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01-16-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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Hello from Toronto

Hi everyone,

After 'attacking' this website for the greater part of the past few weeks, reading up on multiple reviews on dpreview.com, watching countless youtube videos (some people should be banned from owning video cameras by the way ), and then hmming and hawing over whether to go with a Nikon D7000 instead of a Pentax, I am now the owner of a Pentax K-5, which I picked up barely 2 hours ago.

A little bit of background.. I used to play around with a Ricoh camera in the 80s, some P&Ss, then got myself a Canon SLR in the early 90s, but the cost and hassle of constantly having to develop film saw me leaving the hobby. Years later, I got an Olympus 2MP P&S, which I found very lacking, but as the cost of DSLRs were prohibitively high then, I settled for a Fujifilm D5100 bridge camera. It has served me well the past 7 years, but the lack of quick and accurate autofocus, and horribly difficult manual focusing left me wanting for more. Plus, I would like to take night shots, and my trusty old Fujifilm just did not seem to cut it any more.

I have two trips to make this year, and I figured I better invest in something worthwhile. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to photography, as I constantly have to grapple with thoughts like "larger aperture means more light, so the F number is smaller, and you get less depth of field" by which time the subject has either already flown off or scurried away

I hope to learn as much as I can as fast as I can before my first trip in April, and by then I would probably want to get a better walkabout lens too, preferably a weather resistant as well. Any recommendations? I got my eyes set on the 18-135 WR lens, but the CAD $599 price tag does not make it an impulse buy, especially after I just spent CAD $999 on this K-5 with 18-55 DAL lens kit.

And by the way, first impressions on this camera, which I bought PURELY from reading specs and others' opinions... S O L I D. I'm sure I'll form a more objective opinion after I learn how to use it, but all the nay-sayers I hear about Pentax's "no-show" at CES and impending doom and gloom did not take away from what the K-5 seemed to be : a non-entrylevel DSLR, with great ergonomics, smaller body than the Canikons, metal body, weather resistant, etc etc and with the prices at Henry's (which is where I bought it from) starting at CAD $969, it's even cheaper than buying it in the US with the current $300 off promotion.

Lastly, this forum appears to be one of friendliest I have come across, with people genuinely trying to help others with their questions. Hope to stick around here for a long long time!

01-16-2012, 03:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, thank you for that very informative introduction which I found interesting. Please enjoy your stay!!!!
01-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
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Welcome to a fellow Torontarian! The K-5 is indeed "solid" and will no doubt serve you well. Pentax also has an excellent lineup of primes should you want to go in that direction.
01-16-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, drewski. I think you'll enjoy all the help and info on the forum, and love your K-5 - I know I do!

01-17-2012, 07:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome folks.. and I've already used the forum again last night to prevent a heart-attack when I heard this loud crackling, whirring noise on the camera (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/166067-what-causes...-liveview.html) interesting sparring between some folks on that link there, but at least I found out it wasn't a defect with the camera itself.

Almost embarrassed to admit it, but had challenges taking pictures with it when I finally got the battery charged last night. I would classify myself now as someone that knows enough about something to be dangerous I noticed that there are no Dummies books for the K5. I bought Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure book, and it was a great book, but i think I need something more specific to the K5. No offense to Yvon Borque either, but I didn't find the sample of his book to be very helpful to me personally. I know this is probably not the right forum for the question, but does anyone have a good approach on how to get up to speed fast on this camera? I do intend to read through the manual, but as you probably already know, most manuals are written for people that know what they want to do and show them how to do it.
01-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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Welcome from another Torontonian. The K5 will serve you well. Though I don't have a K5 I do have a K7 which functionally is the same. If you have read Peterson then you have the basics about what different settings achieve. perhaps the easiest way to use the K5 is the Tav mode. you set the shutter and aperture you want and the camera will adjust the iso. because the K5 has such good High iso you could safely just set it for 80 to 3200 in the auto iso area and just shoot away and get good results

Not sure where you bought the camera but if it was Henrys they do also offer courses (which I think may be free for buyers - never really looked into it as I've always shot with an SLR)
01-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #7
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Welcome to PentaxForums!
01-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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I found that taking a community centre course helped, because it forced me to try stuff - like Dynamic range setting for shadow adjust - that I wouldn't have tried. (Menu 3, and p. 214 in the manual.) Plus, all of the other cameras were canons or nikons, and my K-5 showed them!
Similar to Eddie's suggestion, you can also leave the camera in "M", focus, hit the green button, and then change the aperture, shutter speed and ISO just to see what happens.
And of course, read the manual!

01-17-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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ah.. thanks for the tip on the Tav mode - the Pentax-unique modes are new to me, and I need to explore those further. And the community college course idea sounds like a great one. Nothing like having assignments to push one to try and do something.

I actually called and asked Henry's about the course. They do offer courses, but there's no freebie like the one that Black's offers. To quote the guy whom I called (and bought the camera from yesterday), 'the people that give the free one hour lessons are actually sales people at the store telling you what features your camera has, whereas Henry's classes are taught by outside folks and not sales people". My only comment was, I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch ;-)
01-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewski Quote
ah.. thanks for the tip on the Tav mode - the Pentax-unique modes are new to me, and I need to explore those further. And the community college course idea sounds like a great one. Nothing like having assignments to push one to try and do something.

I actually called and asked Henry's about the course. They do offer courses, but there's no freebie like the one that Black's offers. To quote the guy whom I called (and bought the camera from yesterday), 'the people that give the free one hour lessons are actually sales people at the store telling you what features your camera has, whereas Henry's classes are taught by outside folks and not sales people". My only comment was, I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch ;-)
Henry's courses were free at one point, i guess once you buy up most of the competition you don't need to offer it for free any longer ( they bought many of my favourite shops over the years)

The best thing about taking structured courses is the critical feedback and someone to help with where you are going wrong, otherwise it can take a long time to improve (It is a lot easier in the digital age though, with no wait times for results)
01-19-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Henry's courses were free at one point, i guess once you buy up most of the competition you don't need to offer it for free any longer ( they bought many of my favourite shops over the years)

The best thing about taking structured courses is the critical feedback and someone to help with where you are going wrong, otherwise it can take a long time to improve (It is a lot easier in the digital age though, with no wait times for results)
Sadly, that happens a lot here in Canada (and elsewhere too I suspect). The first thing that came to my mind when you said that was Walmart and the independent stores in the smaller towns...

Thanks again to everyone for the warm welcomes... and now, on to researching lenses, getting spare batteries, SDHC cards, etc etc...
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