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07-22-2015, 09:45 AM   #31
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It's a system not a body you buy into. You need glass which can easily cost more than the body. As a start up it would go k-50, cheap new great body with 18-135, decent all in one lens. I have neither. Will easily get you to intermediate. Go less and soon you are spending on lenses you can't afford. I would not go less than this. This is good and less means spending more very soon for new body or lens.
That would last me awhile starting out but instead I have $2,200 worth of lenses. I love them all but not the best path to start new.
Take the time and build hardware up as needed by needs.

07-23-2015, 02:33 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by timbuk2 Quote
Hi, I am new to photography so would like to buy either a good used dslr or something new - what would be best for a novice that also has enough features to carry me through to being an intermediate.
Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
Used, a K-5, low shutter count, and a DA 35mm f2.4 lens, that will get you started on the road to intermediate for a low initial outlay. The 18-135 I'm sure is a good lens, but I tend to suggest prime lenses. You might find a good copy of both at the market place here on the forum. If a zoom is a must the Tamron 17-50 is a good choice at a reasonable price..

Last edited by beachgardener; 07-23-2015 at 02:36 AM. Reason: add info.
07-23-2015, 05:28 PM - 3 Likes   #33
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Great advice on here. Here is my story as someone who recently dedicated himself to finding a great tool to grow with and being dedicated to learning. Hopefully any of this helps:

Was looking for a first true DSLR to learn on. Had film cameras and digital point & shoots throughout my life but I did exactly that... just point and shoot at things to just capture memories. A few years ago, I picked up a used Sony a33 body and a cheap 18-200 zoom to get better quality images, in auto mode almost 100% of the time. Pictures got better and more creative. This sparked something in me to want to pick up photography as a hobby. Years later (late last year), finally decided to pick up a more current DSLR.

Was initially drawn to what was most visible, namely a Nikon D3300. But from other hobbies and interests I have, I knew that there is always a brand with a better product for equal or less money if I just looked hard enough and not limited myself to local or big retail stores. That is how I came to find the current Pentax offerings. For relatively the same amount of money as Canon and Nikon, they had current and past generation bodies that were just as feature filled and IQ to rival upper tiered models at higher prices. At first I considered a K-5iis and a K-3, but in the end, with enough reading and great advice from the PF community, I was recommended the K-50. They cited all the reasons given on this thread, with the emphasis that 1) the K-5iis and especially the K-3 have a ton of options on there that aren't necessary for a beginner and which can overwhelm and 2) with the price difference further apart last year, it was advised that the money saved could go to better lenses.

Turns out they were spot on. Right when I ordered and received the K-50, I wondered if I would regret just not jumping to the K-3. A few weeks and lots of test pictures later, I found out the K-50 can definitely deliver results when used correctly. Even the K-50 itself is a bit overwhelming. Not necessarily the body itself, but just trying to learn photography in general with a new tool is proving to be a long term learning experience. Honestly, I could probably stick with the K-50 for a couple more years and still wouldn't outgrow what it can do. Only my weakness for new gear and the lowering price of the original K-3 would convince me to move on. But it certainly wouldn't be a necessity.

As for lenses, I ordered the DA 18-135mm bundled with the K-50. It was a great decision. An affordable, relatively compact, and very capable lens, as can be seen by the threads dedicated to showing what it can do. I thought my former 18-200mm zoom would make me feel like the 135mm wasn't enough of a reach but I don't miss it at all. The 18-135mm makes for a great walk-around lens when I have no idea what kind of situations I'm going to run into or for documenting an event where IQ and creativity isn't the highest priority. Plus it's WR so that's a nice bonus.

But I wanted better low light performance, better IQ, and more character from my pictures. So I started to look at primes. Chose the DA 35 as my first prime for its reported bang for the buck. So true, the lens delivers great pictures. More than that though, the prime made me start approaching taking pictures in a very different way than the zoom. I feel like I'm being much more creative and thoughtful when I have the prime on. And that's where I am now, currently picking up primes including cheap, old manual ones (another Pentax benefit). A prime stays on my camera full time unless I need a more versatile solution. I last picked up an FA 43 for a good price and absolutely love the way it renders. Next up will probably be an FA 77 or a DA 15. In saying all of this, for my limited budget, going with the K-50 freed up funds to buy more lenses. That helped me build preferences which by the time I'm ready for a body upgrade, I have a better idea what I want to do with it.

Best of luck and IMO, I doubt as a beginner you can go wrong with the K-50 and all the various options available for the system.
07-27-2015, 02:08 PM   #34
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Keep picking up those lenses and keep taking pictures. You just got your camera and already into LBA or whatever that addiction is. By the time your budget and lens acquisition is replete,
the latest greatest body will be ready for you. Keep in mind that if you go full frame some lenses won't work.
Going for a 77limited already? Great lens but you started saying a beginners budget! This might be close to the perfect piece of glass but why? I say hoard your money. LEARN. Use the cheap glass and the 18-135, kit lens price is cheap. Build your lens collection right the first time instead of selling off and buying new lenses. But experiment with the cheap ones.
New lenses will come out as will bodies. Spend more time with your camera then looking for new gear.
If you get the 77mm I am so jealous but I can't justify it and can't afford anything decent.

07-27-2015, 05:31 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
If you get the 77mm I am so jealous but I can't justify it and can't afford anything decent.
Isn't this the guy who has $2,200 worth of lenses? Surely some of them are decent.

We need to emphasise that one of the advantages of the Pentax system is that any lens with a Pentax K-mount from the mid-1970s onwards will work with any Pentax DSLR. (Older M42 lenses will also work with an adapter.) That means there is a wealth of choice out there at affordable prices, especially if you can live with manual focus. Just one example: the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 for around $50 is a joy to use and can produce excellent images.

We love our FA limited and DA* lenses and the rest of them but don't think you need to spend big bucks to get good glass, if you choose wisely.
07-28-2015, 03:36 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by timbuk2 Quote
Hi, I am new to photography so would like to buy either a good used dslr or something new - what would be best for a novice that also has enough features to carry me through to being an intermediate.
Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
Picking up photography isn't too hard. It can be as simple as you want, or as complicated as you want.

Usually a good camera salesperson would ask you - "what kind of photography do you want to do". Do you want to do tourist snaps with a twin lens kit, or macro, or portraits, or sports, or landscapes.

You may also want to look into a systems lens selection, and research the lenses you would like to get.

With a Pentax body you'll have sensor stabilization, so any lens you use will have stabilization. If you buy a weather sealed body like a K-50 or K-5, you can also factor in weather sealed lenses too.

Pentax cameras are very well featured, and they'll easily bring you to an intermediate level. The image quality will always be gratifying, with the accurate Pentax colors. They're so user friendly and as you get into photography things flow very easily, more so with Pentax because the other brands have you digging into menus constantly disrupting your flow.

You can basically throw a dart at the Pentax range of New and many older camera models, and hit a really god camera with great image quality.
07-28-2015, 07:41 AM   #37
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the 77mm would cost 1/4 of my collection. I do love my Sigma 70mm beast. It cost 33% less.
I don't throw darts at camera gear because of the risk of damage but you really couldn't go wrong.
07-28-2015, 08:56 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
You can basically throw a dart at the Pentax range of New and many older camera models, and hit a really god camera with great image quality.
LOL - I could see an ad campaign if this was a few years ago...

"Pentax - the only camera the Barron's monkey likes!"

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