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Old Oct 2, 2007, 2:33 PM   #1
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This is going to be my first slr, so i am comming from using P&S cameras that i just found too lacking for what i really wanted to do.

I initially found that the k10d seemed to be the best value to me, but after going to handle one for a few hours(nice salesguy :P), the k10d is just too large and cumbersome for me.

Out of all the cameras i played with, the one that really stood out was the nikon d80. I felt it has by far the best "response" time from startup, to first shots, to autofocus, and continuous RAW shooting. It also felt the best in my hands. Of course, it was also the most expensive camera i played with.

Has anyone really had some substantial time shooting with the k100d super and the d80? Does the d80 have better image quality to justify the double price tag? I doubt i will ever outgrow something like the d80, but something nags at me saying i would end up being dissapointed in the long run with the k100d super

Although i am still a n00b to SLRs, im still worried that the k100d super is going to come up short in the long run(5+ years). Im worried about lower lense selection, lower overall resolution, and poorer RAW shooting. But that in-body SR is very tempting.

I guess i havnt really asked any questions, but maybe someone can offer some insight and advice?
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 3:44 PM   #2
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Since you haven't really asked any questions, there won't be any real answers :-).

But go with your gut feeling, if you don't like how a camera feels in your hands and/or have any doubts about it - don't buy it, because you won't use it much and in a long run you will be hugely disappointed. BTW it doesn't really matter how good the camera in question reallly is, you just won't use it, because you don't like it.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 3:57 PM   #3
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You haven't really stated "what you really want to do". You've stated your current digicam isn't up to the task but we don't know what that task(s) is.

In addition to buying a camera you're also buying into a SYSTEM. This is a different animal than when you were buying a digicam. You will spend more on lenses and accesories over the life of the camera than you will on the camera body. So it's important to make sure the camera SYSTEM is a match for your needs as well. The nikon and pentax systems each have their pros/cons. But without knowing your needs it isn't possible to say which system fits your needs better. Or, best case scenario, both systems meet your needs in which case we're back to comparing the two cameras. If that's the case, with your stated needs in mind we can help you identify if one camera's feature set is better suited to your needs.

There are many happy Nikon users out there and many happy Pentax users out there. BUt it doesn't matter if they're happy if their needs are different than yours.

So, let us know what you want to accomplish with the new camera and we can help you out.

Also - it is very possible what you want to do requires specific lenses/flashes/tripods etc that will add to the final cost. So by giving us that information we can better help you identify what equipment besides the body you'll likely need. As a quick example - let's say you want to do a lot of available light low-light shots. Most kit lenses aren't going to be good for that task. So a different or additional lens may be required.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 3:59 PM   #4
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It sounds like you've spent a lot of time playing with different dSLRs. If the D80 really stood out, then you probably will not be satisfied with anything else you might purchase.

If you test drove a BMW 328i and really liked it, do you think you might be happy with a Volkswagen Rabbit?
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 5:18 PM   #5
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TCav makes two good points. If you settle for a cheaper camera, you'll likely end up wishing you could have had the better, pricier camera.

On the other hand, most of us who have purchased new cars probably didn't end up with the best car they test drove. There are certainly plenty of nice cars out there, and if I'd stretched my budget a bit I probably could have gotten something nicer than a Nissan Sentra. But on the other hand, it does pretty much everything I need it to, it'll last, and in 5 years it'll probably still be worth something. If I'd gone with a more expensive model I might have enjoyed driving it more, but I also wouldn't have had the extra bucks to spend on the DSLR and lenses, a new computer, some DVDS, food, and I'd be constantly stressing about parking my car in certain neighborhoods or driving it in less than ideal conditions.

I ended up buying the K100D and spending very little on used lenses, and though there are many weaknesses of the camera when compared to more expensive models, it does nearly everything I need it to, it left me with some spare cash for lenses, memory cards, prints, etc..., and I'm not as concerned about taking it out in bad weather as I would be with a more expensive camera so I get shots that I otherwise wouldn't even try.

Ultimately, pretty much any camera you buy will be a compromise one way or the other. It sounds like you need to spend a bit more time researching, trying out the cameras and figuring out what you really need. If you buy the K100D to save some money and then find out it doesn't have the lenses you need, or you need to shoot continuously and it's limited buffer becomes a huge hassle, or you just don't think the images look as good to you as the ones from the Nikon, then it really wasn't much of a bargain.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 5:54 PM   #6
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:-):lol::-):lol::-):lol::-):lol::-)

Ok, I'll give you that. If I had the choice of a fancy car or food, I'd probably choose food too. But when you were shopping for your Nissan Sentra, you probably didn't test drive the 328i or even the Maxima.

And I agree. I own a Honda. There's nothing more luxurious than a car that doesn't break.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 4:20 PM   #7
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lol, Looks like i could not spell or form coherant thoughts yesterday. eeek!

Thanks for the replys so far.

I like to do a smattering of everything. I mostly plan on having the camera to use in a purely amature context. I do not plan on doing anything like weddings, nothing blown up, no real "portraits" and nothing for sell. 99% of shots will be on the computer with the occasional printed at home for an 8x10 that we'll frame. Now, although i dont need the sharpness and resolution for huge blow ups, i want to go to slr for the other creative stuff i can do on focus and dof, as well as low light performance.

For example, from going to my trip to Paris and Abu Dhabi this year, i took a huge smattering of pictures from a P&S that i would have loved to turn out better but didnt out. For example:

Here is a picture of the officer club's main entrance in Abu Dhabi, where on a brief whim i thought it could make a cool picture, i just could not get it to turn out the way i wanted to(it wasnt my camera, i didnt want to mess with too many settings). The camera was on a ledge.



Another random example is also from Abu Dhabi, at the Emirate Palace for a gala dinner. It is night, with flood lamps providing light, i felt that it was an adequate amount of lighting, but the camera thought otherwise. In order to get a decent shot i had to lower the shutter speed, and without image stabalisation i got a little blurry. I was hoping moving to a dslr with decent high iso performance could help me increase shutter speed and have better crispness. Im not sure what iso this is at, most likely 400.



Another random picture that i really loved, and kind of turned out ok on a P&S. This was something the girlfriend and i really wanted to put in an 8x10, but it was just too blurry for us to be comfortable showing to people. going to a dslr with more iso options and better glass should help this come out a little more crisp, eh?



Shot on my trip to Romania, although the location is not important, its still representative of the tangents ill go on where i take 10 pictures trying to get the perfect look from some bug or animal i find wandering around. Here, although its fairly crisp, you can see the focus is on the grass in the forground as opposed to the cat. Focus was another reason i wanted a dslr over a competant ultra zoom.




i guess thats enough examples of what i would like to do better. It is nothing extreme, but i think its beyond the capabilities of P&S cameras. Since i dont usually go out on strict photography missions, multiple lenses, filters, and tripods really are out of the question. My goal was really to have a great camera body which i would not outgrow, and have a decent inexpensive(re: under$500) travel lense like an 18-200mm. I will also probably end up having more specific lenses, in case we have a day trip to churches or museums, but i can cross that bridge when i come to it

I am very aware of buying a body is buying into a system, thats one thing thats very much attributing to my concern over long run legevity and overall nonfrustrationness.

For example on systems, i do enjoy the D40x, and its price is much more reasonable compared to the D80, but i do not want to be limited to lenses that are compatible in that the D40x has no internal focusing motor. As i have no legacy lenses, and am on a budget, i am very open to buying used 3rd party glass that has recieved great reviews. That would be impossible on the D40x.

Is it right to assume that because the pentax k100d super has in-body SR, while the D80 does not, the selection of 3rd party lenses is greater for the pentax? I really would not wish to be pigeonholed into a single company for lenses just because of limitations in the body design. Do 3rd party companies make in-lense VR compatable with the d80 that are less expensive than the nikkor equivalent?

Ick, i wrote a novel, thats it for now i suppose. thanks so much guys, this is all so new to me




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Old Oct 3, 2007, 4:43 PM   #8
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krelkor wrote:
Quote:
For example on systems, i do enjoy the D40x, and its price is much more reasonable compared to the D80, but i do not want to be limited to lenses that are compatible in that the D40x has no internal focusing motor. As i have no legacy lenses, and am on a budget, i am very open to buying used 3rd party glass that has recieved great reviews. That would be impossible on the D40x.

Is it right to assume that because the pentax k100d super has in-body SR, while the D80 does not, the selection of 3rd party lenses is greater for the pentax? I really would not wish to be pigeonholed into a single company for lenses just because of limitations in the body design. Do 3rd party companies make in-lense VR compatable with the d80 that are less expensive than the nikkor equivalent?

Ick, i wrote a novel, thats it for now i suppose. thanks so much guys, this is all so new to me



I happen to agree with you on the D40x vs. D80. Especially since the lenses that WONT autoofocus are the less expensive lenses. Seems ironic that buying the d40x to save money could end up costing you more money because it forces you to buy AF-S or Sigma HSM lenses if you want autofocus.

Now, as to Pentax vs. Nikon. Having anti-shake in the body doesn't mean you have more lens offerings for pentax. It just means all the lenses that ARE offered for pentax will benefit from anti-shake.

In general, Pentaxoffers some great opportunities to buy 2nd hand lenses - many of which are manual focus and some of which are manual aperture. So if you're OK with going the 'manual' route and buying used lenses you can get some sharp lenses fairly inexpensive. But if you want autofocus lenses, Pentax still lags behind Nikon in the number of lenses offfered - not only by the OEM brand (nikon / pentax) but also third party. There are third party lenses that can easily be found in Nikon that aren't available in Pentax mount. But, if anti-shake is important then realize the nikon VR lenses are expensive. So you have to decide how important anti-shake is to you. Then you would have to decide what type of lenses you were likely to purchase over the next 5 years or so. Figure out if both systems even offer the lenses (you can't predict what will come in the future all you can go by is what is currently being offered or has been announced as an offering).

IMO, the pentax cameras are wonderful. But the availability of autofocus lenses CAN be an issue. If you can live with the current lineup of pentax lenses and third party lenses available (and by available I would actually search for retailers carrying them - not just a list. An example is the sigma 70-200 2.8 - the sigma site lists it as available in a pentax mount but just try to find it somewhere). But, the cameras are feature rich (including anti-shake).

It doesn't sound like you plan on any particularly demanding photography so I don't see the upgrade path Nikon offers as being of great value (i.e. they have D300 and D3 cameras that don't have corresponding Pentax bodies). So it probably comes down to:

Pentax Pros: Anti shake, cost

Nikon Pros: Flash system, lens choice

That and ergonomics - how the cameras feel to you.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 11:20 PM   #9
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Hi, The person that has experience with both bodies would be mtclimber. Sara teached photography (on cruise ships) and has both cameras and can comment on your questions comparing both.

I can add a bit on the Pentax. My Nikon experience is 35 years old and not worth 2 cents.

First off - if it feels right to you and you like the camera, then that is the camera for you. If you do not like it - your not going to use it. Its that simple. If you want the Porsche, then pass on the Corvette.

Lens wise, I think that Pentax will have more than enough lens to meet your needs as you have identified them. Yes, Nikon has more, but is that selection going to be affordable and useful for your type of photography? You have not really identified a type of photography that Pentax would be hard pressed to perform at. Pentax does offer the largest value for the money.

The K100D vs the K100D Super - the main difference is support for the new hypersonic lens (the new quite fast lens motor), and the in body dust collection system. The new hypersonic motor lens are the new f2.8 lens and run at about $800 to $1,000 each. For under $700 you can pickup the K100D Kit (18-55) and the 50-200 lens combination (and I think get $100 rebate). Also Pentax has just announced their new 18-250 lens. These are all auto focus lens. So you could pick up the K100D body only with the new 18-250 lens. Note - no one has seen the new lens yet and there is no firm price on it.

If your on a budget - the K100D will last you a long time. I picked up the K100 a year ago, decided against the K10 due to size. I have been happy, there are some limitations, however they are easy to work around. I like landscapes and wide angles. I also due HDR. For me the buffer size of 3 images is a slight limitation taking HDR panoramas (6 to 9 frames), however it has not really been a big limitation. Its a great entry level camera - and do not let entry level fool you, there is very little that it can not do. It probably is not the best camera for on field sport action photos, but you did not indicate that was one of your focus areas.

Bottom line - they are all very good cameras, that will server you well for quite some time. You need to go with what feels best in your hands and what you want to do. Only you can decide.

Hope that helps....
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