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08-17-2014, 12:36 AM   #1
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Picking new dslr

Hey guys I'm having a huge problem picking up a camera. Hoping someone can help me decide which one to go with.

I was originally planning to go with the nikon d7100, but then saw Pentax had some really awesome reviews and the weatherproofing is a huge plus. So, for me, Pentax it is.

I'm actually in favor of the K-3, but I'm not too sure if it is overkill for me. Also sort of hesitant on spending over a grand but it is so tempting. Which one would be a step down from the K-3? I did also notice that none of the other models have 1080/60fps. That is one of the reasons I'm leaning towards K-3. Rather swap a card than pull out a camcorder, one camera to rule them all. Also the 24mp.

key features would be fast shutter, high range standard iso, preferably 1080@60 and the prime 3
battery, weight, size means almost nothing to me. If I can lift it, its fine lol. (quality over convenience)

08-17-2014, 01:27 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by manooti Quote
Hey guys I'm having a huge problem picking up a camera. Hoping someone can help me decide which one to go with.

I was originally planning to go with the nikon d7100, but then saw Pentax had some really awesome reviews and the weatherproofing is a huge plus. So, for me, Pentax it is.

I'm actually in favor of the K-3, but I'm not too sure if it is overkill for me. Also sort of hesitant on spending over a grand but it is so tempting. Which one would be a step down from the K-3? I did also notice that none of the other models have 1080/60fps. That is one of the reasons I'm leaning towards K-3. Rather swap a card than pull out a camcorder, one camera to rule them all. Also the 24mp.

key features would be fast shutter, high range standard iso, preferably 1080@60 and the prime 3
battery, weight, size means almost nothing to me. If I can lift it, its fine lol. (quality over convenience)
If you want the latest features, I'd go for the K-3. Its predecessor (the K-5), while fantastic for stills, is a bit dated by modern standards for video and in live view. Pentax is a bit behind in general when it comes to video, but for everyday use the K-3 has everything you need (manual controls, mic input, plenty of framerate options).

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08-17-2014, 03:41 AM   #3
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K3 is a very fine camera. I own it and I'am very satisfyed. I would add a few advice through:

You seem enthousiastic of videos mode. Pentax Camera are not the best for video up to my knowledge. I'am not an expert myself but I think Canon Camera are better suited for videos. I don't know the technical specs sheets, but this is not that important. What is important is that it work well in practice.

Do you plan to also buy some great lenses ? I mean an expensive camera do help taking better photos, mostly with more direct access button so when you really master it you go faster and also better AF than in difficult condition will help you to take the shoot. The rest will not really change much if anything, in particular if you don't have great lenses.

An entry level camera with a good lense mounted will allow you to take better picture than the best camera with the kit lens. I do not say you have to buy such lense now, but a K3 is an expensive camera, that a big amount of money. It make sense if you plan to buy at least the same amount of money on lenses to compliment it; This will change radically what you can get out of your photo in term of subject isolation, performance in low light and simply picture quality.

If you don't have the money, you'll be better served with a K5-II (or equivalent Canon if video is important for you) and the kit lens. You can add 1-2 better quality lens then when you are ready (like 17-50 f/2.8 tamron or sigma, a DA50mm f/1.8 or a 55-300).

If you have the money, remember that the camera is just half of the gear and you need good lenses to. That likely $1000 more to spend at least. Many amateur here have many lenses worth together several thousand dollar. You surelly don't need that much, but there will be a huge difference between a kit lens and at least spending $500-800 on lenses. If you don't plan too, it is very likely that the most advenced camera will not give you much more than a basic one. The basic one are already really advenced in fact and very capable; Better than the pro camera a few year ago. And thoses are still used by pro today.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 08-17-2014 at 04:40 AM.
08-17-2014, 03:43 AM   #4
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The Nikon D7100 is weather resistant although not highly marketed as that, I am not sure what they have in lenses to help keep it that way I know a lot of Nikon users love the tamron lenses. The k-3 is definately the Pentax equivalent and definitely have a better lens range specifically for weather resistance. In the last week I have looked both over with great depth. I chose the k-3 basically because I had the lens for the k mounts from my k-50 and having used pentax was familiar with their menu format. The good thing with either cameras there is a lot of old glass to choose from but remember you loose your WR without those specific lenses. I honestly think you would be happy with either camera but if environment hardy is your need you can't go past the k-3 as for weight etc I have a crook shoulder and I really didn't notice the weight on either of them. I don't think either will disappoint.
I must say though nicolas06 has made a valid point I am not a video person so can't give any opinion in that matter.


Last edited by Sorver; 08-17-2014 at 03:50 AM.
08-17-2014, 04:16 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

I don't shoot video so can't really comment on that. But I do want to voice my agreement with the above statement about the quality of lenses. For pure technical picture quality you will do better with excellent lenses on a K-5 than with a kit lens on the K-3. The resolution of the K-3 is really demanding on the lenses. Not that a lens suddenly becomes bad once mounted on a K-3, but the higher resolution will reveal any weakness very distinctly.

It's sort of "don't buy a K-3 if you don't buy excellent lenses with it" - if you only look at technical picture quality, that is. There are lots of other features , including video, that might pull the other way. But if you have limited funds (and who hasn't) I would recommend prioritising better lenses on a K-5 over "ok" lenses on a K-3 if that's your choice. There will always be a new and better camera in the future. The lenses will be with you for decades if you buy the best.

Oh, and will a K-3 be overkill for you? Most probably. And not at all. Nobody forces you to utilise every advanced feature right away. I wouldn't let that worry get in the way of anything.
08-17-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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Wow lots of helpful replies. Thanks everyone!

The main reason I'm thinking of going with a somewhat higher end camera is because I am a huge outdoors person. I hike in PA and upstate NY. Every step I take I end up looking around and shoot.

Very annoyed also that had to buy a camera on my honeymoon and more than half of my 3k pictures were crap. I would rather the fault be on me than my hardware so there is no one to blame except me.

The purpose of video is also.. I'm a new dad. My daughter is first. Lost a lot of first time moments because of very poor iso performance and lens limits. The flash is horrendous and dangerous to a baby. Being able to switch from pictures to video on the fly is a plus.

Saw the k-3 on Newegg with 18-135 WR lens for 1500. I'll be using mainly penta lenses for they weatherproofing. Not sure how others are in that area so oem is preferred.

Replying through phone as I'm omw to a hike as we speak. Sorry if I'm all over the place. It rained this morning so the falls will be nice ;-)
08-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #7
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Sorry for the bump. Tried to edit my post but wasnt working..

I was just looking at the K-50. Wondering if that has selectable AA. Cant seem to find anything listing its AA capabilities.
Found a K-50 with 2 lenses 18-55 and 55-200 then buy a prime for indoor low light (didnt pick one out yet) and a Sigma 18-250 f/3.5-6.3.
I'm putting the HD video aside as I do need a capable camera for my family and hobby. Hopefully the K-50 can do it but the AA is sort of putting me off. I'm guessing non AA is for easier focusing for beginners.
08-17-2014, 04:03 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by manooti Quote
I was just looking at the K-50. Wondering if that has selectable AA. Cant seem to find anything listing its AA capabilities. Found a K-50 with 2 lenses 18-55 and 55-200 then buy a prime for indoor low light (didnt pick one out yet) and a Sigma 18-250 f/3.5-6.3. I'm putting the HD video aside as I do need a capable camera for my family and hobby. Hopefully the K-50 can do it but the AA is sort of putting me off. I'm guessing non AA is for easier focusing for beginners.
The K-50 is a great value, so I can certainly recommend it for family and everyday use.

The camera has an AA filter and there's no way to disable it. IMO, at 16 megapixels you're probably better off with the filter. You can always apply a little bit of sharpening to make your files more crisp when cropped


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08-17-2014, 04:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K-50 is a great value, so I can certainly recommend it for family and everyday use.

The camera has an AA filter and there's no way to disable it. IMO, at 16 megapixels you're probably better off with the filter. You can always apply a little bit of sharpening to make your files more crisp when cropped

Awesome. Thank you. Im fluent in photoshop so shouldnt be an issue, but was hoping to avoid an extra step.
Which prime would you recommend for indoor family events? Or a set of primes? Also, should I get some lens UV kits for sunlight and water photography?
Just ordered the K-50.. already miss the K-3 lol
08-17-2014, 04:31 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I think you are better for your use case with that K50 and good lenses to pair with it. Will help a lot as no flash for a baby.

For interiors, excepted if it is VERY well lit, one thing is sure, the kit lens is not going to do it. The minimum is an f/2.8 zoom lens. You can find very well priced versatile 17-50 f/2.8 of tamron or sigma that will easily replace this kit lens with superior quality, and 2 more stop of light. Very usefull in such situation. The f/2.8 also help a lot on bokeh. The lens will also work well overall for landscape and anything outdoor too. If that your thing you can also keep the kit lens if you choosed a WR version so it can come handy on difficult conditions outdoor.

For the baby, while it doesn't move much (or for cooperatives subjects in general), you might prefer a DA50 f/1.8... You'll get nice shoot at f/2, sharp where you put the focus, and soft everywhere else... Good for a baby. No flash of course but I would think of maybe using a good light source as a profit. Maybe a window wisely used. And oh well don't forget it will work better on day than on the night. It is not because you have a good camera body and good lenses that you shouldn't use your best tool at disposal. The best photos are taken with the best light, there is no discussion abou that. You could spend 10 000$ on gear, if you don't learn how to use the light, you'll get average shoots.

To stay simple, I really think that this K50 + 17-50 f/2.8 should be your workhorse, You could add a 55-300 for outdoor tele work and a prime lens dedicated for portraiture like DA50 f/1.8. For this last one, better that the subject is cooperative and don't move too fast.

Ah also, that may be stupid to say... For high isos to give the best, RAW + good post processing software will help a lot. You'll be able to get the skin tone just right and reduce significantly the high iso noise. I use personnally DxO Optics Pro + DxO film pack. It complex at the begining I admit it and might not be suited to you (there a 30 day free demo) but the result are really better than jpeg just out of the camera. That particulary true in difficult conditions. For portraiture (and other kind of scenes), DxO film pack allow you to choose the color rendering that better match skin tones. On the opposite you can get punchy landscape and in general adapt to what you want to express in your shoot.

You might prefer lightroom through. Both software come with 30 days free trial, so look for yourself. Don't expect to master it instantly. Both software will need at least a few hours of training to get some results out of them.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 08-17-2014 at 04:48 PM.
08-17-2014, 09:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
I think you are better for your use case with that K50 and good lenses to pair with it. Will help a lot as no flash for a baby.

For interiors, excepted if it is VERY well lit, one thing is sure, the kit lens is not going to do it. The minimum is an f/2.8 zoom lens. You can find very well priced versatile 17-50 f/2.8 of tamron or sigma that will easily replace this kit lens with superior quality, and 2 more stop of light. Very usefull in such situation. The f/2.8 also help a lot on bokeh. The lens will also work well overall for landscape and anything outdoor too. If that your thing you can also keep the kit lens if you choosed a WR version so it can come handy on difficult conditions outdoor.

For the baby, while it doesn't move much (or for cooperatives subjects in general), you might prefer a DA50 f/1.8... You'll get nice shoot at f/2, sharp where you put the focus, and soft everywhere else... Good for a baby. No flash of course but I would think of maybe using a good light source as a profit. Maybe a window wisely used. And oh well don't forget it will work better on day than on the night. It is not because you have a good camera body and good lenses that you shouldn't use your best tool at disposal. The best photos are taken with the best light, there is no discussion abou that. You could spend 10 000$ on gear, if you don't learn how to use the light, you'll get average shoots.

To stay simple, I really think that this K50 + 17-50 f/2.8 should be your workhorse, You could add a 55-300 for outdoor tele work and a prime lens dedicated for portraiture like DA50 f/1.8. For this last one, better that the subject is cooperative and don't move too fast.

Ah also, that may be stupid to say... For high isos to give the best, RAW + good post processing software will help a lot. You'll be able to get the skin tone just right and reduce significantly the high iso noise. I use personnally DxO Optics Pro + DxO film pack. It complex at the begining I admit it and might not be suited to you (there a 30 day free demo) but the result are really better than jpeg just out of the camera. That particulary true in difficult conditions. For portraiture (and other kind of scenes), DxO film pack allow you to choose the color rendering that better match skin tones. On the opposite you can get punchy landscape and in general adapt to what you want to express in your shoot.

You might prefer lightroom through. Both software come with 30 days free trial, so look for yourself. Don't expect to master it instantly. Both software will need at least a few hours of training to get some results out of them.
I'll probably order the 50mm f1.8. Its 185 at pentax. Checking more as we speak.
What would be a decent telephoto with zoom for wildlife shots? scared of the crop with 16mp
08-17-2014, 11:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by manooti Quote
I'll probably order the 50mm f1.8. Its 185 at pentax. Checking more as we speak.
What would be a decent telephoto with zoom for wildlife shots? scared of the crop with 16mp
For a reasonable price I think most would say Pentax 55-300 (WR DA, DA, or DA L) to be the best. Good, light weight, and versatile - excellent for travelling or hiking.

I think I have taken exactly 1 picture with my 50-200 (other than for pure testing) after I got the 55-300.
08-17-2014, 11:33 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by manooti Quote
What would be a decent telephoto with zoom for wildlife shots? scared of the crop with 16mp
Ahaha, beware ! That where you could spend all your money.

As savoche said, the 55-300 is a nice consumer zoom for wildlife, portraiture outdoor, architectural details, sports and so own. You can buy a very innexpensive version of it (DAL) for a very good price used. Or go for the WR version that is going to cost more money for exactly the same optical quality.

You must understand this is a consumer tele zoom. It will do wonder in a zoo, or if you shoot big animals not too far away. Or general use. It will need good light to perform well. And you'll not crop anything out of it even if you had a 36MP body (that doesn't exist on APSC) simply because the sharpness is so-so at 300mm.

Many that really shoot wildlife spend lot of time hunting for it with very expensive stuff (several thousand dollar of it) and their are not even sure to get one good shoot each time they go out. This is just to say you have to understand it. There nothing bad and no risk with that 55-300, but you might soon find you need more reach for birds, or want more sharpness, light overall, and then it just kill your wallet. This is the kind of practice that cost a lot. Either you have the money and love then that's ok, either you'll better limit yourself.


Overall, that K50 + sigma/tamron 17-50 f/2.8 + 55-300 + DA50 seems like a very nice starter kit, covering all kind of usage with a nice compromize in term of price and quality.

You said your photo where not all good with your previous gear. That's mean it is likely not only the gear fault as a a good photographer would have manage some great shoot anyway. The next step is then to train, take lot of photos, learn from your errors, read, train more...

Last edited by Nicolas06; 08-17-2014 at 11:40 PM.
08-18-2014, 05:22 AM - 1 Like   #14
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A good inexpensive zoom for indoors is the DA 16-45. That's a great range for indoors. Is it as good as one of the 17-50 options? I don't know, I haven't used those but they're supposed to be good. Modern sensors have plenty of light gathering for f4 to be usable. That said, wider options are always useful.

As for a prime, I'd look at the 35mm to 20mm range - good for indoors and there are some great options in that range.

The 18-135 is nice for a walkaround, and its motor is really nice. I have that and the DA 55-300 WR now, which hasn't been used in the rain but it certainly will be used in the snow this winter - I was reluctant to take the older version out on some days, but the WR gives me a measure of confidence.
08-18-2014, 08:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
You said your photo where not all good with your previous gear. That's mean it is likely not only the gear fault as a a good photographer would have manage some great shoot anyway. The next step is then to train, take lot of photos, learn from your errors, read, train more...
The gear I always used were point and shoot cameras until I borrowed my cousins canon dslr. The manual options were a gift from the heavens. Everything I ever wanted. The settings were exactly what I wanted and needed.

For example with my other cheap non manual cameras, I had to used a flash diffuser to soften the flash and get good exposure and shutter speed using.. tissue paper lol. And also lock on an area and do some creative macro shots while physically moving close because the macro settings and AF were complete garbage. Cameras used were nikon, canon and samsung over 200 dollar range.
I love being in complete control of my pictures, focusing, aperture, iso and flash.

Everyone provided awesome feedback too. Gonna reference this page because I'm sure this info will last me a while.
Camera should be here tomorrow. Hopefully. Already have a tripod so first thing I'm doing is spending the day at the waterfalls Will test low shutter for cool water effects.
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