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12-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Hello. Advice please.

Hello, I am new to the forum. I'm in the market for a dslr camera and I'm having trouble making a decision. I'm an amateur. I took a college photography course 23 years ago but haven't put what I learned to practice very often so have forgotten a lot of it. I have the following Pentax 35mm cameras and lenses from 20+ years ago.


Pentax ME camera
Samigon MC Auto Zoom 1:3.5 f= 3.5-105mm lens
SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm lens

Pentax SF10
Pentax SMC Pentax-F 1:1.7 50mm
Pentax SMC Pentax-F Zoom 1:4-5.6 70-210mm


My first digital camera was a sony (non interchangeable lens) that is abut 5.8 megapixels with a carl zeiss lens. It is obviously an older camera but still takes good pictures as long as you don't exceed the limited optical zoom and the subject will hold still long enough for the camera to turn on, focus & process the image. It is slow. Not at all good for sports photography.


My son is in high school and plays soccer on a travel team and in high school. I want something that will take great sport shots and also do high quality video. I also want to be able to use the camera creatively, take nature shots and the standard family activities. I've been reading some of the reviews and have been considering the K-3 although none of the stores here, I live in Indiana, have it in stock so I can try it out.


I was also considering the Nikon D5300 (I realize this is probably a step down from the K-3) or the D7100. Based on some of the threads on this forum I maybe also need to consider the K-5 ii.


Here is my dilemma. I already have 4 lenses for the Pentax but they are older. I've read you can use any Pentax lens with the K-3 and K-5 II but does anyone know how well they will work and what kind of quality I can expect? Would I still want to buy a newer lens and if so what size. If I didn't have to buy lenses the K-3 would be around the same price as the D5330 with a lens.


Given soccer is played in all sorts of weather and temperatures I'm also interested in the weather sealed component of the K-3, K-5 II and D7100. They are still playing games in December and have some scheduled for February which in Indiana can be below freezing. Unless he makes a college team this may not matter in a couple years. I'm struggling because I haven't been able to hold and try out a K-3 or K-5 ii since no one carries them here. My Pentax SF10 is a fairly hefty camera. I put it on a kitchen scale and the body only weighs about 50 g lighter than the specs on the K-3.


The D5300 is smaller, lighter and has some nice features like the fold out, tilting screen. My concerns are how well it can handle low light situations, video quality and that it isn't weather sealed.


I'm on a budget but I will likely not upgrade for another 10 - 20 years if ever so I may be willing to spend a little more now to get something that will last long term. I've been leaning towards something 20 megapixels or higher for this reason.


I would appreciate any advice anyone can provide.


Thanks!

12-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Welcome from Iowa! Not sure which camera to pick. Imho, don't get too wound up about megapixels. I'm still using a 6 meg. k100d. and I can pull amazing shots out of it!(when I'm not messing it up!) More important to look at how is the build quality, functionality, and quality of images produced. Personally, with what you want, I would go K-50 and put money saved to more optics! The older Pentax glass does great on the new bodies! If you doubt, just look through some of the threads dedicated to older lenses, you will want buy more of them!!
Joel
P.S Not a fan of fold out screens, just something else to break off!
12-09-2013, 12:22 PM   #3
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K-30 or newer K-50 (which is a K-30 revamped)... you can even pick up a K-01 for dirt cheap for very good IQ - and put the rest of the money against better glass.
12-09-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by LJK12 Quote
My son is in high school and plays soccer on a travel team and in high school. I want something that will take great sport shots and also do high quality video.
Welcome, I enjoyed reading your introduction.

Quite honestly, if you want to take great soccer shots (I'll leave the video part for others) at the premier skill level, I'd recommend a solution other than Pentax. While the AF of the K-3 is the best in the Pentax line, the lens selection simply isn't there to the extent that you will find with Nikon and Canon platforms.

For shooting soccer the key factors are predictive AF systems and longer telephoto lenses, minimum 400mm.

I have been shooting youth soccer for the past four years with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 IS L lens. The 7D's predictive AF is still quite a bit better than the K-3 and the lens is very good; not great but good enough. On the Nikon side you'll find the new version of the 80-400mm zoom to be excellent for soccer. I would think that the D7100 should serve you well; the older D300s is their cropped sensor sports camera which you should also consider.

For Pentax the closest is the defunct Sigma 100-300 f4 which I use. The dedicated TC is not recommended for sports.

Plan on spending a minimum of $2500 on a camera and telephoto. If you already shoot soccer please forgive my next two sentences, but if you are starting from scratch, plan on it taking several months of trial, error, and practice to get consistent keepers. It also requires some physical exercise to hold a DSLR and long lens for the 90 minutes. Monopods limit me more than anything, so I don't recommend them.

I'm sure you'll figure this out, but act fast to prep for spring season.

M

12-09-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LJK12 Quote
I took a college photography course 23 years ago
Welcome to the forum, your doing better than me, I wouldn't have remembered I'd even taken a course that long ago.
12-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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Welcome to PF and "bonjour" from France, LJK12 ... enjoy the forum and hope to see an image or two soon ... Salut, J
12-09-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful welcome and advice. Unfortunately I'm extremely limited on budget so can't afford a $2400 setup right now. Daughter in college and son in travel soccer. That is why I was hoping to be able to supplement with my current lenses.

A salesman told me this past weekend that the 18-140mm kit lens that comes with the d5300 would be fine for shooting soccer. His reasoning was that with the high megapixel count I could blow up the shot. I was a bit skeptical so it is good to hear from those that have experience - especially with soccer. I very much appreciate the recommendations though. Maybe some day I'll get there.

I've only tried taking pictures with my 5.8 megapixel sony which just isn't anywhere close to the right camera for sports photography. I will have a huge learning curve with a good dslr. I'll try to get in a lot of practice.

Thanks again to everyone.

Happy Holidays
12-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LJK12 Quote
Maybe some day I'll get there.
It really depends on what level of quality is acceptable to you. When you said earlier "great" I took that as I would if I said it. If your budget is tight, then consider a more consumer oriented zoom lens like the Pentax 55-300mm, or a Tamron 70-300mm. With a new body you should be able to stop action outdoors at 1/750 second and get some pretty decent shots. Don't give up,there are fun options out there you can grow with.

M

12-09-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
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It is very possible to shoot soccer with a K-5 and a 55-300 WR zoom for an all WR solution, parents all over the world use these kind of solutions (APC SLR with a xx-300 consumer zoom) and they are better than what most others use (iphones, P&S). To incrementally improve on that set up requires a big step up in price, and given you are on a limited budget I'd look for a K5C or II + 55-300 WR (and the WR version only if you think it's important, otherwise you could save a bit of money getting a regular 55-300).

I disagree with the salesman that a 18-140 would be suitable, it really isn't for full field sports.
12-10-2013, 07:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LJK12 Quote

A salesman told me this past weekend that the 18-140mm kit lens that comes with the d5300 would be fine for shooting soccer.

I've shot plenty of my kid's soccer matches with an K-5 + 18-135WR. - with some cropping for composition admittedly.
The thing is.... the team is all 6 year olds and they play on a 1/4 sized field.

I dont think that camera salesman has been to a proper soccer game.


A K-5II and 55-300 would be the better budget option for a full sized field.

The 55-300 WR would be a good all weather option, but I've shot with the non-WR 55-300 in light rain before without any issue just wiping the barrel and not deliberately holding it out directly exposed to the rain continuously.

The 55-300WR version assuming it's like the 18-135WR would be much more weather resistant than I am.
12-11-2013, 06:47 AM   #11
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At this point if you're buying new, I'd be tempted to get the 55-300 WR version and the 18-135 as your starting kit. You should be able to get good shots with the K5II, though if you want to spring for the new K3 I can't fault the decision.

There's a great thread here by Ron Hendriks about shooting sports. I'd memorize everything he says...
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/115277-k-5-sports-photography.html
12-12-2013, 12:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LJK12 Quote
Hello, I am new to the forum. I'm in the market for a dslr camera and I'm having trouble making a decision. I'm an amateur. I took a college photography course 23 years ago but haven't put what I learned to practice very often so have forgotten a lot of it. I have the following Pentax 35mm cameras and lenses from 20+ years ago.


Pentax ME camera
Samigon MC Auto Zoom 1:3.5 f= 3.5-105mm lens
SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm lens

Pentax SF10
Pentax SMC Pentax-F 1:1.7 50mm
Pentax SMC Pentax-F Zoom 1:4-5.6 70-210mm


My first digital camera was a sony (non interchangeable lens) that is abut 5.8 megapixels with a carl zeiss lens. It is obviously an older camera but still takes good pictures as long as you don't exceed the limited optical zoom and the subject will hold still long enough for the camera to turn on, focus & process the image. It is slow. Not at all good for sports photography.


My son is in high school and plays soccer on a travel team and in high school. I want something that will take great sport shots and also do high quality video. I also want to be able to use the camera creatively, take nature shots and the standard family activities. I've been reading some of the reviews and have been considering the K-3 although none of the stores here, I live in Indiana, have it in stock so I can try it out.


I was also considering the Nikon D5300 (I realize this is probably a step down from the K-3) or the D7100. Based on some of the threads on this forum I maybe also need to consider the K-5 ii.


Here is my dilemma. I already have 4 lenses for the Pentax but they are older. I've read you can use any Pentax lens with the K-3 and K-5 II but does anyone know how well they will work and what kind of quality I can expect? Would I still want to buy a newer lens and if so what size. If I didn't have to buy lenses the K-3 would be around the same price as the D5330 with a lens.


Given soccer is played in all sorts of weather and temperatures I'm also interested in the weather sealed component of the K-3, K-5 II and D7100. They are still playing games in December and have some scheduled for February which in Indiana can be below freezing. Unless he makes a college team this may not matter in a couple years. I'm struggling because I haven't been able to hold and try out a K-3 or K-5 ii since no one carries them here. My Pentax SF10 is a fairly hefty camera. I put it on a kitchen scale and the body only weighs about 50 g lighter than the specs on the K-3.


The D5300 is smaller, lighter and has some nice features like the fold out, tilting screen. My concerns are how well it can handle low light situations, video quality and that it isn't weather sealed.


I'm on a budget but I will likely not upgrade for another 10 - 20 years if ever so I may be willing to spend a little more now to get something that will last long term. I've been leaning towards something 20 megapixels or higher for this reason.


I would appreciate any advice anyone can provide.


Thanks!
I"m new myself, but most will advise to spend your money on the lenses less on the camera. I would have gotten myself the K-3 if budget allowed, but it didn't. I got a K-5. You have some decent lenses that can be used and can see if you want to or are able to upgrade to a faster zoom or add a wide angle. From this forum I doubt you'll get directed to a different brand. If leaning towards more mega pixels then keep the lenses and get the k-3, excellent build.
12-16-2013, 04:11 PM   #13
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First off, Pentax's lens selection is just fine for about 95% of the folks who use a DSLR. The only folks that say it isn't are ones that have very particular needs and/or have lots of money to spend. You can't go wrong with Pentax. Plus your older lenses will work on the modern bodies. You will be amazed at what the old lenses can produce.

With that said, pretty much anything from the K-r or later will handle your needs well.

Remember, when you are buying a camera like a DSLR you are not buying it so that -it- can do it all, but so that -you- can do it all. You are not buying it for automation but for control. The quality of your images depends more on your skills and knowledge of how to use the camera. So good to great results will not happen overnight no matter what make or model of camera you buy.
12-16-2013, 04:20 PM   #14
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Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I can't find any local stores, including the authorized dealer, that have any Pentax interchangeable lens cameras in stock. I would prefer to try one out in the store before purchasing so I may wait until after the holidays and see if prices go down. I just might get some 35mm film and try out the 210mm lens that way.

I looked at the recommended thread on sports photography and it had some great information that I'll keep in mind. I appreciate everyone's input. Happy holidays to everyone!
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