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07-06-2013, 11:57 AM   #1
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K-30 as my first DSLR. Is this is best choice?

Hi folks,

This is my first post in this forum. I have been reading multiple articles about lenses, cameras, reviews, etc. I have to say this is the best place to stop for pentax owners.
So, back to my question:

I was placing an order for a K-30 today. Right before I clicked "Submit" i decided to post here and get some insights from the members in the forum about the K-30. I know there are multiple threads talking about K-30 vs D5100 vs d3100 vs d3200 etc... However, those posts were back in the day when K-30 was $650-$800 So the competition was "different".

Now, here we are with K-30 selling for $499 in Hunts -> K-30 18-55 WR $499 Offer as it was posted in the price watch of this forum. This is the deal I was/am about to take.

We all know that Nikon offers better video capabilities than Pentax in specs sheets (mic in, autofocus system) and even that is debatable from what I've read. But it seems everything else Pentax is "better" (except for pixel count).
Based on what many websites say (and even my local photo store) the nikon has more robust ecosystem (lenses everywhere, common camera everybody has, etc) and this the reason i keep coming back to d3200... "what if i need this X lens?" "what if i need service?"

In reality this is my first DSLR camera. I will be using the kit lens for walking/learning. Then I might get a fast lens for night shots (family, friends, home parties, etc etc) maybe 24 or 35mm??? with low apperture f1.8 or f2 and maybe then a longer primer for portraits and nature stuff like 77mm. I don't think i might need more lenses than that... but who knows.

I have noticed that Pentax gear seem to be more expensive than nikons. For example a new 35mm 1.8 is about $220 new (5yr warrany). While a 35mm for pentax is about the same USED.

anyway. my post boils down to 3 questions:

1 - Should I go ahead and place the order for the K-30 for $499 or is there ANY reason that i should really consider the D3200 for 499? is it that obvious I should get the K-30 over the D3200? or is it still a hard call to make?
2 - is it that true that pentax ecosystem is so poor as sites/camera stores told me?
3a - knowing i will be getting the 18-55 DA WR lens with the k-30, what is a good lens to carry around for nigh shots with friends/family (indoors 50% of the time) And that is not a wallet breaker
3b - same question but for a longer lens for family portraits



Thanks a lot

07-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
there ANY reason that i should really consider the D3200 for 499? is it that obvious I should get the K-30 over the D3200? or is it still a hard call to make?
I'd say get the K-30 over the D3200 hands-down, but if you're open to the D5100/D5200, then take a look at this:

Canon T4i vs Nikon D5100 vs Pentax K-30 - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

The D5100/D5200 has an advantage in terms of video.

Adam
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07-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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Rain and snow doesn't keep my K30 and me inside. I don't see any D3200s out there.
07-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
1 - Should I go ahead and place the order for the K-30 for $499 or is there ANY reason that i should really consider the D3200 for 499?
I would take k-30 in a heartbeat over D3200, as Adam says with D5200 that is a harder choice.
QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
2 - is it that true that pentax ecosystem is so poor as sites/camera stores told me?
You can find lenses for Nikon that are not available for Pentax, no question. For example: Nikon 400mm f/2.8 nothing like it for Pentax. Of course it costs $9,000us. There are many other examples. But for regular normal photography your camera shop is full of beans. You can get anything you need in Pentax or third party. No idea about Nikon service, I expect it is very good, especially for pro equipment. Pentax is not bad as many posts on this forum attest, just send it off to CRIS and it comes back fixed.
QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
3a - knowing i will be getting the 18-55 DA WR lens with the k-30, what is a good lens to carry around for nigh shots with friends/family (indoors 50% of the time) And that is not a wallet breaker
That's a little harder to answer, and I'm sure you will get many different answers. If you must have AF then DA 35mm f/2.4 or DA 50mm f/1.8 if you are on a budget. If you can use manual focus then the options are too many to list. Look here for lens listings: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
3b - same question but for a longer lens for family portraits
For a prime DA 70mm Limited or FA 77mm Limited but that's expensive. If a zoom is OK then any of the 16(17) - 50 lenses will work or for a little longer either of the 17-70 (Pentax or Sigma)

Bottom line, it is hard to go wrong with any current DSLR, the sensors are all very close in IQ. The differentiator (IMHO) other than price is ergonomics and 'touch and feel'. Which one feels better in your hand? Which one is comfortable to hold and use all day? Which one has the best (for you) button layout? menu layout? Those are things many people pay little attention to. Instead focusing on the quantifiable stats published in reviews. But at this point the stats are statistically so similar (within a price bracket) that it is all marketing BS. Get the camera you feel best using and have fun.

PS: The k-30 with 18-55 WR is an absolute steal at that price. WR camera and lens. Anybody else have that at $499? I didn't think so.

07-06-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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Just another comment: If you do go for the k-30 buy the Pentax extended warranty for $20 extra. It extends the factory warranty to a total of three years in the US.

I just helped my son's girlfriend buy her first DSLR: k-30 with 18-135 plus the warranty. She has had it for a week and I don't think it has left her side yet.
07-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
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INteresting. Where did you get this warranty? The guys in Hunts told me a extended warranty is 85? Ahh by the way, it was warranty with accident coverage as well.
Where do I get this extended warranty for 20?

Thanks,
07-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
Where did you get this warranty?
It is not store warranty, Pentax warranty. It is listed as a separate item. But Hunts is Canada, right? So maybe the warranty is different there. Here is a link for Adorama: Pentax 2 Years Extended Warranty for K5 / K30 / K01 / K series DSLR 80227
07-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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Thanks for you replies so far!

How is your auto mode k-30?

this sounds like a funny question (i am not planning to use the auto mode as the reason im getting DSLR is precisely to get out of the auto mode of my point and shoot) however, i was thinking what happens in the cases where you have to hand the camera to someone else to take a picture of you and other people?

I assume (and hope) that the auto mode will do better than a recent point and shoot... but is it acceptable? or is it NOT good when compared to other cameras... rather than a deal breaker, this is more like a point for me to know...

Thanks,

07-06-2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
It is not store warranty, Pentax warranty. It is listed as a separate item. But Hunts is Canada, right? So maybe the warranty is different there. Here is a link for Adorama: Pentax 2 Years Extended Warranty for K5 / K30 / K01 / K series DSLR 80227
Hunts is USA. I am getting the camera shipped to me from USA. As i understand, Pentax warranty in canada is 2yrs vs 1 yrs (in USA)

Do i have to get the camera in adorama to get the $20 warranty? Hunts is pentax authorized dealer as well
07-06-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
Thanks for you replies so far!

How is your auto mode k-30?

this sounds like a funny question (i am not planning to use the auto mode as the reason im getting DSLR is precisely to get out of the auto mode of my point and shoot) however, i was thinking what happens in the cases where you have to hand the camera to someone else to take a picture of you and other people?

I assume (and hope) that the auto mode will do better than a recent point and shoot... but is it acceptable? or is it NOT good when compared to other cameras... rather than a deal breaker, this is more like a point for me to know...

Thanks,
Both Auto and P modes on a K-30 work as well as any other camera out there.

For an indoor lens, many people feel the DA 35/2.4 is a real bargain at not much more than $200.
07-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
For an indoor lens, many people feel the DA 35/2.4 is a real bargain at not much more than $200.
does it have too much to be desired when compared to lower aperture lenses like the 50/1.8 In terms of low light performance?
07-06-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
Do i have to get the camera in adorama to get the $20 warranty? Hunts is pentax authorized dealer as well
Not as far as I know. I did not. As I understand it it must be purchased within 30days (I think) of the camera and you must have sales receipt for camera and for warranty.

Sorry, never heard of Hunt's, I guess I was thinking of Henry's in Canada. Anyway if Hunts is an authorized dealer they should know about the warranty. It is listed on both B&H and Adorama web sites.
07-06-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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I pulled the trigger on this too on Thursday. I've read quite a lot reviews and it looks like a good deal in terms of picture quality and price (definitely better than D3200).

This is also my first DSLR (always been using Pana LX5). Hopefully this will be a great buy.
07-06-2013, 07:20 PM   #14
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Don't forget the viewfinder on the k-30 is pentaprism vs the other models including D5100/D5200 are only pentamirror; that is a big difference to me...
07-06-2013, 07:21 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Another point in the k30's favor is the fact that you'll get shake reduction with ANY lens that fits due to in body shake reduction! That means when you buy that great old Pentax glass, you'll have modern shake reduction available for it. Not so far ANY Nikon OR Canon Camera.
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