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New guy asking which camera???

by Evfab4 / May 28, 2010 2:35 PM PDT

I am thinking about getting my first DSLR. I will be shooting my son's baseball and football teams. I was looking at a package that included the Nikon D5000 with two lenses including a 50-300mm. Then I saw the Pentax K-x with the same package, including a 50-300mm lense. On paper the Pentax compares favorably except the the batteries run low quickly and the auto focus area does not appear in the viewfinder....all for a few hundred dollars less! Why should or shouldn't I get the Pentax?

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Was my question (above) a dumb question?
by Evfab4 / May 29, 2010 6:22 AM PDT

Was my question (above) a dumb question? If I missed something because I am an inexperienced photographer....basically I am looking at getting my first dslr. I want to avoid going over $1,000, yet I want a decent zoom. The Nikon D5000 is over $1,000 with two Nikon lenses, including a 300MM vr zoom. The comparative package that includes the Pentax K-x is $300 less. Not sure if the Nikon is worth it.

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The Question is not dumb
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 29, 2010 8:30 AM PDT

It is just that none of the regulars on this forum (that I am aware of) own or use a Pentax DSLR.

I have not heard of any general complaint about Pentax
DSLR cameras.

Here is an in-depth review of the Pentax K-x:


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by Evfab4 / May 29, 2010 10:26 PM PDT

Thank you for the response and for the link. The review was very informative, as was the Pentax forum on DP Review.

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the image processor is quite advanced in the Nikon
by wolfbreath / May 29, 2010 5:47 PM PDT

The general consensus is to go with Nikon or Canon brands. When it comes to image quality, both are very reputable. Since I am also interested in the D5000 (to upgrade from my D3000), I must admit that my bias is leaning towards the Nikon. It shares the same processor as the higher end Nikon models, which also contributes to my bias. Nikon Nikkor lenses are very high quality as well, so you won't be disappointed. The price sounds terrible though, perhaps a cheaper package for that camera would be more viable?

You didn't ask, but in case you're wondering, the D3000 does make an awesome first DSLR camera. The price is great, but the D5000 doesn't cost too much more.

Not to sound like a Nikon-phobe, but I have plenty of photographer friends who swear up and down by Nikon (or Canon). I actually know only 1 person with a Pentax and I did not like using it at all (again, maybe it could be my bias). I could not appreciate the controls or image quality (it was an older entry Pentax DSLR).

This is probably going to be less helpful, but I'm sure both cameras are a good choice. Go with your heart, point the camera, and shoot some pics. Either way, best of luck to you.

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Thank you
by Evfab4 / May 29, 2010 10:50 PM PDT

Thank you. As a newcomer to DSLR photography, I have no bias, other than knowing Nikon has a very good reputation. I would agree that I would be happy with either camera.

The review referenced in the previous post was very good and included certain comparisons of the Pentax K-x to the Nikon D5000. You should check it out. There is also a forum thread on that site regarding K-x vs D5000. If you happen to go there, let me know what you think.

I am leaning toward the K-x at the moment. However, the final bullet point in the review said "not so good for sports action". I don't understand why? I thought that I would by the package with the 300mm zoom. I want to shoot my son's baseball and football the comment gives me reservations.

Thanks again!

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 29, 2010 11:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

References to sports/action usually have to do with which lens you choose.

Shooting during daylight hours, there should be no problem.
Shooting under artificial lighting means, for best result you need a bright lens.
For zoom lenses, the lens with a f/2.8 lens is the brightest you will find.
But it is likely very expensive.

When you look at specifications for lenses, zoom is one factor but also very important are the aperture (f/stop) specifications.

If you see a specification like f/4 - f/5.6 ... that means the aperture is f/4 if you are using no optical zoom and the aperture is f/5.6 when fully zoomed.

You loose light when you zoom.

Here is what the professionals use under the lights or on cloudy dark days.


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Thanks again.
by Evfab4 / May 30, 2010 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Action

Your post was very informative for me. Thanks.

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by wolfbreath / May 30, 2010 2:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

I love DP Review. I had no idea that both cameras share the same processor - pretty awesome. In that case, I would evaluate the lenses (cost and quality) available for both cameras. Then you can have an idea of what to get, because having a good lens is just as important as the camera.

Just to warn you, the D5000 is only auto-focus compatible with lenses that are very pricey. Otherwise you'll have to focus manually (which I happen to love). If you can get good lenses for the Pentax for a better price, then I think you may have found your camera.

*If you're shooting sports, I would likely keep focusing in and out manually while shooting continuously - in order to avoid waiting for the auto-focus to catch the action too late.

Best of luck!

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Nikon D5000 vs Pentax K-x for sports
by hjfok / June 1, 2010 12:21 PM PDT

First of all, I'm a Canon user, and have not used either of these cameras. But I do a fair amount of photos of my son's baseball and soccer. So here are some general advice when looking for a "sport" camera system.

The lens is going to be the key to getting the shot. Lighting condition will not always be excellent. Sometimes they may have a night game or they play indoor sports. So save some money for a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. For the Nikon you will need VR image stabilization to get the best result. Pentax has built-in stabilization, so you won't need to worry about IS. The 200mm is really the minimum you need for sports. I shoot at the fence or in the field, and I sometimes still need to crop to get closer when using the 200mm lens.

For the camera body, you need a body that can deliver 5 fps or faster to be considered a sports camera. So the Pentax K-x will be slightly better than the Nikon D5000. It may sound like a small difference, but you may miss that one critical frame. Anything slower than 4 fps is not really a sports camera. Autofocus is also very important. The more sophisticated and faster the AF, the better it is for sports. You need autofocus. Manual focus is for still objects, unless you just want to take pictures at the home plate or the first base. The players move around quickly, you will not be able to manual focus. Nikon D5000 does not have a built-in AF motor, so not compatible with some Nikkor lenses (so you will lose AF and cannot use these for sports photos).

The Pentax company has solid quality and more reasonable price compared to Canon and Nikon. But the main reason many people don't use Pentax for sports is because it is too SLOW for sports, at least for the old models with 3fps or slower. The newer K7 and Kx are about 5 fps, just okay for sports in today's standards. Canon has the 50D, 7D and 1D Mark IV for sports, all above 5fps. And Nikon has the D300s, D700 and D3s. So you can always upgrade when buying Canon and Nikon if you ever find your camera not fast enough or the AF too sluggish. If you buy Pentax, there is no other upgrade.

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