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11-22-2014, 09:04 PM   #1
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Choices! Advice Please

I use a K-3 and love it. My wife has a K-r and is ready for her next camera. Our 12 yr old daughter and 10 yr old son are avid photographers and are now ready for their own interchangeable lens cameras.

We have a photography business that mostly does portraits, some photographic art and architectural photography (think real estate sales). Our children are apprentices in essence.

Our equipment is all very gently used. We have a good assortment of affordable lenses. Everything is quite modest relatively speaking but we are thrilled with the amount of choice and varied capabilities the vintage k mount lenses afford us.

The Plan-we purchased a used K-r to go with the one we have. Both children will be getting a K-r with about 6k clicks for Christmas and a couple lenses.

The Question-since my wife's K-r will be going to one of our kids as a gift, we need to choose mom's next camera... It will be a camera for our business. We are considering a K-S1, K-5 IIS or a K-50. We are also open to suggestions and gently used equipment. Mom needs all or most of the capabilities of my K-3 but she's also not a techie like I am. She's on top of understanding the settings but is more focused on the artistic part of things.

I'm conflicted because I want her to be happy with our choice. It will be some time til we upgrade again. The K-S1 looks like a good fit but...

11-22-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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What size camera body would she be comfortable with? The K5IIs is the largest and heaviest, followed by the K50, with the K-s1 being the smallest and lightest. If size does not matter, then the K5IIs would probably be the most practical in terms of overall capability, although the K50's AF might be a tad better if that makes any difference.

11-22-2014, 09:38 PM   #3
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My wife and I are partners in our business and we both shoot. Currently she has a k-5IIs and I have the k-3. Works for us but if I had it to do over I would get her a k-3 so both cameras and sensors were identical. When I grab her camera it is just enough different I have to think about it. And processing k-5 series files is enough different that I have to think about that as well.

Honestly, interested_observer has the best advice, get whatever fits her hands best. But having all gear the same has advantages as well.
11-22-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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I'm new(ish) to DSLR (but not SLRs) cameras and have a K-50. I've found it very intuitive and easy to use. I think it would be a good choice for someone who isn't too techy.

11-23-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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How big are the lenses your wife uses, and does she usually work on or off a tripod? I find that lenses over 500g are nose heavy on the K-S1, and the small grip becomes an issue. If you are shooting from a tripod, the point is moot, but then you have to be aware that the SD-card slot is in the bottom, and that can become inconvenient (especially if your tripod mounting plate blocks the bottom hatch). Also, do you have or are you planning to get any DA Limited lenses? The K-S1 loves the little lenses.

If you have a K-3, then you pretty much know how a K-5 is going to handle. After the K-r, Pentax juggled the buttons and 4-way controller layout on the low-end bodies. It's the same on the K-50 and K-S1, while the K-5 is the same as the K-3. If you go with the K-50 or K-S1, you will have three different button layouts in the family - this could be an issue if you are trying to help the kids with something. All three choices have 100% viewfinders, which is also a bit of a change from the K-r. The K-r's AF can be a little quriky (at least mine was), so any of the three choices are probably an improvement.

The K-S1 is more of an entry-level feature set, but if the K-r met your needs, then in terms of IQ, AF, and LiveView performance, I think the K-S1 is a big step up in every area. Compared to the K-r, the K-S1 lacks interval or multiple exposure shooting, but adds FluCard support.

K-5IIs versus K-50: K-5IIs has better IQ and all the high-end features (like the buttery-soft shutter sound). In terms of size, the dimension differences between the K-5IIs and K-50 are negligible - but the weight difference is not. K-50 is 14% lighter, has marginally better AF & video, and has focus peaking in LiveView. K-5 shares battery with K-3, K-50 shares batteries with K-r.

K-5IIs versus K-S1: K-5IIs has better IQ in low light, and has weather sealing and all the high-end features. K-S1 is smaller & 27% lighter, might have an IQ edge in good light (I don't want to get into 12-bit RAW versus 14-bit RAW and 20MP versus 16MP), has faster AF motor, probably better video, and focus peaking in LiveView. K-S1 shares lithium battery with K-r, but not AA batteries.

K-50 versus K-S1: K-50 has weather sealing and a few other high-end features, and probably better IQ in low light. K-S1 is smaller and 14% lighter, has slightly better IQ in good light, and faster AF motor. EIther can share Li batteries with the K-r, but only the K-50 can share the AA battery clip.

I don't think there is a bad choice here. They are all very capable cameras, just with slightly different feature sets.
11-23-2014, 10:35 AM   #6
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I have a K-50 and a K-3. If you don't need all of your files to be the same resolution, the K-50 makes a great stand-in for the K-3.
The K-50 is also lighter than the K-3. As such, it is my "on-tripod" camera much of the time.

On the other hand, if you would prefer identical image-specs and the added weight wouldn't kill you, two K-3s would be nice to have. They're almost "inexpensive" nowadays.
11-23-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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Man... You guys are fantastic, really. This is the exact kind of information I was looking for and you all nailed it. All the cameras in consideration and the feel and use of each. Not only do I love our equipment but the pentaxian community as well. I have old VW buses and that community is similar.

I'd have never gained most of the insight you all provided through research. Thank you all. We will decide in the next day or two so I'll come back and let you know which one we went with.

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