Nikon or Pentax?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by epicwelshman, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #1
    I'm looking for a DSLR. My parents have offered to get me one for graduation. I'm praying for the D80, but I may end up with the D40/D50 instead. I've looked at Canon, but aside from their prosumer models that are far out of my price range the bodies are way too small. I'm intrigued by Pentax's offerings though. How are they, in terms of bodies, lenses and accessories compared to Nikon? Am i just being cheap thinking of Pentax?
     
  2. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I've never really worked with Pentax hardware, just held it in a store, but it feels alright, and there's a lot of good things said about it. You should bear in mind, however, that lens variety and availability are not as good as Nikon; most notably, if you ever want to rent a lens that you will only be wanting to use for a day or two, you really need to be using a Nikon or Canon body.
     
  3. Irish Dave macrumors regular

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    #3
    I would urge you to go the extra mile and op for Canon. It's only the Rebel XT and XTi that are a tad on the small side. Even those are fine with the battery grip fitted.

    If it really has to be the Nikon or the Pentax ..... then unfortunately I would have to suggest the Nikon. (Beware the D40 is even smaller than the Canon XT and XTi)

    Happy shooting :)

    Dave :)
     
  4. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #4
    Dave,
    Why would you so strongly recommend Canon? I'm just curious... thanks!
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #5
    I think broadly he is suggesting the Canon/Nikon camp over Pentax for lens options; a Canon because he's had success with that family. (Few people on this forum have had "bad" experiences with either of these brands). Just remember that it is an investment in lenses too.

    How about the D50? I think that is bigger than the D40 -- not sure how big it is compared to the XTi. If a bigger body and faster framerate is what you're after - look out for D70s (nikon) and 20Ds (canon). Both are barely out of production but are great cameras. The lens you need to get (with any body) is a 50mm f/1.8. Sharp like whoa! and usually ~$80.
     
  6. Irish Dave macrumors regular

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    #6
    30 years as a professional photographer (lol) ;)

    Dave:)
     
  7. jpfisher macrumors regular

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    #7
    I have a Pentax *ist DL and bought a D50 for my dad a few months ago.

    When you push the ISO to 1600 on the DL you get some more noise than you do on the D50, but I find the manual controls a lot more intuitive on the Pentax. I've not used the K100D, but I'd imagine the noise issue might be lessened by the shake reduction -- you'll be able to shoot at a lower ISO in low-light, plus there seems to be noise reduction (according to the features listed on the B&H web site)

    I had a wide array of manual K-mount SMC lenses (28, 35, 50, 85, 100, 200, 300mm, a soft focus and a 2x teleconvertor) already, so that made my decision a no-brainer. I've considered upgrading to the K100D, but might wait until a few generations down the road -- I'm pretty happy with the body I have.

    Both the D50 and Pentax come with a similar 18-55mm lens as part of the standard kit.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    In terms of lenses, the winner is hands-down Nikon, though one of the 40 or 50 bodies won't work with non-AFS lenses, a serious drawback. You can get lots of world-class used pro glass for a relatively small price with Nikon. In the DSLR market, I'd stick to Nikon or Canon- either's a sure thing. Everyone else is at the margins. The D50 is about the same size as the smaller Canon bodies.
     
  9. Irish Dave macrumors regular

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    #9
    And the D40 is even smaller !!! :eek: :eek:

    Dave :)
     
  10. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #10
    I'm a canon guy myself, but from what I recall the D40 will not have auto focus with non-AFS lenses. From what I gather the lenses still mount, and will take fine pictures, it's just that you will have to manually focus. The D50 has a traditional mount and will be able to autofocus with all nikon lenses.

    I'd strongly recommend considering canon as-well. I'm not a big fan of the 300d, 350d, or 400d, but the corresponding 10d, 20d, and 30d, are all outstanding cameras.

    I also suggest checking out the forums over at fredmiranda for a used 10d. You should be able to find one with a battery grip for around $500. It's only 6 megapixels, but I much prefer the 10d's handling to the nikons (or the rebels for that matter).
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #11
    The 30D has a $100 rebate (or $200 with a qualifying lens) through early January. Nikon has some similar rebates going right now too.

    One of the best comments that is also one of the simplest is to go into a camera shop and play with different bodies. Maybe the D40 and XTi aren't too small. I'm 6'3 (with proportionally large hands) and had a Rebel XT for a while with no issues.
     
  12. b0tt094 macrumors 6502

    b0tt094

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    #12
    Personally I prefer Nikon but It's your choice so instead of tellign you witch type to get

    I will say research and HOLD THEM, the reason i didn't get cannon was because the way it felt, when I picked up the xti and the xt, and my hand felt cramped and knew I couldn't hold that for a hour and half soccer game

    It matters alot on what you will being doing too


    Have fun with w/e you get though:cool:
     
  13. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

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    #13
    I'm going Pentax for my first DSLR. The K10D. You just can't beat the features it offers compared to a Canon or a Nikon, and the RAW image quality is phenomenal (DP Review took points off for the JPEG quality, though). Plus the lens options are actually better than Canon or Nikon; you can use any Pentax lens going back to something like 1968.

    Lots of people will recommend Canon or Nikon because they're the big players. But then, a lot of people would recommend a Windows PC if you were going to buy a computer for the same reasons.
     
  14. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #14
    Get what you like, go with the features you know how to use, and like. Also take pictures with the store demo, and any glass that you can afford to buy at the same time.

    I would go with the camera that takes the best pictures between the group you test, and fits in your budget. Also remember that depending on what camera you choose, there will be options to buy excellent quality classic glass, that can save you money when comparing to comparable new lenses.

    If Canon cameras are too small, you need to rule out the D40 as it is smaller than the XT or XTi (350 and 400d respectively).
     
  15. cube macrumors G4

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    #15
    For what I've read of the D40, it is small but not unconfortable like the Canons.

    I've still not had one in hand.

    So see for yourself.

    I wouldn't go for the D40 anyway because of the lack of focus motor.
     
  16. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #16
    A review on comfort is irrelevant. The person reviewing the camera may prefer the feel of Sony, or Pentax over Canon, while another person may like the opposite.

    Like you, and others said, people need to test things out for themselves. However you also need to weigh options. If a camera is super comfortable, but takes crappy photos, are you really ahead of the game ? (not directed at cube specifically)
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17
    Nikon hasn't changed its lens mount (F-mount) physically since 1959. You just don't get metering on anything older than about 1991 unless you're on a D2 or D200 body. But most of the really old lenses are uncoated and inferior to modern glass- not too useful unless you're looking for a specific look from an uncoated lens. Nikon went past 30 million F-mount lenses in 2001- and that doesn't include lenses by 3rd party manufacturers.

    As far as current AF lenses, Pentax looks to have about 25, Nikon about 48 and Canon around 58. So perhaps you can explain how you jump to the lens options being better?
     
  18. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

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    #18
    With a current Pentax you can use any lens ever created for a Pentax. And every lens created after the screw mount without even needing an adapter.

    Also, the kit lens is far superior on the Pentax. Also, the preview mode can be very nifty, they're more bang for the buck, and the controls just feel right. Did I mention the 11 (pretty sure it's 11) focal points on a Pentax compared to the, 5 is it? on a Nikon?

    Sure I sound like I'm being biased, but hell, that's why I got a Pentax over a Nikon.

    They're both great cameras. Don't concern yourself too much over Canon. You're paying a lot for name there.
     
  19. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #19
    Oooh, ok... wow.

    In terms of Pentax vs. Nikon/Canon I was more so confirming what I already knew; I intend to go with the "bigger" names but was just wondering what people had to say about Pentax. I've held the D50 (and it feels fine), the XT and the XTi (both too small), the 30D (which felt realllly nice) and the D80 (which fit my hand like a glove and I fell in love). As a result, the D80 is my #1 choice. However, budgetary requirements may force me to aim lower, which is where this whole debate comes in.
     
  20. Grimace macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Out of the D80 and the 30D, consider a used body to save cash. Or, think about a D70s or a 20D. Heck, I'd save a month longer to get a DSLR that 'fits' right for you.
     
  21. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    #21

    Coming from a 100% devoted Canon guy, I prefer nikon bodies :eek: . Now, which body feels better to me is the minor point here. What I'm trying to say is that I knew I preferred Canon glass. The lens is by far the most important and the thing attached to the back of it is purely secondary. Sounds like you have time before you make a decision, so do some research and find out with lens system you want to go with.

    Now, if you don't anticipate getting super serious about your photography (which is certainly not fault-worthy) and don't expect to ever take the kit lens off, your preferences about the body become a little more significant.
     
  22. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

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    #22
    Well, Buschmaster addresses some of the benefits of Pentax lenses. But more than the matter of number, the K10D has built-in image stabilization, so there's no need to buy more expensive lenses with IS built in. And Hoya just merged with Pentax, which ought to bring newer and better lens options to Pentax's corner in the near future.
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #23
    Tokina makes some good lenses, but few great ones, I wouldn't hold my breath looking for them to bring out anything revolutionary- and if they do, it'll be done for the Canon and F mounts too- no advantage there long-term.

    IS in the body isn't as versatile/effective as IS in the lens is.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Sounds like a Canon fanboy, professional or not.

    Just do what they do in competitions and cut out the most extreme sounding post on both ends (ie: the most pro and con Nikon posts, and most pro and con Canon posts)


    Well Pentax cameras don't seem to do much in-camera noise reduction. This is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. After all, with most noise reduction, you quite a lot of detail in the photo, so if you want smeared out, low res photos, you want extreme noise reduction. I'd rather have something in between, but the Pentax way of not doing much noise reduction isn't bad depending on what you want.

    Actually, the D50 is bigger and more comfortable than the 300D, 350D, or 400D. The D40 is around the same size, but more comfortable to hold. The Pentax K100D and K10D are VERY comfortable to hold as well. As a prosumer/hobbyist camera, I'd consider a Pentax for sure. They have lots of lenses, and the 3rd party lenses (from Sigma, Tamron, Tokina) are also available. Plus, like others have said, it has shake reduction built-in. :)

    I'd get a D50 rather than a D40 because of the large number of fantastic 3rd party lenses available for a lower cost than the Nikon (and maybe Pentax) alternatives, most of which won't work with a Nikon D40. Actually, the D50 would be highest on my list, then the K100D, then the D40. If you're not pro, and you're not going to go pro and aren't interested in $1500+ "extreme" lenses, and you can get over that low-end Canon style body, I'd get the Nikon D50, Pentax K100D, Canon 400D, then finally the Nikon D40 (although it's really not a bad camera in terms of feel and photographic quality). This is based purely on what you have told us.
     
  25. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I have a pentax k10 and I have been infinitely impressed with the build quality of the camera and the ease of use. I'm very happy with my purchase.

    For someone looking to get into DSLR, the price on the K110D with kit 18-55 pretty much can't be beat. If you really feel like shake reduction is something you need, the K100 is very affordable as well.

    I went pentax because I have some very, very good lenses for an older (early '80s) pentax 35mm body that I can use with the camera. Since at least one of them is worth more than the camera cost me, I am definitely keeping them around.

    One thing that hasn't been pointed out is that some of the older pentax lenses, especially the SMC-A line are some of the most quality photographic optics produced and, if you can find them used, are EXCELLENT buys to make. Being able to use these lenses, and have the camera compensate for the focal length adjustment WELL, is a huge feature for me.

    The kit lens on the Pentax is also superior and for your money may be better worth your time, if that's the only lens you're going to buy right away.

    it's all about what you like but I've been exceedingly happy with my pentax DSLR and am very content with the purchase- and I returned the digtal rebel a week after I bought it because I hated it.
     

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