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12-31-2013, 09:27 AM   #1
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DSLR Beginner - Pentax or Canikon?

Hi all,

I'd like to get myself a DSLR and the Pentax line is pretty appealing, but what are the reasons you all feel it is better than Canon or Nikon? For Pentax, I like the weather proofing (not sure if I'll ever need it but it provides peace of mind), the bodies tend to be a tad bit smaller, seems better priced. But Canon and Nikon are more "established" - easier to get deals on or get 2nd hand or sell later, good reputations for image quality, etc.

Would love to get your thoughts. Thank you in advance!

12-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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You can follow your mind or the opinions of the masses. Did you expect an unbiased anser here?

And a hearty welcome to the forum no matter which camera you buy.
12-31-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colbyt Quote
You can follow your mind or the opinions of the masses. Did you expect an unbiased anser here?

And a hearty welcome to the forum no matter which camera you buy.
Who would have thought "Pentax Forums" might be filled with Pentax users?
It NEVER crossed my mind.

12-31-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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Of course I don't expect a totally unbiased answer here But since there are things that really appeal to me about the Pentax cameras, I was hoping to hear from the users themselves - what do you like about them over Canonikon...and hopefully...what do you think Pentax doesn't do as well? Cheers all!

12-31-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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The only thing Canikon does better at the consumer level is they have a few lower cost lenses, ie. the Canon EF 50/1.8 II and the Nikon 35/1.8G. The Canon is about $100 cheaper than the Pentax DA 50/1.8 and the Nikon is about $30 less than the Pentax DA 35/2.4.

A K-30 or K-50 will give you access to a far greater range of lenses than a Nikon D3200 or D5200 because they have an AF screw drive. You can mount any Nikon F lens on a consumer DSLR, but it will not AF unless it is AF-S and manual focus lenses will not meter unless they have a CPU. Also, Pentax has in-body shake reduction, so you don't have to pay extra for VR.
12-31-2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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I've never owned a DSLR and picked the Pentax K30 over the Nikon equivelant because of the weather sealing. I live in Palm springs where it dosn't rain much, but it sure gets windy and dusty! I have used it in the rain though with no problems at all. From the comparison reviews I read, it matched the Nikon specs in almost every aspect (except video, but I wasn't looking for a video camera, so no loss for me) & I have fallen in love with it. I eliminated the Canon from my choice because it fell behind the Nikon & Pentax as far as specs and build quality. The other reason was the ability to use any Pentax K mount lens ever made with it. I was also trying to keep it under $800 for the whole kit., but if I had the $$ I would get the K3 in a heartbeat! My one big complaint would be the cost of a brand new Pentax lens, but plenty of good used ones can be found for a little cheaper then new...not much though. The high end lenses, if well cared for seem to hold value pretty well.

The learning curve was not hard, and with this site as guidance & info, it was easy to learn or find an answer to any question I had on how to use it...and to learn how to take better pix too!
12-31-2013, 11:51 AM   #7
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Can't tell you which brand will be best for you, but I can tell you what made me choose the K-50 over the Nikon D3xxx and D5xxx lines for my first DSLR:

- Weather sealed body and lens
- In body motor and image stabilization
- Dual control wheels
- Pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage
- 6fps
- 1/6000 max shutter speed
- 9 of the 11 focus points are cross-type
- U1 and U2 modes
- Can shoot HDR
- Can use AA batteries (you do need a separate adapter but I found one for around $5 shipped though)
- RAW files in DNG format
- It's a personal thing but I find the ergonomics much better than the equivalent Canon or Nikons

The only real downside is I had to order sight unseen but after receiving it I know I made the right choice and couldn't be happier. Any reputable dealer will have a return policy if for some reason you got it and absolutely hated it, but I highly doubt that would be an issue. Good luck and let us know what you decide! If you do decide to go Pentax I highly recommend the 18-135 WR lens, thing is built like a tank and with the quiet DC motor it is definitely worth the extra cost.
12-31-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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Let's also remember that Pentax DSLRs generally have superior, that is to say, larger and brighter viewfinders than corresponding Canikon models, many of which are like looking through a rectangular tube, and many of which use mirrors rather than a proper pentaprism, as is intended by the gods of the SLR.

12-31-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheEyesHaveIt Quote
Of course I don't expect a totally unbiased answer here But since there are things that really appeal to me about the Pentax cameras, I was hoping to hear from the users themselves - what do you like about them over Canonikon...and hopefully...what do you think Pentax doesn't do as well? Cheers all!

That's fair.

Pentax has never done USA marketing very well. One series of misadventures after the other.

It all started in 1984. Borrowed one from a friend for the weekend and loved it. Bought one with a 50mm 1.7 for $100 at a pawn shop two weeks later.

Switched to Canon P&S in 2005.

Went back to Pentax primarily because I still had a few good lenses along with the duds.

With a Pentax you have 60+ years of quality lenses that will do everything except AF. 30 +- years that will do it all.

Shake reduction is in the camera as is screw drive for most lenses.

I suspect you can still buy a K30 with a kit lens for $500 somewhere. That is a great starter kit until you figure out which lenses you want to add.
12-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheEyesHaveIt Quote
Of course I don't expect a totally unbiased answer here But since there are things that really appeal to me about the Pentax cameras, I was hoping to hear from the users themselves - what do you like about them over Canonikon...and hopefully...what do you think Pentax doesn't do as well?
Hello TheEyesHaveIt, Welcome to the Forum!
Two big plus factors for Pentax are the W/R and complete backwards compatability of all the legacy lenses. If you browse this forum, particulary the 'Lens Clubs' and 'Post Your Photos' sections, you'll see images taken with lenses 40+ years old. Some have a special rendering or 'look' that's different from modern lenses, a character or optical quality users prefer to newer glass. Many like the build quality, manual focusing and/or manual aperture of the old glass.
However, without counting the legacy lenses, in modern lens selection Canon and Nikon offer a larger and more diverse lens lineup. There is better third-party support from Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and others, too. Here's a list of all the 3rd party lenses available for Pentax, and a link to the Pentax lens catalog.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/243556-3rd-...available.html
If you honestly need a (new) 400mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4.0, tilt/shift lenses or other specialty glass in native mount, Canon or Nikon can provide it, Pentax (and Sony, Sigma, Fuji, Panasonic) can't.
Pentax doesn't currently offer a full Frame camera body, so that upward(?) path is closed, at least for the time being.
But, if you're mainly interested in a great value APS-C system within these limitations, in other words an 'Advanced' as opposed to 'Pro' system, with feature-rich, highly intuitive menu interface, strong metal body frames, highly-regarded 'Limited' and * lenses available as well as a good consumer-grade lens lineup, Pentax is the ticket.
If you compare the K-50, K-5IIs and particularly the K-3, to the comparable Nikon and Canon offerings, you will find the numbers and values match up well. Other, more subjective factors like ergonomics, ease of menu use/options, brand recognition/status and overall 'feel' are best left to the individual buyer.
The answer to your final question is quite the hot topic here, but generally, Pentax lost their way during the film-to-digital transition era and was bought-and-sold twice in (roughly) 20 years. One owner, Hoya, made serious errors with the brick + mortar dealers and literally destroyed the marketplace presence. Ricoh is (too slowly, according to some) moving in the right direction now and their stewardship already shows signs of righting the ship. But, there's a way to go, yet!
Shop wisely, compare fairly and do your research with an open mind.
JMO,
Ron
12-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #11
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One problem with going Pentax (at least K-7/K-5 and the original Q like me) is that most other consumer DSLRs simply feels like plastic toys with crippled important functions compensated by shallow ones.
12-31-2013, 12:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheEyesHaveIt Quote
Hi all,

I'd like to get myself a DSLR and the Pentax line is pretty appealing, but what are the reasons you all feel it is better than Canon or Nikon? For Pentax, I like the weather proofing (not sure if I'll ever need it but it provides peace of mind), the bodies tend to be a tad bit smaller, seems better priced. But Canon and Nikon are more "established" - easier to get deals on or get 2nd hand or sell later, good reputations for image quality, etc.

Would love to get your thoughts. Thank you in advance!
As a beginner it's hard to go wrong with any dslr, like the pentax k500, nikon d3200 or canon rebel. Sure, we can nitpick, but they're all great cameras.

If you go with Pentax, you will be sure to get all the help you need here on the forum. On the other hand, it's hard to try before you buy with Pentax unless there's a dealer in your area. If buying locally is important to you, I'd go with another brand. If not, then I'd read some reviews and pick the model that's best for your needs. We have a three way review of the pentax k30, nikon d5100, and Canon t4i on our homepage that you might find helpful. For example, the canon gives you the best video capabilities but its viewfinder is worse than that of the pentax. So again, it all depends on your needs and priorities

Adam
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12-31-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheEyesHaveIt Quote
I'd like to get myself a DSLR and the Pentax line is pretty appealing, but what are the reasons you all feel it is better than Canon or Nikon? For Pentax, I like the weather proofing (not sure if I'll ever need it but it provides peace of mind), the bodies tend to be a tad bit smaller, seems better priced. But Canon and Nikon are more "established" - easier to get deals on or get 2nd hand or sell later, good reputations for image quality, etc.
Hi,

Welcome to PF and thanks for asking your question. Many DSLR newcomers face a similar quandary but many others simply go with a Nikon of Canon because of their popularity.

I would offer that the question of which camera (or brand) is "better" is not possible to answer directly, as there are far too many variables or characteristics to consider. For example, certain cameras are more compact, others offer unique features, some might have superior ergonomics, while certain models are lower priced. It's really important for you to establish your most important criteria - as you've started to do in your opening post.

Having said that, you might wish to read through some of the threads here, such as:

- The Lens Clubs. Takumar (>12,000 posts dealing with 40- to 60-year old lenses, still very applicable and loved on today's cameras); DA15mm Limited (careful - your mind will be controlled!); 300mm Plus (10,500 posts showing spectacular photography); and the Kit Lens Club (often regarded in other brands as inferior first lenses, the Pentax kit lenses are pretty darned good).

- Why are you shooting with a Pentax? https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/245291-why-you-shooting-pentax.html

- The Pentax Forums Marketplace - to get a sense of what is readily available on the used market.

These threads and others will give you a flavour of the Pentax passion.

When I chose a Pentax K-7 several years ago, it was a combination of terrific ergonomics, image quality, feature set, ruggedness and weather resistance, decent lens selection, and price. And this forum also figured into my decision - I was mightily impressed with the extent of information available here, the friendliness towards all members, and the very positive approach to solving problems. I figured that PF was a resource worth a lot as I was entering into the DSLR world for the first time. It still is!

I chose the K-7 over a Nikon d90 and D300s and a Canon (forget which model). Since then, I've acquired several new lenses and about 15 older lenses including autofocus and manual focus, which have allowed me to work with a solid kit covering the range of my shooting needs.

Regarding repair and warranty support, I have needed to send several pieces to (Ricoh) Pentax Canada for repair. They've generally been prompt and proficient, although I did need to send a lens back for re-repair. Even in light of the camera and lens failures, I'm happy to stick with Pentax. Other brands fail also.

So, figure out what your passion is but don't fret too much about the multitude of possibilities and trade-offs. All of the brands offer good equipment these days. Pentax just happens to be the 'best!'

Craig
12-31-2013, 12:35 PM   #14
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I have owned both canon and Pentax Dslr's and I ended up getting rid of the canon and sticking with Pentax for the better IQ and the wide range of used and old lenses that are out there at a fraction of the price and you can get pro glass cheaper for pentax than you can for canikon look at prices for "L" glass and compare them to the star* lenses for pentax quite a difference. they may be old but there are some real gems out there you just have to keep your eye's open for them. Well good luck and welcome to the forum. Let us know what you decide cause even if you go the canikon route there is still help to be found here.
12-31-2013, 02:29 PM   #15
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Pentax will give you more bang for the buck, and access to an absolutely huge market of inexpensive used lenses.
Canon/Nikon will give you better autofocus, and some cheaper new prime lenses.

Pentax has the most intuitive menu system, especially if you're coming from a point and shoot or advanced point and shoot background.
I feel borderline retarded whenever a friend hands me his canon to take a shot with.

That being said, for a first dSLR, you can't go wrong with any of the entry level models from any brand. It all depends on what's important to you.

Charles.
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