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11-12-2015, 03:48 AM   #1
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Camera decisions

Iím trying to decide on K-50 or maybe a K-5. I have a budget of ~$500 right now for body and lens. I don't mind going the used route and that is typically what I've done in the past. I like shooting my kids sports, indoor swimming, and am wondering how well the autofocus handles this type of environment. From what Iíve read some people say that the Pentaxs donít track well and struggle to focus in low light. The swim meets would probably be the most challenging lighting environment that I deal with fairly regularly.
I am basically rebuilding after having most of my gear stolen. I do still have my canon 1Dmkii and some entry level zooms that I could start rebuilding with. This may be the best most sensible route to go but I like most of what I have read about the Pentax cameras. I really don't have much to complain about the 1D but I also would like the idea of having some of the newer features, stabilization and video option, of the Pentax cameras. Plus I do still have some Pentax lenses that I used with my K1000. I know the opinions may be a little biased in this forum but would appreciate any opinions or ideas. Thank you


11-12-2015, 06:47 AM   #2
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For swim meets, both cameras probably are good, the K50 probably better autofocus. I haven't had troubles taking pictures of the dogs at dog parks with my K5 and 18-135. I personally like the top LCD for quick reference - since I'm in the sun a lot it's a lot easier to set the camera using that. The 18-135 can focus quickly and smoothly, it would be my first thought for your uses.

A used K5II might fit your requirements best. A step up would be one of the fast 70-200 lenses, though they're not small.
11-12-2015, 07:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by a_garren Quote
Iím trying to decide on K-50 or maybe a K-5. I have a budget of ~$500 right now for body and lens. I don't mind going the used route and that is typically what I've done in the past. I like shooting my kids sports, indoor swimming, and am wondering how well the autofocus handles this type of environment. From what Iíve read some people say that the Pentaxs donít track well and struggle to focus in low light. The swim meets would probably be the most challenging lighting environment that I deal with fairly regularly.
I am basically rebuilding after having most of my gear stolen. I do still have my canon 1Dmkii and some entry level zooms that I could start rebuilding with. This may be the best most sensible route to go but I like most of what I have read about the Pentax cameras. I really don't have much to complain about the 1D but I also would like the idea of having some of the newer features, stabilization and video option, of the Pentax cameras. Plus I do still have some Pentax lenses that I used with my K1000. I know the opinions may be a little biased in this forum but would appreciate any opinions or ideas. Thank you
From what I remember from my Canon days, 1Dmkii has a pro class focusing system. I have owned and shot the k5iis and now the K3. Neither one of them are that great at tracking or focus in low light situations. It is ok with me because I do not shoot moving objects.

From a pure image quality stand point, either of the Pentaxes I have owned will work circles around the Canon. It is a tough decision. Canon has the better autofocus. Pentax has the better overall image and in my opinion, handling and menu system.

As far as your budget and camera choices, a new K50 or a used k5IIs will get the job done. The issue then becomes the lens. In your budget range, you can go with a fast prime for indoor use or a mid-range zoom for outdoors. A Tamron 17-50 f2.8 would e a great lens to own but it is not that long on the long end.

I look at my gear purchases as long term investments. You may pay more at the beginning but it pays off in the long term.

A combo that will last you for years will be the K3 + Tamron 17-50 f2.8 + Tamron 70-200 f2.8. Yes it costs more. It is less strain on the budget, if you liquidate some of the gear you have and apply the money to the new purchase. This is the heavier and costlier package around $1,600 for used and new combo.

Another combo costing much less would be the K50 + Pentax 50mm f1.8 (for indoor use) + Pentax 55-300. This is the lighter and less expensive package at around $700 for used and new combo.

Good luck with your purchase. You have so many choices in body and lens combos. See if you get more feedback from other members before you make your final decision.
11-12-2015, 07:59 AM   #4
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Sorry to read that your gear was stolen!

There is a user here and also over on DPR, awaldram, who shoots indoor swim meets with Pentax. He posts at DPR more than here. You might want to take a gander at his images. I'm sure there are other folks here who shoot competitive swimmers, too.

11-12-2015, 09:53 AM   #5
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I would imagine indoor swimming to be dark, otherwise here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/42451941@N07/i152DG
Pentax K-30, 50-200, 55-300, occasional 18-55 all WR. Probably most important is a low light zoom.
But, fps really matters. Getting shots of butterfly strokes is difficult, sometimes I long for more then 6fps.

11-17-2015, 05:46 PM   #6
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Buy the cheaper K50 and invest in a good, fast lens. Don't ask me which one, though
11-30-2015, 08:30 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the opinions. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a K 50 from Sammy's. For $250 after the rebate it seemed like a to good of a deal to pass up. I flipped flopped between the K 50 and K S1, but after two days of rain here the weather sealing won me over. Thanks again!
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