Finding a Cheap DSLR

Find a Cheap Digital SLR – Pentax K-x vs Nikon D3000

Author: Wayne Rasku

Considering an entry-level digital SLR camera?

Nikon D3000 vs Pentax K-x offers a unique perspective that you may not have considered

What do you think?

Nikon has a fantastic reputation for producing quality digital SLRs. Thousands of photographers think about Nikon first. And the Nikon D3000 is one of the most competitively priced DSLRs on the market. May I suggest that there is some value added due to a really great marketing campaign.

Pentax seems to depend on just giving good quality and letting the product market itself. Well, not totally, but their marketing is nothing near what Nikon puts out.

So, how do these two entry-level digital SLRs really compare?

There are a few areas where the Pentax K-x dominates with respect to features and benefits:

*Image stabilization is in the camera in the Pentax. Nikon does not have image stabilization in camera. Instead it is in the lens. That means you have to purchase a lens with that feature. Lots of Nikon lenses are being produced with VR (vibration reduction), but many do not have it. However, with the Pentax, you can attach virtually any lens (even older ones – up to 40 years old), and you will have… image stabilization.

*Lenses – all Pentax lenses, even lenses made by other manufacturers for Pentax digital SLRs, work on a Pentax K-x. This is not true for the Nikon D3000. It seems like I just said this above, but there yet another consideration. This has nothing to do with IS or VR. There is a group of lenses that are made for Nikon cameras like the D3000 that only work on the cameras that have a “crop” sensor. Basically, this means that if you eventually upgrade to a high end Nikon, you would have to replace some, or all, of your lenses for the higher end digital SLR Nikon camera.

*Video – available in HD 720p in the Pentax. No video at all in the D3000.

*Next is Live View. Again, Pentax has it and Nikon does not.

*Everyone is interested in Price – they are very close in cost, depending on the location and the sale that is happening that day.

So, is there anywhere that the Nikon D3000 is better than the Pentax K-x?

The one point that most agree is lacking on the Pentax K-x is an AF chart. That is, a visible focus point layout in the viewfinder that lets you see where the camera is focusing.

In truth, the Pentax is more of a higher end entry-level DSLR than the Nikon D3000. The Nikon D5000 and the Pentax K-x are a better match up because the D5000 has a similar feature set, including those features that are missing from the D3000. But those come with a substantially more robust price tag.

Now it’s true that cheap DSLR cameras are not a dime a dozen, but you can get a good one for a resonable price. Just make sure you are getting the features you want.

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About the Author

I love photography and all things related to it. Cameras, camera gear, and image editing software fascinate me, so I am either buying the newest piece of equipment (or software) or researching my next purchase.

Want to see a side-by-side comparison of cheap DSLR cameras? Thought so. Go to

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