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Upgrading from Pentax K100D & Canon IXUS870IS...

AMc

Distinguished Member
I'm about to hit a big birthday and I've been asked what I would like - DSLRs, micro 4/3rds etc. are in the budget.

I currently have a Pentax K100D and a Canon IXUS870IS. I carry the Canon everywhere an use it for snaps and video. The DSLR comes out for day trips and special occasions.

The Pentax predates live view and video. The rear LCD is quite low res. so it can be hard to check focus eps. with the manual lenses. It also goes to just 3200ISO so low light shots can be wobbly.

The Pentax has the 18-55mm kit lens. There is image stabilisation in the body and a K2 mount so I've got a 'vintage' Sigma 28mm and a 60-200mm (both manual). The older lenses cost £30 in total but both take images that I often prefer to the kit lens, despite having to set manual aperture and focus so the results can be a bit hit and miss.

We're also planning a long trip to the west coast USA and I'd like to take one camera not two - at the moment the Canon would come, but given some of the scenery I'm not sure it will do it justice.

1 - I wondering if I should ask for a better Pentax body and keep the lenses or jump ship to Canon or Nikon for a new DSLR kit?

2 - I'm also wondering if a micro 4/3rds with a couple of lenses would be a better around choice esp. for the holiday.

So the question is what would you ask for or recommend from your own experience?

Thanks for any thoughts!:smashin:
 

Jammyb

Prominent Member
I don't think Canon or Nikon offer a lot over the current Pentax lineup if you like your current pentax and lenses.

It's a hard question to answer. I really like my current micro 4/3 setup having downsized from a big 'prosumer' Canon 50D. Need to try and narrow it down a bit. Do you need a viewfinder, do you want in body image stabilisation etc.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Good questions, if only I knew the answers :)
I don't think a viewfinder is a deal breaker - my compact doesn't have one and my DSLR can't do live view so I'm comfortable shooting with either. Body stabilisation isn't a requirement either

I like the older Pentax lenses, but the kit lens is disappointing - as shown by it's used value of about £50. Pentax being a smaller market contender I've yet to see a better lens that won't cost more than the camera is worth :)
Even if I get a new camera I may hang on to the K100D.

I've been browsing reviews of micro 4/3rds cameras this afternoon and the Olympus E-PL5 is looking very interesting. WEX have it at £608 with a 14-42mm kit lens and a 40-150mm and the reviews seem very favourable.

As you went DSLR to micro 4/3rds is there anything you really miss?
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Hmmm well I've been reading and pondering but not concluding :)

I'm looking at...

£750 Canon EOS 700D Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm IS STM Lens

£529 Canon EOS M Digital Camera with 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 STM IS Lens

£608 Olympus E-PL5 Black Digital Camera with Black 14-42mm Lens and Black PEN Portrait Kit (40-150mm lens, wifi SD card and bag)

I had a play with the 700D and the EOS M at WEX on Saturday but they didn't have a demo E-PL5 out (nor did London Camera Exchange or John Lewis).
WEX's Sony RX100 had a flat battery and was bolted to the display so I couldn't get a feel for it.

The EOS M was very nice in the hand but I didn't have enough time to work out the interface. It felt pretty familiar from my Canon compacts.
Given it shares the same sensor as the bigger DSLRs perhaps that would be the best choice?

The 700D obviously felt a bit more grown up. My K100D meant I didn't die of technofear but it did seem like it might take more effort to learn. Perhaps a false perception. I guess the larger grip makes it more likely to get a good steady shot but does it's comparative size mean I'll leave it at home too often?

I keep returning to the E-PL5 as the two lenses cover my current DSLR and the smaller size appeal - but would I regret shrinking not going for a full size DSLR in the long run?

Decisions, decisions..... :)
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Looks like you have a budget of between £600 and 700.

I guess the big questions is whether you want to lug around a DSLR or make some compromise on aperture, shutter, low light, zoom etc. for the size/weight of a compact or 4/3 systems. Granted the RX100 will be less of a compromise except in the zoom stakes.

Have you looked at the Pentax K30, the natural relacement for the K100D. This is around £450 (these were going for silly cheap money at Christmas by the way ! have a search on here as there are a couple of guys that bought them and are happy, one was in stormtrooper white) leaving £250ish for either -

1) Tamron 17-50 F2.8 - fast kit replacement good upgrade
2) Sigma 18-200/250 F3.5-6.3 - superzoom one lens fits all (?) but image quality trade off (alt. Tamron 28-300)
3) Pentax 50 f1.4 - fast prime
4) Stick with your current lenses and add a decent flash/tripod/bag
5) Add the 18-55 and 50-200 WR as a kit (to give weather sealed kit) for £679 ish and flog the 60-200 if not needed.

I guess the other thing you need to ask yourself is what will you be taking photos of - mainly landscapes (tripod and wide angle), people (fast prime), sport, birds, animals (fast long zoom/prime), indoor (fast wide angle), portraits (fast mid prime) etc. and then build up you wish list from there.

Finally, go into a shop and have a play to see if you like the cameras on your wish list, always try before you buy.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
[grrr typed a long response which got eaten by a session timeout on the phone]

Cheers for those thoughts - yes the "budget" is about £700 based on what my partner was thinking of getting me.
As it's a 40th it's not a lump of cash but a "thing" to be wrapped and then cherished for years to come.

My lenses are OK but not expensive or worth factoring into the equation really. I read a few reviews of the K30 and K-5 and they all seemed to be damned with faint praise for everything bar the weather proofing. The video features seemed a weak point IIRC and I'm hoping to use the new camera for that. I stopped taking my miniDV camcorder out when I realised my IXUS does almost the same job in a smaller box.
The Pentax I have is OK but I have no brand loyalty though my K100D was a great 2nd hand buy. Definitely a worthy introduction to DSLR without which I wouldn't be considering this kind of money on a camera.

I've been popping back and forth between a top end compact, DSLR or a 4/3rds without much conclusion.

I've just picked up What Digital Camera which group tests the E-PL5 against the EOS M and Nikon J3. They put the EOS M ahead but then list slow burst mode and slow autofocus as weaknesses - the AF sounds like a pain and looks like it on their review video.
Then there are only 2 directly compatible lenses at the moment and if you add the full size adapter and lens then you might as well carry the DSLR? I can't help but think that the 2nd generation of EOS M will be a much better bet.

WDC also group tested the Canon EOS 650D, Nikon D5200 and Sony A65 again putting the Canon in first place.

I'm erring on the side of going for a full size DSLR either the 650D or 700D with an STM lens then at some point I'll buy myself a new pocket camera. I keep thinking the 4/3rds is a good size to replace the DSLR but it is still too big to be with me all the time.

I'll have to make my mind up and give her some hints soon or I'll be 41 before she can buy anything! :)
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Well the big day has arrived. I gave my family a number of options the 650D with a STM lens, the 700D kit, the EOS M or the Olympus E-PL5 with a 14-42mm kit lens and the protrait kit (bag, 40-150mm).
I'm pleased to say I got the PL5 which came with a bonus of an 8GB Toshiba WiFi card.

Now I just need to work out how to use it :laugh:!
 

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