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03-10-2015, 09:54 PM   #31
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going from a point n shoot to the K-50 will blow yer ever loving minds away!! you will not be disappointed but be forewarned that it may consume you into wanting learn more about photography and then the dreaded disease of wanting to buy all kinds of accessories and weird crap to get even better pictures.........it's an endless spiral that borders insanity!
happy shooting!

03-10-2015, 10:23 PM   #32
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I bought my K-50 with the two lens kit. The 18-55 and a DA 50 live in my work bag and get used regularly. The 50-200 that came with the kit is around here, somewhere, I think. If I had it do over, I would skip the longer zoom in favor of one of the cheap primes. A kit zoom and cheap prime is also a great way to find out what you prefer shoot.
03-11-2015, 02:51 AM   #33
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The K50 is a nice camera. Really better than most of the cameras that were available four or five years ago. The kit lens is OK. Not bad, but it is kind of slow and needs to be stopped down at both ends to get good sharpness. But I guess I would get one of the kits to start with and then see where you go.

It looks like Amazon has the k50 (black) with 18-135 for 660 and that might be a deal to look at and then consider adding a DA 50 f1.8 down the road for low light shooting.

Good luck!
03-11-2015, 04:52 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
So, we live on a mountain. She wants to take pictures of landscapes, our dog, sunsets, the like. So action and macro plus landscapes I guess. Low lighting for events. We are also going to Ireland next yr for our 5th. This was the original need. Basically it went something like "this thing sucks I am not taking it to ireland just to find out all the pictures suck. blur, lack of detail, horrible colors, I'm done!" Me personally, I enjoy taking pictures, kind of relaxing.
I think your needs are different. Your wife wants the convenience and ease of use of a P&S but the image quality of a DSLR. You are prepared to take more time, learn the settings, experiment. I think a K-50 could meet both needs (Scene mode and Program mode are ideal for simplicity), with two provisos:
1. Does your wife find it comfortable to hold? My K-30 fits perfectly in my hand, but my partner finds it a little big for her. If your wife hates the feel of the camera (even if you are the one lugging it around) you are toast. (If the K-50 is too big, maybe a K-S1, or a mirrorless?)
2. Don't get two lenses. It will drive your wife nuts, because you are bound to have the wrong one on the camera when it matters. Plus changing lenses means more chance of dust on the sensor and spots on your photos, and cleaning the sensor when travelling can be a PITA. Go the 18-135 if it is long enough to meet your needs: it's light weight, compact, quiet and WR. If it isn't long enough (e.g you expect to photograph birds or wildlife, or want long landscapes or candid people shots), get a superzoom (Sigma, Tamron or Pentax 18-250 or Pentax 18-270). A new Sigma 18-250 was available recently for $249; otherwise a used Tamron or Pentax 18-250 will be around the same price. Apart from not being WR, these lenses are ideal for travel. The image quality won't be quite as good as the 18-135, but better than the kit lenses. And WAY better than a p&s. If you shoot RAW+jpg, a little post-processing of the better RAW images will iron out errors in exposure, and colour, reduce noise in high-ISO shots and fix distortion (wide range zooms tend to have high barrel distortion at the wide end); meanwhile you'll have a full set of jpgs to enjoy and share. You can add more specialist lenses later.

03-11-2015, 05:08 AM   #35
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This forum is so much better then I ever imagined. Seriously. You guys are spewing with info and more then happy to share it. Really appreciate all the insight.

So yeah I agree I think multiple lenses to start might be a pain in the arse.
Just to be sure I follow this. A 18-135mm is 18mm to 135mm right? the 18 doesnt stand for something else?
03-11-2015, 05:19 AM   #36
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Yep! I have the 18-55 myself, but I've gotten to try out my dad's 18-135, and it is a great lens with great image quality. The two things it won't give you that better lenses would is the ability to get creamy blurred-out backgrounds, and some extra sharpness if you like zooming way, way in on your pictures. I think you won't be disappointed.
03-11-2015, 05:45 AM   #37
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Oh I meant to answer the questions above in my last statement but forgot. We went to Target during the clearance and she held a K-50. Said it felt "right" in her hand, no sharpness or loose. She liked the grip and was impressed how straight forward the menus were. She was worried it was going to be a nightmare to decode where things would be but she picked it up pretty quick.

Pretty much sold on the K-50 at this point and the 18-135mm. Now it is just a matter of waiting for either a bundle deal or a deal on the pieces separate. I did find a K-30 used with the lens for $450 used but dont think I want to downgrade to the K-30. I know its very similar but is a step back just about everywhere.
03-11-2015, 06:17 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
Oh I meant to answer the questions above in my last statement but forgot. We went to Target during the clearance and she held a K-50. Said it felt "right" in her hand, no sharpness or loose. She liked the grip and was impressed how straight forward the menus were. She was worried it was going to be a nightmare to decode where things would be but she picked it up pretty quick.

Pretty much sold on the K-50 at this point and the 18-135mm. Now it is just a matter of waiting for either a bundle deal or a deal on the pieces separate. I did find a K-30 used with the lens for $450 used but dont think I want to downgrade to the K-30. I know its very similar but is a step back just about everywhere.
Mostly the K30 is different ergonomically. The grip feels different the styling is different etc. Stick to the K50 unless your wife has a chance to hold a K30, the features aren't really very different. See here for details:
Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-50 vs. Pentax K-30 vs. Pentax K-500 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

To sum up what I see on these charts, interval movie on the K50 and save last jpeg as RAW on the K50 are the only two features that seem to be lacking on the K30.

03-11-2015, 07:20 AM - 2 Likes   #39
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I have a K30, which is basically the same camera as the K50, the latter being just a fashion upgrade (same sensor, same specs and performances).

I have the two lenses kit zooms, DA 18-55 and DA 50-200, that I bought 10 years ago with my first DSLR, the IST-DS.

I upgraded last year because my son had a K5 and I could check how much the sensor, AF and image processing technology has improved since 2005, especially shooting in low light.

I bought my K30 with the DA 18-135 WR as a kit lens. It is a little more expensive than the 2 lenses kit, but you have the convenience of a do-everything lens which you are used to in compacts P&S.

If you buy a K50, the 2 lenses kit costs you around 200 or $ more than body alone, and the 18-135 an extra 150.
The weight is the same, because the 18-135 is built like a tank.

The 18-55 and 50-200 have been redisigned when Pentax introduced the Weather Resistance, but basically they are the same 10 years old technology, with the AF done via an efficient and reliable but noisy svrew drive from a motor inside the camera body.
Yet, reviewers consider the Pentax 18-55 is better than the Canon or Nikon 18-55, both for its optical performance and its build quality.

Beware that the 18-55 and 50-200 come in two options, the standard one which is WR, comes with a metal mount, a sunshine hood (a cumbersome accessory, I admit, but it really reduces the flare when the sun or a bright light source is close to your subject), and has the "quick shift" focus, which allows you to manually adjust the focus when the camera has done the autofocus. There is also a budget version, same optical formula and IQ, but no WR, and comes with a plastic mount, no hood, no quick_shift, and a cheaper feeling. I suggest you choose the WR version, which is worth the slightly higher price, and is usually the standard kit lens for the WR K50.

The 18-135 is only a 2 years old technology, with more advanced optics and a fast DC in-lens motor driving the autofocus silently.

Coming from a compact P&S, both option should satisfy you for many years, the only question you have to answer is wether you are willing to pay the extra bucks for the commodity of a all-in-one lens.

Of course enthusiasts on this forum will explain you that you will get much better IQ with more expensive lenses. That is true, just like it is true that you get a better driving experience with a Porsche than with a family pickup.
But the Porsche wil cost you 3 or 4 times more, and it is not so convenient in everyday life.

They will also tell you to shoot raw.
You dont need to, the out of camera JPEGs should please you for your first experiences.
But take time to read the user's manual, it will explain you how to tune the camera JPEGs to your taste: "vivid" or "bright" if you want crispy pictures directly out of camera, like on a compact, or "natural" if you prefer softer more malleables images that you will tune in your computer in post processing (PP).

For the beginning, you dont need an expensive PP software, you can use free softwares to upright and reframe your pictures, and, when needed, improve white balance, contrast, highlights and shadows.

Once you will master the camera and feel more confident with PP, you will decide wether you shoot raw and/or buy an advanced PP software.

About the K50 itself, you should not be disappointed, it is a very capable affordable camera, with some features you only find in high end expensive Canons and Nikons, such as a pentaprism viewfinder (much brighter image than the pentamirror), and weather resistance (the camera is not waterproof, but, when used with a WR lens, it can operate in rainy or wet weather, and is less sensible to dust).

It is a very photographer friendly camera, with more features than you will ever use, and it gives you access to a very wide choice of dedicated lenses.

As you are used to small sensor, shooting APS-C much bigger sensor will give you:
  • an increased dynamic range (= the camera can produce better images in very contrasted scenes),
  • much better quality in low light operations
  • a incredibly faster operation: when you press the release, if the camera is already in focus, there is no lag, the action is immediatly frozen.
  • a shallow depth of field, which means that, unless you close the aperture to f11, the front and backgrounds of your picture will be out of focus, increasing the impact of your pictures (the Japanese cal it "bokeh", it really improves portraits). However, there is a price to pay, in that you need to focus more carefully, whereas with a compact P&S, almost everything is in focus.
  • interchangeable lenses, which means almost endless possibilities to buy more advanced or specialized lenses. Some are pretty expensive, they are the Porshes for enthusiasts. But, as the Pentax K mount has not changed since 40 years, you can also buy second hand legacy lenses for very low prices and yet get interesting performance, they are the second hand family pickup.
The only real con of a DSLR is that it is really bigger and heavier than a P&S, and more intrusive: everybody notice it at once, and react differently.
Which is why, besides my DSLR, I also use 2 advanced compacts camera (a very smalll one and a more performant one).

So, welcome to the world of enthusiast photography!

---------- Post added 03-11-15 at 03:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
This forum is so much better then I ever imagined. Seriously. You guys are spewing with info and more then happy to share it. Really appreciate all the insight.

So yeah I agree I think multiple lenses to start might be a pain in the arse.
Just to be sure I follow this. A 18-135mm is 18mm to 135mm right? the 18 doesnt stand for something else?
A 18-135 is a x7.5 zoom, going from wide angle to telephoto. In full frame equivalent field, which is often used as a reference in compact P&S cameras, it corresponds to a 27-202 mm lens (see the in-depth review on this forum)

---------- Post added 03-11-15 at 03:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
Oh I meant to answer the questions above in my last statement but forgot. We went to Target during the clearance and she held a K-50. Said it felt "right" in her hand, no sharpness or loose. She liked the grip and was impressed how straight forward the menus were. She was worried it was going to be a nightmare to decode where things would be but she picked it up pretty quick.

Pretty much sold on the K-50 at this point and the 18-135mm. Now it is just a matter of waiting for either a bundle deal or a deal on the pieces separate. I did find a K-30 used with the lens for $450 used but dont think I want to downgrade to the K-30. I know its very similar but is a step back just about everywhere.
If you can afford it, buy a new bundle from a well known vendor, so you get a warranty.
You should get bargain prices for K50 bundles in march, because the KS2, which is the latest model that will replace it, should soon be available.
I got my K30 the same way one year ago, because the K50 was getting on the shelves (same marketing as with smartphones, one new model every one or second year, even if only cosmetics).
03-11-2015, 07:34 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
I have used DSLRs before and I like the feel of them far better then point and shoots. point and shoots feel so light and could slip any minute. cant really get a good grip on one.

Consider getting a sling strap instead of the neck strap or shoulder strap. It's much more secure and IMHO more comfortable. DSLRs are a bit heavy for wrist straps, though I used to use a palm-type strap along with the sling.
03-11-2015, 06:00 PM   #41
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This is a really good thread. Lots of excellent and thoughtful advice.

See also this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/289702-first-pentax-k-50-k-3-a.html The OP there also ended up choosing a K-50 and Pentax DA 18-135 lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tatouzou Quote
They will also tell you to shoot raw. You dont need to, the out of camera JPEGs should please you for your first experiences. But take time to read the user's manual, it will explain you how to tune the camera JPEGs to your taste: "vivid" or "bright" if you want crispy pictures directly out of camera, like on a compact, or "natural" if you prefer softer more malleables images that you will tune in your computer in post processing (PP). For the beginning, you dont need an expensive PP software, you can use free softwares to upright and reframe your pictures, and, when needed, improve white balance, contrast, highlights and shadows. Once you will master the camera and feel more confident with PP, you will decide wether you shoot raw and/or buy an advanced PP software.
I'm one of those who said to shoot RAW. I'll explain why.

But first, let me say I agree with @Tatouzou that out of camera jpg photos will please you, and you can do a lot with the in-camera settings. I shot in jpg only for 6 years with my first DSLR. I didn't do any processing except lossless cropping (using the excellent free program Irfanview) and I got thousands of enjoyable photos. The trick with shooting jpg only was to use exposure bracketing. This has been a feature in all Pentax DSLRs for many years. With bracketing turned on, you press the shutter button and take 3 photos. The first photo is exposed according to the camera's own reading of the appropriate exposure (this is called 0EV, that is, zero Exposure Value). The second is underexposed a little - you can set it to increments of 1/3 or 1/2 an f-stop. (Most people probably use half or two-thirds of a stop). If you use say half a stop, this will be called -0.5EV. The third photo is overexposed by the same increment - e.g. +0.5EV. Just pick the best photo and delete the other two. I found that about half the time I would keep the 0EV shot, about 25% -0.5EV and about 25% +0.5EV, but I guess everyone's experience will be different (depending on what sort of exposure metering you do). Yes you end up with a lot of photos, but SD cards have high capacity, storage is cheap, and culling doesn't take long. This goes some way to addressing the most common problem which we fix in post-processing, inaccurate exposure.

The other thing is that if you get a Pentax-brand lens, you can set the camera to automatically correct jpg photos for the distortions that come with that lens at the relevant focal length (e.g. typical barrel distortion at 18mm). Doing this processing in the camera at the time of shooting will slow the camera down a little, but unless you are shooting fast moving subjects you can probably live with that.

OK, so why shoot RAW at all? I won't try to sell you on the wonders of post-processing software when you are just getting your first DSLR. What I will say is that looking back now, I wish I had RAW files of my old photos, because I could now turn a lot of the ordinary ones into good, and good ones into excellent, photos. If, down the track, you want to progress from happy snaps to serious amateur, RAW lets you do it. RAW is future-proofing, for the day when you are able to do a lot in post-processing. That day might come sooner than you think.

And you don't have to choose between RAW and jpg. With the K-50 (and K-30 and all other recent Pentax cameras) you have three options: RAW only, jpg only or RAW+jpg. I use RAW+jpg, because it gives the best of both worlds (the camera saves both the RAW file, typically about 16Mb, and the jpg, typically about 6Mb). Carry some extra SD cards and use (cheap) external or cloud storage for backup, and the extra megabytes don't matter much.

---------- Post added 03-12-15 at 12:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
We went to Target during the clearance and she held a K-50. Said it felt "right" in her hand, no sharpness or loose. She liked the grip and was impressed how straight forward the menus were. She was worried it was going to be a nightmare to decode where things would be but she picked it up pretty quick.
Wise and fortunate man. You are in for a long and happy marriage.

You are laying the groundwork for the day when you can persuade your wife that a Pentax FA 77mm f1.8 lens at only $650 would be a better buy than a new pair of shoes and an evening on the town. (It is, by the way. :-))

QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
Pretty much sold on the K-50 at this point and the 18-135mm. Now it is just a matter of waiting for either a bundle deal or a deal on the pieces separate. I did find a K-30 used with the lens for $450 used but dont think I want to downgrade to the K-30. I know its very similar but is a step back just about everywhere.
As @UncleVanya and @Tatouzou have said, the K-30 isn't a downgrade. The difference in features is trivial. Some of us actually prefer the look and feel of the K-30!

The real reason to get a new K-50 rather than a used K-30 is the warranty. That is worth paying extra for. Plus the fact that your wife is comfortable with the K-50.

Last edited by Des; 03-12-2015 at 05:07 AM.
03-11-2015, 06:52 PM   #42
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Yeah the responses have been insanely helpful. I reread a lot of things as I learn new things, like that thread you posted. I actually read that before I made this thread. I still had questions, some overlapped, some didnt, so thought it would be better to start new rather then hijack.
I have been a step behind the prices on stuff though. Spotted the target sale, researched and researched, learned thats what I want and they are gone. There was a used 18-135mm on this forum suggested to me when I had no idea what it was, also worried about the spots on it. After learning what it was and decided its probably best to start there then with a kit, it was gone. Missed it by a few hours lol.
Its not all bad though I have learned a ton in just a couple days and now I am ready for the next wave of sales I hope are coming. Maybe I'll get lucky and another lens will pop up somewhere on the cheap.

On a side note dont think for a second I am running this show lol. This is 60% my wife. I am a massive tight arse when it comes to money. I am the poster child of a penny pincher. She is the one who has unleashed me on this way to expensive hobby. But it makes sense. She wants to travel a bunch so we may as well have a solid camera around to capture it. She knows by sicking me onto it she will end up with the best camera we can afford and I will learn everything I can about it and teach her lol. I wont be the one talking her into lenses later. I will be the one caving in and getting her one for xmas.

Also looked into that book someone suggested, by Bryan Peterson. Hes on youtube, lots of videos and how tos. been rolling those things off and all day between work. I just hope all that sticks. Might have to watch them again.
03-11-2015, 06:59 PM   #43
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You might want to consider the 2 year extended warranty for $20. ( I know B&H carries it). I believe you have to purchase within 30 days of the new camera purchase. It also includes one free cleaning/inspection.
03-11-2015, 08:08 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
...Now it is just a matter of waiting for either a bundle deal or a deal on the pieces separate. I did find a K-30 used with the lens for $450 used but dont think I want to downgrade to the K-30. I know its very similar but is a step back just about everywhere.
Here's a tip. You may want to try calling our friendly B&H/Adorama and see if they can give a better than posted price. There's no assurance that they can or they will, but there are times that they did , and you may be delightfully surprised (as I was).

P.S. And hey, the K30 is not a step back from the K50. The K30 is much more handsome than the K50 (now only if it had a metal body). My K3 is even jealous of my K30's looks.
03-11-2015, 10:34 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
On a side note dont think for a second I am running this show lol. This is 60% my wife. I am a massive tight arse when it comes to money. I am the poster child of a penny pincher. She is the one who has unleashed me on this way to expensive hobby. But it makes sense. She wants to travel a bunch so we may as well have a solid camera around to capture it. She knows by sicking me onto it she will end up with the best camera we can afford and I will learn everything I can about it and teach her lol. I wont be the one talking her into lenses later. I will be the one caving in and getting her one for xmas.
Well you both win: excellent camera and excellent value.

Don't be scared about the references to $1600 lenses. Pentax is great for the tight - er, frugal - buyer. One of the advantages of the Pentax system is that you can use any lens made for a Pentax camera since the mid-late 1970s, without an adapter (not to mention a whole bunch of earlier ones with a cheap adapter). People here can recommend good kit for any budget. There are <$50 lenses that can take stunning photos. In fact there is a kind of subculture that is about what system you can get for peanuts - cheap flashes, improvised lighting gear, budget macro, free software, and so on.
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