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Old Jan 16, 2010, 1:56 PM   #101
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dSLR body + kit lens + flash + fast lens will exceed his budget whatever he buys (if he buys new.)

The only dSLR that stands much chance of getting properly exposed photos with the kit lens without the flash, within the OP's budget, is the Pentax K-x.

Whatever fast lens the OP gets, if the OP gets a fast lens, whether it's 35mm or 50mm, doesn't matter as far as budget goes; they're all to expensive. And a Pentax 50mm lens will put him further over budget than a Nikon 35mm lens. The cost-centric solution is the D5000 with the kit lens, a flash and the 35mm 1.8, and when using the 35, the OP can zoom with his feet. (It's a lot easier to get closer if your lens is too short, than it is to back up if your lens is too long.)
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 2:14 PM   #102
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Factor the prime out of the equation as the OP has already.

The body + kit lenses + flash is within the OP's budget of 850. That would be the K-x.
650 for kit lens, 200 say the metz 48, that brings us to 850. He can go with the simga 530 flash not the super ,saving 50 bucks and that brings us to 800. Which is well within the op's budget. And have a high iso camera, with the ability not use a flash when he decides to add a prime lens.

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Old Jan 16, 2010, 5:44 PM   #103
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I'm back from a day out looking at cameras. I looked at both the Nikon D5000 and the Pentax K-x.

Much better having actually handled them and that made a big difference. There were things I liked about both. I liked the Nikon's swivel LCD. That was a very nice feature.

In the end though I have to say I preferred, the Pentax K-x.

Sort of a surprise to me in the end and different outcome than I originally expected.
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 5:48 PM   #104
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It is a good camera. But that was good that you handle both. We can give you all the stats, but it does not mean much is the camera's ergo does not work for you. So did you get it today?
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 6:28 PM   #105
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It is a good camera. But that was good that you handle both. We can give you all the stats, but it does not mean much is the camera's ergo does not work for you. So did you get it today?
Yes I did buy it, today and I was very surprised by that. I had only intended to look at the models.

I have to say that it was a pleasure being in a real camera store. It was very large (about the size of a major drug store or small supermarket) and I think geared more towards professionals. I say that based on the type of gear they had, the room of professional rental equipment. Heck, I was impressed by the wall of glassed in refrigerator cases like the dairy section of a supermarket, but with case after case of film.

The sales guy was extremely helpful. No pressure selling at all. He had the Nikon out on the floor but had to go to the stock room for the Pentax.

I more than half expected that I would buy the Nikon D5000. I played with it and I liked the feel of it and I really liked the swivel LCD. But then he brought out the Pentax for me to look at and play with. The Pentax felt great in my hands. It's smaller than the Nikon and weighs about 105g less. That made a difference. It took me quite a while to decide, but I went with what felt good.

The salesman also talked to me about lenses quite a bit, range of Nikon vs Pentax, just laying out the facts which pretty much aligned with what I had read on this thread.

The price of the Pentax was right in line with the best prices I had seen online, and considering how much time he spent with me I felt they had earned the money. The only difference was that I had to pay sales tax.

There was one tiny disappointment with the Pentax is really a nit, the body color. The only one they had in stock was a navy. Not a bad color at all, though I think I would have black. It's really not that big a deal as they would have ordered a black one for me.

I did ask about the Metz 48 flash for the Pentax but they did not have it in stock.

Very surprising day for me.
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 6:38 PM   #106
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Congrats, glad that you award the store for the good service. If you get rechargable batteries for the pentax, get the sanyo eneloop. They are very low discharging batteries. You may also want to check if the unit you have had the pentax firmware update done on it. If not it is pretty easy to do.
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 7:16 PM   #107
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Quote:
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Congrats, glad that you award the store for the good service. If you get rechargable batteries for the pentax, get the sanyo eneloop. They are very low discharging batteries. You may also want to check if the unit you have had the pentax firmware update done on it. If not it is pretty easy to do.

Annndddd.. SIR... How do WE do that...???
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 7:19 PM   #108
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Quote:
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Congrats, glad that you award the store for the good service. If you get rechargable batteries for the pentax, get the sanyo eneloop. They are very low discharging batteries. You may also want to check if the unit you have had the pentax firmware update done on it. If not it is pretty easy to do.
I think they deserved the business. Without them I would have had to rely on a Best Buy or a store like that. Now where in the same league.

Good news is I already have a lot of rechargeable batteries. I am very fond of the PowerEx batteries made by Maha and their brand of charger. I have had excellent experience with them and have been shocked at how long they last at least in my point and shoot cameras. I don't know many places that sell them but I got mine through http://www.thomasdistributing.com/

Their charger is well worth looking at. It has a conditioning mode that prevents memory in the rechargables.
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 7:25 PM   #109
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A big thank you to you folks on this thread. This has been a fantastic discussion and has helped me enormously.

Now I need to start thinking about adding on a flash.
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 7:53 PM   #110
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A big thank you to you folks on this thread. This has been a fantastic discussion and has helped me enormously.

Now I need to start thinking about adding on a flash.

For 200 dollar, the Metz 48 is the best option and an excellent flash. I went to other forum for pentax users. And pretty they all said the metz 48 over pretty much all other brands including couple of pentax models.
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