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01-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #1
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lots of different creative work- K-5, K-5 II/s, or K-3

Hi everyone,

I am looking at buying my first DSLR.

At the moment I can't afford to buy a 'professional' camera and I am also a beginner, so don't want to overwhelm myself. I have been looking at the Pentax K-5 (second hand), the Pentax K-5 IIs (new) or I could (maybe) push it to the Pentax K-3 (new). But really, I would like to get away with spending as little as possible, but of course I want the best photos....

Things I am hoping to use the camera for:
  • Photos for my website, they will simple photos, taken inside (no moving subjects)- these need to be high quality pictures.
  • Travel photography- street scenes, people, landscapes and so on...this is just for fun, for me.

Things my partner is hoping I will use the camera for (basically promotional shots of him performing at events):
  • Outdoor photos at festivals in the Australian summer and winter (mostly during the day). I will be taking shots of my partner performing on stage and the crowd. Think lots of dust and temperatures between 0-40C. One of the reasons I have decided to go with Pentax is because of its weather-sealed body - but is this treatment just going to destroy whatever camera and lenses I buy?
  • Photos in nigh-clubs- same as above except, obviously, for the lighting situation.
  • General promotional shots of my partner- for print and web.

Am I hoping for too much from one camera? And for all of this which would you recommend as being the most suitable? Or should I perhaps buy multiple cameras? Or for the work I am trying to do, do I need to spend more and get a 'better' camera?

I am new to the forum and photography - so apologies if I haven't been specific or clear enough. If I have missed anything please let me know

Thanks for your help !

01-22-2014, 10:26 PM   #2
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K-3 sales? Probably silly and pointless questions

Sorry if this is in the wrong place mods- I am new to the forum...

I missed the K-3 sales (in the US) that were around a short time ago. I had no idea that the price was reduced like that and went up again when a new product was launched.

So is there any chance that there will be other sales, anywhere in the world? From what I am gathering from reading around the web, the K-3 is doing pretty well and the US seems to have the best sales...so am I right in thinkig there won't be other sales?

With that in mind when will/do you think the price of the K-3 will start to drop? Or is the price we are seeing now the price for a long time? Until the next product?

Thanks
01-22-2014, 11:16 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by yas_min Quote
Think lots of dust and temperatures between 0-40C. One of the reasons I have decided to go with Pentax is because of its weather-sealed body - but is this treatment just going to destroy whatever camera and lenses I buy?
I dunno, dust might be a problem...


I would highly recommend you jump on this K-5 IIs deal ($699) if you can while it lasts, as it will give you the best bang for your buck over a used K-5 and the savings from not buying the K-3 will let you buy some nice lens(es) and/or accessories (tripod?).

I wouldn't worry about the K-3 sales too much anymore. It just had its Thanksgiving/Christmas ones, and now it should stabilize for the next few months (at least), with only minor drops during that time. Again, the K-5 IIs at that price is a STEAL. And I would argue that at $699, you can't get more camera anywhere, from any brand. Period. And it will satisfy your creative juices for quite some time

I also recommend you read here, as this should be a good launching point for how to start learning to use a DSLR (as it's really freaking complicated at first, there's no doubt): True Beginners - READ THIS / START HERE!

As for lenses, I highly recommend the DA 18-135 WR, as it will be an excellent starter lens that is extremely versatile and weather sealed, and will offer you a great focal length range from semi-wide to medium telephoto. For many here, it's the only travel lens people use because it really is just so versatile (and again - weather sealed!). That would put you at around $1050 for the two, and assuming what you budget is, possibly a fast prime as well, namely the DA 50mm f/1.8. It will help make that '3D pop' much easier and really give you that shallow depth of field that looks great on portraits, as well as being excellent in low light (you said stage work, yes?) that when coupled with the K-5 IIs extremely low noise, will makes a very, very capable combo in those conditions (unfortunately it isn't weather sealed, and if you want a sealed 'fast 50' you have to spend 3x as much for the DA* 55mm f/1.4).

Of course there's many other ways we can get you to spend your money ( we're very good at that here ), but that would honestly be an excellent start. One other recommendation would be a tripod., and the Pentax Forums recommended travel/portable tripod is here: Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod In-Depth Review.

Hope this helps, and like I said, the K-5 IIs is what I would do in your shoes.

Oh, and welcome to the forums. You can sign out anytime you like, but you may find you never leave

-Heie
01-22-2014, 11:17 PM   #4
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In regard to pricing, I would speak to CR Kennedy, and Digital Camera Warehouse.

Kennedy are the Australian importers of Pentax, and have recently started selling direct to the public (I think previously they would direct you to an approved retailer)
Digital Camera Warehouse are an unrelated business, but tend to have good pricing on Pentax gear. They have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, and maybe Brisbane? (not sure, their website lists them)



The main differences with the high models like the K5 and K3 are things like battery grips, megapixels, and other pro-stuff.

If you've never used a DSLR before you probably won't make use of many features.
Personally, I would suggest one of the mid range Pentax weathersealed models, they will be quite a bit cheaper than a K3 or K5.
Any extra money can then be used to purchase lenses and other accessories you will need for the shots.


A top end body with a kit lens won't be as good as a lower body with a few very good lenses.
For nightclubs you will be wanting something fast, so perhaps the 50mm F1.8.
For outdoor it really depends where you are (in the crowd, on the side of the stage?)

I'd suggest looking at something like the K30, or perhaps K50 and seeing if they meet your needs. (pretty sure the K50 is weathersealed, but check in case i'm mistaken)

01-22-2014, 11:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
I would highly recommend you jump on this K-5 IIs deal ($699) if you can while it lasts, as it will give you the best bang for your buck over a used K-5 and the savings from not buying the K-3 will let you buy some nice lens(es) and/or accessories (tripod?). -Heie
That's a really good deal for a K5iis

Especially since the local ones aren't going (new) for less than $900, body only.
https://www.pentax.com.au/product/k-5-iis-body

Not sure on warranty though, since CR Kennedy are the Pentax warranty guys in Australia, and also a retailer, they may not take kindly to overseas imports (but, in saying that, I've never spoken to them about it, so they might have no qualms with it)
01-22-2014, 11:35 PM   #6
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I think the things that will make the most difference is going to be the lenses. The k50 is a great place to start for a WR body - for your outdoor dusty shots, get either the da18-135 (water resistant, not dust resistant but it's better than a non protected lens), da 55-300wr (same issues as the da 18-135), or if you can, get the lenses that Heie uses in his video - DA* 16-50 and DA*50-135. The DA* series lenses use the best weather and dust seals that Pentax makes. For your indoor shots, probably something like the DA35 2.4 or DA50 1.8 if you're on a budget of under $200 each, if you can swing more, then there's ton's of options.
01-23-2014, 12:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
The k50 is a great place to start for a WR body
Absolutely. Concur 100%. But while the K-5 IIs is $699? It would be foolish to get the K-50 imo. That was my point - get the K-5 IIs if you need to have the best camera you can buy for your money right now, or get the K-50 if you miss out on the current K-5 IIs special.

Agree though that the K-50 will also be more than adequate for your needs.

-Heie
01-23-2014, 12:34 AM   #8
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Help for a fella New pentaxians :)

Heya
I have just upped from a k-5 to a K-5iis and have no regrets at all... not looking at the K-3 atm... the k5iis does everything i need and it is an awesome camera.
I would say it is a very recomendable professional camera as well and will be able to sustain some weather/environment "abuse" .
Good luck!

01-23-2014, 02:38 AM   #9
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I think you can make also excellent images with the K-50 and that is cheaper.
01-23-2014, 03:03 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Welcome to the Forums!!!

You have asked all the right questions, and have received some excellent responses. Let me repackage it a bit and align it a bit better with your questions.... So right now lets start filtering down to a body/lens set based on your questions and various answers.
  • Photos for my website, they will simple photos, taken inside (no moving subjects)- these need to be high quality pictures. - Any and all the camera models will do an excellent job at this. For websites a 6MP camera body does great. Even at 6MP your images will be way too large for websites, so you will need post processing utilities to reduce the size and resolution to something like 1000 x 700 pixels or so, a size and resolution that will look good on the web. .
  • Travel photography- street scenes, people, landscapes and so on...this is just for fun, for me. - Again all the camera models will do an excellent job at this. The smaller the physical size of the body probably the better. You want the camera to be fun and not a brick or it will wind up sitting on the kitchen table all the time. Pentax is a good selection for this. An "all-in-one " lens will help here. Something like the DA 18-135 WR will give you two items (body and lens), and save you from hauling around another lens. The "WR" indicates weather resistance or a sealed lens.
  • Outdoor photos at festivals in the Australian summer and winter (mostly during the day). I will be taking shots of my partner performing on stage and the crowd. Think lots of dust and temperatures between 0-40C. One of the reasons I have decided to go with Pentax is because of its weather-sealed body - but is this treatment just going to destroy whatever camera and lenses I buy? - OK - a sealed camera body an lens (each item must be sealed). With this requirement we can eliminate the K500, KR, KX etc., since they are not sealed. Normal care should generally be taken and a normal non sealed lens should be fine also.
  • Photos in nigh-clubs- same as above except, obviously, for the lighting situation. - This is the main requirement, that is going to narrow things down. Night clubs are low light. The K5II, K5IIs and the K3 are going to be able to auto focus in very low light conditions. Plus, they are all sealed bodies.
  • General promotional shots of my partner- for print and web. - Really any camera over 6MP will do this very well. The print size need will control the amount of MPs needed. - I am going to guess that 20" by 30" is probably the largest you are going to need to print. Anything with 16MP will handle this. This would be the K30, K50, K5, K5II, K5IIs and the K3. In a pinch any of the older models will do an OK job, however the newer camera bodies will perform better.
Allright, so taking this information and pulling it together - what do we have?
  • Price - This is the deciding factor. The low light needs filters your choices to K5II, K5IIs and the K3. The K5II has gone out of production - thus if you can find a retailer with one, the price should be excellent (since they want to clear their inventory). Currently here in the US the K5IIs is on sale for $699 at B&H - the lowest price it has ever been. The K3 right now is more camera that what you need and the price is still well over the $699 ( by double), so the answer is the K5II. Other options - do you really need a sealed system? Probably not. Pentax bodies and lenses are built pretty well, and with normal care you should be OK. Are you really going to go play in a sand box or wash the camera down - no. The sealing provides extra protection. The night club low light usage, still points to the K5II/K5IIs/K3 because of the AutoFocus. A K50 would work well, however a K5II/K5IIs/K3 would work better.
  • Lens - I would start out with the DA 18-135 WR at a minimum. Normally you would need to lenses to cover this focal range (18-55 and the 50-200). This would help with traveling too. The down side to this lens is that for night clubs it might not have a large enough aperture for the low light, which would force your to up the ISO - with the K5II body can handle and provide. There will be some noise or grain in the images from the high ISO speeds, but that should be able to be cleaned up in post processing using a noise reduction utility. The night club low light need will drive the lens selection. The DA 18-135 WR is a good starting point, however as other have indicated - there are other opportunities too.

Last edited by interested_observer; 01-23-2014 at 03:10 AM.
01-23-2014, 06:28 AM   #11
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There is so much amazing and helpful information in this thread- thank you so much to everyone who replied! Wow - what a great forum I have stubled across

Heie- I actually saw your (?) you tube clip before I made my post, while watching it I was just shaking my head thinking that the guy in the clip was going to be upset when his equipment stops working...but apparently not. I almost I can't believe the weather sealing is that good. I really have nothing to worry about taking a Pentax out in festivals !

Anyway after a quick look through the posts I decided to buy the $699 deal from Adorama ( I had already seen that deal and the B&H one and they were what I had in mind when posting) but then I saw the deal had ended...so disappointing. Instead I think I am going to order the B&H $699 K-5 IIs body.

Now I am just facing the task on selecting a lens or two. B&H are offering a price reduction on 4 lenses when purchasing the K-5 body. I think I am going to purchase the Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens because, I have to start somewhere, it seems cheap, has ok reviews, and a few of you have recommended it (at least I think that is the one you are talking about).

Another lens B&H are offering with a discount is the Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.4 AL. Do you have any advice on this one?

Thanks again everyone!
01-23-2014, 07:00 AM   #12
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I've been caught in the rain with my K5 and 18-135. It and the K10 both were exposed to temps down to around -20C and pushing 40C with no issues. (OK a half-charged battery begins to protest in the cold)

That K5II at $700 is a helluva deal, it rivals used K5 prices.
01-23-2014, 07:45 AM   #13
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On the lenses, the 50mm might be a little too narrow. What I mean is that 50mm on a APS-C body narrows the field of view. In the same thought, the 35mm is what is referred to as a "normal" lens for its more normal field of view. Yes, the 50 has a faster aperture (f1.8) which will help in the night clubs.

I do like primes, but zooms offer so much more versatility.

01-23-2014, 07:49 AM   #14
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Skip the K5; mine front focuses badly under tungsten light.

I admire your choice for a prime instead of a zoom. In which case the 35mm is more universal than the 50mm if it's your only lens. But possibly not so useful if your partner is on the stage and you are 10 meters away; the 50 will probably also not do for that. You are aware that you have to zoom with your feet?

To give you the idea of what focal length will do, the below images were taken with 31mm and 100m respectively at about 10 meters





I prefer primes, but you might be better of with the flexibility of a (fast) zoom to get your feet wet and with the given requirements in mind. A Tamron 28-75/2.8 comes to mind. I personally think that the other lenses (I assume you're talking about 18-55 and 18-135) will not be fast enough at the long end, specially if you want to shoot the public at an outdoor night festivals as well.
01-23-2014, 07:57 AM   #15
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Ok so the DA 35mm F2.4, might be a better general one to start off with for me?

I should have been clearer in my post- the festival/club photography is stuff I will be doing as a favour to my partner, it is not my prioirty. My stuff comes first which is street photography, I guess you call it...
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