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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:23 am 
I think I have narrowed it down to two cameras, the Nikon D3100 and the Pentax K-X. What are your opinions on both of these cameras. Tell me why you think one is better than another... BE SPECIFIC please...

I have used this link below to compare these two cameras... but this don't tell you everything about a camera...

what about either of theses cameras makes it stand out... ya know the kind of thing you learn once you have bought the thing and you find out all the neat little things it does.

Thank you all for helping me narrow this decision... Let the comments fly!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:34 am 
Chukers - Do you have a reason for comparing the current entry-model Nikon with the Pentax previous entry-model?

Or are you doing it on price, and can get the lower-spec (than the new K-R) Pentax K-X on a runout deal cheaper than the D3100?

The K-X was a pretty good camera - I was saving for one - but the K-R solves the focus screen, low res LCD, and other "issues" of the K-X - and is sufficiently better to have me saving a bit more to get one instead of the K-X.

I don't mean that the Nikon and Canon entry-levels aren't nice for their prices - they are.

But for my purposes - and of course others' needs will differ - the K-R's new focus screen, new high-res LCD for on-tripod use, faster 6fps Continuous Shooting (the K-X is 4.7fps, the D3100 3fps), in-body Shake-Reduction, and all those Film-SLR K-Mount and M42 lenses at modest prices to choose from, does it for me.

You might not need to do HDR, now, or intend to in future, so no AEB function in the D3100 might be okay - but the K-R does have a multi-adjustable AEB mode - see Page 118 in the K-R Manual.

Actually - if you're comparing cameras - it's a good idea to download the Manual for each - and spend some time studying the functions and abilities of the cameras to compare them. An hour or three isn't wasted time - it's only a tiny fraction of the time you'll spend with your new DSLR....


Last edited by oldwarbler on Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:38 am 
you will get much better quality/price with Nikon lenses. the K-x is somewhat a better camera than the D3100,but it's up to you to decide if the range limitations & prices of Pentax lenses are a drawback or not.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:58 am 
Razvan - If as you say, the K-X is a better camera than the D3100 - and the K-R is certainly a better camera than the K-X - that puts the K-R somewhat further ahead of the D3100.

Compare the D3100 and K-R Manuals. The K-R certainly has a lot more functions and adjustments, etc.

As for lenses - there are other makers than Pentax doing lenses for Pentax bodies - just Sigma has quite a range to offer, and there are others.

Plus, if a user wants a wide range of very good optics primes - they aren't stuck with a limited current range - all of the K, M, and A, K-Mounts go directly onto any Pentax body - and M42 with adaptor - and there are some nice, and very affordable, Pentax, Sigma, Takumar, Tamron, etc, lenses in those ranges.

A K or M 300mm prime mounts directly - 450mm equivalent on the crop body. The Pentax AF-enabling 1.7x TC works well with those. Have you priced a Nikon - or Canon - 300mm prime, recently...?

And of course - to get Shake-Reduction in those "better" Nikon lenses - you have to pay extra to get the up-market model of the lens that has it built-in... Every lens on a Pentax body - brand new or old-classic - has the in-body Shake-Reduction to enhance its uses...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:39 am 
depends from case to case with lenses & sometimes,it's better to have same brand lenses for best perfomance. & aqsually,the D90 is a more direct competitor to the K-R.

btw,let's not talk about lenses that you'll never buy or use.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:37 pm 
Razvan - The "same brand" idea does seem to be a marketing thing - obviously, makers of cameras want to make further "after camera sales" profits from their products - so Canon, Sony, Hoya-Pentax, Mitsubishi-Nikon, so on, will of course heavily promote their own same-brand lenses.

They're all "in the business of being in business", which is indeed a good thing - because we like their products - or at least they hope we do! And all of those just mentioned make many products other than cameras - Canon and Sony make scanners, printers, medical and industrial gear, and much more. To Hoya, Pentax is hopefully a new and profitable arm to its other operations, and to Mitsubishi, which makes cars, aircraft, trains, ships, and very much more - Nikon is a hugely valuable high-tech asset for their corporation.

One of the reasons that in the Digital-SLR era, the makers have moved to creating low-cost entry-level DSLRs - is marketing and sales driven - the Bridge-Zooms were clearly going to match, or overlap, the pricing of their planned entry-level DSLRs - and have now done that.

In Sydney, the Canon SX30 is $549.00, and the Panasonic FZ100 is $649.00 - but we also get the Canon 1000D, body-only for less than the SX30, and with kit 18-55mm for less than the FZ100. The Sony A390 is slightly less than those - and the Nikon D3100 very slightly more.

Canon, Nikon and Pentax - as in SX30, P100, and X90, all "cripple" the functions of their Bridge Zooms to some extent - seemingly because of their price-similarity to their entry-level DSLRs, while Panasonic's FZ100 competes with their Micro Four-Thirds, not DSLRs, and Fuji's HS10-etc have no Fuji DSLRs to compete with.

As for talking about "lenses you'll never buy or use" - I can assure you that on my (disability) income - if I'm ever to have any good-optics 200mm-300mm-400mm primes - they'll be FSLR Takumars and similar....

And yes, the Taks are "brand-name" to Pentax... I have an SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8 on the bench here. Original front cap off, the lens says - "Asahi Opt. Co., Japan" - and the cap itself says, "Asahi PENTAX".

It's just been checked and calibrated - so no, it isn't a "lens I'm not going to use".

If you doubt that folk "buy and use" the FSLR Takumars, etc - check the huge Lens Database and Takumar, etc, 'Clubs', on Pentax Forum. You can look right through the Database without having to be a member.

Interesting point - as there are so many of those good Tak, Tamron, etc, FSLR lenses around - there are thrifty Canon and Nikon folk asking how to modify those mounts so the lenses fit their cameras. Sadly, conversions aren't always too successful.

Lenses like the K-series K-mount SMC Pentax 300mm f/4 - for about $250.00 - do seem to have attractions outside the Pentax fold. And Canon or Nikon owners can use manual lenses as well as anyone else, of course.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:19 am 
Thank you all for your comments... it more money then I expected to spend but I'm going to get the Pentax K-R...

now what shall I order... the camera with the 18-55mm lens or the kits with the 200 or 300mm lenses?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:21 am 
Chukers - If you are where you can get the kit that has the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm, though it does cost a bit more than the kit with the 50-200mm, it's very much worth the extra.

While the kit 50-200mm is regarded (check on Pentax Forum) as being "very ordinary", the L-series 55-300mm is seen as optically very much better.

Actually it's an "L" or kit version of the excellent Pentax ED DA 55-300mm. The optics in the kit L, are identical to that ED DA version - the differences are that it doesn't have the manual-focus quick-shift, it has a (quite substantial, from reports) plastic mount, and doesn't come with a hood.

If you did get it and for some reason didn't like it (though the optics are rated as better than the Sigma 70-300mm DG APO) - you'd sell it very quickly for no loss, on Pentax Forum.

Many places - such as Australia - don't get the L 55-300mm offered in kits - to get the Pentax 55-300mm, we have to buy the ED DA version, which costs AUD$670.00 (same at present as USDs) here. That's over 50% more than the US price...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:09 am 
oldwarbler: dude really...stop being such a fanboy. the 55-300 cannot be a super lens,not even if it was made by Zeiss. I tested it,it's good for the budget,but not spectacular in any way. The 55-200 is below average quality. (test it too & besides,check the review at,it speaks better than I can)

chukers: if you really need a zoom,get the 55-300mm. If you want better quality in one all-around lens,get the 17-70mm F4,it's a great lens for the money. It would my pick if I would start on Pentax.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:39 pm 
Razvan - Good points, mate! I did actually say that the kit 50-200mm is regarded as "very ordinary" - which means, usable, but not very good.

If you check the ratings on Pentax forum - "both" of the 55-300s are rated as best-quality for price "consumer" lenses. Not as good as the Pentax "*" grade lenses. The "kit" L 55-300mm is "lower" grade because of the lack of quick-change and the plastic mount, compared with the ED DA version.

The usual comparison is with Sigma's 70-300mm DG APO, and it rates better than that.

There IS actually a "reason" that I "sound fanboy" about the 55-300.... Where I am - Australia - we don't get the L 55-300mm as a kit-lens at all... The closest we get to "any" x-300mm in a kit - is Sigma's non-APO 70-300mm, which isn't really worth shelf-space. The L 55-300 as kit lens seems to be limited to North America - and I did hear of an EU deal, but the mention was because that was rare, there.

If we want a Pentax 55-300mm here - it's the DA ED version - which costs $670.00 - a lot more than in the US. If I get around to buying one - it'll be an "as new" offer on Pentax forum - a recent such offer was at $325.00 - less than half the amount we pay here.

And sure - you are indeed correct - the Pentax 55-300mm is a good consumer lens, but not exceptional optics. Why did you think I also mention the K-mount and Takumar primes? The K-mount "M" series 300mm prime sells for around $300.00 - the Takumar 300mm prime for a lot less.

As you'd know - either is far better optics than the 55-300s... For very much less than we pay for the DA ED here. I'm a a hobbyist. I use a tripod often. A semi-manual or manual 300mm prime is therefore no hassle...

As for the Pentax 17-70 f/4 - sure, a very good lens. A friend in Denver has one and swears by it. Denver is in the USA, so that lens is at US prices there. In Sydney that lens is $725.00. And, at least here, certainly isn't offered as a kit deal.

What IS offered in that size, as a kit option, is the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Macro, Retail, $339.00 in Sydney - but about $220.00 as a kit deal. Okay - of course it isn't as good as the Pentax 17-70 - but it IS better as a walkaround lens than the kit 18-55mm (I actually already have one of those - $45.00, as new, Gumtree auctions) - as it has a bit more reach, and starts at f/2.8, not the 18-55's f/3.5.

Must agree - the Pentax 17-70mm is "a great lens for the money" - but some of us have to work within a firm budget - and $725.00 for "one lens amongst many" in one's collection, doesn't fit such budgets too easily.

Better - at hobby/enthusiast on a budget level - to have the kit 18-55mm, and the Sigma 17-70mm as the walk-arounds - and go to the K-mounts and M42s for the "good optics" primes - that do still fit the budget.

And, I'm not having a lend of you, mate - if I won a nice big lottery - you'd be run-over in my rush to buy a beautiful D700 - and a truckload of the superb lenses and gear to go with it... (A D700 with Nikkor 24-70 AF-s f2.8 G Lens - is $4,455.00 here...)

But, things being as they are, the K-R is by far the best value for limited money, around - that, and all the FSLR lenses....

Sometimes - being "on a budget" - can be somewhat peeving.... :shock:


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:04 am 
I know the Sigma 17-70 is a lot cheaper...but it's less sharper & doesn't feature a constant F4,which is useful on a zoom. (it may be less faster in the AF department,but I don't know for sure)
The Pentax 17-70 is an upgrate lens to the kit 18-55 in terms of ..everything,that's why I really like it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:35 am 
Razvan - I'm sure you're right on the quality thing - I know the 55mm f/1.8 SMC Tak will certainly be sharper stopped-down to f/2.8 - and it keeps getting better until f/8 or so, according to the Tak experts.

But I'm a hobbyist who hasn't had any DSLR before, and just wanted a walkaround lens a bit better than the kit 18-55, which I have, anyway. I can get that Sigma 17-70mm for about $220.00 as a kit option. It only has to be a bit better than a P&S Bridge-Zoom at the Wide end, to feel like a big improvement to me!

I did also look at the Pentax 16-45mm, but my friend in the US who has the Pentax 17-70 constant f/4 says that's better - which is why I said above, 'I'm sure you're right."

Also the $505.00 I don't pay over the Sigma to get the Pentax 17-70, at $725.00 here - will buy something I want more. I have a bit of a mobility problem, so I've been into Bridge-Zooms to "get closer" to things, so money saved will go into something longer.

I do want some "quality" and some "sharp" - and getting both in a "new" modern zoom lens is pretty expensive. But the '$500.00 saved' just mentioned would get me the "better" version of the K-mount K or M series 300mm prime, and the later version SMC Tak 200mm prime.

I do realise that it must look as if I'm trying to do things "on the cheap" - but I've spent a long time stuydying just what I 'can' get, at good quality optics, at what prices... $500.00 might not be much to folk who are still working - but on disability pension I have to save for things, then be careful how I spend.

I'm 62, not as mobile as I once was, so I'm hobby-only - and even with the Bridge-Zooms, having a lot of fun....


PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:23 am 
hi oldwarbler/Razvan, I have now decided to buy pentax K-r and since i am a newbie to the dslr world and on limited budget i am looking for your advice on the following:
1. i obviously wanted to get good optics instead ofthe kit lens thus leading me into the direction of body only purchase, but having gone thru the price of lenses given my ltd budget i am back at square one to go with the kit lens. will this be a good decsion. my usage will be for family and holiday pics and capture some nature.
2. if i buy a kit lens, advice me on a pentax or good quality prime lens that is affordable for portraits and another for landscape (a telephoto prime). a compatible film prime lens?

thanks to both of you

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:23 am 
Sany - Pentax has just released a new 35mm prime, which mght suit the uses you're describing very well, the "Pentax Lens 35mm f/2.4 DA AL".

Quote: "The smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL is an interchangeable unifocal standard lens designed exclusively for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. Offering a natural perspective similar to that of the naked eye, this new standard lens is not only versatile enough to be used with a wide range of subjects and applications, including snapshots, but it also provides other benefits of the unifocal design, such as the ability to throw the background out of focus, and to reproduce high-resolution images with edge-to-edge sharpness." - End quote. (Attrib DCW site, Sydney.)

This is a low cost plastic mount lens, but it already has a following on Pentax forum - the optics are pretty good, it seems. In some places it's an option with another kit lens, but it isn't expensive to buy outright - at AUD$279.00 in Sydney (same as USDs at present) - it'd likely be much less in the US, etc.

You'll want at least a short or medium zoom for a general walkabout lens, too. I'm going for the std version Sigma 17-70mm, which is "consumer" level, with the K-R, as I already have some Sigma K-mounts (28-80mm, 100-300mm), and some M42s, including the Takumar (Asahi-Pentax) SMC 55mm f/1.8, which will be my "fifty" size prime.

However, if you want an alternative to "kit" in the short zoom that's also better optics than the std Sigma 17-70mm, Pentax does a 17-70mm too, but that costs over twice the price... That is, the Sigma is AUD$339.00, the Pentax is AUD$725.00. Note that those prices will be a lot lower in the US, a bit lower in the EU.

Or, if it's better for the budget - you might get the Pentax 35mm f/2.4 as the kit lens with the camera, and pick up a used, as-new Pentax 18-55mm for very little. There are 3 versions of the 18-55 - the L/basic version without quick-shift, the earlier DA, and the current DA "18-55mm II" - which is a better version - and as it's the kit-lens with the K-7 and K-5, such buyers tend to sell them on... I saw one today - unused, in the box, on our local Gumtree Auction site, for only $100.00...


PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:58 am 
Hi Dave, Thanks for your quick response and appreciate you and others here for the selfless advisory you provide to people like me.

As mentioned earlier, since I am still a newbie trying to catch up with the technical terms provided I am ought to come up with more question for which I hope to see your continued advices.

First things first: Background - I work and live in Dubai and my option for Pentax K-r will only be online purchase since the market here is dominated by Nikon and Canon.

Since I see you mention that I can opt for Pentax Lens 35mm f/2.4 DA AL as the kit lens - my question is are these options available like the flexibility to choose the kit lens online or only through retailers? If there is this options I will definitely go for it. UPDATE: Sorry I found this in so it is available. I am now thinking if I can get just the lens here and Pentax K-r (body only) on ebay as I think it will be still cheaper.

Next question is, as mentioned earlier the terms unifocal and so on or so technical for me to imagine what they can do, - Can this lens handle both portrait and landscape (since I see 35mm I presume it to be wide angle - is there a possibility of a portrait although I see the words 'a wide range of subjects and applications' ), as a continuity to this question - any idea how it fares for interior dim light portrait shots? what is 'interchangeable' means for this lens.

Last question but not least, if i buy Sigma 17-70mm as a walk around lens, can I straight away fix it into my Pentax K-r or do I need to buy some sort of mount separately?

'There are 3 versions of the 18-55 - the L/basic version without quick-shift, the earlier DA, and the current DA "18-55mm II" ' amongst the 3 version I presume the last 2 to have manual focus and auto focus, am i right? this I want to slowly develop my manual skills as well.

Thanks again Mr Dave


Last edited by sany on Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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