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05-29-2016, 10:53 AM   #1
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K50 a good choice for me?

Hey guys, brand new to this forum, and photography in general. I'm looking for a good entry level DSLR, and I've been recommended a Pentax k50 by multiple people. I'll be shooting pictures of my college campus, cars, sports, just dabbling in a little bit of everything.

05-29-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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I had it, I loved it.

You can find some photographs I have taken with K-50 and different lenses, there is also a link in each description which will take you to the place where you can zoom 100%

https://www.facebook.com/thetgchan/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums


Best bang for the buck camera in my opinion.

Last edited by tgchan; 05-29-2016 at 11:12 AM.
05-29-2016, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by n0sn3b17 Quote
Hey guys, brand new to this forum, and photography in general. I'm looking for a good entry level DSLR, and I've been recommended a Pentax k50 by multiple people. I'll be shooting pictures of my college campus, cars, sports, just dabbling in a little bit of everything.
The answer - as always - is, "It depends".

First: Assuming you have the budget for the right lenses I suspect any camera made by anyone reputable will work for anyone with as wide of a range of options as you have - if you are ready to take a plunge and explore. The K-50 is a great basic camera with a lot of non-basic add-on's It has good image quality but a slightly lower MP count than some competing products - this is likely not important other than for bragging rights. With the K-50 you get weather sealing, interval timer features, and a flash that can control a remote flash wirelessly (optically) with complete exposure control. The camera feels good in the hands and isn't overly heavy or bulky - but it isn't small and compact either.

Second: Pentax lags Nikon and Canon in autofocus performance for fast moving objects - particularly in this class of body. The camera can absolutely perform well enough for most people but there may be times that the faster moving objects particularly headed towards you - are hard to get in focus quickly.

Third: Pentax has until recently not had a "Full Frame" sensor camera (with the larger 35mm film size sensor) and so they have a wealth of very fine lenses designed for the smaller APSC sensor. This coupled with a design philosophy that embraces high grade materials and compact designs gives you the Limited series of prime lenses which are hard to find parallels to in other camera brands. These other brands have great lenses but more of theirs are larger and less jewel like. As a tradeoff the DA series Limiteds also are a small amount slower than some competing lenses.

Lastly: This forum is fairly unusual in that the level of advice and discourse is more helpful and friendly and richly technical than many others.

Other Pentax Cameras to consider:

K-S1 - if your hands are small and compact size is more important than weather resistance and remote flash triggering from the on-board flash this is a better choice. The camera also sports a 20MP sensor that has the Anti-Alias (AA) filter simulated rather than always on - so this contributes to higher overall sharpness.

K-S2 - As above but weather resistant and less flashy styling.

K-3 - 24MP "Top of the line" grade camera that has dual SD slots, provisions for battery grip, etc. No longer actively produced but still available.

K-3II - as above plus the "Pixel Shift Super Resolution" mode for still subjects. This allows shots of relatively static subjects to be made with far higher color accuracy and resolution by taking multiple pictures while slightly shifting the sensor and using math to merge them.

K-30 - same as the K-50 with different styling. Older - hard to find new.

---------- Post added 05-29-16 at 02:09 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tgchan Quote
I had it, I loved it.
Ditto - I did later get a K-3.
05-29-2016, 11:17 AM   #4
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Consider a K-5 instead. They're five years old, inexpensive, and durable. The 14 bit color depth is the biggest difference.

05-29-2016, 11:32 AM   #5
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prices on new K-50 bodies are nearing ridiculous levels, especially for a new camera with a warranty... I shot with a K-50 for a year (still have it) before stepping up to a K-3...

I think K-50 is a perfect first DSLR: you can dumb it down to start and then add as much complexity as you want as you get more comfortable with it....
05-29-2016, 02:08 PM - 1 Like   #6
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get a k50 in a kit as you can get some good wr lenses to go with your new item. the price is low enough you will have money in your pocket to get other gear.
05-29-2016, 05:06 PM - 1 Like   #7
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You can see in my sig what i've got, including the Pentax K-30. Looking at newer aps-c cameras, like the K-3 line and the K-s2, I find it hard to see a reason to upgrade, for my uses. Granted, they would offer more features, the K-3 would have better speed and performance - but my K-30 is already so good, I don't think I need that upgrade for a while yet.

So far i'm nearing three years with it, close to 30,000 actuations. At the current price, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the K-50. If you want a flippy screen, mic input, then look at the K-s2, but otherwise I wouldn't bother with that.
05-29-2016, 06:55 PM   #8
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The K-50 is a great camera, and the current pricing is nothing to sneeze at in terms of value. This was my first dslr, and I still own and use it. The kit 18-55 DAL WR is no slouch for quality of images either. Yes, a bit limiting if you need more reach, or a wider angle, but you can actually get decent astrophotography shots with it and more.

Not the greatest example, but this was taken with the k-50 using the kit lens, by myself, and I'm an absolute amateur with bad eyesight:



Now if you get a well regarded optic for specialty uses (astrophotography/wide angle/etc...) some of the results will just plain shine:





Both of these images were taken with a crippled k-50 (aperture block failure... still perfectly usable with manual aperture ring lenses), using the Samyang 10mm f/2.8 manual prime.

I upgraded to the K-3II as I wanted the astrotracer ability and bigger battery, but had I not upgraded to a flagship model, I would have happily bought another K-50.

05-29-2016, 06:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
The kit 18-55 DAL WR is no slouch for quality of images either.
Some of my best shots are with the kit lens!
05-29-2016, 07:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by n0sn3b17 Quote
Hey guys, brand new to this forum, and photography in general. I'm looking for a good entry level DSLR, and I've been recommended a Pentax k50 by multiple people. I'll be shooting pictures of my college campus, cars, sports, just dabbling in a little bit of everything.
The K-50 is the perfect place to start. For the money, you get so much that it's hard to beat.

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05-29-2016, 08:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K-50 is the perfect place to start. For the money, you get so much that it's hard to beat.
Ditto. Absurdly low-priced right now. I saw it for $295.
05-29-2016, 08:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by n0sn3b17 Quote
Hey guys, brand new to this forum, and photography in general. I'm looking for a good entry level DSLR, and I've been recommended a Pentax k50 by multiple people. I'll be shooting pictures of my college campus, cars, sports, just dabbling in a little bit of everything.
Yes at 300 dollars you cant go wrong
05-29-2016, 08:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
You can see in my sig what i've got, including the Pentax K-30. Looking at newer aps-c cameras, like the K-3 line and the K-s2, I find it hard to see a reason to upgrade, for my uses. Granted, they would offer more features, the K-3 would have better speed and performance - but my K-30 is already so good, I don't think I need that upgrade for a while yet.

So far i'm nearing three years with it, close to 30,000 actuations. At the current price, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the K-50. If you want a flippy screen, mic input, then look at the K-s2, but otherwise I wouldn't bother with that.
Great cameras. I had a K-50 and loved it. The only reason I upgraded to the K-3 is that my dad (in his 70's) decided "we" had to have K-3's. I'm glad he did but the K-50 made great images and there was nothing I needed that the K-3 gave me. Plenty I like like dual SD cards but nothing NEEDED.

Superb images can be made on the K-50 - don't let that worry anyone.
05-30-2016, 08:58 AM   #14
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I bought a K-50 with the 18-135mm lens last December. My first DSLR. No regrets. Planning on upgrading to K-3 or similar in the future but am in no hurry as the K-50 has performed very well for me. So far.
05-30-2016, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by n0sn3b17 Quote
Hey guys, brand new to this forum, and photography in general. I'm looking for a good entry level DSLR, and I've been recommended a Pentax k50 by multiple people. I'll be shooting pictures of my college campus, cars, sports, just dabbling in a little bit of everything.
If going with a Pentax, the K-50 or K-S2 would be my pick for a beginner or intermediate level photographer.

The K-50 is cheaper, the K-S2 has a slightly larger pixel count (20 vs the K-50's 16), a flippy screen, and WIFI built in.

The larger 'flagship' bodies (K-5, K-5 II, K-3, K-3 II, or the new full frame K-1) are generally a better all around camera, but they come with added weight and size. But they are also a bit more rugged too so it is a tradeoff.

On a tight budget I'd go with a K-50, 18-135mm WR, and an HD 55-300 WR
On a slightly larger budget, I'd upgrade to the K-S2 and same lenses
On a larger budget from that, I'd keep the K-S2 and start looking at even better lenses.

After you've exhausted the features of your camera body, and only then, I'd upgrade to a higher end model.

Really, the limiting factor at this point is going to be lens and light quality. You can buy the former, you must learn to make use of and potentially shape the other.

Prime (a lens with a single focal length) lenses are generally sharper and lighter than Zooms but you are 'stuck' with a single focal length. On the forum, you'll find those who appreciate Primes more than Zooms and some (like me) who are the opposite. It is a personal choice.

For the time being, I'd just take a camera and a kit lens and go learn photography fundamentals by both trial and error and asking questions (both us and google). -- I bring this up since we live in a society that researches technical specs of our gadgetry to no end but often fails to research technique on using said gadgets. And photography is one where you have the capability to be in control of what the final outcome is.. your photograph. So, please, don't just stop at buying a fancy camera and lens and then expecting the camera to do the work (not that I think YOU personally are going to do this; just beginners in general) -- take a little time to understand proper exposure, composition, and the general fundamentals of photography.

---------- Post added 05-30-16 at 12:34 PM ----------

oh and don't buy that Canon Rebel XTi that dude is trying to sell you regardless of what you do -- its an ancient relic. If you decide upon a Canon, go with a newer body -- a T3i or a T4i would be a decent entry level. Skip the T3, T4, or T5 without the 'i' at the end.

One other aspect that hasn't been mentioned -- once decided upon a brand, you are somewhat fixing yourself to that particular brand's products. More specifically, Canon has a proprietary lens mount (camera body only accepts lenses made for it specifically -- EF mount), Nikon has their own (F mount), and Pentax has their own too (K mount).

So you will need to buy Canon EF or EF-S lenses for your Canon body, or Nikon F mount lenses for your Nikon body, or Pentax K mount lenses for your Pentax body. There are 3rd parties that make lenses too so you would buy (as example) a Sigma 18-35mm in EF mount for Canon or a Sigma 18-35mm in K mount for Pentax. You can't use the EF mount lenses on the Pentax and vice versa.

So maybe consider that too.. before you get too deep down the rabbit hole.

Pentax is going to give you the best bang for your buck and have the superior weather sealing. Canon and Nikon have deeper modern lens support currently if you have deeper pockets for the thousand dollar glass.
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