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Old Sep 16, 2006, 8:54 PM   #1
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I am a long time Pentax 35 mm owner. K1000, ES11 and 1968 S1a Slr's, plus a myriad of lenses.

In the summer I looked at the *ist, along with the Canon Rebel XT (?), Nikon D50 and D70s.

I went in to the Camera store, thinking that it would be a no-brainer, I would merely get a new Pentax *ist (or maybe the K100 that was coming out later at the time), be able to use all my old Takumar and Pentax lenses and I would continue being a Pentax guy.

I looked at all three Digital SLR makes and after about 40 minutes or so of trying the different makes , I left the store thinking, maybe it's time to break with my long tradition and go over to Nikon and get the D70s.

I was most impressed with the Nikon D70s/Nikon D50.

After my visit I did lots of reading and there seems to be an opinion out there (don't know if it's true or not, that Pentax digital lenses are 'soft'.

That gave me more pause for thought as currently I generally use my 35 mm K1000 with Pentax 35-105 Zoom with Macro and I have to tell you, the sharp, clear pix this combo gives, are second to none. If a modern digital can't match this old zoom than I ain't interested.

Also I have spent quite a lot of time on this forum and as my first and only, Digital camera is a Panasonic Lumix , DMC80 (5.0 MP) , Point & Shoot, with Leica zoom I have become very impressed with the sharp pix this little Lumix puts out.

In addition the pictures that I see that are posted by owners of the Panasonic Lumix SLR with non-interchangeable lens on this forum, are very, very impressive in clarity, etc. In fact the pix that are posted on the Panasonic threads seem to be better than many that are posted on the Big 3 SLR threads , to me, anyway.

So I'm thinking of the Panasonic SLR type as a possible unit. Only one lens, but what a lens, 36-420 mm or so, with Macro and a bit cheaper. HMMNN.

I also see lot's of posts on the Pentax threads about owner's problems with the Optio. I don't have an Optio, but I believe it is a P & S, but it made me wonder if the tremendous reliability that I have experienced for almost 40 years with my Pentax 35 stuff, has been carried over, or not with the modern digital Pentax?

I was not impressed with the K100, especially with the 6.1 MP, in this day and age. But I have to say the specs on the new K10, with 10 MP, etc., have all of a sudden put Pentax on my serious consideration list.

I hope it's as good as it seems on paper. This may be Pentax's salvation.

If anybody has any comments I would appreciate,as I am looking, at my age, at getting into what possibly may be my last system and I want to make the best , informed decision for my money.
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 9:39 PM   #2
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If you say the pentax's 6.1MP dSLR isnt impressing in this day and age then you shouldnt be impress with Nikon D50/D70 because it use the SAME SENSOR as the pentax and both of them are 6.1MP.

If you have a lot of Pentax lense then I would just stick with pentax unless there is a certian feature that you are really looking for that nikon/canon has that pentax dont have. As far as I know, typically Nikon/Canon are quicker then Pentax, but it does not mean that the Pentax a slow camera. Also the only thing that I think Pentax lack are good quality telephoto zoom lense. Pentax has a few but nothing compaired to the lineup of the other two.

Yes I do hear people say that pentax camera tend to be "soft", but I dont think so. A lot of photos that I see posted here and other camera board shot by pentaxian and they very sharp.

Also I dont see how the Panasonic dSLR be a bit cheaper. The body alone cost $2000!

If it comes down to it, test drive the camera and see it for yourself. I know it is a good idea to read reviews before you buy but a lot of people can be bias on what they say. Kinda like me right now asking you to stick with pentax.:?. But really, you are the one using the camera and not other people.
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 10:37 PM   #3
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I owned a Panasonic FZ30 for a month and didn't like it at all - I didn't get as much detail as I got with a Sony F717, and it didn't have as much dynamic range. So I know that more MP does not necessarily make a better picture. I soldthe Pannyfor a loss so I could buy the Pentax, and have been very pleased.I find that my opinion of my lenses is about the same as when I was using them on an ME camera - those that were softer are still softer than I like, while the sharp 50mm lens is still really sharp.I have found that I like using the SMC M24mm 2.8 lens far more now than when I was using it with film -the smaller sensor means there isn't as muchfish-eyetypedistortionas there was with35mm film. If you can, try taking yourfavorite lens with youwhen you try the Pentax camera and seeif you like the results.

Ergonomics mean a great deal in digital photography, and if you prefer the feel of the Nikon, go for it. I much preferred the size and feel of the Pentax DS, and have had a great time using all my old equipment.
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 1:23 AM   #4
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since 2002/2003 i was asking the same question as you and having the same second thoughts as you currently do. i poured over and over all the test shots comparing them to the other big dslr companies and looking at those, i shared the reviewers opinions: that the pentax dslrs are soft.

i started my slr hobby with a pentax mz10, then moved to an mz5n and a couple lenses. I loved the size and feel of the my old slrs (compactness was high on my priority list). Hence i wanted to stick with pentax so i could use my older lenses. i was very disappointed with the soft image reviews. but i kept reading and listened and educated myself on other peoples suggestions that pentax images are sharp out of the camera due to low in camera sharpening applied, that post processing brings out so much detail and that they had incredible iso performance. I looked at USER pics and found that i really liked what i saw and was more and more impressed.

I jumped into digital photography with a kodak 2mp p&s, then canon powershot s100, the canon g2, then powershot is s2. i was seriously thinking of going over to canon for dslr, loved their image quality. i happend on a great deal for a ds on ebay about a year and 1/2 ago and jumped on it as i was obsessing about getting a dslr. I longed for focusing with a ring on a lens instead of pushin buttons on the p&s cameras.

I have to say, the end users were right! the dslrs pick up huge details that if u feel is too soft, post process it, and it sharpens up SO NICELY! I'm now shooting raw and it offers so much better control over sharpening! you will not be dissapointed by the camera's sharpness. pentax maintained its compact body size from the z series film camera's and i simply loved the feel of the ds in my hand. i can carry it all day without much strain.

a buddy bought a nikon film cam and d70 about 2 years ago and has since gone on to become a professional with a d200. had i the funds and never goten into slrs in the past, i probably would have gone with them (nikon). the fit and feel of the cam is great and they do have some better performance oriented features. I shot side by side with him one day, my ds alongside his d200. there is a difference but then again his camera did cost and arm and a leg more.

do try the cameras out for yourself. take a memory card, take some shots with the pentax, take them home and play with them in photoshop and see what they look like on your monitor. you will be impressed. i'd highly advise this as you say you have a lot of pentax lenses. this is something that isnt praised enough: pentax's compatibility with older lenses. with their new SR system incorporated into the camera body and the feature laden k10d, i think pentax is an underrated and overlooked name in the dslr category.
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