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06-28-2013, 04:50 PM   #1
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Entry level camera

Hi All

I'm finally going to replace my ME Super with a DSLR and was looking for advice. I would like to start used to get my feet wet. I have a few lenses (mostly Sigma) and would like to keep them for use with the new camera. I was thinking K-r or K-x but know almost nothing about digital cameras.

Thanks in advance

06-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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Afternoon and welcome to the Forum! I do like your approach of starting slow, and used equipment is certainly a good approach. I have been acquiring old used lenses (K, M and As) myself. Bodies, I think - you do need to take a slightly different approach.

First, I would think you need to know what the current market is for new entry level. The K30 is being replaced by the K50 and K500, so they have been priced to clear out the inventory. There was a post yesterday, I think for the K30 and DA 18-55WR for $499. If it is indeed the WR lens - it goes for $200 (~$120 on ebay used), leaving the body at essentially $300 - virtually no downside. You are probably going to keep the kit lens since its sealed with auto focus (nice to have for the outdoor rain storm). You should always be able to get at least $200 for the K30 body at a minimum, so the maximum you have at risk is about $100 +/-. Granted this all depends on what level of interest you have in the lens.

So, the new camera route would serve as the price ceiling. The Kr and Kx are wonderful cameras. I will say that the K30 essentially uses the same sensor as the K5/K5II/K5IIs, K-01, K50/K500. It will perform much better than the Kr/Kx sensor.

So, I took a couple of minutes and went to ebay to see what a Kr/Kx sold for over the last couple of weeks (completed sales). They came in 2 varieties - with a lens and without. Also, the ones with a lens were mostly the kit AL lens that I will say is worth $50, so to be able to compare apples to apples.
  • Kr - body only - $237
  • Kr - body with 18-55 AL lens - 275, 349, 350, 395, 450, 500, 549 (and I stopped there)
  • Kx - body with 18-55 AL lens - 190, 202, 255, 265, 275, 285, 288, 291, 299, 314, 325, 345, 349, 366, 444
  • Anything over $500 - you would do better buying the K30 on sale above.
  • If you are interested in a sealed weather resistant lens, then anything over the $300 mark, you would do better buying the K30 on sale above.
dSLR bodies are essentially hand held computers. You can ask about how they have been taken care of, and how many shutter activations they have had (less is better with an expected lifetime of about 100K). evilbay is somewhat of a crapshoot (never bought a body, but have purchased lenses that were fine). Craigslist is another avenue. Probably the best is the marketplace here on the forum (perhaps putting up a "wanted" post). Folks here tend to take care of their equipment. I did sell my old K20 here ($400) and the buyer received a good deal (I think). Another avenue is KEH.com (click here) - they sell used equipment and I believe that they include a 6 month warranty.

If you do decide to go with a K30, be aware that for an additional $20, Pentax sells an 2 year (total of 3 years) extended warranty, where they will repair/replace problem with the body. You really can not beat that.

Also, all of this really depends on your budget. KEH has ist* bodies for as low as $100. They also have K100D bodies for $150. These could be a steal - since I just saw that they are offering free shipping through June 30th.

I am sure that other folks will have additional views. Good Luck and have a wonderful weekend!


Last edited by interested_observer; 06-28-2013 at 05:47 PM.
06-28-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tunester Quote
Hi All

I'm finally going to replace my ME Super with a DSLR and was looking for advice. I would like to start used to get my feet wet. I have a few lenses (mostly Sigma) and would like to keep them for use with the new camera. I was thinking K-r or K-x but know almost nothing about digital cameras.

Thanks in advance
I would recommend getting a current model, so either the K-30 (currently on sale) or the new K-500. There is of course more than just Pentax out there, so I would also check out the D5200, D5100 and T4i. We have a comparative review of the Pentax, Canon, and Nikon offerings on our homepage.

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06-28-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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THE K30!!!! ......... QUICK!!! .......... Before it sells out!

06-28-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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I love my K-r, but if I were in your position right now I would pick up a new K-30 before even considering a used K-r.
06-28-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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The reason I was interested in (Pentax) used is so I could keep the lenses I have. That isn't written in stone so new can be an option also. I can always use the lenses on the new camera and sell what I don't need. I know zilch about sensor(s) so the advice is appreciated. If the used older models in good shape are going to be $300-ish and I can get new for $500 I would probably go new.
06-28-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Considering that you've been using an ME Super and have some lenses, that tells me that you have a good understanding of photography. I suggest going with a higher end model. You may grow out of the entry level camera quickly and be left looking for more. With something like a K5 (699.00 at Adorama), you won't get bored so fast and will have tons of features to use.
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