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05-29-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
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Advice on which Pentax Camera to Buy

Hello all! I am new to photography as a hobby so am starting from scratch. I have researched the Pentax cameras and am impressed by their quality and features. I have looked at Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, and Panasonic, but I continually get drawn back to Pentax.

I am trying to decide between the K-5 II and K-30. I am leaning toward the K-5 II because I like the more professional features such as the accessibility of controls on the body and the LCD panel on top. However, I have seen some people recommending the purchase of the K-30 over the K-5 II because the latter is really a stop gap camera before the 24mp camera is released. However, is it better to get the camera you prefer now, learn the ins and outs, or get the K-30 now and maybe look at the newer offerings in a year? The K-30 looks like a great camera (in my estimation, it may be one of the best out there for its price), and it is significantly cheaper than the K-5 II. However, the K-5 II looks like it would be a joy to use and grow with. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments in helping me to decide.

05-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, both are great cameras, you pays your money and takes your choice.
05-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... my K-5 is great and I bought it before the K-30 was released ... I have handled one, but I still prefer my K-5 since it has the top LCD plus I can purchase a grip for it later if I want ... I think that you'd be happy which ever you pick ... good luck, J
05-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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You could get a K-5 (rather than K-5 II) for pretty cheap if you're thinking you will upgrade to the supposed new 24mp camera later. If you're just starting out then the k-5 will give you plenty to get on with I'm sure. You can then invest more in lenses which will last you longer etc. Or maybe look for a used K-5 with a few lenses.

Or if money is no object then just get the K-5II

There are articles on here comparing the K-5 and K-5 II to help you make the decision.

05-29-2013, 01:18 PM   #5
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I have the K-30 and do not miss the top LCD (I had a K20D previously) which I thought I would. I would choose K-30 over the original K-5, it has some newer features, but the K-5II is newer yet and has more upgrades. Choose the features that mean the most to you. It sound as though you have done that and want the K-5II so that's what you should get. But if you want to save cash the K-30 will make you happy too. You won't go wrong either way, they both have unique features, but are similar in many ways. And as a new user you really don't know which of those features you may use the most or which will make no difference at all to you.
05-29-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I have the K-30 and do not miss the top LCD (I had a K20D previously) which I thought I would. I would choose K-30 over the original K-5, it has some newer features, but the K-5II is newer yet and has more upgrades. Choose the features that mean the most to you. It sound as though you have done that and want the K-5II so that's what you should get. But if you want to save cash the K-30 will make you happy too. You won't go wrong either way, they both have unique features, but are similar in many ways. And as a new user you really don't know which of those features you may use the most or which will make no difference at all to you.
+1 on that advice

I started with a K-r as my first Dslr and then bought a K-30 since it has more features than the K-r and I very happy with my decision.
In my case it was "just" a money issue, since I was able to buy another lens with the K-30.

Just my 2 cents...
And welcome to the forum
05-29-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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If it really is your very first DSLR, unless you are rich, I would strongly recommend a used K-X or a K-R and take the rest of the money and buy lenses. After you have a year or so under your belt and some nice glass, then think about camera bodies. I shot with my K-X for almost 3 years, and I'm just now growing out of it. I upgraded to the K-30 and the image quality improvement is not that dramatic. The big changes for me are WR, faster live view, and a better control layout. It is worth the upgrade, but maybe not when you are starting out.

If you really want new, I would highly recommend the cheaper camera (K-30) and spend the difference on lenses. The lens is where you should make your first investment. Start with the 17-70 or the 18-135, and a decent fast prime. The 35mm Macro, or the 35 f2.4 are fine places to start with primes, although I love my Sigma 30/1.4. Something in the 50mm range is great outside, but will always feel too long inside, so I'd make that a second prime purchase. Add the 15mm limited as your 4th lens, and you will have a great starter kit to explore your photography needs. If you feel the need to go telephoto, the 50-200 or 55-300 are fine lenses to fill that need.

The K-30 with nice lenses will be much better image quality than the K-5II with the kit lens.
05-29-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I have the K-30 and do not miss the top LCD (I had a K20D previously) which I thought I would. I would choose K-30 over the original K-5, it has some newer features, but the K-5II is newer yet and has more upgrades. Choose the features that mean the most to you. It sound as though you have done that and want the K-5II so that's what you should get. But if you want to save cash the K-30 will make you happy too. You won't go wrong either way, they both have unique features, but are similar in many ways. And as a new user you really don't know which of those features you may use the most or which will make no difference at all to you.
Same here, from K-20D to K-30 I do not miss the top LCD.

05-29-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
Same here, from K-20D to K-30 I do not miss the top LCD.
And I almost did not buy the K-30 because of that but the better autofocus than K-5 won out, now I realize I much prefer that "top lcd info" displayed on the back in nice bold print.
05-29-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
now I realize I much prefer that "top lcd info" displayed on the back in nice bold print.
I kind of like it too.
With the K-20D, actually I rarely use the top LCD, I may use it when I have time to prepare to make the first shoot, so I look at it to check all the settings. But after that, with my eye in the view finder, I use the 2 dial wheels to change settings and hardly use the top LCD any more.
05-30-2013, 08:48 AM   #11
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Thank you everyone for the great advice. I have decided to go with the K-30, and put the money I saved into good lenses. Now, I have to decide on a color.
05-30-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Congratz on your decision. I don't think you will regret it! K-30 is a joy to use with good lenses
Can't complain about my blue K-30, people tend to notice it and hopefully also see that it's a Pentax I am using
05-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #13
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You can't go wrong with either one. If your pocketbook is the major decider, try looking at a used camera to start with. I personally bought a used K-10d with a coulpe of lenses and a spare battery charger from a person upgrading his equipment. It was a great and inexpensive choice. like I said, you can't go wrong with either, and welcome to the forum.
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