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10-16-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
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Pentax K-x or Newer K-r?

I am a beginning DSLR user (after years ago using Minolta 35 mm camera). I have been fluctuating between the K-x which seems to get good reviews or the newer K-r which is, of course, a lot more money. Which one would be best for a beginning again photographer? And do I need to get a kit with two lens in it or just get the standard beginner's lens to start with? Also, this may be used later by our college-age daughter who desires to learn photography with her journalism courses. Thanks for any advice you can give me!

10-16-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
Raylon
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I would suggest the Kx. There is nothing wrong with it as a camera, it will work awesome. Especially for a college student who doesn't want to lug around a big camera. Lenses depends on what she wants or needs to shoot. The package with the 18-55 and 55-300 is a great deal. I don't believe that the Kr is great enough to make a $300 difference. But that's my opinion. Others here will offer other advice.
10-16-2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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I have K-x from January and it is a great camera, with DA L 18-55 lens which is also very good, I believe that K-r is maybe "easier" to use due to more functions
of course, 150 euro difference can buy you a bag, memory card, batteries, some filter...well it is your money
10-16-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by InStitches49 Quote
I am a beginning DSLR user (after years ago using Minolta 35 mm camera). I have been fluctuating between the K-x which seems to get good reviews or the newer K-r which is, of course, a lot more money. Which one would be best for a beginning again photographer?
Either camera would be fine as a beginner. The K-r is the newer, "better" camera; but whether it is superior enough to justify the extra cost is debatable.

QuoteOriginally posted by InStitches49 Quote
And do I need to get a kit with two lens in it or just get the standard beginner's lens to start with?
Depends on whether you need the extra focal length. The standard beginner's lens, the 18-55, is really quite versatile in the range it covers (35mm equivalent 28-83). If you need longer than the 18-55 then add either the 55-200 or the 55-300.

10-16-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by InStitches49 Quote
I am a beginning DSLR user (after years ago using Minolta 35 mm camera). I have been fluctuating between the K-x which seems to get good reviews or the newer K-r which is, of course, a lot more money. Which one would be best for a beginning again photographer? And do I need to get a kit with two lens in it or just get the standard beginner's lens to start with? Also, this may be used later by our college-age daughter who desires to learn photography with her journalism courses. Thanks for any advice you can give me!
Hmm, this an interesting case. I'm a journalist, and I have used the K-x for some photojournalism, but I think the K-r would probably be better for this task**. On the other hand, if you buy a K-x now instead of the K-r you will have between $200 and $400 more to spend on a better lens depending on if you buy the K-x with the starting kit lens. The K-x is also a very nice camera in its own right.

I would have to know your budget better to give you a recommendation, but generally it's better to build your collection of lenses first and then invest in the better bodies. So I'd say K-x would probably be the best for you unless your daughter has strong feelings about the K-r.

** Note I haven't used the K-r, yet, but by the sound of it the K-r a bit more refined and responsive which can make a difference when you're shooting for a newspaper.
10-16-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
** Note I haven't used the K-r, yet, but by the sound of it the K-r a bit more refined and responsive which can make a difference when you're shooting for a newspaper.
I'm thinking the much higher framerate would justify this.
10-16-2010, 08:14 PM   #7
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k-x owner

I have a k-x and it is a very good camera, specially for low light shots. I can't comment on k-r but I am also interested in seeing some IQ comparisons between the two.

If you buy a k-x, my advice would be to not get the kit lens at all. Better get the body only and new DA 35. kit lens is not that good quality (for any brand) and it is not fast either. To fully use the low light capabilities of k-x (which is the main strength), you will need a fast lens sooner or later. Better to start with that idea and not pay for the kit lens.

I also have a 55-300 that I bought recently. This lens has a good reputation here and is regarded as good value for money. Personally, I did not like it too much. It was not fast enough and k-x had issues focusing this lens in low light. But that was the only zoom lens I could afford and I needed something beyond 200 for a wildlife trip that I was taking.

Good luck on your purchase
10-17-2010, 02:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of your notes and advice! Well, money-wise the K-x would be better for buying right now. However, what I didn't mention (and don't tease me too much about this) is that last fall I bought a Nikon D3000 which she and I have been sharing to some degree. Even without serious lessons, her photography outweighs mine so far by a mile! But I know the day is coming really soon when she will need her own dslr and that's the reason I posed the question. I personally would take either camera (K-x or K-r) if she prefers the other brand. For a middle-aged learner, probably the K-x would suffice along with the lesser cost. But I've read the K-x has no reference points in the viewfinder which I do like using...is that true and fixed in the K-r? Thanks y'all!!

10-17-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dexmus Quote
I have a k-x and it is a very good camera, specially for low light shots. I can't comment on k-r but I am also interested in seeing some IQ comparisons between the two.

If you buy a k-x, my advice would be to not get the kit lens at all. Better get the body only and new DA 35. kit lens is not that good quality (for any brand) and it is not fast either. To fully use the low light capabilities of k-x (which is the main strength), you will need a fast lens sooner or later. Better to start with that idea and not pay for the kit lens.

I also have a 55-300 that I bought recently. This lens has a good reputation here and is regarded as good value for money. Personally, I did not like it too much. It was not fast enough and k-x had issues focusing this lens in low light. But that was the only zoom lens I could afford and I needed something beyond 200 for a wildlife trip that I was taking.

Good luck on your purchase
Actually the pentax one is not so bad.
I would not buy the 55-200 to start and let her know better the camera and her needs first before deciding.
IMHO a good start could be the 18-55 AND the new 35mm.
One decent all purpose and one to start playing with better quality and faster lens. After six month she can decide if she wants a macro lens, a tele or even an utra wide angle first.
10-17-2010, 06:12 PM   #10
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It's really a matter of preference. From my experience with the K-x, I would only want a K-r for the sharper LCD and better AF (pending reviews from others). Ergonomically, it's the same as the K-x. Save that money and buy better lenses. If you don't need extra range, I would ditch the18-55 and get a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, new or used, or as the others suggested, the new DA 35 f2.4, which looks like an excellent lens; equivalent to 50mm on full frame.
10-17-2010, 07:42 PM   #11
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The Kr is may or may not have a big leap in terms of sensor performance over a Kx, but the other improvements from the Kx makes it a better camera to get, and perhaps last for much longer.
This is all from what I can conclude after fiddling with it during the Kr during the recent Pentax gathering here, and my own experiences on the K5.

1. AF is very significantly improved.
2. Focus point indicatiors
3. Option of LiOn or AA batteries (for emergency usage)
4. Auto align HDR (more possibilities opened )
5. NR customization
10-17-2010, 09:43 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
The Kr is may or may not have a big leap in terms of sensor performance over a Kx, but the other improvements from the Kx makes it a better camera to get, and perhaps last for much longer.
This is all from what I can conclude after fiddling with it during the Kr during the recent Pentax gathering here, and my own experiences on the K5.

1. AF is very significantly improved.
2. Focus point indicatiors
3. Option of LiOn or AA batteries (for emergency usage)
4. Auto align HDR (more possibilities opened )
5. NR customization
Where do you base this very significant improvement on?
- The batteries for K-r require an adaptor, the K-x can directly use rechargable batteries
- HDR, very important...
- Impact of focus point indicators IMHO also highly overrated, 99.7% I use center spot (then beep is fine), 0.3% I use 1 auto out of 5 and don't have time to check which the camera selected either way.

So if money is some what important then I would go for:
- K-x + 18-55 mm + 35 mm F2.4 + Sigma Flash

Instead of (same price range)
- K-r + 18-55 mm
10-17-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
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When asking for camera suggestions you should really name a budget. If the K-r's improvements are important enough to you and your daughter to warrant the extra money over the K-x, than go for it. If not, then get a K-x.

In any case, I'd give the new DA35mm2.4 a serious look (or any other prime, really). I've found myself that primes will teach you so much more than zooms, since primes force to think about what you're doing a lot more, and open up shallow depth of field possibilities. The aforementioned DA35+DA18-55 combination looks like a great combination for someone starting out.

In any case, have fun with whatever you end up buying!

PS: I'd not worry too much about a flash, the high ISO capabilities of either camera are awesome!
10-17-2010, 10:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
PS: I'd not worry too much about a flash, the high ISO capabilities of either camera are awesome!
I understand, but flash also directs light for high lights, not only to address low ISO noise...
10-17-2010, 11:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
Where do you base this very significant improvement on?
- The batteries for K-r require an adaptor, the K-x can directly use rechargable batteries
- HDR, very important...
- Impact of focus point indicators IMHO also highly overrated, 99.7% I use center spot (then beep is fine), 0.3% I use 1 auto out of 5 and don't have time to check which the camera selected either way.

So if money is some what important then I would go for:
- K-x + 18-55 mm + 35 mm F2.4 + Sigma Flash

Instead of (same price range)
- K-r + 18-55 mm
AF improvements come from having tried it out and having a K5 on my hands (not in the office now anyway. I know its hard to convince the skeptics until more youtube vidoes come out with comparisons, but I don't do videos nor do i have a 2nd camera anymore (sold the K7).
If you want a guide on speed. The one that has been running around on youtube is round the ball park of the improvements to AF I'm seeing.

The choice of batteries gives the best of both worlds. Use the LiOn for hassle free usage (no more complaints on batteries). Switch to AA batteries in dire situations (ie. on tour and for got charger; LiOn batt flat with no spares, etc). I wish a K7 or K5 would have this.

Auto align HDR brings up new possibilities.
HDR with people, handheld.



Yes, these are not the best of pictures and still very experimental for me, but imagine at least 2stops increase in dynamic range in a taken photo at the press of a few buttons.

Focus point selection indication is always good to have. Yes, center is used more often, but it does not apply for everyone and all situations. I use center point most the time as well. But when I do sports, shallow DOF shots and want tack focus, the focus point indicator will always be a good thing to have.

At the price that the Kr is sold here, there is little reason to look back on a Kx unless on a limited budget.
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