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Old Feb 24, 2009, 9:06 PM   #1
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I'm kinda cross-posting here from the What Camera Should I Buy forum, but someone there suggested I pose my question in the sports forum, so here goes:

I recently purchased a Pentax K200D and it arrived in the mail last week, but I haven't shot at all with it because I've been reading about Pentax's poor autofocus performance.

I have until Friday to decide whether or not to return the camera for a refund and get a Rebel XSi instead.

Little bit of background - I used to shoot a variety of subjects for a weekly newspaper in a small town. I shot with an older Rebel and was fairly happy with the results. That is, I was happy with the camera's performance generally - any problems were with my shooting, not the equipment.

I haven't used a DSLR in a few years, though, and I've been wanting to get back into it for a while.

Initially, I was planning on buying the XSi, but someone mentioned the K200D and it looked interesting. My first film SLR was an old Pentax I used in college, and I had a lot of fun with it.

I had to drive an hour and a half to find a store that had on hand. As soon as I held it and took a couple of shots, I was pretty much sold.

It's probably a stupid reason to buy a camera, but it felt very comfortable and reassuring. The XSi felt a little too light and small in my hands - not so on the Pentax. I also like the fact that it's powered by AA batteries. A lot of people seem to hate this, but it's a bonus in my book.

So I ordered one, but, yeah, the autofocus is bothering me. I couldn't find a place willing to rent one of the camera's so there's no way I can test it out first.

Here's what I'm anticipating shooting:

People - Especially candid photography, people moving, doing things, etc.

Sports - Not professionally, but I would like to be able to take pictures at high school basketball games, etc.

Of course I'd like to experiment with other things, but those are the two primary types of shooting I'd like to do. In particular, there is a professional wrestling promotion nearby that I'd really like to shoot.

Advice? Should I just go ahead and open her up and try her out this weekend? I guess I could always try selling it if I absolutely hate the performance.

The small buffer of the K200D isn't a concern for me, by the way. I shot lots of sports while working in newspapers and I always took one shot at a time. I would focus on a player, wait for the moment I wanted, and then release the shutter. Taking 20 shots in a row might be better, but I was taught one-shot-at-a-time and am comfortable with that, so the buffer isn't a problem.

I realize the XSi is probably better suited for action. I guess my question is how *much* more is it suited for action?

I realize that you can get a good shot from pretty much any camera, but below is an example of the shots I'd like to be able to take. Below was taken with an older Rebel with flash. (Thanks in advance, by the way, for any comments or suggestions).

Also - I'm not going to be investing a ton of money into either camera right away. I'd like to add a flash and a telephoto zoom within the year, but that's about it.



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Old Feb 25, 2009, 5:21 AM   #2
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If you were happy with the original rebel and you're happy with the results from the shot you included and, as you stated, you don't want to spend the money on appropriate lenses (e.g. 85mm 1.8 for basketball, 70-200 2.8 for football) I'd say stick with the K200. You should be able to get results comparable to what you got with the old rebel. Without paying for the right lenses you won't get the benefit of Canon's AF performance increase using budget lenses.
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