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12-04-2014, 07:58 AM   #1
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Suggestions on what to start out with

1st I really like the Pentax system due to the price versus other companies, older lens availability, WR, and being a little different. That being said I am looking for advice on shake reduction. I have shaky hands… I don’t generally have issue with my current point and shoot (Canon S100)… However I understand that in lens systems are generally better for shake reduction… I am not planning on becoming a professional photographer, but would like to shoot some weddings and senior portraits as well as some macro…

2nd As my budget is limited due to this being a hobby, not a career, the current sweet spot on price vs. performance seems to be a used K5. What I mean is that a used K7 is just a little cheaper and worse IQ while the K5II is quite a bit more expensive for not that much improvement. Any thoughts on this? Previously I have owned a Samsung GX10 and Canon Elan IIE and AE1

Thanks in advance

12-04-2014, 08:19 AM   #2
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I'd get a new K50 with the WR kit lens for $496.95 or the body by itself for $366.95 from bhphoto if you want to get different lenses. Those are extremely low prices at the moment
12-04-2014, 08:22 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Hey, welcome!
In-lens SR can be better for macro and telephoto, but not necessarily for normal and wide angle. For macro you almost always use a tripod, though, so SR won't be important.The other thing is, in bright light you can use a fast shutter speed so you don't need SR as much. In-body SR also has the advantage that it gives you SR with all lenses, even primes and older manual lenses. With in-lens, you pay for the in-lens SR in every lens separately. And many lenses simply don't have it. I have fairly shaky hands, as well, but I find that practice and a correct stance, some control over breathing, really helps a lot. I only use SR in low light

Regarding which camera, I suggest you start with a used K-30 or a K-50 (practically same camera, only different looks), or if you don't mind the steeper learning curve, a K-5 (or K-5II, K-5IIs). Or a mirrorless K-01, which has practically the same image quality as the K-5IIs, but has no viewfinder and is generally slower. The K-01 is for a specific taste. Its not everyone's cup of tea. All of these 16MP cameras are based on the same sensor, the best IQ coming from the K-5 series, and the K-5IIs (this one has slightly sharper photos, because the AA filter has been removed. But this might cause moire when photographing fabric or fine details). But the IQ difference is rather small, even a K-30 will deliver great photos! The differences will only become noticeable if you really Photoshop your images and make large prints
I would also suggest you go to some store, so you can handle the camera. Sometimes this is the most important thing! For me, holding it in hands was what made me choose Pentax, because the other brand cameras in a similar price range just felt much worse in hands ("cheap" plastic, toylike,..)

Oh, and if you buy the camera, its probably a good idea to get it bundled with a WR lens, especially if its the DA 18-135mm. Its affordable, WR, and has decent quality. Then you can buy the higher end lenses, the legacy glass, etc. later, when you know your needs

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-04-2014 at 08:27 AM.
12-04-2014, 08:26 AM   #4

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QuoteOriginally posted by soycory Quote
However I understand that in lens systems are generally better for shake reduction
for wide angle, normal and short tele lenses the in body SR is as usefull as in lens systems, with the advantage that all lenses are supported (also legacy glas).
from what i have read the in lens SR (OS, VC or however it is called there) is more usefull for longer focal lengths than the in body solution of the pentax system (however some sigma lenses have OS for pentax mount, so you can use in lens stabilisation by turning SR in the camera off)

12-04-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
I'd get a new K50 with the WR kit lens for $496.95 or the body by itself for $366.95 from bhphoto if you want to get different lenses. Those are extremely low prices at the moment
What he said.

At the current price, K50 is more than a bargain!
You could get a great camera, new, with warranty, and bundles available are great.
12-04-2014, 09:23 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Whatever you do, pick up a tripod. If your budget is super limited, pick up a garage sale/goodwill/craigslist tripod (sometimes they're excellent, sometimes they're junk, but pretty much anything will hold your camera steadier than hands, especially shaky ones. And pick up a remote for it. Third party ones can be found for less than $10 (the ones that work for canon work for pentax - the ones that are for Nikon do not). If you're doing posed portraits, you'd likely want a tripod anyway.

Weddings, though? Weddings are one of the most demanding things you can do as a photographer. You might want to rethink that decision if you can't reliably get sharp images handheld and don't have the budget for redundant gear. Ruining someone's wedding photos is a good way to end up on the wrong end of a very expensive lawsuit. Or are you saying weddings as in "I want to sit in my seat at my friend/relative's wedding and snap some photos without getting in the way of the professional photographer?" Because in that case, go for it, just don't use a flash.

And if your hands are shaky because they're weak for some reason - do keep in mind that a DSLR, especially a nice pentax WR one, is going to to be quite a lot larger and weigh considerably more than your canon: Compare camera dimensions side by side
and even moreso once you put a lens on it: Compact Camera Meter
12-04-2014, 09:40 AM   #7
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Whatever you get, a monopod might be very helpful

The K-5 at around 300 for the body is indeed a great camera for a great price. That is about what I paid for my K20D body a out a year and a half ago...

A K-5 with a Tamron 17-50 2.8 would probably give you a good head start into doing some small weddings and portraits - or maybe the Tamron 28-75 plus the kit lens for wider shots. Add a manual flash or two like the Vivitar DF383PEN (75 dollars on Amazon) is very important, as swift/shivel is going to be used to bounce the light. I have that same flash but mine is branded a Zeikos. It's pretty powerful but not the fastest speedlight - still, you can't beat it for the price.

As narual said, weddings are a great responsibility so I wouldn't start with that. Only do it if you are absolutely sure you can do it well. Try and see if you can do kids parties instead, even offer to do it for friends, to get the practice. Do portraits for your friends as well.

Good luck with your pursuits, and practice a lot!
12-04-2014, 09:46 AM   #8
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Second the 28-75 lens. It's really a nice one, even if it feels a little less solid than I'd prefer.

12-04-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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Oh yeah, if you want to do weddings it might be a good idea to start as an apprentice, so you have a mentor. The problem with weddings is that expectations are very high, and you don't get a chance to do it again. There are many shots that you simply need to take (of the guests, reception, food, the couple, the friends, the family, the cake,..) and you need to know how to control the light and get good photos even in bad conditions. There have been lawsuits over this, if the couple was dissatisfied, so be careful. Even if its "for friends", the expectations sill run high.
12-04-2014, 10:21 AM   #10
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thanks for all the comments... pretty much what I expected as far as what I need to do... I am fine with a K50 as well, that was my other camera in mind.
I definitely understand the concern of being a wedding photographer. I should have explained more. I have a friend that does some wedding photography for friends (not professionally) I would be helping him mainly
12-04-2014, 02:32 PM   #11
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To take handheld photos when your hands are shaky, shake reduction is a big advantage. Pentax shake reduction being in the camera means it works with any lens. That means cheaper lenses - shake reduction in a lens adds to the cost.

Maybe this is a bit obvious, but the other solution is to set faster shutter speeds and compensate with higher ISO. With modern cameras you can still get usable pictures at 6400 ISO. In fact if you shoot in RAW and use good noise reduction software, you can get rid of most of the noise and bump up the colour and contrast a little. I'd recommend DxO Optics Pro 10 which is superb for noise reduction and not very expensive. It also has a wide set of features for improving photos (e.g. it will automatically correct for vignetting and distortion if you lens and camera combination is supported).
10-20-2018, 12:54 PM   #12
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I started out with a Lomo Cosmic Symbol.Fantastic manual camera. My second camera, and still use today, is a Pentax K1000.

I now own a Pentax K5.It takes all of my lenses.

I have seen many threads concerning K5 vs K5ii RE: Autofocus in low light.
Use manual focus and be bold.

I noticed a thread the other day that mentioned " they had dabbled with film"

Go get a K1000.Load it with the best film you can afford.Plan all 36 shots.

My K5 will never beat my K1000 and Fuji Velvia for purity and depth
and warmth.

Go do film then get your digital camera to match the results.

Do it manually. Get a light meter.

When you get the results back you will see how versatile the K1000 really is.
10-20-2018, 02:13 PM   #13
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I think the OP is on the right track looking at flagship models even if they are used. My (limited but painful) experience has been that the lower price models did not turn out to be lower price for me. He hasn't given us a budget, but it looks like for the camera between $175 (on Ebay for a K5 that has no bids and fifty minutes left) and $295( for a K5iis on ebay right now, ok I added the "s" but this is a very low price for 24K shutter clicks). I'd stay away from the K7, not because its not a good camera, but because its getting long in the tooth). As for lenses, if its autofocus, the cheapest solution is probably the DA 50mm 1.8 that would work for the portrait head shots he talked about. For something with a little more character and even less money, one of the Helios 44's would also do nicely with a more interesting rendition (the bubbles and swirls only come out when you plan for them). If you go that route, you could also get a Jupiter 37A which together with the Helios would be about what you might be able to get a DA 50mm for.
10-20-2018, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Guys, this is a 4 year old thread. Certainly the sweet spot has shifted now

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