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11-05-2019, 10:56 AM   #1
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Looking for purchase advice on some "more experienced" cameras.

I was pondering picking up a K10d off of ebay when I decided to check the price of a Q/Q7. While I'm leaning more towards a full DSLR, there is something appealing about the smaller camera and being able to walk around with it without getting a second glance from anyone. Not to mention, most places that discourage "professional photography" will probably discount the Q, especially in some of the more "interesting" color schemes.

I'm in no way a professional photographer and haven't done much photography in several years, but I would love to get back into it. I don't have a very large budget, so I'm looking at some of the older cameras such as the K10/20/200d. I also have a line on possibly a K-30 and 2 lenses in around the same price range with a little work and luck, though I have a feeling that will fall through.

The K10d and K200d I can find for around $150 with a lens or two. The K20d looks like it's coming in around $175ish. The Q10 I found with the 5-15mm lens is about $140.

If I can get the K-30 in the sub $200 range, it is probably the best use of my money.

I enjoy random street and landscape/scenery photography the most plus will use it during my son's soccer season. And there's always family photos, both staged and otherwise.

While I've always wanted an ILC (at the time, a nice 35mm SLR) since I was about 8, I've never had one. What do you think would be my best bet for a sub $200 camera and lenses to get started back into photography? And while I'd like to bite the bullet now, I'm not opposed to just looking for a deal on a camera that would be a better match. (After all, only a few more months until tax returns, though I still will need to keep it in the low end of the price range.)

The more I look at cameras, the harder a time I have making up my mind. Thank you for any help you can give.

(Why am I sure that I'm going to get 10 replies suggesting 15 different cameras... lol)

11-05-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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have you looked at the " user " and " in depth " reviews

Pentax Digital Cameras and Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

or the camera comparison tool

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-cameras-compared/?c1=Pentax+K10D&...c3=Pentax+K-30

and when you decide what you want to find to purchase

don't forget to look at the forum's market place under " buy/sell "

you can sort it to indicate where the equipment is located:

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (United States) - PentaxForums.com
11-05-2019, 11:15 AM   #3
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The old cameras are great in their own right, but have little to offer a photographer starting out on a digital discovery.

Digital equipment is more tech than mechanics and as such, the older stuff lacks what a modern camera can give you

I am not saying a fantastic image can be produced from a K10 D. I have posted some myself recently. But seriously, in what other environment would you consider starting off with outdated tech ?
11-05-2019, 11:25 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that lots of K-30, K-50, K-500, & some K-S1, K-S2, & very few K-70 cameras have experienced the dreaded aperture motor failure. You can read more about it HERE. Just click on the threads that have "aperture" in the title to get an idea.

Now, it's not guaranteed that it will fail, but too many already have. I personally wouldn't recommend a K-30 nor a K-50, unless you don't mind fixing them if they fail. I have 2 K-50 bodies that I had to fix on my own. I'd rather go for the earlier DSLR models that you're looking at or spring for a K-5 or a slightly better K-5II or K-5IIs without the AA filter.

The Pentax Q cameras are quite nice. I'd rather go for a Q7 or a Q-S1, but they get pricier. They do have a much smaller 1/1.7 sensor than the DSLR cameras, but it's still a bitl larger than the 1/2.3 sensor on the older Q cameras.

11-05-2019, 11:53 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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Something came to my mind. Maybe you could consider posting in the "wanted" section of the maket place, if somebody is aiming at cleaning up their old camera gear. You'd be willing to pay to the shipment costs, I suppose.
11-05-2019, 12:09 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I started off with a K20D and while it probably had the worst sensor of any cameras I have owned (even the K10D to me has a better sensor) it was still capable of fine images. And the fact that ISO 640 was the top that I would use on that camera (the noise on the K20D/K7 high ISO is just plain horrible), that allowed me to learn proper technique for holding a camera correctly so I could get better pictures with lower shutter speeds. Of course when I started in 2013 the K20D was only about 5 years old - which is what a K-S1 would be for someone starting today! Lower ISO also made me look beyond the kit lens and get some faster primes - it paired up very well with the Pentax DA 35 2.4 and the Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7. Having a lot of manual controls was also a huge plus and all these factors made me really work because at first I was getting a very low keeper rate - I had to learn to manually focus some lenses, and to be able to guess a ballpark exposure - I'm still able to do that with ISO 100 and 400, which was basically what I used with the K20D, it was either one or the other, and 640 if it was really dark.

Having said that, a newer camera has its advantages - and shortcomings as well. The K-30/K-50 and also the K-S1/K-S2/K-70 have issues with the aperture mechanism failing. It will cost around 100 dollars to fix if not more, unless you buy the part and fix it yourself - something I wouldn't consider. But I have a K-S1 and a K-50 as well as a K10D (which I traded my K20D for, I like it a lot better!) - and have not had the aperture block failure, thank God.

After I sang the praises of the K10D (and I think it would make a great 2nd camera for you down the road) I think you should skip it because of your requirement to take pictures of your kids soccer games. The K30 would be much better for that. I use my K-S1 or K-50 for exactly that (kids soccer and basketball), usually with my SMC-A 70-210mm f4 lens - it's a manual focus zoom but it has good contrast wide open so it's easy to focus. I get more keepers from it than I was getting from my autofocus lens (Tamron 70-300). The image quality is also better. I think that to get better pictures and the focusing that I need compared to what I can get from that old zoom, I would have to buy the newest version of the Pentax 55-300mm which is the HD PLM - but that would cost several hundred dollars that I don't have. It sounds like you would be in the same boat as me, with a small budget to play with - so I would say consider the K30 or a K50 or even a K5II/K5IIs if you can find one in your budget, and start learning. Take as many pictures as you can and have fun!
11-05-2019, 12:12 PM   #7
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My first serious DSLR was the K-10D. If you can find one with a relatively low shutter snap count, you can't go wrong. Very solid feel and capable for its era. Check out this album:
Apet-Sure's Album: Nature-K10D - PentaxForums.com
It came (used) with the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens. I was never happy with this lens. I upgraded to a Sigma 17-70mm DC Macro, and the images were much better. That rig won't be as portable or inconspicuous as a Q, but is capable of some very nice images.

As far as the best use of your money, don't skimp on lens quality. I might suggest spending 50% or more of your budget on the lens and 50% or less on the camera. A $15 lens on a $1500 camera will give you $15 lousy images. There are some great budget price lenses though. I can whole-heartedly recommend the Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 if you don't mind an all manual lens. Tremendous bang for the buck, and readily available. It would be considered a short telephoto on an APS-C camera like the K-10D. The field-of-view would be equivalent to a 75mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera.

If you get a nice tax return, you might consider a K-5 II or IIs. I have the IIs and love it. Much better high ISO performance, more megapickles, and many more useful features than the K-10D. A very respectable camera that's highly regarded here on the forum in spite of its age. They come up for sale here on the Marketplace pretty regularly. Here's my K-5IIs nature album:
Apet-Sure's Album: Nature-K5IIs - PentaxForums.com

My 2 cent opinion. Good luck in your hunt. Welcome to the forum! Post pictures when you get your gear.
11-05-2019, 01:50 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
My first serious DSLR was the K-10D. If you can find one with a relatively low shutter snap count, you can't go wrong. Very solid feel and capable for its era. Check out this album:
Apet-Sure's Album: Nature-K10D - PentaxForums.com
It came (used) with the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens. I was never happy with this lens. I upgraded to a Sigma 17-70mm DC Macro, and the images were much better. That rig won't be as portable or inconspicuous as a Q, but is capable of some very nice images.

As far as the best use of your money, don't skimp on lens quality. I might suggest spending 50% or more of your budget on the lens and 50% or less on the camera. A $15 lens on a $1500 camera will give you $15 lousy images. There are some great budget price lenses though. I can whole-heartedly recommend the Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 if you don't mind an all manual lens. Tremendous bang for the buck, and readily available. It would be considered a short telephoto on an APS-C camera like the K-10D. The field-of-view would be equivalent to a 75mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera.

If you get a nice tax return, you might consider a K-5 II or IIs. I have the IIs and love it. Much better high ISO performance, more megapickles, and many more useful features than the K-10D. A very respectable camera that's highly regarded here on the forum in spite of its age. They come up for sale here on the Marketplace pretty regularly. Here's my K-5IIs nature album:
Apet-Sure's Album: Nature-K5IIs - PentaxForums.com

My 2 cent opinion. Good luck in your hunt. Welcome to the forum! Post pictures when you get your gear.
I agree along these lines. While I could go into more detailed suggestions, I'm sure you're going to get a lot of that already. Instead I'll just second the thought that really you should pick the best lens your budget can afford for the things you want to shoot, and whatever is left over on a body. Of course, you should take into account some general considerations about the body (like if you cared about video, needed IBIS, a higher frame rate, high ISO ability, etc) but if it just comes down to IQ between similar older cameras, the difference in a quality lens is going to be way more than the body is going to make.

My two cents from owning a lot of cameras and lenses over the years of many different brands. This is what I tell friends nowadays when they ask. I used to try to get them the best body for their budget and then they just ended up with a kit lens trying to shoot wildlife which is what they wanted to do all along.

Good luck, you can get some pretty nice stuff out there for not very much!

11-05-2019, 02:35 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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All good advice above.

Budget constraints can be a challenge and it sounds like yours is pretty tight. The K10D is without question a rock solid body but
it is 13 years old and lacks many features found on more recent cameras. Most notably, IMO, the K10D lacks Live View, a really
useful feature. The K-30/50 suffer from aperture block failure. If you can grab one of these bodies with low shutter count at a really
good price, go for it, but know that the aperture block failure is highly variable in its appearance and your camera might fail at
10,000 actuations or not until 30,000+.

However, if you can stretch your budget just a little bit, I'm seeing K5's on ebay for as little as $200. I didn't dig in depth nor
can I vouch for any of the sellers offering these lower prices, but the K5 is a very solid body, easily good for 100,000 actuations
if you take care of it. I think the K5 is worth a couple weeks of raman dinners if that's what it takes to upgrade over a K10D or K-30.

The Q cameras are indeed a world of fun and capable of taking excellent pictures in their own right. If your end goal is simply to
view and post images online then the Q is more than adequate. The main drawback of the Q, a serious one IIMO, is the lack
of a viewfinder. That means you are always using the rear LCD to compose and focus, which can be very challenging when
using the camera in bright sunlight. There are ways to minimize this problem, but all of them spoil the petite quality of the Q.
11-05-2019, 06:41 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
All good advice above.

Budget constraints can be a challenge and it sounds like yours is pretty tight. The K10D is without question a rock solid body but
it is 13 years old and lacks many features found on more recent cameras. Most notably, IMO, the K10D lacks Live View, a really
useful feature. The K-30/50 suffer from aperture block failure. If you can grab one of these bodies with low shutter count at a really
good price, go for it, but know that the aperture block failure is highly variable in its appearance and your camera might fail at
10,000 actuations or not until 30,000+.

However, if you can stretch your budget just a little bit, I'm seeing K5's on ebay for as little as $200. I didn't dig in depth nor
can I vouch for any of the sellers offering these lower prices, but the K5 is a very solid body, easily good for 100,000 actuations
if you take care of it. I think the K5 is worth a couple weeks of raman dinners if that's what it takes to upgrade over a K10D or K-30.

The Q cameras are indeed a world of fun and capable of taking excellent pictures in their own right. If your end goal is simply to
view and post images online then the Q is more than adequate. The main drawback of the Q, a serious one IIMO, is the lack
of a viewfinder. That means you are always using the rear LCD to compose and focus, which can be very challenging when
using the camera in bright sunlight. There are ways to minimize this problem, but all of them spoil the petite quality of the Q.
I absolutely agree. If you are getting into this realm, a cheap price for a less able older model can easily wind up throwing away money not to mention the future effort of trying to trade off for something more satisfying. The K10D was a fine camera in its day, but did not produce very sharp JPEG images out of the camera for the sort of usage you are seeking, along with the other matters given above.

The K-5, even the K-5 II, or even yet the K-5 IIs, are all now quite old cameras, yet they have stood the test of time far better than most DSLR models of the past. Keep an eye out for one of these in fine condition, and also for a fine-condition DA 18-135mm lens with an undamaged hood, which has WR construction like the camera body, and even with the oldest original K-5 can provide very good autofocus performance. It has the wide focal length range versatility to accommodate the variety of needs you describe, yet is compact but well-built and can produce fine images.

Last edited by mikesbike; 11-05-2019 at 06:52 PM.
11-05-2019, 09:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
If you get a nice tax return, you might consider a K-5 II or IIs. I have the IIs and love it. Much better high ISO performance, more megapickles, and many more useful features than the K-10D. A very respectable camera that's highly regarded here on the forum in spite of its age. They come up for sale here on the Marketplace pretty regularly. Here's my K-5IIs nature album:
Apet-Sure's Album: Nature-K5IIs - PentaxForums.com
I also recommend a K-5 II.
11-05-2019, 09:36 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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K-5IIs, no question. Much better camera and value than the other models you mention, and you should be able to find one for around $250.
11-06-2019, 12:20 AM   #13
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Another vote for the K-5 models.
If you focus on them there will be something coming up for sale near your budget, especially if you are willing to exceed it for the right combination of body and lens.

An alternative, if you are happy to focus manually, is the K-30, K-50/500 models with aperture block. Not quite the overall specs the K-5 provides but there are plenty of Pentax manual lenses that can produce good images.
Bear in mind that you may get the inclination to upgrade sooner than you think but one of the K-5 models might prevent that inclination coming too quickly.
11-06-2019, 07:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Something to keep in mind is that the K10D, 20D, and K5 were all top-of-the-line cameras when they came out, whereas the K30 and K50 were mid-level cameras. The difference is mostly in build quality, although it's pretty safe to say that most Pentax cameras are built pretty well. I have a K10D, as well as a couple of Qs. Of the two cameras, the K10D is the more serious camera. I like the Q for when I'm not really out with the intention of taking photographs, but I want something more than just my cellphone. Those who are suggesting you shop around for a K5 are right...it's a more advanced camera than a K10D. But if that's out of your budget, I would still consider a K10D if I were you. I recently upgraded to a K1 from my K10D and the primary reason was to get better performance at higher ISO settings. Other than that, I was more than happy with my K10D when I used it at 400 ISO or below. So if you were wanting to shoot your kid's soccer game during the day...it would probably do fine. But if it's a night game....eh, maybe not so much.
11-06-2019, 07:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
. . . If I can get the K-30 in the sub $200 range, it is probably the best use of my money. . . .
I agree with the recommendations of the K 5 II

but we must keep in mind the limitations of budget

the OP said below $200

is that a range that the K 5 II or better sells at ?

By examining the photos posted by members here, one thing is for certain. Good photography is not dependant on gear alone

gear + knowledge + experience seems to be to be the formula
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