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01-29-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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K-5 for beginner?

I used to shoot with a Yachica Electro 35 and a Canon AE-1 film cameras and now use a Canon S3 but want to get a dslr camera. Is a K-5 too much camera for a first dslr? I do occasionaly take indoor pictures but most of my shooting is outdoors so the weather sealing appeals to me. Don't plan on shooting in the rain but do go out in snowy, below freezing temperature and foggy weather. Would I be better off getting a K-7 or a K-r rather than a K-5?

I'm interested in landscape, macro, flowers, birds, architecture, rodeo's, weather, portrait, auto's - just about anything.

01-29-2012, 09:33 PM   #2
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The K-7 and K-5 are identical in terms of general usage, so you won't be able to tell a difference there (the K-5 has improved hardware, though, and takes much better images).

If you understand how shutter speed an aperture work, then you can by all means get a K-5. In fact, if you ever want to adjust either of these values, the K-5 makes it easier by providing 2 scrollwheels rather than just the one on the K-r. The K-5 also has more external buttons, making some things easier to access on-the-fly, and a top lcd, which is nice.

What the K-5 doesn't have is scene modes and the "AF.A" feature, which automatically chooses between continuous and single auto focus. IMO, the latter is useless, as you soft of know whether or not you're shooting stuff that's moving, and on the K-5, there's a handy external switch for choosing AF.C and AF.S.

As far as scene modes go, again, they're not really needed. The K-5 does have a green mode which pretty much does everything for you, and doesn't let you change most settings, so if you're a beginner, you can always use that. And if you're shooting sports, you can always set the program line to "shutter priority" in the menu on the K-5, which is literally going to do the same thing as the K-r's "action" scene mode.

The deciding factor between the K-r and the K-5 is generally the size and the price. If you can afford the K-5, I would go for it- it's a much better camera overall!

Take a look at our review of the K-5. If you're not overwhelmed after reading it, then I would say the choice is clear!
Pentax K-5 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

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01-29-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
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The K-5 is perfectly fine for a beginner, no easier or harder to use than any other Pentax DSLR, but offers the best image quality in a weather sealed body which no other Pentax DSLR offers.
01-29-2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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If you're going to move to a DSLR, might as well start with the best. As has been mentioned, it's no harder or easier to use than any other DSLR. A Nikon D40 would be just as hard to use, and the image quality is nowhere near as good.

01-29-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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Get the K5, you won't regret it. If your skills are rusty, the auto modes will carry you nicely while you get used to the camera. You also get the benefit of weather sealing, something you won't find on a beginner camera.
01-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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If you can afford it, get the K-5. If you want to save a little money and you don't plan on making many photographs handheld in low light, then get the K-7 or the K20D.

The K-x and the K-r are excellent cameras for a beginner, too, but they lack weather-sealing and only have a single control wheel. If you don't plan on shooting much in manual mode, you may not ever care to have a second wheel, but if you think you might eventually want full control, go for the K20D/K-7/K-5.

Again, if you can afford it, the K-5 is arguably the best crop-sensor camera there is, right now (depending on your needs).
01-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unregistered Quote
------

I'm interested in landscape, macro, flowers, birds, architecture, rodeo's, weather, portrait, auto's - just about anything.
If you are completely new to DSLR, all the features, buttons and options that the K-5 offers may seem a bit overwhelming the first time you hold it in your hands; (the printed manual is some 375 pages for a good reason).

But in my opinion that is no "excuse" for not buying a very, very fine camera that will match your interests very well and give you weather sealing too. The thing is, that the K-5 is easy to use from the beginning - and then you have a camera that you can grow with, photographically speaking, for years to come.
01-30-2012, 06:09 PM   #8
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If money is a consideration, I would say buy a used K-r for $425 and buy a great lens or two with the $600+ you save. I use a K-r all the time out in the snowy cold (no problems a few weeks back when it was -7). In the DSLR world, a $425 body is almost "disposable"! A single control wheel is fine, especially if you're not used to two.

The lenses will hold their value more than the K5 will, so if you decide to ditch Pentax, you will take much less of a hit.

Take 20,000 - 30,000 pix with the K-r and then think about an upgrade either to a used K-5 (should be $700 by then) or save for the new K3 or whatever replaces the K5.

My $0.02

01-30-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Basset Quote
If money is a consideration, I would say buy a used K-r for $425 and buy a great lens or two with the $600+ you save. I use a K-r all the time out in the snowy cold (no problems a few weeks back when it was -7). In the DSLR world, a $425 body is almost "disposable"! A single control wheel is fine, especially if you're not used to two.

The lenses will hold their value more than the K5 will, so if you decide to ditch Pentax, you will take much less of a hit.

Take 20,000 - 30,000 pix with the K-r and then think about an upgrade either to a used K-5 (should be $700 by then) or save for the new K3 or whatever replaces the K5.

My $0.02
i agree- i have a K-r and i have a friend with a K-5. the K-5 is nicer built- a difference you can really feel. I personally find all the dedicated buttons slightly redundant. The weather sealing is a plus- but i know that he would probably put his camera away in the rain regardless...

i would choose the a good lens or two over the difference. I use the DA 40 with my K-r and that makes a really nice, high quality walkabout setup. the focal length isn't to most peoples taste, but as i mostly photograph architectural details it works really well. A crop at 55mm in relatively low light from that lens would trounce the kit lens at 55mm IMO.
01-30-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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Since you already have experience with film SLRs and with a digital camera, I wouldn't expect you would have any trouble with the K-5. I wouldn't, however, recommend the K-5 to someone who's never shot with anything more complex than a cell phone. The entry level cameras are easy to master (i.e., they are a bit more dumbed down). You just have to read a bit more of the manual with the K-5.

If you want a simpler weather-sealed DSLR, you could look to get a used K200D, which is sort of an entry level camera in a WR body.
01-30-2012, 09:02 PM   #11
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Figure out how much you want to spend on photography, then spend 1/3 of that amount on the body, 1/3 of that amount on lenses, and the final third on support (tripods), bags, accessories (flash, extra batteries, etc...) and software. For example, if you've got $1500 to spend:

$500 for a K-r or K-x with kit lens
$500 for one nice DA Limited prime lens (15mm F4, 21mm F3.2, 35mm F2.8 Macro, or 70mm F2.4, et. al) OR one good zoom (DA 18-135), OR one good primes (i.e., DA 35mm F2.4) plus some vintage lenses (i.e., Super Takumar 50mm F1.4, et. al...)
$500 for a decent tripod, a nice bag, and a flash.

The K-5 is a great camera, but if you don't support it with nice lenses and stuff, it's kind of like putting budget tires on a sports car.
Hope this helps.
01-31-2012, 01:41 AM   #12
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+1 on the sport car metaphor.

imho I'd go with the K-5/K-7 since it has more to offer, as you learn more you'll realise that your K-5/K-7 has the option that the K-r/equivelent doesn't have.
01-31-2012, 05:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
If you want a simpler weather-sealed DSLR, you could look to get a used K200D, which is sort of an entry level camera in a WR body.
I have a k200D, and I second this opinion as long as shooting at high ISO and snappy autofocus are not on your priority list (ISO tops out at 1600, but it is better than film). You can find used k200D's for dirt cheap right now (I think like $200). The you can probably get the k200D and a couple nice primes (or a high quality zoom) for the price of the k-5. If you decide you want to upgrade in the next couple years, you sell the k200D for $50 less than you purchased it for and purchase a used k-5 for $400 less than it is selling for now.

If money is not an issue, or if you are a person who constantly has to have the newest and best stuff, get the k-5 now (just make sure to get a good lens with it).

When I got my first DSLR I got the cheapest one that was over 7MP (at that time most of the used ones were ~7MP). I have no regrets of using this strategy, because I had to learn how I used my camera. I learned how much ISO I need, how important snappy autofocus was to me, etc. What I found out is that I value small size, quietness, and build quality (for me, your experience will differ). My next camera body will probably be a mirrorless camera, since they meet my objectives better than a DSLR. I am glad I dabbled instead of purchasing the (then just released) k-7 (cost about $1,200 at the time). When I sell my camera body (in a year or two) it will be at a minimal loss. Lenses tend to hold their value, so I would not be concerned about spending larger amounts of money on a lens.

With that said, I agree that the k-5/k-7 has more options than the k200D (some which I desire). However, I have found workarounds for many of these shortcomings. I wish you luck on your search.
01-31-2012, 05:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Basset Quote
If money is a consideration, I would say buy a used K-r for $425 and buy a great lens or two with the $600+ you save. I use a K-r all the time out in the snowy cold (no problems a few weeks back when it was -7). In the DSLR world, a $425 body is almost "disposable"! A single control wheel is fine, especially if you're not used to two.
I think I have seen the k-x on craigslist around here for $250-$300. Unsure how much better the k-r is over the k-x.
01-31-2012, 08:48 AM   #15
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Well - I was almost exactly in your situation. I had a Canon PowerShot S5 IS and decided it was time to move up. I ended up buying Pentax K7 due to its exceptional build quality (it was a "love from the first touch" ). It never was a problem for me that I had so many options to select from - quite the contrary - I really enjoyed it. Now, after all this time I can honestly say that getting the best was a really good decision! Just for the record - K5 is everything good that K7 had minus the problems. GO FOR THE K5!!!
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