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Final decision time....
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michael_c


Dec 7, 2008, 7:31 PM
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Final decision time....
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Hey guys,

Well I've been trying to make up my mind for about 2 months on which SLR to purchase. I've narrowed it down to the Pentax K200D and Canon 450D.

I'll be shooting mainly climbing and landscape.

I like the K200D because it is good value, weather sealed etc and I can get an extra lens when I purchase it. But after playing with it in store the speed of this left me really disappointed, I know it'd annoy me when taking climbing shots.

I like the look of the 450D mainly because of the speed of the camera and the menu and control systems seems felt more user friendly plus a few reviews has rated the IQ a little higher than the K200D. The bad is that the 450D chews up all of my budget with the 18-55 IS kit.

I probably spent a good 20mins on each camera in store to really try it out and see which I preferred.

I've looked into the 40D but unfortunately my financial administrator (AKA my partner) has given me a strict budget of $1000 AUD.

So at the moment I'm really swinging towards the 450D with the intention of saving up later and purchasing an additional lens (probably be another 12 months from now)

So can anyone give me any final tips or recommendations etc.. before I lay down the cash.

Cheers,
Mike.


pico23


Dec 7, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Re: [michael_c] Final decision time.... [In reply to]
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As much as I am a Pentax fanboy, and Oly/Nikon/Leica apologist, I also sold cameras for a while, and I always tried to make sure the person bought both the camera they needed, and ultimately the camera they wanted.

If I pointed out a camera that I thought was good for their needs, and they didn't like it, I never pushed it, because ultimately they would not be happy with it. And guess what? It was going to be returned to my store!!! So now, I might have lost a sale, I had an open box, and the headache of a return!

I do have two questions though, where did you see the Canon edged out the Pentax in IQ? And was this RAW or JPEG? I'm betting it was JPEG and not RAW!! Pentax typically has a hands off approach to JPEG processing, and many review sites don't appreciate this as much as you will down the road. You can't unsharpen an oversharp image, but you can't increase sharpeness!! Although honestly I haven't looked at any K200D test, I assume the RAW output is identical, or better than the K10D, and almost every major magazine raved about the K10D RAW IQ, it also did very well on DPreview and the other internet sites!

Also, when you tested both did you test the K200D with Lithium or Alkaline/NiMH batteries? The reason I ask is the K200D takes AA batteries, which to some is a good thing (although less and less do I find it a benefit). I actually prefer my 2003 era Pentax D (the original 6MP DSLR from Pentax) because of the AAs when I'm on extended trips (more than a week from power). I get about 1000 shots per 4 AA lithiums, and it works in any weather (down to -20F at least, although at -20F my LCD doesn't turn on!). Plus, the AAs work in my GPS, and headlamp!

The NiMH batteries seriously UNDER VOLT the AF system as well as cause the camera to "sleep" prematurely. Although the K200D and the D aren't rated for CRV3 rechargeables I worked around this by using 1 CRV3 and 2 AA lithiums (disposable). This gives me about the 6.4 volts I need, vs. the 7.4 that 2 CRV3 rechargeables have, and the 5.25 that 4 NiMH have. Since the K200D is actually more efficient than the 2003 camera, I'd think you could get 1200+ shots on 4 AA lithiums depending on how much you chimp!

Finally, if you were looking at the K200D, you might consider the K10D either new or used. Same sensor, but better control interface (dual dials), and better RAW frame rate. I own a K10D, and did an extended review/test of the K20D (4 months and 10,000 shots) but I'd personally never buy a K200D, just like I didn't touch the DS, DL, or K100/110. I do actually like the AA battery option but the control interface isn't up to snuff for me! Size wise the K200D offers no advantage to the K10/20D. However, if you check Ebay or many used camera dealers the K10D sells for under $450, and sometimes close to $400. I actually got my Pentax D for $500 used a few years ago in LN- condition. Excellent deal, and it's still running like a champ, unfortunately it's getting a little long in the tooth!

Anyway, the point of course is if the K200D isn't a fit, than go with a camera that is!


michael_c


Dec 7, 2008, 10:41 PM
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I believe it was JPEG that the 450D got the better IQ as you mentioned. I'm happy to work with RAW when I plan on purely having a photo day and have time to process them afterwards. But I was keen on having a high IQ for JPEG's straight of the camera for days when I just want to do casual snaps.

The K200D using AA's was one point I liked about it. I have found myself on extended trips before without power and have just driven to the local store to grab some more batteries for my old P&S once the rechargables were dead.

I'm not too keen on 2nd hand but I will have a look around to see what's available. Being a beginner SLR user would there be anything to look out for when buying second hand?

I have kept my eyes open for a new K10D but no one around me has had any stock when I've asked unfortunately.


dlintz


Dec 7, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Re: [michael_c] Final decision time.... [In reply to]
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michael_c wrote:
I believe it was JPEG that the 450D got the better IQ as you mentioned. I'm happy to work with RAW when I plan on purely having a photo day and have time to process them afterwards. But I was keen on having a high IQ for JPEG's straight of the camera for days when I just want to do casual snaps.

The K200D using AA's was one point I liked about it. I have found myself on extended trips before without power and have just driven to the local store to grab some more batteries for my old P&S once the rechargables were dead.

I'm not too keen on 2nd hand but I will have a look around to see what's available. Being a beginner SLR user would there be anything to look out for when buying second hand?

I have kept my eyes open for a new K10D but no one around me has had any stock when I've asked unfortunately.

I wouldn't write off second-hand photo equipment, regardless of brand. If you know where to look and can find a reputable seller there are plenty of great deals out there on like-new bodies, lenses, and accessories. In this economy there's a lot of honest people just looking to shed some possessions for cash.

d.


rtwilli4


Dec 7, 2008, 11:25 PM
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Re: [michael_c] Final decision time.... [In reply to]
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It really comes down to what you think you can take the best pictures with. How quickly can you get through the menus? Which one has the right features in the right places? Also, think about how much the thing is going to be in your hands. You won't be able to take good pictures if you don't feel completely comfortable holding the camera. Are the controls in the right place? If you are just getting into the SLR world, this might be the most important thing to consider. I don't think I could justify spending that kind of money on a camera after only 20 min. Go in again.

When comes to the brand name, remember that you are probably going to want to upgrade in the future. You'll kick yourself in a few years if you get a Pentax and then decide you want to upgrade to a Canon, or visa versa. No matter which one you get, remember that the lenses you get are good until you break them. You can always sell the body and upgrade as you develop your skills as a photographer.


pico23


Dec 8, 2008, 1:56 AM
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Re: [dlintz] Final decision time.... [In reply to]
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dlintz wrote:
michael_c wrote:
I believe it was JPEG that the 450D got the better IQ as you mentioned. I'm happy to work with RAW when I plan on purely having a photo day and have time to process them afterwards. But I was keen on having a high IQ for JPEG's straight of the camera for days when I just want to do casual snaps.

The K200D using AA's was one point I liked about it. I have found myself on extended trips before without power and have just driven to the local store to grab some more batteries for my old P&S once the rechargables were dead.

I'm not too keen on 2nd hand but I will have a look around to see what's available. Being a beginner SLR user would there be anything to look out for when buying second hand?

I have kept my eyes open for a new K10D but no one around me has had any stock when I've asked unfortunately.

I wouldn't write off second-hand photo equipment, regardless of brand. If you know where to look and can find a reputable seller there are plenty of great deals out there on like-new bodies, lenses, and accessories. In this economy there's a lot of honest people just looking to shed some possessions for cash.

d.

Very true, I've been seeing a lot of Limited lenses selling for $200 below what they sold for last year at this time. Attached to the sales are notes like, "my financial situation changed and I must sell ASAP." I've noticed stuff going for 20% less on Ebay lately, actually I've cleaned house on quite a few auctions recently!

Not that the economy is a good thing, but those with both jobs, money and security can really clean up. Photography is both a career and a hobby so when times are tough, many people sell off the stuff they don't really need, and unfortunately a $2000 worth of photo gear is hard to overlook when you need to pay rent/mortgage!

If getting stuff sent to Australia isn't hard, I'd take a look at KEH. They have a 90 day warranty on all their stuff, and they are not even honest, but honest to a fault. A lot of the bargain grade stuff they sell looks brand new. I've bought a bunch of bargain grade glass, as well as some EX+ glass, and that Pentax D i mentioned in LN- (basically it was brand new!!). Truthfully I could tell the difference between the two except for maybe a dust speck or two in the inside of the lens (absolutely no issue with final image). I would guess the UGLY grade stuff is truly in bad shape!

I'm sure Australia has a similar reputable used camera dealer and really, at the rate these cameras depreciate, and become obsolete in 18 months, used is sometimes a more appealing option!

And what the guy above me said, is 100% the most true thing ever. The body is upgradeable, and you will probably upgrade 5 bodies in the time you are still using a good lens.

I've got a bin full of great Nikon and Pentax mount glass. Some Nikon and Pentax, some Tokina, some Sigma, some cult classics from 30 years ago like my Kiron 28mm f/2.0 or my Pentax M42 55mm 1.8. Good lenses last till your drop em, or the lens elements start to delaminate. I just had oily aperture blades on my 30 year old Kiron cleaned. Should be good for at least another decade!


(This post was edited by pico23 on Dec 8, 2008, 2:03 AM)


michael_c


Dec 8, 2008, 3:18 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far, very informative.

I am also considering the same thing regarding lenses. I realise that I will upgrade the body in the future which has also swinged me towards canon.

I really liked the feel of the 40D (out of budget at the moment) so I'd imagine I would be upgrading to something of that level down the track so I am keen to go down the canon road to be able to use lenses I purchase now in the future.

I'll also definately have another good play with each camera before droping the money. I think I'll even take a second look at Olympus and Nikon, it's just fun to play with new gear :D


apoorva


Dec 12, 2008, 2:54 AM
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Re: [michael_c] Final decision time.... [In reply to]
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As you've noticed, Pico is a Pentax fanboy :)

I initially bought a pentax but then wanted to upgrade on lenses. There weren't too many. I took the camera on a travel assignment to Kashmir, where I got really pissed off because the focus speed was WAY TOO slow to capture any action shots (snowboarding, in this case). (if you're in Australia maybe you read the piece in The Australian?! Smile )

Finally, I switched over to canon and bought myself a couple of easily available and nice L lenses.

The Pentax body was great, but other factors made a difference for me. If you want to borrow lenses from other people, or get cheap, used lenses, or are worried about focus speed, low light situations... there are times where going with the herd is a good thing.
- AP


michael_c


Dec 16, 2008, 6:56 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. After playing with the camera's in store and thinking about what I would want to do in the future with the camera's I decided on the 450D. I got it last Wednesday and I've been super happy with it so far.

I had a good play with it last night trying to get some night time shots at my local crag. I probably shot about 50 frames trying to work out the difficult lighting but I think this was my best frame of the night. Slight blur on his hand but I was pretty happy with my first serious attempt.




(This post was edited by michael_c on Dec 16, 2008, 6:59 PM)


blondgecko
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Dec 16, 2008, 9:00 PM
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michael_c wrote:
Thanks for the advice guys. After playing with the camera's in store and thinking about what I would want to do in the future with the camera's I decided on the 450D. I got it last Wednesday and I've been super happy with it so far.

I had a good play with it last night trying to get some night time shots at my local crag. I probably shot about 50 frames trying to work out the difficult lighting but I think this was my best frame of the night. Slight blur on his hand but I was pretty happy with my first serious attempt.


Is that Idiot Wind?

Nothing wrong with a bit of motion blur, imho - as long as what isn't moving stays sharp. Enjoy!


michael_c


Dec 16, 2008, 9:09 PM
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Yup, I was hoping to get some decent shots as the climber came up the flake below but I found these to be a better angle.

I'm happy with a little blur too but there probably needed to be a bit more or none for the shot to work better. Anyway it's fun just learning and trying out different things.


pico23


Dec 17, 2008, 5:12 PM
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What Gecko said on the blur thing!!


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