5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent choice for budding Amateur photographers.,
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This review is from: Pentax K-r 12.4 MP Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 Lenses (Black) (Electronics)
I just wanted to say, that I received my KR about 2 weeks ago, and have had plenty of time to get a feel for the camera and get to know my way around it.
I came from an Olympus Evolt E500, which in my opinion is an excellent camera for what it was. I dont know if anywone knows anything about that camera, but the quality of the pictures it took, for a CCD sensor, and only an 8MP ceiling, was nothing short of amazing, but we arent here to talk about that.
When I first got this camera, I was a little disappointed, mostly because I was so used to my Olympus, that it was hard to get into a completely new system. Once I started feeling my way around, I can now safely say that it was me, and not the camera. This camera is an excellent performer in all regards. I have taken around 1500 pictures already, and I can say it generally has a lot of strong features that other cameras wish they had. The 6FPS is nothing to regard lightly. No other new camera in this class comes close. I believe 4.5 fps is what the Nikon D3100 offers, which is still good.....but wouldnt you rather have 6? lol. I know I would. I shoot a lot of action pics, and let me tell you, it IS useful! The kit lenses that come with this package; 18-55 & 55-200 really cover a lot of range, and should satisfy most for a long time to come. You can also, if you would like to get daring, buy a used Pentax Prime Lens, which is what I did. Got myself a SMC-A 50mm Prime manual lens. It takes wonderful portrait, and landscape shots.....razor sharp actually, although it is manual focus, it is a tremendous lens for 57 dollars...ALL PENTAX LENSES ever created are compatible with the KR from what I understand.....A Definite plus in my eyes! Now onto the Kit lenses.
18-55.....Generally, this is a pretty good all around lens. There is some slight pixel trouble when the scene gets busy (Lots of branches on trees, complex patterns, etc) and some barrel distortion when open all the way, but nothing that normal people would point out and say, HEY THERES SOME BARREL DISTORTION! Overall the pictures taken with the 18-55 are quite pleasant with very nice vivid color representation. Zoomed out to the 18mm, (25mm respectively, 35mm-wise) it takes some very nice sharp pictures. Zoomed all the way in all the way to 55 is when the lens has just a bit of trouble, however nothing that the normal person would find unappealing. Of course this can all be fixed using the Manual Focus ring, and setting the switch on the camera body to Manual. I have found that some of my best pictures are taken NOT using the auto focus.....but hey thats up to you....
55-300mm This lens, for the price is hard to equal. I dont know of a kit lens from any other manufacturer that offers up to 300mm....200mm is what I have seen from other manufacturers. Anyhow, the 55-300 is an average speed lens, with good clarity, and handles all situations pretty well. The only thing that I have had trouble with is moving all the way to the 300mm in autofocus....The Autofocus is great until you reach the 300mm limit. If you are shooting action pics, I would suggest u bring the focal length back a little, and it will get you MUCH clearer pictures. around 250MM is probably where you want to be.
OK so I am splitting hairs here.....You want to know if this camera deserves your hard earned dollars.....The answer is.....YES.
This camera is more than enough for any aspiring photographer to start out with, and even has some room for semi-pro needs as well.
The kit lenses that come with Pentax, are leaps and bounds BETTER than any of the competing manufacturers. THat has always been the Pentax value. Great kit glass that you wont find yourself needing to go out and get better glass until you GRADUATE into better picture taking.
As far as the body goes.....The KR is very comfortable in my hands....I am a size 14 ring, and I have big hands, and it still fits rather nicely. The buttons are well placed and logical, and the menu system, although confusing at first, starts growing on you. Some of the logical choices of menu options are so well placed, that perhaps some of these other manufacturers should be paying attention.
The LCD screen is a marvel to behold. Its crisp, clear, and easy to read in sunlight.
The Live view seemslike kind of an afterthought but still good, as I only use the view finder, however some will find that when u hand the camera off to your in laws, you can feel confident that they can use it pretty easily.
The video? Thats one of the achilles heels of this system, as it is not on par with everyone elses offerings. Its 720P, and its 25FPS which is ok, but the glaring omission is the fact that there is NO HDMI connection,and no external input for microphones. Just a USB 2.0 port. But the majority of people that will be buying these cameras buy it for the still shots. That is where the Pentax separates itself from the pack.
The body is solid, with a grabby rubber coating and good ergonomics......Nothing to complain about here....
All in all, there is a lot to like about the KR. It takes excellent pictures, if you use all of the advanced functionality to its advantage. The automatic mode, while good, does not stack up as well as the competition, but us SLR folks want the SLR for the NON-Auto functionality. After all, wouldnt we all just buy a point and shoot if we wanted ease of use?
I cannot speak about the competing brands, as all I did is look at them and feel them in my hand, and take some sample shots, but for the money.....Its really hard to beat the KR in my opinion!