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Old Jul 17, 2009, 2:09 PM   #11
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And, just as mentioned in the other thread - you should be looking to spend approximately $200 of your budget on the tripod/head. That's about the cost of a good quality starter set of legs/head. B&H sells some nice Bogen sets (although you'll still be looking at heavier aluminum in the $200 range).
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 2:41 PM   #12
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Pentax sometimes offers specials that include a longer, 3 year warranty. That was recently the case with the K20, a camera that is being replaced by the brand new K-7 and has been seen on sale for as little as $600 (original cost was $1200 so it's an awesome deal but its a fairly complicated camera, not for those who don't want to learn about photography). Not sure if the offer of the extended warranty is still available, or which models it was available on. I own the K20 and K100 (which was discontinued last year for the K200). The K200 and K20 are both weather sealed while the lighter K2000 does not, that may or may not be important to you.

Pentax has divisions world-wide. If you buy a Pentax camera or lens in the US that's not grey-market, you can get it fixed by their repair facility in Colorado.
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 10:04 PM   #13
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With the pentax K-20 prices dropping a bit more each day, it would seem to me that the pentax K-20 is the obvious choice for a person interested in doing HDR photos. Just take a look at the k-20's Bracketing capability. As a person interested in HDR myself, I went out and bought a K-20 this evening, based solely on its HDR potential. I am happy and excited about the potential the K-20 will open for me.

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Old Jul 17, 2009, 11:31 PM   #14
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Evening HeavyBird,

Overall for what you are doing, just about any dSLR entry level will do very well for you. Certainly Canon and Nikon cameras are very good, and are excellent selections.

Pentax - is an old name in cameras. They started in 1919 and they do make wonderful cameras. About a year ago, they were purchased by Hoya - another Japanese company. Hoya makes optical glass used by all the camera and lens makers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax

Also, as an aside - every company has their dogs, however very few companies are singled out for having the best of something. Pentax is known for having some of the world's best lenses.... (and their cameras are not too shabby either).

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/co...02-05-02.shtml
PS - the Pentax lenses that are mentioned in the article - they all fit on the K2000...
hope that helps....
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Old Jul 22, 2009, 12:07 AM   #15
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Do any of the lower end Pentax's have the internal HDR capability.

Also how do the different brands compare when in dusty situations.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 22, 2009, 12:19 AM   #16
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HeavyBird-

The Pentax K-20 Camera is the only camera that I, believe can take up to 5 HDR shots. None of the lower end (less expensive) Pentax cameras have that capability.

Yes, you can, when using a very, very sturdy tripod manually set up the exposures that you might need for a multi frame HDR photo. However, it will take a lot of care, as well as a excellent and very sturdy tripod to accomplish the task.

I am sorry to say it, but it appears that you desire to get by on the cheap side of things, and that is not realaistic at all! This is serious stuff.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 22, 2009, 9:51 AM   #17
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The only camera that I know of that will do in-camera HDR is the Pentax K-7, a new camera that just came out last week. It's expensive right now as the first people buy it - if you want to buy it at a discounted price, look at it in about 6 months. It has the ability to take 3 shots then process them in-camera to produce an HDR jpg. It works pretty well for quite a few scenes but does (like anything else) have its limitations. It also has auto exposure capability, where the camera will take 3 or 5 shots and you have the ability to choose any Ev value between .3 and 2 stops between frames.

I think that all of the other current Pentax dSLR cameras have auto exposure capabilities of some sort. As Sarah pointed out, the K20 can do 5 frames. I didn't verify but I think the K200 and K2000 can only do 3 frames. The K20 doesn't have as wide a range of exposure available between frames as the K-7, and the K200 and K2000 are probably similarly limited (I didn't find the actual statistics, though). All of these cameras will require additional HDR software.

As some will/have pointed out, you can do HDR perfectly well without auto bracketing. All you have to do is meter from the lightest spot in a scene, then meter from the darkest spot in a scene. Take seperate pictures using those settings manually input into your camera, and a couple in between those exposure settings. My problem with this is that I can never remember the values and won't bother to write them down. I find it much easier to just do auto exposure bracketed shots and let the camera figure it out. That's why the extra Ev range of the K-7 comes in really handy.
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 11:31 PM   #18
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hey everybody I made this thread a few months ago and have been saving my money. I just wanted to ask if anything has changed in what I should consider, since there have been a few new cameras released since July.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 8:23 AM   #19
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The new Sony A500 and A550 have an Auto HDR feature that can take two photos (one exposed for the shadows, and the other exposed for the highlights) and combine them in camera (automatically aligning the images to compensate for slight framing differences to reduce the need for a tripod).

If you scroll down to the Dynamic Range Management section of this page, you can click on "How Auto HDR Works" and it will pop up a slide show. Just use the right arrow to see the sequence of how it takes two photos and combines them.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665970155
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 11:42 PM   #20
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A camera that should probably be really high on your list right now is the Pentax K-x. It has very good high ISO - better than the K-7. It isn't as capable as the K-7 for auto bracketing - the K-x can do 3 frames and +/- 1.5 stops (total Ev capability is =/- 3), while the K-7 can do 5 frames at +/- 2 stops (total Ev capability is +/- 5). Both have the same in-camera HDR capability, I think - both cameras take 3 pictures and then process them in-camera.
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