Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Started Aug 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
marike6
Senior MemberPosts: 5,070Gear list
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If you don't care about video get the K-30.
In reply to McGooble, Aug 7, 2013

If you don't care about video the K-30 at it's current price of about $500 (give or take) is one of the very best deals on photography.  The only thing I would say is to buy the body only, and not the kit with the DA 18-55 (non-WR).  The 18-55 kit lens, the one with the plastic mount, is not bad optically, but it really is pretty flimsy with it's plastic mount.  The much better option would be to buy the K-30 body only, and add the 18-55 WR, as then you will have a completely weather sealed camera (it makes no sense to put a non-WR lens on the weather sealed K-30).

As far as the 50 1.8, if you shoot a lot of portraiture, or do a lot of low-light work, it's an excellent lens.  If I were buying I'd try to find a used FA 50 1.4 for the better build and larger max aperture, but the new 50 1.8 is a very good lens optically so either one will suit you.  If you want a prime to use as a normal lens for every day, general photography, you should probably get the DA 35 f/2.4 instead for the wide FOV.  It has a smaller max aperture, but IMHO, 50mm is a better focal length for general shooting than the 75mm that you would get with the DA 50 1.8.

There are only a few situations that I'd recommend either staying with Canon or getting one of the excellent Nikon cameras like the D7000 or D5200.  Video quality is not so good in the K-30.  It's OK at close range, but any shots with brick building or architecture will moire pretty heavily.  I loved my K-30 when I had it, but Pentax for some reason set the max bit rate for video really low at 17 mbps (meaning it's pretty compressed).

As a still camera the K-30 is awesome.  Great 100% Pentaprism viewfinder, small size with a solid grip, extremely user friendly Info menu, and superb IQ.  Pentax lenses in general, especially with the recent price increases, are a bit more expensive than Canikon, but since K mount is well supported by third party vendors like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina, you could easily put together a powerful two lens kit, i.e. Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 (or equivalent Sigma lenses).

I will also recommend the D7000 as it's an awesome camera which you can get refurbished by Nikon for $689 (body only).  Paired with a 35 1.8 DX and the 18-105 VR, you will have an absolutely awesome kit that will take you far.  The AF system on the D7000 is superb, video quality is excellent, and the magnesium alloy body is a thing of beauty.  It's a bit larger than the K-30, but not all that much.  Nikon has more AF-S lenses at lower prices than Pentax SDM lenses, if money is a concern.

If you are in the US, Cameta Camera has the D7000 refurbished by Nikon for $689 (and incredibly good price).  And even though it's $189 more than the K-30 body, the lower cost of some of Nikon's entry to mid level zooms and primes may end up making the K-30 two lens kit and D7000 two lens kit about the same price.

Still it's difficult to go wrong with either camera.  Best of luck, Markus

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