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08-25-2011, 02:43 AM   #1
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Buying a Pentax


So I'm currently in a dilemma right now. I am considering purchasing a Pentax DSLR for my father. I currently own a Km so I know the benefits and drawbacks of the system. I'm not really considering Nikon or Canon as I would like to give him the ability to use my lenses. The only other system I am considering is the m4/3 for the size benefits.

So my problem is the choices I have are
Kx 18-55 and 55-300 for $730
Kr 18-55 $650
K7 18-55WR $1099
K5 Body only for $1299

all in CDN and brand new. I'm not looking for used as it is a present. So my problem is specs wise the Kr and Kx does not seem that different. MP wise, and all Is the price differece worth it? As for the K7 is the sensor performance and iso at 1600 or 3200 on par or atleast useable? I know it is same as the K20D. which is a Samsung sensor. Will it perform like my Km at those iso? I know the Kx at 1600 is completely useable whereas my Km 1600 produces lots of grain which forces at limit for me at iso 800.

As for the K5 did they fix the Sensor stain issue from the first release? Or is that still something to worry about?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

08-25-2011, 02:58 AM   #2
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K-r is a decent step ahead of the K-x, particularly with the illuminated focus confirmation points in the viewfinder and extra high ISO headroom. The K-7 will struggle at ISO 3200 whereas the K-r's will be relatively clean. The K-m is slightly noisier than the K20D/K-7 but not by much. The K-5 is the best of the lot by far, and the sensor stain issue has been rectified (so buy with confidence )

Enjoy making your decision.
08-25-2011, 03:16 AM   #3
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I own the K-x and the K-5, and honestly think the K-x has 95% of the image quality of the K-5. If you are on a budget then I'd highly recommend the K-x or K-r with a 18-55 and 55-300. With the K-5 it's not so much the improved IQ as the improved features and controls of the body and software you get for the money. I think a first time user of a DSLR would be very happy with a K-x/r, I certainly was anyway.
08-25-2011, 03:52 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I own the K-x and the K-5, and honestly think the K-x has 95% of the image quality of the K-5

08-25-2011, 04:05 AM   #5
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I have used the Km extensively and getting the K5 was a huge jump. I debated for a while about getting the Kr but decided I did not want to move to another beginner camera even though the higher iso shooting would be better. So I went with the K5.

Here is another take on it: Even though this is a present for your dad, unless your dad lives far away, if he is going to borrow your lenses, you will get plenty of chances to 'borrow' his k5

Even though my K5 had sensor stains and had to be returned, it did not show in my pictures. My problems with the K5 is during sports shooting when it will freeze and some shutter problems. But plenty of people have no problems with their K5.
08-25-2011, 04:09 AM   #6
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Well, if high-iso is really a drawback for the K7, then maybe you can factor in some fast lens for the price difference...
And honestly, the K7 is already a good performer at 1600 iso, when you know what you do (and I went through nearly the whole K line myself: K10, K20, K7, Kx and K5, so I know their strengths and weaknesses). With Lightroom 3 (at such a low price right now!), you gain easily one stop in sensitivity...

Anyway, for the same price, I'd rather have a K7+18-55WR+50/1.4 (or whatever!) combo than a K5 body only, myself... Or money is not a problem, and then I'd say go for the K5 + 18-135 ;-)
08-25-2011, 04:38 AM   #7
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High ISO isn't a strong drawback but it would definitely come in handy to be able to use 1600 or even 3200 without worry. I currently have the M50 1.4 and the DA35 2.4 it still seems to me that at 800iso there are still some situation where I would like to be able to use iso 1600.

As for the KR image quality wise is there any difference as Ash mentioned illuminated focus dots and expanded iso to 25600 or something like that. But at iso 3200 or even 6400 is there a lot less noise in the Kr compared to the Kx?

And as for the K5 it would definitely have to be body only that already pushing my budget. Just that the reviews make it sound so much better than the rest of the line up.

My inclination for the K7 is the weather sealing. However, my concern is the sensor performance as my Km is pretty weak at +800iso and the K7 sensor is pretty much the same generation as the Km. Does the K7 come with a focusing screen already on the body? As I have many MF lenses and on my Km it's basically eye determination for focus. Or does the focusing screen have to be purchased seperately?
08-25-2011, 04:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by epqwerty Quote
Kx 18-55 and 55-300 for $730
At that price, I think it's the best package by far. The K-x is pretty darn good, and a good entry to the world of DSLRs for sure, and you're getting a 55-300 for 80$, essentially, if you compare with the K-r price.

08-25-2011, 05:29 AM   #9
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One of the things I've been kicking myself over is going K-x rather than K-r. Don't get me wrong, I love my K-x, but the K-r has enough extra goodies about it to warrant choosing it over the other if given the choice.

(then again, I paid under $500 for my K-x with the kit lens included so I can't complain TOO much)
08-25-2011, 06:04 AM   #10

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What does your Father need? Does he actually want a DSLR?

You're worrying about the specs, but he'll be using it.

Is he already into photography? What camera does he currently use? What does he shoot?

Get the answers and they should guide you towards the best choice.
08-25-2011, 06:32 AM   #11

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Well I think that K-r has some very nice futures over K-x that are worthwile the extra bugs. (bigger screen, AF system is different with showing AF points).

Using K-7 over iso 800 is asking for some compromises, but with good lenses you still can have some nice images. If you want to use high iso-settings often, then I wouldn't buy K-7.
08-25-2011, 07:46 AM   #12
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Is your dad an outdoors all-weather kind of guy that would appreciate a weathersealed K-7? That would be the only valid reason to get him a K-7 or K-5.

Will he like changing lenses and lugging extra lenses around? If so, get him the 2 lens K-x kit.

08-26-2011, 03:22 PM   #13
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Yes I am more geared towards the specs as it is an investment. Don't really want to upgrade the body every year. Hence why I am looking at the specs in more detail. As for camera, he is currently using my Km. As for shooting it will be mostly vacationing stuff, etc. Nothing pro no studio type of things. Just vacation and family get together.

Does he need a DSLR, that is still up for debate. As I mentioned in the opening post. I'm not ruling out the m4/3 system. Also not ruling out the Q but since sample have not been seen yet I don't want to buy early and find out it doesn't live up to the hype. But definitely not going P&S or megazoom route. I'm hesitant against m4/3 as i'd have to get a different set of lenses not too sure how the kit lens handles indoor types of pictures. The Q with it's 1.9 should do alright I would hope but then again no samples so I can't justify the $799 price tag or the $299 zoom.

As for weather sealing, it is not really a necessity but it would be a really nice feature for let say your outside and it starts raining and you still want to take some pictures. Again not a necessity but nice to have. I've been stuck in last years Vancouver sudden snow storm and had to put away my Km since its not weather sealed and all. Missed a lot of good picture moments.

As for extra lenses. the 2 kit seems like the best combo as the 18-250 from Pentax is discontinued. 18-135 WR is too expensive for me. 16-70 pretty pricey. Only thing left is the Sigma and Tamron. Which are still over $400. But for sure primes are out of the question for him. Too much to carry around. He took my DA35 2.4 and 70-300 APO to China for vacation didn't use the DA35 at all. So it will have to be zooms and price point wise the 2 kit is the best choice.

HIs opinion after the trip was 55 was too short for some shots and the gap between 55-70 was bad. I think either Sigma or Tamron makes a 28-75 2.8 or something like that but again I think price is +$500. So even if I get body only for the Kx $549 I have to add $500 which puts me in K7 territory. And for that price I'm more inclined for a WR K7 kit then a Kx with a tamron. Atleast I'd be less worried about weather damage on it.
08-26-2011, 08:48 PM   #14
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What is the experience of your father with photography? Does he have a SLR camera (or had one) ?

If this camera will be his first SLR, I would go for the K-r. A simple entry level SLR which is quit easy to use. If your father has previous SLR experience, he may prefer the K-7. (This is what I would do for my father.)

Both the K-r and K-7 are good choice. The K-r has excellent IQ incl. at high ISO. The K-7 is WR, has more controls incl. dual dials, a better viewfinder, the body is sturdy and the handling is superb. IMHO, if you do not need high ISO, the K-7 is the better value for money.

In any case, do not forget to add a good quality card (eg Sandiosk Extreme III 8 Gb) and a carry bag (eg toploader bag). The camera is no use without card and your father might not take it out without a bag.

Hope that the comment will help...
08-28-2011, 02:49 PM   #15
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I'll separate from the pack (haha) -- I'd go for the Kx if it's still available new. The Kx 2-lens kit is what I bought, I'm an avid amateur photographer, and I haven't regretted it. That 55-300mm lens is NICE, and probably the lens that spends the most time on my camera. In the future, I might upgrade to a Kr body, but I'm really in no hurry as the Kx is still doing fine for me.

Good luck with your decision!

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