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Which camera to get
To start out with I am new to the world of DSLRs but have been wanting to get into them for a while. I have been looking a lot lately at the Pentax K10D as it seems to have been getting great reviews. I will be going to the Cloud Forest in Honduras this summer for two weeks which is obviously going to be very hot and humid. Perhaps the main reason that I have been attracted to the Pentax is for the moisture seals on the inside of the camera to make it more durable for harder conditions. I intend to take this hobby much further over the next few years and I know that I will be going on many other trips to other similar environemts like Honduras as well as the opposite to places like Egypt..

My main question I suppose is this: Will having a camera without the moisture seals have problems in these types of conditions. Obviously people have been doing wildlife photography in these areas for years where the cameras did not come equipped with the moisture seals so I don't want to completely limit myself for this reason. Should I consider the Nikons and Canons that are in a similar price range or maybe even go with something a little less expensive so I can invest in a range of nice lenses. Any advice will be greatly appreciated...

Comments (21)

The Pentax is a great camera (I shot for three months in Nicaragua with an old Spotamatic many years ago). Having said that, most wildlife photographers shoot Canons and Nikons. If I were you, I probably would decide what lenses I was going to need, and I would base my decision about a camera body on lens availability and price. I doubt that you can go wrong with any of these three brands..

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

Comment #1

I'm glad you asked that question. I am also considering the Pentax k10d. Many posters will recommend handling the camera and basing your decision largely on that because you can't go wrong as virtually all of the DSLR's will take good pictures (they say.) I think it comes down to features you most highly value and price. Right now the k10d runs for about $600 (body only), including a $100 rebate (so $700 without.) You can also get a Canon 30D for about $800 (body only.) I would love to get the Pentax because I'm an "underdog" kind of guy, but the 30D has really come down in price. The 30D offers 5fps (good for sports pics) as opposed to about 3fps with the k10d, better image quality, a nice steel build, plus some VERY nice and varied lenses that all of the pro's say is what makes the biggest difference in photography. The k10d has weather seals, a nice build, and several features I don't understand, and has very few lens options.

I'm concerned with the k10d that the image quality is not as good as the 30D (as the review on this site states.) My friend told me to forget the reviews, pointing to all of the awards the Pentax received in Europe and that the k10d offers the "biggest bang for the buck." But now that the 30D is so much cheaper I can't decide..

Sorry I couldn't help but hopefully other more knowledgeable people will..

Jay..

Comment #2

If you are serious about a rugged waterproof camera get Olympus. The E-1 (you can get a used one for 3-$400) or an E-3 for $1600 are built like tanks and fully weatherproof as well as all of Olympus's midgrade to topgrade lenses. No other manufacturer has these weatherproof offerings at such affordable prices. Plus you don't have to worry about dust on your sensor. I have had Olympus for over four years without a speck of dust, I will never buy any other equipment!.

Favorite Images: http://www.myfourthirds.com/folder.php?id=1912.

Best, John S...

Comment #3

About 3 years ago I spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica. The typical weather was sunny in the mornings with VERY wet evenings raining. I had at the time a 20D and assortment of lenses, but I decided that I wanted to travel as light as possible (best thing you can do when traveling!) so I opted instead to take my Canon EOS 3 which is weather sealed, you don't have to worry about dust because it's film. You can find these cameras on ebay now for around $200 in excellent condition, and use the $500+ dollars you save on film and processing. Plus, there is the benefit of not having to worry about charging batteries, downloading memory cards onto heavy laptops, etc. You just pop in a roll of film and have fun. Even with the fantastic digital camera's of today, I'd do it the same...

Comment #4

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

I'm glad you asked that question. I am also considering the Pentaxk10d. Many posters will recommend handling the camera and basingyour decision largely on that because you can't go wrong as virtuallyall of the DSLR's will take good pictures (they say.) I think itcomes down to features you most highly value and price. Right nowthe k10d runs for about $600 (body only), including a $100 rebate (so$700 without.) You can also get a Canon 30D for about $800 (bodyonly.) I would love to get the Pentax because I'm an "underdog" kindof guy, but the 30D has really come down in price. The 30D offers5fps (good for sports pics) as opposed to about 3fps with the k10d,better image quality, a nice steel build, plus some VERY nice andvaried lenses that all of the pro's say is what makes the biggestdifference in photography. The k10d has weather seals, a nice build,and several features I don't understand, and has very few lensoptions.

I'mconcerned with the k10d that the image quality is not as good as the30D (as the review on this site states.) My friend told me to forgetthe reviews, pointing to all of the awards the Pentax received inEurope and that the k10d offers the "biggest bang for the buck." Butnow that the 30D is so much cheaper I can't decide..

Sorry I couldn't help but hopefully other more knowledgeable peoplewill..

Jay.

What makes you say the Canon has better image quality?.

At Iso 1600 and up...for sure (which is why I got the K100d instead)...below that many would beg to differ..

They both have other things in their favour......but image quality is a personal thing..

For the OPs needs though the K10d would be the better choice if the trip is the thing...if not as is often said go try as many cameras as you can get your hands on..

Another idea would be a used Oly E1 beyond that you need a true pro grade camera (Oly E3, Canon 1 series etc)..

Neil.

Its not just in Europe...the K10d won almost every award going over the last year...

Comment #5

I want to believe you Neil but look at the image comparisons on this site's review. It appears that you would have to shoot in raw mode only in order to match the image quality of the k10d's competitors. My other question is how the 30D would fare in a rain forest? Where you be foolish to try or would it probably be ok?..

Comment #6

I really would go with a Canon XT or XTi if you can afford it. Reason being, there is a lot more lens options in a wide variety of price ranges.Benhttp://www.b3nbrooks.com/blog/ - for my pics...

Comment #7

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

I want to believe you Neil but look at the image comparisons on thissite's review. It appears that you would have to shoot in raw modeonly in order to match the image quality of the k10d's competitors.My other question is how the 30D would fare in a rain forest? Whereyou be foolish to try or would it probably be ok?.

The Site used default jpegs....it takes a couple of seconds to change that....Raw is better for many people than other cameras. If the pictures where rubbish it would not get the kudos it has been getting..

It is a camera that is meant to be used with pp...as most higher end cameras are. If you want jpegs get a K100d or other entry level..

I hate PP, like jpegs and shoot at 3200 so the K100d is for me..

For two weeks in a rainforest my K100d would be left in a plastic bag most of the time....unless he is really careful I believe a K10d or Oly E1 or as suggested by another a weather sealed film camera are the best choices by far, short of a pro grade camera..

Neil..

Comment #8

Pardon my ignorance, please explain the "default jpeg issue." Are the default jpeg settings done automatically by the camera depending on conditions? How would you know how to change the default settings to create optimal images? Did Pentax software correct the default settings problem? Please explain...

Comment #9

Interesting I was considering throwing in the towel on digital and going with film. Now a whole new evaluation begins!..

Comment #10

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

Pardon my ignorance, please explain the "default jpeg issue." Arethe default jpeg settings done automatically by the camera dependingon conditions? How would you know how to change the default settingsto create optimal images? Did Pentax software correct the defaultsettings problem? Please explain..

Hi.

Rather than me explain it is easiest to just do a google search of " K10d default" or similar...search is CURRENTLY working here so try that as well on dpreview for all forums....there is so much written about this..

I do not have the camera...only used one briefly. It IS a great camera...just not for everyone and like all cameras has it's flaws....There is also a couple of new Pentaxes about to be announced in a week or 2.....14mp and 10mp I think..

Neil..

Comment #11

Thanks Neil. Do you happen to know what the new Pentax 10 mp will be selling for?..

Comment #12

First I'd suggest you ask on the Pentax DSLR forum - lots of K10D users there !.

Bare in mind that if you need weather sealing that bad you probably need lenses that are weather sealed too. Not much point in keeping the camera alive if the lens dies..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #13

Yes, just how important is weather sealing? Can non-weather sealed camera's be used in wet weather also? Or is that a foolish question. Are weather sealed lenses uncommon or common?..

Comment #14

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

Thanks Neil. Do you happen to know what the new Pentax 10 mp will beselling for?.

Hi.

Sorry have not got a clue (about most things)..

Since it is supposed to be a k100d type camera but with a K10d sensor (roughly) I would imagine it would have to be somewhere between the two, but thats just a guess..

Neil..

Comment #15

In a tropical downpour, I doubt that ANY camera is completely waterproof. That is what plastic bags are for. Like I said earlier, I spent three months (during the rainy season) in Nicaragua with a supposedly waterproof Pentax. I kept it dry with plastic bags..

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

Comment #16

Firstly since you are looking to buy your first DSLR, I would get a Nikon D40, you don't need the D40x. I had them both and the D40 is much better (and alot cheaper). Spend the money you save on a nice zoom lens..

Don't be fooled by the whole Megapixel issue. 6MP is more than enough unless you are planning on printing photos larger than 12 X 15". Camera marketing has led ppl to believe they need these larger megapixel cameras which is completely untrue. MP's are the only way to marketa DSLR camera to a comact point and shoot consumer; they couldnt use marketing saying "the D40x has great ISO noise or great auto metering", people wouldn't understand so they use Megapixel marketing instead. The D40 is more sensitive to light than the D40x and it has a faster flash sync speed. This is very important to creating good photo's.



Weather sealing is ok on the D40 but it is not going to be as good as say the D300 for instance because of the price..

I bought my D40 from beachcamera.com for $479 w/ shipping and a memory card..

Hope that helps...

Comment #17

I think you will find hundreds of users in the Olympus forum that do shoot in downpours with Olympus E System equipment with the E-1, E-3 and Mid/Top Pro lenses. I never worry about my equipment when others are hurrying to get to shelter. I just keep on shooting!.

Favorite Images: http://www.myfourthirds.com/folder.php?id=1912.

Best, John S...

Comment #18

John:.

I've seen lots of them too, and they were all using plastic bags to protect their equipment..

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

Comment #19

Jchoate wrote:.

John:.

I've seen lots of them too, and they were all using plastic bags toprotect their equipment..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/.

Hi.

It STILL comes down to getting much more use out of a camera that is weather sealed in that sort of environment, and among dlsrs at the lower end that means Pentax K10d or Oly E1. Some may very well get away with another camera and being careful but some cameras would be paperweights by the end.....that may still apply to the K10d/Oly E1 just much better chance of it surviving..

Have a look at this thread....not quite the same but still a harsh environment.http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=25973020.

If anything the rainforest environment would be harsher. So you may be better of with a decent waterproof ps camera. Then base you dslr choice on what you will normally be shooting..

Me I would probably geta old E1 and risk that with a weather sealed lens....then I could use it with my 300 2.8 for the extra "reach"..

Neil..

Comment #20

I used a Canon stock underwater housing for my Canon Powershot A40 (digital point and shoot) when I was at Niagara Falls and that worked very well..

I wouldn't expect even a weather sealed camera like the k10d to survive a torrential downpour and I wouldn't be foolish enough to try to take pictures with it under those conditions. I suppose my question is whether you need weather seeling for light rain conditions, because that is the kind of conditions I can foresee occuring during a vacation trip or hike where you would still want to take some photos..

I'm just trying to assess the value of weather seeling in dslr's because k10d proponents seem to tout that quality most of all in comparing it to other camera's..

Just how important is weather seeling? [As an aside, do most medium and high end lenses have weather seeling? How much extra does one have to pay to obtain lenses with those characteristics?]..

Comment #21

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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