I’ve been choosing my next digital camera. I’ve never had a genuine digital SLR, and was very disappointed by my Nikon Coolpix SLR-ish zoom with electronic viewfinder. Clunky thing sits around because I hate taking pictures with it. And I’ve stood in one spot on hikes for a half hour trying to get it to work. Rarely took a beautiful picture. The little $150 Olympus I have takes far better pictures. Though the video capabilities of all Olympuses are just dreadful, Olympus has won my respect by selling me such a great little camera. If Olympus could offer Canon-level motion, Olympus would be my next compact.
But real DSLRs are a different camera category altogether, in that category, Nikon and Canon are the superstars with their slick cameras and pro lenses. But for all hype they get, you have to spend $4,000 on a camera body to to get a weatherized camera with an internal automatic sensor cleaning system out of them. For example, my low-end compact Olympus (the one that takes great pictures) has about 15 dust spots all over its sensor now. It needs a professional cleaning. The Pentax offers automatic sensor cleaning, fully weatherized body and line of weather and dust proof lenses. The Pentax addresses other issues: it has a new imaging technology that allows you to “rescue” a great picture from an accidental over or underexposure. This DR (Dynamic Range) thing is something else. That Pentax, the K-5, won the Gold Award from dpreview.com and scores an 86%. No other camera in its price range comes close!
But if you ever expect to work professionally, only Nikon and Canon offer top-line DSLRs.
I don’t see myself being happy as a pro in photography. I don’t ever want to be photographing things I have to photograph, like weddings. Don’t ever have me work a wedding. I have no desire to take your wedding photos!
Lastly, Pentax is the camera brand I learned on. Built like a tank but offering zero resistance to the elements, my old Pentax K-1000 still withstood rolling down a sand dune. So a gram of sand came out of the camera when I opened it and the winder would crunch and grind sand for 6 months after that. So I ran over the poor thing with my car! It withstood it all and was used until it died a merciful death.
Pentax K-5 it is. Weatherization won out. Their lenses are the same way – sealed to dust, dew, and toughly built. Lens quality of the Pentax brand is solid. Very solid. But I’m starting with a basic 24-55mm zoom. Maybe a worthy “superzoom” lens will come out in a few years and I can really go after some subjects off in the distance. The Pentax has innovations such as moving the sensor inside to eliminate camera shake. It has the CMOS sensor – the latest and greatest. Camera not as fast as the Canon EOS 7D – the canon is a dual processor. Then I saw how large the thing is and gasped, then was back to the Pentax.
It arrives soon. Can’t wait to start the “training” phase. Have to learn how to use it. I swore I’d proceed in the proper fashion this time and at least know how to create a custom setting and assign it to the dial instead of trying to figure out how to work it while I should be snapping pictures.