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04-07-2012, 08:04 AM   #1
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Long Time Pentax Guy, New to DSLR

Hi All-
Nice to find you here. My name is Jamie and I've been shooting Pentax film cameras since 1983. I still regularly use a K-1000 I got in 1985. I'm not a professional by any means and, as much as I'd like to be, am not naive enough to think I'm going to support a family by changing careers at the age of 45. I'm finally giving in to technology and going with a DSLR. Film, chemicals and spare time are just getting too hard to find. Still, I'm a decent enough photographer to want quality.

Over the last 25 years, I've amassed a good bit of Pentax gear. I'm pretty far entrenched to switch brands (thanks to the k-mount). Besides that fact, I love Pentax equipment and probably always will.

Here's where you come in. My photography is purely for my enjoyment. Most of my shots will never see print. I want a versatile camera that is easy to lug around. We are pretty active and I want to use it anywhere from ski trips to vacations to hiking in the woods to shooting pics at the ball field. I'm especially fond of nature and outdoor photography, so that is a consideration. I want to be able to catch wildlife in motion.

I don't necessarily need the newest thing on the market. I don't think a mirrorless version will work because I shoot just enough motion to make it impractical. The K-r seems to be a good size, but but I don't know if it's rugged enough. I'm worried the K20 may be too cumbersome but the price is awesome. The K-5 is still a bit pricey for my needs but I may have to bite the bullet. The K-7 is where I'm inclined, but it seems to be holding it's value and for only a little more I could get the K-5.

I'd love to hear input and opinions from the people in the know, especially if you have similar circumstances or photography style.

Thanks in advance.

Jamie

04-07-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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New or Used?

Hi Jamie, Welcome to the Forum!
I am also a longtime Pentax user, from film to digital. Several years ago I bought a new K110D, which turned out to be a good intro for digital, but eventually I wanted more performance, MP, features, etc.
So I got a lightly-used K10 D, which turned out to be a great upgrade, the sturdiest and most durable DSLR Pentax made at the time, the weather-proofing alone makes this a winner. It is the close to the tank-like construction of the K1000.
Yes, this camera (and it's later-version brother, the K20 D) is hefty and with the BG-2 grip, quite a formidable piece of equipment. But the ergonomics are great, it fits my hands perfectly and has the main controls placed exactly where they should be. Without the grip it's not too big, just solid and somewhat heavy.
The bug for more megapixels and features crept in again (it's like a disease, I swear!) so I found a K-7 for $570.00, used and well-maintained, from a Forum member.
This camera is slightly smaller, feels lighter (no BG grip, yet!) and the controls are similar, a fast learning curve. Ultra-crisp and sharp photos with the same lenses I've used for many years, quieter shutter and overall, an upgrade again.
You might consider a used K-7, especially a low-mileage one. I've seen a couple more here for less than $600, about half what a new K-5 will cost. It is missing a few high-end features, but suits me fine. 14.6 MP seems like enough (more than enough, actually) for my needs, I'm not a professional and don't make prints larger than 8" X 10".
Now the K-7 is my main camera body and the K10 D still gets lot of use. Either one (or a K20 D) will fit your needs and budget for years.
JMO,
Ron
04-07-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Ron. Just the kind of stuff I was hoping for.

Jamie
04-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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If most of your present lenses are manual focus, I'd consider the K-01. The focus peak mode will surely be very helpful.

04-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Jamie. Can't help re the K-7 - I have a K-5 and K-x. The WR on the K-5 was a factor for me.
04-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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I did for a minute. If it was weather sealed, it'd be more appealing. Not sure how I'd do without a VF either.
04-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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Thanks Arn- its a factor for me, too.
04-07-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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K-5. 'nuff said.
Why?
You're not a "Pentax-come-lately".
You will understand a K-5 and be happy.

04-07-2012, 06:17 PM   #9
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I have come down the same road, started with the K1000 and then Kx until it became harder to find film available. I have purchased the Kr and have been slowly learning all the new features available on a Digital Camera. I was happy to be able to use my older manual Pentax lenses, but l had to purchase a 17-70 SDM lenses to be able to use all these new features. I am hoping that the Kr will hold up to the outdoors because that is one of the reasons that I selected the camera besides the size, weight and the fact that it was digital. I have also taken a local class on digital photography and joined the local photo club. I found that there are not to many Pentax photographers in my area. So the one other owner of a Pentax camera and I compare notes all the time. I can tell you that there are a number of features that I miss from my Kx, but that the Kr has so many features that just keep pulling me in and wanting more out of the pictures that I take. I have also fount out from the photo club that I need to learn photo shop and maybe a couple of other programs which I do not remember right now to really enhance my pictures. I am looking forward to learning more about shooting RAW and how to feel comfortable moving back and forth between jpeg and why. Good luck making your own decision, I am glad that I have stuck it out with Pentax.
04-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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Welcome, Jamie, from one who has only been here a week or two himself.

I too have used Pentax equipment since the mid-80's. However I got a K100D body in 2007 and used it with all the lenses from my Super Program; worked great, nice pictures, just no autofocus.

When the K-7 came out I thought long and hard but could not justify the purchase. Then when the K-5 came out it was a constant struggle not to get one. Again I couldn't justify the expense for a "hobby".

I lasted over a year, and just received my K-5 last week. All I can say is: WOW! What a remarkable camera. Already I'm regretting not getting it right away.

Oh, and as for the "can't justify it" argument - my wife's response was, "you deserve it dear, you've worked hard." Remind me not to trade her in!

Hope this helps.
04-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the input. Found a good deal on a K-7 and cannot wait to get it. Will probably get an all purpose lens that will take advantage of the autofocus features, but years of tying to conserve film has trained me to frame my shots carefully. Manual focus won't hold me back too badly.
04-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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Jamie,

Welcome.

The K-7 is a fine camera. It is quite close to the K-5 in handling but has the older Smasung sensor similar to what was found in the K-20. I have owned both and shot quite a bit with them.

I go back to 1978 with Pentax (wasn't that just yesterday?, No?).

I would only comment that your penchant for quality would be (FAR) better served bythe K-5, at least if image quality is what you were referring to. I undertand the sticker shock, but just think of all of the film costs saved, and the body quickly becomes irrelevant in terms of cost.

Anyway, whatever you do, have fun.

Oh, and you can stop worrying about being furgal with your shots. Other than storage media (and your time at the PC) they are free! I predict that you will soon have terabytes of images just like all of the rest of us!

Ray
04-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
You're not a "Pentax-come-lately". You will understand a K-5 and be happy.
I ended up buying a K-5 much by chance - not at all where I started my shopping when I went into the camera store. I'd like to think I'm understanding the K-5. I'm certainly enjoying it even if I still make more mistakes than photos.
04-10-2012, 10:44 PM   #14
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Congrats on the K-7. Re the all-purpose lens - you'll probably get lots of helpful advice. I now have a few primes, and some manual Taks, and I love the DA*50-135, but I think the most all-purpose lens I have is my DA 18-135 - great range, and WR, good bokeh and decent sharpness. All the best with your search - I've purchased a number of lenses from the marketplace The Pentax Marketplace | Sell Pentax | Photographic Equipment for Sale - PentaxForums.com
04-12-2012, 05:52 PM   #15
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Many thanks to all. I got to shoot with the K-7 today. It has a lot more buttons than my K1000. (Wink, Wink) It's going to take some time to learn all this camera can do. Right now I'd have to say it is far more capable than I am, but I had a blast. Ripping off shot after shot at my son's ball game was awesome. Terabytes of images, indeed, Ray. I see alot of fun in my future.
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