Why Pentax Isn't Doomed

10 advantages of Pentax DSLRs versus the competition

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Sep 15, 2014
Why Pentax Isn't Doomed

Plenty of negative comments have surfaced on our forum following the lack of new Pentax announcements at Photokina 2014; some users even state that "Pentax is doomed". While competing cameras may be moving ahead in terms of technology such as autofocus, video, and wireless connectivity, Pentax K-mount DSLRs still have many unique traits that set them apart from the competition.  Thus, there is no question that they continue to have their place in the market (perhaps now more than ever thanks to the many recent product launches).  In this article, we'll be exploring some of the advantages of Pentax.

Pentax cameras are designed with still images and the photographer in mind.  You might not find the latest gimmicks, but your camera will deliver when it comes to image quality and handling.

1. Advanced controls in entry-level bodies

Two e-dials in a company's cheapest DSLR?  Yup, that's unique.

2. Affordable weather-sealed DSLRs

Get a K-50 along with a weather-sealed lens for under $550.  The next-cheapest option (new) will run you close to twice that.

3. Class-leading viewfinders

All of Pentax's DSLRs since 2012— even the cheapest ones— have best-in-class pentaprism viewfinders with 100% frame coverage.

4. Large, comfortable grips

Try to find a Pentax K-50 sized grip in a competing entry-level body; you won't be successful.  Pick up a K-3, then pick up a D7100 or 7D: the Pentax will be much easier to hold.

5. Small lenses

Nearly all Pentax lenses are designed with compactness in mind.  If money isn't an issue, you'll be able to build the perfect travel kit via the Limited lens series.  If it is, you'll be able to find some compact budget-friendly lenses as well.

6. Class-leading image quality

The past 3 generations of Pentax DSLRs have wielded some of the best APS-C sensors on the market and delivered exceptional image quality at a great price.

7. Set your own lens budget

With Pentax, a complete lens system can be had at a very low budget thanks to the wide availability and high quality of legacy lenses.  Need a decent portrait lens for under $50?  Check, as long as you're fine with manual focus.  Need a sharp walkaround zoom for under $50? Can do.  Want to spend thousands on modern premium lenses?  We won't stop you either.

8. Stabilized prime lenses

Thanks to in-body Shake Reduction, all primes are stabilized with modern Pentax DSLRs.  Other manufacturers seem to be allergic to the idea of stabilized primes.

9. Low-light autofocus

Pentax's SAFOX autofocus may not be the fastest for sports, but its ability to lock focus in low light is class-leading.  The -3EV focusing capabilities of the K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-3, and 645Z are only matched by one other DSLR from the competition (and that DSLR was launched just a few days ago).

10. The best discussion forum

Actually, we'll let you decide that for yourself.  But do we pride ourselves in being exceptionally dedicated and thorough when it comes to the Pentax brand.

Sure, we would all like to see a Pentax full-frame DSLR, or enthusiast-oriented gear at every trade show, or a F1.8 zoom.  This can easily get us carried away, so if you stop to think about it, Pentax isn't even close to being doomed. Ricoh has reported their imaging business as being profitable two years in a row, and thanks to the K-50/K-500, Q7, K-3, and Theta, the company managed to expand the range of consumer products during 2013.  This expansion was something that the company had planned all along, as we're sure that Ricoh representatives will confirm their dedication to an expanded product lineup in our upcoming Photokina interview.

Don't worry too much about upcoming product launches and rumors, and instead, go out there and take some pictures- you'll feel better and be happier.  In the mean time, Pentax/Ricoh might just surprise you!  May Pentax always be with you.

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