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Old Sep 27, 2011, 3:54 PM   #1
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Default k-r for action/sports?

I am planning on getting back into a DSLR, and want to find a reasonably priced camera package that has a good burst mode. I owned a D50 for awhile, primarily shooting with consumer telezoom lenses, f4-5.6. I was reasonably happy with my results, but found the D50 burst mode to be slower than I would like.

Which brings me to the k-r. It seems like a good deal packaged up with the 18-55, and 70-300 lenses, and nothing in that price range competes with the 6fps burst mode of the k-r.

It is unlikely I will pursue faster telezoom lenses down the road. I enjoy shooting high school soccer, surfing, field hockey, that sort of thing. I am fully aware that under the lights is doubtful without f2.8 glass. I am ok with that (though if there were f2.8 telezooms, I would consider that down the road....I don't know the Pentax market as well as I know the Nikon camera/lens lineup).

Just wondering if anyone using the k-r for sports photos has any thoughts.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old Sep 27, 2011, 6:27 PM   #2
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Mike - Welcome to the forums! Sorry I can't be of help - I have never tried sports photography. (Unless you count chasing hummingbirds as a sport!!) But there are several others here who have done some great sports photos, and will probably share their insights soon!

One nice thing about Pentax is that any lens ever made for Pentax will work on even the most current DSLR's. You might find some older, used lens options that will work for you as well...
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Old Sep 27, 2011, 6:31 PM   #3
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I have the Kr with the 2 lens pkg. 18-55 & 55-300, I shoot the grand kids soccer games with the 55-300 and it works very well, I don't use burst mode for soccer but have used it for the kids diving. The 55-300 is about perfect as the players can get close to the side line and me where the 55 end is good and the lens has a good reach for the far side of the field. The Kr also works well in evening games when the light is getting low with higher ISO requirements. The 12mp sensor still provides some cropping room when needed. See below shot with Kr & DAL 55-300

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...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DAL 55-300, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8 DA 18-135, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:

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Old Sep 27, 2011, 7:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Pictures look good. Nice to know you can still shoot in the evening when the light is low.
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Old Sep 27, 2011, 8:00 PM   #5
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I have the Kx and the two are almost identical. The rap that Pentax can't shoot sports is nonsense. At 5 fps, you can do very well. Below is one of my best at the ski park rail jam competition. Taken with the Tamron18-250.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 7:08 AM   #6
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The K-R with consumer grade lenses will do just as well, and just as poorly as any other entry/mid-entry level dslr with similar lenses. While it is true that Canon & Nikon have more potential, you need to use better lenses to realize that potential. If you know going in that you're going to use kit-style lenses, the K-R is as good an option as anything else.

The flip side to that is: sports shooting is demanding. And, some sports are more demanding than others. For example, you're not going to shoot indoor basketball or gymnastics or volleyball with kit-type lenses. Similarly, you're not going to shoot varsity football/soccer under the lights with them. But that's true in any system. You'll also have slower focus performance with those lenses than you would with better lenses. Again, that's true in any system. If I may ask, what sports are you planning on shooting? At what level of play? Where will YOU be for each sport? The answers to those questions will go a long way in determining whether you will be able to accomplish your goals with the amount of money you want to spend.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 11:32 AM   #7
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JohnG - Good feedback, all good points. Having used my D50 with kit lenses for a few years, and being a fairly avid reader of forums I am aware of shortcomings of lower end cameras and kit lenses. But budget being what it is, I can't just purchase any body like an Canon EOS 7D, though I wish I could get into that range.

My goal is to follow my kids as they age in the sports the play. Right now they are in 8th grade and 1st year of HS respectively playing field hockey, soccer, basketball, skiing/snowboarding, and surfing. I would like to start with kit lenses with the option to move to an f2.8 tele down the road if budget allows, but at this point, that is not a firm direction. Most of my shooting is daylight, but as my daughters go towards varsity, there will be games under the lights. I am willing to accept in the short term I cannot shoot night games with quality, and will have to limit myself to the day games. I generally can get access to the sideline at home games for shooting.

I don't have the budget for a higher end body right now so was looking more towards entry to mid-level models that may fit my need. I liked the features of the k-r (particularly at it's price point, burst speed, and decent high iso performance), but have also been considering used models of Nikon or Canon that may fit the bill also, and be in budget. The trade-off there is the newer cameras are better at high ISO than say a Canon EOS 20D, or other used Canon's or Nikons.

So, I am still in the research phase at this time. I am wide open for considerations, definitely love shooting sports, and would like to have options for fast telezoom somewhere down the road, if not now.

-Mike
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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Mike - some things to think about:
1) I think you're very much underestimating the role lenses play in sports shooting. Your post indicates you're focusing on the body almost exclusively. For example the notion that a canon 7d will automatically improve your sports shooting. The lens plays a much larger role.
2) frames per second is very beneficial, but not as high up the food chain as you might think. No matter what FPS the camera has, you'll just have more bad shots if you're trying to use f5.6 lenses for basketball. And, frames per second is minimized if a larger percentage of shots are out-of-focus because the camera/lens used can't keep up.

If you're planning on staying entry level sports shooting I think the K-R and kit lenses will do just as well as any other option in that price point. But if you're planning on adding to your lenses and eventually get to sports-capable lenses and 3 years down the road upgrade to a better body, you're going to be much better off with a Canon or Nikon solution. As you move up the food chain, the amount of sports-capable lenses really increases in those systems, where pentax lags behind. That's why it's not an issue if you're staying with slow kit lenses. But if you plan to upgrade, the purchase now limits the possibilities down the road. The next area where you see pentax lag behind as you move up the food chain is continuous focus. Pentax doesn't have focus systems that do as well as the Canon / Nikon models at tracking moving subjects. At entry level they're roughly the same - but when you move up to the D7000/60d and certainly by d300s/7d there's a big difference. Combine that focus edge with the lens edge and you have much more powerful sports solutions in Canon and Nikon. Again, this only becomes relevant if you plan on upgrading. Sports shooting is absolutely one of those areas that benefits tremendously from technology. And if it's going to be a large part of your photography you are going to quickly become frustrated with the limitations of entry level gear (regardless of system). If you think you're going to shoot a large amount of sports over the next 5 years, you'll put yourself in a better position by making your initial purchase in a system more geared towards sports shooting. If it's only an occasional thing and you're going to stay at the entry level of equipment then by all means the K-R and kit lenses will do just as well or just as poorly as any other brand.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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Good food for thought. Another consideration is that my sister who lives nearby is a photo enthusiast with a Canon eos 7d, and a pile of lenses, including f2.8 tele. if I had a Canon body, I could potentially borrow her lens occassionally for night shooting. So certainly a consideration.

I had thought FPS was more important, but I see your point that your timing and knowledge of the sports, and the lens used play are large factor in success. I did often get good pictures with the D50, but sometimes wished for a couple more frames squeezed in where I missed the perfect shot with the slower rate.

I will definitely reconsider Nikon and Canon, but lean towards Canon due to my sister's collection of lenses, and the fact that I don't like how Nikon has limited the lenses you can use on their consumer low end bodies.
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 8:27 AM   #10
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If your sister has a "pile" of Canon lenses, don't even think twice. Get a Canon.
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