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Planning to buy my first dSLR, any tips? (specific details on what I want in here...)
I started really liking photography some 2 years ago with my crappy digital point and shoot 2.3 MP camera, though I still loved taking photos with it. Then about a year ago I started two photo classes in uni (not part of my major, just for fun/learning , one analog and one digital. After the analog class I just got mad every time I tried using my P&S camera since I felt incredibly restricted by it, for every good photo I could take there were 10+ I couldn't..

So, now I'm saving up for a digital SLR and don't really know which one to get. Right now it's looking like either a Pentax K10D or a K100D. The K100D is of course much more affordable, but I'm thinking it'd be worth it to save up a bit more and just get the K10D at first. The Canon and Nikon cameras in this price range, from the reviews I've read, seem to feel a bit small and weird when shooting, not really feeling like a "real" SLR which is the main reason I'm looking at Pentax, plus the shock reduction thing will be great since realistically I'll shoot by hand much more than I'll shoot with a tripod. One of the negative things about Pentax is limited new lenses, though I'm a college student and won't have the money to spare for many. I'm looking at starting out with the 18-55 mm kit lens, getting a 50-200 mm lens after a while and then a macro if/when I can afford it, these will have to do for quite some time probably.



So yeah, anyone who knows stuff, what do you make of all this? Any advice on if my thinking is sound or whether to start with the K100D or K10D (or a completely different one) will be very much appreciated. Thanks!..

Comments (13)

I think your idea of lens progression is sensible..

Best advice is to go to a store and handle both the Pentaxes, plus the Nikons, Canons etc - as 'small and weird' in reviews might seem a perfect fit when you hold them..

Alex.

Http://akiralx.smugmug.com/..

Comment #1

Thanks, I guess I really need to go to a store and check stuff out yeah (won't be able to buy it until 1-3 months from now so I've got some time for this)..

And yeah the "small and weird" thing is mostly from what I've read in the K100D pricerange and not the K10D, and my first thought was to get the K100D. But then you get better performance overall and on higher ISO levels with the K10D (I'd REALLY like to be able to shoot handheld at night ok, mostly in cities of course, dunno if this is even feasible but a better camera would make this a lot easier. The SR of the Pentaxes' would come in handy here probably). Though if I'd get the K10D I could probably shell out enogh for a nice Nikon or Canon, which complicates things a bit more >_>..

So decent handheld night shots is a pretty big deciding factor, is this even possible to get in this kind of price range?..

Comment #2

Low light handheld is possible but it depends in several things: the speed of the lens (so for us Nikon boys say the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, in the absence of fast Nikon primes, grumble...). It's the low f/ number that's important here for your purposes..

Second the high ISO performance (which should be be very good whichever camera you get, with Canon perhaps having a slight theoretical edge - though whether that would be evident in a real-world situation is debatable)..

Third, your ability to handhold at a particular shutter-speed without camera shake, coupled with image stabilization, perhaps in-body (e.g. Sony and Pentax) - with Nikon and Canon it's in-lens, but only for telephotos generally..

But if you're talking about night landscapes, then sticking it with any wideangle lens on a tripod or convenient wall for even up to a second or two should be fine - this was with a little camera for 5 secs over Sorrento:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Alex..

Comment #3

In the lower price ranges, Pentax does put together a nicer package. The K100D is a more substantial camera that is not as as limited in lens choice like the D40 and does better at high ISO, has AS, a top panel LCD and better build quality than either n or c..

Pentax has been bringing more lenses to market but availability is not the greatest to an incredible growth in demand. The lenses are a bargain. The FA35 is a much better lens than the Sigma 30, $100 less and half the weight. The limited lenses are small and a fraction the cost of similar high end glass...

Comment #4

You mention the possibility of switching from Pentax down the line. If that's the case, you're better off switching now..

When people ask me what to go with, I tell them go with Canon or Nikon - you cannot go wrong. Go with anybody else and you're taking a chance..

The camera itself is the least important part of the equation - your lens system will be far more important. Cameras come and go - lenses stay with you..

My last bit of advice: Don't get your hopes up that your pictures are going to look great from the moment you get the camera - more often than not, when people switch from point and shoot to DSLR they are disappointed (including me) - but as you learn your equipment and technique, you will be glad you made the move. Remember - a P&S does everything for you. With a DSLR you are in control of everything..

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Comment #5

Hmm, so I realized if I won't be able to get a 50-200 mm lens 'til maybe 3 or 4 months down the road and a macro lens for maybe a year after I buy the camera, if I'm not getting really into lenses is there a point in getting a dSLR? Started looking around the more customizable compact camera options and for example the new Canon PowerShot A720 IS looks like it's pretty good, if I can change shutter speed, aperture and ISO I'm ok with that I think, any commments on this train of thought?..

Comment #6

Pupuzuken wrote:.

Thanks, I guess I really need to go to a store and check stuff outyeah (won't be able to buy it until 1-3 months from now so I've gotsome time for this)..

And yeah the "small and weird" thing is mostly from what I've read inthe K100D pricerange and not the K10D, and my first thought was toget the K100D. But then you get better performance overall and onhigher ISO levels with the K10D (I'd REALLY like to be able to shoothandheld at night ok, mostly in cities of course, dunno if this iseven feasible but a better camera would make this a lot easier. TheSR of the Pentaxes' would come in handy here probably). Though if I'dget the K10D I could probably shell out enogh for a nice Nikon orCanon, which complicates things a bit more >_>..

So decent handheld night shots is a pretty big deciding factor, isthis even possible to get in this kind of price range?.

Hi.

Actually the K100d is the better camera at high isos (and better than most...even 3200 is usable.).

Go and try as many brands as you can....if you DO go with Pentax in you situation I would get a K100d and better lens over the K10d..

Up to iso 800 or so the K10d is as good as any camera short of a fully pro model (and as good as some pro models)....it is winning all the awards going. Above 800 the K100d is my Pentax of choice..

The K100d is just about the best bang for buck going as an entry level camera but doubles a good basic high iso cam..

The backwards compatability with k mount and m42 screwmount lenses with an adapter and the antishake are great..

Go to a pawn shop or garage sale and you may well be able to get a useable lens for a few bucks that will meter reasonably well with ANY pentax dslr..

Neil..

Comment #7

Pupuzuken wrote:.

Hmm, so I realized if I won't be able to get a 50-200 mm lens 'tilmaybe 3 or 4 months down the road and a macro lens for maybe a yearafter I buy the camera, if I'm not getting really into lenses isthere a point in getting a dSLR? Started looking around the morecustomizable compact camera options and for example the new CanonPowerShot A720 IS looks like it's pretty good, if I can changeshutter speed, aperture and ISO I'm ok with that I think, anycommments on this train of thought?.

DSLR offer more than just multi-lens systems - my worry about going down the manual p&s route is that you forfeit the fast lens and high ISO performance so your night shooting goes out of the window, except on a tripod..

Nothing wrong with building a lens collection slowly. In fact I bet many DSLR owners only ever have one or two lenses, nothing wrong with that if they suffice for their needs..

Alex..

Comment #8

Thanks! Though I think I'll start by getting a PowerShot A720 IS sometime during the coming month and then maybe a dSLR the earliest on march next year (just started my first "real" year of uni, so it'll take a while until I can come up with the cash for a dSLR, Christmas and money from birthday in march will help >_>). The A720 is cheap enough that I won't feel like I totally wasted the money for it, plus it'll be nice to have something more portable for just chilling with friends and at parties and stuff. I'd look into an S3 but if I'm going to get a dSLR sometime anyway that seems kind of stupid, with the A720 being both cheaper and smaller..

Yeah I ignored a lot of advice here but it really helped me to think things through anyways, it's very appreciated . When I started thinking realistically I realized I won't be able to buy a K100D or K10D until January the earliest, and I really want something for the winter before that. I'm hoping that using ledges and stuff to rest the camera on along with IS will make nightshots possible still.....

Comment #9

Yes sounds sensible - get into using manual controls for several months before the dSLR - and we all have smaller cameras as well for certain assignments..

Alex..

Comment #10

I broke into SLR photography back in the 1960s (back when you probably were little more than a gleam in your father's eyes). However, I chose Canon when I decided to go digital, primarily because of the number, quality, and price of lenses that are available. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with any of the major DSLR manufacturersthey all produce excellent cameras. Read the reviews and try them out at a store. Then pick the one that seems to fit your needs best..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #11

Getting the smaller P&S sounds and then the DSLR down the road sounds like a good plan to me. I currently have the Canon G7 as my small P&SI bought it to replace my clunky Fuji s602z, but even though it has manual controls, it's still limited in what it can do. I'm currently taking a photography class through Community Ed program at our local community college and I basically made up my mind that I really wanted a DSLR, so I just got a good deal on eBay on a used Pentax DSLR and a couple of lenses. I'll still keep the G7 for those times where I really don't want to lug my big camera around..

I would encouage you in the meantime to do your homework and learn more about the different features that different models of DSLRs offer. Once you get that basic education, you can decide which features are most important to you and narrow down your search that way. Each brand of camera has it's strengths and weaknesses. Sites like this one, steves-digicams.com, dcresource.com, and imaging-resource.com are a valuable source of information on specific cameras and digital photography in general..

Since it sounds like you're on shoestring budget like I am, you might want to consider buying used. Actually most of the digital cameras I've bought have been used and I haven't had any problems with them. All the camera review sites keep information on the older discontinued DSLR models, so if you see something on eBay that looks like a good deal, you can go and look at the reviews. I picked up my DSLR, 2 lenses, plus some other stuff for $320 plus shipping. It was definitely a steal.  If you'd rather deal with a camera shop that has a lot of used gear, keh.com is my favorite..

All the best to you in your decision-making process,Heather Proud new Pentaxianthe *ist DS and lenses are on the way. ..

Comment #12

The K10D is much better than the K100D but both are excellent cameras. The best and most advanced point and shoot camera is nowhere near as good as either of these two DSLR's..

If you are buying the body only you can get good used manual focus K-mount lenses for very little money. If you buy a K10D and one of these lenses it is a good start. I saw where you were contemplating maybe getting a better point and shoot. Don't. Get whicheverof the two DSLR's you can afford with a lens or two. Maybe get the bundle with the kit lens..

I used to use Pentax SLR's (film bodies) for nearly 30 years and switched to Canon DSLR's only because at the time Pentax did not have a DSLR so I got a Canon 10D which is comparable to the K100D. Today I have the Canon 400D which is a fantastic camera but the K10D has much better features and if I were going to choose all over again I would go with the Pentax K10D. Get whatever you can afford. The Pentaxes are nice because they are compatible with all their older K-mount lenses. For used lenses check outhttp://www.keh.com..

Bill.

Shoot liberally!..

Comment #13

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