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12-07-2020, 09:51 AM   #16
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For someone really excited to learn exposure hands-on, K-70 at $350 is a screaming deal and easy recommendation. Old cheap great lenses help from this angle.

For someone who just wants a more flexible camera than their phone, and wants to be shown what the camera can do...it's harder to ignore something like Olympus' OMD EM10.

12-07-2020, 09:52 AM - 1 Like   #17
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There were always simpler alternatives to (D)SLRs - SLRs were for people who wanted control over the process, as Mike says, and the flexibility of a system to take almost any type of photograph (as in subject matter) with the same body. Probably DSLRs offer the purest photographic experience and are the best tools if you really want to understand photography and therefore exercise control over your results, and Pentax offers a purer experience than some, but that's not for most people - most people just want the quickest way to a good enough image.
12-07-2020, 09:55 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Compared to numbers I've seen for Canon, Nikon and Sony, those numbers are excellent.
Very good then!!
12-07-2020, 10:11 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by STARHUNTER94 Quote
For price point and weather sealing (not to mention some great glass) I don't see why not. It has been for me so far.
For many Pentax users, that's exactly the deal. It suits them, for whatever reason. The hard part deciding what to recommend for beginners is, your understanding of what the best system is for their needs. There are reasons why it should be Pentax relevant to some people, there are other reasons why it shouldn't be, for other people.

For people seriously interested in exploring all aspects of photography, it's hard to recommend something other than APS-c, FF MF with FF being the most flexible in terms of being able to do everything. It's the optical sweet spot for versatility. But APS-c is pretty close in every way that's likely to be meaningful to the average shooter, and slightly easier to use in most situations.


Last edited by normhead; 12-07-2020 at 10:18 AM.
12-07-2020, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #20
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The problem with beginners is that they're very much brand oriented, rather than looking or specs and performance which they still do not understand. Personally I have encountered much more interest from enthusiast shooters already invested into a system rather than first time shooters.
12-07-2020, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #21
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When I started, I wanted a camera that had a good OVF, a good control layout (I like fiddling, and tactile feel is important to me) and gave me good IQ. Image quality would be well served with anything this side of 2008 or whereabouts so no issue there, but the other requirements automatically slashed any Canikon camera below X0D/D7X00 level with their tiny pentamirrors and single dials.

As I wasn't comfortable spending a lot of money initially on the hobby, I researched older flagships. Pentax, maybe with a bit of subsconcious memory from my parents' Espio 115G (film point&shoot), made a lot of sense as soon as I read "Top class OVF", "IBIS" and "40 years of lenses".

Then again, I'm very technically-minded - I researched the stuff for a month, tried out a 5D, Nex6 and D5300 (the cameras of the people who got me into this money sink ) to get an idea of handling, read reviews, stalked Ebay. I knew that I wanted to get into the craft of making the images as much as I cared about the result, so I wasn't as focused on raw specs as I was on feel during use - maybe not a typical beginner.

And here we are.
12-07-2020, 10:36 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lev Quote
Long time ago when I was choosing between brands, I made my choice mainly because of nice community, then body itself was if not better, at least at the same level to other brands for much lower price, visual appearance and ergonomics, all these stuff helped me to pull trigger. So what would be an inspiration for new users choose Pentax in these days?
You might want to define "long time ago" for comparative comments.
12-07-2020, 10:42 AM - 1 Like   #23
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Realistically... I think Pentax still makes good cameras for learners, but a beginner is probably going to be swept along by whatever's trendy, to an extent, and they may feel like they need Canikon or Sony mirrorless. It's just the way things are.

12-07-2020, 10:44 AM   #24
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I agree with BigMacCam, DSLR's of any brand will be a hard sell for beginners I think.

If someone is looking into buying their first ILC they will probably do a lot of searching online and I'm sure most of the top search results will be for mirrorless cameras or for Canon and Nikon DSLR's.

I don't think menus play any part of someones buying decision, especially if they are buying their first camera and have nothing to compare it with. I know Sony gets called out on bad menus by reviewers all the time, I never used one so don't know what it's really like but maybe that will be the final decision maker for someone who is not sure if they should buy a Sony or another brand maybe.

Pentax is great for somethings and not so great for others but for someone just starting out they will have a hard time finding the info out with how poor Pentax markets itself.
12-07-2020, 10:52 AM   #25
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Pentax doesn't really compete in the beginner's price brackets anymore, although we may see the K-70 move down to that bracket and things might change.
12-07-2020, 10:54 AM   #26
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It still seems to me that a vast majority of people who want to take it more seriously still equate this with having a dedicated camera. With the bang for the buck that Pentax has to offer, I could see it being appealing to beginners on a budget. Just my two cents. Of course I am a little biased.
12-07-2020, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #27
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Honestly I'm not sure DSLRs are good for beginners anymore. Ironic since they haven't changed at all since the DSLR boom, when every beginner wanted to upgrade to one. But small Mirrorless cameras are so much easier to carry around in an age when the temptation is to just use a cellphone. We have to weigh the cost of carry to rewards of results.
12-07-2020, 10:58 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by WileyB Quote
For someone really excited to learn exposure hands-on, K-70 at $350 is a screaming deal and easy recommendation. Old cheap great lenses help from this angle.
You could probably make a better argument for a used K-5 (original, not ii) at $200 or less. A sale price at one store that lasts for only a few hours doesn't really constitute the K-70 being priced at $350 new, unless there are further pricing developments.

My experience with old cheap lenses is that they are only rarely "great" or even very good by modern standards, and those from the manual focus era are relatively difficult to use on a crop sensor body, which simply doesn't have the viewfinder capabilities of 35mm film bodies. But there are reasonably priced newer lenses that do perform well on digital. So I don't think price is nearly as much of an obstacle to someone interested in learning photography as it was at pretty much any other time in history.
12-07-2020, 10:59 AM - 3 Likes   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Honestly, I'm not sure any DSLR, regardless of brand, is a particularly attractive option for beginners these days. Smartphone cameras are good enough for many purposes, after which I expect most of those developing a deeper interest would likely pick one of the mirrorless ILC options. It seems like a more natural progression to me. I think unless you've tried a DSLR, understood how it differs from a phone or mirrorless camera, and discovered the purity of shooting through an OVF (which, let's be frank, isn't everyone's cup of tea), then the DSLR form is a pretty hard sell...
This. A lot of my friends know that I shoot with a camera & they do like the results that I get out of my K-50. Some of them have had interest in buying a camera, but once I tell them that they either have to attach their camera to the PC or take out their SD card & place it into the PC's internal or external card reader to download OOC jpegs at the bare minimum, they're like, "Oh no. That sounds like too much of a hassle for me. I do like the images from your camera better than the ones I get from my phone, but I'll just stick to using my phone to take pictures. It's way easier." I don't even talk to them about RAW files & the whole converting those to jpeg images at all, since that usually seems to be way over their heads.

Here's the sad thing. If someone really wants a camera recommendation from me, I don't bother telling them to get a Pentax or any other DSLR. I'll tell them to look into into a mirrorless body 'cause I know that they will have a hard time using a DSLR, especially when it comes to confirming focus through the viewfinder. A mirrorless body is closer to what they're already kind of used to.
12-07-2020, 11:07 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For many Pentax users, that's exactly the deal. It suits them, for whatever reason. The hard part deciding what to recommend for beginners is, your understanding of what the best system is for their needs. There are reasons why it should be Pentax relevant to some people, there are other reasons why it shouldn't be, for other people.

For people seriously interested in exploring all aspects of photography, it's hard to recommend something other than APS-c, FF MF with FF being the most flexible in terms of being able to do everything. It's the optical sweet spot for versatility. But APS-c is pretty close in every way that's likely to be meaningful to the average shooter, and slightly easier to use in most situations.

For time when I was thinking which camera to buy, there were people telling me that mirrorless is the way to go, because time has changed. Not even today I think that mirrorless is better, just has its advantages. Most likely someone new in shop will buy other brand primarily because of marketing things.
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