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07-27-2016, 07:42 PM   #1
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Camera for newbie: K-50/18-135mm or K-S2/18-50mm (for 100$ more)

I know someone has a budget at around 600-700$ for his 1st DSLR, she was looking for the Nikon D3300 (because she has a Nikon P&S and liked it... but now she's ready to go one step above in photography),


I started talking about Pentax, and give her all the bang for the buck she would get with Pentax... and she get sensible of my arguments..


My first thoughts would be to get a good lens first, such as the 18-135mm, WR, more versatile all-around


I looked at kits with 18-135mm (in Canada), and found a k50 with a 18-135mm for 600$
Also found a K-S2 , but with a 18-50mm for 700$


I like the K-S2 because it has 20Mp no AA filter, pivot screen, wifi, NFC, etc , all those nice little techno gadgets (and I know, she would like that too!). I think it is also compatible with the astrotracer...(?)


but for the budget, I thought the 18-135 would be better if you were to get only one lens that is more versatile (and I think it has better IQ too)


If you were to chose between a 3 yr old K-50 (new) with a 18-135 lens vs a more recent K-S2 with a 18-50 lens for 100$ more, which one would you choose and why?


not an easy decision!

Thanks!



07-27-2016, 08:21 PM   #2
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Tough call! I have the K-30 (which is the K-50 in different clothing), and I have the K-S2 and 18-50 kit lens. (I don't have the 18-135, but I hear it's great.)

The DAL 18-50/4-5.6 DC WR RE that comes with the K-S2 is NOT a bad lens. Check out my album on Flickr: K-S2 kit lens .

For the money, knowing what I know now, I'd get the newer, more advanced camera with the flippy screen and wifi and higher resolution. The K-50 is perfectly capable and she wouldn't be disappointed with it, but I think the K-S2 has some features that shouldn't be brushed off. The 18-50 will get her started, and if she knows she wants more zoom, she can invest in something later... who knows! Maybe she'll be a UWA shooter and end up going fish eye! :-)
07-27-2016, 08:45 PM   #3
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Ditto what Sarah said.

I might also pick up a Sigma 17-70 for a couple hundred extra (version 1) and skip the 18-50. It's really quite a bit better. I like it better than the 18-135 except on rainy days.
07-27-2016, 09:02 PM   #4
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Vote for the 18-135. Decent lens that is worth nearly $500, making the camera only $100.

07-27-2016, 09:04 PM   #5
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K-S2 without a doubt - 20MP, flip screen, wifi, no AA. I have it and the 18-50 RE lens. A relatively light and compact package. Scrape up another hundred down the line and you can get a new DAL 50-200 to complete the range.
07-27-2016, 09:17 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I own a K50, its a great camera.I also own the 18-135.$600 for both is pretty good, I paid that 2 years ago for body plus 18-55.


However, the KS2 has a few more advantages...if I had the choice id go with 18/50 and KS2 and look for a WR 55-300mm used.
07-27-2016, 10:34 PM   #7
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The D3300 does not have, nor do any of its kit lenses, weather-sealing, sensor stabilization, or a pentaprism viewfinder. So right there, either the K-50 or K-S2 is a plus.

To answer your last and final question: K-50 with 18-135mm vs. K-S2 with 18-50mm? Is this the beginning or the end for your friend? If this is just the beginning, then sheʻs better off with the K-S2 and then she can get better lenses later. If this is a one and done situation, then the K-50 with the 18-135mm is a better long term marriage.

BTW: I agree with the previous posters too.
07-27-2016, 11:08 PM   #8
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To me this depend what are your friend objectives. But K50 + 18-135 look better to me. A nice overall package for outdoor/vacations.

The only real downside to me is the AF isn't that great (low light, action/sport) and 18-135 isn't a good fit indoor. But 18-50 is no better.

What is important is to understand what your friend really want.

If your friend after an all in one kit with decent performance overall and don't mind the size the K50 + 18-135 is perfect. Key weakness are AF, size/weight as well as low light.

KS2 + 18-50 is more of the same with one more weakness: reduced focall range that mean it is no longer an all in one kit. The AF while still not great is better in low light.

If your friend is really interested to do more advanced stuff in photography and still don't mind the size, I'd say K50 + 17-50 + 55-300 or 70-300 to provide signifcantly more option for growth. f/2.8 is good enough for many indoor occasions/low light this give more bokeh options too.

If your friend is quite bothered by size/weight (this is the majority of people in practice and #1 reason to not take the camera), you should really consider an m4/3 or something like that. An OMD 10 would do mostly the same in great light, has an articulated screen, and there interresting kit zooms I think. 12-50 for example. The price should be good too. Adding at some point one tiny prime or 2 for their large apperture would allow for nice indoor/low light capabilities.


The most likely course of action, whatever the choice is that the beginner get bored at some point or don't want to invest more. By statistics that's majority of peoples. Thus a lower price is better. And also a smaller kit is also better, increasing the chances the camera still get some use instead of falling back to the smartphone that small and always available.

Ask the same question in 3 years, the camera would be different, the lenses would be the same. I don't think that 18-135 is a worse long term solution even for somebody quite interrested in photography. Once somebody update, 18-50 is likely to be never used again. 18-135 stay a great walkaround and will keep its value over time.


Last edited by Nicolas06; 07-27-2016 at 11:19 PM.
07-27-2016, 11:20 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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Forget about Nikon D3300. Pentax K-50 or K-S2 are much better. I own two K-50 bodies with HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR, SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR,
SMC 500mm f/4.5, SMC A 400mm f/5.6.
I love the K-50. 16 MP is plenty for starters. Spend much as money on better glass. Preferably full frame lens, so in the future it can be used with FF body like K-1 which I am
getting next month.
I shoot mostly with my manual focus lenses, even for my bird photography. There are tons of older good Pentax lenses.
Good quality lens last for a long time. Camera body can be change in the future and you still have the lenses.
I would go with K-50 and 18-135mm lens or just K-50 body only with older high quality FF prime lens. This way there is not a big investment in the camera body, but rather invest
in better lenses.

Here is a example what K-50 with older manual lens like SMC A 400mm f/5.6 can do.





07-28-2016, 02:25 AM   #10
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I have a D3200 which is similar and while it has a big sensor MP count I wasn't really that sold on it, pictures are ok but it stalls on writing to the card due to small buffer side in continuous shooting.
I have a K30 with an 18-135 on it (usually) and it is a lovely combo, prefer the K7/K5 as I prefer buttons to menus but it is a very nice little certainly comparable to the nikon but doesn't stall as much (smaller sensor size -> shorter write times). Really though 24mp is much more than I ever needed.

Although I will say that the f stops are a bit numerical rather than practical (at 18mm it is at F3.5 whereas at 21mm it is at F4.0 and at 31mm it is at F4.5 and at 78mm it is at F5.6 at least my copy) so it isn't too linear through the range. Not that it really stops you taking great piccies with it and it is very convenient to have mounted.
cheers

P.S. lovely pics you posted there cleaverx
07-28-2016, 12:42 PM   #11
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@clearverx that fantastic pictures you posted and some nice advice.

But maybe for a beginner MF lenses is a bit too much?
07-28-2016, 01:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
But maybe for a beginner MF lenses is a bit too much?
What do you think beginning photographers started with before auto-focus was invented? ;-)

Counter-point: I think it would be best to learn to shoot with fully manual lenses. The learning curve would be steep, but you'd come out the other side with formidable experience and knowledge, superior to users who learned in Auto Mode.
07-28-2016, 02:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
What do you think beginning photographers started with before auto-focus was invented? ;-)

Counter-point: I think it would be best to learn to shoot with fully manual lenses. The learning curve would be steep, but you'd come out the other side with formidable experience and knowledge, superior to users who learned in Auto Mode.
Why take years to master something that a cheap machine does better than you?

This is simply counter productive. And the way to learn may be different if you plan to become a master of the art of just a casual user.

As a developper I learned information theory, I learned how to design a processor and I learned how to develop in old outdated programming languages as well as the latest one. But I would not ask that to every computer user.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 07-28-2016 at 02:16 PM.
07-28-2016, 02:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
What do you think beginning photographers started with before auto-focus was invented? ;-)

Counter-point: I think it would be best to learn to shoot with fully manual lenses. The learning curve would be steep, but you'd come out the other side with formidable experience and knowledge, superior to users who learned in Auto Mode.
Learning to focus a manual lens on a modern DSLR is probably a good skill to develop. I wouldn't call it fun without a split prism or a camera body that provides assistance like focus peaking.

I'd get the K-S2 to avoid the odd mechanical issues that seem more common with the K-50, as well as the updated sensor and AF that the K-S2 offers. 18-50WR seems okay and is nice and small; not a bad lens to keep in the bag in case foul weather comes up. But not something I'd want to use all the time.
07-28-2016, 02:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Why take years to master something that a cheap machine does better than you?

This is simply counter productive. And the way to learn may be different if you plan to become a master of the art of just a casual user.

As a developper I learned information theory, I learned how to design a processor and I learned how to develop in old outdated programming languages as well as the latest one. But I would not ask that to every computer user.
I wouldn't compare manual camera operation (manual focus and manual adjustment of ISO/shutter speed/aperture) to learning information theory. I'd say it's more like learning to drive a manual transmission before you drive an automatic.
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