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03-12-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Is K-r the right one for me?

Hello
I currently use a Canon rebel XT and my brother's friend has a T2i which I've handled a few times. I use the 18-55 kit lens with the Rebel XT and recently got a 50mm 1.8 prime lens for the Canon. I've decided that I need at least 18 on the wide and 75-85 on the tele if possible.

Someone mentioned a Pentax K-r on one of the forums and I just started browsing pictures on flickr. My, my, what stunning clarity, crispness in the pictures. Honestly, I'm bored of using Canon cameras. I want something new and the Pentax K-r seems perfect. The difference in colors is very welcome.

My primary usage will be taking family pictures of wife and kid, landscapes and mostly clouds. I have an obsession with staring and taking pictures of cloud formations.

I am not too much into taking videos and the 720p the camera offers is sufficient. However, does the AF hunt in low-light when taking videos and is there a limit to the video length? Also, I've read several threads that the K-r takes great pictures even in low-light. most of my pics will be indoors with mostly just incandescent lighting. And since my kid is super-fast, I need the camera to be quick and not a slowpoke.

Hope the K-r is the right one for me?

thanks
Sam

03-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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The K-r should be a notch above the T2i IQ-wise, but it does not AF during video. There is a 4Gb limit in individual video file size, and I believe that there is also a 25-minute limit per clib, but I'm not 100% sure.

If you want even better image quality and full manual video controls + video af, check out the K-01.

Adam
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03-12-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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I see. that not a biggie actually. I've been reading about DSLR video recording and even the T2i does not AF during video. The only ones that supposedly do quick AF during video are the Sony SLT series.

How are the startup times and shutter release times of the K-r in practice? The Rebel XT is almost instant start-up. I always leave it on the 'ON' position and it goes to sleep after 2 mins. Just a mild press of the shutter release wakes it up and another press takes the picture.
03-12-2012, 11:27 PM   #4
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all you need is a pentax kr and a sigma 30mm f1.4

03-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #5
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I am not an expert on K-r video, but I do believe that video is not one of its stronger features. It's not full 1080, only 720. Also it is auto ISO only and manual focus only. Don't get me wrong. You can take some decent video with a K-r, but newer models of everything are getting much easier to use.

Low level incandescent light is also not one of its stronger points. Some people have had focussing issues under those conditions. Mine seems to be fine though. Every once on a while mine will miss focus under those conditions, but not very often. I usually chalk that up to me, not the camera.

K-r's are great cameras though. I have been totally satisfied with the features, performance, dynamic range, price, image quality, etc. And who can resist a stormtrooper white DSLR with a 40 year old lens attached to it?

Oh yeah, start up time is instantaneous. You can leave the camera on and set when you want auto shut down. Obviously you have to be careful though. If you put it in a bag there is a chance that the shutter button will be halfway depressed and drain the battery.
03-13-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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When you try a K-r and a similar model Canon in the store, the K-r images look much better too. I think this is largely due to the kit lens' being better - I was surprised to see how weak the ~18-55 Canon kit lens was. The better Canon glass is quite good, but almost always costs significantly more than similar quality Pentax glass.

The difference in the colors is also there too. B&H and Adorama still have good K-r packages - one includes the 18-55 and 55-300 zooms (better than the 18-55 & 50-200 combo), and one includes the excellent 35/2.4 lens. Either package should give you results similar to what you're describing you want your images to look like. Beware, however, that Pentax has a large selection of mid-priced, high-quality glass to lure you into buying more. They also offer almost universal compatibility with old Pentax and third-party K-mount lenses, so that will temp you too! But this wide selection of old and new primes - many reasonably priced - will lead you into being a more thoughtful photographer, probably better than any other brand can do.


The K-r should be replaced sometime this year, but at this point no announcement has been made, so we've no idea if it's 2 months out or 8 months away. We don't even have good rumors on it, that I've heard of. But the K-r prices are a good value now and they'll probably sell out soon.

Last edited by DSims; 03-13-2012 at 12:42 AM.
03-13-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttervelocity Quote
I've decided that I need at least 18 on the wide and 75-85 on the tele if possible.
If you would like a one-zoom-only kit, check out either the Pentax-DA 17-70 f/4 or 18-135 f/3.5-5.6, and there is also the Sigma 17-70 or Sigma/Tamron 18-250... All these are described in the Lens Review section.
Have fun!
03-13-2012, 01:14 AM   #8
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Before I bought my K-r I did a lot of research into what the other brands offer for this kind of money and I found the K-r was the best. Pentax also offers a lot of nice lenses, including very wide primes and zooms, at very reasonable prices.
Now, there are some rumours going around that Pentax will soon announce a new DSLR (soon meaning sometime this year), but we don't really know anything for certain. I'd say get the K-r, get the white version because it looks awesome, and have fun.

03-13-2012, 07:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttervelocity Quote
I see. that not a biggie actually. I've been reading about DSLR video recording and even the T2i does not AF during video. The only ones that supposedly do quick AF during video are the Sony SLT series.

How are the startup times and shutter release times of the K-r in practice? The Rebel XT is almost instant start-up. I always leave it on the 'ON' position and it goes to sleep after 2 mins. Just a mild press of the shutter release wakes it up and another press takes the picture.
Start up times: Never timed the start-up time of any camera I've owned but the Kr is near instant. I have dust removal set to do it's shake thing when I turn it on shake starts instantly after switching on and within a second or so (total time) I'm ready to shoot.

Sleep recovery: First the Kr can't be set to 2 minutes there are 5 or 6 settings that start with 1 min, which is what mine is set to. Awakening happens very quickly (again I've never timed it) but I do know it's faster than the start time.
What is a mild press? If you mean "just touching" the shutter release awakens the XT that isn't happening with the Kr. The Kr will not awaken unless the shutter release is pressed somewhere around 1/4 to1/2 way.

You won't miss any shots because it didn't awaken fast enough that's for sure.

The Kr plus the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL is a great combination for around the house and children. It's an excellent lens for the money.
03-13-2012, 07:49 AM   #10
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I think you'd love the K-r. It's a fantastic value and I absolutely adore mine. It's very fast, instantaneous startup if you turn off the dust removal at startup. But it's still fast even if you leave that on. It also has 6 fps continuous shooting which is really excellent for an entry level DSLR.

Also, the battery flexibility is wonderful! If you get the AA adapter, you can use the included Lithium Ion or 4 AAs. Rechargeables, lithiums, whatever you can find. Makes it nice when traveling.

I have only used mine for video once so I can't really comment on that, although it served my purposes well for that occasion.

Good luck with your choice. I think you'll really enjoy the K-r if you get one. Beware of lens buying addiction, though!
03-13-2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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WOW! So many great replies! You guys really make a new member feel at home.

@loco - Thanks. I don't think I'll go down the "many lenses" route, but that's what I said about guitars and after owning 18 of them I'm now stuck with 6.

@geru2000 - Regarding the startup, now I am totally convinced it'll be just as good as the XT. And by mild press, yeah, I got carried away. I did mean a half-press. Sorry about that.

@Na Horuk - We all have to walk that bridge at some point of time don't we? I bought the FZ100 and months later, the FZ150 was announced. Since the K-01 just got announced, I hope it'll be a while before they announce another for the prosumer category.

@victordeamorin - I'm leaning on the 18 - 135 for now. That's what my brother's friend uses for his T2i and he's got some great moonshots along with a teleconverter.

@DSims - Totally agree. A colleague at work uses the Canon Mark I and when I told him I got my brother's XT, the first thing he said was to move away from the kit lens as its total crap. LOL.

@lammie200 - For videos, I'll just bring along the tiny Sony HX9V which takes 1080p video and has excellent low-light auto-focus. However, its one damn slow-poke at it. With such a high ISO available, I'd think the AF indoors would be a cinch but I guess it depends on the lens that the camera. The 18-55 does have trouble focusing indoors in low-light but with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, it focuses pretty quickly.

@Bokehlicious - Thanks. i'll read more about that combination.

Yeah, I'm a big star wars fan as well. The white one looks wicked. I might get a chance to checkout a deal on the local craigslist. We'll see. Thanks again!
03-13-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttervelocity Quote
@Na Horuk - We all have to walk that bridge at some point of time don't we? I bought the FZ100 and months later, the FZ150 was announced. Since the K-01 just got announced, I hope it'll be a while before they announce another for the prosumer category.
Yep, especially with electronics that get updated every couple of years. But then again, people still use older Pentax models like the k10d and the k-x, and they still love their cameras. Even if they announce a new one, it probably won't be a total game-changer. Even though some people always hope for that

Oh, and another plus for Pentax.. the nice community on this forum. People here are very helpful with all sorts of things. Even has its own marketplace. I don't know about other brands, but from what Ive seen on general multi-brand photography forums the Canikon fans aren't quite as.. open and nice.
03-13-2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttervelocity Quote
I might get a chance to checkout a deal on the local craigslist. We'll see. Thanks again!
Another thing to consider would be to buy one from one of this site's sponsors and get the Pentax 2-year extended warranty which makes for a total of three years. The Pentax warranty usually sells for about $20. It is a no-brainer. It is possible that buying used will result in no warranty at all.
03-13-2012, 03:19 PM   #14
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I'm unsure how anyone can be bored using a camera brand. Are Pentax's really that much more exciting? I think changing from one brands entry level camera to another brands entry level camera is not going to make any observable difference in image quality to be honest.

By all means buy a K-r if it floats your boat, this forum is very helpful too, but don't expect much in the way of IQ impovement.
03-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I'm unsure how anyone can be bored using a camera brand. Are Pentax's really that much more exciting? I think changing from one brands entry level camera to another brands entry level camera is not going to make any observable difference in image quality to be honest.

By all means buy a K-r if it floats your boat, this forum is very helpful too, but don't expect much in the way of IQ impovement.
twitch, you make a good point - the T2i isn't somehow defective, and it's still a good camera. But there always are observable IQ differences. Hence people's keen interest (sometimes too keen) in sites like DPReview. And there are trade-offs. An obvious one is that T2i has better video and the K-r has better high-ISO performance.

Judging by your lenses (we have similar collections) we both know they can make a significant difference in the image. Even if he only gets 2 or 3 lenses, this may become the most important factor in the brand decision. And the colors - the result of a combination of the sensor, Pentax glass, and the JPEG engine (or RAW camera profiles and editing software) - can be important, especially if one does not want to spend much (or any) time on post-processing. Even many professionals (especially in news/sports journalism) prefer to deal in JPEG.

Last edited by DSims; 03-13-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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