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04-28-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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K30/K50/K500 .. Need Your Advice

Hi all. I am considering upgrading my Kr that has faithfully served me for many several years and I am basically at a point of "polling the audience" about which of the 3 is the best bang for the buck.

I have looked at the reviews at DPreview and on this forums as well as the side-by-side comparisons on snapsort. Needless to say, the are all superior to my Kr and all priced pretty close to one another. I don't want to simply buy based on price but on functionality. They seem to be similar in featureset as well.

So - of the 3, which do you folks consider the be the best choice?

04-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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Not knowing the current price I would imagine the K30 would be less than the K50 and about the same as the K500, assuming that to be true I would go with the K30 if you can find a new one. The K30 (K50) have weather sealing and focus points visible in the finder and the K500 does not. For me those would be the determining items, then price so I would skip the K500. Having also moved from the Kr I would miss the focus points.
04-28-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcc7 Quote
Hi all. I am considering upgrading my Kr that has faithfully served me for many several years and I am basically at a point of "polling the audience" about which of the 3 is the best bang for the buck.

I have looked at the reviews at DPreview and on this forums as well as the side-by-side comparisons on snapsort. Needless to say, the are all superior to my Kr and all priced pretty close to one another. I don't want to simply buy based on price but on functionality. They seem to be similar in featureset as well.

So - of the 3, which do you folks consider the be the best choice?
Not sure you'll find many with experience of all 3 - they are too similar. I agree with hnikesch that the K30 and K50 offer more than the K500 in both build (WR) and focus points (which is an issue you will find many complaints around the K500).

I have the K30 and find it a real pleasure to use. This is perhaps one occasion where the 'snapsort' comparison is worthwhile, as this is really just on the technical differences: Pentax K-30 vs K-50 - Our Analysis

This suggests the differences are minimal. I have heard the K-50 feels a little more 'plasticy' than the K-30. Why not get to hold both somewhere and choose the one that feels best (or is cheaper if you like them both).
04-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #4
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You'll probably miss not having the AF focus point indicator if you get the K-500. Otherwise it doesn't matter much which you get.

I hope you actually need the faster AF or some other feature/function, because the K-r already gives similar IQ.

04-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcc7 Quote
So - of the 3, which do you folks consider the be the best choice?
I bought a K-50 last November, and have been very happy with it.
Really, there isn't much difference between the three.

The extra features of the K-50, like the weather sealing,
are an advantage over the K-500, at very little extra expense.

Personally, I didn't like the "widow's peak" styling of the K-30 (YMMV),
and there was some suggestion that it might interfere with certain lenses:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/223015-new-...ml#post2370221
04-28-2014, 02:01 PM   #6
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Skip the K-500 and choose either K-30 or K-50 depending on what body style you prefer. You may find the K-30 sold a bit cheaper than the K-50, so that could be a factor in favor of the K-30, but at the time I bought my K-50, it was only about $40 more than the K-30 and I thought that the small premium was worth getting the extra bonus feature of having a bit more Eye-Fi card functionality baked into the camera.

(See: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/254299-eye-fi-card-k...y-feature.html)

I also sort of preferred the more "conservative" styling of the K-50 but YMMV on that point.

Whether you get a K-30 or K-50, you should perhaps consider getting a bundled deal that includes a WR zoom lens like DA 18-55 WR, DA-L 18-55 WR, or DA 18-135 WR (could be worth it if the added cost is about $300 or so). I assume you might not already have WR lenses if you have been using the K-r. It's nice to have at least one WR lens to go along with the WR camera body.

Further muddying the waters for you is whether you should consider the K-5 II/IIs models instead of the K-30/50, but I won't go there....
04-28-2014, 03:54 PM   #7
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Do be clear with yourself on WHY you are upgrading. The K-30/50/500 will make a very small difference in IQ, unless you crop a lot. I also like the high ISO performance quite a bit better, including shadow recovery. At 1:1, the noise may not be much better, but the pixels are smaller, so in an actual image in practice, I think the high ISO performance is better.

The biggest differences for me were two scroll wheels, WR (I live in Florida, so quite important), better live view focus (I went from a KX), nicer view finder, and focus peaking. Having two wheels and shooting in TAv is wonderful.
04-29-2014, 12:09 PM   #8
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I would skip the K-500 since it lacks WR sealing and focus point indication in the viewfinder (if I remember correctly). The K-30 and K-50 are identical except that the K-50 has built in support for EyeFi cards. I use my K-30 with an EyeFi card with no problems. The K-30 may be cheaper than the K-50 since it is discontinued. Some people don't like the styling of the K-30 so much that they overlook the model.

05-01-2014, 07:36 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the great feedback. To answer the "Why" question - Why not? I have owned my Kr for a few years now and it has been a solid camera. However, after playing around with a friends K30, while not a fan of the blue casing, I did really like the overall fit and finish of the camera. The button placement is better, the front e-dial for example, and the less-busy mode selector switch. I crop mostly when I shoot with my telephoto lenses but the resolution isn't really a driver. The improved low-light does interest me. Perhaps the feature I am most interested in - and the thing I least like about my Kr - is the video capture. I was excited to see the autofocus, 24p, and 1080p on the 30/50/500.

Lastly, its down to dollars. My Kr with the original kit lenses, a Sigma flash, filters, and accessories should net me at least $300 based on completed ebay auctions. I have all my boxes, manuals, and original accessories - many still in their plastic wrappers. I think that is a conservative figure to expect... If its a little less, I won't lose any sleep.

Amazon has the K-30 at $570 with a non-WR DAL 18-55, a K-50 for $557 with a DAL 18-55 WR, or, the K-500 with the DAL 18-55 lens for $419.

So, with that in mind, I can get a new k-500 or k-50 for anywhere from ~$120 to ~$260 out of pocket. Some would argue that $140 difference isn't much to sneeze at - and they would probably be right, however, I'm trying to determine if there is really a significant difference between the 2 cameras and so far, its coming down to focal points in the view finder and the WR sealing. Either way, I'm going to come out with a great camers - my question is whether I come out with a great new camera or a great new camera and a nice gear bag and a couple filters

All tolled, these are good dilemmas to have and we are blessed to have them
05-01-2014, 07:57 AM   #10
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I wouldn't choose the K-500. It has good image and a second dial but it is to me, a K-X which I had prior to my K-30. It was a great cam but I upgraded for the AF indicators in the VF and weather sealing. That would say I would choose either the K-30 or the K-50. I love my K-30 and wouldn't change anything about it but if you have a choice to get a K-50 with WR lens that is cheaper, go for it. You will want to get a WR lens which you will have in your K-50 combo that you mentioned and need to be fully WR, you need both the cam and the lens. Makes me feel good to see that my K-30 is more expensive, but not sure why.
05-01-2014, 08:34 AM   #11
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Between the K-500 and K-30/50 models, $140 isn't much difference and may well be a small price to pay for the convenience and peace of mind that comes with WR protection. The AF focal points in the VF are also great to have. The K-30/50 are significant upgrades to your K-R, whereas the K-500 is a step backwards in one way (losing the confirmation points). I moved from my K-x to the K-50 and have been very satisfied.

So my advice is:

Get a K-50 "body only" for $487 from Amazon
Amazon.com: Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD - Body Only (Black): Camera & Photo

or get a K-30 body only for $440 from Amazon
Amazon.com : Pentax K-30 Weather-Sealed 16 MP CMOS Digital SLR (Black, Body Only) : Slr Digital Cameras : Camera & Photo

Then wait patiently and monitor the Pentax Forums marketplace for someone to sell a DA 18-55 WR lens for around $75-100. (I got mine for $75 shipped.)

Or buy a like-new DA 18-55 WR lens from KEH for $94 here (but shipping is a bit pricey):
http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Digital-Zoom-Lenses/1/sku-DP07999112174J?r=FE

If you play your cards right and get the K-30 for $440 then add a used DA 18-55 WR for around $80, you're spending about $520 for a great WR body and a DA 18-55 WR that features quick-shift and a metal mount.

Or if you have a Costco membership and can afford the additional expense, the K-50 2-lens bundle at Costco is selling at $650 and includes both the DA-L 18-55 WR and DA 50-200 WR lenses...
http://www.costco.com/Pentax-K-50-2-Lens-Weatherproof-DSLR-Bundle.product.10...&storeId=10301
05-01-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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OK. The last couple of comments nailed it for me. I think there is a k-50 in my future. Thanks for all of the links and advice.
07-27-2014, 09:58 AM   #13
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For anyone considering these cameras in the future, I would like to add that the k500 does not come with a charger or lithium ion battery, just the AA adapter and 4 non-rechargeable AA lithium batteries.
07-27-2014, 10:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
For anyone considering these cameras in the future, I would like to add that the k500 does not come with a charger or lithium ion battery, just the AA adapter and 4 non-rechargeable AA lithium batteries.
Interesting to know.

As it happens, I only take the little Li-ion battery for my K-50
as a backup to the AAs (Eneloops or Energizer Recharges)
that I use as the primary supply.

In eight months using the camera, I haven't needed the backup yet.
(Maybe because I usually keep the LCD turned off.)
The adapter wasn't included with the K-50 package deal I had.
07-27-2014, 04:06 PM   #15
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I am the opposite, I have eneloops and the adapter as a backup to my 2 lithium ion batteries. Just wanted to point out that If people don't already have a rechargeable AA setup then the K500 could end up costing more than a current priced K50 with charger. I still haven't had to use the adapter yet, the eneloops spend all their time in my flashes. I keep the screen off all the time with my K30, a must in my opinion or the battery drains quick.
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