I’ve been using a Canon Digital Rebel EOS 300D since around 2004, and I’ve taken a few thousand pictures with it over the years.

I decided that it was time to get a new camera, but which one? That’s not the kind of purchase I take lightly. It took several months of research before finally settling on the model I wanted.

I had thought about upgrading from the EOS 300D to the newer Digital Rebel T1i (the 500D), but then I found out about the Pentax K-7 which was just released in July. Normally, this camera would be outside my price range, but because the company I work for has a business relationship with Pentax, I can get employee pricing for some of their cameras. That put the K-7 within my budget and allowed me to get a few accessories.

Saving several hundred dollars is nice.

Unfortunately, the K-7 is in high demand right now, so it’s technically back ordered. I have no idea when I’ll actually get the camera. I received one of the lenses and a battery grip a few days ago, but they’re not really useful without a camera body.

With the special pricing, I managed to get the following equipment for less than the retail price of the K-7:

  1. Pentax K-7 Camera (body only)
  2. Pentax DA 55-300mm Lens
  3. Pentax DA 18-55mm Weather Resistant Lens
  4. Extra D-LI90 Lithium Ion Battery
  5. Pentax D-BG4 Battery Grip

I thought long and hard about which accessories to get with the camera, and I think I’ll make good use of all of the ones I got.

I really like the idea of a battery grip. The Pentax battery grip adds some extra bulk to the camera, but it enables the camera to run on AA batteries or an extra lithium-ion battery (in addition to the battery in the camera itself). The grip also has a duplicate shutter button so that you can easily snap pictures with the camera turned sideways. It’s a handy feature to have.

The 18-55 lens is often called the “kit lens”: it’s the standard lens that is usually included with a consumer-level DSLR camera. It’s versatile, but doesn’t provide any real telephoto capability.

Having the flexibility of multiple lenses will be great. An 18-55mm lens (which is the standard lens included with most consumer-level DSLR cameras) works great in most situations, but not for taking pictures of wildlife. The 55-300mm lens will give me the zoom I need. Zoom lenses tend to make hand-held shots more difficult, but the K-7′s built-in image stabilization should help.

I’m excited to try the K-7. The reviews have been really good so far.

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