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03-13-2014, 02:33 AM   #1
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New dslr user here

I have been really getting into photography in the last year and a half. I currently have an old Sony that is not quite doing it for me so I decided to upgrade. I looked at camera reviews and specs for almost 5 months and have finally decided the k-3 is the winner. I did lean some things along the way and have some questions that maybe some more experienced people could answer. First, why is full frame so much more expensive? I know it's better in low light and the sensor is bigger, but is that really worth 3000$? Second, why is pentax not as popular? I almost over looked them while trying to make my decision. While at the store I asked if they carry any pentax gear. The guy looked at me like an ass just for asking. He then began to tell me why canon and Nikon was better and handed me a "real nice" plastic t5i to look at. Third and final, are the hd limited lens that much better the the standard line up? I can see the numbers in the review, but what does that add up to in pic quality?

03-13-2014, 07:07 AM   #2
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Hello Matta98, Welcome to the Forum!
I believe the full frame 'superiority' tag got its start when APS-C wasn't as good at low light/high ISO performance, and wouldn't stand up to big enlargements (aka 'Pixel Peeping'). The Pro market wanted/needed something better and a larger format seemed the logical answer.
But the tech advances in crop-sensor have narrowed the gap considerably, to the point there's little difference between the two.
However, then there's the human factor, after all. If Mr. A spent $,3000 on his camera, it MUST be better than Mr. B's $1,000 camera, right? And the 2 big players Nikon and Canon, have made sure this truism stayed alive; They have a major investment in the "Up-path" from crop to FF, selling the advantages (?) whenever they can.
To be honest, most of the upper-level FF bodies are as advanced as can be. Fast frame rates, bigger and newer sensors, all the pro-level functions, all in one big, imposing package. They do the job, all right. Some argue the same quality work could be done by an APS-C camera, but we're fighting human nature, a bit of past-performance thinking, perceived status and ego, and some fact. An uphill climb!
For a certain very high level of performance, full frame is slightly better. The top end of the digital photographic spectrum. For the other 90% of us, cropped-format is all the performance we'll ever need.
Why is Pentax not as popular? Whew, that's a good one! Bad marketing, slow entry into the game, less-than-stellar A/F performance, medicore video specs and 3 ownership changes in the past couple decades. One of the companies, Hoya, seemed to have made some sales, pricing and marketing decisions that haunt the company to this day. You'll find lots of likely suspects in this affair!
Pentax makes two higher-level lens collections, in addition to the consumer DA line. One is the * (star) lineup, mainly fast, high-quality prime and zoom lenses, aimed at the advanced user base. The other series is the Limited lens series, all primes until the recent release of the DA 20-40 Ltd. These are very small (tiny!) lenses, all metal build, not particularly fast but great optics and unusual-but-useful focal lengths. Many of these are highly regarded for their rendering, sharpness, construction and clarity. Lenses of this overall quality are rare in today's market, and costly when you do find them.
Hope this helps!
03-13-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
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First off welcome to the forum. As for your questions there will be many and sometimes conflicting answers in the forum. For the average enthusiast photographer an APS-C sensor is enough for high quality imagery. If you make your living in photography then FF may make more sense. Unless you plan to do wall size murals you won't get the benefit from FF. I've had perfect prints up to 20 x 30 in made from the 10 MP K10D so for me FF doesn't make sense. Whether the new HD series lenses are going to be better than the current lenses only time and experience will tell. Many camera dealers only stock canikon equipment because they are the "big" two in the industry and try to be all things for all people. Pentax makes cameras and lenses to fit their market niche. I'm in that niche. Happy shooting with your K-3 and if you haven't purchased it yet consider buying it at B&H through the forum. They have a good deal going now that has a lens, battery grip, and an SD card included for the price of the body.
03-13-2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard - you'll find plenty of threads discussing just these issues all over PF.

Many of us found Pentax when really digging through the specs, reviews etc. When I was looking I was moving from mostly manual film cameras to DSLR after spending some time with smaller digitals, including a brilliant Sony P50. Weather resistance, rugged build, easy manual controls were all areas where the competition lagged.

I think the proper question to the sales person pushing the T5i would be 'so I can take this out in the rain, right?' I know most people getting these introductory cameras use them in full-auto mode, and they're mostly satisfied but I always try to push them to expand their skills and get out of green mode.

I'd suggest getting Lightroom as well, and learning RAW file development - there is a LOT of data there to work with.

03-13-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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Hi and welcome to PF

Are you getting the B&H deal with your K3?

QuoteOriginally posted by matta98 Quote
but is that really worth 3000$?
It all depends on what you're gonna use your camera for. FF will handle low light better (the sensor will receive more light than an APSC), it will permit larger prints to be made and will provide a different depth of field (wider). And as rbefly said there is also a bit of the human "one-up your neighbor" factor that comes into play.
FF has advantages and inconvenients just like APSC. FF lenses tend to be larger, heavier and more expensive than lenses designed for APSC. Even if the gap is closing, FF is also more expensive to produce thus making more expensive to purchase. FF bodies were also larger (until Sony A7/r) and require more power, meaning larger heavier batteries.

But nowadays, APSC cameras are generally very good, you see more and more pros using them in some occasions (lighter, smaller, cheaper). To me, it's not worth the premium. My K5 (and even my Kr) are more than enough. I even have a few photos shot with a 6mpix K100D that ended up on a calendar, along side some shots made using FF cameras, even at 10x10 you can't tell the difference.

Your K3 will be more than enough for almost anything unless you're a $2000/session photographer (but then, FF wouldn't be enough, you'd want a medium format), Just browse the photo threads, you'll see some amazing pictures posted by the users. Sometimes with camera worth $200 and a cheap $50 lens. FF is better, there is no doubts about that, but APSC is not that far behind.

QuoteOriginally posted by matta98 Quote
why is pentax not as popular?
Marketing mostly. If you're old enough, think BETA vs VHS... Beta was better but VHS got better marketing, Pentax were also behind the big two technology wise. They didn't provide "pro" support like Canikon which shied away some pros. Feature to feature. their bodies are often quite a bit cheaper than the other player's equivalent which make some people think that they're not as good. The lack of a FF Pentax body also make some people regard the brand as for amateur only. Lots of people believe that they will get National Geo. worthy photos instantly if they buy the cameras that the pro use, which is often Canikon (or that's what marketing makes you believe).
03-13-2014, 08:23 AM   #6
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03-13-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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Lots of good replies already, I'll just say welcome to the forum.
03-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #8
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Welcome to PF and [B]bonjour [/B]from France, matta98 ... looks like you have received some good advice and hope to see some K-3 images soon ... Salut, J


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