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Old Aug 31, 2008, 1:31 AM   #11
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I use a K100D now for the last 3 years. If possible I would recommend it due to the shake reduction or image stabilization. It really does help. Having said that, - where to find one within your budget. Try KEH.com - they are very reputable. Here is their current Pentax inventory....


They have 2 K100Ds (bodies only) for $325 and $299 along with some Ds, and DLs for about the same price ranges.

Hope that helps....
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Old Aug 31, 2008, 9:39 AM   #12
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rae rae wrote:
There is a Nikon D40 with two lenses 18-55 and 55-200mm and it's about $570. That's a little out of my price range, but I figure I am spending so much anyway I might as well get the best one for me.
If you can find a way to stretch your budget that far, I'd probably lean towards the K200D, since you can find one brand new at around that same price. It's a higher resolution camera model (10MP), which could come in handy for commercial print work, especially for larger print sizes (or when you may need to crop an image).

There's not a lot of difference between 6MP and 10MP for printing at typical sizes. But, every little bit helps for more detail if you're going to be doing this for commercial purposes, especially if someone wants a larger print of your work. Also, whether or not it's justified, your customer's impressions have to be taken into consideration (i.e., they may think that 6MP is not enough, simply because their latest pocket camera is a 10 or 12 megapixel model, even though the 6MP Pentax is going to produce better images in many conditions). ;-)

You also need to keep future needs in mind, and the K200D supports SDM (Supersonic Drive Motor) lenses. While Pentax is producing some lenses that can work either way (via the camera body's built in AF motor, or via the motor built into these lenses), that's not gong to be the case with third party lenses incorporating this type of system.

If you went with a K100D (or K110D, DS, and other older models), you'd have to use manual focus with new Sigma HSM (Hypersonic Motor Focusing) lenses in the pipeline, because this body was released prior to Pentax incorporating the SDM feature. For example, a lens like the new Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro II that will be released in Pentax mount, would not be able to Autofocus on a Pentax body that does not support SDM, because Sigma's HSM lenses won't work with the camera body's built in focus motor.

So, I'd lean towards a body that supports the additional communication required for this type of lens. Even if you don't have any plans to buy one of these lenses right now, you may decide you need one in the future as you get more involved in your photography.

In the Pentax line, the now discontinued K10D is SDM and HSM Compatible. Ditto for the new K200D. The K100D Super (versus the non Super K100D) would Autofocus with them, but then you're back to a 6MP model again. You can get a new Pentax K200D for $539 delivered right now, which is still less than what you were considering spending on a D40 kit:


Then, use your existing lenses for now, supplementing your kit as requirements and shooting conditions dictate. That solution would also allow you to use your film camera as needed (for example, with a publication that frowns on digital), with the film camera acting as a backup in case of equipment failure. You would also have more flexibilty by keeping one lens on the film camera and the other on your digital camera, so that you could easily take photos with both focal ranges without the need to swap lenses in conditions that require an approach like that.

That's just one way of doing it.

If you can find a used K10D at a good price, that would be another approach. It's a higher end camera model and has some features that can come in handy (for example, a PC Sync Port for attaching external strobes, without needing to get a separate adapter for your hotshoe). But, you really don't know what a used body has been through, and I'd lean towards a vendor that has a good warranty on used gear going that route.

Another approach would be the Sony A200 kit at $499 including an 18-70mm lens. Then, pick up a used lens or two as needed later for more focal range. Consumer grade third party Autofocus lenses (and your existing Sigma falls into that category) are *very* inexpensive on the used market in Minolta AF mount (and the Sony Alpha models can use those lenses). I'd lean towards higher quality lenses if possible though (versus the cheaper consumer grade zooms). See some examples of third party zooms in this mount here:

Third Party Autofocus Zoom lenses in Minolta AF mount at keh.com

keh.com offers a wide variety of both Minolta and third party Autofocus lenses in Minolta AF mount (a.k.a, Minolta A, Dynax, Maxxum, Alpha mount). You'll see categories for Minolta primes (fixed focal length versus zoom), and Zoom lenses, as well as third party lenses (shown as "Non-Mfg" in their listings).

Minolta Autofocus Lenses at keh.com

Usually, you will see more Autofocus lenses in this mount than you will for any other camera brand on the used market (although you'll find that manual focus lenses are readily available in Pentax mount, your choices in used AF lenses won't be as good).

There is no one right way to approach it... I'm just throwing out my thoughts on the subject.

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Old Aug 31, 2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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You may also look into the Windows Live Search Cash Back option...
Checking into it, it is legit, it will just take a little while to get the cash back.

Just be sure you choose a reputable dealer on the Live Search by double checking with resellerratings.

Pentax K200D

Sony A200

Sony A300 (if Live View intrigues you)...for the same price, why not?
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Old Sep 1, 2008, 10:04 PM   #14
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So I went with the Sony, phew, after all this. I got a brand new on Ebay for $420 with one lens. He bought it directly from Sony and has the receipt to prove and he has never opened it. His wife wanted the 350. AHH I hope I made the right decision. I had to decide really quickly. All the Pentax K10's are going for $400-500 for just bodies, and the D200 were going for sooo much more than my budget. I hope I made a good decision.
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Old Sep 2, 2008, 6:18 AM   #15
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Congrats! I'm glad you found a solution that keeps you within budget. I think you'll find it to be a very versatile solution that's capable of taking very nice photos.

Make sure to check out our Konica Minolta / Sony Alpha dSLR Forums for tips on lenses and camera settings.

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