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The thinking person's DSLR
on 10 May 2011
After saying I couldn't be bothered lugging around a DSLR and all the gubbins I was seduced back by my daughter's Olympus 520 DSLR. While I could get on with the Olympus' clunky menus I did love the feel and image quality. So what DSLR to buy? Traditionally I have had (and still own) several Canon cameras and I also liked the look of the Nikons. A bit of research soon indicated a problem. Both Nikon and Canon have the image stabilising built into the lenses so every new lens costs more because you have to keep buying the same thing. Also both manufacturers have changed their lens mounts several time so old lenses do not fit new bodies. It didn't take too long to short list those manufacturers whose image stabilisers are built into the bodies and who support the original lens fitment. There was only one: Pentax. I tried them out at my local camera store and the K-r was the best compromise on price and features. The K-x lacked a lowlight focus lamp and used the flash which I really dislike and the K-5 and 7 were lovely but way too expensive. That left the K-r.
After 7 months of ownership including a trip to Spitzbergen and shooting at -32C I can safely say I am still delighted with the camera. It offers everything a keen amateur needs and will also work in idiot mode for non photographers. My only regret is buying the twin kit lens set as I have just replaced both lenses with a new Sigma 18-200mm lens which is better quality and avoids excessive lens changing. I have also bought and sold a number of older lenses to experiment with and the most I have paid for a lens is £70 and the least £7.50!
So my advice is avoid the centre ground Nikon/Canon offerings and be a little braver, stand out from the crowd!