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Old Nov 27, 2009, 7:22 AM   #11
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Canon has a long history of building camreas that are well adapted for shooting sports. While Pentax did sucessfully update their autofocus system, entry level Canon dSLRs are still a better choice than entry level Pentax dSLRs. Two years from now? Who knows?

Based on the fact that your children won't be involved in Karate for a while, and that you're willing to upgrade the camera body after a time, means that yoou might do well to consider the Canon XSi or even the XS. That should save you some money that you can put toward a lens a that's appropriate for the plays.

As for the menus, that's important, so I suggest you find out your friend's specific complaints to see if they might apply to you, and try out the different cameras for your self. The recent Sony and Pentax models are supposed to be more user-friendly, and the lenses I mentioned are available for either of them.

Based on that, it comes down to how you feel about the cameras.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 9:31 AM   #12
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Dear mtclimber. With all due respect, as a newpaper reporter and photojournalist I find your financial analysis of Pentax shallow, unwarranted, lacking due journalistic diligence and represents the kind of single quote newsmaking that sways people in a direction based on nothing more than a single statement taken out of context. Without doing a full investigative report, let me just give you some recent single quotes from the web that DO NOT represent the full story.
  • Pentax is not only one that suffers in global financial crisis. Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc are also suffering.
  • Nikon posted a loss of 4 billion yen.
  • Canon Inc. saw profit fall by 56% to about $398 million on a 22% revenue decline.
  • Sony Corp. reported its third consecutive quarterly loss of $287.5 million.
Are we now to assume that based on the above single quotes from news stories that we should not buy Nikon, Canon or Sony? To sway a forum members' question based on an out of context quote does not do justice to the company in question. And yes, I own a Pentax DSLR and have a stake in the issue. Let's try the single quote method from another angle. Below are some quotes from camera reviews.
  • Unreliable white balance.
  • JPEGs soft.
  • Very slow AF.
  • JPEG output nowhere near as good as it could be.
All of the quotes are from Dpreview HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Canon, Nikon and Panasonic camera reviews taken out of context. My goodness, I do go on. I suppose the question is does financial company news belong in camera reviews? If so, then in addition to the tests full financial disclosure should be included in the reviews.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 10:10 AM   #13
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I'm certain mtclimber is more than capable of defending her post, but I will remind you that the single quote was from the president of Hoya, and was made to the Japanese Financial Press Corps. Single quotes for the president of a company often indicate the future direction of that company. And I remind you that single quotes out of context from persons such as Alan Greenspan, Dick Cheney, and Ross Perot have indicated future directions as well.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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pboerger-

No offense intended at all. I did not characterize myself as a journalist, a reporter, nor a financial expert. Instead in the true fashion of what a Forum is supposed to be, I passed on valid information, for what it was worth, as noth more than, just information.

Now, I am a retired Boeing 747 Captain for one of America's major airlines. I have a bit of technical know how as well. But I do not use it as a club, when relating and responding to other posters in the Forum. A Forum is where you exchange ideas. I have been here on this Forum for a long time. I have remained here because of the friendly and helpful environment where people exchange ideas. I even tried to help you personally when you were interested in the Kodak Z-915 and discussed the merits of the Pentax 18-250mm lens you use in your profession.

There are many folks who stay away from other Forums, based on the atmosphere, the in fighting, and the sarcasm, found in those forums. On this Forum we have managed to avoid those issues, and I hope we will avoid them in the future as well.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Nov 27, 2009, 12:33 PM   #15
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I just want help finding the right one for me. *sigh* I'm almost more confused than I was before I asked.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 12:59 PM   #16
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Fair enough, but the question still stands. Does this kind of information belong in camera reviews? If it does, then due diligence in presenting a balanced view is necessary and should be included for all camera makes, not just Pentax (maybe the new site name could be "Steve's Digicam's and Wall Street Review" ). I can find out of context remarks that show Kodak going under, Canon on the ropes and even Microsoft falling to Google Chrome (not a chance by the way). What we say makes a difference. The Op said "Ouch" and now looking at other companies after reading the dire financial Pentax company remarks. Finally, I offer another view from Blomberg Oct. 2009 a quote from Hoya Chief Operating Officer Hiroshi Hamada: “There will be consolidation in the camera business and a small player like us will be like a small boat on a rough sea. But let me be clear: we will not shut down this business.”
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 1:06 PM   #17
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PP, I am the OP. And I wouldn't want to purchase on board with a system and end up being set adrift by a folding company. So, yes it does concern me. I want to purchase something I can learn on now and upgrade to a better camera body in the future that will be capable of handling my children's activities/events. Which leads me back to my original question: Which entry level dSLR would be a good choice for me? (Keep in mind that I intend to purchase appropriate lenses as I go and upgrade the body when my kids become active in harder to shoot activities.)
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 2:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansamy View Post
... Which leads me back to my original question: Which entry level dSLR would be a good choice for me? ...
First, all the cameras are capable of doing an excellent job for most of what you want to take photos of. But the plays and especially the Karate place more stringent demands on a camera. If they are important to you, then you should consider those demands when making your selection.

The remainder of my comments presume you're serious about wanting to take photos of the plays and the Karate.

For plays, you'll need a large aperture telephoto zoom. For Karate, you'll need an even larger aperture or a higher ISO setting, or both.

Second, of the cameras you mentioned, the Olympus is out. It doesn't do high ISO, it's selection of large aperture lenses is small and expensive, and its autofocus system trails the pack with respect to following sports/action shooting.

Third, of the cameras you mentioned, the Sony A230 and the Pentax K2000 both can use Tarmon's and Sigma's 70-200/2.8 and Sigma's 50-150/2.8 large aperture telephoto zoom lenses, which would be appropriate for the church plays, but not so much for the Karate because they can't do the higher ISO settings that would be necessary to get fast shutter speeds, and their selections of lenses with even larger apertures is small and very expensive.

Of the cameras you mentioned, that leaves the Pentax K-x. It can use the same large aperture telephoto zoom lenses for the plays, and can use the high ISO values that you'll need, along with those large aperture telephoto zoom lenses, for the Karate.

Of the cameras you didn't mention, there are the Canon T1i and Sony A500 and A550 that can suit you as well, but their price is outside your budget. Another possibility is the Canon XSi, which can use the same large aperture telephoto zoom lenses as the others, and while it doesn't support higher ISO settings, Canon has reasonably priced lenses with even larger apertures that would be appropriate for your Karate.

There are a lot of things to consider, but an important one should be how you feel about the camera and how the camera feels to you. If you can't comfortably hold the camera, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, you'll miss shots, and you'll be dissatisfied with the camera. In all other respects, you should be able to do reasnoably well with any of the cameras I mentioned.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 8:07 PM   #19
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So, within my price range, I am looking at upgrading the body in a year or two when I find myself needing the higher ISO settings. I was expecting to need to upgrade a starter model. I am fine with that. Since they are presently active in the church plays/choir, that is my most immediate camera requirement. That narrows me down to the Canon XSi, Sony A230 and the Pentax K2000, right? All of which have capable bodies to upgrade to when I am ready for them, correct? And lenses that will function for my immediate and future needs? So, then it's a matter of which camera fits my hands and whose menu system I like?
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 8:20 PM   #20
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Bingo!
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