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Old Sep 20, 2010, 7:30 AM   #1
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Default Pentax K-X or Sony A450?

Hi
I am looking to make the jump from compact cameras into my first DSLR, and have narrowed it down to the following 2 choices:

Pentax K-X costing GBP 450
(including 18-55mm Zoom Lens & 50-200mm Zoom Lens)

Sony A450L costing GBP 330
(including 18-55mm Zoom Lens)

Which one is a better value? Which one has better image quality?
I am mainly going to use my camera for travelling around Europe, including taking night shots.

One thing that concerns me with the Sony A450L is that people have mentioned on this forum that it doesn't have an autofocus in live view.
What does this mean exactly?
How difficult would it be to use manual focus instead?

Any comments appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 8:22 AM   #2
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First, the Pentax 55-200 isn't very good. There are better alternatives, like the Pentax 55-300 and the Tamron 55-200 Di II LD (which is also available for the Sony.)

Second, the Sony A450 doesn't actually have 'Live View' the way that the Pentax has it. 'Live View' in the A450 is only for checking the manual focus setting.

Remember that 'Live View' isn't very useful for dSLRs. DSLRs are bigger and heavier than P&S cameras, and so holding them out away from your body so you can compose on the screen can get old quick. 'Live View' is handy when the camera is mounted on a tripod, and that's when the 'Live View' in the A450 is intended to be used. And while the A450 can't AF in 'Live View', the Pentax uses contrast AF in 'Live View' which isn't very good anyway. (The Pentax and the Sony use Phase Detection AF when using the optical viewfinder, which is much faster and much more accurate.)

The Sony has a 14MP image sensor and can stoot at 7 fps, while the Pentax has a 12MP image sensor and can only shoot at 4.7 fps. The Pentax can record video and runs on AA Batteries, while the Sony uses proprietary Lithium Ion batteries and can't record video.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 1:10 PM   #3
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Thanks TCav

What about image quality, do you think the Sony would be better because of the higher megapixels? But some people say the Pentax will be better because the kit lenses are better?

I think I will be mostly using just kit lenses at the beginning, but I will probably look to buy an extra lens or two in a few years time.
So far, it looks like Sony lenses are cheaper than the equivalent Pentax lenses, but is the quality different?

I'm not really sure how to tell if a lens is good, so I've been comparing them by focal length and aperture only...
I think both the A450 and the K-x has built in stabilisation, so lens stabilisation wouldn't be an issue
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 1:28 PM   #4
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DxOMark.com grades the Pentax Kx and the Sony A450 very closely, except for the very high ISO settings, so for most things they should both do about as well.

There's no real reason to say that the Pentax 18-55 kit lens is any better or worse than the Sony 18-55 kit lens, and I'd give the Sony 55-200 the edge over the Pentax 50-200. But the Sony 55-200 is optically the same as the Tamron 55-200 Di II which is available for the Pentax anyway.

At this point, I suggest that you go to a store, and pick the one that feels best. And if most of your friends already have Pentax dSLRs, then they'd be a good place to go for help, so that should count for something.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 1:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
DxOMark.com grades the Pentax Kx and the Sony A450 very closely, except for the very high ISO settings, so for most things they should both do about as well.

There's no real reason to say that the Pentax 18-55 kit lens is any better or worse than the Sony 18-55 kit lens, and I'd give the Sony 55-200 the edge over the Pentax 50-200. But the Sony 55-200 is optically the same as the Tamron 55-200 Di II which is available for the Pentax anyway.

At this point, I suggest that you go to a store, and pick the one that feels best. And if most of your friends already have Pentax dSLRs, then they'd be a good place to go for help, so that should count for something.
Yea. that.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 2:33 PM   #6
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To me, the A450 is a model that makes no sense. If you want Sony, go with the A500 or A380 if price is of an issue. Personally I think the Pentax Kx two-lens kit (with the 55-300mm) is a better option.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 2:53 PM   #7
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To me, the A450 is a model that makes no sense. If you want Sony, go with the A500 or A380 if price is of an issue.
I think the A450 is a significant part of the Sony line up. It's basically an A550 without some of the more fragile moving parts. I'm disappointed that it's not available in the US.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 3:09 PM   #8
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and i would take an a450 over any a3xx any day of the week.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 3:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
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and i would take an a450 over any a3xx any day of the week.
Why?
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 3:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
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and i would take an a450 over any a3xx any day of the week.
Why?
Off the top of my head, the A450 goes up to ISO 12800, while the A380 is limited to 3200, it has less noise and much better dynamic range, and it has fewer fragile moving parts.
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