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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:24 am 
i am ready to change from a compact to a dslr and as most inexperienced ''photographers'' i have some questions as to what should be the best entry level dslr. i've narrowed it down to 2 choices , pentax k200d(which seems to be better than nikon) and nikon d60(which most of my friends own).

i tested both in a local store and found pentax more secure in my hands. it fits perfect.. nikon is still good and convinient but i don't like the idea of a dslr that looks like a superzoom campact.. They are suposed to be big and secure and shouldn't feel small and fragile...

i found the image quality of pentax better than nikon's all the way up to iso 1600. Pentax is better in raw mode than nikon(most of the reviews i've read mention that) and i am going to shoot in raw mode or raw+jpeg(can anyone explain the raw+jpeg mode?)

so i need some advice as to which is better for me.

i need

a) good af system in low light conditions
b) nice and bright viwfinder
c) i want to be to purchase a 55-200mm or 55-300mm(pentax) lens
d) perfect build quality
e) finally great choice of accessories and lenses

what i like:

pentax

-top lcd
-aa batteries
-good iso performance
-decent kit lens
-build quality
-feel

nikon

-jpeg quality
-decent kit lens
-choice of lenses

i am leaning towards pentax..... please i need some advice... reviews i've read(and i've read lots of them) indicate that picture quality is the same. so i will probably decide according to features and feel in my hands



(excuse any mistake as i am neithert from us nor england)[/u][/b]


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:04 am 
I think the lenses must be no. 1 or at least no. 2 on your priority list,because they count the most.

Having said that,go with the Nikon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:49 pm 
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Posts: 361
Unless you ever envision yourself becoming a professional photographer, Pentax's lens choices will suit you fine. They have a nice selection of standard lenses, as well as a growing list of professional lenses (the DA* series) and a nifty set of pancakes. Pentax cameras support legacy lenses as well, so any lens Pentax has ever made will fit the k200d. Plus, since stabilization is in-body, any legacy lens will be stabilized. Not to mention the fact that you'll save a lot of money in the long run not always having to shell out extra cash every time you want a VR lens from Nikon.

I have the k200d. I love it. If you're leaning that way, I say go for it. You won't regret not having a D60.

Let me know if you have any questions about the k200d. I'll be happy to answer!

_________________
Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
Pentax K200D / DA 18-55mm / DA 55-300mm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:17 pm 
jaxzwolf thanks for your reply. You said that you own a k200d... may i ask you a question??? i've read in forums that some owners of pentax k200d are having some troubles with battery life(alkalines)... what batteries do you use??? i read that eneloops by sanyo are the best for this camera.is this right? that's the only thing that keeps me from buying it but if you say that you don't have any problem with batteries compatibility i'll definetely go for it..

i forgot to mention that i'm going to mainly take landscape and macro photos....i also like portraits....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:15 pm 
battery life depends on something called mAh...basically, the more mAh a battery has, the longer it can last between charges...for AA batteries, 2600 or more mAh gives great battery life

NiMH rechargeable AA batteries are ideal since you can recharge them just as proprietary batteries...before buying them, make sure you look at the battery specs and buy at least 2600 mAh or more...even 2200 or 2400 mAh would be good

as for how many shots you can get with them, it depends on how many mAh a battery has...ill leave that question upto k200d owners (im interested in knowing this myself)


Last edited by Photo Addiction on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:28 pm 
thanks again for your reply :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Posts: 466
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
The Sanyo battaries are better if you don't frequently charge because Sanyo has developed a battery don't won't have any "discharge".

Also, I have realized now that the K-7 is out, it really doesn't matter. You could have proffesional with any brand name! Seriously, our school's photo shoot, the person had a XTi with a Tamron 17-50mm!

And I agree with the above posts, although you should also look at the K20D, considering it is only $50-100 more if you know where to look.

_________________
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Canon 5D Mark II, 40D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, EF 24-105mm L IS, EF 50mm f/1.4

www.flickr.com/glxlr


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Location: Nova Scotia Canada
I haven't tried the Sanyo batteries but have heard good things about them.
I use Max E's

http://www.edmamarketing.com/Product/Annsmann/maxE%20Battery%20Info.pdf

I find them very good performers both in my K100 but for some reason seem even better in my K200(If anyone may have an explanation why,I'd love to hear it)
I have used them under extreme temperatures both above and below 0C
Using them in -20C I'm not sure many batteries wouldn't be effected, they do seem a bit less than perfect but...how often will you be out in -20C for a prolonged period taking pics?
I have two sets of 4 and a smart charger that works both in my home and my vehicle.

TWO THUMBS UP from me K200 and the batteries.

_________________
Pentax K-5
Pentax 18-55mm,Pentax 50-200mm,Sigma 17-70mm,Sigma 70-300mm, Sigma 50-500mm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:53 am
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Location: Northern Sweden
I personally wouldn't buy a camera without a top LCD, now when I've got used to it. They are much more easy to read than the rear screen in harsh sun light, for example.

I think you've already answered your question yourself. If the K200D is a perfect fit in your hands, that should be your choice.

There is however an even better option than the K200D if you like the Pentax way. Take a look at this thread http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15623


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:42 pm 
The more I look into getting into a system, the more I think Pentax is the way to go for cropped sensors bodies.

Weather sealing and AA batteries is just so smart............now you can get weather sealed kit lenses and a 200d and have a weather sealed complete starter package..........or up the ante a bit and get a 20d body.

If you care less about weather sealing the km body with the two unsealed kit lenses are really well priced.

The overall feel of all the Pentax bodies exude quality.........lens performance seems pretty good also..........and the DA* lenses with a fixed 2.8 aperture are also great for the price........considering what you pay for fast glass from Canon or Nikon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:56 pm 
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Posts: 601
Location: France
Bonjour Nick,

First the disclosure: I'm a Pentax user and I'm very happy with my K10D. I haven't had the opportunity to test a Canon or a Nikon or a Olympus dSLR, so I can't tell you which is the best. :wink:

Now the advice :) Go and pay a visit to your local dSLR dealer and test two very important things that would make the difference between a camera you're going to use and enjoy and a camera you're going to be uncomfortable with.
  1. How the camera fits in your hands? Are the commands at the right place under your fingers?
  2. How clear is the viewfinder? It's a key part on an SLR.

Now, if you need more info on Pentax camera and lenses, please have a look at my :arrow: Pentax K10D Related User Reviews :!:

I hope that helps :)

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:01 pm 
rei_vilo wrote:
  1. How the camera fits in your hands? Are the commands at the right place under your fingers?
  2. How clear is the viewfinder? It's a key part on an SLR.



Excellent pointers! Yes,Nick you should consider these criterias. Also,think about the lenses/lense that will fit in your budget the best.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:04 am 
I myself had the debate between the Nikon D60, the Canon rebel XS and the Pentax K200D. In the end I chose pentax for the same reasons you have. Not to mention the amount of compatable lenses. I picked up a 50mm F1.7 for $30 canadian. The 55-200mm is a very reasonable price ($200 Canadian)

As KPR said, regular batteries do work but you are limited on some of the options. I took KPR's advice and got the AnsMann rechargeables. They are amazing. I think i've charged them twice in 2 months and I take pictures every day just about. As far as I know they dont make the enloops anymore, at least not in canada.

I myself shoot in Raw+jpeg mode. Basically every picture you take it creates a Raw file and a Jpeg file. That way if you choose to edit the picture in raw you can do so but also have a jpeg there for quick access.

I think you have already made your choice. The pentax K200D has been a wonderful camera to learn on for me and will continue to grow as I do. Good luck with your purchase.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:55 am 
rei_vilo wrote:

Now the advice :) Go and pay a visit to your local dSLR dealer and test two very important things that would make the difference between a camera you're going to use and enjoy and a camera you're going to be uncomfortable with.


While it's kind of important to a point, I have found that I can pretty much get use to any camera and layout, admittedly the digitals are a lot more complex than film cameras of the past. The biggest concerns IMHO are weight, will you be bothered to lug it along, battery life and the ability to use what's locally available should electricity be N/A, water/dust/condensation should be a consideration especially in an all electric camera. If you consider yourself a serious photographer a drop of rain or the potential for it should not be a consideration on if the camera comes along.

I ride motorcycles sometimes in the rain and sometimes out in the middle of nowhere China, I had a point and shoot and the battery went bad........no more pictures till I could find another exotic battery and convert the camera to accept a AA battery pack.....so the ability to use AA's should not be underestimated if you do a bit of traveling.

If the D-90 had the weather sealing and the ability to accept AA's either in body or in the supplemental battery pack I'd probably have gotten one of those or countless others I have held.........like the Olympus E620, great size and weight but not weathersealed even though it looks like you are looking down a tunnel to take a picture, the Sony a700 has a great viewfinder compared to the Olympus but is pretty heavy, the better Canon bodies and lenses are huge (compared to in body stabilized lenses) and again are not sealed.............I can learn to adapt, to the camera, layout, whatever, but the camera is not going to adapt to the weather :D.......and the heavier and bulkier it is the less lightly it is to come along for the ride anyway.

I find the Pentax line ticks the most must have features I feel are valuable for the types of conditions and environments I might find myself in. If the K-7 hadn't have come along I'd probably be using a K200d or 20d........or even a K10d with a weather sealed lens. As it is I'll probably wait till the K-7 is readily available.

So...... :D ................it's not always about how it feels in the hand, for me it'll depend more on what, where and how I will or won't use it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Posts: 601
Location: France
Nick,

You're right about the importance of specs. Since your first message showed a short list of cameras, my advice was about the next steps.

Making a short list is easy from catalogues and litterature found here and ther. But at the end of the day, there are still features that no catalogue and no manual could describe, such as ergonomics and view-finder. No chance: you need to check them by yourself :!:

About batteries :idea: : the standard AA batteries were key on my purchase of a *ist DL. The K10D has specific batteries, with a much better lifespan. Obviously, I bought a second battery. I use an 4 GB SD-card which stores as many pictures as the battery lasts :wink:

What's nice with the K7, the camera holds a specific battery whilst the grip could carry either specific battery or 6 standard AA batteries. You get the very best from both worlds :)

Good luck with your purchase and have fun :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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