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Old Mar 5, 2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Between 3 DSLR's...Please help!

I owned a Nikon dslr a few years ago, but was so uncomfortable using it because it was "so over my head" that I didn't and went back to my powerzoom. I have done alot of reading & research now and want to step back into the DSLR world and have narrowed it down to 3 entry level cameras, the Canon T2i, Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-r. I got to hold & try the controls on the T2i and D3100 at an electronics store and liked some features on the T2i better. They had an outlet T2i that looked totally "undisturbed" in the box for $647 with the kit 18-55mm lens so thought it was a great buy and I could return it up to 30 days hassle free. Have charged the battery but not tried it yet. They did not sell Pentax cameras so I could not see or try the K-r.
So, thought I had chosen my dslr but then have been reading more forum postings today by newbie dslr buyers (like me) and so many encourage the Pentax K-r. I read Steve's review and he also gives many raves to the K-r. I know Pentax has fewer lenses then Nikon & Canon but I still think it has enough to get me what I'd need.
I am a casual photographer but LOVE taking photos of family, friends, vacations, outings, etc. Most important to me is excellent jpeg image quality and want to get good youth soccer & basketball shots. We want to get good zoom shots at the lake this summer of tubing & wakeboarding. I plan on getting 3 lenses; a good everyday lens, a good outside zoom and an ok indoor sports lens (but not a $1500 one).
Can anyone offer advice as to which will give me the best images of what I will use it for?
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 1:15 PM   #2
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For the K-r, you could get the 18-55 kit lens, and the 55-300 telephoto zoom. Indoor sports will be a problem, however. You could get the Tamron 70-200/2.8 which is a nice lens, but it doesn't focus very quickly, and niether does the K-r, so that combination might not work out so well. You migth to better with the Sigma 85/1.4 HSM, but you might find the fixed focal length to be limiting.

There isn't much that distinguishes one camera from another, for what you want to do, except the indoor sports, and for that, I'd stick with the Canon.
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 1:35 PM   #3
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For the pentax, skip the tamron 70-200 is is slow to AF, the sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM non OS verison it is a faster lens in the AF department. The sigma 85 1.4 is nice, but that is a very expensive lens 800 dollars.

But I think for what you want to shoot, the canon offers the better growth path.
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 2:04 PM   #4
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Thanks Shoturtle and TCav for your replys. I did do an online search thru Pentax website for a retail location near me to at least go hold & try the K-r but nothing comes up within 2 hrs of me even! Gosh, how do they expect people to consider their cameras if they don't have them in any retail locations!
1) As far as the t2i goes. Will the everyday images I take be as good quality as the K-r?
2) I did already do research on lenses for the t2i and I am considering the 70-300mm for outside zoom, the 100mm f2 USM prime for inside sports (read a forum where it was recommended for indoor basketball) and maybe the 18-135mm for everyday if I find I'm not happy with the kit 18-55mm. Wish there was an indoor zoom with lower aperture not over $1000 but not so.
3) Overall, am I better with the T2i verses D3100, without the K-r in the mix?
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 2:19 PM   #5
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Yes, they will be just as good, unless you like to pixelpeep at 100% crop and shooting at 6400iso. But form 100-1600 they are so close it is hard to tell even at 100% crop. And at 3200iso, the pentax is a tad better.

The 100mm f2 is a nice lens, would make it a good indoor action lens.

The t2i is a better camera then the d3100. The nikon primes do not all work on the d3100 as they do not AF as there is not AF motor in the d3100. The t2i has the better af for action. The d3100 can not take a EV bracket.
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 2:40 PM   #6
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Shoeturtle
You said at 3200iso the K-r is a tad better, so that would make it a tad better indoor however it does not focus as quickly, correct?

Is "a tad" better image quality at 3200 by the K-r is not significant enough that the t2i will still capture great quality indoor sports shots (especially if I buy that 100 f2 prime?

I was at my nieces indoor basketball game today and a lady sitting below me was using a dslr, so I asked her what camera she had. She had the D3100 with the kit lens (couldn't tell if it was the 18-55 or 55-200) and she said she was getting good shots. I was very surprised considering the apertures on those! Maybe the lighting in these gyms is better than I thought. I wouldn't consider the D3100 over the canon now, but it was interesting to know the lens she was able to take pictures with in there.
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 2:59 PM   #7
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The k-r has a bit larger sensor, so there is a little better noise control. But it is see with the naked eye. So I would not concern yourself about it unless you are printing super big 36x48 or something.

The AF is better on the canon, the pentax has caught up a bit from couple years ago. But still a tad short of the canon in the AF department.

Also the bit of noise the canon has at 3200iso is easily taken care of with pp noise reduction. And you will not fine a 100 f2 for the pentax that focus fast. As the 100 for the pentax is a macro so has more travel when focusing and not suited for action.

All the new camera shoot well at 3200iso. And with enough lighting 3.5-5.6 can give proper exposure. But if the light falls off, you will need 3200iso and f2.
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 3:54 PM   #8
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Thanks again. Still a newbie on some terms so what is pp noise reduction?

Also, is there a zoom lens that would work with the canon (say a Sigma or tamron) with 3.5-5.6 or 2.8-? verses the 100mm f2 prime. Hate to get stuck in one focal length if I can use something range and still a decent shot.

thanks again Shoturtle...you've been very helpful
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 4:08 PM   #9
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PP is post production on photo editing on the computer. Noise is that graining look that happens with higher iso.

Tamron and sigma has canon version of all their lenses. And canon has allot more lenses then pentax. Are are much higher quality, so they can cost allot.

But for indoor sport, the 70-200 2.8 form canon or sig would work depending on the light levels. If it is really poor lighting 2.8 may not be enough. And that extra stop at 1.8 could mean the different between a good photo, and a so so photo.
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