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Digital-Dan Dec 2, 2010 9:45 PM

Pentax K-r - where can I see one???
I've looked at a lot of DSLRs and think I have narrowed my choice down to the Nikon D90. One camera I would love to get a look at before I make my purchase is the new Pentax K-r. The reviews sound wonderful and the two lens kit is a great deal, but I can't find a dealer anywhere in west Michigan that stocks Pentax. The Pentax site's store locator says there are only 2 dealers in Muskegon and Grand Rapids, but I went to both and neither sells Pentax. Do any big chains carry them? Cosco? Sam's Club? Best Buy? I can't seem to find them anywhere. Where are people buying these? I can't buy one site unseen online. I want to hold one first and check it out myself.

Can anyone who owns or has picked up the new K-r tell me what the build is like? I've been turned off by some of the cheaper bodies in the entry cameras, but the K-r is closer to mid-level from what I have read.

John.Pattullo Dec 3, 2010 2:45 AM

pentax has been struggling with camera stores lately so you might find it difficult to get your hands on one - pentax usa has said they are going to reverse that trend but it aint gonna happen over night

as to the build quality of the kr - now i've held one and taken afew test shots but not anything extensive but my impressions of it compared to my k7 (full magnesium body etc)

first its plastic and very light but it doesn't feel cheap, rubber grip felt good in the hand - was the white stormtrooper model so was gloss finish which looked very sexy but not sure if the black one is gloss or not - dont think it would look right in the black one (assuming your wanting the black one - personally if i was getting a kr it would be the white or red ones for abit of fun)

all the buttons seemed responsive and the contol wheel was very similar to my k7's easy to turn but never out of control and possitively stops where you want it

th mode dial was again easily adjusted but firm enough that it shouldn't move when taking it out of your camera bag etc

the lcd screen was gorgeous looked better than my k7's very sharp and bright

so not got the heft or solidity of a semi pro camera but well built camera that felt good in the hand

pcake Dec 3, 2010 5:41 AM

actually it isn't just plastic - it has a stainless steel chassis.

Digital-Dan, why not just order one from amazon? they have a great return policy, so if you don't love it after a week, you can just return it.

Digital-Dan Dec 3, 2010 8:40 AM

Thanks for the detailed information, John. I really appreciate your insight. That helps, but I'd still like to be able to see one before placing an order. I've read reviews on both the Kx and Kr about the body being built a little more sturdy than the typical entry-level DSLR. Still, every thread on this forum contains advice to go to a photo store and actually handle the cameras to see which one feels right. How does Pentax expect to sell in the U.S. without having them available in stores?? Are they not available anywhere in the U.S.? I'm only a 3 hour drive from Chicago. Perhaps a store there would have one in stock.

pcake, I thought about that. In fact, I kicked myself because I was online when the price on Amazon for the kit fell to $749. I refreshed and there it was! The next day it was all over the forums. I thought hard, but I wasn't ready to pull the trigger on this big of a decision. I had just started my research. A few days later the deal was gone. I never thought about the return policy. I'm looking for a camera I can grow into and use happily for the next 4-6 years (maybe more??) without wanting to upgrade. I keep coming back to the D90 because it seems to be the camera most people are satisfied with for the long haul, even though other models keep coming out that are newer and have additional features. D90 is a 2008 model and still going strong, and with the D7000 out the prices seem to be dropping some on the D90. This may be the best time to grab one, but I'd still love to see that Pentax first.


Biro Dec 3, 2010 9:42 AM

Feel like driving to Traverse City?

Also, Pentax's Web site indicates The Camera Shop's Grand Rapids store is an authorized dealer:

3822 S. Division Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49548-3275

Digital-Dan Dec 3, 2010 10:22 AM

No such luck at the Muskegon or Grand Rapids stores, even though they are the two dealers listed on the Pentax website in west Michigan. Thanks for the tip on the Traverse City store, Biro! They are 3 hours north, but we usually go up there a couple times in the winter to x-country ski. The Traverse City store, BTW, is not listed as a dealer on the Pentax website. I must admit, this all gives me a bit of hesitation going with Pentax.


Originally Posted by Biro (Post 1173921)
Feel like driving to Traverse City?

Also, Pentax's Web site indicates The Camera Shop's Grand Rapids store is an authorized dealer:

3822 S. Division Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49548-3275

Digital-Dan Dec 3, 2010 12:05 PM

I found a store in Grand Rapids (Norman Camera) that carries the k-x! They have one more in the store. I am going to try to get over there tomorrow to look at it. Can anyone tell me if the k-x and k-r bodies/build are the same/similar? I thought I remembered reading that the k-r is essentially the k-x with improvements. On the Pentax site the physical sizes are a bit different, but not much. Will looking at the k-x give me a good indication of the build quality of the k-r? How about menus, general operation, etc.?

Biro Dec 3, 2010 2:18 PM

This is the easiest/best comparison summary I could find. I get the impression that, although build quality of the K-x is just fine, the added features of the K-r make it worth it - assuming you can afford it. But a K-r kit with two lenses is still going for under $1000, so in DSLR terms it's not bad for a mid-range camera.

sharpdart Dec 3, 2010 8:59 PM

My impression...
I am actually debating the same two cameras. I have Nikon lenses, so the D90 makes sense. But there is something about the Kr and Pentax in general that I find attractive, especially the price with two lenses. I live in New York City, so I went to B and H to check it out. My initial impression is that is more angular than the D90, but still comfortable. It is also impressively fast. The one thing that was unique to me was the louder shutter sound. It's distinctive - some people love it or hate it. Overall, I have to say the images looked outstanding.

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