My first digital SLR was a Pentax K100D. When I was a retail camera salesperson I loved selling the old K1000 to aspiring photography students. It was one of the iconic workhorse cameras of the 80s, along side my personal camera, the Minolta x-370. These were fully manual cameras that forced you to learn about shutter speeds and f-stops, and how light creates images on film. I must have shot thousands of images on my Minolta.
Others I knew had the Pentax K1000, and when it came time to get a DSLR I decided to give the Pentax K100D a try and re-live some of those classic shooting days. For years I’ve shot with my Pentax, even partaking in some “photo-a-day” communities that forced me to get VERY creative. However, as the years passed by I found myself using it less and less. It was a large, heavy, camera, and I found myself opting for the convenience of my smartphone more and more. As the old phrase goes, the best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you need it. My cell phone was always with me, and I started shooting with a DSLR less and less.
Fast forward a few years and I decided to get a Sony a6000. Sony is the spiritual successor to Minolta, and their mirrorless camera line was nice and light. I’ve made concerted efforts to use it more often and I’ve been mildly successful. Having this blog as a way to output my work has helped as well. However, my Pentax has still been sitting there collecting dust.
Recently, my wife has shown an interest in using a DSLR and so I handed her my old Pentax to take on a recent trip. She got some good shots, but ended up being frustrated by slow response time, difficulty focusing. Then, when I plugged it in to download her photos, I ran into more issues with the Pentax having timeout issues, forcing me to restart the imports. All this is leading me to think that it might be time to retire a tired old workhorse. It’s served me well, but as with many things in the early era of DSLRs it just didn’t age like the old manual cameras of yore.
I might still keep it around for things like portraiture or still-life, but I think that if my wife wants a DSLR I might need to look at another Sony body, or something that can keep up with the type of shooting we like to do such as nature and wildlife.