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10-09-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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Figuring out best way forward.

Hi folks,

Time for me to pick your brains.

I currently use a K200D and love it to bit except for just one really noticeable issue.. ISO range.. or to be frank in this day and age.. lack there-of.

While I can hand-hold to some slightly crazy slow shutter speeds it's, obviously, always better to get faster. So in combination with looking out for some updated glass I figure it's time to upgrade/suppliment. For noise reasons I try not to shoot above 400 and 1600 is definite desperation times.

The choices as I see it :-


Now budget is tight so I'm verging towards a K-x/r as it gives nice wide ISO settings but then I lose weathersealing which is handy (although by retaining the K200D I don't lose that). The K-30 is obviously new so not going to be as cheap while the K-5 ought to drop in price as the II comes on stream.

Thoughts on choices/feedback/comments appreciated.

10-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #2
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I had the K200 but due to carelessness/haste it was dropped onto a cement floor and damaged enough that repairs would have cost more than the camera was worth. At my local camera shop I had a choice of a Kr (new/old stock) or the K-30. I spent the extra $200 and went with the K-30. My initial impression, after a week of reading the manual and playing around with the settings, is that I made a good choice. Right away the expanded ISO range is a great improvement over the K200 as are some of the other features. You might want to try the camera comparison feature on this site (Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-5 vs. Pentax K-30 vs. Pentax K-01 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - which gives you a good side by side comparison of the different models. I found it quite useful when comparing the Kr and K-30.

10-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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My two cents, and like you, those two cents mattered! (I work in the non-profit sector, so am not flush with cash).

I've had a K-X for two years now, and must say I've been quite surprised (pleasantly) with the quality of shots I get, especially with good glass. And you can get a KX (or KR) for really great prices these days.

I've thought a few times about selling it and scrimping and saving for a K-30 (and I would love that camera, I have no doubt), but then I think about why, if I'm happy with what I have? I instead invested my money in a Tamron 17-50 (great lens), and a Pentax 40 ltd. (I also have a Super-Tak 55 1.8 and a Komine Vivitar 135 from pawn shops or thrift shops). I don't really plan on printing out a billboard, so I've been very happy.

I belong to a photo club, and they have annual competitions. Most have Canon or Nikon full-frames, big, expensive and no doubt great cameras. Yet with my little old K-X I won in the best portrait and travel categories. Bragging rights of course, but no one scoffs at my Pentax at that club. I won't let them - the KX and the 40 ltd is by far a better street camera then their behemoths. I've had shots published too.

So, if I had the cash, I'd love a K-30 or K-5. But I don't. I have a K-X, and I bought some used lenses. And it gets me thinking...for literally decades, I was happy with my Contax 139 and one lens (granted, it was a Zeiss 35mm), and a Pentax K-1000 and a SMC 50 1.7. I'm bad for Pentax because I'm not a constant upgrader, but really, do we have to constantly do this? I see what other photographers do, and I wish I had their moolah!

If you are really tight for the cash, I'd get a used K-X or K-R, and invest in lenses. I'd love to have the full line of limiteds, and I dare say that would improve my photography more than a K5.

10-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #4
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I have a K-x and a K-5 and have used both extensively. I love both cameras. Both give great quality pictures, I can't tell them apart in prints 20cmx30cm. Possibly the K-5 might have a slight edge in high ISO quality, though I'm not sure I'd notice it without knowing.

I bought the K-5 not for image quality but for handling:

-more dedicated buttons and wheels=less delving in menus=less pics missed
-weather sealing (good to have even if I don't take advantage of it that often)
-very quiet shutter (no deal breaker but nice anyway)
-better dust removal (it really works)
-but ABOVE ALL (sorry for shouting), better viewfinder!!! That's the one big letdown with the K-x: in bright light it's impossible to read the data in the viewfinder, which is very annoying. And also the K-5's finder is noticeably bigger and brighter.

So if you can spend the extra bucks I'd recommend the K-5. If not I think you'd be happy with a K-x too.

10-09-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
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Its not that hard

Its a question of figuring your needs/wants/what you cant live without.

Your needs: high iso shooting. Probably compared to an older camera any of your choices would be a big step-up.

Your wants: K5. Nice camera. From the way you posted your budget means its likely between the others

What you cant live without. You may need to think about this a lot.
Kx- AF points not visible.
Kr-larger LCD screen with much better resolution and an AF-assist light but no dual wheel controls
K30-obviously more expensive. Has a real Penta-Prism. Dual wheels. Would be most like your current camera outside of the K5.

The Kr would be fine but I would have a hard time after getting used to the conveniences of a lot of external control on the body to switch like that...For me it would have been between K30 and a used K5.

best of luck!
10-10-2012, 04:59 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks folks - be nice to actually try the K-r see how I coped with it. I KNOW I'd love both the K-30 and k-5.

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