migrating from SLR to DSLR

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BODYHEAT

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 14:23
I bought my LX and K2 in 1981 and used them both up till about 2002, when I got lazy and bought my first P&S digital compact. It just seemed easier with digital just to carry it in your pocket and snap away as the kids were growing up

I bought the LX after taking my first photos on a Nikon FM and realised I liked the ergonomics and beauty of Pentax against Nikon, despite the so-called pros at the time saying you were not a real photographer unless you used an F3 or F1. Ego aside, nothing felt better in my hands than the Pentax, especially the LX. It was the Goldilocks model - not too big and not too small - just right. And the LX, with a 40mm pancake lens, was actually pocket-sized. It even fit into my rigid Halliburton briefcase with the standard 50mm 1.4 lens on it, thats how compact it is. I fell in love with it then and have been in love with it ever since. Nothing has ever come close

Recently I needed to take some packshots for my website and obviously the convenience of simply uploading a digital file appealed. Actually I took them with a tent and my Sony Cybershot and they look fine for what they are but it got me thinking about a DSLR.

I had shied away from the whole DSLR thing partly because it felt like the technology was a moving feast and wasn't mature and partly because I was clueless about what to get....having to relearn everything seemed daunting.

First dilemma: Should I stay with Pentax or use this as an opportunity to revisit the other mounts? So I hauled myself off to Jessops who to my horror don't even sell Pentax and of course they showed me the benefits of a Canon 500D - a nice mid-range choice with video so I dont have to carry both a stills and camcorder with me to photograph the kids etc...interesting concept. Felt nice, although AF is alien to me and feels like a cop out having always been a manual focus guy. It feels cheating somehow on anything except a compact, but hey I had better get up to date! I looked at the Nikon equivalent D5000 I think and it felt plasticky and cheap, although the Canon also felt a bit like a toy after having used the LX and K2 for years - but maybe I am out of touch

I then found Harpers which sells Pentax and handled the K20D alongside the Canon 50D and Nikon D300. I am sure their specs are great if you want to photograph wildlife or sports professionally, but for every day use and carrying around with you, they are heavy clunky bricks. I couldn't believe how big and heavy and awkward these semi-pro cameras were. How could anyone want to carry them around with them for fun along with heavy lenses???

All I really want is the digital equivalent of the LX. The K20D is close and after handling the Canikons, I was leaning towards it and then...I heard about the K7 and have been ogling everything about it on the net like a bit of pornography. I feel so guilty I have to look at every picture and spec of it I can find.

Now the next dilemma: do I buy a K7 at 1200 or wait for it to drop to K20 levels (500 +-)? or do I just buy a K20 now and hope they keep improving the firmware? The K20 is a very nice camera and feels a decent size, but I suspect the K7 will satisfy my 'LX digital' craving even more and won't be happy until I have one, especially as it sounds as though they have improved some of the alleged shortcomings of the K20...help
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX

sanderscapes

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 14:39
Hi and welcome to the forum.

Most people on here are pentax daft so pentax would be the way to go especially if i was thinking of moving to canon for a 500d.

Maybe one of the top flight models would tempt me from pentax but apart from that it wouldn't happen.

Short comings of the k20

Snootchies

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 14:49
Hello and welcome!

My advice would be to get a K20D and put the money saved from not getting the K-7 to some quality glass.
Bob

My website (Hadfield Photography)

Pentax Gallery Artist page:link

Flickr Photostream: link

BODYHEAT

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 14:49
thanks, I might be tempted on paper by some of their models, but when you get to handle them, they are just too big and heavy. As I don't need a penis-substitute, handling the Canon 50D and the Nikon D300 really helped confirm that I will stay with Pentax, but which one is my dilemma.

I have read that the K20D AF is slo and hunts around too much. In my brief handling it did feel less responsive than the Canon, but then again I have to weigh up how important such a feature is for me. If that was so important I'd stick with compacts! Not having AF never stopped me taking great pictures and never stopped me enjoying photography. Based on what I have read and seen on the K7 it sounds like a dream come true though in terms of features/functions for its size, so I am really torn between spending 500 now and regretting it and wanting the K7 instead of the K20D
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX

sanderscapes

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 14:58
Hi bodyheat i would rather have 2 k20's than 1 k7.

It may be less responsive than the Canon but Pentax offers different attributes than other manufacturers such as in body SR / dust and weather sealings and like snootchies says some quality glass ranging back over the last few decades.

sanderscapes

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 14:59
Also Bodyheat the forum is much better than the canon one

BODYHEAT

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:03
I guess I have to wait till I can hold it in my hands and see how I feel. The size looks good and I am sure it will have a solid body built like a (small) tank

I have some very good lenses from the 1980s so am not rushing out to buy those right now as long as I can get great results with the metering etc with them on a K20D or K7. It is not the end of the world to actually turn the focus manually either !
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX

Snootchies

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:04
Generally speaking the K20D has a slower AF than it's Canikon counterparts at that level of camera, but it's more accurate.

I personally consider the K-7 to be too close in spec to the K20D. Some might argue against that opinion, but in terms of looking at the bigger picture you will get FAR more value/quality for your money if you get the K20D and a DA* or LTD Prime lens etc.

What I don't think anyone would disagree on me with is that a K20D and excellent glass will give you better results than a K-7 with kit lens grade glass (not that the Pentax kit lenses are poor, but there still a significant divide between the 18-55 and 50-200 and the DA* 16-50 and DA*60-250 for example).
Bob

My website (Hadfield Photography)

Pentax Gallery Artist page:link

Flickr Photostream: link
Last Edited by Snootchies on 27/05/2009 - 15:05

Greytop

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:06
Hi Nigel,
Welcome to the forum. I think only you can answer your question, both routes have their merits

sanderscapes

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:06
Canikon

davex

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:09
Quote:
Not having AF never stopped me taking great pictures and never stopped me enjoying photography

If af is not important then why do the comparison? that said K20 af can hunt a bit in low light, but so can they all. Off course the K7 has af assist, is smaller and lighter.

I would wait a month or two and watch the price of K20 fall, not needing af you could get some great manual lenses with the cash saved. If it`s to heavy for you then compare in your hand when the K7 becomes available. If size is important then it`s probably the K7. Expensive but it should last until your kids grow up.

Davex.
K5 + 8mm-500mm zooms and primes
Please feel free to play with any images I post.
My flickr: link

Snootchies

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:10
Sorry guys; I thinked I played the K20D trumpet a tad too hard there; this is of course Nigels decision at the end of the day....
Bob

My website (Hadfield Photography)

Pentax Gallery Artist page:link

Flickr Photostream: link

BODYHEAT

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:24
thanks everyone. Obviously purchasing either is not to be taken lightly and I'm grateful for you input. At the end of the day it will probably be a 'gut' feeling when I handle the K20D next to the K7, but I want to do this with my eyes open and if there are any known issues with the K20 I should be aware of I am grateful for being informed.

If anything Pentax may have shot themselves in the foot and prices of K20Ds may plummet since the K7 is so desirable
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX

davex

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:33
Quote:
if there are any known issues with the K20 I should be aware of I am grateful for being informed.

Got my K20 last January, it has been an absolute joy to use, I know there where issues with earlier production runs but I have had no problems at all. Oh, and it`s a great way of building muscles in your neck and arms.

Davex.
K5 + 8mm-500mm zooms and primes
Please feel free to play with any images I post.
My flickr: link

BODYHEAT

Link Posted 27/05/2009 - 15:37
shucks...I guess that's where Canon and Nikon users score over Pentax...they build bigger muscles.

Moral: save the money on your gym membership and buy a Canikon instead
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
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