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Old Mar 11, 2013, 2:54 PM   #11
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Other than someone hear telling you - you have nothing to fear - Pentax will be around for the next 50 years, I'm not sure what you're after. No one knows the future. Right now, Canon and Nikon dominate the market - and they appear to be the only 2 companies where DSLRs are actually earning a profit. Pentax has been around for a long time but who knows what their current ownership will do?

As for lenses - it seems like you want to stick to inexpensive consumer zooms for your shooting needs. Pentax has those. You're not shooting action, so the Pentax focus tracking (as compared to Canon or Nkon) is not a factor - neither is the lack of super-telephoto lenses that compete with the 2 big players. The flash system seems to be a bit more glitchy in Pentax but that is probably a fairly minor point. So, Pentax current offering should meet your needs - especially since you already believe it offers the best picture quality. But not a single person can predict whether Pentax will be still making DSLRs 5 years from now.
That's true. Honestly, it is a bit intimidating straying from the herd for some things. It's easy to say, pick Android over Apple because both are huge names and huge companies. It's like saying pick Nikon over Canon. It's another thing to say, pick Palm OS over Android or Apple...haha. That's a big how I'm feeling at the moment. The Pentax seems to be great in all the tests and well recommended...but there's still the concern that it's a bit of a dying brand that will lose support in the near future if the company can't seem to market itself against the big boys.
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 7:46 PM   #12
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The lenses you're talking about, an 18-55 and a 55-2x0, from Canon, Nikon and Pentax are all about equally ... unremarkable. To be sure, that would be a waste of the Nikon D5200. You might get a good deal on the D5100 or stick with your original plan of getting the Pentax K-30; they both use the same image sensor, and the differences between them are minor. The Pentax has a pentaprism instead of a pentamirror, and it's weathersealed, but the Nikon has the articulating LCD monitor.

If I were you, I'd get the Pentax and spring for the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 instead of the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 8:14 PM   #13
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The lenses you're talking about, an 18-55 and a 55-2x0, from Canon, Nikon and Pentax are all about equally ... unremarkable. To be sure, that would be a waste of the Nikon D5200. You might get a good deal on the D5100 or stick with your original plan of getting the Pentax K-30; they both use the same image sensor, and the differences between them are minor. The Pentax has a pentaprism instead of a pentamirror, and it's weathersealed, but the Nikon has the articulating LCD monitor.

If I were you, I'd get the Pentax and spring for the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 instead of the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
To be clear...those lenses are what I'm looking to start with. With the investment into the body, I need some lenses to get started with without adding huge bulk to the bottom line $$$ and freaking my wife out! haha

Also, I was looking at a like-new DA 18-55 AL II instead of the DA L 18-55 or the DA 18-55 AL which seems to get considerably better marks.

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Old Mar 11, 2013, 8:37 PM   #14
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Sumx - If you do decide to go with the Pentax, keep in mind there are LOTS of legacy lenses that will work wonderfully on your modern camera. You can get some great bargains, especially if you do a bit of research, and if you are willing to work with manual focus. There's a very large database at the Pentax Forums website (they also have a good marketplace for used lenses), and here's another good database of Pentax lens reviews (although the prices are not accurate, the ratings are great):

http://www.jcolwell.ca/photography/x...OSdb/SPLOS.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/photography/x...db/SPLOSdb.pdf
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 8:58 PM   #15
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Sumx - If you do decide to go with the Pentax, keep in mind there are LOTS of legacy lenses that will work wonderfully on your modern camera. You can get some great bargains, especially if you do a bit of research, and if you are willing to work with manual focus. There's a very large database at the Pentax Forums website (they also have a good marketplace for used lenses), and here's another good database of Pentax lens reviews (although the prices are not accurate, the ratings are great):

http://www.jcolwell.ca/photography/x...OSdb/SPLOS.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/photography/x...db/SPLOSdb.pdf
I've definitely been looking at the old lenses. In fact, the fast prime I'd like to get is most likely going to be a legacy lens. I don't really need autofocus right away, especially for the type of photography I like and for taking pictures of a baby (in the future). I want a fast lens for good light collection indoors and I don't think I need to worry about AF until I have a moving target! haha. Plus, with the focus peaking, MF is probably super easy.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 4:44 AM   #16
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Also, I was looking at a like-new DA 18-55 AL II instead of the DA L 18-55 or the DA 18-55 AL which seems to get considerably better marks.
To be clear, the "II" is the one I was referring to when I said "unremarkable". Whereas the Tamron 17-50/2.8 is remarkable; the unstabilized version is the best lens of its kind, it's not real expensive, and the Pentax body provides it with the stabilization it doesn't have.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 8:32 AM   #17
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On the image quality, if you are a pixel peeper at 100% or 200% crop then the d5200 out does the pentax. But if you do not print 36x48 you will never notice it in normal print size or on a computer monitor or digital frame.

The Pentax is a good consumer grade camera. Just like the nikon d5200 and the canon t4i. They all have their strengths and weakness. If you are a jpeg user mainly, bring a sd card to the store with you, snap couple of shots with each and take them home to compare on your computer. Each company has different jpeg engines. Some might brands jpegs over the other. If you are a raw shoot, not a big deal.

So unless you a pro shooter all these little difference in IQ in the image lab is not going to really be noticeable in the real world with equal quality lenses on each.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 8:36 AM   #18
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To be clear, the "II" is the one I was referring to when I said "unremarkable". Whereas the Tamron 17-50/2.8 is remarkable; the unstabilized version is the best lens of its kind, it's not real expensive, and the Pentax body provides it with the stabilization it doesn't have.
It's still a $500 lens versus a $150 lens. Of course I'd expect the Tamron to look better especially with the f2.8 throughout it's range. People big-time into photography, like other hobbies, tend to think money is no object sometimes.

If I had a DSLR already and a few years of shooting, I may look into that as an upgrade to my lens, but I'm just getting my wife to come around to the idea of spending $700-$800 on a camera and a few basic lenses. Try adding $400 more to that. That's like getting the okay to buy a brand new Honda Civic and then saying, "But the Civic is unremarkable, this $100k Ferrari is much nicer" and trying to justify that instead. I think that's obvious that it's better, but the Civic is also remarkably better than a 98 Chevy and is also 1/4 the price of the Ferrari.

At this point in my shooting, I need value and then as I shoot more and show that it's something I'm into and consistent with (not just something that collects dust), then I can justify more expensive lenses in the future. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to invest in a good body now so that when I do spend more on lenses in the future, it is worth while. That's why saying stuff like (and I'm paraphrasing) "the D5200 is wasted on the kit lens, don't bother" isn't a very valuable, helpful opinion. I realize that kit lenses aren't amazing, but not everyone can drop $2000 on a camera and great lenses right off the bat. A little more help and understand of the situation and a little less elitism would be helpful.

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On the image quality, if you are a pixel peeper at 100% or 200% crop then the d5200 out does the pentax. But if you do not print 36x48 you will never notice it in normal print size or on a computer monitor or digital frame.

The Pentax is a good consumer grade camera. Just like the nikon d5200 and the canon t4i. They all have their strengths and weakness. If you are a jpeg user mainly, bring a sd card to the store with you, snap couple of shots with each and take them home to compare on your computer. Each company has different jpeg engines. Some might brands jpegs over the other. If you are a raw shoot, not a big deal.

So unless you a pro shooter all these little difference in IQ in the image lab is not going to really be noticeable in the real world with equal quality lenses on each.
I wish I could find a Pentax in any store to even take test shots with! lol. I'd also like to hear the mirror slap in person compared to the 5200 and the T4i. One main goal of the camera will be to take baby photos and I don't want to wake up an infant with mirror slap! haha. I hear the mirror is loud on the Pentax.

Also, this is another comment that the D5200 bests the K-30 but no explanation for the sample photo that I posted on the first page. Looking at that crop, it certainly doesn't seem like the D5200 looks better. It may have finer detail in general, but the coloring with the color noise looks bad.

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Old Mar 12, 2013, 8:40 AM   #19
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No the crop form that test is very inconclusive. It is really so slight of a difference that is really does not mean much. And they use RAW process. And it come down to the Raw workflow they uses. One workflow can flavor on brands way of processing the data over another.

When all these lab test results are looked at objectively. You can really see that the differences are so slight that they really mean very very little in the real world shooting.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 9:48 AM   #20
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No opinions on which to buy, these days all are good!
To me the sample images you view on the web are suspect as the images you view on screen are not raw's but jpg conversions. A lot can change in an image during the conversion process, especially if exactly the same settings are used on raw files from different camera sensor/processors/lens combinations.

About Ashi Pentax history.
Ashi Optical registered the Pentax name in 1957.
In 2005, Pentax Corporation partnered with Samsung Techwin producing the Pentax k10d, k20d, Samsung gx-10, gx-20
In 2007 Ashi Pentax merged with Hoya to form Hoya Pentax HD Corporation,
in 2011 Hoya sold off Pentax to Ricoh to form subsidiary Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company, Ltd

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax

The Pentax company is bouncing around at bit, but hopefully the company continues, they have made very good cameras for a very long time.
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