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Old Jun 16, 2009, 3:40 PM   #1
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Default Nikon D40 or Pentax MX (K2000)?

Hi all,

First posting here- found so many of the comments really useful! I am thinking of upgrading my little Ricoh R7 to a DSLR. I am on a budget though and I really am looking to have something I can take on my honeymoon later on in the year and "play" with as a new hobby.

I have looked around and found some good offers on the Nikon D40 and the Pentax KM (K2000)

I have tried other entry level cameras like the Sony a2000 but it just didn't feel right in the hands.

Any suggestions?

Best wishes

Tim
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 4:54 PM   #2
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What do you want to shoot?

What do you want to be able to do that you can't now?
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 5:11 PM   #3
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Default ah yes! What do I want to do!

well I am interested in landscape shots and wildlife- perhaps some candid shots of family.

I can't really achieve the sorts of things I would like with my point and shoot- things like depth of field, B settings for those lightning/fireworks/ waterfall shots.

Am I expecting too much? I do know that its as much about the person using the camera as the camera itself! I hope to do a night school class.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 7:13 PM   #4
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Either camera are capable of producing excellent shots. The D40 has 6 mp, less than the K2000, but I've always like the sensor it has in it (Pentax used it in their earlier dSLR cameras and I still have the K100). On the other hand, the 10 mp sensor in the K2000 has been around a while and is well regarded.

One issue that you might run into with the D40 is that it doesn't have the focus motor in the camera, so you have to buy lenses with the motor in them. They are usually larger, heavier and more expensive, and you'll have to be careful since Nikon still makes lenses that won't auto focus with it. That may or may not be a big issue with you (it wouldn't bother me at all as I often shoot with Pentax manual focus lenses). Pentax, on the other hand, can use any lens ever made by Pentax to whatever capability that lens had new. A manual lens won't suddenly become auto focus, but you don't lose capability like you might with certain lenses on the Nikon.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 7:22 PM   #5
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To mtngal's comments, I would like to add that, if you want to take "some candid shots of family", the Pentax comes with an external flash while the Nikon D40 does not.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 9:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
One issue that you might run into with the D40 is that it doesn't have the focus motor in the camera, so you have to buy lenses with the motor in them. They are usually larger, heavier and more expensive, and you'll have to be careful since Nikon still makes lenses that won't auto focus with it. That may or may not be a big issue with you (it wouldn't bother me at all as I often shoot with Pentax manual focus lenses). Pentax, on the other hand, can use any lens ever made by Pentax to whatever capability that lens had new. A manual lens won't suddenly become auto focus, but you don't lose capability like you might with certain lenses on the Nikon.
This is only partially correct. There isn't a huge size difference...many AF-s lenses (especially the kit lenses) are small and lightweight and quite inexpensive. All the current kit lenses are AF-s and can be had cheaply in the used market. The 18-55/55-200 combo is as small and lightweight as it gets, and have reasonable quality.

Last edited by rjseeney; Jun 16, 2009 at 9:24 PM.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 10:40 PM   #7
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I agree that the kit lenses don't fit into this category, Nikon's combo is indeed small and lightweight. I was thinking more in terms of a fast 50mm lens, where the Normal AF 50mm f1.4D, which is under 9 oz and approx. $339.95 but won't AF with the D40. The AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G will AF, but weighs 9.9 oz and costs approx. $479.95 (both B&H USA prices). It's always nice to have a fast lens when one is taking candid shots of family.

Another thought is the wildlife question. I think both cameras have similar capabilities when it comes to AF, the Pentax has stabilization in-camera so any lens is stabilized. Nikon puts their stabilization in their lenses, which can mean extra weight, or not getting stabilization at all. I went looking at B&H for a 300mm f4 lens that would AF on the D40 and only found the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4, weighing 3.1 lbs and with a cost of $1399.95. The equivalent Pentax lens is the DA*300 f4, weighs 2.3 lbs and costs $1099.95. If you are going to be happy with the kit lenses, then this shouldn't enter into the decision at all.
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 4:49 AM   #8
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Default many thanks- its getting easier!

wow!

Some excellent advice. Thanks everyone- It's a hard choice! In the UK we have the Nikon D40 on special (around $402) and then, you can get a Nikon 55-200 DX lens for an extra $240.

On the Pentax KM (K2000) is on special with a twin lens kit- the standard one and a 70-200 telephoto for a total of $621.

As you can see there isn't that much in it- appart from the fact that the second Nikon lens does not have VR.

The trouble is I don't want to be swayed by the Pentax twin lens kit if the body is not up to the job. I have seen many many people singing the praises of Nikons.

Way back I lusted after a Nikon when I couldn't afford one in the "good" (?) old days of film! (Mind you I also loved the look of the Pentax ME Super!)

Oh dear- its no easy task!
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 7:27 AM   #9
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Tim - I am definitely no expert, but have been very pleased with the Pentax K-m - using it primarily for landscape, wildflower & insect photography. Will reiterate what others have said - if at all possible, find a camera shop where you can handle both cameras and see which feels better. Also try looking in these forums in the Nikon and the Pentax sections to see what photos others have taken with these cameras. Either way, enjoy whichever camera you choose!!
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 9:45 AM   #10
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Many thanks! I'm tempted by the Pentax now.
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