Looking to Upgrade - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Valkyrie23, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Hi guys,

    Looking to upgrade my camera, and pretty much certain I want to stick with a Pentax. Currently running my Pentax K10D on the last dregs of its life (general wear and tear, bought it second hand and its going to cost more to fix than to upgrade), and curious as to what models you guys can recommend.

    I know this is gonna open a can of worms, but any advice is useful. Things to keep in mind:

    • I live in New Zealand, so probably going to have to source from overseas (postage is a budget killer).
    • I am on a tight budget. I cant afford to pay more than $800.00 NZD.
    • I am after at least two lenses, if the ones I have for my K10D are compatible that would be great (especially my sigma 18-200mm - I love that lens!).
    • Long battery life is a must. I have had enough problems with batteries for my current camera to last a lifetime.
    • I have no idea where to start looking. If you can recommend any sites, please do!

    Cheers in advance for any advice!
  2. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Hi Valkyrie.

    I'm just back from New Zealand myself (brief visit this time). I know about your postage woes though.

    I was a former K10 user myself. It was a nice camera. The first nice thing is that all the current Pentax dSLRs use the same common battery. You can purchase generic batteries on the cheap as backups and that is always a good place to start.

    Two very good places to look for general info on Pentax equipment:

    Welcome to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page


    Pentax Forums - The Ultimate Resource for Everything Pentax

    The shipping issue I can't do anything to help with. I would guess there are a couple of shops in Auckland that would sell Pentax stuff, but wouldn't bet the farm on it.

    Obviously if you can get a low shutter count camera from a respectable international seller (KEH, B&H, Roberts, Adorama in the US) might be one approach that will get a camera.

    B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders
    to start.

    Doing a currency conversion you are talking about a US $600 budget. Remember, if you ARE buying overseas, try and get the GREY market warranty rather than the US warranty. It should be substantially cheaper to get the Grey market (international) warranty.

    The only current camera in your price range new looks like the K-70. I personally don't have it. It, like your K10 is a cropped body camera.

    It is a great time to buy lenses, especially used, if you want to get D lenses as many people are switching to full-frame lenses. As you live in NZ having a rain-proof lens feature maybe worth considering.

    As to WHAT lens, that may break the budget, but remember you don't HAVE to get everything at once. B&H and Adorama offer packages with body and lens that can be hard to beat new. Your lenses are made for that body, as will ANY K mount or with adapter M42 (screw mount). I take it you like your zoom for its convince. My first lenses were 50, then 35-80, and then a macro 100. Then the lenses started to pile up as I am a nature photographer and better lenses replaced the old. I would say a macro lens really opens up a whole world to you. If you want birds, consider the 55-300, there are three versions of this lens, old design not WP, WP, and new design. All are good lenses.

    We love NZ, short of shipping priceses I'm very envious.


    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  3. That's 500 Euro and won't buy a K1, so your lenses will work. K10Ds became cheap recently. - I bought mine last year for 200 Euro with 2 sigma zooms and a bag. K20D is quite nice, a tad better, more MPm better low light performance and uses the same batteries. Both models exist (and go cheaper!) as their similar Samsung clones GX10 / GX20. - SOOC JEPEGs look better from a Pentax but otherwise, if you are tweaking RAWs, the Samsungs cut the cake. GX20 with kit zoom, low shutter count 200 Euro anytime.
    I played ostrich after that cameras' release. Pentax' online shop lists the only new body in your price range, the K50 as "currently not available". Does the factory ship them all to NZ? - IDK. (A K70 would be 700 euro around here)
    In general speaking: I'd look for any K#0D or K5 and double check online if it comes with two separate wheels for shutter speed and aperture and something like the ring around your arrow keys to change AF spot selection. - The shoestring budged models like K100D did not and hitting the menu for that chore means a missed shot.
    What happened since your K10D? - Not much:
    • Megapixelcount increased to 24. (But I dare to doubt that you'll see a benefit using a Sigma 18-200)
    • Higher frame rate / bigger buffers
    • The latest 70-300mm zoom on K70 seems to AF a tad faster as we are used to but still can't compete with Canikon for sports & action.
    • A few JEPEG rendering filters tossed into some models.
    Third party state of the art lenses became rarer for Pentax. Tamron seem building for Pentax now; so the same lens you get as a "Tamron" for Canikon with IS/VR will cost more as "Pentax" without.
    Upon batteries: I have 4 bodies taking yours and all my original batteries are going strong*. - I bought 2 knock offs (different unknown brands) that died comparably rapidly. - Maybe "Wasabi" brand does OK; otherwise I'd recommend buying original through the regular retail chain and also using an original charger. / *= I honestly don't care if they are down to let's say 66 or maybe even 50% capacity; they get me through my day. I'm hitting the wall with mirrorless cameras once in a while; their batteries are rated about 300 shots and might have seen better days a couple of years ago.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  4. AJG


    Having used both, I would recommend a used K5 with low shutter activations for you--it is a lot better than a K 10 and has good battery life. It would be compatible with your current Sigma zoom. I have also had mixed results with 3rd party batteries in the past and currently use only Pentax batteries in my K3 and K5 bodies. Some of those date back to the K7 that I bought in 2010 and still work well.
  5. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    On the battery issue:

    I agree, they don't last as long. But I can get 3 or 4 knockoffs for about the same price as a single genuine Pentax battery. If you are on a budget, the knockoffs are a good deal and they work fine.
  6. I'd recommend K-5, K-r, or similar newer models, bought used. These are when Pentax shifted from Samsung to Sony sensors, and low-light sensitivity was greatly improved.

    Adorama has a used K-5 II for USD 319, which should be well within your budget. B&H has used K-S1 and K-S2 in your budget range. But I think the K-5 II is the best deal of these.
  7. What he said.^.. my wife has shot with my K-3 and my K-1, but she still loves and uses her K-5. Last I checked in the 6 years she owned it she has 66,000 shutter actuation, it's rated for 100,000 so she should get at least 3 more years out of it. We also used to have a Sigma 18-250, which worked great on it. As long as you have a good copy (ours was decentered and couldn't be repaired) it will be better on a K-5 than it was on your K-10. The K-5 rated on DxO is still a top 50 camera, 6 years later. Of course it was top 10 when it came out, but, time marches on. As for lenses, look at the plastic fantastics, DA 35 2.4, DA 50 1.8. or my favourite, the 40 XS a no frills. no aperture ring, or DoF scale version of the famous FA 40 2.8 ltd. The 40 XS being my favourite of the three.
  8. Well, it looks like you're getting plenty of useful advice here, but just to reiterate what stemked mentions wrt the Pentax Forums, I also highly recommend this resource. Not only are there very helpful and patient souls there who will attempt to get you the answers that you're after, but the PF also have another very valuable resource. They have reviews -- user reviews -- of most all Pentax cameras and lenses -- even aftermarket lenses! So if you've narrowed your consideration down to a couple or three cameras, let's say, you can then go to the reviews at PF and read up on what the owners of these cameras (and lenses) think about them.

    I've personally found this info to be invaluable in helping to steer me on the path I needed to take wrt clean used gear. Add comments and responses to my own questions on the forums and it was top notch info to be had.

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