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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Ok I give up. I'm considering a DSLR
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07/24/2007 04:34:21 PM · #1
I have long been a fan of film photography. However, I am feeling the push to take the digital route. After a trip abroad, the airline insisted that my film be put through the X-ray machine (obviously part of their new security measures). Never before have I had to open my film bag and allow the rolls to be scanned. As I predicted at the time, my shots were badly affected.
So, I've found myself seriously considering going the digital route.
After researching a bit, I am throughly confused. I had no idea how overwhelming this would be...
I have never been all that interested in the hardware of photography. I've always focussed more on my film.
I have a few Pentax bodies and a variety of lenses.

I consider myself a fairly proficient photographer with my 35mm, how similar are the DSLRs as far as handling, etc.?

Also, can my lenses be used on a DSLR?

If so, does it have to be a Pentax body?

Any other recommendations or helpful links would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Jen
07/24/2007 04:37:55 PM · #2
All K mount Pentax lenses will work on new bodies and Vice Versa. I use a Sigma Autofocus 70-210 that luckily has a manual aperture ring on it on my K1000.

M42 Lenses will work also and if you already have a M42 to K mount adapter it will work. Dont forget 645 Medium format lenses also adapt to the kmount system.

You dont have to go Pentax if you dont want. I think if your okay on a couple of minor things youll find the K10 a bargain with weather sealing. 1,050 dollars will buy you the Body, Battery Grip Spare Battery and kit lens (50 bucks off if u dont want the kit lens).

Message edited by author 2007-07-24 16:39:28.
07/24/2007 04:41:01 PM · #3
//www.dpreview.com/ for in-depth reviews and ratings of any camera you might be considering.
07/24/2007 04:43:24 PM · #4
Take a look at the K100D from Pentax, good price and highly rated. Some would say the 6 megapixels is a drawback, but I haven't found any problems and it is a good, well engineered DSLR for P&S money.

And of course, as ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' RainMotorsports states, there are many lenses that will fit, early Pentax K mounts all work, and with an adapter (a few dollars on ebay), you have the choice of every M42 lens every made.
07/24/2007 05:15:30 PM · #5
Thanks for the info so far.

Am I limited to just a Pentax? or would my lenses work on other brands is there some type of converter?

Jhonan: Thanks for your suggestion. I've checked out Dpreview.com I found it very overwhelming. I had no idea I was going to spend so many hours researching.

Seems every time I think I've found one I'm interested in, another one grabs my attention...

If anyone has made the transition from film to Digital, I'd be interested in hearing your opinion/experience/suggestions.

Thanks a bunch so far...

I just wanted to add that I am not the type of person who is constantly looking to upgrade to the newest model (which is one of the reasons I put off going digital for so long), so I am looking for a camera that is going to last me for a loooooong time.
I don't know how much models are expected to change, should I hold off for a while?

Message edited by author 2007-07-24 17:18:37.
07/24/2007 05:27:39 PM · #6
Another aspect to consider is your Computer system to process the digital images. Do you have a computer that's fast enough to handle the digital files.

Yet another aspect to keep in mind is that what you see in your Pentax Film viewfinder will NOT correspond to what you see in a Pentax DSLR because the latter has a crop factor. More info about this HERE.

How much do you want to spend on the body?

Message edited by author 2007-07-24 17:28:53.
07/24/2007 05:37:15 PM · #7
I've got one of the new macbooks so I think I'm ok for a computer system.

I was hoping to spend under $1000 but I'd consider slightly more if it'll mean getting a camera that will last me for a good long time.
I originally hadn't thought about using my current lenses so, now it seems I have a few more options for the same $.
I'm in no big rush, so I'm up for a bargain hunt once I know what I'm looking for.

The canon's seem to be popular. Would my lenses fit?
If not, is it advisable to consider other brands to get a better body even though I'd have to purchase lenses?

07/24/2007 05:47:53 PM · #8
Originally posted by JenToronto:

I've got one of the new macbooks so I think I'm ok for a computer system.

I was hoping to spend under $1000 but I'd consider slightly more if it'll mean getting a camera that will last me for a good long time.
I originally hadn't thought about using my current lenses so, now it seems I have a few more options for the same $.
I'm in no big rush, so I'm up for a bargain hunt once I know what I'm looking for.

The canon's seem to be popular. Would my lenses fit?
If not, is it advisable to consider other brands to get a better body even though I'd have to purchase lenses?


They would fit with an adapter but then you will lose AF function.
07/24/2007 05:49:59 PM · #9
A better body than a Pentax?? The K100D has shake reduction? The K10D has shake reduction, weather and dusting sealing? Check what other bodies come with these as standard?

Plus metal bodies.

Message edited by author 2007-07-24 17:50:42.
07/24/2007 06:11:47 PM · #10
Originally posted by JenToronto:

I just wanted to add that I am not the type of person who is constantly looking to upgrade to the newest model (which is one of the reasons I put off going digital for so long), so I am looking for a camera that is going to last me for a loooooong time.
I don't know how much models are expected to change, should I hold off for a while?

How long the body lasts is more determined by which part breaks first :) Unfortunately, you will find that entry-level digital bodies just don't have the same build quality or robustness of the film slr bodies you've been used to.

In fact, the first time you pick up a dSLR, you'll notice how light it is. And remember as well, that with all the electronics packed into a dSLR there are more things that can go wrong with it, compared to the mostly mechanical build of a film SLR.

Of course, the higher-end dSLR bodies are much more robust, with weather sealing etc. Don't let this put you off, the body will last a number of years. Just don't expect to get 20 years out of it.
07/24/2007 06:24:19 PM · #11
When I go after something like a dSLR I personally buy for a 4 year range, I expect 4 years out of it before any major non warranty service must be done (many people who shoot alot blow the shutter but depending on how fast you do it might be under warranty. This is one of those items that if an extended factory warranty is available I would purchase it.
07/24/2007 06:42:21 PM · #12
Haha I'm not looking for something that is indestructible, I just meant that I don't want to buy a camera that is good now, but that would be sub-par in a couple of years.
I don't know what's expected to change in the digital market in the next few years, so I don't know whether I should just stick it out for a while longer to get better quality equipment.

A friend of mine suggested the Olympus E-500 or E-510 she quite likes hers. If she wasn't across the country, I'd give hers a try. She quite likes the camera but said that the size was what sold her on the E-500.

I have honestly spent dozens of hours researching this and I feel even more confused and indecisive than I was before...
07/24/2007 06:44:35 PM · #13
Originally posted by JenToronto:

Haha I'm not looking for something that is indestructible, I just meant that I don't want to buy a camera that is good now, but that would be sub-par in a couple of years.
I don't know what's expected to change in the digital market in the next few years, so I don't know whether I should just stick it out for a while longer to get better quality equipment.

A friend of mine suggested the Olympus E-500 or E-510 she quite likes hers. If she wasn't across the country, I'd give hers a try. She quite likes the camera but said that the size was what sold her on the E-500.

I have honestly spent dozens of hours researching this and I feel even more confused and indecisive than I was before...


Since you are in Toronto, head to Vistek or a Henry's and play with the different models to see which one you like and ask lots of questions.
07/24/2007 06:47:19 PM · #14
Originally posted by JenToronto:

Haha I'm not looking for something that is indestructible, I just meant that I don't want to buy a camera that is good now, but that would be sub-par in a couple of years.
I don't know what's expected to change in the digital market in the next few years, so I don't know whether I should just stick it out for a while longer to get better quality equipment.

A friend of mine suggested the Olympus E-500 or E-510 she quite likes hers. If she wasn't across the country, I'd give hers a try. She quite likes the camera but said that the size was what sold her on the E-500.

I have honestly spent dozens of hours researching this and I feel even more confused and indecisive than I was before...


Well the one thing you will find is the Pentax's have more image noise (comparable to the difference in film grain as you increase the iso of film). The Nikon and Canon. But all of the Olympus's Ive used and the reviews of the ones I havent they have horrible noise compaired to the big two. Pentax is just somewhat worse.

Id love to sell you on the pentax especially comeing up from pentax. But id rather see a Canon in your hands then an Olympus. The only nice thing about the olympus is they use the 4/3rd lens system and it interchanges with a couple of brands.

If you go Nikon or Fuji, they both use the same lens system.
07/24/2007 07:06:55 PM · #15
Originally posted by JenToronto:

Haha I'm not looking for something that is indestructible, I just meant that I don't want to buy a camera that is good now, but that would be sub-par in a couple of years.
I don't know what's expected to change in the digital market in the next few years, so I don't know whether I should just stick it out for a while longer to get better quality equipment.


Well, it is technology, so it does all change (as has the technology of film cameras over time), but bear in mind 2 things...

1) Cameras are not like computers. Yes, technology changes, and they get better each year, and presumably you get more for your money, but a camera will still do the same job next year, and the year after, and the year after that. It will not fill up with junk files and get slower over time. It will not be expected to run better software next year. It will not be outdated and left unusable to take the photos of tomorrow. (well, OK, unless it breaks)

2) Digital cameras have better resolution and greater dynamic range than film.

07/24/2007 07:10:18 PM · #16
...nevermind

Message edited by author 2007-07-24 19:13:45.
07/24/2007 07:29:48 PM · #17
I have a Pentax K10D, and am pleased with it. To overcome the noise issue, I use Picture Cooler and it works awesome. I have never used a film camera, but a mentor of mine who shoots with nothing but, gave my camera two thumbs up as far as function and user friendliness goes.

I hope you don't get too discouraged and just resign yourself to the "first one you pick up".
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