Pentax K-x ...Nikon D5000 ... or ... Canon G11?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Leftyplayer, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Leftyplayer

    Leftyplayer TPF Noob!

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    I am looking very closely at the D5000 and the Pentax K-x. I've held the D5000 (briefly at store) and liked it. Haven't had a chance with the K-x yet, so that will be my next step. Then I've thrown in the G11 as a possibility thought it's a P&S because it seems to be a better-than-usual superzoom and I'm still trying to sort out what's so special about it and whether it will save me money on buying a bunch of lenses on DSLR's through the years.

    D5000. I like everything about it, especially the swivel LCD. I love doing street photography and candid shots of people in non-pose'y private moments. A swiveling LCD is perfect for that - when people see you actually pointing a camera at them, they ruin it by saying "cheese" or covering their face :grumpy:.

    Pentax K-x. I keep hearing this is pretty light-weight and, therefore, quite portable and I also have seen some great deals on body plus the two lenses I'll probably ever buy for the price that it would cost me to get the D5000 with just the standard kit. As a newbie, it's my impression (from online reviews only for what that's worth) that the K-x has a gentler learning curve than the D5000 (true?). I want to learn, but I don't want to have to get a degree in photography to manage my camera either.

    I worry that, with the D5000, by the time I get the lenses I'd want or need, I'll break the bank and have a camera that's too heavy to happily carry around. With street photography, I like to be ready to take a shot of someone far away or the guy right next to me, so changing lenses half-way through bugs me ... I would love to be a one-lense kind of gal, which is why I was considering the superzooms and which is the only reason the G11 is still on the list.

    Okay, I went on too long. I'm sure my comparison question is not original, but humor me anyway (at least a little bit).
     
  2. AlexL

    AlexL TPF Noob!

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    The D5000 is actually not heavy to carry around..... I don't think any camera is too heavy to carry around, but the more expensive lens are much heavier.

    Go D5000 if you want to expand :)
     
  3. Leftyplayer

    Leftyplayer TPF Noob!

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    That's just it - I don't think I want to expand ;). I want simple and affordable. I'm old enough to have done that endless gadget expansion hobby thing. If it were a professional investment, fine. But as a hobby, I want to plan ahead to get as little quality gear as necessary and work that. I also know my finances and I know that if I have to buy too much stuff for it, it won't work. Seems like "expanding" a bit on the Pentax would be more financially feasible? But I do love that swivel LCD!!!:lol:

    BTW, interests are: street photography, which requires a very versatile camera (should I worried about the K-x slow lenses or so I read?). I also will be taking lots of pics of my kids around the house, soccer games, etc. Would also be curious to check out macro. What I'm least likely to do is night stuff or landscapes/panorama. Not that I won't, but it's lower on the interest list. If that helps anyone advising.
     
  4. Peter_pan91

    Peter_pan91 TPF Noob!

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    If you're into street photography, you're on a budget and don't want to expand into huge professional sets than Pentax is the way to go. They make awesome primes and there cameras are great value.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sounds to me like the PO has already decided against an DSLR....

    I was a long time G-series user which complimented my heavier cameras. They are equally impressive for someone who is "done with gadget expansion" and just wants a good compact camera that is far more capable than a simple P&S. It is also a bit more discreet and less intimidating than DSLRs which is ideal for the street shooter.

    Other cameras that I own that come to mind:
    * Panasonic LX3 - Pro: faster Glass, more compact than G11, slightly better IQ, wider 24mm focal range on the wide end. Cons: no eye level viewfinder, short focal range.
    * Olympus Pen digitals: Pro: Bigger Sensor better IQ than G11 and LX3, interchangable lenses, DSLR like features. More compact than typical DLSRs. electronic viewfinder is pretty darn good Adaptable (I use it as a 2nd camera to my Leica M-mount) Con: More expensive, less compact than P&S.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh btw...

    I am also a Pentax fan from the days past. They developed a wonderful reputation for well compact designs. Today, that really isn't the case any longer. There are DSLR bodies available from Canon/Nikon etc.. that are equally as compact as the Pentax cameras. The issue here for you is not the camera body but DSLRs in general have bigger bulkier lenses. This is why my Pentax and Canon system stay home a lot these days with preferences to a rangefinder + high end P&S or m4/3rd second.
     
  7. Leftyplayer

    Leftyplayer TPF Noob!

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    No, I really haven't. I'm considering DSLR's and want to go that route if I can find the right one.

    I have to say that I used to shoot with a Pentax K1000 back in the film days and the last time I was doing photography. I LOVED it. Simple yet marvelous photography is you know what to do. No gazillion settings and menus. I know my resistance to the massive menu options of today's camera is fear of the unknown (and laziness?). BUT, I don't want to do film photography - I want digital. P&S, despite simplicity, just doesn't cut it for the sharpness levels I want and was used to with my Pentax K1000.

    Anyway, I'm just at the fussy stage of my purchase journey, even eyeing film slr's (pentax) on ebay reminiscing about the "good old days" LOL. But I know that if I take the time to learn a few of the tricks a modern DSLR has to offer, I'll be glad.

    To summarize current list for consideration: Pentax K-x or K7, Nikon D5000, Canon 500D, Samsung NX10 (still don't quite "get" what this one is all about), and a totally random un-researched option just because it sounds like it's the digital version of the K1000 ... the K2000 (aka k-m).

    If only I could shut my brain off. Tell me what to do people! :lol:
     
  8. Leftyplayer

    Leftyplayer TPF Noob!

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    Peter - I would love to hear your suggestions on a decent, low price Pentax. As I mentioned, I'm thinking of the K-x or K7. Which of those two? Or is there another option I should consider? And, what lenses/ accessories should I get with it?
     
  9. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    The thing about the Pentax DSLR's though is that you don't have to spend a small fortune to get really good glass. If you already have an old Pentax film set up some of those old Takumars can be used on the K-X with an adapter and the results can be just superb from what I've seen on the Pentax forum.

    People using the K-series DSLR's are scoping those old lenses for the new DSLR's from Pentax all the time and most of them either M42 or K mount can be adapted easily. (They can also be adapted to other cameras, Nikon, Canon, but it's easier with the Pentax DSLR's I'm told.)

    I'm personally going with either a K-X or a K-7 or it's descendant when I go DSLR. Pentax quality. All those good old lenses? Mostly all compatible? I'm sold. I don't want to have to have 10 lenses between my two camera kits. I don't want to have to spend another grand or two on digital lenses when I could be swapping them out between my film kit and my digital with an adapter. It just makes sense to me to go with the Takumars and a Pentax DSLR.

    MHO, but that's what I'm doing anyway.

    Right now I'm working mostly with an Pentax SP and a few M42 Takumars, but I'm also getting more Takumars until I feel I have a full kit worth. When I am done getting those I'm getting my K-7 or maybe a K-X if I can't afford the K-7. The K-X is less professional than the K-7 and lacks the weather guard exterior. For a hobbyist unless you're out in the rain a lot, the K-X would do you. I'm probably going K-7 because I want a camera that will transition with me from hobbyist to pro, and I will be outside in bad weather shooting sometimes I am sure, but likely you could get away with a K-X and they are definitely cheaper. They can be had with the basic kit lens for well under $500. Can't hardly beat that.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you are missing my point.

    With Pentax DSLR, you will not get an easier camera to learn, you will not have less lenses to own, you will not have a lighter weight camera than any other DSLR brand out there. The K1000 and the current models of Pentax DSLR have zero in common in terms of operation. (This is coming from a Pentax/Takumar/Asahi collector..) From a amateur/novice standpoint, choosing between the Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or any other DSLR is a matter of preference for lens choice (which you mentioned you are not too interested) and function/button layout (which any DSLR model is going to be more menu/complex driven than the K1000 you remember). The only clear advantage current model Pentax DSLRs have for the legacy K-mount lens shooter is that they are almost 100% compatible (minus Autofocus). The auto-stopdown linkage is 100% operational on current model DSLRs. (One reason why I own a couple Pentax bodies)

    As for adapting Takumars (which I also collect), you will have to realize that the lenses (M42 screwmounts) will not automatically stop down like it did on Spotmatics. You will need to manually stop down the lenses.. meter etc. You will have to weigh the advantages of these lenses (SMC, Supers, Uncoated, Zooms?) versus the modern lenses today (AF, better coatings etc). My general recommendation is that those that are interested in using the old lenses because they like them should probably pursue this route. Those that see adapting M42 lenses as a cost saving measure will in the end just frustrate themselves.

    As for the the G11 is one of the best P&S out there.... and if you don't want to worry about carrying lenses, worried about size, and weight, a high end P&S shouldn't be dis-regarded so readily. The reason why this camera is the only P&S on your list is because it is one of the few P&S that can approach the quality of a DSLR in good light (looses out as the lighting conditions become less than ideal)

    THe Samsung camera you mention is a competitor the m4/3rd cameras implimenting a mirror-less design. I tried it out and ended up liking the Olympus and Panasonic m4/3rd cameras better overall. All these mirror less designs are better than P&S cameras and compete with the entry level DSLRs but they bring compact design in both camera body and lenses as a value proposition.

    If you want a camera that feels like an old camera (with the simplicity), the only camera I know of such is the Leica M8, which is my primary. Its a niche camera that I would say only appeals for a select group.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Magkelly,

    I will give you one good reason NOT to go with the K-X....

    It is equipped with a Penta-mirror viewfinder rather than a Penta-PRISM viewfinder.

    Modern DSLRs are mostly equipped with the cost savings of a Penta-mirror viewfinder. In the old days almost all SLRs were equipped with a PRISM viewfinder. The reason is that manually focusing lenses are much easier to focus on a brightviewfinder. The mirror based viewfinders (albeit cheaper) just do not provide the bright viewfinder that promots accurate manual focusing.

    Unfortunately, almost all DSLRs, prism nor mirror, do not have a focusing screen. You might want to consider checking with third party (katzeye brand) focusing screens.


    I adapt my collection of M-mount, K-mount, M42, Leica TM, and a few others to either K10d, *istD, G1, or E-PL1. I do it because I enjoy these lenses not necessarily to save cost. In the end, many people that I know who have adapted these manual lenses end up spending $$$ on modern lenses in the end anyways.
     
  12. Lipoly

    Lipoly TPF Noob!

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    The K-x looks pretty feature rich. One small issue that would constantly irritate me though is selectable AF point is not viewable in the viewfinder according to Pentax K-x brief hands-on: Digital Photography Review. The Pentax video on youtube makes it look like a steal for the price though: [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCYlqRIVvcs[/ame]

    I was in the same boat and ended up w/the D5000 and have no regrets so far, although I doubt I'd be sending the Pentax back had I went that route. The color extraction and HDR filters look pretty neat on the K-x. Nothing you couldn't do in Photoshop, but it would be handy to test the applicability of the techniques so easily.

    [Edit] For what its worth, I just checked consumer reports and they rate the D5000 better overall in low light w/the K-x better at reducing camera shake. Both were recommended as a "Best Buy."
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

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