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Thread: Pentax K-r? First DSLR

  1. #1
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    Pentax K-r? First DSLR

    Hello all! I am new here just found this forum from a search and was reading some posts for a while and people on here seem informative and nice. I am really wanting to get my first DSLR. I have been interested in getting one for some time now, but I just can't 100% decide if they are worth the $$$ because this would only be a hobby for me, as is for most people. Right now I only have a Canon S3is which is old and limited by its Megapixels and speed.

    I have done some research on and off recently and I want a capable DSLR for sure but I am always looking for a deal. I have found that the Pentax K-r with the 18-55 and 55-300 for $659, no tax & free shipping, seems to be one heck of a value. Here is the problem: There seems to be a widespread issue with front focusing under artificial light. It seems as though Pentax hasn't fixed this issue but anyone with personal experience with this camera would be helpful. I would really like to get a Nikon or Canon but it seems like the mid level cameras like the D5100 and T3i cost more for the same features.

    I have been stewing over the specs and details and reviews. It seems to lead me in circles. I like nature photography and landscape. But I want to experiment with many other ideas I might get. The Pentax seems to fit my bill perfectly except for the major issue mentioned above. Part of the reason I would like to get the Nikon is for the lenses. Once I start acquiring lenses it would be too spendy to switch systems in the future so going Nikon would seem like a safe investment in my future. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax K-r? First DSLR

    Hello there and welcome to CiC.

    Firstly, you've maybe seen that most of us tend to use our real names on here. It makes communication more friendly and CiC is that sort of site. Did you know you can go to Edit Profile and enter your proper name under 'Real Name'. Then it will appear underneath your Username in all your posts.

    As to cameras.

    You highlight a problem that you've heard/read about. I don't know the extent to which this is a real issue. But the fact seems to be, as far as I know, that people are still buying this camera. So, is it really that much of an issue, or is it just an issue for the minority who inhabit forums for the purpose of seeing doom and gloom all over the world?

    For example, you say that you're interest is in nature and landscape. So, if there is any sort of question about how the gear performs in artificial light (although I don't understand that), is that a problem?

    Some people get too caught up with navel gazing. What are the good review sites saying about the camera?

    Canon and Nikon are, obviously, the big names and do offer a broader range of system options. But that doesn't mean that other manufacturers do not offer good equipment.

    What do you do? You do what works for you.

  3. #3
    MrB's Avatar
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    Philip

    Re: Pentax K-r? First DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by willbeoutdoors View Post
    I have done some research on and off recently and I want a capable DSLR for sure but I am always looking for a deal. I have found that the Pentax K-r with the 18-55 and 55-300 for $659, no tax & free shipping, seems to be one heck of a value. Here is the problem: There seems to be a widespread issue with front focusing under artificial light. It seems as though Pentax hasn't fixed this issue but anyone with personal experience with this camera would be helpful. I would really like to get a Nikon or Canon but it seems like the mid level cameras like the D5100 and T3i cost more for the same features.
    What should I do?
    You are right about the great value of the Pentax K-r twin lens kit. The build quality and features of the K-r are excellent - I am very pleased with mine, and I am not aware of a "front focusing" problem with it.

    Is front focusing a feature of the camera body or of lenses? I am on holiday at present and do not have the kit lenses with me. I took the following photos just now using an 18-135 zoom - they are not a very scientific test, but show the first page of the K-r manual under the light from a table lamp, shot at an angle of about 40 degrees. Before each shot I focused first on a wall about 3 metres away, then close-up on "Windows Vista" in the centre of the page.

    Pentax K-r? First DSLR

    Pentax K-r? First DSLR

    If you are going to be using the kit lenses for some time, of whichever camera you decide to get, you should be aware of the following point that rarely seems to be mentioned in reviews: The front element of the Pentax kit lenses does not rotate when it focuses - this makes it much easier to use filters, e.g. the commonly used polariser. I think that kit lenses from several other common brands do have rotating front elements, which seems a silly feature to me but, of course - it's up to you to decide.

    Philip

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