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09-17-2014, 12:13 AM   #1
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Newbie and confused beyond measure...

Hi


Well my name is Marius and I have been looking to get myself a proper DSLR for the last couple of years, but I just can't seem to take the leap. I know I want to, it's just really hard making that final commitment, currently using a bridge camera. I know myself and I know once I start I get started I will invest heavily, not immediately, but over a period of time, So it's important that i start with a system and still be able to stick with it in 20 years time.


I have gone from review to review and blog to blog, probably overloaded myself with info and therefore find it difficult making a choice.


What makes it more complex is that where I am staying it really ought to be Cannon or Nikon if your looking for after market service,(Dubai) Pentax is almost none existent in the market. Problem is I seem to lean to the Pentax every time, this goes back to when I was interested in the K-7 through the K-5 and now the K-3, which I had kind of settled on. On a recent visit to the U.S. I got to play with it for a while and felt it really comfortable and just had the look of a quality product.


I was briefly interested in the new Sony A7R, but the lack of glass and not really wanting to work with a adapter has got me thinking otherwise. Then again the sensor was attractive...choices...


Conditions here are very tough on hardware, high temps and high humidity, so weather sealing is important and Pentax seems to be one of the best in this regard.


Obviously I was holding off to see what photokina was going to reveal, but since it looks like Pentax has been fairly quit I might as well go for the K-3.My last reservation is the kind of shooting I'm going to be doing, basically a lot of landscapes, wildlife and then it gets tricky with aircraft spotting and a couple of days at the raceway.


The aircraft spotting would be at the end of the runway with aircraft not traveling extremely fast or at extreme distances, so I don't think that is a issue, but most reviews says that that the K-3 is not great for sports photography and it probably does not get worse than F1 racing....


Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, both positive and negative.


I know there are Canon Nikon options with weather sealing as well, but I have just never taken a liking to any of their models in the same way I do to the Pentax, maybe it's because they all look so generic.
and my choices has always been a bit left field. probably not the best reason to buy a camera, but I would rather have a camera capable of results and still looks good and feels good to hold compared to one that gives the results but does not give me the same joy when operating, if that makes any sense.


Well thanks for listening to one very confused aspiring DSLR user.


Hopefully I can get some advice here that will finally push me over the cliff.


Regards


Marius

09-17-2014, 12:25 AM   #2
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I'd say considering your needs, any of them are fine choices.

However I will say, don't dismiss good ergonomics, if you really like the feel of the k-3 then it may be for you. If you're looking for any other differences in bodies at this price range you'll be splitting hairs for the most part (though I do feel the K-3 is overall better value, and is probably one of the best APS-C sensor cameras on the market, but most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless you're getting all geeky with the details or are pushing the limits of your camera.)
09-17-2014, 12:26 AM   #3
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The K-3 has the best ergonomics among current APS-C flagships, so I don't think you can do any better in that area

QuoteOriginally posted by mariusdk Quote
The aircraft spotting would be at the end of the runway with aircraft not traveling extremely fast or at extreme distances, so I don't think that is a issue, but most reviews says that that the K-3 is not great for sports photography and it probably does not get worse than F1 racing....
The issue lies more with the lenses than with the camera, as many Pentax lenses are slow to focus. If you pair a K-3 with something like a Sigma 70-200mm or a Tamron 70-200mm, for instance, the gear will most likely not be the issue. We can't deny that Nikon's and especially Canon's AF is more advanced, but I don't think anyone needs that tech to take great pics.

Are there repair shops in your area that can work on Pentax gear? If so, then I wouldn't hesitate to import a Pentax camera, as you will most likely gain access to lower prices. In the mean time, I'm sure Ricoh Imaging's presence in the middle east will increase, as they've been working hard on expanding since the Pentax merger.

Adam
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09-17-2014, 12:30 AM   #4
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But do remember that Canon and Nikon gear do hold their value very well (unlike Pentax bodies it seems, glass is another story) so if you end up changing your mind, selling your gear shouldn't be hard at all if you wanted to switch.

09-17-2014, 01:55 AM   #5
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Any dslr ever made will have no difficulty auto focusing on aircraft - even fighter jets. They're large and far away and on a predictable path - so very easy to pan. Manual focus is also no problem. Birds are much harder being small and close.
In summary, don't worry about auto focusing aircraft.
09-17-2014, 01:57 AM   #6
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Pentax K-3 is just fine for landscapes - have a look on my Zenfolio site if you want to see what can be achieved with a K-3 and K-5 and some good lenses. I get my best landscape results from the DA15mm Limited, DA21mm Limited and Zeiss ZK 35/2 (which is manual focus).

Birds in flight are probably harder than aircraft, and as Adam pointed out, that is a lens and technique problem more than a body problem.

With regard to servicing etc - B&H and Adorama both offer 3 year return to base insurance, which I purchased when I brought my K-3 from B&H. Given the conditions you will be shooting in this would be advisable.

Ross
09-17-2014, 02:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mariusdk Quote
I know myself and I know once I start I get started I will invest heavily, not immediately, but over a period of time, So it's important that i start with a system and still be able to stick with it in 20 years time.
Within now and 20 years time, you will want to upgrade. Pentax however, does not provide an upgrade path beyond APS-C. Unless you want to go 645, but that's exactly like completely changing systems.


QuoteOriginally posted by mariusdk Quote
What makes it more complex is that where I am staying it really ought to be Cannon or Nikon if your looking for after market service,(Dubai) Pentax is almost none existent in the market.
That doesn't make it more complex.


QuoteOriginally posted by mariusdk Quote
I was briefly interested in the new Sony A7R, but the lack of glass and not really wanting to work with a adapter has got me thinking otherwise. Then again the sensor was attractive...choices...
Look at the promising Sony roadmap. They are building a nice system at a higher speed then many can afford. And it's not just bluff with them.

But then again, regarding your comments about formula 1 racing photography, you're going to want something that focusses quicker tracks better then Sony's A7r. And quicker then any Pentax as well.
09-17-2014, 02:29 AM   #8
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Welcome to PF!

If you're into plane spotting, just check out the following two posts (these are not the only ones but those I knew where to find :
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/257619-pentax-hd-pentax-da...ml#post2933792
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/257619-pentax-hd-pentax-da...ml#post2933569

I would argue that you don't have to worry about the recent bodies and glass (K5II, K3) when it comes to shooting highly dynamic subjects.
Especially after what we're currently seeing at Photokina right now (some seriously big and probably very useful zoom lenses).

Cheers,
kpl

09-17-2014, 02:53 AM   #9
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If you're concerned about dust and sand, also remember that the Pentax bodies and many of the lenses are weather sealed.
09-17-2014, 04:28 AM   #10
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Welcome to PF and bonjour from France, Marius ... Looks like you're getting some good advice and hope to see some Pentax images soon. Salut, J
09-17-2014, 04:38 AM   #11
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Good Morning and Welcome to the Forum! - Well at least its morning here and since you are a good 10 hours ahead of us, its probably good afternoon.

It's pretty difficult to make a poor choice, since all the camera brands are really very good. I think that it basically comes down to the question of native auto focus - although Sigma and Tamron third party lenses have AF across the brands, and lens sealing that only the native lenses have (Pentax lenses on Pentax bodies, Canon on Canon, etc.).

Its very easy when looking at something new to go into information overload, trying to sift the chaff from the wheat. With time, the fog of confusion lifts and things become a bit more clear.

QuoteOriginally posted by mariusdk Quote
...
So it's important that i start with a system and still be able to stick with it in 20 years time. - Myself and everyone else shooting Pentax are using the K mount lenses. Pentax has been the most consistent with their mount in the past. What they do going into the future is not guaranteed - but they seem to be concerned with legacy equipment and backward compatibility lens wise. No promises, but you are as safe as the rest of us. Bodies can last a long time. Film bodies, everyone has 20 to 40 year old bodies. Digital bodies tend to be replaced quicker based on new technology and thus depreciate rather quickly. I still shoot with a 50+ year old lens and several 20+ year old lenses. With care manual focus lenses will last a very long time. Digital lenses with a lot of electronics in them will last - but are more complex. Certainly the eco "system" and service infrastructure is expected to support such a time span.

What makes it more complex is that where I am staying it really ought to be Cannon or Nikon if your looking for after market service,(Dubai) Pentax is almost none existent in the market. - Normal maintenance, e.g., sensor cleaning - any camera tech can do. Also, you can do yourself with sensor cleaning products. No brand specific knowledge required. Major repairs, European based would probably be the closest until hopefully Pentax has more of a presence locally. Obviously, Canon and Nikon do have an infrastructure and geographical presence advantage.

Problem is I seem to lean to the Pentax every time, this goes back to when I was interested in the K-7 through the K-5 and now the K-3, which I had kind of settled on. On a recent visit to the U.S. I got to play with it for a while and felt it really comfortable and just had the look of a quality product. - The problem is the camera that you like to hold, will probably get used more than one you are just tolerating. You have to have the camera with you in order to capture the pictures.

Conditions here are very tough on hardware, high temps and high humidity, so weather sealing is important and Pentax seems to be one of the best in this regard. - Here in Arizona we also have high temperatures - not so much with the humidity. All brands seem to work well. Sealed body/lens combinations do work better. That said, in high humidity conditions, going from inside to outside there is the threat of thermal shock and having the lenses fog up. Just let the equipment come up to temperature and things will be ok.

Obviously I was holding off to see what photokina was going to reveal, but since it looks like Pentax has been fairly quit I might as well go for the K-3.My last reservation is the kind of shooting I'm going to be doing, basically a lot of landscapes, wildlife and then it gets tricky with aircraft spotting and a couple of days at the raceway. - Pentax will do fine here across the board - out to 300mm. Beyond 300, you can use a teleconverter, a third party lens or an older manual focus lens. Canon and Nikon have a larger selection here - but anything over 300mm, the price rises substantially.

The aircraft spotting would be at the end of the runway with aircraft not traveling extremely fast or at extreme distances, so I don't think that is a issue, but most reviews says that that the K-3 is not great for sports photography and it probably does not get worse than F1 racing.... - AF does work much better - at least for me. I was fairly successful with manual focusing on aircraft. Not as much as I was hoping for. Birds - AF at least for me and my getting older eyes. Pentax does have an advantage in that they have what is called a "catch in focus" mode (works on things that are predictable, cars, aircraft, etc. Much less so on birds). You focus on one spot and as something (car) hits focus, the image is taken automagically. My days in manual focus at least on telephoto are done, and I am switching to just autofocus. I think that Pentax offers enough at least for me. Your mileage may differ
09-17-2014, 05:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Any dslr ever made will have no difficulty auto focusing on aircraft - even fighter jets. They're large and far away and on a predictable path - so very easy to pan. Manual focus is also no problem. Birds are much harder being small and close.
In summary, don't worry about auto focusing aircraft.
I pretty much agree with this. I've taken a Pentax K-x entry level body from 4 years ago to an airshow and got consistently in focus shots with a cheap Sigma 18-200mm... even with fast passes by high performance jets. These jets are traveling at speeds far beyond a Formula 1 car even at high speed on a straightaway can reach.

And the K-3 is muchhh more camera than the K-x so no problems there. I will say generally your choice of lens will more often dictate the performance of the system.

I would also handle the Nikon D7100 if you can. It is the closest competitor to the K-3. The Nikon has much better lens support (more lenses) esp on the tele zoom side but you have to watch out with Nikon designed lenses as the Nikon cameras are not stabilized from shaking in the body -- and they make stabilized and non stabilized versions of lenses (VR is their name for the optical stabilization).

With Pentax you don't have to concern yourself with that since the stabilization is in the body so.. all lenses are stabilized.


I think there are tradeoffs with both Pentax and Nikon.. but those are the two I'd consider in your situation.
09-17-2014, 10:41 AM   #13
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You've had loads of good advice already, just I thought for you, as long as Pentax keep the K mount, you'll still be using old glass on new bodies, I am after thirty years.

Welcome you to the forum.
09-17-2014, 01:44 PM   #14
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Thank you all

Did not expect such a big response so quickly, Not going to single a person out, all the advice was more than helpful.


Now if you'll excuse me I have to see what is the quickest way I can get a K-3 over here.
09-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #15
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I would suggest that if you are not yet sold one way or the other - go lower end. Buy the K50 and maybe the 18-135 or 18-55/50-200 combo. This is a much lower investment and later you can sell off the body and buy a K3 or whatever is the latest and greatest then. It gets the weather sealing and you get to play with the basic interface and lenses.
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