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06-14-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
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Hello ! - from a Beginner with a Pentax K-50

I am planning my trip to west coast and later to Alaska this year and was looking over good DSLR for some time.
I have been using point and shoot cameras for many years and i decided to switch now. Not sure how much got i am on photography but the idea was to have few shots which could be later termed or framed in memories. I read a lot over beginner ones and it looked Nikon has best support on that point.
but the moment i saw Pentax K-50's comparison over few other beginners like Nikon 3300, Nikon 5300 and Canon T5i's , I was taken over by its capability. Though unsure of my capabilities of handling ISO's and frame rates, I went with K-50 with 18-135mm WR bundle at Adorama recently.
I am hoping Pentax is gonna be my long term partner. I have used Nikon's before and most of my friends are on Canon's high end series. so this is going to be first Pentax in our group. Lets see how it goes over time
any beginner tips will be appreciated. Thank you all !

06-14-2015, 11:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, enjoy that Alaska vacation and remember to post some of the results here when you get back.
06-14-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by anujmishra Quote
I am planning my trip to west coast and later to Alaska this year and was looking over good DSLR for some time.
I have been using point and shoot cameras for many years and i decided to switch now. Not sure how much got i am on photography but the idea was to have few shots which could be later termed or framed in memories. I read a lot over beginner ones and it looked Nikon has best support on that point.
but the moment i saw Pentax K-50's comparison over few other beginners like Nikon 3300, Nikon 5300 and Canon T5i's , I was taken over by its capability. Though unsure of my capabilities of handling ISO's and frame rates, I went with K-50 with 18-135mm WR bundle at Adorama recently.
I am hoping Pentax is gonna be my long term partner.
The only limitations on the K-50 will be your own skill and technique. Although it is currently priced at "beginner" level, it is a fully capable camera. It may not have every feature of more expensive cameras, but it also has some features and capabilities they don't, but the important things are there, especially image quality. You picked a very good lens also, much better that the kits. Plus the camera and lens you bought are both weather resistant, I would think that's a must for Alaska.

In the K-50 menu you can turn on Dust removal, where you can set the sensor to do a quick shake when you turn your camera on or off, or both. I would recommend turning at least one of those on (I have both). Also switch on the electronic level, a very handy function. Of course the shake reduction is a really good feature, since it make any lens you can mount on the camera stabilized, so make sure it is on. It is recommended to not be on when you are using a tripod, but don't worry about turning it off, instead get a IR remote to trigger the camera when it's on a tripod. You can pick up 3rd party remotes for under $5 on ebay, I've been using a $2.50 remote for 4 years now.

There's lots more, check the K-50 section. When you take some photos that don't comer out right, post them and people here will try to help you.

Most of all learn technique, how to hold the camera, etc. And learn about exposure! And have fun.
06-14-2015, 02:34 PM   #4
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Enjoy your camera. I would get a good tripod next (for your trip).

06-14-2015, 03:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The only limitations on the K-50 will be your own skill and technique. Although it is currently priced at "beginner" level, it is a fully capable camera. It may not have every feature of more expensive cameras, but it also has some features and capabilities they don't, but the important things are there, especially image quality. You picked a very good lens also, much better that the kits. Plus the camera and lens you bought are both weather resistant, I would think that's a must for Alaska.

In the K-50 menu you can turn on Dust removal, where you can set the sensor to do a quick shake when you turn your camera on or off, or both. I would recommend turning at least one of those on (I have both). Also switch on the electronic level, a very handy function. Of course the shake reduction is a really good feature, since it make any lens you can mount on the camera stabilized, so make sure it is on. It is recommended to not be on when you are using a tripod, but don't worry about turning it off, instead get a IR remote to trigger the camera when it's on a tripod. You can pick up 3rd party remotes for under $5 on ebay, I've been using a $2.50 remote for 4 years now.

There's lots more, check the K-50 section. When you take some photos that don't comer out right, post them and people here will try to help you.

Most of all learn technique, how to hold the camera, etc. And learn about exposure! And have fun.
Thanks you guys for such deep knowledge around this camera. I will try to search some compatible IR remote ( but if someone has a handy link, it is much appreciated). I do have a smaller tripod which can work with this camera but probably i will get a new one which can handle this much weight.

once again, thanks a ton to all !
06-14-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by anujmishra Quote
Thanks you guys for such deep knowledge around this camera. I will try to search some compatible IR remote ( but if someone has a handy link, it is much appreciated). I do have a smaller tripod which can work with this camera but probably i will get a new one which can handle this much weight.

once again, thanks a ton to all !
Here's the compatible remote. It works with all Pentax DSLRs:

Pentax Remote Control F reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

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06-14-2015, 03:44 PM   #7
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You did well with your choice. You may want a longer lens for Alaska such as the DA 55-300 WR in Denali or the Inside Passage. The attachment is Juneau during an all day driving rain last August. Juneau is rain city so you're way ahead in the preparation game. Enjoy Alaska and your new gear.
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06-14-2015, 04:15 PM   #8
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I'm loving the suggestions as they flow by.

thanks Lukelele for tips on Alaska. Even i was earlier thinking for DA 55-300 WR but considering the price alone, i dropped the idea and since I am beginner i guess may be i should first learn to handle DA 18-135mm WR itself.
The best thing i did , i guess is to join these forums where I am seeing a lot of useful suggestions across threads.Happy with that.

I would definitely need people's suggestions on -
since Adorama is dropping price on Pentax K-S2 and i am still under return period, Should I consider switching to it for $200-300 more with same lens.

06-15-2015, 12:54 AM   #9
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Hi, I think it is a good choice. In my opinion, K-50 is much better than its price and has a lot of interest functions. Actually, I used a Canon 5D2 and I am sure I can get a lot from my K-50
06-15-2015, 12:09 PM   #10
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I am not a KS2 or K50 user, but one factor you might want to consider is the movable screen of the KS2 if you think you might use it extensively for low-to-the ground close-up photography or while having the camera over your head.
However, some people have noted the size of the KS2 body might not be the best for someone with large hands.
Best wishes.
06-16-2015, 05:36 AM   #11
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TAv mode is your friend. Two wheels, front is shutter speed, rear is aperture. Balance the two quickly for good exposure as ISO floats. You'll be the envy of your group with how quickly you can manage your camera.
06-16-2015, 07:08 AM   #12
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Before Mr frogoutofwater and I took a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Borneo last year, we gave each other good cameras for Christmas and then signed up for some photography lessons. The cameras (Pentax!) were a good investment, but the photography lessons made all the difference in terms of the images we managed to bring back. If you are upgrading from a point and shoot, I highly recommend that you take at least a hours of lessons that show you how to take your camera off automatic and learn to use the manual and semi-manual modes.

If there is a good photography store near where you live, they often offer workshops. Your local community college (or a camera club) is another possibility. If there is nothing "live" nearby, then there are some online courses that are good (although my preference is to learn in-person when I'm first starting out).

bpsop.com (Bryan Peterson School of Photography) has an 8-week course called Understanding Exposure, which is based on his book (available on Amazon) of the same name. The advantage of the online course is that you can interact with the instructors and other students, and you get homework assignments (not too burdensome) that are critiqued by the instructor - plus you can see other students' work and the teachers' critique of that work. (You don't all have to be online at the same time - there are weekly lessons, but within that week you go at your own pace).

Also part of bpsop.com is a pair of Travel Photography courses offered by Alan Thornton. I took his advanced course last year and quite enjoyed it. He helps you think about how to put together a story in images that provides a strong sense of place - one of the goals you're often trying to achieve when you photograph as you travel.

If the timing works for you, the International Center of Photography in New York City offers its Photography I course online (but it's synchronous, so you have to dial into the course at the same time, twice a week). ICP is an amazing school with great instructors, though, so it's well worth it.
http://www.icp.org/files/icp_m15_programs_guide_0.pdf
06-22-2015, 04:58 PM   #13
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To begin with, I would like to thank to all who gave their valuable suggestions.
Next, Since I got a better deal on Pentax K-S2, I got that ordered with same 18-135mm WR lens. Hope that tilting screen comes handy for some and angular photos.

I have few questions which you guys can help me with -
1. My order did not included any cleaning kit, would someone recommend anything in particular, any particular set or link. and may be process how to do it properly
2. Though I ordered a complete new kit, when i zoomin my lens to full, i see grains ( like sand) or may be marks of fingerprint over lens glass. Now, i don't want to be psychic and may sound stupid, is that a regular phenomenon. If not, what should be way to clean that up.
3. Thanks @frogoutofwater for recommending those courses, I have to be out of country for vacation after two months or so, may be I will join once I am back.
4. Any particular camera bag and tripod you people want to recommend.

Apologies, in case my questions sounds silly and too many. Just being new, I want to follow things the way they are
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