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12-22-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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How to switch to Pentax?

So, here's my situation. I started off my photographic journey not that long ago and like a lot of people I had heard that you can't go wrong with a Canon or Nikon so I plumped for a 10MP Canon XS. I was hooked.

Then my father in law picked me up a lens. Not knowing much about cameras, he didn't know if the Pentax-M 135mm was compatible with my camera. That old school lens felt so good so I bought an adaptor to use on my Canon; all was good. I then chanced upon a Ricoh KR-10 at a local sale. They had it on for $8 but I bargained them right down to $5... Now I had a 50mm, a 135mm and a film camera to use them with. To cut a long story short, I now have a full collection of Film Pentax gear (inc. Kiron 105mm Macro and an F50mm 1.7) and a Canon body.

So my question is; given the hastle of changing Pentax lenses on the Canon, is it worth switching the Canon to Pentax? If I do, how would I begin to initiate a swap and what would I get in exchange for my gear? I have a Canon XS, with 18-55mm and a 75-300mm (both non IS). The value is about $650.

Other things I'm pondering are:
  • What is the equivelant model in the pentax range? (I like the 10MP, Live view, Lithium battery pack of the Canon)
  • What are the chances of finding somebody willing to trade locally?
  • If you trade with somebody by mail, how do you know you're going to get the other item in return?
I know that's a lot of questions to absorb, but I'd appreciate any feedback!

12-22-2009, 12:33 PM   #2
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If you found a buyer for your Canon gear - wouldn't be that hard on craiglist or even eBay for $650, you could get a pretty good pentax setup.

The K-x with an 18-55 and 50-200 runs about $620 these days.
(I just saw a K-x 18-55 kit for $470, and the 55-200 is about $150 new)

K-x has what your XS does and more, although it uses AA batteries (they're really not that bad, though), Has Live view, in body stabilization, ISO up to 12,800, etc.
12-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
  • What is the equivelant model in the pentax range? (I like the 10MP, Live view, Lithium battery pack of the Canon)
  • What are the chances of finding somebody willing to trade locally?
  • If you trade with somebody by mail, how do you know you're going to get the other item in return?
I know that's a lot of questions to absorb, but I'd appreciate any feedback!

No.1 Your probably looking at a K10D. If you need liveview your going to want the K20D or K-7.
No. 2 Not very high but you never know.
No. 3 You don't
12-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #4
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Positive things for you, if you buy a Pentax DSLR.

* SR (IS on canon language) with EVERY lens you atatch! Old manual lenses, new lenses or anything you'll atatch.

* The lens mount! One camera and a world of lenses that will fit. Old lenses with strange, ugly and beautifull bokeh. New WR lenses. The Limited Series lenses of the past, and today! The DA* line.

* K-10, K-20, K-7 are weather sealed (to some extent) and kit lenses with WR.

I will not try to talk you into this brand.

You have one foot in it allready! Now step over

12-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dom Quote
No.1 Your probably looking at a K10D. If you need liveview your going to want the K20D or K-7.
I'm intrigued at your choice of equivalent replacement camera. At the time the XS was sold, the direct competitor from pentax was the 200D. At the moment the closest available equivalent new camera would be the K-x.
12-22-2009, 01:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
  • What is the equivelant model in the pentax range? (I like the 10MP, Live view, Lithium battery pack of the Canon)
  • What are the chances of finding somebody willing to trade locally?
  • If you trade with somebody by mail, how do you know you're going to get the other item in return?
I know that's a lot of questions to absorb, but I'd appreciate any feedback!
I'd go with the new Pentax K-x. It is pretty much in line with the XS, but better still. Slightly higher resolution, better high ISO, faster continuous shooting rate, does 720p video. You can get a K-x kit these days with 18-55 and 55-300 lenses for under $700, or less with just with the 18-55 kit lens. K20D would be great too, but it's slightly bulkier and you'd need to find a used one.

I would avoid attempting a trade. Just sell your canon gear on craigslist or something, and use profits to go towards a Pentax. I doubt you'd have trouble finding a buyer because it's canon, and after all, "you can't go wrong"... . Canon is fine but it's less "interesting" than Pentax.

Avoid a trade by mail unless you know the trader has a good reputation.

Hope to see you with a Pentax DSLR soon on these forums!
12-22-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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I'd echo the recommendation of the K-x if you don't mind the simpler design and AA batt power. For a more customisable/pro body, the K20D can't be beat for its current value for money. Powered by Li-ion batts, good high ISO performance and flexibility to get a weather-sealed grip for it are big bonuses in my book.
12-22-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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As one who made the jump from Canon to Pentax, I can tell you that I like things a lot more over here. About the only things I miss from Canon are two lenses, the EF 70-200mm f4L and the EF 400mm f5.6L. There are rough equivalents to both (the DA * 60-250mm f4 an the FA* 400mm f5.6), but both are pricey and the latter seems to be almost impossible to find.

Beyond that, though, there are some really cool advantages. Pentax is great fun for old glass devotees and you sound like you're on that path. Anything you put on the front instantly becomes stabilized. I've used 40+ year old lenses that work like a charm and SR works right with them.

The K-x would meet most of your requirements -- although it does use AA batteries. I don't find this a big issue. I've got a few sets of Eneloops and will occasionally pick up a set of Lithiums for cold weather service. Both work flawlessly with the camera (especially once I updated the firmware).

Good luck on your decision!

12-22-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm definately feeling the "sell, don't trade" vibe here and I'm inclined to agree. The only problem I have is that, being that I still love my camera, it may be a hard sell with my better half!

I know the battry issue may seem a bit stupid to some of you, but when I had a point and shoot that used AAs I found charging to be a real chore. (Making sure that the batteries were all the same charge/capacity etc.) A separate Li-Ion battery pack is a big sell for me and would have prevented me getting a K-m if I had seen one reletive to the Canon.

Of course, despite that grievance,the K-x is turning my head a little....
12-22-2009, 03:28 PM   #10
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I don't have a lot to add, other than on the lens attached to the Ricoh, if it is a Ricoh lens, do not use it on a Pentax body, as the lens has an extra pin that gets caught on the Pentax body's flange and the lens tends to get stuck on the body.
12-22-2009, 03:38 PM   #11
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Good Point! The camera is a KR-10 and the lens matches the body. It doesn't have the Ricoh pin used for program mode in the newer model and therefore shouldn't be a problem on an AF body.

Still, you can't be too careful when it comes to Ricoh lenses!
12-22-2009, 04:12 PM   #12
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I love my AA's and it is a major reason I went with the K-x. It is great with them after the firmware update. All you need to do is make sure you remember which 4 went together.. I use a sharpie. Keep them together and its no different than 1 battery with all the pluses of standardized batteries - cheap chargers for car and at home, shares with many other electronics, and especially the fact it will always benefit from AA technology improvements.
12-22-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote

(I like the 10MP, Live view, Lithium battery pack of the Canon)
QuoteOriginally posted by 68deluxe Quote
I'm intrigued at your choice of equivalent replacement camera. At the time the XS was sold, the direct competitor from pentax was the 200D. At the moment the closest available equivalent new camera would be the K-x.
Correct me if I'm wrong but does not the K-x use AA batteries?
12-22-2009, 04:35 PM   #14
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If you like old glass then Pentax is definitely the brand to go with. If I could chip in on the advising debate, getting a K10D/K20D/K7 (though the latter is probably too expensive) will give you a signficantly larger viewfinder, making it alot easier to manually focus. Though, if you were getting along fine with the XS then I suppose the K-x won't be a problem either. Either way the K-x appears to be a great camera, the only drawback seems to be that they removed the focus indicator, for the rest it's all good.
12-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
I know the battry issue may seem a bit stupid to some of you, but when I had a point and shoot that used AAs I found charging to be a real chore. (Making sure that the batteries were all the same charge/capacity etc.)
Not sure why that would be the case. If you always use the same batteries together, they'd always be at the same level. But if for some reason you do mix and match cells, that's no problem if you have a smart charger like those from LaCrosse or others that charges cells individually. I've been using cameras with AA for almost five years. It's just not an issue.
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