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Old Jun 12, 2009, 12:29 AM   #41
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Thanks! I felt like I made a good buy, but having only considered the entry-level prosumer dSLRs, I wasn't very familiar with the K10. I remembered that someone on here (it was you, lol) had a K20, and that the two number line of cameras was pro level. It was a good enough deal to cause me to not want to wait to get home to research before buying, because the camera was the last one and had originally been on hold for someone who did not show.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the K10 has 11 point auto focus and weather sealing. The only negatives I've read about this model has to do with white balance, but I believe a solution/workaround was found for the particular issue. As for the lens, I'm not going to sweat it. I only spent $42 on it... I've paid that much for a mani/pedi, or something else relatively trivial, that didn't last but a couple of weeks at most.

One thing I do want to know is whether I should buy an external flash now or wait. I know there are third party flashes that will work and that are inexpensive, and I'd rather do it now while I'm in the mode/mood to spend money. Do you have any suggestions for brand/model?

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Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
The K10 uses the same sensor that the K2000 does, and since the A200 has a 10 mp sensor, it wouldn't surprise me its the same in all three cameras. The K10 is an older camera but when it first came out it was Pentax's more advanced camera (and it has features that the K2000 doesn't have). It will have a number of features that the A200 doesn't (like more AF points, if that's important to you). It's a camera that you can either let the camera do everything or you can take control of most things yourself. And the controls are on the camera body so it is easy to change things (but read the manual because its also easy to accidentally change something you didn't mean to change). I think getting it for $250, new, is probably a fair price at this point.

Quantaray is Ritz's house brand. I don't know who actually makes their lenses, and I would guess that the quality would vary depending on who they've contracted with that year (or however they do their contracts). You can always upgrade or get other lenses later on, as you find out what its limitations are and if they would bother you (all lenses have some limitation, whether it be weight, price or optics).

As long as you don't find the camera too heavy to hold steady, you should be fine. I used to own a K10 but sold mine when I upgraded to a K20 (same size and weight). I never had trouble using them, though they are as heavy a camera as I think I could manage for any length of time.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 12:42 AM   #42
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Thanks! I picked up a Magic Lantern Guide for a couple of bucks with the intent to keep it beside me as I read through the manual. Are you familiar with the guides? If the Magic Lantern Guide isn't good, I'll give the other one a try. And, yes, you did help. Thanks, again.

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Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
Congratulations on your acquisition. Once you make it through the manual, here is a link to a supplemental book/manual on the K10 that may explain thing a bit better and clearer - essentially adding why you might want to do various things, etc. You might need to scroll down a bit to the K10 book (they have both a hard copy and a on line softcopy available).

http://www.k10dbook.com

Also, there is the Pentax dSLR forum here on Steve's and a separate one on Pentax lenses (actually what ever lenses that mount on Pentax camera bodies). There are a lot of folks who use various Pentax models, a lot of K10 users along with *ist DS/DL users too.

hope that helps...
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 12:49 AM   #43
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I chose the Pentax K10D, for many of the same reasons you chose the D40. I originally wanted a D40, but I need stabilization at all times, so then I had to give serious consideration to Sony and Pentax. Sony had the edge, but Pentax won out since I was able to get a brand new K10D body for $250 and come in under budget for everything (minus flash) even with a 2 year warranty on both the body and lens.

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Have you chosen which camera you're going to buy?

I was in the same position as you a few weeks ago and after looking at loads and loads of sites, forums, reviews etc, I chose the D40.

Why?
Cheap enough that if a dSLR wasn't my 'thing' then I wouldn't be that much poorer.
Technical enough that I can learn the basics of dSLR photography.
Good enough to have faithfully served hundreds of people who don't need the latest and greatest to produce good photos.
Small enough that carrying it around all day won't be a problem - get your hands on a camera before deciding which one to get (VERY important IMHO).
The ability to to what 99% of great photographers suggest : spend more money on lenses instead of on the body.

Best of luck.

Matt
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 9:39 AM   #44
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The Magic Lantern book is quite good - I read it and it helped explain some things much better than the owners manual, which can be quite dry at times, and didn't always explain things in a way that I understood right off. In a couple of places the Magic Lantern book explained what was going on, so then the manual made more sense to me.

I'm not the best one to ask about flashes - I do own one and heartedly recommend buying one (use mine a lot wirelessly off-camera) but don't really understand the subject very well. If you'll ask that question on the Pentax dSLR section, there are a number of people who can give you a better idea of which flash will have which advantage/disadvantage. Both Metz and Sigma make flashes that are well liked.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 10:02 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyRo View Post
Thanks! I picked up a Magic Lantern Guide for a couple of bucks with the intent to keep it beside me as I read through the manual. Are you familiar with the guides? If the Magic Lantern Guide isn't good, I'll give the other one a try. And, yes, you did help. Thanks, again.
The Magic Lantern guide is just fine. The point I was trying to make is that the manual provides the basic information, but really no amplifying information. Also, part of the other book was on line as a free down load, where by you can sample it.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 10:52 AM   #46
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Thanks. I'll start reading in a little bit. I already know there's going to be a LOT to learn. I turned on the camera and all this stuff popped up on the screen, and I looked through the viewfinder and there was information at the bottom of the screen. I had a "Oh, God, what have I done?" moment, but it passed quickly. I'll take a look at the flash forum and do some research. I was advised to wait until I needed it, but I really think I need to get one now, while I can, before I need it.

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Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
The Magic Lantern book is quite good - I read it and it helped explain some things much better than the owners manual, which can be quite dry at times, and didn't always explain things in a way that I understood right off. In a couple of places the Magic Lantern book explained what was going on, so then the manual made more sense to me.

I'm not the best one to ask about flashes - I do own one and heartedly recommend buying one (use mine a lot wirelessly off-camera) but don't really understand the subject very well. If you'll ask that question on the Pentax dSLR section, there are a number of people who can give you a better idea of which flash will have which advantage/disadvantage. Both Metz and Sigma make flashes that are well liked.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 12:30 PM   #47
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Thanks!

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Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
The Magic Lantern guide is just fine. The point I was trying to make is that the manual provides the basic information, but really no amplifying information. Also, part of the other book was on line as a free down load, where by you can sample it.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 12:52 PM   #48
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I'll take a look at the flash forum and do some research. I was advised to wait until I needed it, but I really think I need to get one now, while I can, before I need it.
Congratulations on your new camera. I wanted to address this last bit of info from your post. I am a HUGE proponent of using external flash. I'm not a Pentax user so I can't recommend flashes, sorry. What i wanted to say is - a good flash can make a WORLD of difference to photo quality. BUT, using a flash correctly is a learning curve in and of itself. Some people tend to sour on flash early because they don't get the results they want right away. So, while I would say follow your gut and buy a flash now, I just want to caution you that using it properly does require learning. So it's one more aspect of equipment you're going to have to learn how to use along with the camera / lens(es) you've already bought. So, jst fit that in to your lesson plan.

A dslr is like a stick-shift car. Great performance when you know how to handle it. But tougher to get going and get started than a point and shoot. Adding a flash is like adding the double clutch - great results when you master it but some shaky stuff until you do.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 2:53 PM   #49
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I fully intend on learning how to use an external flash correctly. I just don't agree with the sales guy that sold me the K10D who told me I should wait until I needed it. I know I'm going to need it, so why not just get it now is my mindset. I plan to get more dSLR reading material and practice, practice, practice! Thanks!

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Congratulations on your new camera. I wanted to address this last bit of info from your post. I am a HUGE proponent of using external flash. I'm not a Pentax user so I can't recommend flashes, sorry. What i wanted to say is - a good flash can make a WORLD of difference to photo quality. BUT, using a flash correctly is a learning curve in and of itself. Some people tend to sour on flash early because they don't get the results they want right away. So, while I would say follow your gut and buy a flash now, I just want to caution you that using it properly does require learning. So it's one more aspect of equipment you're going to have to learn how to use along with the camera / lens(es) you've already bought. So, jst fit that in to your lesson plan.

A dslr is like a stick-shift car. Great performance when you know how to handle it. But tougher to get going and get started than a point and shoot. Adding a flash is like adding the double clutch - great results when you master it but some shaky stuff until you do.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 9:05 PM   #50
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I saw your posting on flashes and I just wanted to add, that on the Pentax dSLR forum sometime back, there was an entire thread about flashes (tailored towards Pentax) that is very worthwhile reading. Pentax uses a slightly different type of flash. Now I have not gone in that direction, so you have already exhausted my knowledge - however, take a look at this and it should help...

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...sh-thread.html

It has 270+ replies and nearly 40,000 viewings - so it is quite good. Also, mtclimber, Shara is a professional photography instructor (retired - spending her time on cruise ships teaching photography - what a life!) started and wrote the main part of the thread. So, I would go through that first before actually writing a check for a flash.

Also, even though the K10 has been discontinued, it is still a VERY capable semi-professional camera body. A lot of folks refuse to upgrade, in that it has a lower noise level than that of the K20, and thus better image quality to a degree. So you have acquired a very capable system at an exceptional price. Also, this was posted on the Pentax dSLR forum the other day - using a K10 - I thought you might be interested in how folks can bring out the best in the camera...

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...peeds-wit.html

There is the Pentax dSLR forum here on Steve's and a separate one on Pentax lenses (actually what ever lenses that mount on Pentax camera bodies). There are a lot of folks who use various Pentax models, a lot of K20/200/2000/10/100/110 users along with *ist DS/DL users too. The regulars on the forum are very friendly, and extremely knowledgeable, and always eager to help and answer questions. Plus we all like to see pictures!!!

hope that helps...
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