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11-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
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Need help deciding on new camera

I currently own an entry level Canon Rebel xs with a tamron 18-270 mm lens. I am looking to upgrade and have been researching Pentax. I am by no means a professional but I certainly enjoy taking photos. My subject matter is mostly of my children and family. I do like landscape photography as well there is beauty all around us. I was looking at the K30 with an 18-135 but wonder if I should just go big and go with the K3. I have been watching YouTube reviews and reading online reviews and just not sure what would be best. Unfortunately no camera stores around me carry the Pentax so I am not able to do a hands on test drive.

11-08-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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If you have the budget to spend, the K3 is certainly a better camera than the K-30.
If not, the K-30 itself is a very decent camera. Check out the K-30 section here and take a look at members uploaded pics.

Check out these 2 reviews on youtube: (no, I am not affiliated with that store)

11-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #3
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Thanks...those are two of the many videos I watched. I should add two of the best videos. I just wonder if k3 is too much of a camera for me.
11-08-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chapchalk Quote
Thanks...those are two of the many videos I watched. I should add two of the best videos. I just wonder if k3 is too much of a camera for me.
If it is you can always grow into it if your willing to put in the work

11-08-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
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The K-30 is a very capable camera, and it doesn't lack much as an upper entry-level/mid-range DSLR IMO. The main advantage of the K-3 will be faster speed and even better image quality. But it's also a bit more complicated than the K-30, so you've got to ask yourself: do you need the extra features and the added level of complexity?

I would suggest that you wait for our in-depth review of the K-3, which will be posted on Monday. Read that, read our K-30 and K-50 reviews, and then take it from there.

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11-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chapchalk Quote
I just wonder if k3 is too much of a camera for me.
It really depends on your budget, level of interest in photography, main subjects, and potential interest in an upgrade in the future.

The K-30 plus DA 18-135mm lens is a good kit. You might also consider an additional fixed focal-length lens such as the DA 35mm f/2.4 (or DA 50/1.8) for shooting in lower light conditions at lower ISO or faster shutter speeds.

If your budget allows and you are keen in photography as a hobby, you might consider the K-5 II/IIs or K-3.

- Craig
11-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chapchalk Quote
Thanks...those are two of the many videos I watched. I should add two of the best videos. I just wonder if k3 is too much of a camera for me.
I did not need all the features of the top tier camera when I bought my K-7. But those features make the camera still useful today for me. When you get time to experiment, there's always some feature to try out. I did already have a lot of lenses to use. If it's a choice between the K-3 and ordinary lenses, or the K-30 and lenses you really want, go with the K-30.

Pentax has made the K-30 so good that it's really not missing any key features, just slightly behind the market's expectation for megapixels or whatever. So it's last year's camera, who cares.
11-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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The K-5 can still be had for 1/2 as much as a K-3. I did this deal a few weeks back.

You will be able to put the extra $$$ toward a lens or two.

Amazon.com: Pentax K-5 16.3 MP Digital SLR with 3-Inch LCD (Black Body Only): Camera & Photo

11-09-2013, 05:02 AM   #9
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Consider the number of things that the price difference can subsidise

Extra lenses was already mentioned; to cover the same range as you currently cover, you can add the DA55-300(WR). A wide-angle like a Pentax DA15Ltd or a Pentax DA12-24 / Sigma 10-20 might be useful for landscape photography. And faster lenses (Pentax DA35/2.4 / Sigma 30/1.4) for low light usage without flash.

A decent flash is an other candidate to spend some money on. Tripod if you don't have one. Bags and memory cards. The list is basically unlimited.

How do you use your current camera? 'Scene modes' or using modes like Av or Tv that give you a bit more control? If 'scene modes' and you don't want to change, the K3 (if it's like the K5 or K5/II(s)) is the wrong option in my opinion.
11-09-2013, 06:28 AM   #10
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I have the K-30 and don't feel hampered in in way. When I bought it I could have bought the K-5 for the same price, but the K-30 had a few specific features that were better than the K-5, plus the great deal of the bundled 18-135. The 18-135 turned out to be an excellent surprise in how good of a performer it is (reviews when it first came out were bad). The 18-135t spends a significant amount of time on the K-30. But if you can afford the K-3 go for it, newer technology will remain significant longer.
11-09-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
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Having just gone from a K-5 to a K-3, I'd say that's a tough choice. A lot of people are big on the 12 bit vs 14 bit colour depth. But shooting a K-01, I'm not sure they know what they're talking about. I don't see a difference. SO for me, I'd definitely take a K-30 over a K-5. The K-3 is a whole different question… 30 MB DMG files as opposed to 12, the K-3 eats up the HD space a lot faster. There's a 20-30% increase in resolution for printing large files, but I've printed large files up to 20x30 with a 16 MB camera and never had an issue, so you have to ask, how large do you need?

For me, the K-3 is worth it for burst mode in wildlife shots… getting 8 FPS instead of 4 doubles my chances of getting a keeper in some situations. And with wildlife, you often don't get a second chance. So the AF improvement in the K-3 is nice… I'm not convinced that for landscape images, the K-3 is giving me anything. My initial impression is that noise is a bit worse on the K-3, so if I gain resolution in the initial print, and then lose it because I have to apply more noise reduction, what have I gained? So I'll be shooting side by side for a bit. It may turn out that given time to set up and compose we continue to use the K-5s for landscape. The K-30 is essentially a K-5 with better AF and no top LCD. I'd actually prefer having one of those as a back up as opposed to my old k-5. The 18-135 is the best walk around lens ever IMHO, so in your position I'd go K-30. Unless you have unlimited funds… then just quit fretting and go k-3. But for K-3 money, K-30, 18-135 and 55-300 for less money would probably be my choice.

Hope that helps.
11-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #12
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Thanks for everyone's input. Funds of course are a concern but I really want something I will be happy with for awhile. As you all know technology changes so quickly. Wondering if anyone will have big sales around the holidays.
11-09-2013, 12:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Consider the number of things that the price difference can subsidise

Extra lenses was already mentioned; to cover the same range as you currently cover, you can add the DA55-300(WR). A wide-angle like a Pentax DA15Ltd or a Pentax DA12-24 / Sigma 10-20 might be useful for landscape photography. And faster lenses (Pentax DA35/2.4 / Sigma 30/1.4) for low light usage without flash.

A decent flash is an other candidate to spend some money on. Tripod if you don't have one. Bags and memory cards. The list is basically unlimited.

How do you use your current camera? 'Scene modes' or using modes like Av or Tv that give you a bit more control? If 'scene modes' and you don't want to change, the K3 (if it's like the K5 or K5/II(s)) is the wrong option in my opinion.
I typically use av on my canon on the sony nex 3 I will sometimes use the scene modes but feel the images look to proceessed or to enhanced. The important thing for me is it focuses fast and I catch all the moments that matter.
11-09-2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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If u want to be happy with ur new cam just buy k3+18-135. K3 is newest and best pentax have to offer. If u have money buy it, so u not need to regret after. I would
11-09-2013, 07:43 PM   #15
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I understand your dilemma! BTDT...
Allow me to recount a conversation I had the other day with a 'random guy' in the camera section of a local 'big box'. (I normally shop at the 'little guy' stores, but I had other business there and I needed a filter and lens cap keeper and I certainly don't mind fondling the new stuff now and then so a side trip to the camera dept was in order)

Said random guy was agonizing over a certain brand on sale, 429 for 'this one' with 14MP and 499 for 'that one' and 24MP. (You can assume the brand wasn't Pentax as this particular store doesn't stock them but they are available on their website...I feel your pain on that account!!) He asked me what I thought and I of course asked what he planned to use it for. Said he was tired of missing shots with his cell phone and wanted a real camera. had an upcoming vacation...so I pointed to the D3100 and said that's a heck of a deal. He asked about the 499 (D3200) and I pointed out they both have the 18-55 lens but the 3100 came with a VR lens and that image stabilization was great to have. That led us into a conversation about how they work and I ended up spending fifteen minutes with the guy explaining shutter speeds, aperture, etc. Of course we discussed the 5200 and then the D7000 and 7100 and then of course the Canon and Sony. I pointed out the way the controls are laid out may be a factor I explained why I like the layout of say, that there D7000 and I really had to bite my tongue and NOT tell him that Pentax is, in my VERY limited experience, superior to Nikon and Canon. Seems he's like me...he likes to 'fondle' before he buys.

My 'closer' was my standard speech I use on everything from microwaves to cars. Why do they push the new hottest with more power, more...stuff...because every year, 'they', they being the manufacturers, have to top last year. That's how marketing works. I made a point of telling him that IMHO, a 14MP camera was more than adequate and that a 24MP would not take 'better' pictures and why. We talked about features the camera has and I think I might have made a sale for the associate who was standing behind us and VERY pleased I was there because he learned something too!

Worry not about 'entry level' 'pro camera', 'kit lens' versus $1000 pro glass, buy what feels good to you and does what you want it to do. Your current setup is comparable to what I have. The Tamron 18-270, I just picked up a used Quantaray 28-200 because it filled a gap in my lens bag as a 'do all' lens and so far, that theory holds water! (To quote My Cousin Vinny) I too take photographs of family and 'stuff' and I like cool old buildings, landscapes, trains, sometimes people but I don't do portraits or weddings or the odd 'thing' that catches my eye. Other than a drawer full of film SLRS that I still shoot, I'm currently using a D50 and my 'baby' a K100DS that I picked up for a song and didn't realize what I had until...after. (Curse you, camera store guy, LOL) Both are comparable but the Pentax takes better shots easier. It has some features I really like and it's going to be a tough call on what my next DSLR will be because I like both! Nikon is far easier around here to find lenses and accessories but I REALLY like my Pentax!

QuoteOriginally posted by Chapchalk Quote
I currently own an entry level Canon Rebel xs with a tamron 18-270 mm lens. I am looking to upgrade and have been researching Pentax. I am by no means a professional but I certainly enjoy taking photos. My subject matter is mostly of my children and family. I do like landscape photography as well there is beauty all around us. I was looking at the K30 with an 18-135 but wonder if I should just go big and go with the K3. I have been watching YouTube reviews and reading online reviews and just not sure what would be best. Unfortunately no camera stores around me carry the Pentax so I am not able to do a hands on test drive.
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