Should I move to a digital SLR


TPF Noob!
Jul 20, 2013
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So I have been using mainly film SLR's. Pentax K1000 and the KM.
However, I would like to start using a digital one. It seems film is just hard to develop these days, I only like the images when I develop/process the film myself.
Anyways, would it be worth the money to invest in one as a college student. My budget is tight, roughly 600 for now. I will be wanting to get better lenses but just not now maybe in a few months or so.

I have been looking at the Pentax K30 or possibly pushing it to the K5. What do you think?

There is a lot more to moving to digital than just buying a camera (if you're going to do it right).

The other gorilla in the room is post production. Not only is there the learning curve but the cost of software, massive amounts of memory along with HDD space (with back-up), a good monitor and processing power.

Try downloading a copy of Gimp and looking through that (it's free) and after you've gotten something of a handle on that download a trial copy of Photoshop (or lightroom -photoshop lite)

There are other software packages out there, paintshop pro is one, but I have no experience with those so I'll let someone else chime in.

Good luck.
Not to mention the technical learning curve that involves white balance, file types, file size, pixel resolution, histograms, bit depth, image noise, image sensor size, etc.

So look these tutorials over too - Digital Photography Tutorials
I'd say yes, move to a D-slr. Shoot RAW+ JPEG and tweak the in-camera setting to get images you like more or less straight off the memory card. The learning curve is I think, greatly exaggerated. File types? Shoot RAW + JPEG. Or just JPEG. File size? Shoot Largest. File compression? Shoot lowest level of compression. White Balance? Shoot in AUTO white balance. Image bit depth? Shoot 12-bit RAW. You can set all those parameters ONCE, and then be good for months on end.
I have become spoiled by my (Nikon D3100/D90) DSLRs. However my Nikon F5 is still my favorite camera. The learning curve is very steep for digital but the results are rewarding. The main reason I started shooting digital is the school I'm starting requires a DSLR. I'm going to shoot a some assignments on film to see if they notice.

So anyway if you want to spark things up and have shooting become fresh digital may be right up your alley. And with a tight budget you may want to look at used equipment. The only camera I purchased new,ever film or digital is my D3100 and only because I got such a deal. I switched to Nikon from Canon ( although I still have them) for the lens acceptability. Hopefully Pentax did the same thing,I don't know. :EDIT-looked it up,you're in luck.They did.

Anyway have fun.
It seems film is just hard to develop these days

Film is no more difficult to develop now then 10, 20, or, 30 years ago.

I only like the images when I develop/process the film myself.

I completely agree if you are going to shoot film you should develop the film yourself.

Developing film is easy but it can be a little time consuming. Because it is time consuming I don't find it's worth shooting 35mm. Medium format is nice but I find that large format film is extremely rewarding.

I guess my point is if you enjoy film then great keep shooting film but you may want to explore other film formats.
btc - Since the K-30 is being phased out in favor of the K-50, there are some great K-30 deals out there. If you don't mind a red-colored camera body, you can get a K-30 for $470. Unbelievable price for a weather-sealed camera.

Good luck with your decision!

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