It's Different Today: Choose the Camera You Want


There are two factors that allow photographers to be more fluid in their equipment choices. The first is a thriving online marketplace that enables us to easily sell gear. And the second is that digital cameras have a longer shelf life now that their technology is stabilizing.

In my mind, these two factors give us the freedom to choose the gear that we really want instead of locking ourselves in to brands that are viewed as safe. To make this point, I'll tell you a story from yesterday.

I was working a commercial shoot for one of my favorite clients. They also hired a videographer whom I've worked with in the past, and who I like. Later in the shoot he noticed my Pentax KP with Pentax HD 20-40mm zoom and asked,

"When did you stop shooting Canon?"

"A while back," I answered. "I wanted something different."

"Well, don't invest too heavily in that system," he said. "All they care about these days is panorama devices."

"I like this camera, though." I said. "I really enjoy shooting with it."


For me, the KP works great. I have a large inventory of Pentax lenses from their SLR days that work great on the digital body. In fact, one of the key optics from yesterday's shoot was the Pentax-FA 35mm f/2.0 lens that I had bought on the used market for my ZX-5n. It's a wonderful prime that I use digitally as much as with film.

In objective terms, the KP has sensor-based image stabilization, 24MPs, a great metering system, DNG RAW files, compact weather-resistant body, articulated LCD with live view, WiFi, and a lens library that goes back to the early 1980s. It works great for me. In fact I love it.

I know that Pentax is having its financial challenges. Olympus did a few years ago as well, and it didn't faze me a bit. My favorite camera in the world is the PEN-F. That was in development during their roughest of times. It's true, I don't know if either Pentax or Olympus is going to be here next year. For that matter, I don't know if I'm going to be around either. That's not how I base my decisions. For now, I'm assuming yes on all fronts.


If all of this love changes for me, then I can sell the gear online, and make new decisions. Because the technology for digital cameras has stabilized, I can sell a body that is 3 or 4 years old and get a decent return on my investment. And lenses fare even better.

So I'm not locked in to either Olympus or Pentax. And I'm loving my photography these days because I'm shooting with cameras that I want to use, not ones that are viewed as "safe."

During yesterday's assignment, I used the Pentax HD 20-40mm zoom, Pentax-FA 35mm f/2.0, Pentax-DA 70mm f/2.4, and the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, got great images and had a blast.

(BTW: I processed them in Capture One Pro, not Lightroom. Again, I don't care. I like C1.)

As an independent businessman, one of my mantras is: "do not make fear-based decisions." If I don't want to shoot with Canon, it doesn't matter how safe that company is. I want tools that excite me and energize my photography. And that's how I'm going to make my purchasing decisions.

More Articles About the Pentax KP

Pentax KP Review - Part One - Top Deck - An overview of the Mode dial, Function dial, and other controls on the top panel of the camera.

Pentax KP Review - Part Two - The Back Panel - An overview of back panel controls and the menu system for the Pentax KP.

Pentax KP Review - Part Three - Image Quality - A hands-on look at how the camera performs with Pentax Limited Edition optics.

Pentax KP Review - The Final Verdict (Did I make a mistake switching from Canon to Pentax?)

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.