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833 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 732115 13-Dec-2012 16:05 Send private message

Hey, as you're also looking around for the best "DSLR" on a budget may I humbly suggest the Panasonic GH2? Even cheaper, and I'd argue in many ways better.

Rather than repeat my rather lengthy series of posts in the other thread I shall just link to the first one so you can scroll through it:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=122&topicid=112412&page_no=1#732066




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  Reply # 732126 13-Dec-2012 16:15 Send private message

dman: Hey, as you're also looking around for the best "DSLR" on a budget may I humbly suggest the Panasonic GH2? Even cheaper, and I'd argue in many ways better.


Can you give an indication of prices please?

I'm looking at getting the K-30 when I'm over in the UK in april next year.  (Assuming the Pentax prices hold).  Minus VAT, and even assuming NZ GST back on, it's looking like around $630 NZD for the body only.  I can mate this to my existing Pentax lenses.  Even with a basic 18-55mm lens it's looking around $700 NZ.

Unless I'm doing something wrong, a quick check is showing prices around the $1,000 mark for the GH2?
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=730576

833 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 732146 13-Dec-2012 16:40 Send private message

Ah, I use Amazon instead as my first degree of approximation for price (then eBay, B&H, and J&R if I'm digging further for good deals).

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_3?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=gh2&sprefix=gh2%2Caps%2C361

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_8?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=pentax+k30&sprefix=pentax+k%2Celectronics%2C209&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Apentax+k30

As you can see, appears to be a little bit cheaper for now to get the body.

Only a few weeks ago it was going at US$499 for the complete kit!
https://twitter.com/sugomedia/status/270565369847103488

With the GH3 having just now arrived on the market it shouldn't be too unreasonable to possibly see the price of the GH2 drop even further when on special.

If we use pricespy to judge the cost of items then the Pentax K30 is much more expensive than the GH2's $1k:

http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=1270077
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=1270079




Who I am: multi time Ironman finisher, University of Auckland graduate, Freelancer (mainly focused on website development, message me for work).

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  Reply # 732259 13-Dec-2012 20:31 Send private message

No worries dman, I'm actually quite interested in your thoughts on this, and apologies if it came off any other way. US $499 is definitely on the money.

Do the lens figures compare between the formats? The Panasonic seems to have a 14mm kit lens which in the aps-c world would be quite wide. That's pretty cool.

Pentax has a range of 2nd hand or new prime lenses which have low f values, in the 1.4 and up range. Are there similar options for the micro 4:3's world and how do they compare price wise?
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Aspherical-Pancake-Interchangeable-Cameras/dp/B002IKLJVE

I've been really impressed with the output from these little guys and wouldn't want to give that up now. The focus peaking option on the pentax k-30 appealed for use with these manual focus primes.
http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-21987-35mm-Digital-cameras/dp/B0042RTQPC/

http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-DA-50mm-f1-8-Cameras/dp/B00861DI4U/

http://www.amazon.com/Super-Multi-Coated-SMC-Pentax-M/dp/B006CUCN7K/


Definitely the touchscreen has a place, tapping to focus during video recording for instance seems a huge plus.
Canon 650D is in this area too.

My brothers Canon 'superzoom' has a cool face detection feature, in which it detects a face and automatically ensures the photo is exposed correctly to capture the detail in the face, and I believe focuses by default on this.  Means you always capture the face regardless of the bright window behind it.  Possible on a DSLR for sure, but very quick to nail it with a bit of gadgetry assistance.

833 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 732360 14-Dec-2012 06:34 Send private message

Jaxson: No worries dman, I'm actually quite interested in your thoughts on this, and apologies if it came off any other way. US $499 is definitely on the money.

Thanks :-) I have been researching this very extensively lately in the search of the best video camera, and in my opinion the whole Panasonic GH series is the best choice for that (with which of GH1/GH2/GH3 just depending on your budget).

I just tonight posted up my thoughts on a budget filmmaker's kit based around this camera series:
http://www.v48hours.co.nz/forum/tech-geek-speak/film-making-a-basic-dslr-kit-in-10-easy-steps/

But of course as you can tell I'm looking at the choice of camera from the film perspective, while you're interested in stills. But of course while looking at reviews and test shots I can't but help also noticing it is a very fine stills camera too (as that is what it after all originally designed to be! The GH series is meant to be Panasonic's top stills camera for each generation).

My impression is that while you could with a dint of a bit more hard work researching find a camera with even better value than the GH series the slight benefit in a better price would not be worth it in terms of reduced video from what is the very very best on the market, which even if you don't plan to use it, it is still nice to have as you never know if in the future you might find yourself wishing for it!


Yes you can use the 14mm F2.5 Panasonic Pancake with a GH camera, just need a suitable adapter. Am already aware of that lens & probably going to eventually get it myself after getting a GH camera, as it is one of the highly recommended lenses for it when you do filming: http://www.gh1-hack.info/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.ShootingMoviesWithHackOnVeryTightBudget




Who I am: multi time Ironman finisher, University of Auckland graduate, Freelancer (mainly focused on website development, message me for work).

twitter.com/TersoIT

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  Reply # 732363 14-Dec-2012 07:25 Send private message

One reason I didn't go for micro 4/3 is the lack of really wide lenses, especially at good prices. Four thirds has a 2X crop compared with 35mm, so 14mm is like a 28mm lens - not wide at all. You can get 7-14mm lenses though, and smaller sensor means smaller lenses means lighter and cheaper than full frame.

4/3 is definitely a viable candidate these days. Some (very few) wedding photographers use it for a lot of their photos.




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  Reply # 732451 14-Dec-2012 10:53 Send private message

Pricewise the Pentax is currently a bit cheaper in the UK which in my particular situation is where I'll likely be buying.

http://sortable.com/cameras/Pentax-K-30-vs-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH2

Really close on many fronts.  Thanks for throwing this in the mix as previously I'd only really been considering the 650D (and maybe one from Nikon, I'm just not as up with the play on them) as the only real alternatives to the Pentax option.

Comes down to the age old question of 'What do you want to use it for'?



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  Reply # 751857 28-Jan-2013 11:15 Send private message

Well I've committed and purchased a Pentax K-30 in the UK. Got a good deal on a fairly new (less than 2 months old / low shutter count) 2nd hand model where someone is reverting back to a compact after not liking the bulk of a DSLR. My one includes the weather resistant version of the kit lens, so I'll have a full weather sealed unit when used with this lens. I'll collect it when I'm travelling over there later in the year.

Other competitors I think are in the zone are the GH2 as discussed above or the Canon 600D. These both have much better video capabilities, especially with the Canon having the 'Magic Lantern' addon available.

It's an exciting time with more 'smart' type technologies making there way into camera. The likes of video capabilities, touchscreens, wifi, GPS etc are all headed into DSLR units. (And mirrorless options too). If you actually don't require these capabilities specifically, then there are some good deals to be had too!

353 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 751978 28-Jan-2013 13:30 Send private message

Congrats, yeah nice that Pentax produce a sealed(ish) kit lens to go with it. I was always happy enough with my Pentax 18-55.



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  Reply # 751984 28-Jan-2013 13:34 Send private message

Chainsaw: Congrats, yeah nice that Pentax produce a sealed(ish) kit lens to go with it. I was always happy enough with my Pentax 18-55.


Thanks.  It's a compromise camera, but ticks the main boxes I was after.  No top info LCD screen and frustrating video implementation (such as low bit rate video and no continual AF) but hopefully I'll produce something nice with manual focus anyway. 

There have been mixed reviews on the basic kit lens, but by all accounts the modern crop of them are pretty good.  Hopefully good enough for what I'm after at least.

Thanks for the input from all earlier in this thread.



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  Reply # 772220 1-Mar-2013 12:19 Send private message

Noel Leeming are doing a pretty good $1,000 deal on a Canon 600D Twin Lens Kit.
www.noelleeming.co.nz
I think you can put the magic lantern firmware on that model.

JB Hifi are also doing a good $1,000 deal on the Canon 650D single lens kit.
www.jbhifi.co.nz

833 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 772473 1-Mar-2013 21:02 Send private message

Yes you can put Magic Lantern on both of them.




Who I am: multi time Ironman finisher, University of Auckland graduate, Freelancer (mainly focused on website development, message me for work).

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  Reply # 772496 1-Mar-2013 22:05 Send private message

dman: Yes you can put Magic Lantern on both of them.


Cool, did they release this for the 650D then?  When I was looking there wasn't a version for the newer Digic 5 (?) firmware/processor on the 650D and the 600 was the highest in this line that could work with that.

The Pentax K-30 I've opted for has comparatively lousy video, which rather p1sses me off.  However, for me there were other more important factors.  I do hope though that one day they do something about that, but I don't see it happening.  Pentax isn't a major enough player to get the hackers pushing hard enough!

833 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 773711 2-Mar-2013 20:33 Send private message

Their site says they're in alpha testing now, so should be very soon....




Who I am: multi time Ironman finisher, University of Auckland graduate, Freelancer (mainly focused on website development, message me for work).

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  Reply # 776967 8-Mar-2013 15:41 Send private message

You know at times I really hate being in New Zealand.  These sorts of prices are making me rather jealous:

http://dslrvideoshooter.com/save-tons-with-bh-camera-kits/
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/928516-REG/canon_eos_rebel_t4i_18_135_stm.html


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