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04-18-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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I Said 'Kay to the K

Hi, there.

I am a complete noob to DSLR cameras. My P&S camera is a Panasonic DMC-LZ7, and it's okay for outdoor daylight shots but not much else. I've been impressed with the photos some of my friends have taken with their DSLRs, so I decided I'd like to try DSLR photography. For my birthday, my husband told me to shop for a camera, so I started researching.

I wasn't sure what I wanted, and I was overwhelmed with the choices. Mirrorless? What was that? After doing some research and wading through pages and pages of reviews, I narrowed it down to a Nikon 5200, a Canon T4i, or a Pentax K-30 in my price range. (The Olympus mirrorless that also interested me was out of my price range.) I really liked the sounds of the Pentax, but many sites advised going with Canon or Nikon for reasons you've all probably heard before. Then, I had a bright idea. I have used Air Miles before for merchandise (got our Weber bbq that way), so I thought I'd check to see if any of those cameras were available through Air Miles. If so, I would choose that one, as it would be essentially "free," and then I would have funds for accessories and maybe an additional lens.

It turned out that Air Miles had the Nikon 5100, the Canon T4i and T5i, and the Pentax K-30 available, all with basic kit lenses (unfortunately--otherwise I would have ordered a kit with an upgraded lens), so I focused on deciding among the Nikon, the Pentax, and the T5i. I went to a store to physically look at and hold all three. I liked the way the Nikon felt in my hands, but hated the viewfinder. Of course, I loved the viewfinder on the Pentax, as well as its solid feel. The Canon (T4i, since the T5i wasn't in stores yet) seemed to be a decent middle ground. The store clerk was really steering me towards the Canon. However, I had pretty much decided on the Pentax and had even placed it in my shopping cart when I got home, when my husband came home from work and said that he had asked the two photography teachers at his school, and one had said Canon and the other, Nikon. So, I went through all the reviews again, went through dozens of photos at camerashowdown.com and settled on the T51, in part because Air Miles also had a additional Canon lenses I could order, and I would have enough Air MIles left to do so.

Almost immediately, I had misgivings. I went through more reviews and more photos at camerashowdown.com, and I started wishing I had ordered the Pentax. I tried going onto the Air Miles site to cancel my order, and there was no way to do so. I tried going into Live Chat, and it was closed for the next couple of days, as it was the beginning of the weekend. I tried calling on Saturday, and the recorded message said that the phone number was only for travel and entertainment rewards.

So, I called first thing Monday morning. Because the T5i was not yet available, AM was able to cancel my order. Otherwise, the order would probably already have been processed. They are fast! It was too late to cancel the lens order, as it had already been processed. (AM has given me instructions on what to do, and are going to allow me to return it, even though they don't usually accept returns.) Then, just so I didn't have second thoughts again, I spent the next two days researching and rereading, and I spent a fair amount of time at this site in the process. I did a search for Pentax lenses in my area, just to see what was out there and what the pricing was like. Both are good cameras, and I'm sure I would be happy with either one (or, more likely, either one will serve to affirm my lack of skill and knowledge ). However, the Pentax really appealed to me. With a similar sensor, the Pentax simply seemed to outclass the Nikon with its weatherproofing, its pentaprism viewfinder, its built in image stabilization, and its ability to accept AA batteries (with an adapter) in a pinch. Plus, it's just downright purty, IMO. The only option available at Air Miles was the Stormtrooper white, but that was the one I was leaning toward, anyhow. Somehow, the K-30 was the camera that called to me, so here I am, a brand new Pentaxian.

I received an email this morning saying that my baby has been shipped, and I'm very excited!

Thank you all for helping to guide me to this camera, through your enthusiasm for the brand and through your informative posts. I hope the K-30 and I will be very happy together, once we learn how to get along.

04-18-2013, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome to PF and bonjour from France ... Enjoy that new white K-30 when it arrives ... and great introduction, too ! J
04-18-2013, 10:26 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Welcome!

You'll probably find the destination to be well worth the journey.

If I had a few bucks to spare I'd be getting a K-30 as a second body for my July trip. The sensor is just great!
04-18-2013, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote

I wasn't sure what I wanted, and I was overwhelmed with the choices. Mirrorless? What was that? After doing some research and wading through pages and pages of reviews, I narrowed it down to a Nikon 5200, a Canon T4i, or a Pentax K-30 in my price range.
Welcome aboard, and Wow, this sounds familiar, back in 2008-2009 I researched and researched DSLRs and lenses and finally selected the K20D. The K20D was a great camera, I have since moved to the K-30, which is light years ahead of the K20D. I probably could have been happy with a Nikon, but I definitely don't regret choosing Pentax, which I think is definitely the best cameras for the money. Besides that you get this great Pentax Forums community, a very helpful place. While you are waiting for the delivery, you can download the K-30 manual, it's a searchable pdf.

04-18-2013, 12:32 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Welcome to the forum, enjoy that white machine when she arrives.
04-18-2013, 12:34 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Hello bibi, welcome aboard! Great story.

QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote
Pentax K-30 available, all with basic kit lenses (unfortunately--otherwise I would have ordered a kit with an upgraded lens)
The Pentax kit is actually pretty good, better than the Nikon and leagues better than the Canon. You'll do well with it for quite some time, and if it's the WR version you'll probably always keep it for diffficult conditions. That's what I do.

QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote
two photography teachers at his school, and one had said Canon and the other, Nikon
Remember those probably use very expensive equipment, not entry-level. they probably never handled a Canon Rebel so they don't know that it feels cheap and plasticky . Plus they will not vouch for the better but for their own brand.

QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote
I spent the next two days researching and rereading
I want to point out, at this point, that any camera can deliver good pictures.

QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote
the Pentax simply seemed to outclass the Nikon with its weatherproofing, its pentaprism viewfinder, its built in image stabilization, and its ability to accept AA batteries (with an adapter) in a pinch.
HERE is the important part : since any camera can deliver, THESE are the poinnts that should guide you. If these are important for you, then go with Pentax (you did, congrats!) If complex wireless flash setups are your thing, then Nikon is better. Etc etc.

You will be happy with your Pentax, you can get any used lens and mount it right up and it will work, and the community is the friendliest you'll find.
04-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for the welcomes, the info, the manual, and the validation , everyone.
04-18-2013, 05:11 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote
Somehow, the K-30 was the camera that called to me, so here I am, a brand new Pentaxian.
Bibi,

Welcome! After your research, comparisons, and 'trial run' with the Canon, it really does sound like you and the K-30 were meant for each other. Glad you were able to return the other gear with no hassle. The K-30 provides exceptional value for money; I doubt you'll regret your purchase. A great birthday gift!

Hope to see you here regularly.

- Craig

04-18-2013, 05:13 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Welcome aboard bibi. I look forward to seeing some photos posted in the near future.
04-18-2013, 05:52 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Can't add much more to what the other Pentaxians have said, so I just say: Welcome to the forum and the Pentax family
04-19-2013, 03:14 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Hi bibi,

I'm new here myself with a 3 day old K-30. I can empathize with the angst you went through with the research and finally making the decision...But for the PentaxForums I would have gone with a Nikon.
Hope you enjoy your new baby.
04-19-2013, 04:40 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Welcome! Good choice. Once you get it, you should take a look at the recommended lenses for K-30 and recommended settings for K-30 guides on this forum. These things can be very helpful for a beginner. I'm sure you will enjoy the camera, and this forum is a great resource of information to help you get out of the Auto mode
Oh, and I hope you get a WR lens with it. If the lens isn't WR, you can't use it in poor weather, but if both the camera and lens are WR, you can have fun even in some rain
04-19-2013, 04:44 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Welcome elfius ...

Bonjour from France and enjoy the new gear ... don't hesitate to post images and/or ask questions ... J
04-19-2013, 09:42 PM   #14
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Thanks!
04-24-2013, 10:16 PM   #15
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My very first ever pic taken with "Stormy" (my new K-30 in Stormtrooper White), or with any DSLR, for that matter.

I'm really pleased. I didn't have much time to play, because it took me most of the evening to get everything set up (battery charged, memory card formatted, firmware updated, figure out how to put on a lens, etc.). So, I tried three shots. The first one was this one, and the other two were shots of my dog, taken in very low light. My husband asked, "Aren't you going to use a flash?" and I said, "No. I shouldn't have to. I want to see how well it works without a flash." I'm very impressed with the camera's performance! Now I can't wait to learn how to use it!
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