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02-16-2013, 06:19 PM   #16
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If you are on a really tight budget, I'd recommend a Tamron 28-200 zoom. Autofocus, good coverage (originally a FF) common and CHEAP (usually under $100 - I got mine for $50) After you've used that for a while you'll have a good idea of what you may want in the way of additional lenses.

02-16-2013, 07:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by gator999 Quote
Thanks for everyone for their input. I appreciate the non-snarky answers for a newbie to the DSLR world.
As a bit more background I now have a Panasonic FZ-28. I love the camera, it has a very good zoom, although the FZ-28's zoom has been passed over by numerous super zooms.
When using the FZ-28 I've often thought more zoom, or something that would go wide for panoramic shots would be the next step. Hence my long research on the Sony's, D7000, K-30 or even the K-5 II. With each comparison of all the different models from different Mfg's, the K-30 kept coming up the winner.

That's one of the great things about buying a Pentax - the community is pretty supportive.

so the FZ28 has a focal range of 27mm-486mm in 35mm terms. If you get lenses in the Pentax line up of 18-300 then that will be equal to 29-450mm in 35mm terms. If you want to get a wider lens than what you have on your Panasonic, there are several options but none of them inexpensive. First of all there are two types of very wide angle lenses - fisheye and rectilinear. Fisheye lenses have a unique look to them and I think is a bit limited in terms of general use, so I will assume you want a rectilinear where the lines of buildings stay straight and not bowed like a fisheye would do. Sigma makes a 10-20mm (equal to 15-30mm in 35mm terms - which is WAY wider than your panasonic) that many on the forums like, but that lens is around $500, but can be had used for around $400. Tamron makes a 10-24 and might be had for a little less but I think the consensus opinion is that the Sigma is a bit better image quality wise. If your budget allows, Pentax makes an excellent 12-24 lens and Sigma has a 8-16 lens. I think both of these lenses are the highest regarded wide angle lenses, but they are pretty expensive (but I think they are worth it and they hold their value pretty well - if in good condition, resale rates are from 60-80% depending on the desirability of the lens).

If you decide to buy the K30, you'll be getting a camera that is much quicker in terms of response time and will probably focus faster too. You'll have a much larger sensor that will allow you to take images in lower light and get a photo that has a blurry background and sharp subject when you set the shot up right. Carrying around a DSLR is more of a commitment given the size, but in terms of photo quality, it's a different level. I think the recommendations so far have been really good. It's just up to you whether you want to take your photography skills up to the next level and whether you are willing to commit to carrying more and heavier gear to get better results. Of course there will be times where carrying a point and shoot will be more desirable/ appropriate, but a DSLR at the level of the K30 is just an amazing photographic tool. Good luck in your decisions...
02-16-2013, 08:22 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allison Quote
In your situation you could also go with the18-55 over the 18-135
Actually, the 18-55 would be under the 18-135, in price & performance.

For the OP, I recommend either the 18-135, or the 16-45mm, The 16-45 is a better performer than the 18-135. Not as long of course, but cheaper, significantly wider, and a great match with the 55-300. If the main goal is to minimize lens changes, the 18-135 is hard to beat. The DA 35mm 2.4 is great value, definitely recommended.

Last edited by audiobomber; 02-16-2013 at 08:29 PM.
02-23-2013, 11:56 AM   #19
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Well, in case you were interested I decided that going to the next level of camera was not for me. When I saw the price of the K-30 and the 18-135, I knew my enthusiasm to go to this next level of camera and photography was no in me. So, I'm going with either the FZ200, Canon SX-50 or the soon to be shipping Fujifilm HS50EXR. None of these will be perfect or at the level of the K-30, but I should be able to find one out of these that produces good to very good image quality and a longer zoom than my current FZ28.


02-23-2013, 12:06 PM   #20
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Good luck with your new camera, whatever you ultimately decide to get of the three you mentioned. The best choice is one that you will use and enjoy using so you take more pictures!
02-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by gator999 Quote
Well, in case you were interested I decided that going to the next level of camera was not for me. When I saw the price of the K-30 and the 18-135, I knew my enthusiasm to go to this next level of camera and photography was no in me. So, I'm going with either the FZ200, Canon SX-50.
Why not get a used DSLR? Both of the point & shoot cameras you mentioned are over $400, closer to $450. You should be able to find a Pentax K-x two lens kit (18-55mm and 55-300mm) for that price. The K-x would give you much, much nicer pictures than any small-sensor camera.

I was in your position a few years ago before I bought my first DSLR, and I am so happy that I made the jump. The good thing about buying a used DSLR, is that you could try it for a while, and if you decide it's not for you then you can resell it and lose little or no money.
03-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #22
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I'd recommend just buying a K30 (or another camera...used as suggested before or maybe even a K-01 -- they're going pretty cheaply for the quality you get), get the kit lens that comes with it and learn how to compose an image within that limited scope. If it remains just a point and shoot, you'll have a good quality point and shoot camera with good quality images, and you can leave it in the Auto mode. Just get comfy with the 1 lens.

But, with just a little research (this forum is a wealth of info from good people) and a little effort later you have the tool to actually learn how to frame an image, and capture a moment. Soon, you will think that "gee, I wish I had a bigger lens" and then you can shop for it as you need it, not get it all at once, overwhelm yourself and just keep it all on a shelf.

It's like buying a house. Some might want to buy one and immediately buy all sorts of things and renovate it to the hilt, the hot-tub installed, etc etc, but if you do it as you go means you live with what you've got and then plan what you want to improve on. Then you'll get what you want, when you want it, and exactly how you want it.


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