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12-23-2013, 05:58 AM   #1
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Canon SL 1 -- a bad idea?

The SL 1 has been called a marketing gimmick--and, in part, for good reason. It's a crippled, weird ergonomically camera, with an outdated sensor, etc. But the idea of a very small/light DSLR is a very good one, IMHO. Why not such a camera from Pentax? It'd be the perfect travel tool for many.

I'm not at all interested in FF--much too heavy for me. I'm just a hobbyist. But I'd be very much interested in a Pentax equivalent to SL 1. I looked at the NEX: the lack of very good lenses in the E mount and the lack of an OVF turned me off. I looked at micro four thirds system: many great lenses, but, frankly, it didn't seem to me IQ was on par with the IQ of my K-30. (Subjectively, in terms of IQ, Pentax APS-C is closer to FF than m43 is to Pentax APS-C.) Plus, the EM-5--the only camera that in my view can be compared to a DSLR--is not lighter than Canon SL 1.

The SL 1 was selling for $360 a couple of days ago; I was tempted to get one and pair it with Canon's 10-22. But I'm not fond of the idea of having two systems, especially if the second system is Canon, which has practically cosmeticized and re-sold the same camera for years. The SL 1's sensor makes me think of the NEX again So, no... I'm going to wait. Who knows, maybe Pentax will come up with a very light K-x2 or something.

Anyway, I suspect an ultra-light Pentax dslr would have many adherents. Wrong?


Last edited by causey; 12-23-2013 at 06:07 AM.
12-23-2013, 06:06 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Samsung nx20?

Mission solved

20mp, APS, evf. Short flange ao it can use those wonderful m39 mount range finder lenses from yesteryear... Do it
12-23-2013, 06:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
Samsung nx20?

Mission solved

20mp, APS, evf. Short flange ao it can use those wonderful m39 mount range finder lenses from yesteryear... Do it

Yes, Samsung seems to be the best compromise, but I'd have to invest about $1000 for camera + some glass, and I was planning to get the Sigma 17-70mm C and maybe the DA 15mm for my K-30... And it still isn't a dslr. Bottom line is, I don't see the point of having two systems, and I wouldn't want to sell my Pentax equipment. If I decided to go with another brand, Samsung would probably win.

UPDATE: Looking at the NX more closely... I hadn't examined it enough. Interesting!

Last edited by causey; 12-23-2013 at 07:01 AM.
12-23-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
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I was invested pretty heavily in the NEX system for lightweight travel but sold it all and went to m43. The NEX gave me very good image quality but the main reasons I got rid of it were, no integral EVF, no integrated flash or universal flash shoe, poor controls centered on extensive menus and, most importantly, no weather sealing. Later models of the NEX have solved some but not all of these problems.

12-23-2013, 07:36 AM - 1 Like   #5
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To be fair, the k-x is practically the SL1 with a little more heft and much better grip/controls. And given that the k-x/k-r were just recently discontinued and haven't technically been replaced yet, it's not too fair to say that Pentax has been missing a compact dslr for a while - hopefully they introduce a replacement soon.
12-23-2013, 07:46 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
To be fair, the k-x is practically the SL1 with a little more heft and much better grip/controls. And given that the k-x/k-r were just recently discontinued and haven't technically been replaced yet, it's not too fair to say that Pentax has been missing a compact dslr for a while - hopefully they introduce a replacement soon.
K-x: 580 grams
SL 1: 407 grams

Subjective, of course, but I find the 170 grams difference significant relative to total weight.
But I did refer to K-x when saying I was expecting a lighter K-x2...

Last edited by causey; 12-23-2013 at 08:03 AM.
12-23-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
To be fair, the k-x is practically the SL1 with a little more heft and much better grip/controls. And given that the k-x/k-r were just recently discontinued and haven't technically been replaced yet, it's not too fair to say that Pentax has been missing a compact dslr for a while - hopefully they introduce a replacement soon.
I think that's the intent of the K-500., the K-500 is 4mm wider, 2mm deeper, slightly shorter, it does weigh 106 grams more.

12-23-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I think that's the intent of the K-500., the K-500 is 4mm wider, 2mm deeper, slightly shorter, it does weigh 106 grams more.

Yes, I'm afraid K-500 is Pentax's compact dslr. Not very light @ 650 grams.

Last edited by causey; 12-23-2013 at 10:17 AM.
12-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
Yes, I'm afraid K-500 is Pentax's compact dslr, and it's not very light: 650 grams.
IIRC - The SL1 attains that low weight by bypassing a metal chassis. It's mostly plastic, thus the featherweight attribute. (Something Canon isn't new to, they love super plasticky things for their rebel lineup)

As far as Pentax goes, a new version of the K-01 would be an idea...perhaps without the goofy design this time. (We call it, the K-01-2!) For now, try a K-01 for small, good IQ? Or perhaps consider the extra weight of a Pentax part of your new workout program. 117g difference*4700 steps = A lot of extra weight carried :P
12-23-2013, 10:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
IIRC - The SL1 attains that low weight by bypassing a metal chassis. It's mostly plastic, thus the featherweight attribute. (Something Canon isn't new to, they love super plasticky things for their rebel lineup)

As far as Pentax goes, a new version of the K-01 would be an idea...perhaps without the goofy design this time. (We call it, the K-01-2!) For now, try a K-01 for small, good IQ? Or perhaps consider the extra weight of a Pentax part of your new workout program. 117g difference*4700 steps = A lot of extra weight carried :P
I don't mind plastic. Since I have a nice, sturdy K-30, I'd like to have something lighter and possibly smaller as a second body. No point in buying something similar.

I had a K-x before the K-30, and K-01 weighs the same as K-x, which isn't exactly light, either (580 grams).
When travelling I tend to walk a lot: 7-10 hours/ day, and every gram counts. I recently visited Petra, in Jordan, walked for 9 hours, climbed a small mountain--the K-30 (with kit lens + 135mm prime) was painful to lug around.

I think I'll keep my eyes on Samsung's NX cameras... NX20 and NX300 look good, and the latter has almost half the weight of the K-01. (NX20 has an EVF, but weighs a bit more.) Another nice thing about Samsung, they have excellent glass, and their kit lenses are pretty good, too. I can use my Pentax lenses with a cheap adapter on NX.

Last edited by causey; 12-23-2013 at 10:41 AM.
12-23-2013, 12:20 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I think the SL1 is a neat idea and it has been very tempting. Small bodies used to be one of the Pentax core differentiators. Now you can stick a Canon 40mm pancake on the SL1 and do a low-end Pentax one better--not to mention the cost savings on the body and comparable lenses alone are substantial. If anything, it makes one question what drives the relatively high price of Pentax-branded lenses? I think a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 would make a great little kit. Plus you get a superior flash system.

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12-23-2013, 04:38 PM   #12
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36MP full frame Sony A7r vs 18MP APS-C Canon SL1 :
12-23-2013, 05:00 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
36MP full frame Sony A7r vs 18MP APS-C Canon SL1 :
Joe, you seem to be omitting the weight of $2300 vs. $360. That's a lot of shekels.

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12-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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If size is the chief concern, buying into Canon is an odd avenue when you consider the size and weight of most lenses and marginal commitment to making a smaller format work. The only argument for the SL1 is that it is small for a camera that includes an optical VF - no matter how poor the quality of that VF is (let alone the rest of the build quality).

I'm not about to get into this kind of market (very happy with the K-01 as my smallish camera), but if I needed smaller and some form of a VF, I would be looking at the Panasonic G3 for the better build, compact lenses, and much higher upside potential for quality in a small package. Video is better, the camera is smaller, the VF is better (electronic has improved greatly), and the imaging is comparable (probably better at high ISO).
12-23-2013, 05:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
... That's a lot of shekels.
+1. I would own one of the Sony FF ILCs if I wouldn't have to sell an organ.
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