For those just getting into photography

MatthewNorton

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I'm undecided on whether to purchase a Nikon D5100 with the 18-55VR lens or a Pentax K-r "$ \text{with} $" the Tamron 70-300 lens as well as the 18=55 lens. I would really value any helpful feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of either option. Thanks!
 

Jeff15

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Hello and welcome..Good luck with whatever you choose.... :encouragement:
 

snowbear

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Welcome aboard.

In general, you will get comparable features for cameras (and kit lenses) at the same price point, regardless if make. Pick up each one and see how well they "fit" in your hands. Can you locate the shutter and the dials without seeing them? How easy are the menus to navigate and are they intuitive? Maybe download the user's manual for each and look through it for the various options. If you are able to rent them, take them for a "test drive."
 

smoke665

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Adding to the suggestions above:

I'm a diehard Pentaxian since the 60's so I'm prejudice to the brand. However I'll point out that the K-r is a 12.4 mega pixels camera vs the 16.2 of the Nikon. That won't make a lot of difference until you start cropping and enlarging. The K-r released in 2010 and the D5100 released in 2011 are relatively old technology in the wold of electronics. In the Pentax line you might look at the K70 Pentax K-70 DSLR Camera Body with Accessory Kit (Black) with 24 MP, as an alternative in your budget. Rather than a kit lens I'd suggest you pair it with SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database The 18-135 is a great compact lens for carry around type shooting.
 

AlanKlein

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I'm undecided on whether to purchase a Nikon D5100 with the 18-55VR lens or a Pentax K-r "$ \text{with} $" the Tamron 70-300 lens as well as the 18=55 lens. I would really value any helpful feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of either option. Thanks!
18-55mm is on the wide angle to normal range while 70-300 is on the medium to long telephoto range. Why are you selecting lenses that have such a huge difference between them in application?

I think smoke665 has a good recommendation. A more modern camera, with more pixels and a better ranged lens that would cover you better. If the price point is too high, there are other cameras that are less expensive but have the same general lens range and pixels.
 

snowbear

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I'll add one more Nikon incentive: the used lens market. Most Nikon "F" mount lenses will work with their modern DSLRs, though there mat be some restrictions. I have a macro lens (close ups) that was made in the early 1980s that worked on my beginner's D40. The only issue I had was the internal light meter would not work, but I can shoot in manual mode, so it was all good. Digital is very cheap, so test shots can be made when possible, or carry an external meter (there are a couple phone app light meters).
 

smoke665

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Lens compatibility is one of the reasons I remain a Pentaxian. All Pentax K-mount glass is both forward and backward compatible. I have legacy glass that I still use today on the K1MII and the K3II.
 
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RAZKY

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I'm undecided on whether to purchase a Nikon D5100 with the 18-55VR lens or a Pentax K-r "$ \text{with} $" the Tamron 70-300 lens as well as the 18=55 lens. I would really value any helpful feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of either option. Thanks!
Unless you are half-blind and depend 100% on autofocus, I would avoid the D5xxx and lower series Nikons - their penta-mirror viewfinders are an abomination for manual focusing (or even viewing, for that matter!). Your choice of lenses will depend upon what and how you photograph. Good luck with whatever you choose!
 

Strodav

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My favorite place for used gear is KEH.com They have an excellent grading system, a return policy, and warranty. The dslr used market is flooded with great gear right now, so it's a good time to buy. Your choice of Nikon is a good one, but if you find a great deal for Canon or Sony gear that meets your needs, go for it. As others have mentioned, the nice thing about Nikon is that there is an abundance of great used f-mount glass and most photographers end up spending more on glass than on camera bodies. A DX, crop sensor, body like the D5100 is also a good idea, but I have an alternate suggestion. Look for a D7200 (24mp sensor) and look for the 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens that often came bundled with it. The image quality of that camera and lens is at the top of the rankings for DX bodies (DxOMark.com) both for dslrs and mirrorless. I have several Nikon bodies including a Z9, but for general purpose photography, I still take my D7200 with me. It's light, compact, easy to use and has never disappointed me. The D7200 is a bit more expensive than the D5100, but, IMHO, well worth it.
 

ac12

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My turn . . .
Nikon. If you can afford the later 5xxx camera like the D5600, I would get that rather than the older D5100.
As @Strodav said, IF you can afford a D7200, that would be a good option.
KEH is a good source of used gear. They used to have a holiday discount. I am hoping that it will be on 'black Friday," as I want to pick up a D5600 for my school.

I agree with @Strodav on the 18-140. I have that lens and it is a GREAT general purpose lens, and often the only lens that I need.
The only additional lens I suggest, would be the 35/1.8 for LOW light indoor photography.
And you have a nice 2-lens kit.

As for the 70-300, do you NEED the reach of a 300?
That would depend on WHAT you shoot.

Caution, all Nikon F lenses are NOT compatible with all cameras. You have to look at the compatibility table.
The D3xxx and D5xxx cameras do NOT have an autofocus motor in the body. So for autofocus, you need to get an AF-S or AF-P lens. NOT the AF or AF-D lens, which require the AF motor in the camera.
Caution: The AF-P lenses will NOT work on older cameras. It may not work on a D5100.

The D7200 has an AF motor in the camera, so it will autofocus the AF and AF-D lenses.
 

zombiesniper

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Lots of good info here.

Before I could even begin to answer such a general question I would have to ask a few questions.

What is your budget? This can make a huge difference in what you get.

What type of photography are you interested in? This may not remain your interested type but it's the best place to start. No need to spend an extra couple thousand on a wildlife/sports lens if you're not going to use it.

What type of features are you looking for? This one you may not know right now but with a little research you can find at least some information about what is available.

As a future note, if you ask general questions....you'll get mostly just as general of an answer. The more research you do as well as phrase the question to provide the required guidelines for people, the better the final answers will be. This in the end can save you both money and time. You don't want to really buy a camera set up from random people on the internet that have absolutely no clue what you intend to shoot.............Do you?
 

RAZKY

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We may be wasting our time here - eleven days on and no response from the OP.
 
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