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04-04-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
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Talk me off of the ledge...

So after much hum-hawing I decided that I should have bought the Pentax K100D with Shake Reduction. Most of my shots were done indoors with less than perfect lighting and in some instances the SR would have helped. I was able to return the K110D at the camera shop for a full refund (very nice of them) and am looking where to go next. Beach Camera has the K100D for $485 (with $50 rebate subtracted). But... I was on PriceGrabber and saw the Sony A100 going for $644 at a reputable merchant.

My question is this, I am not a pro nor I play one on TV. However, doesn't it make sense to get the most advanced camera system at the time so that one isn't already behind the curve (i.e. Dust Removal and 10.2 MP)? I am tend to be a buy it once kind of guy. It seems like the Alpha for only $160 more might be the smart play.

Some back story... I have been out of photography since high school (2 years during) but love taking my point and shoot with me everywhere. I take a lot of candid portraits of people and animals. I am a firearms enthusiast (police officer) and frequently take stills of my collection. I have access to large format printing (up to 60" wide ) from a previous job managing a Kinko's location so I would like to keep open the possibilty of LARGE prints.

What should I do? Both bodies feel good ergonomically... Either is acceptable economically. Help!!!

04-04-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Obviously you are going to have a hard time getting a unbiased opinion from a Pentax (or from a Sony) specific site. However, here is one thing to keep in mind. How many used $20 200mm lens can one find on eBay for a Sony? I have two 200mm lesns for which I paid like $12 for one and another for which I paid under $30 for, both of which are in perfect shape. The availability of unique (and inexpensive) lens' are clearly important factors in choosing what body to go with.

Good luck.

Last edited by user440; 04-04-2007 at 01:22 PM.
04-04-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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Jumping off the ledge usually leads to a splat.

I would buy the K100D. The Pentax 6mp sensor will do much better than the Sony at high iso. You already said that you were doing a lot of indoor shooting in low light. Having a 10mp camera with shake reduction and a very noisy output (above iso400) won't help much over the K110D that took great looking pics at iso 1600! The only real way to beat the K110D is to add shake reduction ( K100D) and a brighter lens. Even the Pentax K10D (also 10mp, but much less noisey than Alpha) won't beat the K100D in that situation. Which is why I kept my DS to compliment my K10D. No one camera is better at everything.
Why don't you buy the K100D from the original store that allowed you full money back on the K100D. Seems like a good bunch to work with. Reward that help.
thanks
barondla
04-04-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by user440 Quote
How many used $20 200mm lens can one find on eBay for a Sony? I have two 200mm lesns on which I paid like $12 for and another which I paid under $30 for, both of which are in perfect shape. The availability of unique (and inexpensive) lens' are clearly important factors in choosing what body to go with.
I whole-heartedly second that! If I had bought into another system, I'd certainly be sitting idly by while others of more means endulged their LBA. My favorite lenses were all bought for well under $50.

04-04-2007, 01:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
I would buy the K100D. The Pentax 6mp sensor will do much better than the Sony at high iso. You already said that you were doing a lot of indoor shooting in low light. Having a 10mp camera with shake reduction and a very noisy output (above iso400) won't help much over the K110D that took great looking pics at iso 1600! The only real way to beat the K110D is to add shake reduction ( K100D) and a brighter lens. Even the Pentax K10D (also 10mp, but much less noisey than Alpha) won't beat the K100D in that situation. Which is why I kept my DS to compliment my K10D. No one camera is better at everything.
Why don't you buy the K100D from the original store that allowed you full money back on the K100D. Seems like a good bunch to work with. Reward that help.
thanks
barondla
I would love to support the local guy but not for $110 + Sales Tax more (approx. $120 more). Good point about indoor shooting and ISO800+... I don't know. The Alpha just seems like it might be a more versitile solution.
Also, I'll go searching now but I can't imagine old Minolta lenses are that high priced, if they will work with the Alpha mount?
Thanks for the advice so far, I just might stay in the Pentax camp...
04-04-2007, 02:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dxdgenert Quote
So after much hum-hawing I decided that I should have bought the Pentax K100D with Shake Reduction. But... I was on PriceGrabber and saw the Sony A100 going for $644 at a reputable merchant.

What should I do? Both bodies feel good ergonomically... Either is acceptable economically. Help!!!
I too agonized like this, coming from Sony DSC-F7x7 and 828, finishing with an R1, I wanted to stay with Sony, but!!

Sony: Lack of lenses at a reasonable price, a lot more noise at higher ISO, non intuitive menu system, and the big one for me.. The NON STANDARD proprietary flash hot shoe. I could not use my external Sony or standard flashes, or even remote flash controllers.

Pentax: Decided on the K10D, purchased it in early December 2006 and have not regretted if for a minute, have all the lenses I want, and external flash that works well, and the price was the same for the initial purchase.

Getting in may be cheaper than the K100D, but keeping in will be dissapointing in my opinion. I have heard from a couple of photogs that went with the Sony and changed soon after.

Good luck on your decision, been there, done that!!
04-04-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
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The cheapest dealer is not always the best choice. If your K110D dealer treated you well I'd say buy a K100D from them.

I found a K110D body for $249 at Bestprice.com and ordered it. People on this forum pointed out that resellerrating.com and the BBB.com rate them as awful. I cancelled the next morning, and bought from B&H for $349. I consider it $100 well spent for peace of mind and a dealer I've trusted for years. The impulse to buy cheap can get one in trouble.
04-04-2007, 03:57 PM   #8
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Another somewhat biased opinion:
When I purchased my K100D, the opinion of the Sony was quite low at any of the camera stores that I visited. The only people that actually recommended it were the salesmen at the big-box stores (who were also selling MP3 players, cell-phones and PDA's at the same counter, so I take their opinion with a grain of salt). The salesman that I bought my camera from recommended (in order) the K100D, D50, D40, K10 and finally the Rebel XTI.
I would say that if low-light shooting is important to you, go with the K100, due to superior noise reduction. If shooting large-format is important, perhaps you should consider the Alpha. I can't say for sure on this point, as I have never printed large-format. I do know that I have seen 24" wide prints from a 5MP camera that looked excellent from any normal viewing distance.
As for the price difference, have you spoken to your local retailer about the online proces you found? They may not match it, but may be able to at least come close. As you have said, they have already proved that they have very good customer service. It is hard to put a price on that.

Chris

04-04-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by silverbullet Quote
Another somewhat biased opinion:
When I purchased my K100D, the opinion of the Sony was quite low at any of the camera stores that I visited. The only people that actually recommended it were the salesmen at the big-box stores (who were also selling MP3 players, cell-phones and PDA's at the same counter, so I take their opinion with a grain of salt). The salesman that I bought my camera from recommended (in order) the K100D, D50, D40, K10 and finally the Rebel XTI.
I would say that if low-light shooting is important to you, go with the K100, due to superior noise reduction. If shooting large-format is important, perhaps you should consider the Alpha. I can't say for sure on this point, as I have never printed large-format. I do know that I have seen 24" wide prints from a 5MP camera that looked excellent from any normal viewing distance.
As for the price difference, have you spoken to your local retailer about the online proces you found? They may not match it, but may be able to at least come close. As you have said, they have already proved that they have very good customer service. It is hard to put a price on that.

Chris

Agreed. There are probably enough x vs. y type threads on here, but the only camera I even considered against the K100D was the Nikon D50. Based on my research and example photo's, Sony would have been toward the bottom of my list. That said, it is a very personal decision. One has to consider the attributes that are important to him or her self.
04-05-2007, 10:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by user440 Quote
Obviously you are going to have a hard time getting a unbiased opinion from a Pentax (or from a Sony) specific site. However, here is one thing to keep in mind. How many used $20 200mm lens can one find on eBay for a Sony? I have two 200mm lesns for which I paid like $12 for one and another for which I paid under $30 for, both of which are in perfect shape. The availability of unique (and inexpensive) lens' are clearly important factors in choosing what body to go with.

Good luck.
The problem these days is that old Pentax lenses are getting harder and harder to find, and they aren't all that cheap any more, and it's even difficult to find new lenses...
04-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #11
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Compare the systems

To generalize what everyone else has been saying, you're not just buying a camera; you're choosing a set of lenses. Over the lifespan of the camera, you will probably spend more money on lenses than on the body. A cheaper body may still be a bad long term buy, if lenses are less capable and more expensive.

When I looked, which was late last year, Sony's lens lineup was smaller, less capable and more expensive than the selection available for Canon, Nikon or Pentax. If this is still true, a Sony DSLR may be a bad long term investment, even if the body is slightly cheaper.

--Brett
04-06-2007, 08:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brett Turner Quote
To generalize what everyone else has been saying, you're not just buying a camera; you're choosing a set of lenses. Over the lifespan of the camera, you will probably spend more money on lenses than on the body. A cheaper body may still be a bad long term buy, if lenses are less capable and more expensive.
Absolutely right, but I would add that with digital, it is much more likely that bodies will end up being shorter-term purchases than film bodies ever were. My medium format camera is a 1959 Hasselblad, and it's still going strong. Will I be able to download images from the SD card on my camera to my computer in 50 years' time? I doubt it. But I have a feeling I may still be using the lenses...
04-06-2007, 08:08 PM   #13
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Edit: Apparently, I am wrong. However, a few years ago, some online company wth the word Beach in the name that sold video cameras used to engage in very shady practices. Regardless, the advice still stands- Always check the seller ratings. The practice I mentioned before still happens.

---

be very sure of the online merchants you deal with. Read reviews of the merchants as well and merchandise.

If I remember my research, Beach Camera has resorted to some pretty nasty tactics... the email to confirm the order, and then when you don't upgrade to the extended warranty your product is out of stock... That was a couple years ago, they may have changed their tune, but be wary, of anyone with a really great price. If it's too good to be true... well...

Last edited by mediaslinky; 04-07-2007 at 07:12 AM.
04-07-2007, 05:31 AM   #14
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beach has about as high a rating as you gan get.
Beach Camera / Beachtr.com Customer Ratings, Reviews and Prices at ResellerRatings
04-07-2007, 06:05 AM   #15
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Like I said, they may have changed their tune. Those rating go back to 2006, and I was deaing way back in 2004, and it may have been a different company with similar name. I was also buying video gear. But, still... be careful. There are places that still do what I mentioned before.
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