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09-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Is K-30 AF good for fast moving subjects?

I used to be a Pentax user. A while ago I was inquiring here about K-01 as a comeback camera but was put off by no AF option during video recording. Now, that's long gone so I am looking at K-30. What's holding me back though is my experience with AF on Pentax bodies. As much I like Pentax brand, I couldn't stand my K10D slow AF. When I jumped ship and replaced the K10D with Nikon D60 I was wow'ed by the fast AF. But that camera is gone as well.

So I am considering Pentax again. What I would like to know is, are there any parents shooting K-30 that are happy with the AF performance for chasing your kids at the playground. I need good camera with fast AF for sport shoots and low light photography. Mostly using primes or fast fixed focal lenses.

Thanks.

09-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by drabina Quote
I used to be a Pentax user. A while ago I was inquiring here about K-01 as a comeback camera but was put off by no AF option during video recording. Now, that's long gone so I am looking at K-30. What's holding me back though is my experience with AF on Pentax bodies. As much I like Pentax brand, I couldn't stand my K10D slow AF. When I jumped ship and replaced the K10D with Nikon D60 I was wow'ed by the fast AF. But that camera is gone as well.

So I am considering Pentax again. What I would like to know is, are there any parents shooting K-30 that are happy with the AF performance for chasing your kids at the playground. I need good camera with fast AF for sport shoots and low light photography. Mostly using primes or fast fixed focal lenses.

Thanks.
The K-30's AF is better than that of the K10, and certainly usable, but it's still no breakthrough. You may want to look at Nikon still if your priority is AF.

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09-12-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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I have a part time sports photography business and have been using the k5 since it came out. You can pick up a used k-5 over at KEH for around 550. Just bought one for my wife to replace her k-200.
09-12-2013, 02:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by drabina Quote
.... A while ago I was inquiring here about K-01 as a comeback camera but was put off by no AF option during video recording. Now, that's long gone so I am looking at K-30 ...
You mentioned this so I'm not sure how important AF is to you during video, as opposed to AF for stills.

But just to be clear, the K-30 and K-01 share their video AF capabilities -- meaning that they will both focus on demand, but not continuously during video. So they are both equally primitive in this regard.

09-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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I think the K-50 would be a better option now - it's AF is reportedly as good or better than the K-30.

The K-5 II is very good in AF as well and has been seen for some very good prices lately. My K-5 IIs is a definite improvement in AF performance over my K-5, so I think it's better to go with the newer models.


Your choice of lens is very important for AF performance on a Pentax. Screw-drive primes generally work the best. I personally use the FA*85, FA135, and F*300. The DA*300 also has a good reputation (although I think it's a bit slower than the F/FA*), and the current model Sigma 70-200 HSM gets great user reviews if you like their glass.

In any case, to get the better shots you'll probably have to spend more on the lens than the camera (this is generally true for Nikon or Canon as well). I'd be reluctant to buy less than a D7100 in Nikon, or a 7D (possibly 70D or T5i) in Canon, so you're looking at a significant cost in the camera anyway.

Buy from a reputable dealer so you can return the camera. I think you'll know whether the Pentax is performing as you wish right away, well within the return period. Same goes for any new lens, and any used lens will retain its value and can be re-sold.
09-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I think the K-50 would be a better option now - it's AF is reportedly as good or better than the K-30.

The K-5 II is very good in AF as well and has been seen for some very good prices lately. My K-5 IIs is a definite improvement in AF performance over my K-5, so I think it's better to go with the newer models.


Your choice of lens is very important for AF performance on a Pentax. Screw-drive primes generally work the best. I personally use the FA*85, FA135, and F*300. The DA*300 also has a good reputation (although I think it's a bit slower than the F/FA*), and the current model Sigma 70-200 HSM gets great user reviews if you like their glass.

In any case, to get the better shots you'll probably have to spend more on the lens than the camera (this is generally true for Nikon or Canon as well). I'd be reluctant to buy less than a D7100 in Nikon, or a 7D (possibly 70D or T5i) in Canon, so you're looking at a significant cost in the camera anyway.

Buy from a reputable dealer so you can return the camera. I think you'll know whether the Pentax is performing as you wish right away, well within the return period. Same goes for any new lens, and any used lens will retain its value and can be re-sold.
That's the first I've heard that. So far, everything I've read indicated the K-30 and K-50 were identical in focusing prowess. Where did you read otherwise?
09-13-2013, 05:38 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies.

I guess if K-30 can't focus during movies, that puts it out of the consideration. Is K-50 able to focus during recording?

AF for stills (sports, kids) is very important.

Video is not top priority for me but I would at least like to have 720 with AF during recording. Since I am going to be carrying DSLR around, I do not want any extra gear for movies in case I want to record something.
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