the larger sensor offered for higher ISO's and also cropping. She liked this even more, not surprising.
I then bought a K20D to use as a standby as my great niece was also showing an interest in SLR's having given her my old Fuji and Olympus in the past and I could feel the K100D Super was going to be asked for sometime soon.
Time to get to the point;


My favourite camera is my K-5, cost me 200 20 months ago from SRS microsystems with 76k on the clock but it looked like it had spent it's early life in a studio, cosmetically almost pristine and with 3 months warranty.


My next is the K20D which is fitted with a battery grip. I believe it has a Samsung sensor though I rarely go higher than 400 ISO with it..
The K-R does not have the top LCD that the K100D Super has, but does have better ISO ceiling and is good enough I it's own right with a nice (Sony?) sensor.


My suggestion to you, bearing in mind my limited experience of Pentax SLRs is;


Go for a K-5 as soon as you can (super camera and the price of these 2nd hand is getting to be within your budget) but if you don't mind working your way through to it later or maybe even the K-3, the K20D or K-R will provide excellent interims, both of which should be found well within your budget if you look around.
07-05-2016, 10:40 AM   #28
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Skodadriver, thanks for sharing your experience and perspective, as that can sometimes be more practically illuminating that getting lost in specification charts and even long lists of user reviews!

In reading about the K-5, I learned it's predecessor was the K-7, and in reading about the K-7, I learned it's forerunner was the K-20. Just when I think I am about to have some understanding of the numbering system I discover I don't have a clue....

It seems to be known and accepted that the K10D is noisy above iso400, and the K20Ds higher limit on the iso range should be an improvement, but some of its users seem to be even more frustrated about the noise it gets at iso800 and above. Could part of the issue be people adjusting to that early generation of the CMOS sensor? The K20D is weather resistant, but unless it is cheaper than a K10D, I am thinking (-x-x edit x-x-) that a K10D is most likely the next step up from my K110.

People seem to rave about the K-X / K-R's low noise at high isos (and I need to give serious thought to how important to me that could be for some kinds of pictures), but I don't know why their bottom end is only iso 200? Why no 100? I would also have to worry about avoiding getting one in one of those infernal colors, too. I'm not trying to match my camera with my shoes or tie. If I'm not a teenager trying to look "cool," shouldn't a camera be black or silver, or some combination of those two?

Nobody mentioned the K-7. Is it sort of the rough draft of the K-5? On first glance its user reviews remind me of the ones for the K20D -- several people love them, but a few have more of a love-hate relationship with them.

Now I need to look up the K-3 since it has just been mentioned.

Oh, one important question --- when people talk about "autofocus confirmation" is that the same as the little red square I get in the viewfinder of my K110D, when I get a manual lens into focus (usually accompanied by a green blob on the information line at the bottom of the viewfinder)? I've gotten used to using that crutch. If some of the suggested models don't do that, it could be a mark against them for me.

Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 07-05-2016 at 10:54 AM.
07-05-2016, 11:06 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Oh, one important question --- when people talk about "autofocus confirmation" is that the same as the little red square I get in the viewfinder of my K110D, when I get a manual lens into focus (usually accompanied by a green blob on the information line at the bottom of the viewfinder)? I've gotten used to using that crutch. If some of the suggested models don't do that, it could be a mark against them for me.
The green "blob" (it's actually a hexagon) is the focus confirmation. I believe all Pentax bodies share this feature. The red square indicates which focus point is being used.
07-05-2016, 12:02 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Skodadriver, thanks for sharing your experience and perspective, as that can sometimes be more practically illuminating that getting lost in specification charts and even long lists of user reviews!

In reading about the K-5, I learned it's predecessor was the K-7, and in reading about the K-7, I learned it's forerunner was the K-20. Just when I think I am about to have some understanding of the numbering system I discover I don't have a clue....

It seems to be known and accepted that the K10D is noisy above iso400, and the K20Ds higher limit on the iso range should be an improvement, but some of its users seem to be even more frustrated about the noise it gets at iso800 and above. Could part of the issue be people adjusting to that early generation of the CMOS sensor? The K20D is weather resistant, but unless it is cheaper than a K10D, I am thinking (-x-x edit x-x-) that a K10D is most likely the next step up from my K110.

People seem to rave about the K-X / K-R's low noise at high isos (and I need to give serious thought to how important to me that could be for some kinds of pictures), but I don't know why their bottom end is only iso 200? Why no 100? I would also have to worry about avoiding getting one in one of those infernal colors, too. I'm not trying to match my camera with my shoes or tie. If I'm not a teenager trying to look "cool," shouldn't a camera be black or silver, or some combination of those two?

Nobody mentioned the K-7. Is it sort of the rough draft of the K-5? On first glance its user reviews remind me of the ones for the K20D -- several people love them, but a few have more of a love-hate relationship with them.

Now I need to look up the K-3 since it has just been mentioned.

Oh, one important question --- when people talk about "autofocus confirmation" is that the same as the little red square I get in the viewfinder of my K110D, when I get a manual lens into focus (usually accompanied by a green blob on the information line at the bottom of the viewfinder)? I've gotten used to using that crutch. If some of the suggested models don't do that, it could be a mark against them for me.

I believe the K-7 might seen to be a refined and enhanced K20D while the K-5 is a larger step up from the K20D and K-7. Certainly a K-7 is likely to be a great camera!


If you input Pentax k-(whatever) vs Pentax K-(another model) there are sites like snapsort that "score" the cameras against each other. These sites can reduce the differences to be more easily read comparisons than perhaps the Pentax Forum camera comparisons site.


The base ISO on a particular camera is set at what I presume is the best ISO setting for no noise of the particular sensor fitted to that particular camera, or maybe tuned to be. Plus the extra stop over ISO 100 is handy. It did worry me initially that my K100D Super had a base ISO of 200 but the images were excellent. If the ISO could have been expanded to include 100 (or 80) there might have been a deterioration in the image at a lower ISO, especially where a particular camera tends to underexpose by a stop or two.


You are right about the red square focus point indicator. At least one Pentax (the K-X I believe) does not show one in the viewfinder. If you like to know what the camera has chosen as the focus point this may be a disadvantage though you can still choose a particular point for focus. I believe manual lenses always use the centre point only anyway.


Lots of reading Pentax Forum camera reviews and comparisons (and of course those provided by magazines) is perhaps the answer to making your choice(s) of camera upgrade. Having a shutter that is likely to last a lot longer than an entry level camera, a faster shutter speed, better high ISO performance, WR etc might make you lean towards a higher end camera (K20D, K-7, K-5, K-3 and K-1) but lighter weight, simpler controls and lower cost might lean you towards the entry level. But all that reading should mean you learn a lot too! Perhaps even to stick with your current camera until a (fabulous spec) K-1 is a viable cost option.
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