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06-19-2014, 09:22 AM   #1
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Need advice - can't decide which camera

Hello,

I am a proud owner of a Pentax ME super. However, I have been mainly using my wife's K-x for already quite a while now. I saved up some money and want to buy my own digital SLR soon. But which one?

I have some older lenses which serve me well, but I am missing a decent wide-angle lens. My budget is arount 900 Euros (I am living in Austria), and I am thinking about the following options:

1.) K-30 with DA 18-55 mm DA WR (500 Euro) and Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-5.6 (380 Euro) --> Total 880 Euro
(the K30 body costs only 12 Euro less. I take the WR lens happily for that price.)

2.) K-5 body (550 Euro) and Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-5.6 (380 Euro) --> Total 930 Euro
One advantage I see is the K-5's 14 bit RAW files compared to the 12 bit RAW files of the K-30. However, the K-5 is somewhat older than the K-30, and I don't know if there are some improvements in the K-30 that I don't know of.

3.) K-3 body (970 Euro).
Skip the wide-angle lens, get a great camera, start with my vintage lenses and buy better lenses sometime in the future. (I did tell you that I am planning to win a lottery in the future and thus get really, really rich?) ;-)

I don't see the K-5ii/K-5iis as an option right now. I would prefer the K-5iis, but as of today, the K-5iis body is sold for about 900 Euros in Austria. The K-5iis is definitely a very good camera. But for that price, I would always pay the 70 Euro more and go for the K-3.

I am absolutely undecided between all three options, so I am really looking forward to your comments. Or maybe you have a fourth option which I don't see right now?

Thanks in advance,
Dieterson

06-19-2014, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #2
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From what I've seen the K3 would be an awesome upgrade. Have you thought about used? I think there is a guy selling a K3 and 18-135WR in your budget in the marketplace. I've seen it where you could get your K5iis and the 10-20 in your budget on here used too.
06-19-2014, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Have you considered something other than the Sigma 10-20 for your wide angle?

The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 is only 220 euro, gives excellent sharpness and IQ, and is faster than the Sigma. It would complement the K-3 nicely.
06-19-2014, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Maybe look for a used K-5ii?

And I would definitely look for used lenses! I don't see any point in buying lenses new, at least not until your plans for getting rich are fulfilled

06-19-2014, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You have a hard decision here. I believe you would see a great improvement between the k-3 and the k-30,50,5,5-ii/s.

Personal opinion, skip the k-5. It has some flash issues and a weird mirror flop that could happen. Go for k-5ii/s, or k-30/50. These are solid options with fantastic iq and would be a bit cheaper for you. The k-3 is amazing and would be the clear option for you if money isn't a factor. I believe the faster shutter and premium materials are really the greatest benefits between k-5ii and k-30. Soooo... For the money.... Get the k-30 and the lenses you want.

Another suggestion, get the 15mm prime instead of the sigma, you will love it! And you can find them used at a reasonable price.
06-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #6
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Absolutely look for used here in the marketplace, where you know someone took decent care of the gear.
A K5IIs would be great, it's an extremely capable camera - and would give you some lens budget over the K3.

Not that I'm trying to talk you out of a K3!
06-19-2014, 09:56 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Is the K-5 "new" or used? If new, its a good deal.
I would say you should choose depending on the features. The K-50 is great mid tier camera and a good camera to learn with (and it has focus peaking in live view). If you already know your way around a lens and DSLR, and want more pro features, choose the K-5 (top LCD, more buttons/customization).
You said you already have some lenses, so the K-5 might be the better choice for you. I doubt you would regret it, just expect a bit of a learning curve (steeper than the K-50).
The K-3 of course is top of the line and offers even some more features, like SR-based AA, dual card slots (with the wifi card thingy), and so on. With 24MP and lack of AA filter, it should also record some more detail. But its for you to decide if its worth it. Unless you are making prints larger than A3, the 16MP should be enough and 24MP won't be that much better.
06-19-2014, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dieterson Quote
I am absolutely undecided between all three options, so I am really looking forward to your comments. Or maybe you have a fourth option which I don't see right now?
Well, you didn't mention the K-50.

Anyway, here's something to consider:

If you want to use old MF lenses,
focus peaking is a valuable feature
which you don't get on the K5.

06-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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Agreed on the K-50. I use focus peaking a lot, pretty cool feature. Just know that you can't use a battery grip on the K-50, something I wish I had paid closer attention to when I bought it (just for future use). The camera itself is great.
06-19-2014, 10:09 AM   #10
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I suggest the first option (K-30/18-55 WR and Sigma 10-20mm). I believe Foto Erhardt might put together kits for liwer prices than individual items. Check out the K-50 as well.
06-19-2014, 10:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by esrandall Quote
Just know that you can't use a battery grip on the K-50, something I wish I had paid closer attention to when I bought it
Well, it's light enough not to need a grip for comfortable handling,
and you can use AAs with the internal adapter.
A set of 4 Eneloops or similar lasts a long time.
06-19-2014, 11:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Well, it's light enough not to need a grip for comfortable handling,
and you can use AAs with the internal adapter.
A set of 4 Eneloops or similar lasts a long time.
Agreed, and I have an internal adapter, along with a couple of aftermarket batteries. Just pointing it out was all, as it's a feature that's important to some people. I've shot my buddy's K-5, and I like the weight the grip provides, more than anything else. Just feels better in my hands.
06-19-2014, 01:04 PM   #13
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It's a difficult question for me, because the only wide angle lenses I like are the DA15, Sigma 8-16, and Tokina 11-16 (which isn't available for Pentax). So getting the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 doesn't sound attractive to me. However, I'm particular.


As far as the cameras go, compared to the K-5 the K-30 has a little better AF, plus it adds focus peaking to aid in MF. The K-5 has even better build quality and the ability to add a battery grip (for a very low price if you go third-party).


Personally, I'd go with these two:

Pentax K-r SLR-Digitalkamera Geh
Sigma 8-16mm F4,5-5,6 DC HSM Objektiv f

Since the Sigma 8-16 is out of production (for nearly a year now) it isn't depreciating much when used. So it's a good investment too - at least until something better comes along (I don't know of anything like it on the horizon, if you consider how wide it goes).
06-19-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
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Wow, thanks everyone for the quick and numerous replies :-)

QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Have you thought about used?
I have, all my lenses so far were used ones. However, I have not much experience with digital SLR's. and I feel always a little awkward buying things sceond-hand if I don't really know much about them. Especially if it's something expensive. So I think I'll buy a new camera. For the lens, second-hand might be an option.

QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
Have you considered something other than the Sigma 10-20 for your wide angle?
Yes, actually I was thinking of getting a wide-angle prime first. I just couldn't find one with a price tag fitting my budget. I haven't heard about the Rokinon 14mm. I think, Rokinon is rather uncommon in Europe, or at least here in Austria. But I will definitely look into it. Thank you for the hint :-)

QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
And I would definitely look for used lenses!
Yes, I will do that. Thank you and everyone ele suggesting lenses or second-hand shopping. I will definitely have another look.

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Is the K-5 "new" or used? If new, its a good deal.
Yes, it's the price for a new body.

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Well, you didn't mention the K-50.
I didn't mention it because everything I heard says that it is really the same as the K-30. And the K-30 is cheaper...
Thank you for pointing out focus peaking. That feature is likely beating the K-5.

Right now I feel that the K-30 is leading the race. I will have another deep look into wide-angel lenses. Any suggestions or comments are of course welcome.

Thanks again!
06-19-2014, 01:07 PM   #15
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For the features I would get the K3 if you have the money. Of course if you get the K30 I would seriously think of getting the 18-135 WR over the 18-55 WR.
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