Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Started Aug 6, 2013 | Discussions
jm_mac Senior Member • Posts: 2,044
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Yes, this is the first thread I've ever read on this or any dp review forum that a weather resistant flash is so critical.

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,776
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

I think it has to do with children.  Pet owners don't need a weather flash.  Not really.  People that use flash to take landscape pictures should use a weather flash.

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fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Pentax Full Frame

A 35mm DSLR format from Pentax may still be a few years off but some of the current lenses could "support" the FF format, at least was tried w/ film like the Pentax DA 35mm f2.4 and Pentax DA 50mm f1.8, yeah FF glass for less than US$200 (I don't know how much is the 35mm FF from Canikon) and not counting the Pentax DA 40 f2.8 Limited and the DA 70 f2.4 Limited.

3rd party support is already there like Sigma's new line of lenses does support the K mount especially that lovely 35mm f1.4 Art, Samyang lenses except their tilt-shift ones, Tamron has the highly regarded 17-50 f2.8 and also has a 70-200 f2.8 in K mount. Almost all of these lenses supports the 35mm DSLR format except the 17-50. So all in all, Pentax has a lot of lenses to choose from.

Yep, the K30 + DA 50mm f1.8 is an excellent setup, get a cheap Nikon SB24 and set it to A mode and happily shoot away.

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fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
FF! FF everywhere!

60D high ISO performance? From DPR's studio scene comparison, at ISO1600 is already noticeable and the 70D is hardly an improvement. Even @ ISO3200, the K30 raw looks much cleaner vs the 60D and 70D @ ISO1600.

The Canon 70-200 LII IS f2.8 is debatable, there are a lot of reviews there that the new Tamron's 70-200 bested it and the old SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro also bested the L IS (even with the noisy screw drive motor, it is snappy w/ Pentax) and is more than $1000 cheaper.

The funny thing is, the TS is just looking for a decent, good quality, clean high ISO, affordable APSC DSLR.

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ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: FF! FF everywhere!
2

fakuryu wrote:

60D high ISO performance? From DPR's studio scene comparison, at ISO1600 is already noticeable and the 70D is hardly an improvement. Even @ ISO3200, the K30 raw looks much cleaner vs the 60D and 70D @ ISO1600.

noise itself is not an issue in practice because you can easily clean it up in post. what matters is detail and DR retention. 60D is a bit behind, there is no debate. My point is the difference is not as much as people often make it out to be. Canon's real weakness isnt high iso, it is in low iso.

These are from 60D, high ISO, Ar they noisy?

The Canon 70-200 LII IS f2.8 is debatable, there are a lot of reviews there that the new Tamron's 70-200 bested it

No, the new Tamron is good and a low cost alternative, but it doesnt quite match 70-00II let alone beats it. for one thing it isnt even a real 70-200, it is a 70-180. in other words, it has no real 200mm end, so how can it beat Canon's 200mm end?

and the old SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro also bested the L IS (even with the noisy screw drive motor, it is snappy w/ Pentax) and is more than $1000 cheaper.

It can be snappy all it wants. but for telephoto lenses, it is the combination of speed and accuracy that is important. older third party lenses are never known for their accuracy.

The funny thing is, the TS is just looking for a decent, good quality, clean high ISO, affordable APSC DSLR.

That may well be but he is looking for opinions and thoughts of others, on both issues he thought about and he missed.

miles green
miles green Veteran Member • Posts: 6,458
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon
1

The Pentax is a great option for family pics. I'm very fond of my K5 and would not trade it for any aps-c from canon or Nikon.

SR is nice for posed pics, but pretty much useless on wide or normal lens if your subject starts to run around (but it's a a godsend for short teles like the 77). A super fast lens is also not the solution - you'll run into depth-of-field problems. What you want is high iso.

You also want accurate focusing in low light. Do consider the K5ii, for its upgraded AF system for low light applications. those who have it are thrilled. The build quality of the camera is also remarkable, but you have to hold one to find out.

You shouldn't worry about lens selection. Pentax has no gaps until you decide you want to spend some serious bucks on a lens. Lens pricing is a different point, but please don't compare a limited lens to a plastic-fantastic f/2. If you like prime lens, Pentax is a very nice place to be.

Another huge advantage is the dynamic range of the Pentax sensor (OK, it's a Sony sensor, just like in most of the Nikons). The RAWs are extremely flexible. In dark lighting, they'll bring out colors that your eyes cannot see.

My 2c! 

McGooble wrote:

Hi, everyone.

I apologize in advance for the long post, but I've been thinking about this for quite a while.

I'm not officially a Pentax owner yet, but it seems like a definite possibility. Currently I use a Canon Rebel XS and have a 18-55 kit lens and the "nifty fifty" 50mm 1.8. I have been thinking of switching systems for a while now as I felt both Nikon and Pentax were much better in low noise, high ISO photography. I enjoy taking natural light photos, so this is a big emphasis for me if I end up upgrading. On the XS I feel that anything above ISO 400 gets a bit too noisy, too much detail starts to degrade. Everything I've read makes me think that Canons in general are noisier athigher ISO. Plus I hate the way the auto white balance renders incandescent light, even with the incandescent setting it is still far too orange, which seems to be a problem with all the Canons I've encountered. I take pictures in RAW+jpg, so I'm not adverse to touching things up in post, but if things look decent out of camea use the jpg.

In my research I ended up focusing on the Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K-30. Both seemed like excellent upgrades, having great high ISO performance, two control wheels and generally easier controls to help me develop my skills further. My father-in-law has a Nikon D60 and I've always admired then straight out of camera colors and contrast, so initially I was more geared towards Nikon. Their lens selection was also rather robust, so that was great too. I've been wanting a wider angle fast prime and Nikon's 35mm 1.8 is a lot cheaper than most wider primes.

Unfortunately the D7000 is also a bit out of my budget at the moment. Also I was talking to a local camera shop owner and he said that he wouldnt even carry them because they have back/front focusing issues that can't seem to be figured out. This guy knows what he's talking about too, since he repairs cameras as well he gets some insider knowledge from his colleagues in the warranty centers. So that was strike two against the D7000.

Then I started to wonder if I should consider the D5200. It had the same focusing system as the D7000 in addition to having an updated 24mp sensor. It seems pretty good, but it also seems more like a lateral upgrade since it would take some additional menu diving to change settings, same as my XS. One of my other goals if i upgraded was to get a camera that would help me grow as a photographer.

So that of course is where the k-30 comes in. I feel that for the price that it is a great deal for a better than entry level camera. It meets many of my criteria and has in body stabilization, which would be awesome to have even on a prime lens.

I do have some reservations however. As I said, I would love to get a wider fast prime (28 to 35mm and f1.4 to f2), but it seems the Pentax primes that fall in this category are much more expensive than Nikon's or are manual focus. While I wouldn't mind trying my hand at a manual focus lens (especially with focus peaking on the K-30), my main subject matter is my young children. They don't stay still long enough for a manual lens and I also prefer capturing them in a moment playing, etc. Also I have heard that the K-30's focusing can be a bit slow when compared to Nikon, not sure how much truth there is to that.

I had tried a Sigma 18-50mm 2.8 on my XS, but it seems that typical conditions in my house are still too dim for f2.8, so I really do need a faster lens. Of course with a higher ISO threshold that may be a different story. Typically my 50mm is on my camera 90% of the time so I'd really like a prime anyway. My next step if I stayed with Canon would be to get a Canon 28mm 1.8 or a Sigma 30mm 1.4, but I balk at spending $400-$450 on a lens.

Which brings me to my question. Do you guys think it would benefit me enough to switch systems? I don't have that much invested in Canon. Plus I could probably settle on the Pentax 50mm 1.8, since it just became sub $200. I might have to stagger my lens purchase though, at least until I sell my Canon gear. Not sure I could go back to having only the kit lens again. Other lens suggestions are welcome, but I don't have the cash to go buy any star lenses or anything. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.

-Tony

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Miles Green
Pentaxian with chronic LBA
Corfu, Greece

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tecnoworld
tecnoworld Veteran Member • Posts: 7,206
have a look at samsung nx...

You could be surprised. Nx20 if you need a viewfinder, nx300 if you can livr without. The 30mm f2 is the lens you describe. Have a look at the performance of those cameras on dxo. Let me know!

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fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Re: FF! FF everywhere!

ultimitsu wrote:

fakuryu wrote:

60D high ISO performance? From DPR's studio scene comparison, at ISO1600 is already noticeable and the 70D is hardly an improvement. Even @ ISO3200, the K30 raw looks much cleaner vs the 60D and 70D @ ISO1600.

noise itself is not an issue in practice because you can easily clean it up in post. what matters is detail and DR retention. 60D is a bit behind, there is no debate. My point is the difference is not as much as people often make it out to be. Canon's real weakness isnt high iso, it is in low iso.

These are from 60D, high ISO, Ar they noisy?

That is correct, but do you have any indoor shots w/ dim lighting?

The Canon 70-200 LII IS f2.8 is debatable, there are a lot of reviews there that the new Tamron's 70-200 bested it

No, the new Tamron is good and a low cost alternative, but it doesnt quite match 70-00II let alone beats it.

Apples for apples, even the old Tamron beats the old Canon http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/tamron_70-200_2p8_c16/6

for one thing it isnt even a real 70-200, it is a 70-180. in other words, it has no real 200mm end, so how can it beat Canon's 200mm end?

70-180? 200mm end? Or do you mean 68-196 for the Tamron (Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD) and 68-193 from the Canon (Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM). Actually, it looks like that the Tamron has the longer end, better optically, just as fast, it may not be as well built as the L but it is substantially cheaper. Unfortunately, that model does not come in the K mount (hopefully just for now)

and the old SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro also bested the L IS (even with the noisy screw drive motor, it is snappy w/ Pentax) and is more than $1000 cheaper.

It can be snappy all it wants. but for telephoto lenses, it is the combination of speed and accuracy that is important. older third party lenses are never known for their accuracy.

Dunno about that for Pentax since all bodies since the K-r has a micro adjust AF, so its not a real problem. Additionally, AF accuracy from what I've read w/ Sony and Pentax bodies is quick and spot on.

Will I get one for my K5II? Who knows, for now I really don't have a need one or have a use for one. I am more interested with with a 3rd party Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART that just lays waste to the best of Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Zeiss.

What do I know? I just shoot with the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD on my friend's D40 and never had problems with speed and accuracy. Let me type that again. A D40 and I've also shot a D3s with the Nikon 70-200 VRII every now and then.

The funny thing is, the TS is just looking for a decent, good quality, clean high ISO, affordable APSC DSLR.

That may well be but he is looking for opinions and thoughts of others, on both issues he thought about and he missed.

Valid point taken.

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Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,966
Re: Pentax Full Frame

fakuryu wrote:

A 35mm DSLR format from Pentax may still be a few years off but some of the current lenses could "support" the FF format, at least was tried w/ film like the Pentax DA 35mm f2.4 and Pentax DA 50mm f1.8, yeah FF glass for less than US$200 (I don't know how much is the 35mm FF from Canikon) and not counting the Pentax DA 40 f2.8 Limited and the DA 70 f2.4 Limited.

3rd party support is already there like Sigma's new line of lenses does support the K mount especially that lovely 35mm f1.4 Art, Samyang lenses except their tilt-shift ones, Tamron has the highly regarded 17-50 f2.8 and also has a 70-200 f2.8 in K mount. Almost all of these lenses supports the 35mm DSLR format except the 17-50. So all in all, Pentax has a lot of lenses to choose from.

My own tests of my Pentax lenses on a 35mm camera are here:

Pentax Full Frame tests

That page also has links to posts to a couple of forums which give more details about tests of K-mount lenses on 35mm cameras.

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Jim in Hudson Senior Member • Posts: 2,208
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon
1

Midwest wrote:

McGooble wrote:

Hi, everyone.

I apologize in advance for the long post, but I've been thinking about this for quite a while.

I'm not officially a Pentax owner yet, but it seems like a definite possibility. Currently I use a Canon Rebel XS and have a 18-55 kit lens and the "nifty fifty" 50mm 1.8. I have been thinking of switching systems for a while now as I felt both Nikon and Pentax were much better in low noise, high ISO photography.

Certainly better than a five year old entry level 10mp DSLR.

I enjoy taking natural light photos, so this is a big emphasis for me if I end up upgrading. On the XS I feel that anything above ISO 400 gets a bit too noisy, too much detail starts to degrade. Everything I've read makes me think that Canons in general are noisier athigher ISO. Plus I hate the way the auto white balance renders incandescent light, even with the incandescent setting it is still far too orange, which seems to be a problem with all the Canons I've encountered.

You seem to have yourself convinced to change brands; as for the white balance, I much prefer to tweak it in RAW than to expect the camera to know precisely what the color temperature of the light is.

So that of course is where the k-30 comes in. I feel that for the price that it is a great deal for a better than entry level camera. It meets many of my criteria and has in body stabilization, which would be awesome to have even on a prime lens.

Bear in mind that in-body stabilization in a DSLR does not provide you, the AF or the metering with a stabilized image to work with. The sensor gets stabilized but you using the viewfinder, and the camera's AF and metering sensors, will have to work with an unstabilized and possibly jittery image, the longer the focal length the more this is the case. In-lens stabilization (Canon and Nikon) stabilizes what you see and what the sensors have to work with.

There is a very good reason Canon and Nikon use optical stabilization. Sensor-based stabilization is fine for mirrorless cameras, but with a DSLR it's too far downstream.

Really though, when someone thinking of switching to brand 'P' (or whatever) posts in that forum 'should I switch to brand 'P' you can guess what the response will be.

Canon and Nikon use lens stabilization because they started the technology with film cameras where "sensor" (i.e. film) stabilization was essentially impossible.  Granted, some have asserted that lens stabilization might be better for focal lengths of 300+ mm but I don't think matters at all to the OP.

What's likely to matter a whole more to the OP is stabilization in wide to normal primes where Nikon doesn't offer any.  Last I looked, their shortest stabilized prime is an 85 mm liens.

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ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: FF! FF everywhere!

fakuryu wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

That is correct, but do you have any indoor shots w/ dim lighting?

1/5s F2.8 ISO1600,

The Canon 70-200 LII IS f2.8 is debatable, there are a lot of reviews there that the new Tamron's 70-200 bested it

No, the new Tamron is good and a low cost alternative, but it doesnt quite match 70-00II let alone beats it.

Apples for apples, even the old Tamron beats the old Canon http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/tamron_70-200_2p8_c16/6

both lenses are irrelevant today, the old canon 70-200 IS F2.8 was never a great lens

for one thing it isnt even a real 70-200, it is a 70-180. in other words, it has no real 200mm end, so how can it beat Canon's 200mm end?

70-180? 200mm end? Or do you mean 68-196 for the Tamron (Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD) and 68-193 from the Canon (Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM). Actually, it looks like that the Tamron has the longer end, better optically, just as fast, it may not be as well built as the L but it is substantially cheaper. Unfortunately, that model does not come in the K mount (hopefully just for now)

I am not sure where you got these numbers from. But you can have a look the link below.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/12/quick-resolution-tests-on-two-new-70-200s

"The Tamron 70-200 (really it’s 186mm) f/2.8 is also exceptionally sharp, and maintains its sharpness throughout the zoom range, even at the long end. Just be aware the long end is not 200mm. We have the Canon and Nikon lenses all measured right at 200mm, while the Tamron is about 186mm. For what it is worth, the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 is about 190mm."

and the old SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro also bested the L IS (even with the noisy screw drive motor, it is snappy w/ Pentax) and is more than $1000 cheaper.

It can be snappy all it wants. but for telephoto lenses, it is the combination of speed and accuracy that is important. older third party lenses are never known for their accuracy.

Dunno about that for Pentax since all bodies since the K-r has a micro adjust AF, so its not a real problem. Additionally, AF accuracy from what I've read w/ Sony and Pentax bodies is quick and spot on.

The issue isnt micro adjustment, it is inherent in lens programming. We have to see more AF test under more stressful situations before we can say that it lives up to its role as high performance telephoto. Like these.

What do I know? I just shoot with the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD on my friend's D40 and never had problems with speed and accuracy. Let me type that again. A D40 and I've also shot a D3s with the Nikon 70-200 VRII every now and then.

Let see some of these D40 shots that required good speed and accuracy.

fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Re: FF! FF everywhere!

ultimitsu wrote:

fakuryu wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

That is correct, but do you have any indoor shots w/ dim lighting?

1/5s F2.8 ISO1600,

Can't really say but even with such a small pic, PP and noise smoothing is already evident.

The Canon 70-200 LII IS f2.8 is debatable, there are a lot of reviews there that the new Tamron's 70-200 bested it

No, the new Tamron is good and a low cost alternative, but it doesnt quite match 70-00II let alone beats it.

Apples for apples, even the old Tamron beats the old Canon http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/tamron_70-200_2p8_c16/6

both lenses are irrelevant today, the old canon 70-200 IS F2.8 was never a great lens

for one thing it isnt even a real 70-200, it is a 70-180. in other words, it has no real 200mm end, so how can it beat Canon's 200mm end?

70-180? 200mm end? Or do you mean 68-196 for the Tamron (Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD) and 68-193 from the Canon (Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM). Actually, it looks like that the Tamron has the longer end, better optically, just as fast, it may not be as well built as the L but it is substantially cheaper. Unfortunately, that model does not come in the K mount (hopefully just for now)

I am not sure where you got these numbers from. But you can have a look the link below.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/12/quick-resolution-tests-on-two-new-70-200s

"The Tamron 70-200 (really it’s 186mm) f/2.8 is also exceptionally sharp, and maintains its sharpness throughout the zoom range, even at the long end. Just be aware the long end is not 200mm. We have the Canon and Nikon lenses all measured right at 200mm, while the Tamron is about 186mm. For what it is worth, the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 is about 190mm."

http://www.tamron.com/en/photolens/di_hi_speed/a009.html

http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2013/02/lens-test-tamron-70-200mm-f28-di-vc-usd

http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2011/05/lens-test-canon-70-200-f28l-ii-usm?src=related&con=outbrain&obref=obinsite

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Tamron-Lens-SP-70-200mm-F-2.8-Di-VC-USD-Nikon-mount-review-High-performance-and-excellent-value/Tamron-Lens-SP-70-200mm-F-2.8-Di-VC-USD-versus-competition

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/04/30/review-tamron-70-200mm-f2-8-sp-di-vc-usd-canon-ef/

TO THE ADMIN: Just please delete the links if it is not allowed

and the old SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro also bested the L IS (even with the noisy screw drive motor, it is snappy w/ Pentax) and is more than $1000 cheaper.

It can be snappy all it wants. but for telephoto lenses, it is the combination of speed and accuracy that is important. older third party lenses are never known for their accuracy.

Dunno about that for Pentax since all bodies since the K-r has a micro adjust AF, so its not a real problem. Additionally, AF accuracy from what I've read w/ Sony and Pentax bodies is quick and spot on.

The issue isnt micro adjustment, it is inherent in lens programming. We have to see more AF test under more stressful situations before we can say that it lives up to its role as high performance telephoto. Like these.

Hard to say, since I have very little interest in wildlife or action photography. Maybe lets just wait and see from other users and

What do I know? I just shoot with the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD on my friend's D40 and never had problems with speed and accuracy. Let me type that again. A D40 and I've also shot a D3s with the Nikon 70-200 VRII every now and then.

Let see some of these D40 shots that required good speed and accuracy.

I look for some once I get home.

Anyway, this little talk of ours is already way off topic.

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robbo d Senior Member • Posts: 2,681
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

McGooble,

I also purchased a 1000D body as well, so had both. As I recall from a few sites, the 1000D supposedly had minutely better image Quality compared to 450D.

However, I purchased the Canon because Pentax sales in a small town I was living in was abysmal. No Kx's to be found anywhere, so I went to Canon, before later buying a Kx on ebay.

The recollection of the switch is as follows:

Noise? Well the Canon simply couldnt get anywhere near the Kx in hand held low light results. So if this makes sense, the Canon had seemingly less noise because it produced less detail and I could only really get significant highlights, where as the Kx I could get very acceptable shots at 1600 iso producing a lot of detail but with some acceptable noise.............

I also found the lens image quality of the Pentax 55-300 is an absolute peach. It's something that Canon or Nikon or Sony owners won't understand. The IQ from a $3-400 lens is brilliant if you forgive the noise and some AF hunting. Also I have found a legacy film zoom 28-105 for minimal $$ that performs very very well right across the range. So a cheap and effective combo.

The Kx is now a few years old but still a very capable entry level shooter> If you believe Snapsort website, the Kx sensor capabilities even out ranks the 60D in dynamic range, colour and image quality. Therefore the k30 being a step up again, will be even better still in DR, low light and IQ.

This is all reasonably important for stills, low light photograhy, if your not always using a tripod.

I did like the Canon feel in my hand, found the systems to be similar and easy to interchange.

I found all the extra digital filters for me largely unnecessary as I do mostly post processing.

I liked some of the skin tones and colours on the Canon, whereas the Pentax Kx was very punchy and bright with greens and reds.

If your into mainly stills shooting, low light, weather sealing, good IQ, then Pentax would be the way. The lens argument is largely redundant because of the availability of Sigma, Tamron and heaps of useful film legacy primes.

If you find your going to do video and want a very capable stills camera, want flip out and touch screen technology, then Canon for sure......

I still think that the K30 will outperform your XS with the new lens. However, buy the K30 and look for say the sigma 18-35 f1.8?? later and you will have an absolute killer low light combo

CFynn Veteran Member • Posts: 5,224
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Tan68 wrote:

As far as my take on lens philosophy, Pentax seems to be smaller and not as fast. Most of the primes are small, DA (DX for Nikon), screw drive, and no image stabilization in-lens (it is in-camera). I am not against screw drive; I think it allows a smaller lens. I am mostly satisfied with the speed of the lenses. As you may have noticed, most are not inexpensive.

I use Nikon cameras - but, for APS-C,  Pentax seems to have a much better selection of prime lenses than Nikon.

Many of the less expensive Nikon prime lenses are still screw drive ~ which means the AF won't work on current Nikon cameras below the D7000.

No  non-telephoto Nikon prime lens has image stabilization.

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marike6 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,088
If you don't care about video get the K-30.
1

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

 marike6's gear list:marike6's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P330 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR +7 more
pixelsmithy Contributing Member • Posts: 540
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Coming from Canon, you will be blown away by the high ISO performance of any Pentax DSLR since the K-x. Seriously. And if you can swing it, the K-5 is a gobsmackingly great camera and used ones are now available for around $500. You will be blown away by a K-5.

 pixelsmithy's gear list:pixelsmithy's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-3 II Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited +4 more
pixelsmithy Contributing Member • Posts: 540
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Also, Nikons are nice and you can buy one similar in performance to a Pentax, but the downside (for me) to Nikon is that you can't use m42 lenses (like the wonderful Pentax SMC Takumars) on a Nikon without an adapter that contains an optical element (degrading image quality). I love playing with legacy glass and with Pentax you get all the screwmount lenses AND the long-lived k-mount manual and autofocus glass. LOTS of relatively inexpensive choices.

 pixelsmithy's gear list:pixelsmithy's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-3 II Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited +4 more
Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,776
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

I didn't know these things.  Thanks.

CFynn wrote:

Tan68 wrote:

...

I use Nikon cameras - but, for APS-C, Pentax seems to have a much better selection of prime lenses than Nikon.

Many of the less expensive Nikon prime lenses are still screw drive ~ which means the AF won't work on current Nikon cameras below the D7000.

No non-telephoto Nikon prime lens has image stabilization.

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Phase One Capture One Pro +1 more
britcam
britcam Senior Member • Posts: 2,462
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

A friend of mine has just bought a D7100 after using a D5000 for a few years. She does landscapes mostly and recently bought a Tokina 11-16 at a good price. I was amazed when she told me that its AF doesn't work on bodies below D7000 level.

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Kind regards
britcam - Rich S

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Leandros S Senior Member • Posts: 1,972
Actually, K-30 is FASTER to focus than D7000
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In the most commonly encountered scenarios, for most people. Check out figures on imaging resource under the performance tab of each review. (Nikon is only faster with flash.)

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