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02-27-2015, 09:12 PM   #1
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Budget used market shootout

Hey Everyone,

I've posted on here a few times, bought gear a few times, but that was all for my wife. Over the years, we've accumulated a decent lens collection for her, and she still loves her K-X other than the rather weak by today's standards LCD screen resolution.

Now, i've felt the want/need for a decent camera of my own, and it doesn't make sense to buy anything other than a Pentax, since we've already got the lenses.

My budget is $300 for a body, though i'd be ecstatic to end up more in the $200 range, but not at the expense of wanting to upgrade soon. I will probably upgrade her camera to a K-3 or a K5iis in the next 6 months or so, and we'll keep her current K-X as a backup.

The bodies i'm looking at in no particular order:
1) K-X. Looks like i can grab one for ~$175. The devil i know.
2) K-7. Can be had for around $200. Doesn't necessarily seem to have huge advantages over the K-X other than screen resolution and weatherproofing.
3) K-r. Couple on Ebay i can snag in the $200-$250 range. Seems like... a K-x but next evolution?
4) K-01. Been interested in this one. The lack of a viewfinder will probably be weird, but i read everywhere that the IQ is great and that picture quality is near that of the K-3. $250ish.
5) K-5. I can grab one for around $300. This would seem like the no-brainer since Snapsort says it destroys all my other options and it's not really the same class of the other cameras listed, but the tales of bugs on this unit scare me a little.


Anyone have any input? Any help is much appreciated.

02-27-2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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If you can stretch your budget a little bit (or sell the included lens): https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/289711-pentax-k30-1...-349-99-a.html

The K-01 is fantastic, a quirky, creative brick of a photo-making machine. I love mine so much that I rarely miss a DSLR.

Don't worry about K-5 "bugs". The sensor-stain issue is long-resolved (only an unscrupulous person would sell a defective one as being OK) and every camera model has bugs, errata, etc.

Another consideration, maybe: a Pentax K-r. Nearly the same as a K-x, but has the higher-res 920k LCD like the K-5, K-30, etc. Maybe you could kind a used one for $200-ish. A nice aspect of the K-r (or another K-x) is that there wouldn't be any sense of competition over who is using the "nicer" camera.
02-27-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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Thanks! I think i ruled out the K-X, K-7, and K-r while i was typing that original post.

Besides new vs. used, is there any real reason why the K30 would be better than the K-5? The price would be about the same once i sell the kit lens from the K30. I'm more concerned with getting the better camera, as it's unlikely i'll upgrade for years and from this point, i'll just be using my wife's leftovers.

There won't be any competition over who has the nicer camera, since i'll be upgrading her to something nicer than what i'm considering for myself soon anyways.

I'm guessing i've asked something hard, because i'm not sure how many people cross-shop the K-01 with the K-5 and K30. :P
02-27-2015, 09:51 PM   #4
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K-30 or K-50 would be my recommendation. Same sensor as the K-5, but more along the lines of the K-x you are accustomed to using. The first K-5 had various difficulties that were addressed with the K-5ii and K-5iis. The K-30 and 50 are almost identical except for the exterior.

If you look under the Camera review tab ["Cameras"] above, there's a comparison tool you can use to help make a decision.

---------- Post added 02-27-2015 at 10:59 PM ----------

You might also be interested in reading Heie's comparison between the K-30 and K-5iis which I linked to here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/289382-would-i-h...ml#post3169083


Last edited by yucatanPentax; 02-27-2015 at 10:00 PM.
02-27-2015, 10:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote

Besides new vs. used, is there any real reason why the K30 would be better than the K-5?
Do you shoot manual lenses, Concealer? The K-30 has focus peaking.
02-27-2015, 11:35 PM   #6
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Good advice so far.

Let me ask some questions:
-is WR important? If you shoot outdoor, you want WR.
-do you need high ISO?

If you shoot outdoor and use low ISO, do not dismiss the K-7 too quickly. It is a excellent body. I use mine as my 2nd body side by side with my K-3. At low ISO, the K-7 with a good lens is on par with the K-3 with a average lens IMHO.

So my message: if you are on a budget, need WR and shoot low ISO, consider saving for good lenses and the K-7 might still be an option.

If you shoot MF, clackers has a good point:K-01, K-30 and K-50 have focus peaking that is an advantage for MF.

My 5 cents....
02-28-2015, 04:06 AM   #7
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My first foray into Pentax was with the K5. I paid full freight when it was a new camera. Mine did lock up on me a couple of times and I became frustrated and got rid of it. When I say "lock up," I mean the camera had to be turned off, the battery removed, the battery replaced, and the camera turned back on. It never failed to restart and work properly after that. In retrospect, it was not the worst thing in the world. I have not followed any continuing problems with K5, but at the time, I do not recall that anybody was having problems that resulted in the camera being permanently unusable. I now think I might have been a bit irrational in letting the K5 go. In fact, the reason I now own a K5IIs is the fact that I kept the past images from the K5, one in particular, and was constantly reminded that the quality of images from the K5 were exceptional. It is a great camera.

I know you have stated your max is $300.00, but the present deal at B&H for the K5IIs might be the deal of the century.

But if you get the K5, you will likely end up with the Kx.

Last edited by tennjed; 02-28-2015 at 04:14 AM.
02-28-2015, 06:37 AM   #8
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Recently someone sold a k5 in the marketplace for 250 so keep your eye on the marketplace for deals like that. K50, k30, k5, those are what I would focus on.

02-28-2015, 07:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Good advice so far.

Let me ask some questions:
-is WR important? If you shoot outdoor, you want WR.
-do you need high ISO?

If you shoot outdoor and use low ISO, do not dismiss the K-7 too quickly. It is a excellent body. I use mine as my 2nd body side by side with my K-3. At low ISO, the K-7 with a good lens is on par with the K-3 with a average lens IMHO.

So my message: if you are on a budget, need WR and shoot low ISO, consider saving for good lenses and the K-7 might still be an option.

If you shoot MF, clackers has a good point:K-01, K-30 and K-50 have focus peaking that is an advantage for MF.

My 5 cents....
If i must be honest, i'm inexperienced enough that some of these terms mean nothing to me yet. I'm looking to learn and with a rig that i won't "grow out of" anytime soon.

I will want to play with manual lenses at some point, but they aren't something i'll be using often.

I appreciate the input!

---------- Post added 02-28-15 at 09:19 AM ----------

Tennjed and UncleVanya, thanks!


In a nice coincidence, someone sent me a pm last night with a good deal on a K-5, so it looks like that's where i'm going.
02-28-2015, 08:23 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
In a nice coincidence, someone sent me a pm last night with a good deal on a K-5, so it looks like that's where i'm going.
That's a very smart choice. And if you get the urge to try a K-01 later on, they use the same battery as the K-5. Just sayin'.
02-28-2015, 08:28 AM   #11
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It's maybe an option to buy the K5/IIs now for your wife and take the K-x over from her. Later add something else if necessary (K50, K-S2, ...)

QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
2) K-7. Can be had for around $200. Doesn't necessarily seem to have huge advantages over the K-X other than screen resolution and weatherproofing.
You're ignoring the fact that the K7 has dual controls, top LCD and the option to finetune AF. From that eprspective far more camera than the K-x. High ISO performance is not as good as that of the K-x.
QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
5) K-5. I can grab one for around $300. This would seem like the no-brainer since Snapsort says it destroys all my other options and it's not really the same class of the other cameras listed, but the tales of bugs on this unit scare me a little.
It suffers from focusing errors in artificial light; unless that is no issue (e.g. use live view), rather get something else. Issue was sorted with the K5/II(s).
02-28-2015, 10:30 AM   #12
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I have a K-5 and a K-3. I have had my K-5 for at least 3 years now and not a single problem with it. This would be my recommendation for your budget. Best weather sealing and build quality among your choices.
02-28-2015, 11:53 AM   #13
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new K-50, body only for less than $350:

PENTAX K-50 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only, Black)

Pentax K-50 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only, Black)
02-28-2015, 07:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
If i must be honest, i'm inexperienced enough that some of these terms mean nothing to me yet.
ISO(or ASA): light sensitivity; the higher to number, the higher the sensitivity and often when very high more noise(grain in film) digital can be fixed in Photoshop. High ISO helps with low-light/night and action photography by enabling faster shutter speeds for stop action and helping to prevent motion blur seen in long exposures.

WR: Weather resistant
MF: manual focus [(OR) medium format]
AF: auto focus
If not too late: with the K-5 you could attach a portrait grip with extra battery for double the power and easier handling when shooting vertical. (K-7 as well)
I hope this helps some.
02-28-2015, 07:10 PM   #15
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Thanks!

Focus Peaking was the other one i was confused about.


I did make payment for a k-5 this morning.
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