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08-24-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
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Camera for Student Photography class

Wanting to get my son a Pentax DSLR for an upcoming class. I have a K-3 and a good handful of lens he can use. I'm unfamiliar with the good and not so good bodies prior to the K-5. If I could find a good K-30, K-50, or K-5 for under $200 I'd grab it, but I'm not seeing any. My question is which of the older bodies I can pick up for around $100 are better than others:

etc... whatever I'm missing

are any specifically worth avoiding?

08-24-2016, 11:55 AM   #2
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My son is using my KX for a high school photography class and it is more than enough camera for him. A K-r would be a good choice also.

08-24-2016, 11:55 AM   #3
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I would go with the K-r out of that bunch, mostly because I am very familiar with it and compared to my wife's K10D I thought it a superior camera as far as low light went.
08-24-2016, 12:25 PM   #4
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I went through this last year with my daughter. I was able to find a k-5 for a little over $200 I have also seen some in the market place recently around $200. So if you still have time keep an eye out. Because the camera's around $100 will still be around $100 when you are out of time looking for a K-5.

08-24-2016, 12:31 PM   #5
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There is a K-5 in the marketplace without Shake Reduction that falls in your budget. The camera is located here:

Not having SR shouldn't be a major burden in a class - he can always use tripod or other means to stabilize the camera.
AF isn't the best - the K5ii and even the K50/K30 might beat it but it will beat the K-r and K10d etc.
08-24-2016, 01:49 PM   #6
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Put of the choice above, I vote for the K-7. It has great functionality and your student will not outgrow it too soon. I use a K-5, and those are pretty inexpensively priced used.

My daughter learned photography on a K1000 film camera, and I bought her a used K-30 on PF as her first DSLR, she loves it.
08-24-2016, 02:46 PM   #7
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You missing the K200d. A great camera of which I still use from Time to time. Should be fairly cheap if you can find one. Good luck on your quest.
08-24-2016, 03:57 PM   #8
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I'd go with a K-r from that bunch. I learned on a K-x but at this point you might as well get the newer body (K-r has the red dots for the selected focus point in the viewfinder, K-x does NOT).

08-24-2016, 05:01 PM   #9
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Consider first the curriculum. What will the lad be learning to do? For a basic never-picked-up-a-camera course, an *istDL with a 50mm f/2 A lens might easily do the job. Match the camera to the requirements once you know what those are.
08-24-2016, 05:07 PM   #10

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I had the K-20D as my first DSLR and I learned a real lot from it. It did not have the noise-handling strength of the K-5 and later models, but it did very well in normal light circumstances and with flash where needed. It was once the Pentax APS-C DSLR flagship model and it gave me some valuable learning experience along with excellent images. The body is sturdy and well styled also. It is definitely a learning user type camera that is sophisticated enough, plus shows nice performance.

Below is a shortcut to a used K-20D on Amazon in case you are interested.

Below is a shortcut to a K-20D/18-55 AL II lens offer also.

Last edited by C_Jones; 08-24-2016 at 05:55 PM.
08-24-2016, 05:17 PM   #11
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i used a k20d for years and got very nice output from it.

they are worth essentially a song and a dance these days. if i had to go back to my k20 from my k3 i wouldn't be as sad as you'd expect. it's a lovely camera
08-24-2016, 08:00 PM   #12

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Nothing wrong with a K10 or K20. Limited high iso but I've made portrait customers happy with a K10 and Noiseware at ISO 1600. Sold my last K5 body in an hour on eBay "Buy It Now" for $175 as bargain grade. 100% functional with 125k shutter actuation.
08-25-2016, 03:20 AM   #13
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My Dad took a photograph of the front gate of Hampton Court Palace on a K10D. It was distortion corrected and printed at insane size onto the temporary replacement gate while the original was away being renovated.

Don't forget it was an award winning enthusiast/semi-pro camera in it's day, in good light you can get real stunners from a K10.
08-25-2016, 03:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tekmongoose Quote
Don't forget it was an award winning enthusiast/semi-pro camera in it's day
Yes, this. Today's rooster is tomorrow's feather duster... but today's feather duster was once king of the barnyard and that must be borne in mind when dismissing or criticising "old cameras".
08-25-2016, 04:20 AM   #15
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I forgot to add that the KX and Kr can both take AA batteries. A very nice feature for back-up, as students rarely plan ahead and charge the battery.


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