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Now that I am retired I plan on getting back into semi-professional/professional photography. Of course I am in the market for a high end/best value DSLR. After hundreds of hours of research I have concluded the Pentax K7 or the older K20D represents the best price performance value. Not being a brand freak or snob, I have concluded that unless you can get a new K20D for no more than $ 500, the K7 at around $ 950 is the hands down all around winner. I have one serious misgiving, since Samsung is the manufacturer of the cmos sensor and given Samsungs horrid reputation for product integrity (see Samsung DLP white dot scandal) this quality issue should be taken into consideration before doing an “apples-to-apples” feature/value comparison to any other brand. Like any other serious business or even personal expense it makes sense to do a basic return on investment analysis. Given the pace of technology I have assumed a realistic DSLR product life to be 5 years. We could argue this point ad infinitum and would hope a quality DSLR would remain in service for a longer period but you need to strike a reasonable baseline on which to project your ROI. Here is my simple analysis;
The $900-950 K7 is a 5-year investment. A new Pentax K7 comes with a three-year replacement guarantee so you will guarantee your investment years 1 through 3. However, given the horrific quality issues with Samsung, I must factor in replacement of their CMOS sensor one time in years 4 or 5 at $250-300. This yields a worse case comparison baseline of $1150-1250 when doing your apples to apples against any other brand. As an aside, the following are my key factors (priority order) in choosing the K7 as number 1 in the under $2000 DSLR category:
1. The K 7 weather/bullet proof construction is about a good as it gets, even when compared to cameras costing 3X as much. Lets face it, weather, dust, accidents or your kids abuse is the most likely cause of failure in those first 5 years, (other than the Samsung components mentioned above).
2. Vast array of features supporting basic point and shoot up to the flexibility and versatility required by professional/semi professional use in a lightweight unit.
3. Very favorable independent lab performance comparisons to cameras in the $1000 to $2000 range.
4. Lens compatibility and scope of availability is unsurpassed by the timeless Pentax mount. My investment in 20-30 year old Pentax mount lenses, including favorite portrait and telephoto is preserved, at least as creative alternatives to a Pentax/Tamron everyday “walk around” 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 Di-II.
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Welcome Robert. I hope you stay with us...
... long enough to see a return on your investment.
I agree with your comments about weather /bullet proof construction at a good price. The Samsung components bit is a bit worrying for me however, considering I have just bought a Samsung GX20. Perhaps this is why I got it for £250 with the 18-55 and 50-200mm lenses. I thought it was a good deal - I guess time will tell.
Hi Robert, does the K7 use a Samsung sensor? I thought it used a Sony sensor, certainly the Pentax Kx uses the Sony cmos sensor.
I thought I read on the DPreview site that Pentax parted company after the K20d and as such sourced their sensors from Sony.
No it is still the Samsung sensor. I would expect it to last 5 years. I would be more worried about the mechanical bits. As such, check out how much a new shutter is if you want. Also check up on what the level of customer support is.
Samsung are one of the biggest electronics suppliers, but lets be honest they all drop issues from time to time. I have heard of recalls due to Sony sensors for example. Also DLP is a different technology. A batch of Sony batteries have a high incidence of thermal failure, should that influence your choice of sensor? No.
So my view, just price up and evaluate the cost of one or two camera systems. Also cost up lenses, no use getting a good body if the lenses are not what you need.
So price up a system from Canon, Sony, Nikon and Pentax. Have a play and decide. I am not convinced you value assessments are correct. But if you have good lenses why not stick with Pentax. Or save money and get the equivalent Samsung.
steve, the K7 and KD20 both use the samsung cmos. The Kd20s are still out there but hard to find. Doubt you could get one at a price sufficiently less than the K7 that would compell you to chose the KD 20 over the K7 . I would not consider the K20 new unless it was at least $400- 500 less than the K7. The pentax 18-250 mm 3.5 is made by tamron, but the Tamron brand comes with a 6 yr warranty if purchased from an AUTHORIDED DEALER.
The K-7 uses an upgraded version of the sensor that has 4-channel data readout rather than the 2-channel used by the K-20D.
We have a review done by EPZ's own Matt Grayson which can be found here.
What happened to CB's and my post in this thread. There must be a system glych. CB commented first, and I second, but neither are here now.
The Phantom strikes again!
Quote: What happened to CB's and my post in this thread. There must be a system glych. CB commented first, and I second, but neither are here now.
You have to ask?
One of the mods is looking into this. I initially reported it as a potential 'advertising on the forum' issue.
Quote: One of the mods is looking into this. I initially reported it as a potential 'advertising on the forum' issue.
What! Your own comment, CB?
Quote: What! Your own comment, CB?
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