11 November 2012

simply irresistible / ghosts of the A700

Long ago in my dSLR infancy, I chose Sony over Pentax and picked up an A200.  Within about two months the Great Best-Buy Selloff hit: the chain dumped all their A700 bodies for just over my A200 price!  That was an amazing jump in camera and image quality at an absurd price - but too late for me, right?  Well yes, but I admit I drove to several stores in a last-minute frenzy of remorse.  That hurt - but hey the A200 served me well for a while.

A year or two later, no A700 replacement and no sensible A200 upgrade path.  The A500/550 came along at last, with entirely different ergonomics that didn't really fit me well.  Knowing that I'd need to relearn my shooting routine to move up I went diagonally instead, to Pentax.  Their cameras fit right again, and I found the nearly-ideal camera in the K-5.  I juggled my lens lineup too many times to count (and I kinda tried!) but I didn't feel that any upcoming features would be missed in the near future.  Yes focus peaking looked cool and video features sounded fun - but not enough to cause me concern.

Then the K-01 came out, which addressed a few things but went its own way in others.  No weather seals, no viewfinder, and a curious shape - and the price was pretty high.  No thanks.  The K-30 had more cool features and was closer to the K-5 in many ways, but again my gut had been right: no reason to regret a K-5 here.  I wasn't seeking a full-frame option, yet I saw just how many lenses I owned that would smoothly cross that line.  What relief then, when Pentax announced no 2012 FF option!

Then recently the K-01 came crashing down in price.  $550± for that camera was intriguing, and I could see its values in a new and cheaper light.  That was still too much to pay though, and I managed to look the other way.

Well then it dropped another $200 - and the A700 endgame was playing out again.  Could I look away from a $350 camera body with all those features, an incredible sensor, and with full PK-mount (and K-5 battery) compatibility?  Well yes I could.. for a week or so, when forums announced that batch was gone.  Would more appear?  Probably, and that price might stick around.
But I thought the A700 would do that too - and I was very wrong.

So after another cut of about $20 on a few sites, my willpower failed, and a white K-01 has entered the building.  For days when video is important and weather sealing less so, it will be great fun, a few grams lighter, and catch a few eyes.  Thankfully most of my old gear has sold (and I let the Lumix GF2 / 17mm Olympus micro43 pair go as well), so this was a net zero in the bank accounts while clearing some shelf space!  Now to grow the funds, and my willpower, back to their former levels!

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