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12-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
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Need Some Input!

Hello forum, new user here!

So just to give you guys a bit of background, I've always been interested in photography but never really had money to buy me a good camera or a DSLR, and I still can't afford one! So recently I decided to go with an SLR! Yay go me! So I currently don't have a job but I will be working for just a week starting on Dec 28th. After that I will have some good cash, enough to get my hands on a second hand DSLR, but I won't be getting one since I plan on buying some presents for some family members blah blah...

Anyways... So recently I've been looking on Craigslist and eBay for some cameras and I've found some in good condition for reasonable prices. Basically I just want to know what you guys recommend for an entry level photographer. The ones that I'm really leaning towards are the K1000 and the P30.

I've cheked the reviews on the cameras I mentioned above, but any extra info on them is highly appreciated!

Thanks a lot for your time

12-15-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
Ash
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Welcome to the forum.
I couldn't advise you on the best film SLR to get, however just starting out, and wanting to learn photography from first principles, the K1000 would do just fine - only be prepared to blow some money on your film processing and prints.
12-15-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot Ash (your name reminds me of Pokemon! )

Anyone can tell me how does the P30 stack up against the K1000?
12-15-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
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I have handled both cameras, but don't have experience in use. The K1000 is very basic and is a sturdy, all mechanical camera, fully manual camera. The P30 is fairly sophisticated, is electronically controlled and supports both manual and automatic exposure modes. If you get the P30, you want the P30n or P30t model, with the edge going to the P30n. (The P3n is the same camera.) Ironically, a P30n is usually less money than a K1000 in comparable condition.

For technical information on both models:
Pentax Camera Bodies
Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 12-15-2009 at 11:03 PM.
12-15-2009, 10:58 PM   #5
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Once you understand the basics the P30 is a good camera.
However if you bought one there's a good chance you'll just stick it into some automatic mode and never really learn a thing.
I've seen so many so called Photographers doing just this, especially since I started working in a photo lab.
They often approach me asking why their shots aren't turning out like mine, and I now refuse to answer them

So I'd recommend getting a K1000, and learn how to use it before purchasing any automatic camera like the P30.
12-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Once you understand the basics the P30 is a good camera.
However if you bought one there's a good chance you'll just stick it into some automatic mode and never really learn a thing.
I've seen so many so called Photographers doing just this, especially since I started working in a photo lab.
They often approach me asking why their shots aren't turning out like mine, and I now refuse to answer them

So I'd recommend getting a K1000, and learn how to use it before purchasing any automatic camera like the P30.
Or even better, a KM. The K1000 is basically a stripped down KM. The KM adds self-timer and DOF preview. And is, often enough, less money than a K1000.

Link to KM Specs

Steve
12-15-2009, 11:11 PM   #7
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Things I like about the P3n (similar to P30):

Depth-of-field preview
Viewfinder LED simulated 'matched needle' display where you see the selected (steady illumination) and recommended shutter speed (blinking) simultaneously.
Ergonomics - shutter dial in good location for one-finger operation.
Self-timer.
Auto-exposure lock (Memory-Lock)
Has an on-off switch (K1000's meter is on if the lens cap is off)
Molded 'grips' on front/back of camera
A bit smaller/lighter than a K1000.

One drawback, no manual ISO setting, so ISO is fixed to whatever the DX coding on the film says (theoretically one could override this with stick-on alternate DX coding).

Thinks I like about the K1000: Tough, built like a brick. All metal.

One of the shortcomings of P30/P3 vs. P3n (or P30t, etc.) is that the former (older) model lacks Av (aperture-priority) shooting mode, where you set aperture and camera automatically sets shutter-speed. Of course, the K1000 is manual-only so the P30 is still superior in this respect since it also offers Program AE mode. The other feature difference is that the later models include a cable-release socket while the older P3/30 lack it.

Another camera you might look for a deal on is an ME Super--these are compact, offer manual and Aperture Priority mode, and have fantasticly large & bright viewfinders, and have better (1/2000) shutters. No autoexposure lock, but they do have exposure compensation. Also, no depth-of-field preview.


Also, Ash's name reminds me of "The Evil Dead" and "Army of Darkness". :-)
12-15-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
Things I like about the P3n (similar to P30):

Depth-of-field preview
Viewfinder LED simulated 'matched needle' display where you see the selected (steady illumination) and recommended shutter speed (blinking) simultaneously.
Ergonomics - shutter dial in good location for one-finger operation.
Self-timer.
Auto-exposure lock (Memory-Lock)
Has an on-off switch (K1000's meter is on if the lens cap is off)
Molded 'grips' on front/back of camera
A bit smaller/lighter than a K1000.

One drawback, no manual ISO setting, so ISO is fixed to whatever the DX coding on the film says (theoretically one could override this with stick-on alternate DX coding).

Thinks I like about the K1000: Tough, built like a brick. All metal.

One of the shortcomings of P30/P3 vs. P3n (or P30t, etc.) is that the former (older) model lacks Av (aperture-priority) shooting mode, where you set aperture and camera automatically sets shutter-speed. Of course, the K1000 is manual-only so the P30 is still superior in this respect since it also offers Program AE mode. The other feature difference is that the later models include a cable-release socket while the older P3/30 lack it.

Another camera you might look for a deal on is an ME Super--these are compact, offer manual and Aperture Priority mode, and have fantasticly large & bright viewfinders, and have better (1/2000) shutters. No autoexposure lock, but they do have exposure compensation. Also, no depth-of-field preview.


Also, Ash's name reminds me of "The Evil Dead" and "Army of Darkness". :-)
I can second the ergonomics and usability aspect of the P30n. Curse the dependency on DX. I would have bought one except for that (I load my own B&W). I might still if my Ricoh XR7 ever dies.

Steve

12-16-2009, 03:51 AM   #9
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I'm a bit pragmatic and also a bottom-feeder so my advise is do not sweat it too much, either camera will work great and will walk you into the SLR addiction realm with ease.

The k1000 is a cult camera, highly overpriced IMHO. Many times a ME Super, ProgramA, ProgramPlus, or even a KX or MX will be cheaper in the above mentioned sites, even though all those are better cameras.
The k1000 is a no bells no whistles camera, traditional student stuff but can be frustrating at times.

I got a P30t a few weeks back and have been quite impressed with it.
Light, small, fast, good metering and easy to load.
I think Matt Denton has it right

So look around and read some more.

Cheers!

Last edited by titrisol; 12-16-2009 at 04:52 AM.
12-16-2009, 10:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I can second the ergonomics and usability aspect of the P30n. Curse the dependency on DX. I would have bought one except for that (I load my own B&W). I might still if my Ricoh XR7 ever dies.

Steve
DX coded bulk cassettes...


Well...I'm going to post up a P3 with A 50mm f/2 lens in the Marketplace one of these days. Everything looks new or hardly used and seems to be working, although I've only tested the lens. Case, strap, front lens cap, viewfinder blind (weird to find...).

It's a full auto or Manual only camera. Could probably use filters to force a wider aperture, or use it in Manual mode.

Cheap too!
12-16-2009, 03:13 PM   #11
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Thanks

Guys thanks a lot for all the replies so far.

I am now really liking the P30 and will probably end up getting one. I will keep on reading and reading more specs and stuff on the other cameras you've mentioned.

Once again thanks a lot for your time! Any other info is highly appreciated
12-16-2009, 04:16 PM   #12
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For learning exposure and the effects of aperture and shutter speed there's nothing like a manual exposure only camera.
That's why the K1000 was so popular for film photography courses. The KM is even better and often cheaper, if you can find one.

Chris
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