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05-04-2012, 10:33 PM   #1
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Thinking of diving back in

So, I used to take a lot of pics with my old SLR but have been out of it for a while now (like 20 years). The wife is starting to make comments about how we need a new camera and I'm seeing this as my opportunity to take the plunge. I have a few concerns and questions though.

I've been eyeing the K-R for some time now. I have even been in some debates with a Nikon user at work a few times. He just doesn't get the Pentax thing. I on the other hand am very open minded. I like the concept of purchasing a Pentax. A lot of camera for a small price. I love the availability of using a ton of lenses, though I probably won't use more than the kit lense and a Prime or two as I don't have any lenses yet and will be on a budget from the financial commitee (my wife). My problem is, we may be looking at getting a camera in the near future and Pentax has next to nothing to offer me right now.

I totally understand, buying a used camera is not a bad thing, I get that the K-X is still a viable option and that the issues with the K-R, for me, will probably never be a problem. I just want a little peace of mind. Neither the K-X or K-R are available for new purchase. If I'm selling this idea to the wife, it has to come over as legit. Buying used is really not an option for me. That pretty much leaves the K-5.

Here's what I like and dislike about the k-5. The K-5 is a little expensive for me. It also lacks 24 fps video and that's something that I will likely need for filming some of the dance events my wife performs in. This is part of the new camera pitch. I love the idea that it's weather resistant and that it has bracketing. Also, the in camera stabilization is great as it cuts down on lens cost. I would have liked a fold out display but, it's not something I need. The Pentax community is unparalleled.

My only other option at this time is looking at either the new Nikon D3200 or the D5100. Both are quite affordable at the moment. The 3200 does not have the bracketing that I'm looking for but that ridiculous megapixel count is intriguing. The 5100 is also nice, has the bracketing and the 24 fps I like and the fold out display. It will likely be replaced soon though. Being replaced doesnt bother me as I know everything on the market now will soon be replaced. What bothers me about it is, when it's replacement comes out, the price will likely drop. I'd hate to pay for it now only to have the price drop a week later. Another drawback to Nikon is, I've gotten really attached to the concept of getting a Pentax. I don't know if I'd feel let down by grabbing the Nikon. Nothing gets to me more than buyers remorse. I try to avoid it at all costs.

So, I turn to you Pentax community. What advice do you have for someone sturggling with this decision? The K-5 might be a hard sell at a good $500 over the cost of the others especially when it isn't everything that I'm looking for but I'm having a hard time thinking about not joining the Pentax owners community.

Edit: Just realised I put this in the K-R forum. Probably should have gone in the K-5 forum. My appologies.

Last edited by Navmaxlp; 05-04-2012 at 10:42 PM.
05-04-2012, 11:46 PM   #2
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You have some tough choices to make. As for price, you might want to consider the K-01. It has the same sensor and most of the features of the K-5. The K-r is also a good choice. As for Nikon, I would not recommend the 3100 to anyone. To me it is a toy. The max ISO is way too low and the settings dial is all in pictures. I don't know anyone with the 5100 but it's specs are a little better.
05-05-2012, 01:55 AM   #3
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I endorse AOShepís K-01 suggestion. Iíve been using one for a couple of months and Iím impressed.

You wonít go far wrong with a K-5 but, if cost is an issue, do consider the K-01 which is a little more affordable. It has everything you want, including 24fps full HD video, bracketing, very good high ISO performance and K-5-class image quality. It also has focus peaking (the K-5 doesnít). What it doesnít have is a viewfinder but I wouldnít let that put you off. If you havenít already, read Adamís Pentax K-01 Camera Review

If you can, take a look at a K-01 in person and handle it. It appears to be a love it or loathe it experience. If youíre one of the lucky ones, youíll love it and youíll be set up for some top quality picture making.
05-05-2012, 02:36 AM   #4
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The K-01 is good, but it has no OVF. Some people love that, some people hate that. The K-5 is fairly cheap now and it features WR and all the shooting modes you will need, with great high-ISO performance. The K-r is the best intro DSLR atm, but it is being discontinued (and Pentax will probably soon announce a new DSLR to take its place, though we don't know when it will be hitting the shelves - probably not very soon). you can still get it in stores - I recommend finding the two-lens kit, with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses. The K-r is great because it offers more than its competitors (that cost the same or even a little more) and is compatible with all Pentax lenses (unlike some other brands, which have all sorts of conflicts), even old manual ones, which are very cheap and high quality!
The K-x is almost identical to the K-r, its slightly smaller, but has a few features less (like the focus confirm lights in the OVF).
There is also the Pentax Q, which is very small (thought its not K-mount) and has rather good quality for its size. You might like that.
Hm, in regards to the Nikon.. I think you would be better off with a Pentax or even a Canon (Canon is pretty good for video, I think, though the K-01 is supposedly good for video as well). If you are buying a used K-r I would suggest trying to get warranty with it. I'm a little suspicious when buying used electronics, but then again, some people have good experiences with that, maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

05-05-2012, 02:45 AM   #5
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K-5 has all you need right now. Video, still capability, and just the right range of lenses at prices you can afford. The lenses are where your results are at. A kit lens and a DA 35 f/2.4 will combine with a K-r or K-5 and be far cheaper yet just as capable as the competition. This thread is suitable in either K-5 or K-r forum, but I can move it if you request.
05-05-2012, 05:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Navmaxlp Quote
. Neither the K-X or K-R are available for new purchase.
Hello Navmaxlp,
The K-R is still available new, since it was recently discontinued. "New, old stock" probably.
I did a quick eBay search for "Pentax KR" and came up with literally dozens, some with the kit lens and others for body only.
Within the first 5 pages of the search I found;
Tri-State- New K-R body w/18-55mm- $631
Beach Camera- New K-R body w/18-55mm- $669
Datavis_Sales- New K-R body w/18-55mm- $669
Bigvalueinc- New K-R body only- $642
and a few others. These are all US sellers and most have 99% + ratings.
I don't have any connection with any of the sellers, but have bought from both Tri-State and Beach Camera. No problem with either one, items were exactly as described and shipping was fast.
Check it out!

Last edited by rbefly; 05-05-2012 at 05:49 AM.
05-05-2012, 02:36 PM   #7
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well,i was in the very same situation as you more than a year ago,a former film guy looking to get back into photography. I did my research and couldn't find anything that gave as much for the cost as the KR. I havent had any regrets. Awesome low light preformance and 6FPS frame rate yada,yada,yada. If you have held one in your hand it does feel like a camera and not a toy. I think you could pound nails with it if you had to,its very well constructed. Couple that with the low cost and find someone on Craigslist selling an old Pentax film SLR so you can pick up some glass and you can be in pretty cheap. I got mine used and the only complaint is it's not weather sealed which of course would be ludicris at the KR's typical street price. If you hold both a KR and a 3100 side by side i will bet the debate for you would be over.
05-05-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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I got K-x's as my top of the line cams and love them. Also have K2000 and *ist's. They all work fine for me.

05-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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Another thought. You were considering buying used. Maybe even the K-7 might be a good choice. The K-r has more advanced imaging, but the K-7 has the professional features like WR that you thought would be nice.
05-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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Add in that there is a new model expected to be announced this month (which is the kr replacement)
05-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #11
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there are still "New" K-rs on Amazon if you're still leaning that way

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