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Old Sep 24, 2008, 1:14 AM   #11
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Hi Robert,

I don't think you'll see to many flames here:-).

One thing that you might want to consider is that it's only been six months since the K20 was released. I got one of the first ones in the country, and my first shot with it was 3/1/08, though it does seem like I've had it a lot longer. PMA is a more reasonable expectation for an upgrade, and since it's rumored that there will be two new bodies at that time, it could just be a KxD and a KxxD to pump up the high end of the line. I'd be more worried if they rushed out an upgrade in 6 months. Having to consider a new body every six months would just be too much angst for me.

I'm not much for speculation, but if the new entry-level K2000 has a Max continuous rate of 3.5 fps, The assumption is that they've been working on the mirror box, and it only makes sense that any higher end body would need to be faster than the entry-level model.

Since perceived AF speed has been a thorn in the side for quite a while, and since Pentax has stuck with SAFOX VIII for quite a few years, I think it's a good bet that the new bodies would have an updated focus system. Personally, I've pretty much optimised my K20 for AF speed, and I'm pretty satisfied with the AF performance, but faster couldn't hurt a bit, as long as they retained the accuracy. Here's a link to a post in another forum concerning squeezing a bit more out of any camera's AF system:


(sorry Steve)

I'm probably not a good one to listen to as I'm about as seriously infected by LBA as anyone I've heard of, and am VERY invested in the Pentax system, but Pentax has been very good to me, especially in the area of bang for the buck. The ability of the unique F 1.7x AFA to AF has allowed me to buy some stellar fast MF tele lenses, and use them with auto focusing -- this alone has saved me literally thousands of $$s in the system I've built. Hoya might change the backward compatability philosophy, but that is another major factor in how I feel about Pentax.

Probably the worst thing that would happen is that Pentax might be sold again (just the imaging division). I don't think that Hoya would just let it die. Even if it did, Samsung will continue with the K mount. Samsung has big plans -- it may take a while, but they envision themselves as a major player in the long term -- and have the capability (read money and resources)to do it. I'm not worried that I won't have a body for my lenses. . .

This is not to say that there aren't reasons to switch. If you find another system that suits you, then I'd say go for it, you only live once, and fighting with camera gear that doesn't suit you isn't my idea of having a good time. I'll admit to playing with the idea of maybe a D300 and one major fast tele in addition to my Pentax stuff, but I've never gone past the "thinking about it" stage, and doubt that I ever will.

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 2:31 AM   #12
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I think the K2000 is a positive sign as it is aimed at getting more people starting on DSLRs into using Pentax equiment.

This increase of user base also increases the potential market for accesories and lenses.

Also if there are a number of user with Pentax lenses in their camera bage when they look to upgrade it makes sense to have top end cameras fo rthem.

You do not say what lenses you are currently using: SDM autofocus makes big difference in AF speed over the older body motor driven autofocus.

But Pentax cameras aren't perfect in all sutations, I would love a Nikon D3 for serious sports but for most other work my Pentax DSLRs are very capable

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 4:21 AM   #13
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If I'm not mistaken, you've got all Pentax lenses, is that correct? If you see the number of lenses as the limiting factor then you should also consider the top notch EX Sigma range and the superb Tokina lenses. You may or nay not know but the Pentax 12-24mm lens is actually a Tokina, while the 80-200mm lens is a Tamron. Now, while the 80-200mm is so-so, the 12-24mm Tokina is superb.

Just a thought.

If you can accept these great third party lenses, then your decision really comes down to the feel and useability of the Pentax cameras. If you feel you need a change, then do it!!! And I think that after you change, hang onto the Pentax for a while and use both to satisfy yourself about the pros and cons of each camera.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 4:48 AM   #14
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Whatever your choice is, it needs to be what suits your photographic style. Each camera company has its following for their own reasons. If the Nikon is the right tool for the job then do that.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 8:20 AM   #15
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It sounds like you've made up your mind. And so getting the Nikon makes lots of sense for you.

Personally, I think the K2000 is a great idea. There are lots of people going from p&s who don't want to invest a bunch of money right off when they buy a dSLR for the first time. Or they don't want to lug around a heavy camera and lots of stuff (some people with K20 cameras think that, too). There's no point to offering only pro stuff because by the time most people consider that, they've already invested in Nikon, Sony or whatever for a cheaper, lighter first camera and they don't want to change mounts. Read through the "what camera to buy" section of this board, and see what I mean. After all, changing mounts can be very expensive. So Pentax going for the entry market ensures that there will be customers for their higher end stuff.

Isometimes look at new cameras coming out and think how much better my pictures would be if I just had that new camera. I've discovered that the limitations I have aren't my equipment, it's me. So changing brands won't help me much until I get better as a photographer.

I'm personally delighted with the K20 and it's capabilities. Are there better cameras out there being offered by other manufacturers? Sure. But I'm not interested in full frame - the K20 is as big and heavy as I'm likely to go. And I don't feel at all limited by the lenses that is available for Pentax - I appreciate the fact that I can get a top quality A lens for a whole lot less than the same lens would cost if I were to buy new (and I'm finding myself less and less willing to compromise). But if you do, then I can certainly understand wanting to change to a mount that offered something you were interested in. And the AF is fine for my subjects, though I do find that the DA 12-24 hunts more than any of my other lenses. So its a matter of personal decision - what's right for me (Pentax) may not be right for you.

As far as the long term survivability of Pentax - there's no guarantee that anything will last (as you pointed out with Kodak). I remember a few years ago when everyone said Apple was done for, and then they came out with the Ipod. Who knows where Apple or Intel or any company will be in 10 years. I'm happy with Pentax products right now. I've got some good lenses that I'm happy with, each one cost less than $1,000. I'm not sure I could have bought the same quality lenses for the same price if I were to buy another brand. To me that's all the success I could want.

If you don't feel the same way about your equipment, then it's definitely time to move on to something else. As was pointed out - if you aren't happy with what you have, your emotions will make matters worse.

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 10:08 AM   #16
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I think the K-m/K2000 is a great idea to get people interested in Pentax when they shift from P&S to a DSLR. That is your customer base you can work from for volume sales of higher end cameras.

Other than Pentax's poor AF in some situations compared to Nikon or Canon, I don't see any advantage image wise anywhere else in APSC sensor size. Now if I were going to FF I would not even look at Nikon since Canon came out with the 5D MarkII, that is what I would buy.

I am still have issues with the AF on birds flying directly at me with my Pentax cameras (digital only, the film cameras do just fine) and if they don't fix it with the next upgrade at the top end, I may go somewhere else. Don't chime in and tell me it is just as good as Nikon or Canon because I use my friends 5D and D2X quite a bit and there is no contest for focus speed in that situation. The Pentax spends all its time hunting and the other cameras just take a photo, with most of them in focus!

Other than that, if you don't find the need for FF, I see nothing Nikon or Canon has that is better than what you have IQ wise.

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 10:21 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for circling the topic and letting me see if from different angles through different eyes. It helps.

Yes, I have only Pentax lenses I have not been happy with the third party brands. I have never had a bad Pentax lens, but have had a lot of problems with the quality control of Sigma and Tamron.

As for the K2000 what you say about it being a way to get P&S people to look at Pentax... well I am not sure that that is really going to work. The problem is when people think about a dSLR I don't think most people think about Pentax any more. They think Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony if they ever do think of Pentax at it at the end of the thought train. When I was looking at moving to a dSLR I would never ever had thought of Pentax had a friend not mentioned it and even he didn't have Pentax.

I don't think having a cheapy dSLR is going to get Pentax much. I think Pentax has a great deal to offer I am just not sure that in the end they will be any better than Kodak is now. Their poor AF and frames per second on their cameras right now are really holding them back. When people talk about Pentax those are the first negatives that seem to come up and they have been critisisms for a very long time and still Pentax has done nothing.

Well, I think for the time being I am going to hold to what I have. It works and I am fairly happy with it overall. However, I am going to be keeping an eye on the full frame thing. I could really careless about full frame I think in digital it is a gimmick. But, I like the vastly increased resolution that it does offer.

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 10:23 AM   #18
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Robert, give Pentax a chance... the K20 hasn't been out that long! Most of us fully expect a new model - but only after the K20 has been out for a full year. Maybe even 18 months. So far, I have no complaints with my K200D - and may add a K20D (or its replacement) to my kit down the line. I'm not particularly worried about the viability of Pentax. I have to give Hoya credit for trying to do more with less. The K2000 is a great option for many people moving up from P&S cameras - and it was created with off-the-shelf technology and virtually no development costs. But I'm sure the eventual replacements for both the K20 and the K200 will feature big improvements. BTW, I must admitI was a bit surprised when Hoya bought Pentax. I always thought Samsung would take over. But, Robert, if you really have issues with Pentax that just won't go away, by all means go with your gut - and the camera system that will make you happy. Personally, I just can't deal with the cost of better lenses from Nikon and Canon. Bang for the buck is very important to me - and, in that area,Pentax can't be beat right now.

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 10:53 AM   #19
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The 50-500 has too many compromises IMHO. While it does decently well (100% crops have never really impressed me), it can be sharper if you limit it to a range...e.g., like Canon/Nikon's 200-500/4. Pentax is releasing lenses, but doesn't have as large an R&D arm as Canon/Nikon unfortunately...they'll never be able to keep up w/ the #lenses those guys release :-P
Also, I don't think either of them have a non-fisheye 10mm. Nikon's best is the 14-24. Canon's best isn't much better than the Sigma 10-20 in image quality.

For the AF assist, I tried out a friend's D300 recently and it has a reallllly bright white LED next to the lens, so you still get blinded. Canon also uses the popup flash as the AF assist light. Nikon has an AF assist accessory you can buy (no Pentax equivalent unless you slap a flash on) and put in the hotshoe that will shine red light instead. Just so you know...

If you have a need for fast supertele lenses for sports (not sure why you chose Pentax if you wanted that in the first place), I'd agree you should switch to Canon (and also possibly Nikon now), but you'd better have a deep pocketbook for the $3-6K lenses...but at least you can buy them :-)

Robert Barnett wrote:
concerned that Pentax seems to have a much more limited view of what lenses they need to offer. One I would love to see is a 50-500 like the sigma. A 10mm that isn't fisheye.
As for the AF, it is low light and I don't like having the flash up and I shouldn't have to risk blinding my subject because Pentax was too cheap to add in a dedicated focus assist lamp.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 11:27 AM   #20
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I'd like to add my opinion if I may. You've already got gear. You've identified areas where that gear is letting you down. If you're at the point where you're willing to spend money to improve your CURRENT shooting I think the appropriate question is:

1. What COULD you do within the Pentax system to achieve the results you want. If you really DONT need to make a move to satisfy your CURRENT needs - what's the point? Stay with what you have until you do need to make a buy. If you DO need to make a move now, what gear within the Pentax system will get you the results you want?

2. If there IS a pentax solution that meets your requirements - what is the cost? Identify the Nikon kit that would get you good results (and if low light focusing is your requirement I would suggest no kit lens is going to provide a very good solution - yes nikon has better focus systems but shooting low light at 5.6 apertures is going to get you poor results in ANY system).

3. Then decide if the cost difference is worth your unease over the direction with Pentax. It isn't hard to determine what areas different manufacturers stress - so you already have a pretty good idea where companies are going to spend their R&D dollars. But the problem with this step is deciding which features you really USE vs. features that are nice-to-have. For instance, the camera I currently use for the last 16 months has live-view. I've never even tried it to see if it works because it's not a feature I really need for the photography I do. So don't get caught up in chasing nice-to-have features - no camera will have everything. Look for the need-to-haves based upon your style and shooting preferences.

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