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01-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #1
emr
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What's the appeal of older Pentax DSLRs?

So now we have the K-7 and K-x. Models like K20D, K200D, K10D and K100D are already yesterday's news. Yet people are still looking for or willing to buy specifically even older Pentax models. Is there a specific reason for this? Do the older models have some functionality or property that newer models lack? Or is it that people think that the older models are still good but can be bought for peanuts?

I'm personally not familiar with the older models having got on the bandwagon about 18 months ago when I got the K20D, currently have it and a K200D.

01-06-2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
So now we have the K-7 and K-x. Models like K20D, K200D, K10D and K100D are already yesterday's news. Yet people are still looking for or willing to buy specifically even older Pentax models. Is there a specific reason for this? Do the older models have some functionality or property that newer models lack? Or is it that people think that the older models are still good but can be bought for peanuts?

I'm personally not familiar with the older models having got on the bandwagon about 18 months ago when I got the K20D, currently have it and a K200D.
I can think of only one reason to go back in time, and this is specifically related to the *istD and DS.

these two cameras have true TTL flash capability, That means they have a dedicated exposure sensor that measured the light reflected off the surface of the imaging sensor (or film on a film camera) Since they are actually measuring light in real time during the exposure these cameras do not need to know anything about the lens settings because the lens is stopped down to it's shooting aperture at the time of flash measurement. As a result you can get excellent flash results with K mount and M42 Mount lenses, where on any later camera, you have to use the flash in full manual mode,. and do the flash calculations, or if you have an AF540FGZ you put it in Auto mode and enter the Aperture you are shooting so the flash can use it's own sensor.

This is no where near as good as TTL flash.

There are other minor good things about these bdoies, like penta prisms as opposed to mirrors, and very accurate metering with manual aperture lenses, but these are secondary to TTL flash.
01-06-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I can think of only one reason to go back in time, and this is specifically related to the *istD and DS.

these two cameras have true TTL flash capability, That means they have a dedicated exposure sensor that measured the light reflected off the surface of the imaging sensor (or film on a film camera) Since they are actually measuring light in real time during the exposure these cameras do not need to know anything about the lens settings because the lens is stopped down to it's shooting aperture at the time of flash measurement. As a result you can get excellent flash results with K mount and M42 Mount lenses, where on any later camera, you have to use the flash in full manual mode,. and do the flash calculations, or if you have an AF540FGZ you put it in Auto mode and enter the Aperture you are shooting so the flash can use it's own sensor.

This is no where near as good as TTL flash.

There are other minor good things about these bdoies, like penta prisms as opposed to mirrors, and very accurate metering with manual aperture lenses, but these are secondary to TTL flash.
I've never owned a DSLR older than the K10d, but I have to say that the P-TTL flash performance is second only to the low-light AF issues as an annoyance with the K10/20 generation. Perhaps the K7 does better.
01-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I've never owned a DSLR older than the K10d, but I have to say that the P-TTL flash performance is second only to the low-light AF issues as an annoyance with the K10/20 generation. Perhaps the K7 does better.
to be honest, I have not had an issue with P-TTL on the K10 or K7 so I can't comment on that point, but the ability to shoot with a flash, and some reasonable measure of flash control with manual aperture lenses is a big benefit for the *istD.

I perhaps am not the best authority on this however, because my use of flash is with an SMC 300F4 and 1.7x AF TC, it gives results like the one below on my *istD.

this is a JPEG right out of the camera, with only a slight crop and resize to post.



as I said earlier, there are other minor benefits, in my mind about the *istD but this is the one that I believe justifies actually going out to get one.

01-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
So now we have the K-7 and K-x. Models like K20D, K200D, K10D and K100D are already yesterday's news. Yet people are still looking for or willing to buy specifically even older Pentax models. Is there a specific reason for this? Do the older models have some functionality or property that newer models lack? Or is it that people think that the older models are still good but can be bought for peanuts?

I'm personally not familiar with the older models having got on the bandwagon about 18 months ago when I got the K20D, currently have it and a K200D.
my guess is that it is a matter of price and what is available.
01-06-2010, 12:13 PM   #6
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In additionto flash, the *istD and *istDS specifically are often sought after because they are the smallest (and cheapest) bodies to feature the larger pentaprism viewfinder otherwise found only in the K10/K20D/K-7. And the *istD is the smallest body with dual control wheels. Aside from that, there is also a perception among some that the 6MP sensor used in the older cameras was better in some ways. Some find they just like the default colors and tone response better, and since that's completely subjective, I can't argue. Others feel the 6MP cameras had lower nosie levels thn some of the successors, but this much I do not find true. Only if you make the mistake of comparing at "100%" rather than at the same actual size does it normally appear that way, in the dozens of direct comparisons I've done. But it *is* true the *character* of the noise differs between cameras, and some - again, completely subjectively - prefer the look of the 6MP sensor's noise.
01-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
my guess is that it is a matter of price and what is available.
not true.

I would gladly ditch my *istD and take a newer body at 10-14 MP if it only could do TTL Flash.

Except for metering with manual lenses that lies somewhere between the *istD and K10, my K7 out performs my *istD in every category there is, EXCEPT TTL Flash
01-06-2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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TTL is one big point for the *ist D, but people going for old K100Ds and K10Ds are looking for bargains. Where in the world can you find any capable dSLR (and with backwards compatibility) for less than $300? And those old 6Mp Sony CCD sensors - just sublime IMO...

01-06-2010, 12:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
not true.

I would gladly ditch my *istD and take a newer body at 10-14 MP if it only could do TTL Flash.

Except for metering with manual lenses that lies somewhere between the *istD and K10, my K7 out performs my *istD in every category there is, EXCEPT TTL Flash
I've been hanging around this forum long enough that I should know the answer to this, but does the *istD have the lobotomized K-mount?
01-07-2010, 07:15 AM   #10
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Yes, it's missing the aperature coupler found on most of the MZ series and all previous camera series.
01-07-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
So now we have the K-7 and K-x. Models like K20D, K200D, K10D and K100D are already yesterday's news. Yet people are still looking for or willing to buy specifically even older Pentax models. Is there a specific reason for this? Do the older models have some functionality or property that newer models lack? Or is it that people think that the older models are still good but can be bought for peanuts?

I'm personally not familiar with the older models having got on the bandwagon about 18 months ago when I got the K20D, currently have it and a K200D.
I recently purchased a K200 and K10D both refurbished from Best Buy and then had to return them because of problems. The newer Pentax cameras are one's I will never buy. Why? Simple the forced DFS. Until they remove the forced DFS they are useless to me. On the older models you could at least disable it.

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01-07-2010, 08:06 AM   #12
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I opted to do without P-TTL so that I am using Metz flash that has its own light sensor and it is pretty reliable. It is based on SCA system so that flash does know the ISO, aperture value and lens focal length.

As for other aspects. I've bought K10D brand new just when it came to Israel and it would be a shame to let it go just because. It still takes good pictures and is presently being used by my daughter.

I gave away my *istD which is probably not very smart move in retrospect, but at the time it seemed like a right thing to do, so no regrets.

Some say that K10D has the best colors and dynamic range etc. Initially I thought that K-7 is not better than K10D in that regard but soon enough I reconsidered. Both are good cameras and both give me good pictures and joyful use.

Just my cents.
01-07-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
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CCD sensor cameras allow to truly disable dark frame substaction.
Older lower end cameras (k100d eg) allow tethering.
For some cameras (like k200d) there are no direct alternatives in current lineup.
New cameras magically don't make older cameras any worse, but the price IS lower.
01-07-2010, 08:53 AM   #14
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Pentax DS2 and Samsung GX-1S have Pentaprism viewfinders too

Pentax DS2 and Samsung GX-1S identical clone have Pentaprism viewfinders too.

Its typically cheaper to buy an older pentax dslr to replace your same model thats broken than to pay to fix it.

$400 plus repair bill and 3 month wait versus less money to replace with good working used one in less than a week seems more appealing option to me.
01-07-2010, 08:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I've been hanging around this forum long enough that I should know the answer to this, but does the *istD have the lobotomized K-mount?
Yes ALL pentax DSLRs have had the lobotomy, BUT because the D and DS have a separate TTL sensor they can, providing the flash also supports TTL, do flash metering. I don't know about the DS, but my *istD even supports bot TTL and P-TTL with the built in flash.

As someone else mentioned, not all new cameras make old ones obsolete, just different.

This is also why I propose back up cameras need not be identical to your main camera. It is not a question of only back up but functionality.

If your second body offers different functionality to your main body, you are better off (In My Opinion) with 2 different bodies than 2 identical ones.

This goes back to film days. My ultimate back up is an origonal KX. the only thing it needs batteries for is the light meter. Everything else is mechanical and I have a hand held light meter just in case all the batteries die
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