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08-31-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
Mucahid Kahraman

Is there control difference between entry-level and a pro dslr?

I'm new to photography and i do not have a DSLR yet, but i'm planning to buy a Pentax K-3 for my first dslr.
Now i'm currently using a bridge camera that is very similar to a dslr. and so i know almost all the things about photography(Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal length etc etc...).
and that is why i'm asking...should i start with a pro level dslr or a an enrtry-level(even though i know all the photographic stuff).
I dont really want to start with an entry-level.

08-31-2014, 01:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
even though i know all the photographic stuff
Nobody knows all the photographic stuff, even the pros continue to learn. But it depends on what you need rather than what we think you need. If you tell us what you're going to be photographing maybe we can help you decide.
08-31-2014, 02:05 PM   #3
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Your new camera will come with a manual. Read it while you are waiting for the battery to charge. If you still have questions, post them here . . .
08-31-2014, 02:11 PM   #4
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If you mean camera controls, the main difference is often more buttons and less menu diving, plus some features that entry level users might never need.

So if you go here: Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-3 vs. Pentax K-50 vs. Pentax K-500 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - You can see that the k-3 has:
14 bit RAW
5 shot exposure bracketing
24 mp
No scene modes
1/8000sec shutter speed
8.3 fps
allows tethering with FLU card
Can use a battery grip
No AA batteries
More AF modes
Probably some more I forgot. What you will not get is significantly better image quality. Both sensors are excellent and will produce excellent images. The differences are mostly things a beginning photographer would not use. So look at the feature sets and decide which features you need. If the k-50 covers everything then you are good. If you need things only the k-3 provides or might want in the future then go with the k-3

08-31-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Generally more direct buttons equals easier experimentation and quicker possible settings changes. The problem may be that some people find themselves overwhelmed with buttons, even though menu diving can be a labyrinth. A pro came won't automatically make you a better photographer though even if it got more bells and whistles and horsepower, that skill is in you.
08-31-2014, 03:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mucahid Kahraman Quote
I'm new to photography and i do not have a DSLR yet, but i'm planning to buy a Pentax K-3 for my first dslr.
Now i'm currently using a bridge camera that is very similar to a dslr. and so i know almost all the things about photography(Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal length etc etc...).
and that is why i'm asking...should i start with a pro level dslr or a an enrtry-level(even though i know all the photographic stuff).
I dont really want to start with an entry-level.
Generally speaking, advanced cameras have more buttons, while entry-level cameras have more options buried in the menus. This certainly applies to Pentax cameras, though the current entry-level K-50 and K-500 models are a step ahead of the competition, as they offer a second control wheel which makes it very easy to set the aperture and shutter speed manually. Most entry-level cameras only have one control wheel.

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08-31-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
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Hey, welcome! I always suggest people to start with a low to mid tier instead of going to the flagship cameras, so they don't get frustrated and then a) blame the equipment b) buy more equipment, different brand, and c) give up
So I would suggest you get the K-50 or K-S1. These both seem to have many features. The K-50 is even WR. Why do you want the K-3? I mean, if you cannot name specific features the K-3 has that you need and the lower tier models don't have, then you probably don't need it. Lots of people just assume that if you get a more expensive camera, the photos will look better. That is not true. A camera merely gives you potential to make good photos. Every piece of new equipment has a learning curve, even if you get just a new lens. Getting a whole new system is big, and if you get the most complex things that the system offers, you will feel like you are drowning. You might know about shutter speed and aperture, but you don't know about the machine yet. And a simpler machine is easier to learn. Just like when buying a motorcycle. You start with something not too powerful. Once you get the hang of that, build some experiences and skills, then you can get a real beast and enjoy it.
I would say that unless you have a need that you can quantify, then don't bother getting a top notch camera. Get a starter camera and invest in good lenses, that is the better way to do it. Lenses are more important, they hold their value, and you can use them on the next camera body anyway. Meanwhile, you get experience and buy the next flagship. There is a new camera coming out every year or two, so you will have plenty of chances to upgrade.

But if you think you want a K-3, go for it. I don't want you to be unhappy with a K-50 and think to yourself some dude on a forum held you back. I don't know you, maybe you would read the manual and patiently perservere and would have no problem starting with the K-3. Either way, welcome aboard and good luck
08-31-2014, 03:51 PM   #8
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We see this question pretty much every day. My opinion, if you don't know why you want a K-3 over a K-50, get the K-50 or a used K-30, use the rest of the money for premium lenses.

If you don't know if a DSLR is for you, even an old KX is really a great camera. I've taken loads and loads of great images with mine. The K-30 was a nice upgrade in terms of dual control wheels, but the IQ wasn't as much different as I expected, except when cropping shots.

Your pictures from a KX with a great lens will be much much better than pictures from the K-3 with a kit lens.

I will absolutely upgrade to a K-3 or whatever comes next in the next 6 months or so. I'm looking for specific things: A rear remote sensor, f2.8 focusing, and focus peaking all in one camera. Right now, the K-3 is that camera. I also already have a moderately extensive collection of really really great lenses.

Last edited by Kozlok; 08-31-2014 at 03:59 PM.
08-31-2014, 06:12 PM   #9
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Welcome to the Forum!!

A bridge camera is a great learning platform. It does give you a great deal of experience. That said, it is a one piece "system" - a body and a lens welded together. A dSLR comes in pieces, many pieces as in mix and match. The body is but one component of the "system". As such, you have a great deal of choice in selecting a body and a lens or lenses to serve as tools to photography whatever you are interested in photographing.

Between bodies and lenses, believe it or not - lenses are the more important single component. They gather the light and focus it on to the body's sensor. Yes, you the photographer interact with the body more, and it appears to be the most pivotal part of the system, but it is also the most replaceable and depreciates the fastest.

You can put a bad lens on a bad body and at best come up with mediocre images. Essentially the same result with a bad lens on a great body. You can put a great lens on a bad body and come up with extremely good images. All of that said - it's the 12 inches behind the camera the really makes the difference - you the photographer, with the skill, vision and creativity that brings all of it together.

So, you came here asking about bodies. The K3 is a wonderful body. No doubt about it. It replaced the K5II/K5IIs.
  • K5II/K5IIs - These have the same body construction/build, an extremely tremendous sensor (and some would argue a better sensor, be it 16MP - it has a lower noise profile). The focusing is improved over the previous models, along with a lot of other features.
  • K50/K30 - same camera but with a different style of body shell separating the two. Same sensor as the K5II/K5IIs, and sealed like them also. They also have focus peaking - something that the K3 has but is not in the K5II/K5IIs.
Anyway, you can easily cut your body costs in half going with the K5IIs and even further with the K5II. You can easily get below about $500 with the K30/K50, with out really giving up a lot. What this will do is provide you with the ability to get some very good quality lenses. With a combination of good glass and a good body, you essentially have the entire package.

08-31-2014, 07:18 PM   #10
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My K-3 is my first dSLR, and I came to it from a bridge camera - a Panasonic FZ150. While I was able to create nice photos with the Panny, the things that frustrated me the most about it were precisely the reasons I wanted a dSLR, and a pro/enthusiast level body instead of an entry level one. I was sick and tired of menu-diving every time I wanted to change a setting. I wanted more control as well as the capability for better photos.

As a photographer whose primary interests lie in the nature and wildlife areas, I appreciate what the K-3 gives me above the K-5IIs or K-50 in burst speed, focus performance, and resolution, among others. As others have pointed out, the K-5II or IIs, K-50, and K-30 are also viable options for less money, and I would have no problem using those if I didn't desire the K-3 features I just mentioned. However, I do love my K-3, and I am so used to it that I do notice the slight performance difference when I shoot with a friend's K-30. Some of that is partly due to the different button placement, and only a little due to the lesser specs.

If you are willing to invest the time learning the controls and features of a pro level body, and using them, then go for it. Be warned, though - there is a learning curve. If you are the kind of person who doesn't mind menus or might get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options (and buttons and dials), then perhaps an entry/mid level body is preferable. It is possible to take excellent photos with any dSLR on the market, even the cheapest ones, so think about what it is you really care about, and what isn't that important to you. If at all possible, try and get all the models you are considering into your hands. I was torn between the K-3 and a Nikon D7100 until I held both side by side. I knew right away the Pentax was for me. Now, why Pentax was even on my list is a story for another time.

Good luck with your decision!

08-31-2014, 10:44 PM   #11
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MK, if you've got the confidence, get the better camera. IMHO, when photography is something you love, you will actually save money, by buying nice instead of buying twice.

At any stage you can go for P or an individual Scene mode and make a DSLR act like a point-and-shoot whenever you or your friends and family need. :-)
09-01-2014, 02:57 AM   #12
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There isn't any particular reason to start with entry level versus a K3. Entry level cameras do tend to be a little smaller, have not quite as good specs (slower frame rate, not as deep buffer, not as fast shutter speed, louder shutter, etc), don't have the ability to use a battery grip with them, and have fewer buttons.

It used to be the entry level cameras didn't have as nice viewfinders or two control wheels, but now they do, which raises their usability considerably, in my opinion.

I think either one is fine to learn on. The more important thing is having some nice glass to shoot with, so don't put so much money in your camera body that you don't have a little left over to get a nice prime or too.
09-03-2014, 09:51 AM   #13
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If you're comfortable controlling parameters on your own, skip the entry level. So go K50 or the top tier family - K5 or K3. You don't need the various scenes, you do want modes like TAv. Personally, I use the top LCD all the time and would not give that up. I do concur you don't need the top level K3 if the budget can be used toward a K5II and more money left over for lenses.
09-03-2014, 10:29 AM   #14

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Beyond what's been said here, more advanced cameras also have less automated features such as scene modes - because you can accomplish the same things using various controls.
11-02-2014, 09:50 AM   #15
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If your main interest is in snap shot like photos from vacation and family gatherings a modern entry level camera might even be better than a high end DSLR. You cannot control it as well or get maximal results but for everyday, casual use you might be happier with the images you get from a simpler camera.

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