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Old Aug 5, 2010, 9:33 PM   #1
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Default Impass. Nikon D5000 or Pentax K-x. Help Please.

Hi there.
I noticed this forum came up on several of my Google searches and thought it would be worth while registering to ask the opinion of users on here.

I'm looking to buy my first DSLR and have narrowed down my options to these two cameras.

I like the look of the Nikon D5000, but also think the Pentax is great value for money. I've held both cameras and probably spent slightly more time holding the D5000. I think I was taking with it more because of its looks and the tilting LCD.

I can get the Pentax K-x and a 18-55mm & 50-200mm lens for 450 and I'd be spending about 460 for the D5000 with 18-55mm VR lens.


I'm attracted to the D5000 by the looks, tilting screen, AF points in the viewfinder etc. Yet the fact that it has no IS or AF built into the body puts me off as it makes buying lenses all the more expensive

The Pentax attracts me due to the cheapness, the fact it would come with two lenses, I hear the low light quality is amazing and higher than the Nikon, the HDR, the filter effects and from what I hear it's a very good all round camera. I'm put off by the AA batteries, lack of AF points and I feel it looks very plain.

Am I just being taken in by Nikon snobbery or is there really a reason for having no AF motor or IS built into the body? I doubt I'd use the tilting screen much but feel I'm being taken in by the 'gadgety-ness' off it and the fact that the GUI looks slightly better.

I'd love to hear some opinions from users of both cameras and possibly some pics with said lenses attached?

Thanks for your time guys.
Conor.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 10:05 PM   #2
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Conor, welcome to the forums, I think you'll find this is a friendly place full of helpful people. With that said, if you will visit the Pentax DSLR forum, you will find a really friendly group that can tell you everything you need to know about the Kx. Same with the Nikon. Both are good cameras and will do fine for general photography. The Pentax, Sony, and Olympus have image stabilization in the body, where Nikon and Canon have it in their lenses, which can make some lenses more expensive than non- IS lenses. You should know that the D5000 body has no focus motor, so all lenses must be af-s or, if third-party, must have focus motor built in to the lens. With the D5000, you could miss out on some film-body af lenses that won't af. Currently, there are a good number of lenses that will af with the d5000, so that should not be a huge problem unless you want some fast primes (50 1-4,1-8; 85 1-4 etc) these won't af with the d5000. I'm sure others will chime in here so I will hold up here.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 5:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConorKennedy View Post
I hear the low light quality is amazing and higher than the Nikon
Welcome to the forum.

Pentax and Nikon use Sony sensors. As both cameras
use a 4288x2848 CMOS sensor, it is almost certain
that both cameras use the exact same sensor. This
means that all things being equal (lens, settings),
you can expect similar quality from both cameras,
particularly if you shoot in RAW mode.

Quote:
I'm put off by the AA batteries, lack of AF points and I feel it looks very plain.
For a given capacity, AA batteries are bigger and
heavier than Li-Ion. If you can live with the extra
size and weight, a set of four AA NiMH has a
capacity in excess of 2000mA/h. This is more
the the capacity of a typical Li-Ion battery pack.
I have seen claims of well over 1000 shots for
a set of Sanyo Eneloop rechargable AAs in the K-x.

Both cameras offer similar performance. The Nikon
has a better range of lenses, but this advantage is
offset by the fact that the D5000 can't use all of
them. The built-in IS of the Pentax will work with
all lenses, even very old ones.

You won't go too far wrong with either of these
cameras. The final decision will probably come
down to the 'look & feel' of the camera.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 6:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConorKennedy View Post
I'm attracted to the D5000 by the looks, tilting screen, AF points in the viewfinder etc. Yet the fact that it has no IS or AF built into the body puts me off as it makes buying lenses all the more expensive

...

Am I just being taken in by Nikon snobbery or is there really a reason for having no AF motor or IS built into the body? I doubt I'd use the tilting screen much but feel I'm being taken in by the 'gadgety-ness' off it and the fact that the GUI looks slightly better.
I have the D5000 and love it. The reason that it lacks the AF motor in the body is to save money. However, the reason that new lenses have the motor in the lens is because that is faster than having it in the camera. So the camera world is switching over to in-lens motors anyway, and the low end Nikon cameras are simply closing off optimal use of old technology in the interest of lowering costs. This happens in all technologies. How much you care about that backward compatibility will depend on your situation, but it is a rational and routine way of lowering costs in technological products.

BTW, focusing AF lenses on the D5000 is very easy using the Rangefinder option (a fact that I just recently understood). It is pretty comparable to focusing with an old 35mm film camera, if you go back that far. The down sides relate to continuous focus and very rapid focusing. But, if those are not needed in what you do, there is really no problem with manually focusing the old lenses on the D5000.

The IS in the body is a bit trickier. It isn't as good as in-lens. The usual rule of thumb is that in-camera IS buys you a full stop worth of stabilization, first generation lens stabilization (VR in Nikon) buys you two stops, and current technology (VRII for Nikon) buys you three stops. However, these apparently can be cumulative -- if you have in-body stabilization and a VR lens, you get three full stops of stabilization, etc. So, AFAIK, in-body stabilization is always either irrelevant (sports shoots or tripod photography) or a benefit. It appears that the only reason not to include it is to save money.

I have yet to use the tilting screen. I do use the screen for live view when shooting on a tripod if it's inconvenient to use the viewfinder, but tilting the screen has simply never come up as something that I find useful yet.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 7:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkpix View Post
Welcome to the forum.

Pentax and Nikon use Sony sensors. As both cameras
use a 4288x2848 CMOS sensor, it is almost certain
that both cameras use the exact same sensor. This
means that all things being equal (lens, settings),
you can expect similar quality from both cameras,
particularly if you shoot in RAW mode.
the sensor is not the same at all - and the k-x does have significantly less noise and a full extra stop up from iso 6400 (extended on d5000 base on kx) to 12800 (extended on kx - d500 cant go this high) - so for low light photography or any time you might need a faster shutter speed the k-x would be better

the no autofocus motor is simply to reduce costs and the higher end nikons have it in the camera too - though most modern lenses now come with autofocus in the lens - but some third party lenses thats not always the case

the shake reduction in the camera vs the lens - well thats just a choice of the manufacturers - in use there is very little difference between them both are claiming upto 4 stops worth of shakre reduction and i gotta say my pentax k-7 is pretty impressive - 50mm focal length i can easil get down to 1/8th of a second and still have a sharp image (actually just did some quick tests and lol i could get down to 1/3rd of a second and still have a sharp image lol but did have my arms tucked in nice and took the photo at the bottom end of my breath - probably abit mroe extreme than just normal shooting but is kinda cool to realise that i can go quite that low without any real noticable effects on the image - but i would expect lens stablisation is equally capable of that too)

pros and cons

in camera - every lens you buy is stablised even old second hand lenses from 30 years ago but you dont see the stablisation in the viewfinder (do see it in liveview though if thats your thing)

in lens - well basically the exact opposite to in camarea - old no stablised lenses are still not stablised - this can make some lenses more expensive but unless you like using old lenses i wouldn't let it put you off the nikon and if does let you see a stablised image through the viewfinder which is nice to have but not that big a deal either so wouldn't let that put you off the pentax either

the pentax is a great value camera and won the tipa 2010 best entry level camera award - and i think is a better camera overall with higher specs though thats to be expected since its a newer camera BUT nikon is a more complete system and if you plan on upgrading well they have a better selection of lenses - not that pentax has bad lenses by any means - some of thier ltd edition primes are fantastic quality optics - but there are very few options for pentax at extreme telephoto focal lengths so if you want to take pictures of things long way away then nikon is the better option

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxkx/
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5000/

reviews from respected source

on a side note - it is likely that both nikon and pentax will be announcing new cameras in a month or 2 so might be worth waiting - then again you will miss out on a couple of months worth of enjoyment of photography - but its worth knowing that new versions of these cameras are likely going to be announced shortly
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Conorkennedy-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

My choice also came down to the Nikon D-5000 and the Pentax Kx. These two factors led to me going with the D-5000: (1) I did not like the use of AA Batteries. (2) the lack of the focus point being illuminated in the viewfinder.

I like to know exactly where the camera is focusing. I don't want to guess. I tried single point/center point focusing on the Kx but that required re-framing the photo. The "rangefinder" feature of the D-5000, along with the articulated LCD screen, and the lithium ion battery easily took me over to the D-5000.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 12:26 PM   #7
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Both are excellent cameras, though their strengths lie in different areas. What do you want to shoot?
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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you can get almost 1100 photos with a set of eneloop AA batteries with the K-x, and with the energizer lithium that can not be recharge, you get 1500 shots.

Both are great camera, the pentax will let you have IS on any lens, the nikon will only give it to you with VR lenses. The K-x has a faster AF system for action.

Both take good photos.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 7:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tclune View Post

I have yet to use the tilting screen. I do use the screen for live view when shooting on a tripod if it's inconvenient to use the viewfinder, but tilting the screen has simply never come up as something that I find useful yet.
I think I'd be the same. I have no idea what I'd use the tilting screen for I think it's just because it looks so technical that I'm really taken by the look of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Conorkennedy-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

My choice also came down to the Nikon D-5000 and the Pentax Kx. These two factors led to me going with the D-5000: (1) I did not like the use of AA Batteries. (2) the lack of the focus point being illuminated in the viewfinder.

I like to know exactly where the camera is focusing. I don't want to guess. I tried single point/center point focusing on the Kx but that required re-framing the photo. The "rangefinder" feature of the D-5000, along with the articulated LCD screen, and the lithium ion battery easily took me over to the D-5000.

Sarah Joyce
I think I'm taken by all the points you were. I don't know why it just seems like such a decent camera but the AF and IS really really put me off, and I know it's a silly feature but I really like the look of the retouching abilities onboard the Pentax, yet for some reason I like Nikon. Maybe just the snobbery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Both are excellent cameras, though their strengths lie in different areas. What do you want to shoot?
Well, it would be my first proper camera up from a point and shoot. I like the idea of macro photography and possibly just taking shots of things I like the look of. Nothing in specific. I like the look of something being in sharp focus while the background is blurred out (aperture?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.Pattullo View Post

on a side note - it is likely that both nikon and pentax will be announcing new cameras in a month or 2 so might be worth waiting - then again you will miss out on a couple of months worth of enjoyment of photography - but its worth knowing that new versions of these cameras are likely going to be announced shortly
I heard about this on another forum. Someone was talking about whispers of a new Pentax with the AF points built in. Not sure if it was just rumors, but I think I'm in the mood to buy one now haha. It's likely that I won't take massive photos because I tend not to stick at things for a long time but I've always liked photography.. more so admiring other peoples images and thinking "i'd like to have taken that"
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 8:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConorKennedy View Post
Well, it would be my first proper camera up from a point and shoot. I like the idea of macro photography and possibly just taking shots of things I like the look of. Nothing in specific. I like the look of something being in sharp focus while the background is blurred out (aperture?)



Well then ...
  1. All OEM and third party macro lenses are stabilized on the Pentax. Nikon only has two stabilized macro lenses, and they're both comparatively very expensive.
  2. Nikon has a good selection of large aperture lenses, but the D5000 doesn't have a built-in AF motor, and neither do most of those large aperture lenses, including the least expensive ones. And none of them are stabilized. All large aperture lenses for the Pentax will AF and are stabilized.
Based on those two things, even though the bodies are similarly priced, for the lenses you'll want, a Nikon system will be more expensive and less capable.
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Last edited by TCav; Aug 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM.
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