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10-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
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Why i bought a Pentax K-r

Before buying my Pentax K-r i had spent the better part of a month scanning reviews and articles and even seeking advice from friends as to what camera to purchase Canon or Nikon and which model to get.
I was finally set to purchase the Nikon D3100 for around $899 when i was in a camera store and spotted the K-r.
I was instantly taken by the price differenc and this caused me to rethink my purchase and research the K-r some more.
I did of course settle on the K-r and here are some of the reasons i did so for those who are also considering this camera

1. Price - the K-r i found to be considerably cheaper than it's competitors as well as cheaper in price for lenses and accesories
2. Compatibility - the K-r is compatible with so many older lenses unlike the other brands
3. Solid feel - I found the other 2 major brands entry level cameras to be bulky and plastic feeling the K-r is smaller and has a solid feel more like it's film cousins
4. Feature packed - i was impressed with the amount of useful features offered with the K-r - digital filters - 6fps shooting
5. Experience - Looking back at days gone by Pentax in the past where the brand to own and Nikon and Canon have only really dominated since the digital revolution.
6. Ease of use - i found the menu system and placment of buttons on the K-r to be easy to use and get to.

The only down side i could find with the K-r is the lack of 1080p video but i have no intention of using a DSLR as a video camera so i didn't find it to be a drawback.
At the end of the day i now have a great camera that is easy to use and is full of great features, i have 5 lenses a spare battery, flash and i heap of accessories all for about the same price that the Nikon D3100 would have cost me for the single lens kit.
I think i made the right choice and hope this is helpful to others.

10-20-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Congratulations - I don't think you will regret it!

Your reasons are pretty much the same as mine were when I bought my K-x (which is very similar). I have a great time with affordable older lenses and love the size and feel of the camera. Now I would not want anything bigger - although some day I may stretch to a K-5 if it comes down enough!
10-20-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
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I still can't get over how expensive camera stuff is in Australia. The D3100 is $549 in the states. Australia even make Europe and Canada look cheap.

I love my K-r too, I do get K-5 envy, but then I couldn't have afforded as many lenses.
10-22-2011, 05:09 AM   #4
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On the verge of purchase

Great tips everyone and VERY helpful. I have looked and thought and studied and read and lost LOTS of sleep over my decision.
I have a K1000 and LOVE the full manual control...but I'm going crazy waiting for pics. How does the Kr 'feel' in full manual mode?

I'm enrolled at NYIP and am yearning to see the results of the knowledge applied asap!

My daughter has a Canon 60D. We live relatively close so being able to 'borrow' lenses is a factor.

So my question is:

Pentax Kr, Nikon D3100 or Canon T2i??????

10-22-2011, 05:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by theperfectionist Quote
Pentax Kr, Nikon D3100 or Canon T2i??????
This was the exact lineup I was deciding between back in June. If you go on sites like snapsort to compare specs, one thing to keep in mind is that they bias all canikon comparisons against Pentax on the basis of a vague "popularity" score. It makes their site less useful at a glance, but you can easily recalculate without silly criteria like that. Removing popularity and "number of lenses", which is also deceptive, it should state "number of current production lenses" as it certainly doesn't consider the backwards compatibility of Pentax, and the K-r comes out on top of both, by a margin.

I went through the dpreviews, through the snapsort criteria one at a time, debunking some, confirming others, and I checked various other review sites. Then I went through the user reviews on Amazon, on Pentaxforums here, and elsewhere. What these 2-3 months of reading led me to was the conclusion that the K-r simply has the most fully featured package of any DSLR at its price point, and that it's as good or better in everything that matters as the 3100 or the more expensive T2i.

I highly recommend doing the research yourself, too. Everyone has different needs in a camera, and it's a very educational process, too. For my own part, I have zero regrets about selecting the K-r. It's a great camera, good ergonomics, definitely the right choice for me from the available options. Once in awhile I catch myself daydreaming about the K-5 though...
10-22-2011, 06:53 AM   #6
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Congrats on your new K-r! Fortunately you were shopping in a camera store that had it available for you to check out (unlike here in the States ). Hopefully, we'll see improved retail presence here with Pentax-Ricoh.
10-22-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
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Kenafein - I think Spike's quoting Oz prices of the D3100 mid-kit. I get my gear at Digital Camera Warehouse in Sydney, so I'll quote their site prices. They're about midrange for prices here - but they're running a full shopfront with very helpful, well-informed staff, not just online. The last thing I bought there was a tripod - in the lower price ranges - but they set up 5 of 3 different brands to show function and stability, as well as fold-down size - I needed one that fits in a backpack to carry on public transport.

At present their site says $643.00 body only, $729.00 with 18-55mm VR, and the $899.00 kit is with 18-55mm VR and 55-200 VR. The next-up with 18-55mm VR and 55-300 VR for $979.00 seems a better deal - if moving up from Bridge-Zoom to DSLR and wanting more comparable 'reach'.

That's still not even close to US prices, though the AUD is around parity or just above the USD at present.

I'm told we pay more for cameras here because we're such a "tiny market". Hmmm.... This State, New South Wales - has a larger population than over 50% of US States - though you do have a lot more States! And I must admit the US can beat us on City population - it has 1 City with more than Sydney - New York.

So if "pricing" goes on "tiny market" populations - a D3100 base-kit must be about $10,000 in Wyoming... Ahem...!

No - I think it's what the Corporations think they can do to folk outside their US / Japan home markets. And that will probably continue until our very clued-up-marketing Chinese friends can produce an entry-level DSLR with functions 90% equal to a K-R - but they'd make at least "3 versions" - Pentax, Canon and Nikon mounts - and sell them with a "throw-away starter" 18-55mm lens - for about $199.95 at shop-counter...

The day those start flooding the entry-level DSLR market - is about when we'll see prices here drop to "US level" for the "actual-real" entry level DSLRs...

Unlikely...? About as unlikely, one would have thought - as China becoming a larger car market than the US....

Regards, Dave.
10-22-2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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My reasons for choosing the K-r were basically the same as above. I found it online did some research and decided I needed to go and actually handle it. When I went and had a look I was very specific that this was the camera I came to see. So after a little handling and deciding that even though I was truly clueless on how it worked, I liked how it felt. I then asked the sales rep what if this partiucular camera wasn't here. As it in longer made/never made what would you consider a comparable camera with similar features at this price point. Simply put there isn't one he said. I would have to pay quite a bit more to get some of the features but nothing truly came close.
I also love the ability to use older lenses and while I have a lot of learning to do I look forward to being able to buy and use some classics.
Finally I have never been a fan of having something because it is popular. I will purchase something because it meets my needs not because someone ele has it. Nikon and Canon seem so mass marketed to me.


10-22-2011, 11:10 PM   #9
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That price/performance ratio is exactly why I am posting now to rack up the 3(!) posts necessary to send a PM in the Marketplace.
10-23-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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I've had a K-r since December 2010 and back then, I faced a myriad of options. Of course there were the Canikon staples which all my "serious about photography" friends have; the new and budding micro 4/3 cameras; and of course pentax. From the very start I realized that the most important part of my purchase wasn't going to be the body--it was about the system that I wanted to build. That pretty much took off all the canons and nikons since the bodies in my price range needed to be upgraded 'vertically' for more features. Micro 4/3s were kinda cute but I really wanted to have more manual control to really learn about photography.

Pentax was the only one that really gave me the best features for the best price. Sure I could have cheaper but in the long term, it's about having fun and looking at the results; the photos. In 2 years they'll say that the K-r doesn't have feature X and feature Y and every real camera should have one. But honestly, it didn't matter then, and it doesn't matter now.

Speaking of manual controls, the K-r is relatively so-so compared to the K1000 since it's mostly electronic whereas the latter is all mechanical. Definitely a lot more convenient but without a split prism to allow for viewfinder focusing it's not nearly as fun.
12-08-2011, 12:38 AM   #11
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I was never more than a casual photographer, but I did purchase a Pentax ME Super "back in the day", and at the time, it happened to be rated as a top SLR in Consumer Reports. I took lots of pictures in college, then got married, had kids etc, and bought a video camera. One of those kids became a pretty good athlete, so I dusted off my ME Super and purchased a nice SMC Pentax 80-200 zoom and started shooting again. A few years later, daughter is now playing varsity sports, so I purchased a new K-r last January. I didn't do tons of research, but I knew Pentax and trusted it would be a quality product at a price I could afford. And to learn my lenses would work was a great bonus. Last night, just for kicks, I pulled out a stack of Consumer Reports and found that in the September 2011 issue, the K-r was rated as one of two "Best Buy" selections. It didn't surprise me at all. My ME Super is still with me and it is in great shape after 30 some years.
12-08-2011, 07:49 AM   #12
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Ditto on the OP's list..I looked at the Nikon D3100 and D5000 and they felt cheap in my hand...the Pentax was like Baby Bear's porridge...and I have to say, with all the Nikons and Canons around everyone's neck, it's nice to have an old school name on mine....on a related note, I went to a party this past weekend for my friend Ram who is a photographer and one of his friends showed up with a we chatted about Pentax and he is the one who told me to get the Lens Pen...

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