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05-04-2014, 11:44 AM   #1
Allandavid
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Would like to buy Pentax for first time but

I'm reentering the world of photography as a hobbyist...have been out of it for years. First and only DSLR was an Olympus e510. I'm really leaning toward Pentax because of the weather resistance as I'd like to shoot outdoors and not be concerned with the weather. I have been considering the new K3 (yes it's probably a bit much for a beginner but I don't mind paying for new technology)...however as many of you know there are two problems being reported on this forum, the mirror flapping and freeze up. Should I pass on the K3 and go with a proven standby K5IIs? Or should I chance the K3? Or am I crazy for buying either one since I'm at a beginner level (I've had had film cameras over the years and taken classes long ago). Your input would be appreciated. I'd like to become a member but want to own one first.

05-04-2014, 12:00 PM   #2
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The Mirror flopping is not an issue. I have 2 K3s, since Decemnber, 20000 + shots, and encountered the flopping once - and never again. May be the firmware update fixed it.
Freeze up is also a firmware issue, there has been 3 updates since the output of the K3 which has improved stability. Never had this issue.
05-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about your "beginner level". It sounds like you have a general idea of how a camera works, you can always put it in Auto and shoot away. You can learn as you go, and Pentax is very easy to learn on.

Maybe I dodged a bullet, but I have not noticed any issues with my K-3, such as mirror flapping and freezing. Same goes with all my Pentax bodies, they all have "known" issues... none of what I have add, but sadly others have. That goes with any technology though; Canon, Nikon, Sony, GM, Ford, Toyota... everyone has issues at some scale.

I think your choice better comes down to which Pentax you need.

Price, I have seen the K-5ii going for $600-$700 brand new in physical stores, compared to the K-3 at $1200-1300. For that kind of money, I would be very, extremely tempted to get the old model, use it, then in a few years take the upgrade. When I bought my K-3, I had it price matched and it was the same price as the K-5iis... so it was kind of a no-brainer for all the extra features.
05-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #4
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I have had my K-3 for about two weeks now after using a K10D for the last seven years and have not encountered the crazy mirror. I have, however, experienced one "system hang" that required battery removal. I was surprised given the excellent stability of my K10D over the years, but am confident that this will be addressed in a future firmware update. My enthusiasm for the K-3 has not been dampened.

As for the best course of action, the K-3 is an incredible tool. A K-5 IIs or even a K-50 might also fit the bill, though at a much lower price point. The major points of differentiation for the K-3 over the K-5 IIs are sensor resolution, AF performance, and video performance/features. You might also add the low-pass filter emulation to the list if you common choice of subjects warrant moire correction.


Steve

05-04-2014, 12:33 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Get the K-50 kit with the two zoom lenses. You'll have a complete WR outfit and can add lenses from there.
05-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #6
Allandavid
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Thanks for the insight. Have any of you bought equipment from Gadget Circuit? They appear to have really good prices on Pentax items but I'm wondering what the catch is?
05-05-2014, 05:31 AM   #7
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The freezing issue is a battery issue (or voltage regulation) and seems to disappear after the batteries have been through a few discharge cycles. I have a new one which froze on me this weekend. Pulling the battery and replacing is the solution for reset. That had not happened since the camera was pretty new - or rather the original battery was new.

This seems to have no affect on the camera itself, fortunately.
05-06-2014, 08:04 PM   #8
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As a hobbyist I am curious what the K-3 will give you that the K-50 or a K-30 will not? If your main requirement is the WR then you will be covered and, as posted above, have extra cash for more WR lenses. I am using a K-30 and at about 30,000 shots and 18 months in, having not been hindered by any limitations of my body.

05-07-2014, 05:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allandavid Quote
Thanks for the insight. Have any of you bought equipment from Gadget Circuit? They appear to have really good prices on Pentax items but I'm wondering what the catch is?
I'm a long time Pentax user, since the late '50s. Now own a K20, K5, and K3. Had one wild mirror incident with the latter. Don't be seduced by the higher pixel count. It is very difficult to tell the difference between a shot taken @16mp and one taken @ 24mp. Superior lenses are a better investment. If the lens is not up to the detail capacity of a 16mp sensor, then 24mp is a total waste. I routinely still use the K20 and post images here, and I defy anyone on this forum tell which of the three camera bodies was used for every image I've posted.

I would go along with the recommendations for a K30 or K50, or if you must a K5II, but better the first two and invest in a better lens and/or two lenses.

For purchasing, I would strongly recommend B&H. I've bought from quite a few merchants since 1958, and B&H is by far the best. From where I am, I can place on on-line order Monday morning and have the equipment by Tuesday afternoon. B&H is also excellent about accepting exchanges and returns. I've only had one personal experience, but others have indicated a no-questions-asked on exchanging an expensive camera body, then doing it again, then returning the second and changing to a different model or brand. B&H prices are as good as any. Sometimes lower prices for a camera come with "but also you must buy the battery, strap, computer-connect wire, CD for raw conversion" all of which are actually inside the Pentax box - IOW, they are quoting the fraction of the price that applies to the camera body, but you cannot get the body without the "extras" packed in every box shipped by Pentax.

I'm sure more advice from other Pentaxians will be forthcoming, especially V-A-V lens choice if you want advice on that issue.
05-07-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
Allandavid
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Thank you Wpresto and Mistlefoot....I don't take your advice lightly. I have to admit that my main concern is not buying something that will quickly be obsolete. I thought I would be wise to stay a little ahead of the curve with the K3...Figured spend more now and have it for a longer period of time than spend less now and then want to upgrade sooner....no argument just another way of thinking. I have noticed that B&H seems stable and has a good reputation. I have been noticing the items that are not included like the lens hood with some of the other on line companies. Abe's is another that a friend just recommended.
I would like to hear your advice on lenses since you offered up the thought.
05-07-2014, 06:27 PM   #11
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As a basic lens the Sigma 17-70mm is excellent. IQ is very good, by most tests it is better than the Pentax 17-70mm. I have the original version of the Sigma 17-70 (the present version is an upgrade) and have found it very satisfactory. I also have a Pentax 18-135mm purchased to get more range in a carry-about lens, but I was not entirely pleased with the IQ. I also have a Sigma 18-250 which I think gives as good or better results over the 18-135mm range, but reaches to 250mm although with drop in quality. It has been a very handy, very versatile all-around lens. The Pentax 55-300 is a very good tele-zoom, hard to beat at the price. A combination of a Sigma 17-70mm and a Pentax 55-300mm would give you an excellent range with very good to excellent results. You'd only be missing a really wide-angle.
BTW: If you want a used Pentax 18-135 or a 55-300, both of mine are essentially in retirement. If you are, send a PM.
05-08-2014, 04:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allandavid Quote
I'm reentering the world of photography as a hobbyist...have been out of it for years. First and only DSLR was an Olympus e510. I'm really leaning toward Pentax because of the weather resistance as I'd like to shoot outdoors and not be concerned with the weather. I have been considering the new K3 (yes it's probably a bit much for a beginner but I don't mind paying for new technology)...however as many of you know there are two problems being reported on this forum, the mirror flapping and freeze up. Should I pass on the K3 and go with a proven standby K5IIs? Or should I chance the K3? Or am I crazy for buying either one since I'm at a beginner level (I've had had film cameras over the years and taken classes long ago). Your input would be appreciated. I'd like to become a member but want to own one first.
I say go for it. Was in the same boat as you three months ago. I bought the K5iis. I absolutely love this camera. I could not believe how easy it was to operate. Buttons and screen access options are very well thought out. The directions for the manual are great. I followed another members recommendation to go through the book/manual once a week for the first month, twice a month for the second month, and monthly after that. Once you think your not learning anything new, then you can use it for reference only. When the K3 gets replaced I will move up to the K3. The learning curve will be so fast since the layout, buttons, and menu are virtually the same.

For lenses I have bought the 15mm limited, 40mm limited, 100mm macro WR and the 18-135mm WR. Once I learned where the sweet spot was for each lens I have been thrilled with the IQ. Only the 18-135 remains soft across most reasonable apertures. But only on the edges. The center is very close to the 100mm macro which is my sharpest lens. The 15 mm and 40mm follow and are only a hair behind.
I think dollar for dollar, Pentax lenses have excellent build quality.

All I can say is that "Pentax is fun".
05-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #13
davidallan
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OK - I went for it. I just placed my order for a K3 with the 18-135 zoom. Should be here in 5 or 6 days.
Any recommendations for a filter to protect the glass?
05-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #14
mee
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There are 3 (at least known to me) lines of thought in answering your question..

1) UV or Haze lens to cover the front
2) Keep the lens hood on at all times (since it sticks out, it will be difficult for anything to touch the front element)
3) Do nothing at all / This isn't an issue

I've been in the 1 camp for awhile and am coming around towards 2 at the moment.. at least with some lenses. I have some nice B+W brand UV/Haze filters on others though. I had a (fairly cheap) Sigma UV on my first non-kit lens, but it developed some odd stains on it that appear blotchy. yuck. So far the B+W are holding well.

But I've yet to have an incident with the lens hood on the front and generally just being careful not to get anything on the front. If I was shooting often in the wind, I'd probably opt for a filter just to keep sand grains from pelting the front. But that is just me.
05-08-2014, 07:11 PM   #15
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I've had a few unpleasant experiences with unprotected front lens elements, drops of rain, mist & splash etc., and once had a small tree branch go right down the lens hood an make a mark on the fron element when I was pushing through through brush with camera & lens still on a tripod. So I keep a clear filter on the larger, more expensive optics at all times (60-250; 300, Bigma). UV, Skylight, or just plain clear protective filters are fine, but invest in a good one with proper coating (B+W, Tiffen, Hoya, Helioplan, Singhn-Ray, or camera brand).
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