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03-10-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
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Camera suggestion?


I quite new to photography and SLR, but I know some of the basics (at least in theory and some practice) and I wonder which camera I should go for.

As I want to be able to bring my camera in most situations, I am looking at Pentax cameras because of the WR (I'm in Norway so it's also quite cold a few months each year).

I think I will mainly take pictures outside, of both action (sports and animals) and nature in general (landscape and macro).

I am considering these Pentax cameras (I have also looked at some other brands, but they don't have WR-lenses, especially canon t4i/60d and nikon d7000):

K-30 w/18-135 WR kit
K-5 w/18-135 WR kit

I've looked at a few (Norwegian) online stores and I can get the K-5 kit for "only" $175 more than the K-30. (I am also planning to buy a used 55-300 lens).

But what I'm most curious about is this:

- Is the K-5 much more difficult to use than the K-30 for a beginner?
- Is the K-5 AF in low light still an issue or is the AF quite the same on the two cameras after a firmware fix?

I like the K-5 better because of the LCD-display, a few more buttons and a better buffer. But if it's much harder for a newbie hobby photographer as me, then maybe it's smarter to start with the K-30...

Any thoughts?

03-10-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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I have a K-5 and it's a great image making tool ... and to answer one of your questions, I think that the learning curve will be the same for both a K-30 and a K-5. Just take your time and at your own rhythm.

I have never shot with a K-30, so I cannot compare the two, but I have handled a K-30 and I didn't like its feel compared to my K-5.

For me the two biggest defaults of the K-30 is the lack of a grip being possible and the lack of a top LCD ... the K-30 has an improved AF and can focus peek, etc. That's normal, because it's a newer body ...

Good luck on your choice, because I do not think that you could go wrong which ever one you select ... I'm just partial to my K-5 and was not impressed by the K-30.

Salut, Jean le Frog
03-10-2013, 08:49 AM   #3
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You will be hapopy with both cameras. You cannot make a mistake on this point.

QuoteOriginally posted by athorod Quote
- Is the K-5 much more difficult to use than the K-30 for a beginner?
No. In both cases, you will need to read the instruction manual to get the best of out of the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by athorod Quote
- Is the K-5 AF in low light still an issue or is the AF quite the same on the two cameras after a firmware fix?
I do not believe that there is any low light AF issue with both cameras. Both work great at low ISO. Very low light is also a challenge for any camera and you shoud consider to use MF in these conditions. For MF, the K-30 has focus-peaking.

Overall, these cameras are very close. The K-30 has better video capabilities if this important for you. But the K-5 has a top LCD and more controls. You will not be wrong with K-5 or K-30...

Hope that the comments will help.

Last edited by hcc; 03-10-2013 at 08:57 AM.
03-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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The K-30 is smaller, which may be an asset or a debit for you. If you have large hands you would probably want the K-5. The K-30 is somewhat simpler, I personally like the fact that it doesn't have the LCD. I found the LCD to be somewhat redundant on my K20D (about the same size as the K-5) which I sold it promptly after getting my K-30. I shoot mostly in manual mode so the fewer the controls the better as far as I am concerned. The WR is a great feature, something you will really use.

03-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Just to check I assume you are comparing the more value line oriented K30 and original top line K5 because of the cost of them and are aware the K5 was replaced with the K5II which updated many of the originals weak points.
It is likely even the K5II will get a proper full replacement soon which will shift prices around again.

For APSC cameras I can tell you that you will not be disapointed with Pentax when compared to others.
03-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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Thanks for great answers.

I had heard that the AF was a problem with the K-5, but I've also seen something about a firmware fixing the problem (at least improving it). I am aware that the K-5 II/IIs are improvements compared to the K-5, but I think it's a bit above my budget for my first SLR (unless there are extremely good reasons to go for one of those instead of the cheaper K-30).

But yes, I was first looking at the K-30, but suddenly saw that the K-5 wasn't much more expensive, so I was wondering if the K-5 was worth the extra money. (As in will it what will be the "most value for money" kind of thing). And if the K-5 had any annoying troubles that would make the K-30 a smarter choice for someone quite new to this kind of photography.

I initially thought to buy a quite old and cheap camera house initially, until I learned the trade a lot better, and new my needs a lot better, and maybe buy some lenses instead, but new sounds a bit more tempting.

But as I said, I will be taking lots of action photos. Both of sporting events and animals. There are no significant differences between the cameras with regards to that?

I might take some video (but this is not particularly important), I've seen that the K-30 is better in that regard, and I don't think I would really need to use an external mic.
03-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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I just bought a K-30 and came to the conclusion that it was a better deal than the K-5. Newer camera, improved tech, lower price.
03-11-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
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I understand. I am a tad worried about the low maximum burst on the K-30 though.

Getting the K-5 II could also be an option, but I think I'd then have to go with the 18-55 WR kit, the 18-135WR costs a lot more. And from what I've seen from the K-5 & K-5 II/IIs comparisons here, it's mainly in dark environment that the K-5 II is very improved over the K-5. The K-5 IIs had some better IQ though, but that's even more expensive, especially without a kit.

Not easy this. I'm leaning towards the K-30 because of price, and a few more "newbie modes" I can make use of until I become more experienced, and can always upgrade house later (to some new K-5 replacement down the line), and towards the K-5 for better burst and LCD and a couple of other stuff.

I'm not sure I totally understand the AF-difference in between the K-30 and K-5? Is the AF difference mostly only related to video or LV?

Last edited by athorod; 03-11-2013 at 12:59 PM.

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