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08-06-2015, 12:27 AM   #1
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Pls Suggest Camera for my requirements

Dear Friends,

Nice to meet you all.

After using Minolta-compact camera to Canon Film SLR to Leica Fixed Lens DSLR. Should i wait for Pentax FF DSLR? I am excited and looking for the guidence on my next DSLR purchase. Pentax or Canon?

My requirements are simple. i do not have existing lens collection.

- Good quality pictures
- Time Lapse Photography
- Wildlife photography ( Yearly visit to Tiger forest)
- Landscape & Macro photos - To complement my bush walking hobby
- Portrait photos
- Good weather sealing
- Gear - Not so heavy on price.

Based on my research i am interested to go for Pentax K3 camera body or Canon 7d.

When i look at Pentax Lens collections, its reviews and compare it with canon lens prices. The difference is not huge.

Is following lens selection perfect for the associated work? Pls suggest based on your experience.

- Wildlife photography ( Yearly visit to Tiger forest) - Pentax DA* - 60-250mm F4 SDM (I should wait for for another 10 months - 70-200 f/2.8?)
- Portrait & Landscape photos - To complement my bush walking hobby - Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM
- Portrait & Macro photos - To complement my bush walking hobby - Pentax SMC DFA 100mm F2.8 MACRO (What's the difference between DA and DFA?)

Pls guide me in right direction. Thanks in advance.

Whats the best place to buy this in Melbourne, Australia? In case, if my countrymen is here.

Thanks
Pratik

08-06-2015, 02:36 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by amazing_universe Quote
Should i wait for Pentax FF DSLR?
Depends on your primary subjects. For Portrait photos the FF will certainly be interesting, but for Wildlife photography the smaller crop sensor is no disadvantage because it gives you more reach.

QuoteOriginally posted by amazing_universe Quote
Based on my research i am interested to go for Pentax K3 camera body or Canon 7d.
I don't have a Canon so I am not able to compare them, but I own the K3 and I am very happy with it. It has a good gripe and balances also bigger lenses well. Both cameras are capable of producing good quality pictures but I think the AF system of the Canon is believed to be better, nevertheless I never had any reason for complaints with the K3 AF system. An advantage of the Pentax is that you have in-body image stabilisation.
If you want more bang for the buck you can look for legacy lenses, there is plenty of good glas available for the Pentax.

QuoteOriginally posted by amazing_universe Quote
What's the difference between DA and DFA?
DFA lenses are FF compatible.
DA lenses are usually not (Smaller image circle / From what I have read the DA 40mm and DA* 300mm are despite their name FF compatible too)

Last edited by othar; 08-06-2015 at 03:14 AM.
08-06-2015, 02:47 AM   #3
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K-3 is definitely a good choice.

You also have a flair for the lenses. I would suggest to consider also the FA31 mm Ltd, DA*55mm and FA77mm Ltd, three outstanding AF primes. Pentax is renown for its excellent prime offer, below 200 mm and you could consider a couple of these to complement the two zooms.

In Australia, I can recommend to purchase from CRK, the Pentax representative (their ebay site is dcxpert, with excellent prices), or digidirect.com.au. I buy mostly from these places in Oz (an from Adorama, B&J , Keh.com or the PF marketplace online)

Hope this may help.
08-06-2015, 02:52 AM   #4
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I'm a fellow Melbourner, Pratik.

If you already had significant glass, you would go Canon.

Otherwise, I think you'd be well served by the Pentax system.

Those three lenses you mention are excellent, and well suited to your activities. A 1.4 teleconverter would extend your reach even further.

If budget isn't a concern, the FF is coming - and you'd change the two zooms.

Kirks at Ringwood, Digital Camera Warehouse, Teds Cameras and others will all be happy to take your order and arrange delivery from Pentax Australia (who are in Port Melbourne). Don't expect them to have anything on their shop floors to look at.

If you're confident, the best new prices are through the Hong Kong grey market on eBay but you won't have warranty coverage here.

08-06-2015, 03:26 AM   #5
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If wildlife is important part of your interest and if you choose Pentax, i'd consider the new DFA150-450mm lens. That seems to be of excelent quality lens (I don't personally have it, just judging base on photos I've seen here).
08-06-2015, 05:23 AM   #6
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Pentax will give you weather sealed options for most of what you want to do.

The macro insect world needs a lens in the 100mm range - Pentax's are great, but there are other options from Tamron, Sigma, and the other camera manufacturers so that's a wash.

Long zoom? Pentax is a little behind the curve here but the relatively inexpensive 55-300 is now WR, which increases its usefulness. The lenses like 60-250 and the Nikon or Canon equivalents are big and heavy - remember speed has its price. Lenses like the DA300mm are much more portable.

Pentax will give you the tools you want, so will the others. I think Canon is falling behind on its sensor technology, but I'm not quite as familiar with the 7D. For most work FF won't be a huge advantage, but potentially it could help with some applications. I would personally get the Pentax K3II for its built-in GPS and major advancements over my K5. Eventually...
08-06-2015, 05:43 AM   #7
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Pratik,

Looks like you have done your research. As a former Canon system owner and twin 7D owner on up to the 6D when I switched to Pentax, I can tell you that the K3 is the better camera. The only advantage of Canon is bigger lens selection and full 3rd party lens support.

Pentax bodies cost less but the lenses are much closer in price if not more expensive in some instances.

Based on your requirements and having tried most of the lenses you have mentioned, my choice would be the new 150-450 on the long end the 16-50 for the wide shots and the 100 macro will serve you well. Unless you print super big (36x48") or beyond, the K3 is all you are going to need. I have a pair of them and the three amigos (Limited FA 31, 43, 77) along with a few other lenses and they do the job for me. I do not have any long zooms but have tried most of the ones available for the Pentax system.

If you decide to go full frame at some point, the only lens you have to change will be the 16-50. The other area where Pentax is lacking is the mid-range (24-70) with weak 3rd party support.
08-06-2015, 05:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by amazing_universe Quote
- Portrait & Macro photos - To complement my bush walking hobby - Pentax SMC DFA 100mm F2.8 MACRO (What's the difference between DA and DFA?)
DA lenses are optimised for the APS-C sensor, but some (not all) work on full frame (which up until now has meant film in Pentax land).

D-FA lenses are optimised for digital cameras, but are also specifically designed to be full-frame compatible.

I have this lens, and it is excellent for things like insects and other similarly-sized objects. Not so good for flowers, I'm told, although your mileage may vary. If you want to photograph crawly things that sting or bite, the 100 helps you keep your distance while still getting the macro effect. The 100 WR Macro is also currently the only weather-sealed macro in Pentax's line-up, so it's ideal for taking on walks where you might encounter mud, rain, dust etc and you have a weather-sealed Pentax body to go with it.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Don't expect them to have anything on their shop floors to look at.
They may have it (I saw a fair few when I was there last, new and used), but I agree that you cannot absolutely rely on this. Try Michael's and DigiDirect.

08-06-2015, 06:20 AM   #9
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K-3 will be a good choice, and maybe even a K-5 ii s if you want to keep costs down and you can find one.

I would hold off on the full frame Pentax for the time being
- firstly wait for it to come out and see what's good, bad or indifferent about it (fingers crossed it'll all be good)
- secondly, wait for the early adopters to report back what they find about the camera
- thirdly, wait for any initial issues to be discovered and fixed (there's always something!)
- finally, wait for the initial price drop after the early adopters have bought.

The DA* 60-250 is a great lens on APSC. The autofocus can be a little slow, but it's not bad by any means. I find it quite useable for motor sport. I believe I've seen somewhere that it will work on Full Frame, but don't quote me on that. Against that the 70-200 is a faster lens, but it is a lot heavier.

Add a 1.4x pentax rear converter if you might want the extra reach without wanting to take a bigger heavier lens along.

It might also be worth looking at the 150-450 instead of or as well as the above for wildlife photography.

I don't know about the DA* 16-50, but it may well be worth considering the 16-85 as well. I'm very pleased with mine. Although it's not as fast, reports I've seen suggest it's comparable to the 16-50 for image quality.
08-06-2015, 07:02 AM   #10
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I may be biased since I use Pentax, however, after seeing photos from friends (even pro-wedding) who own the most popular 24-105 L glass, I am not impressed at all. Every group photos that I have seen has some sort of distortion on the side and/or in the middle when taken with lower focal length range; I think it has something to do with shorter flange distance of the mount. For me, definitely not good for people shots, If I ever switch to another brand, it will never be a Canon for me.... this of course, just IMHO.
08-06-2015, 07:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I may be biased since I use Pentax, however, after seeing photos from friends (even pro-wedding) who own the most popular 24-105 L glass, I am not impressed at all. Every group photos that I have seen has some sort of distortion on the side and/or in the middle when taken with lower focal length range; I think it has something to do with shorter flange distance of the mount. For me, definitely not good for people shots, If I ever switch to another brand, it will never be a Canon for me.... this of course, just IMHO.
that's nothing to do with the canon system but rather the desired effect / technique (using a wide angle and close up)
08-06-2015, 07:22 AM   #12
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And for portraits, pick up either th FA77 or DA*55.

Also, your pictures are going to be terrible at first. There is a lot to learn. I suggest reading Petersen's book "Understanding Exposure ".
08-06-2015, 07:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickenandavocado Quote
that's nothing to do with the canon system but rather the desired effect / technique (using a wide angle and close up)
May be and may be not IMHO, since similar lens/focal length in Nikon mount in FF does not have same problem... often times we are shooting from the same distance and at similar focal length.

PS... most of us do understand that "technique (using a wide angle and close up) result in some distortion"; btw, I am an event photographer but how the image is rendered from the lens with distortion is just disturbing in my taste. Perhaps the 24-70 may be slightly better, but still for L glass that expensive, thanks but no thanks. I just grab an image taken with the Canon 5DMKII and 24-105 at 28mm (the guy on the left get his head distorted). Also, the "mild" distortion may be mitigated with PP, but sometimes it is not easy to get rid of it.


Last edited by aleonx3; 08-06-2015 at 08:52 AM. Reason: added note, image and further explanation
08-06-2015, 08:38 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by amazing_universe Quote
After using Minolta-compact camera to Canon Film SLR to Leica Fixed Lens DSLR. Should i wait for Pentax FF DSLR? I am excited and looking for the guidence on my next DSLR purchase. Pentax or Canon?

My requirements are simple. i do not have existing lens collection.

- Good quality pictures
- Time Lapse Photography
- Wildlife photography ( Yearly visit to Tiger forest)
- Landscape & Macro photos - To complement my bush walking hobby
- Portrait photos
- Good weather sealing
- Gear - Not so heavy on price.

Based on my research i am interested to go for Pentax K3 camera body or Canon 7d.

When i look at Pentax Lens collections, its reviews and compare it with canon lens prices. The difference is not huge.
You can meet all your goals with a K3. I don't have the Canon so I am not certain what tradeoffs the K3 and Canon have to one another. The Pentax lens collection pricing is misleading I think. Look at Ebay and here in the Marketplace to see what used items go for. Also check B&H and Adorama as well as KEH to see what deals might exist. Lens selection is smaller than Canon - particularly 3rd party non-Pentax branded. The offset to this is that unlike Canon - nearly all of the old lenses ever made for Pentax will work (some have limited options) on the current DSLR's. Additionally don't forget that only the optically stabilized lenses for Canon will have any stabilization. All lenses used on Pentax are stabilized since they shift the image sensor for that rather than using optical methods. This allows old manual focus glass from the 60's to be just as stable as the new state of the art zooms.

QuoteOriginally posted by amazing_universe Quote
Is following lens selection perfect for the associated work? Pls suggest based on your experience.

- Wildlife photography ( Yearly visit to Tiger forest) - Pentax DA* - 60-250mm F4 SDM (I should wait for for another 10 months - 70-200 f/2.8?)
- Portrait & Landscape photos - To complement my bush walking hobby - Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM
- Portrait & Macro photos - To complement my bush walking hobby - Pentax SMC DFA 100mm F2.8 MACRO (What's the difference between DA and DFA?)
DA* 60-250 has a great range and it is SHARP. I'm not sure what conditions are in the Tiger Forest. The SDM focusing of the 60-250 can be a little slow, and f/4 may be dark in the forest - can you clarify conditions? Also the closer an object is the less strong the 250mm end of the lens is due to "focus breathing" which is just a fancy way of saying that due to internal focusing the image magnification gets smaller as you get closer to the minimum focus distance. This is not noticed past about 7-10 meters. How important is a zoom for this? What is the narrow end of the zoom range that would work? If lighting isn't an issue the Pentax HD DA 1.4x converter can be added to make the lens a 84-350 f/5.6 which isn't shabby. Another option would be to look at a fixed 300mm f/4 Pentax and add the HD TC if needed giving you a 300mm f/4 and a 420mm f/5.6. Last option would be to look at the D FA 150-450 which is a monster of a lens with sharp sharp sharp results by all accounts. The one downside is size/weight/handling of this last one.

16-50 is a fine lens. It is not small or light but no monster either. There are a lot of options in this range - including a number of very nice primes. Is a zoom your preference? The newer 16-85 rivals this lens in image quality and gives a longer range but at the expense of f/stops. The 20-40 Limited HD has a shorter range and variable aperture (2.8 at the 20mm end and 4 at the 40mm end) but is well respected also. The 12-24 f/4 is a fantastic landscape lens and doubles as a nice walkabout for wide angle perspective. There are also fantastic primes in this range including the 15mm and 21 which are great small light landscape lenses.

The D FA 100 is a great lens but not a lens that is known for portraits. Most macro lenses tend to be very flat field and very analytical and not typically what people think of in Portrait lenses. It can deliver great shots including portraits, particularly if you want revealing shots. As a macro option it is a great one. Alternate portrait options: DA 70 f/2.4, FA 77 f/1.8, DA 55 f/1.4, DA* 50-135 f/2.8... the list is long and stellar.

The other question you need to perhaps answer to yourself - is how much weight do you want to carry. How many lens changes do you want to make in the field? Do you plan on having a spare body to swap in if things go wrong?
08-06-2015, 01:08 PM   #15
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The Pentax system you list is really a quite extraordinary one and a superb selection (assuming you can pay for it!). You undoubtedly get more for your money with the Pentax camera bodies .... Higher spec things like weather resistance and 100% viewfinders, even on mid range cameras.



The build of the K3 is excellent ... Pentax switches, levers and buttons all ooze quality and security, and the K3 (like it's predecessors the K7 and K5 series) offers good direct control access to key camera functions and shooting controls, making it a truly efficient and practical image capture tool. Good luck on your quest ... You'll be in good hands here for help and advice if you choose the Pentax route!
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