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02-18-2015, 05:14 AM   #1
timbuk2
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The best dslr(new or used) for a beginner

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.

02-18-2015, 07:03 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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K-50
Discounted prices, great features, scene mode to help you learn more about photographic choices (if you review the detailed exifs afterwords) with fully manual modes available. KS1/kS2 will also work great, they offer additional resolution (20MP vs. 16) and cost more due to relative newness. There are some features where the k50 still exceeds the ks1/2 frames per second and buffer size I think are an example for both, weather sealing is missing on the kS1 but present on the ks2.
02-18-2015, 07:18 AM   #3
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Pentax K-5 is a great camera as well. You can pick them up for almost nothing these days and has enough features to carry you over, in time, towards the "pro" level.
02-18-2015, 07:23 AM   #4
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Today's cameras have plenty of features, sometimes even too many. The important thing is not "which" camera, but rather "how" you use it. The best way to learn is to force yourself to use it in manual mode. This is the way everybody learned for decades and decades, the advantage of digital is that you can check the result very quickly!
I would go for a solid and reliable used k10 or k20. You can find for around 100$ here in the marketplace still perfectly working.

02-18-2015, 07:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
K-50
Discounted prices, great features, scene mode to help you learn more about photographic choices (if you review the detailed exifs afterwords) with fully manual modes available. KS1/kS2 will also work great, they offer additional resolution (20MP vs. 16) and cost more due to relative newness. There are some features where the k50 still exceeds the ks1/2 frames per second and buffer size I think are an example for both, weather sealing is missing on the kS1 but present on the ks2.
What he said!
02-18-2015, 07:55 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I wouldn't buy a K-5 for a beginner -- no auto/scene modes.

I'd go for a K-30 or K-50 (they are essentially the same camera) as others have mentioned. These are Weather resistant (provided you get weather resistant lenses -- otherwise don't take it outside in the rain), decent burst speed, the auto level, and have all of the major modes for learning manual control.

The K-5 will have a bit more Dynamic Range (14bit vs 12bit) when recording to RAW format and have the ability to use a battery grip, but without the automodes you might find it too overwhelming. If you are one to jump in head first and learn quickly then it could work. But, in your situation, I'd probably grab a K-30 off of ebay/used and see if photography is for me.
02-18-2015, 09:04 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteQuote:
I wouldn't buy a K-5 for a beginner -- no auto/scene modes.

.
Easy - put it in P mode. No need for "scenes".
02-18-2015, 09:06 AM   #8
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I never used scene modes when I started photography, I don't miss them now either.

02-18-2015, 09:53 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Easy - put it in P mode. No need for "scenes".
The P mode is limited a very few "scene" modes effectively. The idea behind using SCENE modes when learning is that you can audit the info on what the camera did and learn how these impacted the photos. The fully manual and semi-auto modes are all there as well. The benefit is that if you don't know how to photograph a scene you get a built in tutor.

I'd be OK with a K-5 for most beginners but there are a few things lacking including improved autofocus from what I have read. The advantages of the K-50 also include a warranty.

---------- Post added 02-18-15 at 11:55 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
I never used scene modes when I started photography, I don't miss them now either.
I started on fully manual before auto really existed. I still used SCENE modes on my K100D Super and I have even used them occasionally on my K-50 because I'm sometimes interested in the choices the camera makes - often I then shoot the scene on my own in Manual mode but it's nice to have the option to turn off the brain a little every now and then. Frankly I have no idea why the K3 and K5 series don't have these modes - it's silly to remove them.
02-18-2015, 10:02 AM   #10
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And the chorus grows louder...K-50

The K-50 is light and compact and non-intimidating and has an impressive feature set. With current pricing, it is a no-brainer.


Steve
02-18-2015, 11:06 AM   #11
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I too would vote for the K50. I assume you are interested in Pentax which I highly recommend because at a reasonable price it offers two roller wheels. To really learn photography you have to learn cause and effect between shutter speed, aperture and ISO (film speed in the old days.)

If I was teaching someone I would start with TaV mode to learn about the effects of the first two items and then move to manual mode.

I purchased my first digital SLR (K50) a year ago after last using a SLR film camera up until about 1995. It has helped me get to that intermediate level and now I lust for the K3.

Whatever you get, I strongly suggest you focus on learning just one feature at a time to avoid being overwhelmed. That way you can slowly and steadily build your foundations skills as opposed to having a truck load of bricks dumped on your head causing frustration and a temptation to give up
02-18-2015, 11:39 AM   #12
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New, I join the others for the K-50.

Used, it's difficult to answer because there's too many possibilities. We don't even know what your budget is, which obviously have a huge impact on what will be suggested... And, even then, in the used market, the condition of the equipment is something to has to be evaluate on a case by case basis. An older model in excellent condition could be a better choice than a newer one in no so good shape... So, I find italmost impossible to blindly recommend a specific model over an another one in the used market. It's somewhat to similar to buying a used car. There's no bad or good models, just good and bad cars...
02-18-2015, 11:44 AM   #13
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Another vote for K5.
02-18-2015, 12:07 PM   #14
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I suppose since my first dslr was a K50, that's what I would recommend. It was very easy to use and helped me understand the functions without being too intimidating. I've since moved onto a K5iis which I love, but I think if this (K5iis) was my first camera it would be a little too much too soon. Of course YMMV
02-18-2015, 12:24 PM   #15
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I think more important than which camera to buy it the question of which book to buy. I vote for "understanding exposure" by Petersen.

And I have a K-30, my first camera was a Kx. To answer your question, a K-30 or K-50 is your best choice. Buy whichever you like the styling of better, they are otherwise the same. Other brand's cameras for the same amount of money are fine cameras, but the K30/50 is better in a bang for the buck comparison.
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