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Old Oct 19, 2010, 3:28 PM   #1
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Default Do you really... need.. or just want a new Pentax body ?

I used to watch (my cable provider changed and I think I lost the channel) an excellent car show and one of the hosts would ask...after testing a particularly desirable car....do you really need this car....or just want it !

Invariably he decided that he really didn't 'need' it...but he sure wanted it.


I've thought about this dilemma over the years...even back to my film days.

I've got a K10D that I bought....almost to the day...three years ago and a KM (K2000) that I bought about a year and a half ago. The two of them were bought new.

I like them both and both (touch wood ) have been dead reliable.

Recently I helped a friend buy a new KX and I went through the manual and the camera with her...showing all the features.

Was I impressed....the KX has lot's of features on my K10D....but also on the KM, which was the predecessor of the KX.

Technology marches on and waits for no one, I suppose.

Anyways back to my original question....my K10D (and KM), although they may be obsolete, take wonderful pictures.

The KM is nice lightweight camera body and my old K10D is a veritable tank...tough as nails, doesn't flinch even in the toughest conditions.

But after reading about the latest and greatest in the Pentax line, the K-5..I would love to have this camera body.

But aside from higher ISO, faster and more precise AF........which I seem to be doing ok with the slower two, that I have .....do I really need a Pentax K-5 ?

I don't really need it.....I just want it.....boy would I like to have one.

But after thinking about it a lot....I know the prudent course of action is to keep on using the K10D and KM....until they die...until it would be more expensive to fix then what either camera body would be worth.

Ever find yourself in this situation ? How did you address it ?

Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Oct 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM.
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 7:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
I used to watch (my cable provider changed and I think I lost the channel) an excellent car show and one of the hosts would ask...after testing a particularly desirable car....do you really need this car....or just want it !

Invariably he decided that he really didn't 'need' it...but he sure wanted it.


I've thought about this dilemma over the years...even back to my film days.

I've got a K10D that I bought....almost to the day...three years ago and a KM (K2000) that I bought about a year and a half ago. The two of them were bought new.

I like them both and both (touch wood ) have been dead reliable.

Recently I helped a friend buy a new KX and I went through the manual and the camera with her...showing all the features.

Was I impressed....the KX has lot's of features on my K10D....but also on the KM, which was the predecessor of the KX.

Technology marches on and waits for no one, I suppose.

Anyways back to my original question....my K10D (and KM), although they may be obsolete, take wonderful pictures.

The KM is nice lightweight camera body and my old K10D is a veritable tank...tough as nails, doesn't flinch even in the toughest conditions.

But after reading about the latest and greatest in the Pentax line, the K-5..I would love to have this camera body.

But aside from higher ISO, faster and more precise AF........which I seem to be doing ok with the slower two, that I have .....do I really need a Pentax K-5 ?

I don't really need it.....I just want it.....boy would I like to have one.

But after thinking about it a lot....I know the prudent course of action is to keep on using the K10D and KM....until they die...until it would be more expensive to fix then what either camera body would be worth.

Ever find yourself in this situation ? How did you address it ?
To the generic question of whether I need a new body -- the one I have is now closing in on 61 years old and has been showing signs of wear for quite some time. . . but I think you're talking photographically. . .

My answer to how I address the introduction of new camera bodies -- I'm single and have narrowed a wide range of relatively expensive interests of earlier years (relatively high level catch and release fishing, very high performance motorcycles, contemporary firearms) down to digital photography. I am unabashedly self indulgent, and have a talent for rationalization. -- I buy the new body if there is any real advantage to the photography that I like to do. . .

As a birder, this has been relatively easy. Each generation has provided an advance in AF speed and handling, both of which are helpful in shooting birds, and a Pentax birder needs all the help he can get in these areas. . . I have been able to work around the AF speed issue largely with the help of the 1.7x AFA, learning about my quarry's behavior, and really learning the fine points of getting the most out of the gear that I have.

The K10 was a step up in handling and AF speed from the DS. The higher resolution sensor allowed greater cropping capability and the proprietary Li Ion battery gave me a more consistently fast AF motor for focusing. The two e-dial system and increased number of controls allowed for faster changes in settings like Ev comp and ISO which are important to me as I shoot in extremes of lighting conditions from shot to shot. The step back in high ISO performance became more of a handicap as I added TCs to get more reach, but the addition of SR helped mitigate this.

The K20 was another step up in AF speed and accuracy especially. Further increases in high ISO performance and resolution aided in allowing even greater cropping latitude and faster shutter speeds with my increased use of light robbing TCs. Improved AF C performance made BIF continuous strings considerably more successful.

The K-7 gave me a lighter and smaller body. AF was again improved for accuracy and speed, and it was significantly more sensitive in lower light conditions. I don't shoot birds in low light situations, but this helped me with better performance with my TC combos. My two main birding lens TC combos have max effective apertures of f6.7 and f7.7, and the K-7 focus more surely and faste at these slow apertures.

Faster frame rates are sometimes useful, but the more important aspects of this change in shutter/mirror speed is shorter VF blackout periods. This allows me more time to watch a bird and try to anticipate the best pose. A few milliseconds of extra time might not seem like much, but it's significant. Of course this is also helpful in tracking a BIF. The 77 zone metering is more accurate in more situations, and the Auto WB almost eliminates WB worries. I've rarely felt the need to set a custom WB. The added color sensitive AF sensor has helped in shooting indoors, and the AF assist light is much better than the very intrusive strobe. Low light AF sensitivity mentioned before in a different context is a big help. The high res LCD was a surprisingly pleasing addition. I chimp a lot, and this is a great feature. . .

The Info screen is incredibly helpful to me. I can keep the Auto ISO setting selected, and change max ISO setting with the push of a button and a crank of the rear e-dial. The ISO button is not nearly as useful as it changes the ISO setting from Auto to fixed, and Auto ISO is a very useful feature when shooting birds where one lands in a bright sunlit area, the next on a shaded branch surrounded by leafy branches, and the next lands on a bare branch in front of a bright clear sky. I keep the rear dial to change aperture, the front to change Ev comp, and the Info Screen to change max ISO.

The K-5 will add more flexibility. Usable ISO to 6400 and maybe higher without destroying detail will give me at least two stops more leeway. Higher resolution will allow even more cropping latitude, faster more sensitive AF sensors could only help, and as a jpeg shooter, being able to program the RAW button to a two shot exposure bracket should help me dial in exposures in difficult lighting more quickly. Having 5 "User" settings should help for quickly choosing the right settings for the different situations that I find myself in.

The very high ISO will encourage me to take the camera everywhere and shoot everything at any time of day, indoors or out. When I got my first film SLR (a Honeywell Spotmatic, BTW) the first thing I did was load it with Tri-X and shoot with my Super Takumar 50 f1.4 wide open indoors everywhere I went. The K-7 with the FA 50/1.4 at 6400 in B/W mode is a kick. The K-5 with the FA 50/1.4 at ISO 25600 or maybe even 51200 (and SR!!) in color should be worth a couple of thousand exposures by itself.

Back to what I would do if I were you -- would it hurt much to supplant the Km with the Kx or Kr? Both the Km and K10 have the 10MP Sony CCD, not the best high ISO sensor. A Kx would be inexpensive, have essentially the same feature set, but give you about 4 stops of extra usable ISO sensitivity for low light shooting if you choose to do so. For me, this makes the kit lenses useful indoor available light glass -- sounds like a lot of fun. . .

Do you need it -- probably not, but I think you'd really like it. I shoot for fun. Would the greater capability to shoot in more situations with better results increase your fun factor? . . . and how much is that worth?

Scott
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 9:19 PM   #3
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This is a topical thread for me as I am seriously considering the K5 for work. I was going to post a separate question, but this may be the place. What is actually the difference in 77 zone metering verus 11 for the Kx? What do I really get in increased performance and under what conditions? Faster AF? More accurate colors? Better IQ? Sharper images? All of the above. The Kx is a very good camera. Will I see a quantum leap performance difference or is this just a more megapixel type of statistic? Thanks ahead of time.
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 9:37 PM   #4
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I always have CBA when it comes to Pentax - I wanted a white Kx but it's the only one I've wanted that I didn't buy. Now I'm trying to decide whether I want a white Kr more than the K5. Since I'm not anywhere close to being able to buy, I'm not in a hurry to decide.

Do I NEED another camera? Absolutely not. For the most part I don't find the K7 that limiting - only when shooting at higher ISOs (like I did when shooting surfers a couple of weeks ago). I would love to have the K5 in that situation! But since I don't shoot surfing or sports of any sort very often, I can live without it.

Did I NEED to buy the FA 77 Ltd, when I already had the DA*50-135? No. But after trying to talk myself out of that lens for over a year, I bought it. And I have no regrets at all.

In fact, I really don't NEED any digital camera or lens. I don't make a living (or even spare money) from my photos. But it's my hobby and the pleasure I get from it is absolutely priceless. When I can, I'll buy either the Kr or K5, just to add the high-ISO capabilities, I do occasionally find the K7 frustrating on that score.

So I don't discount WANT as a very big incentive/reason for getting something. In some cases, it's a lot more important than NEED. And the two new cameras will expand your ability to grow as a photographer, giving you so much more satisfying results when used indoors (I know, I used to own the K10). So really you can justify getting one of the new cameras as need-based as well as want-based.
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 9:53 PM   #5
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Im interested in the K-5 for the added video (which may seems dumb, but you cant get that same quality video in anything else under 2000 grand and its already a great camera) The increased overall speed of the camera, and the larger sensor to allow cropping and retain even more detail.

I dont NEED, but~ If I end up doing that documentary in Sierra Leone, I am going to need a high performance video camera. I was contemplating an xl1, as my associate shoots that for our video projects, but the size difference is like comparing a porshe to a school bus. And if im going to africa, Im bringing a dslr, can I really carry two cameras? The Canon xl1 is equal to 720p hd, even tho its not HD, so I suppose the 1080 will surpass it just lack features like af and IS, which isnt a big loss for me.

On top of that, i dont NEED to film that documentary, but I want to. the price upgrade for K5 seems to make sense for my wants
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 9:56 PM   #6
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I have been reading the saga of the early adapters next door at the other site, and I do have to admit that I was thinking what I should do. I thought about it for a while, went over, picked up my K20 and just took a picture. I have really up my skill set with it, and the K100 was wonderful. As Scott noted it would be really fun to have, but do I need it?

At work, out in the lab I have some of the latest from the chip manufacturers. Many multiple cores, terabytes of memory, high end graphic cards to use as co-processors, storage, multiple high thruput NICs etc. and I still do not have the systematic capacity to do what I need to do. However, earlier this year, at home - I finally upgraded from a 9 year old system and my wife from a 6 year old system. These are doing wonderful - do I really need more for how I am using them - not really - and frankly, I am really no longer interested in tuning them up, I just want to use them.... If I were a professional photographer, I would have already have a K5 if it could increase my income and/or make me more efficient, however as an interested observer, I think I am currently pretty well equipped.

So, the moral of the story is, and I was thinking about it the other night, it would be fun, I could do a lot more and everything else, but then the next delima would be - do I really NEED the K3 or the K1? I still see folks posting some pretty amazing images still using *ist's, that I would be hard pressed to try to match. Its not the equipment, its the skill of the photographer along with the opportunity - and I am not there yet - might not ever make it, either, however it's fun to try.

A while ago, I picked up a pretty nice travel tripod that I really like. I also sprung for a head that I paid dearly for, and that I use an awful lot - it is a real joy. With the mechanical structures in place, I have not even scratched the surface with the K20, so right now - I am of the opinion to just go take some pictures. Unless something drastically changes, I think I am set - at least for the time being.

.... however, it is still pretty amazing how clean ISO6400 images are getting.

Last edited by interested_observer; Oct 19, 2010 at 10:03 PM.
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 10:13 PM   #7
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"Dream Car Garage"
I must say that the lengths of posts have become quite impressive. Well, mine shall be brief.

Again we have a philosophical question that really lies at the root of the hobby, since most of us are not "professionals" then our cameras are not tools but instead, toys. As such they fuel our hobby as much as the results we get from them. Some will dismiss this infatuation with the camera by labeling it with some term like "camera enthusiast" or "gear junkie" or some other term that implies that "real" photographers are above the mundane allure of the device and are at some higher intellectual plane where the creation of the image is an entirely intellectual and spiritual pursuit. To that I say (expletive deleted).

I enjoy my camera, even on days when there is nothing to shoot I will often take it out, clean it up, make sure it is functioning properly, look around the house through the viewfinder, all the things I would do with a new toy when I was a kid. If need were the only motivating factor I would still be using my old Optio 33L. At 3MP it could produce good 8X10 images, it had a zoom range that takes in 80% of the images I now shoot, it had a very accurate exposure system and adequate AF and the added bonus of fitting in my pocket. Want is the motivation of the hobbyist. We photograph because we want to, we are amateurs and that word implies a love for the medium, a desire for the activity. I am not implying that we throw caution to the winds and spend exorbitantly on equipment (almost everything I own I bought used) but we must accept the fact that the joy of owning a sophisticated, feature laden camera is just as important as the images we make with it.

Oops, I appear to have been a little longer winded than I had originally intended.
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Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 20, 2010, 12:11 AM   #8
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This is a question that requires a well thought over answer.
Firstly, I'd like to simply echo Ira. To me photography isn't about survival, but about playing. And I do like my toys!
In these times of rationalizing and economizing everything, some debaters go as far as saying that rest, recreation and culture are good because they make us more efficient and productive when we work. A rich cultural life will attract and stimulate the best amongst the workforce, and thus will benefit the area/town/country/continent. Therefore spending on culture should be seen as an investment, they say.
I strongly oppose this view. We work to live, we don't live to work. And culture, including photography and any other hobby, isn't there to improve our work. It's there to give us a reason to live!
This is not to say that work can't be meaningful and fun. It's more that I want to live in order to live, not in order to save up for a nice funeral afterwords.

Kjell
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Old Oct 20, 2010, 8:15 AM   #9
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I was thinking about that just a month ago. I still have and use ist DL2, with flash and few lenses. Bought it 2 weeks before K100 came out, boy I was angry. For the same money I could have had Shake Reduction.

So I was looking at K-x last month, with K-r coming out the price is probably going down and I could find few used ones on ebay. I could sell my ist add 200 pounds and I'd have K-x. But then I thought: I mostly do landscapes so I don't really need SR or good high ISO performance, I print some of my pictures at 8x10 max so I don't need more MP. I don't really need a new camera but I'd like it anyway . Therefore I put some more money in the pot and bought a lens, Tamron 17-50 to replace old kit lens and add some good portrait capability to my kit. No regrets there, it's great lens and adds more fun than a new body would.
A year ago I'd probably buy it, then got shouted at by my wife. Now I'm too responsible for that kind of silliness . That's what having a kid does to you .

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Old Oct 20, 2010, 8:37 AM   #10
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Thanks Ira for jogging my memory. The car show is "Dream Car Garage" and the host who assessed automotive icon type cars was Tom Hnatiw.


Haven't seen the show for a couple of years.....but I really enjoyed it.


Now I'm off to a particular pretty part of my province with 2 camera bags.


Les
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