16 April 2015

comeback flashback

As much as I've enjoyed using the NX300, many times even with fast glass I find blurry/shaky results.  "Everybody" talks about how a bulky camera is great for removing such issues -- but I believe SR/SSS/younameit stabilization works even better.  I'm a fan of small cameras, and sadly most companies believe focus-group studies (those "everybodies") that bulky cameras convey status so better features almost require a big body for credibility.  Too bad for me.. more or less.

Pentax introduced the K-S1 in part to show that a small camera can be very talented; the reviews focused on "disco lights" and "flashing LEDs" and o by the way, great images.  I liked the concept so much that I preordered a white one -no blue, no black!!  Then a budget contraction hit, I pulled out, and soon the fashion police disguised as camera reviewers came out swinging.  The K-S1 now has a very conventional sibling, and everyone loves and wants a K-S2. (No this is a different "Everyone", it's everyone else!)  Amazing.

And yet some strong logic is at work here.  The K-S1 can do great stuff, but for reasons unknown many common camera functions & features were left out - like image rotation, which has been commonplace for at least five years.  Weather seals are also absent, OK by me but I need at least one wet-weather body - so the K200d will do.

While seeking deals in the vastness of eBay I encountered a dumping of Colorado K-x and K-r bodies.  These presumably are coming from people who bought quantities of spares from the former Pentax Authorized repair shop that was recently de-Authorized.  Still at $20 more or less, why not drop a bid?  Soon I had my second K-r in my hands.

I had owned one of these in the awful, no-win time between the amazing/groundbreaking K-x and the overwhelmingly impressive K-5.  It was a very nice camera surrounded by amazing siblings, so it felt less good than I'd hoped.  Yes it had a loud shutter, part machine gun and part guillotine.. wonder in what other ways I despised it?  
Wow, such a biased and narrow-minded camera user am I..

Interesting to note that the K-r is almost identical in size to the K-s1.  Yes many new features are absent - no 20Mpx sensor with variable AA filter here.  However, the 12Mpxl sensor is excellent, and items like image rotation are back.  And I paid $28 for a camera with just over fifty actuations on its 100000-shot shutter.   Hopefully it will keep working; I have not tried every feature to ensure its full functionality.  If what works now keeps working though, I still made an absurdly good investment.

 Wow?  Indeed wow.  I'm watching for another one, so L and I can have a matched set!

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