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05-29-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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What would you recommend?

My wife had a friend of hers ask me through her today what camera she should get. I know nothing about her except that she has a $500-$700 budget, and we can assume she is a beginner... (she was evidently inspired by a picture of mine that my wife showed her)...

Since she is a beginner, I don't think I should steer her to a used camera, because she could get scammed... Or maybe I should offer to guide her through a used purchase and recommend something from the forum here?

Thanks in advance for your insight..

05-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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K-01 ? The camera is easy to use, great IQ and relatively small together with the DA40mm xs.

In any case, I would ask for more details and info. Is WR a necesity? In the affirmative, the K-01 would be inappropriate and a simple Optio WG-02 could be better, or even the K-30.

Food for thoughts...
05-29-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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The k-01 could be good yes, although it looks to be $200+ over her budget...
05-29-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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If she doesn't have anything against buying used, a K-x with 18-55 purchased here could be a good choice. It is quite the solid little performer, lots of great things about it ---> Pentax K-x - Digital SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications
With the leftover money, she could invest in another lens (such as a fast fifty F/FA 1.7/1.4).

Like you mentioned, first-timer buying used from somewhere like Ebay/Craigslist may not be the best thing, members on the forum are your best bet for used.

05-29-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
The k-01 could be good yes, although it looks to be $200+ over her budget...
Amazaon.com lists some K-01 + DA40mm xs for about $740 to $750. That is the price that I paid here in Australia, and it is only $50+ over budget... There might be slightly cheaper on;line stores.
05-30-2012, 02:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
My wife had a friend of hers ask me through her today what camera she should get. I know nothing about her except that she has a $500-$700 budget, and we can assume she is a beginner... (she was evidently inspired by a picture of mine that my wife showed her)... Since she is a beginner, I don't think I should steer her to a used camera, because she could get scammed... Or maybe I should offer to guide her through a used purchase and recommend something from the forum here? Thanks in advance for your insight..
If you could still buy K-x/K-r's for new, those are the best choices in my opinion. But if she'd like to hold one for testing, then a Nikon D5100 is one I would recommend.
05-30-2012, 05:47 AM   #7
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If she's up for a Pentax DSLR then my vote if for the K-r.
05-30-2012, 06:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
...I know nothing about her except that she has a $500-$700 budget...
Not nearly enough info.

Superzoom? ILC? Mirrorless? DSLR? P&S? V1? Q? K-01? NEX? Pen? K-?? Dxxxx? xxD? Axx? Nikon? Canon? Pentax? Olympus? Sony? Fuji? Large? Small? ???

I would recommend you meet up with her and have her try to explain what she wants to do and then you can actually be helpful. Send her to, or meet her at the biggest camera store around so SHE can decide what SHE wants by getting to try everything. If you can be there to guide her and explain things as she moves along, that would be all the better. It sure helps deciding what one wants when they have the potential purchase in hand, along with a clue as to why they want it!

I would also recommend she get something new. Alot less aggravation involved if she finds she doesn't like it, or has problems (or even needs service/advice/accessories if she buys at a local store)...30 days to return something can come in pretty darn handy.


Last edited by jmg257; 05-30-2012 at 07:24 AM.
05-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmg257 Quote
Not nearly enough info.

Superzoom? ILC? Mirrorless? DSLR? P&S? V1? Q? K-01? NEX? Pen? K-?? Dxxxx? xxD? Axx? Nikon? Canon? Pentax? Olympus? Sony? Fuji? Large? Small? ???

I would recommend you meet up with her and have her try to explain what she wants to do and then you can actually be helpful. Send her to, or meet her at the biggest camera store around so SHE can decide what SHE wants by getting to try everything. If you can be there to guide her and explain things as she moves along, that would be all the better. It sure helps deciding what one wants when they have the potential purchase in hand, along with a clue as to why they want it!

I would also recommend she get something new. Alot less aggravation involved if she finds she doesn't like it, or has problems (or even needs service/advice/accessories if she buys at a local store)...30 days to return something can come in pretty darn handy.
Absolutely. Any modern interchangeable lens camera should be capable of taking great photos. The number one criteria should be getting something that she is comfortable handling, and has a style she likes.

Try throwing some basic exposure info at her. If her eyes glaze over at aperture, shutter speed and so on, then a more automatic camera might be a better place to start. If she really gets the photography bug, she'll find the right camera for her. Until, then nobody knows what's best.
05-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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All good info everyone and thanks.. I've emailed her and waiting for more info..
05-31-2012, 07:13 AM   #11
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She should get an *ist and see if she really wants to spend the whole budget... They're holding value well so she probably won't make a loss if she sells to upgrade...
05-31-2012, 07:18 AM   #12
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Absolutely look for used equipment. That's where you'll find the best bang for the buck. I'd think a K-x or a K-r would be a great beginner's DSLR.
05-31-2012, 03:38 PM   #13
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As a member here, I think the best thing would be for you to help guide her to a purchase be it used or not and the model that fits. For complete newbies, I don't think you could go wrong with any Pentax body and lenses. There'd be nothing wrong with going back to an *ist, K10d, K20d, K-x, K-r, etc. They all have automatic features and they all can get fully manual if needed. That is great for learning. The marketplace here, B&H, KEH, etc all have reputable used departments. A more dedicated dealer like B&H and KEH may even have some type of return policy should all go wrong.
05-31-2012, 04:12 PM   #14
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Ok we are corresponding via email now and she said she is ok with shutter speed/exposure etc (... So she is not an absolute beginner... )

She is open to buying used so we are discussing that route... I also offered to meet her at a camera store if she wants to get her hands on some cameras.. I don't know how my K100D measures up to the newer bodies, but she can at least compare it to some canikons if she wants..

I also mentioned the K5 to her in case she wants to go for broke since it can be had for a bargain these days and it's what I would do in a heartbeat if I had the money.

She mentioned some keys points... She wants to take pictures of her kids, and landscapes, she doesn't like using a flash, and she likes subject isolation/shallow dof/blurry background... So some kind of mid range fast prime will need to be in consideration..

I noticed a K200D+Kit+FA50 for sale at a decent price in the market here today that's seems like it might fit... Theres a K-x+kit for sale too but it's in AUS..
05-31-2012, 08:57 PM   #15
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Well now she tells me her husband bought her a Sony NEX5 last week for the birthday... lol...
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