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10-31-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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Yet Another Which Camera Question, LOL...

I've been thinking a lot about adding a second WR body to my kit. The old *ist that my one teacher got for me is going to my young niece. She's getting very seriously into photography and I want to encourage that. She's already got a P3 but I want her to have the option of digital too as much as she is wanting to shoot. She's spending way too much on film and developing. It's too hard on her allowance and she's not quite old enough yet to do much by way of babysitting et all. The *ist is not really up to the task of professional shooting particularly under the conditions which I might find myself so it really doesn't make a very good 2nd body. I thought about it and I've decided she's getting it with a couple of Sears K lenses for Christmas.

I'm using the K-x for work now but I'm admittedly putting a lot of stress on that camera expecting it to perform in conditions sometimes that are not ideal for it. I don't currently do as much outdoor shooting as inside but that's because I don't really feel I can take the K-x to the places I'm getting asked to do outdoor work in sometimes, like the beaches, the parks, and the nature sanctuaries. I have to constantly fight a lot of dust and sand here as it is just doing shots local to my home. Even inside my house there's dirt and dust always. There's a lot of construction in the area and I don't live in an airtight house besides. I do keep my stuff in bags, but still I have to clean my cameras and lenses a lot. Plus it's hot most of the time and more often not humid. Rains a lot during certain times of the year so a WR body and at least one or two WR lenses is something I am eventually going to need. It's not really a luxury. It's a necessity. Ideally I'd like to have the K-30 and the 18-135mm because I do a lot of portrait shooting but likely I'll have to settle for an 18-55 WR kit lens for a while. That 18-135 is rather out of my reach....

My heart says K-30 and 18-135mm but I don't know that with my finances being what they are that combo is a very logical choice. I'd be using my K-x to death saving up for that. I'm looking at the used K-7's and the K-5's I see listed on the Marketplace and elsewhere and thinking I'd likely get there a lot faster if maybe I settled for one of those instead. I could probably have $350-450 saved by April maybe whereas if I go the K-30 route I could be talking another year at least and in the meantime I'd have to continue turning down any job that involves shooting at the beach which isn't too cool as the whole beach lifestyle thing is pretty big here.

I've actually had to turn down like 3 paid and 2 swap jobs since I started doing pro work doing engagement and model pics because the client really wanted to go to the beach and maybe get wet and I didn't really feel I could oblige. That was nearly the cost of a K30 body right there so it's really had me thinking hard about getting a WR body of some sort.

I've seen K-7's for like $350, K-5's for about $450-650, sometimes with a WR kit lens, sometimes not but what I'm wondering is would a K-7 be a decent choice or should I hold out and extra couple of months and get a K-5 instead? Is the K-7's weather sealing as tough as K-5's? A K-7 would be more affordable but I'm thinking the K-5 might be better if so considering it's going to be my main body for doing my job. Eventually I'm thinking a used K-7 or K-5 and my K-x for backup. I'd really love to have a K-30 but I just don't know if it';s worth waiting that long for...

I'm not getting rid of my K-x. It may not always be up to the task of being the work camera but I dearly love that camera and will never part with it until it dies on me and even then I'd likely use it as a paperweight or something but I'd like to have something more suited to pro work by June of next year. I'm putting some serious wear and tear on the K-x and that's probably not the best thing to be doing if I want it to live on for as long as possible.

I don't shoot particularly high ISO. 800 is about as high as I ever like to go. I don't shoot weddings just engagement portraits, head shots, family stuff, some boudoir. But I do anticipate shooting a lot more in the rain, at the beaches, in the sanctuaries, at theme parks, in playgrounds, in generally crappy weather. I'm shooting animals, particularly birds, cats, dogs, pets of all kinds and I'm always shooting babies and little kids. I'm thinking a tougher first body would not be a bad thing at all. I do worry about my K-x sometimes. I'm not exactly Ms Graceful and I've nearly dunked it or dropped it a few times. now. Been lucky so far but I worry when I have to shoot near water or somewhere where I could get bumped and drop it. I nearly dropped it (and me too, lol) in a pool though last week so...

I've been sitting here really debating which. K-7 seems like it would be less expensive than a K-5 but can it do the job as well? Is it as WR? I could save myself the cost of a used WR lens if I go K-7 vs K-5 maybe. Maybe even grab the 18-135mm or something similar used down the road if I don't go for the long wait and the K-30. I'm not exactly sure what my options are there. 18-55 I know comes WR, and that 18-135, but what else might do me in terms of WR lenses is just not something I'm not sure of.

I'm not sure what I can really afford. $300 plus WR lenses are just beyond my budget really. Ideally I'd like to be able to hit the 18-300mm range I have covered now only in WR lenses but I'm not sure that's affordable or even possible. I might pick up a lot more work with a WR body though so I'm thinking that and a WR kit lens would be practical. Couple, three years down the road I do mean to have that WR 18-135mm but I probably wouldn't be able to manage that till then.

Thoughts? I guess what I'm asking is those of you who've had experience with both how do you think they'd stack up in terms of the advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using them for work? Do I really need a K-5 or would a K-7 do the job just fine? Bear in mind that I'm shooting pro with my K-x now...


Last edited by magkelly; 10-31-2012 at 11:07 AM.
10-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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I dont know your budget but if I were you Id go for the K-5 with 50-135. The K-7 is amazing but the ONLY thing I hate about it is the noise it produces. Mid day it is fine, but even shooting sunsets at ISO200 produces some noise in the shadows (couples like to be photographed at sunset ). So yea, if you could find a K-5 for $200 more i think thats better choice in my opinion. The sealing is great. I've shot in mild rain before and I've shot in heavy snow and the camera performed wonderfully. I dont imagine the K-5 would be less sealed. As far as lens, I dont know how good the 18-135 would be fore portraits. I would go the extra mile and get 50-135. Its AMAZING. I am talking about rendering, bokeh, contrast, everything. Anyways, my 2 cents.
10-31-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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There is practically no difference between the K-7 and K-5 bodies, though the K-5 does weigh 10g less.

The big differences are the sensor, 14-bit RAW, high-ISO performance, SAFOX IX+ vs SAFOX VIII+, Full HD video, and 5 programable USER settings vs 1 for the K-7.

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-5 vs. Pentax K-7 vs. Pentax K-30 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com
10-31-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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If you don't shoot higher than ISO 800, then the K-7 would do a great job for you. I have shot jpegs all the way up to 3200 and just turned up the noise reduction. It is a WR body.

10-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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If you're going to be shooting mostly lower ISO stills, you might even consider a K20D. Same sensor as the K7 (but without video), and reportedly slightly better IQ, altho I have no experience with either. WR, of course, and a bit bulkier & heavier package than the K7. Not sure if AF is the same or not.
10-31-2012, 12:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
If you're going to be shooting mostly lower ISO stills, you might even consider a K20D. Same sensor as the K7 (but without video), and reportedly slightly better IQ, altho I have no experience with either. WR, of course, and a bit bulkier & heavier package than the K7. Not sure if AF is the same or not.
Why speculate, just look it up.

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-5 vs. Pentax K-7 vs. Pentax K20D - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

The K-20D has SAFOX VIII AF and it lacks an AF assist lamp. Max shutter speed is 1/4000 vs 1/8000 for the K-7 & K-5. The viewfinder is only 95% and the rear lcd smaller and lower resolution. Exposure compensation is only +-3 vs +-5 for the K-7 & K-5, and the buffer is much smaller.

Last edited by boriscleto; 10-31-2012 at 12:06 PM.
10-31-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thanks, that link was very helpful. I didn't realize the K20D had a 14.6 sensor actually. Thought it was less than that, but I'm looking at the specs and thinking it's a bit too slow for my work. Plus there is no auto mode apparently which I don't want. I don't use auto mode much but it's still nice to have it for when I run into a big bird or other fast subject and don't have as much time to fiddle around. Either the K-7 or the K-5 would probably do me. Lighter is always better for me but I'm not a person who cares much about shutter noise. The K-x isn't exactly quiet supposedly but I really don't notice that much at all.

I guess I'll start watching the ads more seriously, see if I can't get at least $450-500 banked in the next few months. I'll try to pick up a body first I guess, hopefully with a WR 18-55 at least, by April, then look out for a WR portrait lens of some sort later in the year. In terms of used WR lenses what is out there and readily available that doesn't cost $300 plus? So far I know about the kit lens, the 18-135mm, and now the 50-135. Anything else out there that I might be able to pick up for a reasonable sum? That doesn't mean over about $250. You start getting into more than that I will end up eating nothing but ramen and cereal for months, laugh.

I'm looking at Spring, but it could be earlier though. I've still got my Taks and a few more lenses up on CL locally. If I sell them before Christmas I just might pick up a K-5/K-7 body before April. You never know. So far they're not really getting much attention, but that could change come Nov, Dec. Someone out there might see them and decide they'd make a great Christmas gift.... :P
10-31-2012, 01:04 PM   #8
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The K-5 and DA 18-135 both show up used, keep your eyes open and you can shave a couple hundred off new prices, easily. This combo is my default walkaround now - unless I'm specifically after birds or something where extra reach is required.

Set up some keywords in the Marketplace and you can keep an eye on prices via email notices.

10-31-2012, 01:18 PM   #9
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This is $200 new? This plus a WR 18-55 just might do me for starters. Range is a bit short for my liking for a long zoom but that's pretty reasonable and if it's $200 new than it's got to be less than that used. The 18-150 is running $465 new. That's an ideal range but it's a bit rich for me. If that 50-135 mentioned above is the Pentax one on Amazon that's way, way out of my range. (I'd have to play and actually win the lotto, lol...)

I don't see one that's WR besides? I have some very decent lenses for shooting indoors. I just need to be able to carry that range outside and have it be WR. I shoot most at about 50mm, then 75-150mm and a lot probably at 300mm. But mostly for work anything from say 50-150 would do. So long as I've got at least one good lens in that range that's WR I could manage with that. Longer would be great but it's not an essential for right now. I'm thinking the WR 18-55 and WR 50-200 would be pretty okay as a combo. I could probably get them both used for under $250, no?

Amazon.com: Pentax 21870 DA 50-200mm F/4-5.6 AL Weather Resistant Lens: Camera & Photo

About the pool thing, actually that was kind of funny in retrospect though I was not amused at the time. I was sitting out by the park pool on a cloudy day attempting to get some fresh air, and hopefully get rid of my bad arsed lingering sinus infection when one of the ladies in the park offered me $25 to take a few shots of her in her new bathing suit for her Facebook page. Being as I was pretty broke and really needed the $25 I said "Okay..." and picked up my camera.

About 10 shots later she decided she was going to strike a bathing beauty pose by the pool stairs so I went over towards them. I slipped on the side of the pool, went down hard. Fortunately the K-x came down in my rather well padded lap and not in the pool! Not a scratch on it, thank goodness. (Me, I ended up with a bruise the size of Texas in a truly lovely place, and a few more on my legs and stuff after....) But I landed about 9 inches from the edge of the pool! I was THISCLOSE to finding out whether or not my pretty DSLR actually was at all weather resistant. That's why I've been thinking a lot harder about getting a WR body of late.

I'm just not that physically coordinated anymore. Chronic illness thing is taking it's toll on my ears. My balance is just off sometimes. I'm turning into a major klutz. Dropping things is getting more frequent and I've taken a few good tumbles of late, fortunately not usually with a camera in my hand, but you'd definitely never know that I once seriously took ballet watching me move lately. Godzilla is more graceful....

Last edited by magkelly; 10-31-2012 at 01:46 PM.
10-31-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Thanks, that link was very helpful. I didn't realize the K20D had a 14.6 sensor actually. Thought it was less than that, but I'm looking at the specs and thinking it's a bit too slow for my work. Plus there is no auto mode apparently which I don't want. I don't use auto mode much but it's still nice to have it for when I run into a big bird or other fast subject and don't have as much time to fiddle around. Either the K-7 or the K-5 would probably do me. Lighter is always better for me but I'm not a person who cares much about shutter noise. The K-x isn't exactly quiet supposedly but I really don't notice that much at all.

I guess I'll start watching the ads more seriously, see if I can't get at least $450-500 banked in the next few months. I'll try to pick up a body first I guess, hopefully with a WR 18-55 at least, by April, then look out for a WR portrait lens of some sort later in the year. In terms of used WR lenses what is out there and readily available that doesn't cost $300 plus? So far I know about the kit lens, the 18-135mm, and now the 50-135. Anything else out there that I might be able to pick up for a reasonable sum? That doesn't mean over about $250. You start getting into more than that I will end up eating nothing but ramen and cereal for months, laugh.

I'm looking at Spring, but it could be earlier though. I've still got my Taks and a few more lenses up on CL locally. If I sell them before Christmas I just might pick up a K-5/K-7 body before April. You never know. So far they're not really getting much attention, but that could change come Nov, Dec. Someone out there might see them and decide they'd make a great Christmas gift.... :P
WR lenses less than $300? The 18-55 and the 50-200. The 18-135 is over $400. DA* lenses will all be over $500 and the only other WR lens is the D FA 100 macro which is over $500.
10-31-2012, 01:24 PM   #11
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the k20d has a auto mode. It is the green mode.
10-31-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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That's not something I want to fuss with while I am working. For my own use, sure, when I've got time. I do that with the K-x and my old lenses all the time when I am shooting for myself, but clients I seldom use MF lenses or fuss too much otherwise. They don't want to sit there while I mess around with green mode, the filters et all. I don't really want to depend upon camera that's that old besides. K20D you'd be talking about a used camera that's likely seen a lot of use and that's a fair bit older than most K-7's or K-5's. It's very good camera, but it's a bit too old for what I need. If I was just doing hobby stuff I'd say yeah, but not for pro shooting. It's a bit too outdated now for the abuse I'd be offering it. I think a K-7 would be about the oldest camera I'd want to go for and even then I'd want a fairly low shutter count because of having to use it so much for work. A camera with a higher count just wouldn't be very practical.
10-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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For paid work, I think I'd be tempted to go the new route, and go for a K30 or K5 (if you can find one new) with Pentax's two year extended warranty and the 18-55 WR for starters. I wish Pentax would make more of a budget DSLR that still has WR. Good luck with your decision.
10-31-2012, 02:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sb in ak Quote
For paid work, I think I'd be tempted to go the new route, and go for a K30 or K5 (if you can find one new) with Pentax's two year extended warranty and the 18-55 WR for starters. I wish Pentax would make more of a budget DSLR that still has WR. Good luck with your decision.
Well, they do, that would be the K-30 which is actually not expensive at all when you compare it to some cameras with it's abilities. It's just that my budget tends to be a lot lower than most people's when it comes to upgrading and/or replacing things. If I make 16K a year it's a very good year so buying the perfect $1200 WR kit it's just a bit too much for me. But the lack of WR is holding me back a bit so I'm just going to have to figure out a way to make it happen. Don't get me wrong I can do a lot with my K-x, more than most people might think given it is an entry level DSLR, but I just can't take it to the beach or risk using it in the rain and there are surprisingly quite a few people here who seem to think it's cool to have their engagement/wanna be model shots done at the ocean's edge and/or in the rain.

I'm doing some boudoir work for a woman in Nov and she's already talking about wanting to do some wet t-shirt and bikini shots at the beach behind her condo. (She's probably going to freeze her boobs off given the recent change in the weather, unless it warms back up a lot again by then, but that's her call to make...) I'm looking into the legal logistics as I type but I'm not exactly crazy about using my K-x for it given my misadventures by the pool.

She's offering me a nice sum though and I do have to get part of November's and December's rent in the bank. I don't have much else scheduled yet unfortunately. I may just have to go there and pray I don't drop my K-x and get it wet. I really wish someone made an affordable rubber body armor for the K-x but I actually haven't seen one as yet. I just got asked to do a barter job too, a CD cover for a local band and they wanted rain or a good facsimile thereof. I'm going to do it because I really want it for my portfolio but it's going to be a bit tricky getting them wet and not me and my camera. I can't afford to be too picky though about not taking jobs. Risk to gear or not I need the work, end of subject.

Last edited by magkelly; 10-31-2012 at 03:02 PM.
10-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Well, they do, that would be the K-30 which is actually not expensive at all when you compare it to some cameras with it's abilities. It's just that my budget tends to be a lot lower than most people's when it comes to upgrading and/or replacing things. If I make 16K a year it's a very good year so buying the perfect $1200 WR kit it's just a bit too much for me. But the lack of WR is holding me back a bit so I'm just going to have to figure out a way to make it happen. Don't get me wrong I can do a lot with my K-x, more than most people might think given it is an entry level DSLR, but I just can't take it to the beach or risk using it in the rain and there are surprisingly quite a few people here who seem to think it's cool to have their engagement/wanna be model shots done at the ocean's edge and/or in the rain.

I'm doing some boudoir work for a woman in Nov and she's already talking about wanting to do some wet t-shirt and bikini shots at the beach behind her condo. (She's probably going to freeze her boobs off given the recent change in the weather, unless it warms back up a lot again by then, but that's her call to make...) I'm looking into the legal logistics as I type but I'm not exactly crazy about using my K-x for it given my misadventures by the pool.

She's offering me a nice sum though and I do have to get November's rent in the bank. I don't have much else scheduled yet unfortunately. I may just have to go there and pray I don't drop my K-x and get it wet. I really wish someone made an affordable rubber body armor for the K-x but I actually haven't seen one as yet....
I hear you there. I work as a part time graphic designer currently for a small town newspaper, and don't make a lot. Fortunately, I was able to move back in with the parents and this has allowed me to start building a camera and lens collection and some photo skills, and eventually I hope to be able to sell a few prints at the holiday bazaars or local art galleries.

That sounds like a predicament though. I think I'd be tempted to see if I could get a loan and then get what I need to do the gigs (within reason of course). I'd hate to have to turn down work, as it seems like word of mouth is an important way of drumming up more business. But I don't know the photo business that well though.
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