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02-14-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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Hello everyone! Nice to meet you all. I am a computer person by trade, but have always been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. I do not yet own a Pentax camera, but am currently thinking of buying one and hope to find some insight here.

I have always wanted an SLR since I was about 8 and I am finally looking to get one, if I can convince my wife it's worth the cost. I've been looking randomly the past couple years and was originally going to go with a Nikon. Then doing some price comparisons recently I thought a Cannon might be a bit better of a deal but then saw the new mirror-less cameras and got swamped even further in trying to decide. I started researching more into what to get and found quite a few favorable reviews for Pentax.

Since I am also thinking of getting a full spectrum conversion done, as IR seems pretty neat and some of the UV pictures of flowers I've seen are incredible, I looked into finding compatible cameras. It seems this is one area that the mirror-less cameras will really shine as they are always using the sensor, so when putting on an IR filter, it will still focus properly. But the cost isn't that much different for an Olympus PEN (what I was mostly looking at though the Sony and Samsung have a nicer sensor, as does the new K-01) or an entry level DSLR with a lot more features. The need to be able to mimic this ability of being able to use "Live View" to focus when using an external IR filter (since I'm doing the full spectrum conversion and not just an IR conversion as this will be the only camera I currently will have) though has ruled out the cheaper, older models easily acquired from eBay as they do not have live view.

The K-x looks like a good camera for the price. But as I like the idea of being able to geotag my photos automatically, I'm currently leaning towards the K-r as it has integration with a GPS unit. (I also like that I can see my focus points in the viewfinder with the K-r.) The K-5 sounds like an awesome camera, especially the weather-proofing, but is currently a bit too pricey. Easy enough to get a weather-proof case/bag to put around a cheaper camera. And the K-01 I've not been able to find much on as it's a new product.

Preferably, I'd like something small and light that I can take with me backpacking, which really leans me towards a mirror-less camera for the extra bits of space, but not sure I'm getting the same bang for the buck, especially since it seems geotagging with one isn't going to be as easy. (Still doable in post with various solutions, but one of the extras I like with the Pentax GPS unit is it gives you more than just latitude/longitude, though not sure if that's only with the K-5 or not.)

And I know that the lens is the most important thing when buying into a DSLR as well as what it is you're going to be taking pictures of, but the lens really isn't that big an issue as all the brands have good glass available. As to what I'm going to be taking pictures of, it's really a large gauntlet of things. Action, landscape, macro (the UV pictures of flowers for example) and probably some portrait. Not sure exactly how much action I'll be taking, partly depends on what all sports the kids end up going into, but also action shots of the kids being kids. (They'll be turning 9 and 4 in a couple months, so there's a lot of running around and hopefully a trip to Disney in a year or so.)

All said, landscape is probably going to be a large part of what I take, though the ability to take fast action snapshots is also wanted. This is why I'm leaning towards the K-r as it can take a decent number of pictures in RAW quickly to hopefully capture the perfect (dance(daughter)/hockey(possibly son if he's still interested when he turns 5)) moment. And now that I'm thinking about it, might do a small amount of wildlife as well, but only if I happen to be out and see some deer/bear/etc.

So, I look forward to any help I can get as well as doing a lot more reading to make sure I get the camera that will work best for me so that I will actually use it and not give up in frustration. Also, suggestions on lenses will be most helpful, though from the reviews, the kit lens(es for the multi-lens kits) seem to be rather good so I probably will hold off on buying any for a while to keep from spending too much. I'm also looking forward to getting to learn from everyone as well as maybe hopefully one day being able to pass off what I've learned to others.

Here's to new friends and a wonderful hobby!

(Sorry for the rather long intro post as well as my usual rambling way of communicating.)

02-14-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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The Kx is a great camera...and for the price i'm seing them lately (new..old stock) it's a hell of a deal. I've been working events with it and not having the Af point on the viewfinder does not really matter (unless you got a fish's memory). The kr had some sort of problem focusing under tungten light, but that might be solved right now...
And the K5 is worth the extra money since it's rugged as hell and will survive very harsh environements.
For lenses:
the tamron's 17-50f2.8 or 28-75 f 2,8 are really nice lenses.
The sigma's 10-20 and 8-16 are WIIIIIDDDEEEE fun and fine lenses too.
The pentax limiteds are great premium glass at an affordable price (compared to canon l or nikon gold lenses).
the cheap pentax 35 2,4 is very well liked...
you are going to have to convince your wife to approve a larger sum than you expected
Good luck!
02-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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Welcome. You have ambitious plans. the K-01 is so far mostly vaporware, as it was only announced last week, and is not yet in production as in the camera business 'announcing' a product, and being able to scoop up a couple at Wally Mart, are not the same. there is no shining path about what lenses to buy
as if 3 photographers are in a room you will hear at least 4 versions of the 'must have' for lenses, 'cause at least one is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Ifyou are cost conscious, there are lots of used lenses out there (both in the market place on the bottom of this forum and on EBAY) Ifyou are headed toward
the second hand market you need to fully understand the history and evolution of the the 'K mount', because there are several variants of it---as new features were added.---and occasionally subtracted..... the lens model usually can be translated into a feature set, but the used sellers usually don't detail the feature set, so ifyou are playing in the second hand market you need to know which feature set goes with with which models...
02-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
The K-x is a great camera...and for the price I'm seeing them lately (new..old stock) it's a hell of a deal. I've been working events with it and not having the AF point on the viewfinder does not really matter (unless you got a fish's memory). The K-r had some sort of problem focusing under tungten light, but that might be solved right now...
Yeah, the K-x does sound like a great deal, and I might go for it just because of the price, but the K-r does have the option of using the GPS unit a few months down the road. I don't recall seeing the focusing issue in any of the reviews I've read, but I've been reading so many lately, it just might not have stuck. I'll have to go check again.

QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
And the K5 is worth the extra money since it's rugged as hell and will survive very harsh environements.
I agree that it is probably worth the money, but that also requires the money to get it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
For lenses:
The tamron's 17-50f2.8 or 28-75 f 2,8 are really nice lenses.
The sigma's 10-20 and 8-16 are WIIIIIDDDEEEE fun and fine lenses too.
The pentax limiteds are great premium glass at an affordable price (compared to Canon L or Nikon gold lenses).
the cheap pentax 35 2,4 is very well liked...
Thanks for the ideas, I'll keep them in mind down the road when I have a better idea what lenses will work best for the pictures I take.

QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
You are going to have to convince your wife to approve a larger sum than you expected
Good luck!
And that is the challenge. She already doesn't want me spending money on a DSLR to begin with...

02-14-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
Welcome. You have ambitious plans.
Yes, and trying to find a camera that is compatible with everything I would like to do is quite challenging. I'm going to have to make some sacrifices somewhere, I just haven't figured out where yet.

QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
The K-01 is so far mostly vaporware, as it was only announced last week, and is not yet in production as in the camera business 'announcing' a product, and being able to scoop up a couple at Wally Mart, are not the same.
I didn't realize it was only announced last week, I thought it had been a bit longer ago than that and that a few early-release/prototypes should have landed in the hands of some individuals/organizations to review and such. Guess I have a bit longer to go for that. The fact they can use the existing K mount lenses makes it as attractive as the micro four thirds cameras as well, though the bigger sensor is a huge plus.

QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
There is no shining path about what lenses to buy as if 3 photographers are in a room you will hear at least 4 versions of the 'must have' for lenses, 'cause at least one is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

If you are cost conscious, there are lots of used lenses out there (both in the market place on the bottom of this forum and on EBAY) Ifyou are headed toward the second hand market you need to fully understand the history and evolution of the the 'K mount', because there are several variants of it---as new features were added.---and occasionally subtracted..... the lens model usually can be translated into a feature set, but the used sellers usually don't detail the feature set, so ifyou are playing in the second hand market you need to know which feature set goes with with which models...
Due to cost, I will most likely go the second hand route, and I did read up a bit on the different mounts. As for now, I will stick with the kit lens(es) just to reduce cost as well. Would you recommend getting a single lens kit (approx $550) with the DA L 18mm-55mm lens or a double lens kit (approx $750) with the DA 18mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL and DA 50mm-200mm F4-5.6 ED lenses? There's about a $200 difference between the two, but you also get the better quality 18mm-55mm AL lens instead, which also has more favorable reviews. I could swear that before lunch I saw a kit for sale somewhere that included the WR version of the 18mm-55mm and 50mm-200mm lenses, but I can't find it now. And I think it was actually cheaper than the other 2 lens kit I just mentioned, approx around $650 or so I thought.
02-14-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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I've owned 2 K-X's and now the K5. I hated the lack of focus points but used the Kx as a second body. I presume you'll end up with a Kr, get hooked, and upgrade to the K5 like everyone else does. Point of the story.....just get the K5...gently used from marketplace if possible.
02-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deiberson Quote
I've owned 2 K-X's and now the K5. I hated the lack of focus points but used the Kx as a second body. I presume you'll end up with a Kr, get hooked, and upgrade to the K5 like everyone else does. Point of the story.....just get the K5...gently used from marketplace if possible.
I wouldn't mind jumping right in with the K-5 as it seems to have almost everything I would like, the fast snaps, the weatherproof body, the GPS compatibly, high resolution, etc, etc. The only thing it seems it doesn't have is the low cost that I can justify.

While I've always loved photography, I've not practiced much in some time. I'm not sure how much I'll actually get to use the camera. While I'd like to think I'd use it a lot, and would like to broaden my photography to include IR and UV which requires even more time and money that I'm short on, when it comes down to it, I just don't know if I'll use it enough to justify the cost. I find myself not wanting to spend more than $300-$400 for a camera. And there are some great options in that range, but they don't have a lot of the things that I want and there are a lot of compromises in that range. One thing I've had trouble with since the kids were born is buying things for myself. Largely because of the cost of the things I want. If I spend $2000 for a camera like the K-5, that's $2000 that could have paid to take the wife and kids on a weekend getaway. But there's also all the great photos I'd miss during that getaway because I didn't have the camera. Why does it seem like everything is always a catch 22?

I think I may have just convinced myself to get the K-r as a cost savings compromise as it has the most of what I want for the least amount of cash and it will get me some great pictures until I can justify something that can get me more for the higher price tag. And after all, I can save up for new lenses faster for even better photos if I don't spend as much.
02-14-2012, 01:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
...... And after all, I can save up for new lenses faster for even better photos if I don't spend as much.
That's the way
The K-r image quality is very good.
Pete

02-14-2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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I would probably go for the K-r...it's tried and test, and about the same size as the mirrorless K-01.

Pentax's focus with mirrorless (ignoring the Q) is image quality, not size (for once!).

Adam
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02-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
She already doesn't want me spending money on a DSLR to begin with...
XD
i lured my GF into buying a dslr and now i'm looking at 7000$ worth of camera equipment
Again good luck.
oh and the gps will likely cost a couple hundred wich you really should use for a nice fast prime
02-15-2012, 12:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Transit Quote
That's the way
The K-r image quality is very good.
Pete
I think I'm going to go for it then as soon as I can figure out what the best deal is. Does it make sense to shell out the extra $ for the two lens kit? Should I try and get the even better 2 lens kit with the higher quality lenses?
02-15-2012, 12:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
XD
i lured my GF into buying a dslr and now i'm looking at 7000$ worth of camera equipment
Mine agrees that having one would take some awesome pictures, but doesn't think it quantifies the expense.

QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
Again good luck.
oh and the gps will likely cost a couple hundred wich you really should use for a nice fast prime
Yeah, cheapest I've found the GPS unit is about $250ish, but I've not looked around for it much. Debating on if the kit lens(es) will be enough until I figure out what exactly my style of photography is so I don't waste money on lenses that I just won't use. As it is, if I get the full spectrum or astrophotography conversion kit done, that's an extra couple hundred as well. While I'm pretty sure I could save a bundle and do it myself, I don't have the clean room to make sure dust stays out of the sensor.
02-15-2012, 01:01 AM   #13
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Maybe you can find an used converted camera...i've seen some at a very good price. Maybe you can post a wanted in the marketplace.
For Full spectrum a 4/3 mirrorless might be a better option.
02-15-2012, 07:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
Maybe you can find an used converted camera...i've seen some at a very good price. Maybe you can post a wanted in the marketplace.
For Full spectrum a 4/3 mirrorless might be a better option.
I thought I had mentioned I was originally looking at the micro four thirds cameras as they do seem to lend themselves to full spectrum quite nicely. But with a DSLR with an autofocusing live view will work just as well when doing IR/UV photography.

Though, I did just bid on a K-5 body currently at about half cost. I'm 99% positive I won't win the auction, but I figure if I can get the K-5 for a severe enough discount, there's no reason to get the K-r over it.
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