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06-15-2015, 11:35 AM   #1
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Hello! New to photography

Hi I've always wanted to be involved in photography but never took the plunge. I am about to with a new Pentax DSLR. Here's my question for you. I am into bird watching and would like to get into nature photography as a hobby. I have several bird feeders on my deck and would love to photograph all the different birds that frequent us! However, like you guys know they are extremely skittish and won't allow me to photograph them on the deck.

So I am considering buying a Pentax that has the ability to shoot remotely so I can set up the camera outside and shoot from inside my house. Now I am confused about which of these cameras to start off with. The K-50 (amazing price) but no wifi ability. The KS2 (pretty pricey but has wifi built in) but 250 bucks more than the K50. The last option is obviously the K-3 which will be a camera that will last a really long time but has no wifi either.

What do you suggest I go with as my first purchase? I shop Costco and the K-50 and KS2 are both offered with 50 bucks off right now. Or should I go with a retailer like Adorama?

Thanks a lot for your help.

06-15-2015, 02:01 PM   #2
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K3 has wifi with the FLU card.

All can be triggered remotely with an IR remote or cable. If you prefocus on a feeder (and turn off the auto-shutoff timer) you can just remotely trigger to your heart's content.

There are also some interesting bluetooth IR emitter systems which you can trigger with your phone.

Always CALL Adorama or B&H and talk price with them. Sometimes they have prices they can't show on the web.
06-15-2015, 05:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
K3 has wifi with the FLU card.

All can be triggered remotely with an IR remote or cable. If you prefocus on a feeder (and turn off the auto-shutoff timer) you can just remotely trigger to your heart's content.

There are also some interesting bluetooth IR emitter systems which you can trigger with your phone.

Always CALL Adorama or B&H and talk price with them. Sometimes they have prices they can't show on the web.
Thanks. Will do as you suggest.

---------- Post added 06-15-15 at 06:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
K3 has wifi with the FLU card.

All can be triggered remotely with an IR remote or cable. If you prefocus on a feeder (and turn off the auto-shutoff timer) you can just remotely trigger to your heart's content.

There are also some interesting bluetooth IR emitter systems which you can trigger with your phone.

Always CALL Adorama or B&H and talk price with them. Sometimes they have prices they can't show on the web.
They do have K-3s on a good price right now. However, a quick question. Is it better to buy the kit lens 18-55 or the 18-135 which is a lot more expensive. Is the 18-135 worth the money? Or do I invest in the smaller zoom kit lens and add better lenses down the road?
06-16-2015, 05:17 AM   #4
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The general consensus is the 18-135 is a big step up from the 18-55. If you plan on buying something like a 17-50 or the like, then maybe skip the 18-135 and keep the 18-55 as a WR option for when you use it. I can say that everyone I've read has really liked the 18-135 as a walkaround lens. The focus motor is silent and really fast, and I've been in the rain with it many times. If your budget allows, you won't regret the 18-135.

If you do get a better zoom later, like a 17-15 series from someone you can sell the 18-135 for around $300 or so later.

06-18-2015, 09:56 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, unfortunately a long ish lens is often your best friend under these situations but has price tags to make the eyes water.

There's a strong bunch of birding folk here who will be able to offer some good advice, but until then have a look at the here at this link for some ideas.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-club...ng-lenses.html
06-18-2015, 10:38 AM   #6
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Welcome

Agreeing with what Kerrowdown said, I have the Pentax remote and the fulcra, and I've tried setting up my camera so I could take pictures from my kitchen. The ~10 foot functional range of the flu card, means I have to be so close the birds still see me. After hours of trying with both the Pentax remote and the Flucard I have not one image to show for my efforts. What you're proposing is going to be an exercise in frustration.

QuoteQuote:
Is it better to buy the kit lens 18-55 or the 18-135 which is a lot more expensive. Is the 18-135 worth the money?
I'd go with the 18-135. It's good enough to use, even if you have better zooms or primes in some situations. Neither of my 18-55 is even close to functional at his point. (One is 8 years old, one is 5 years old.) I discussed this a few days ago in this post.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/297821-50mm-what-use.html
06-18-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
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Smart Camera Remote | iPhone your Camera

Here's the little bluetooth receiver I have. Bluetooth might (might) have a longer range than the IR remote. It has a bluetooth receiver, an IR emitter, and a pretty nice smartphone app. The Android app is complete.
You hang it off the camera so it can trigger the IR receiver.
07-01-2015, 07:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Smart Camera Remote | iPhone your Camera

Here's the little bluetooth receiver I have. Bluetooth might (might) have a longer range than the IR remote. It has a bluetooth receiver, an IR emitter, and a pretty nice smartphone app. The Android app is complete.
You hang it off the camera so it can trigger the IR receiver.
Thank you guys so much for your time and advice. I ended up buying a KS-2 with 18-135 kit lens for $797 from an online Pentax reseller. I have been practicing indoors with manual and AV, TAV modes and I think I am getting the grasp of it - managing light and exposure levels.

I am headed to Canada for a small excursion and plan on visiting the Killarney Provincial Park up there. Hopefully, it will give me a great opportunity to get some photos of wildlife and landscapes. I had a quick question for you guys though. What is the best aperture setting I should use with the 18-135 kit lens? Is there one? I can vary shutter speeds based on what it is I'm trying to shoot and adjust ISO accordingly if shooting manual. Do you guys have a suggestion about which mode I should use? AV, TAV or manual for optimal results? I am anxious to get great photos, because theory and practice aren't always on the same page!

One other quick question regarding focus. Do I turn off shutter auto focus and practice using focus with AE button? I read that is the best way to practice and shoot, but it is somewhat tedious as you tend to forget to press the AE button sometimes. What setting of the 4 available do I use in AE/AF button customization?

Any advice and suggestions are welcome.

07-01-2015, 07:57 AM   #9
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What a coincidence, I Just posted a photo of Killarney a few days ago, those white granite cliffs make an interesting back drop.



I use AV mode almost exclusively... and I've just recently clued in to using the back button so I'm trying it out. My first observation would be, it's not as convenient as using the shutter release, I actually have to search for the button, but, so far so good apart from that. It's already making my life easier. Going to Killarney, two places come to mind, the Crack, and Silver peak.
07-01-2015, 12:35 PM   #10
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That is pretty cool! I'll be going there this weekend and hopefully post a few pictures albeit not as nicely done as yours! I may just go AV mode all the way as well. But, I am getting used to using the AV button to focus so perhaps I'll stay with that.
07-01-2015, 01:59 PM   #11
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I like TAv mode. It gives a quick flexible control method. Front wheel shutter speed, rear wheel aperture.

The rear-AF button focusing is nice a lot of the time, it's something to practice with.
07-14-2015, 11:50 AM   #12
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Here are a couple of pictures I took at Killarney Provincial Park. Mostly used TAV mode. I haven't processed any images although I did convert the raw files to jpegs...
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07-24-2015, 01:14 AM   #13
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Welcome. There is a guy on dpreview who does lots of hummingbird shots that might interest you. He's very good. Check them out.
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