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01-01-2013, 07:01 AM   #1
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Overthinking the K-30, K-5/II

Hi guys,
I've decided I am going to buy a Pentax and upgrade from my old Fuji HS20

The question is which one. I've sifted this forum A LOT, and I think I'm back to where I started, with more details of the cameras buzzing in my head. I've long since planned my lens line-up (18-135mm, 55-300mm zoom, Samyang 14mm and Pentax Ltd 40mm Prime ), I'm just having a ridiculously hard time deciding which body I want.

I'm an enthusiast, mostly using my camera for HDR landscapes, evening seascapes, portraits, and the occasional special event.

Now, the main problem I'm having is whether to spend the extra money on better bodies or put it towards my lenses.
K-30 is cheaper than K-5 by $300
K-5 is cheaper than K-5ii by $200

I appreciate all of the upgrades between each model, I'm just not sure if it's worth spending the extra money as I'm not really a serious event photographer (maybe only 2000-3000 shots each year?) and am tossing up whether to buy the K-5ii now and hang on to it for many years, or get the k-30 and upgrade when it succumbs to digital rot, or just to sit in the middle with a k-5. I'm currently evenly divided between them and need some help from the people.

Thanks for your time, and when I get my camera, I'll be seeing you a lot more on these forums

Last edited by cpho; 01-01-2013 at 07:17 AM.
01-01-2013, 07:14 AM   #2
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With the kind of subjects you name, I would think first and foremost what lenses you need. Budget those and than look at the camera.
01-01-2013, 07:17 AM   #3
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If it was me I'd rather own a k-30 with better glass than a K5/K5II with less nice glass.
01-01-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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I agree with dmort and wpvv about concentrating on getting nice glass, but with the K-5 not costing much more than the K-30 at the moment, I think that as an 'enthusiast' photographer you will get more pleasure out of the K-5 without feeling the need to upgrade it for quite some time.
The K-5 is a well regarded camera and is still up there with the best of the competition in its class.
That said, if cost is an issue the K-30 is a great camera and you will not go far wrong buying that.

01-01-2013, 07:50 AM   #5
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I bought K-30 last summer. I use it.
Then three times I went to the store B&H to buy or K5ii, or K5iis, after been reading PentaxForums about them charms. Once even on Black Friday, when the price was $1026 for K5ii, or K5iis, but I did not buy them.
Because Pentax K-30 comfortably in my hands.
This convenience shattered all the imaginary charms of the other two cameras Pentax.

Hold in hands the cameras and choose your, cpho.

Last edited by Mr. A.S.; 01-01-2013 at 08:31 AM.
01-01-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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If you do HDR then consider that that K30 will only bracket 3 frames, while the K5 will bracket 5. Personally I do a lot of HDR and 3 frames just isn't enough for me.
01-01-2013, 08:12 AM   #7
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Nice lineup. I'll throw you a curveball and suggest a 16-45 instead of the 18-135
But! As stated, a K-30 with nicer lenses is a better deal than a K-5 with less nice (or fewer) lenses. They practically share the sensor. But Blackcloudbrew brings up an interesting point. The K-5 also saves more raw data, I think, so it might be better for landscape processing. I suggest you go to a store and check out these cameras, then decide once you have them in hands.
Or you can save even more money and buy a K-01! Ha!

tl;dr: I'm saying the choice is always complicated, but don't dwell on the details, lenses are probably more important. Unless there is a single feature that is a must for you. Other than that, you will be quite happy with any of the current Pentax lineup and will have a hard time distinguishing between the output of a K-5 and a K-30 (or even the K-01, though that one isn't a DSLR and doesn't have an OVF and PD AF)
01-01-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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What I just did.... k-5 at $800. Tamrom 17-50 2.8, $400. A great camera and a great lens for less cost than a K-5II.

01-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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That's a solid combo.
01-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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Just my $.02 since I am in the exact same situation but I decided to start with the k-30 with the 18-135 WR lens as a bundle. This will save me money on a WR lens that I feel I need for the WR. If I could find the K-5 in a bundle with the 18-135 then maybe I might change my mind. The K-5II(s) looks nice but I just feel it might be more than I need starting out. I figure, as others have said, that I can start with the K-30 and really find what I like and need. Then, maybe in a year or so, I might find the need to upgrade bodies or I might find I am perfectly content with what I have.
01-01-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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I'm a bit jealous of you guys that have options at different pricing, here we have K-30, K-5 and K-01 basically at the same price.
01-01-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmort Quote
If it was me I'd rather own a k-30 with better glass than a K5/K5II with less nice glass.
I debated whether to get the k30 the k5 or the k5II for MONTHS. I am a new Pentax user, switching from years of Canon film and an Canon Rebel dslr. I went with the k30 (blue) with the 18-55 kit lens and got an absolutely awesome DA 55mm F/1.4 SDM lens as an xmas gift to go with it. I have had both since xmas eve and I have been shooting non-stop. (I am literally driving everyone around me crazy! ) I made the decision to go with the cheaper body and the better lens because I believe that all digital cameras end up having to be replaced every 3-5 years or so anyway,(5 years is really pushing it in my opinion) but lenses last longer. A great body is not going to give great results without good glass anyway, so you will end up having to buy the better lenses in the near term in my opinion.

I am a hobbyist and shoot urban landscape shots, low light portraits, and still shots. I do not shoot sporting events and do not use my camera for video that often. I didn't see a big enough difference between the two bodies given the way I use my camera to justify the extra price of the K5II.
01-01-2013, 12:57 PM   #13
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I just purchased the K-30, having the same choices and being a hobbiest switching from film to didgital felt that I could use the difference in $$ to use towards lenses and software. I visited the local stores and accually liked the feel of the k-5II best. But the $450 extra was just to big of a leap and invested in a lens for the money. Also felt that the K-30 with its faster processor and very close IQ was a better "starting point" for me! As others have said, all these cameras are very high rated and give awesome IQ so you really can't go wrong! A frustrating thing with Pentax right now is their non competitive lens pricing and some of the third party lens offerings not coming in Pentax Mount.
So far very happy with my k-30 just learing it and having fun!
01-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #14
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For me personally I would get the K5 because of the top lcd screen. On my K7 I turn off the rear screen and only use the top screen for shot info.
Now with that in mind my wife has a K30 that I can't find fault with except for the missing lcd. And even that I could probably get used to not having it although there would be a long period of changing my behavior that has grown accustomed to looking at that lcd lol
01-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #15
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All are fine cameras and each offers compelling reasons. I suggest thinking things over completely about where you would like to go with your photography. Price can offer less resistance to making a purchase. However, if it turns out less than what you need, it can be the more expensive option. In other words, buy what is the best option for you, otherwise, don't complain that you made the wrong choice and then buying what you really want.

I have labored many times about bodies, lenses, tripods and each time I took the cheaper route, I ended spending much more money in the long run. Please do not ask me how much money I have spent buying lesser tripods only to buy the one I use now (hint - over 3 times what I would have spent if I had bought it originally)


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