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04-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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K-r Purchasing question

I posted an intro in the Intro forums, but I thought this would be a better place to ask my question.

I'm a complete newbie to photography and I'm looking to buy a dSLR. I've pretty much set my mind on the K-r (possibly the k-x if someone suggests that it's worth it). I want to get the best kit that I can for my money.

I'm in the 500-700 USD range and am interested in general purpose street/travel photography and nature shots. I might want to do some macro shots eventually. I've seen several variates on kits 55-200mm or the 55-300mm 2 lens kits or just the standard kit lens. What is everyones suggestion for the best kit for the cheapest money?

Thanks for any help!

04-23-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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Best for your money right now is a K200d + kit lens for $400 plus tax, here:

Pentax K200D 10.2 MP Digital SLR Body with Pentax DA 18-55 Lens Kit for $399.99 - electronics, digital-camera, slr, moofi - Deals.Woot

There are some links in the discussion there comparing the k200 and the kx.
04-23-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
Best for your money right now is a K200d + kit lens for $400 plus tax, here:

Pentax K200D 10.2 MP Digital SLR Body with Pentax DA 18-55 Lens Kit for $399.99 - electronics, digital-camera, slr, moofi - Deals.Woot

There are some links in the discussion there comparing the k200 and the kx.
What would be the advantage of doing this over buying a k-r kit? Would it just be a lower quality body for more money on glass? If so what glass do you recommend I get?
04-23-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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Either the K-x or K-r with the 18-55 and 55-300 will make a very good setup. I have the K-x and went with the 18-55 & 55-300 for the longer reach and some have said it is a little sharper then the 55-200. The kit lenses are fairly good and will give you time to find which ranges you like to shoot. The K-r has some upgraded features to the K-x so you will have to decide if those are worth the higher price. If I was buying today, I'm not sure which one I'd pick, but I don't like the fact that the K-r might have front focus problems in low tungsten light.

04-23-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
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Most Pentaxians would recommend that the two best deals are:
- K-r + 18-55 mm kit lens
- K-r + 18-55mm & 55-300mm kit lenses.

These two lenses are the best value for money when you by them with the camera body as a deal.

There is however another option, if you know already what you want. Buy the camera body and purchase a different lens. In my case, I wanted the DA18-250mm and I bought my K-7 in Australia and my DA18-250mm from www.keh.com. This last option implies that you already have a good idea of your needs.

Based upon your bidget, i would stick to one of the two first options. You cannot find cheaper unless you are prepared to go to used manuel focus MF lenses.

Food for thoughts...
04-23-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by locke07 Quote
What would be the advantage of doing this over buying a k-r kit? Would it just be a lower quality body for more money on glass? If so what glass do you recommend I get?
Cost, obviously. I don't know why you are attracted to the k-r and k-x, but IMO the K200d compares favorably as an entry level DSLR. It's not really a "lower quality body" at all. It lacks some of the features of those cameras, but it has other desirable features that they lack.

If you have a good idea about exactly how you expect to use your first DSLR, some time researching the comparative features would probably be a good investment of time for you.
04-23-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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If you can find a K-x (its been discontinued recently but still possible to find new) its a much better camera than the K-r. The K-x doesn't have the autofocus problems of the K-r, and some say the exposure problems as well. The K-r though does include some certain benefits such as an Li-ion battery and a bigger screen, as well as focus spots on the view finder. But in the end, I think the K-x is the superior camera and it is the cheaper one as well.
04-23-2011, 07:50 PM   #8
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Wow! Lots of great advice to mull over. So I'm now kind of leery of buying the K-r. I didn't realize there were a set of issues that it had over the K-x and since the K-x is cheaper that just makes more sense then.

But I'm also interested about the K200 idea. I'm really a complete noob to photography so could someone basically explain the benefits of it over the K-x? I'd also have to buy a longer telephoto lens since the K-x would come bundled with the 55-300. Does anyone have a suggestion of what a value lens in that range would cost?

Thanks so much everyone!

04-23-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
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Here's a comparison of the k200d, the kx and the km. I threw the km in because I have one that is practically brand new, very low shutter count, that I will be selling soon with the kit lens. Probably will ask $325.

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K200D vs. Pentax K-m - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

You can also read the owner reviews on each model.

I like the k200d because it has the top LCD, weatherproofing and AF points in the viewfinder. It also offers a handgrip option that holds a backup battery set. It lacks video capability, which is of no interest to me and it has a smaller sensor than the k-x.

Plus I found a good deal.
04-23-2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by locke07 Quote
So I'm now kind of leery of buying the K-r. I didn't realize there were a set of issues that it had over the K-x and since the K-x is cheaper that just makes more sense then.
I wouldn't dismiss the K-r out of hand because of one person in this thread that says the K-x is "much better". There are objective, and a lot more subjective, differences. I implore you to do more research beyond just a few responses from one thread.

I own the K-r and have not had the AF and exposure problems mentioned. By most accounts I have read, the K-r has improved AF over the K-x (esp. in speed).....and any exposure issues are easily rectified with adjustments of a wide variety of settings. Depending on conditions, most any camera will have exposure issues with some of those conditions.....and that's why there are things like highlight and shadow correction, exposure compensation, lens hoods, filters, etc.

Or, better yet.....instead of relying on a default exposure on an auto setting, a photographer can learn how to use ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds to get the exposure that works best for the scene.

No dissing on the K-x or the k200D, but the K-r is a great camera. The front focus issues (if that's what was meant by AF problems), while significant....are isolated to a particular kind of lighting and have future remedies. And a few of the other features the K-r has that the other two do not.....while insufficient to make it vastly superior......are substantial enough to distinguish it for purchasing IMHO.

So keep reading and evaluating.....and take into account the potential issues of the K-r by all means. Just don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Any camera can make the water a bit murky.
04-24-2011, 12:17 AM   #11
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I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the K-r or the K-x to you, both are great first cameras. You can find bundles that have all of the lenses you want in your price range if you look around on the web. The 18-55 kit plus a 50-200 or 55-300 will give you a great starting kit to work with. Here are some quick prices to get you started:

$569 - Pentax | K-x 12.3 Megapixel, 2.7 Inch LCD Screen, SR Shake Reduction Digital SLR Camera With DA 18-55mm L & 50-200 Double Zoom Lens Kit - Black *FREE SHIPPING* | 16201 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer

$659 - Pentax | K-x 12.3 Megapixel, 2.7 Inch LCD Screen, SR Shake Reduction Digital SLR Camera With DA -L 18-55mm & 55-300 Double Zoom Lens Kit - Black *FREE SHIPPING* | 15801 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer

$679 - Pentax | K-r 12.4 MP, 3.0 Inch Liveview LCD , HD Video Digital SLR Camera With DA 18-55mm & 50-200mm Dual Lens Kit - Black *FREE SHIPPING* | 14650 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer

$769 - Pentax | K-r 12.4 MP, 3.0 Inch Liveview LCD , HD Video Digital SLR Camera With DA 18-55mm & 55-300mm Dual Lens Kit - Black *FREE SHIPPING* | 14664 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer

I've not bought anything from them, but they seem to have the cheapest new prices online. Personally I would save the ~$100 and get the K-x. Other places to look are Beach Camera, B&H, Adorama, Amazon, ebay, and on the forums here as well. Good luck.

[edit]
Forgot to mention you can save the most money if you don't mind a tan K-x instead of a black one:

$465 - Pentax | K-x 12.3 Megapixel, 2.7 Inch LCD Screen, SR Shake Reduction Digital SLR Camera With DA 18-55mm L Zoom Lens Kit - Beige/Black *FREE SHIPPING* | 16314 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer

Last edited by HEEGZ; 04-24-2011 at 12:23 AM.
04-24-2011, 01:25 AM   #12
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The K-x is not a better camera to the K-r IMO.
The K-r has a more advanced sensor with slightly better high ISO performance, it has viewable autofocus points in the viewfinder unlike the K-x, has a better back screen and can do HD video.

But I have the K-x and I wouldn't forsake it for a K-r, because it is a good camera still. For a budding photographer, though, the K-r would make more sense to me. Now if budget is a concern, then perhaps a K-x with good lenses (Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and Pentax DA 55-300) would be a better option for you than settling for a K-r with just kit lenses. It's all up to you how you want to go.
04-24-2011, 01:27 AM   #13
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Of course the reason many people, including I, bought Pentax is the availability of good used lenses. I'm amazed by the quaility of lenses I've picked up on ebay, a Samsung rebadged 55-200 kit lens (small, light and nice build, good for running around with kids), a Pentax 80-320 f4.5-5.6 (better lens but much bigger and heavier) and of course the 50mm f1.7 manual. Planning to replace the 50mm manual with Pentax-A equivalent to get the auto exposure as I like the lens a lot.

So don't blow the budget on kit lenses without checking ebay first.
04-24-2011, 03:38 AM   #14
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K-r currently has many issues that I'm not sure, if it's a good choise for a beginner. Beginners easily think it's always their fault when images are bad in quality.

If you shoot indoors in artificial light at all, K-r will be a disappointment. You have to check every image you take. Majority of them will be out of focus. You can get very nice pictures, but it means that you have to forget auto focus etc.

Pentax hasn't given any official statement about resolving the focusing or other issues. No one knows, if problems will ever be fixed. Therefore I cannot recommend K-r at the moment. Save yourself from the hassle and buy something else. Situation can definitely change with a firmware update in the future, but currently the situation looks bad (over six months has gone).
04-24-2011, 04:07 AM   #15
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We got a K-r as a camera for the Faculty at work.
I reckon it's an awesome Camera - although ISO3200 is pretty terrible (I had to spend hours cleaning up noise I a set of shots taken by another staff member).
The 6fps continuous shoot is spectacular if you're looking at action shots.
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