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03-19-2007, 11:42 PM   #1
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Happy to be a new Pentaxian

As a backgrounder, I started out with a Yashica FX-7, then moved to digital photography via a Toshiba PDR-M25.

I bought a 300D two years back. It's a good cam for its time, to be honest with you guys. Serendipitously, though, I never had enough money to buy other lenses and equipment save for a remote control.

I sold the 300D last Saturday. Prior to that I had already been researching for a suitable replacement. I looked at my options and narrowed it down to three: the D80, the 30D, and the K10D. Since I had no prior investment in lenses, I was freer in my choice when buying a camera.

I overlooked the 400D because it felt more like a super-zoom camera (along the likes of the Fujifilm S-series and Panny's FZ-series). Seriously, the build of the camera felt terrible. Not only that, even with my not-so-big hands, the 400D still felt like it would easily slip through my hands. The grip didn't really feel right.

Olympus didn't appeal to me, except for their really old E-1, a camera that's long been out of our local market (I'm residing in the Philippines). Live-view didn't cut it for me. I always enjoyed looking through the viewfinder, even back in my P&S digicam days. I also was wary of how much I won't be able to afford the four-thirds lenses. I will admit that the E-500 is a much bigger improvement than the original E-300 (God, that body design's awful).

The authorized distributor of Sony locally charges an exorbitant amount for it's Alpha system, so much so that it has since relented and lowered the price considerably due to lackluster sales, if any at all. The camera felt solid for me, but I found the image quality lacking, personally. And I never enjoyed how Sony always screws with the standard hot shoe in favor of a proprietary one, which is a big no-no for me (I believe Minolta also did this). Even with the lower price, I don't think Sony sells much Alphas locally.

So the choice is now down to three. Here's how things shook down.

The D80 is quite hard to find in malls here. Just about the only dealers I saw who had this were merchants in a specific district of Manila, and even then, a lot of their units are gray market items. That scared me to some extent. The thought of making that long trip to that area since you only had their store warranty, and not Nikon's, weighed on my mind heavily. I would admit, though, that the D80 felt solid in my hands, and the pictures were good.

I had the hardest time picking between the 30D and the K10D. Both cameras felt really good in my hands. I took my sweet time testing the two cameras. The 30D's really good with ISO 1600, and its AF was really fast, both of these in comparison to the K10D.

I walked around the mall and mulled over this for hours. I spent time reading up on reviews and user comments, forums, etc. There were times when I seemed like I'd commit to one camera, only to walk away from the store to rethink my decision over.

Eventually, I went for the K10D, as it seemed to offer me more value for my money. I'm quite confident in the Pentax brand, even though I've never owned any Pentax equipment before.

Finally, Pentaxians I've seen in forums seem to be helpful and nice, which is a big plus for me since I'm new to the Pentax brand and all.

So there, I'm now a proud owner of a K10D. I found the build to be excellent, and it feels robust and rugged enough for me. The grip's really excellent, and the weight seemed to be just about right. I haven't tried the camera out in the rain, but I'm sold by the stories I hear of people taking the camera out in the rain and snow and never having problems with it. There seems to be rain coming our way later on this week, so I might be able to try the K10D in rough weather by then.

The kit lens didn't feel like a kit lens to me. The lens feels solid and capable, compared to the kit lens I've had on my 300D and the 30D test unit I tried. AF is pretty good, and is worlds apart from my previous cam.

I like the fact that I could go out this weekend and shop for used lenses without a care if it's gonna be compatible with my camera or not. Canon's shift from FD to EF meant that I'd have to be more careful in picking out which used lens to buy. And the fact that there are other manufacturers who used Pentax's mount before (I read this on this forum) meant that there are more chances to find a used lens compared to Canon/Nikon.

And finally, the image quality is very, very good. The images I got from this camera felt more real and film-like to me than that of the 300D (the 30D's also good). Yes, I've seen VPN in some of my pictures, but personally, I'm not that much of a pixel-peeper than others (which isn't a bad thing, since they found a defect in Pentax's camera). I wouldn't have known I had VPN if I didn't read through forums. Personally, that kind of noise for me looked like noise I'd expect and get from using ISO 1600 film (YMMV, this is how I see the noise of the K10D ). Noise in my 300D looked much more digital than noise from the K10D, and I'm happy about that.

The K10D's pictures look more like film to me, much like Fujifilm's Super CCD's output. I haven't tried maximizing the whole dynamic range Pentax advertises, but personally, I'm already getting better images from my new camera.

Oh, and shake reduction works GREAT! I thought 1/20 was doable, but I was surprised that I was getting tack-sharp images at 1/8 (and using the kit lens to boot!). I haven't tried going lower than 1/8, but I reckon one could still push the shutter speed even slower and still get a usable image.

All in all, I'm quite happy with my buy. I still wish Pentax would fix the VPN issue, but even then, the K10D's a great camera, I'm a happy new Pentaxian, and I hope to improve my photography with Pentax and with you fellow Pentaxians.

P.S. Sorry for the long-ish post. I'm just so happy.

P.S.S. I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this thread. Please do move it if it's not in the right place. Thanks!

03-20-2007, 01:29 AM   #2
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Who cares about long posts. A story needs to be told properly!

I've gotten decent photos down to 1/4s with SR. Love it!
03-20-2007, 02:59 AM   #3
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Welcome to the club. Like SM said, long post or not, it's a good story.

The Pentax kit lens is head and shoulders above the rest. Looking forward to images from your new camera. :-)

Cheers,
-Asad
03-20-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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Original Poster
thanks for the kind words! i'm surely gonna take lots of pictures with this camera. i'm not sure, though, if my skills can match what the camera's capable of. haha. nevertheless, i'll post images here.

again, thanks. Pentaxians are wonderful folks. haha.

03-20-2007, 01:47 PM   #5
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Welcome to the group, I enjoyed your long post. I never had to decide between cameras, I just buy what my wife has. Actually I bought her an istD when they first came out to use with a collection of manual K mount lenses. It was logical for me to buy a K100D when I decided to go DSLR.

Yes, the shake reduction is nice, and works with our old K1000 lenses.
03-20-2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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Glad to see and read about another person who sees through the Canon and Nikon marketing to get a camera that they really wanted!

Welcome to the forums!
03-20-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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Vinzer, welcome to the family. You chose a nice camera and a great place to socialize with other photographers. I enjoyed your story. It is always interesting to see how people pick between the different camera brands and models. I had three choices when it was time to go dslr. I have lenses for Canon EOS, Olympus OM, and Pentax. Hated the Canon bodies (3oo and 20D). The Olympus wouldn't work with my Om lenses (now theres an adapter). The Pentax worked with my lenses and was the most enjoyable to use. I would have bought the Pentax even if my lenses didn't fit. Have since added a K10D and Olympus E300 9for all those OM lenses.
You will see something else different about Pentax users this weekend. Please check out pentaxium.com and enter a photo taken on that day. It will be a blast. Its not a contest - just fun. What photography is supposed to be.
thanks
barondla
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