Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-26-2010, 07:46 PM - 4 Likes   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Iowa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,368
Some thoughts after a week of varied K-5 use

Alright, the K-5 has finally arrived on my doorstep, and after a week of shooting it in different scenarios, I thought I would share some of my real world impressions of the camera. I won't do things like imaging or autofocus tests because frankly I don't really know how, I'll just try to give an idea of how the camera handles.

I also thought I'd share some photos from different scenarios to give you an idea of what they look like. If there are flaws in the images, it's probably more my fault than the camera

Autofocus

First blush test

Definitely a bit quicker and more certain than the K-7, although I wouldn't want to say just how much so without a formal test. It was interesting that it would go in streaks for me as I focused on random things throughout the room, focusing instantly say 7 out of 8 times, and on the eighth time hesitating a little bit before locking on.

This held true when I went downstairs in the basement to shoot in the most terrible light I could think of (in other words, ISO 12800 got some use). In this light, with the AF assist light off (to handicap it further) the autofocus hesitated a little more, still focusing nearly instantly on some targets where the contrast was clear, other times hesitating but eventually locking on with good accuracy. In these situations, center point focus helped quite a bit. So I'd say improved low light focus, but not necessarily perfect yet. To be fair, I was trying to push the autofocus to its limit, and I'd really prefer not to ever have to take photos with lighting that bad.

The only time in the past week where I really struggled was during a wedding dance when they turned the lights completely off and my flash infrared focus wasn't working. Then again, I don't expect AF to be that great in total darkness.

Continuous autofocus

I never really used this before owning the K-5, so I can't say how much of an improvement this was over previous cameras. I can however say that it is useful enough that I have used it a ton in my two sports shoots I've done in the past week. This, along with the improve high ISO performance, has made shooting sports more fun. To put it in practical terms, I feel like I can use my skill trying to get a good shot, rather than devoting my efforts to fighting the camera while trying to get a good shot.

Liveview autofocus

Not perfect yet, but definitely much improved over the K-7.

The Shutter

The shutter is butter. That's the phrase that popped into my head after taking my first shot with the camera. Actually, the first phrase that popped into my head was "Whoa, that's quiet!" Even quieter than the K-7, a claim which I was doubtful about before I tried the K-5. This, the machine gun fast 7 FPS, and the snappy autofocus really give the impression of an awesome picture taking package.

The Buffer

The limited buffer can be annoying when trying to shoot high ISO RAW rapidly. This certainly is not a camera for Spray and Pray hold down the button lovers who also demand the abililty to shoot in RAW.

However, for my purposes, if the reduced buffer in a trade for increased image quality, I'll take trade. For my purposes I don't need to do that style of shooting that often at all. Also, when I tried shooting sports with JPEG, the buffer never was an issue for me even when I did hold the button down.

High ISO performance

This has all been thoroughly documented, so I won't go into it much here. All I can add it how much more I feel I am able to do with this new high ISO capability. It's not a panacea -- I still had to use my flash some (with mixed results) at the wedding. But in the last week alone I've used it so many times in bad lighting situations -- a wedding in a barn, an indoor gym, a night football game -- where the K-7 would have been a struggle to use.

Low ISO performance

Requoted from another thread:

This is going to be anecdotal and only comparing the K-5 to the K-7, but...

At low ISOs I have noticed that the K-5 renders fine detail, like hair for example, a bit better than the K-7. The K-5 also really seems to reward nice lenses when they are stopped down with some extra resolution boost. I also think the K-5 has a weaker anti aliasing filter than the K-7, which makes for sharper looking photos before post processing.

All this said, when I shot a wedding with the K-7 and K-5 this weekend I had trouble telling the two cameras apart when I was looking through my shots that I took in good light. In fact, the difference was more apparent based on what lens each camera was using, a K-7 with the DA* 200 looked like a K-5 with a DA*200, while the two cameras using different lenses looked very different. When I did the same thing with high ISO photos, it was very clear even from small resolution previews that the K-5 was and is the better performer, especially at ISO1600+.

Video

Haven't played with it much yet. The 1080p quality video looks good. The High ISO should be nice for keeping Gain down.

Some photos from the week.


The wedding


ISO 1000, 16 mm, f/2.8, with flash



ISO 6400, 200 mm, f/2.8 no noise reduction



ISO 1600, 16 mm, f/2.8



ISO 1250, 50 mm, f/4



Mitt Romney at rally

ISO 4000, 200 mm, f/2.8



Some sport shots, both at 200 mm f/2.8 ISO 6400





10-26-2010, 07:59 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,816
Very thoughtful report. I can feel the CBA rising in me...
10-26-2010, 09:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
Veteran Member
Smeggypants's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,536
Thanks for this!!! Much appreciated!!

There's no way I could get shots like that with my K20D. What's lovely is the ability to run higher shutter speeds in lower light to freeze the action.

I'm putting my Mum on Ebay tomorrow!!!
10-26-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,110
I'm still planning to wait a bit before trading in my K-7 for K-5, but it's getting harder and harder. Thanks for this very illuminating report.

10-26-2010, 11:29 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Class A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 9,201
Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences and pics.

BTW, did you save them with AdobeRBG or another non-sRGB colour space? They look a lot more saturated in my colour managed Firefox browser than they do in my standard Seamonkey browser.
10-26-2010, 11:54 PM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Perth Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,511
Thanks for going to the effort of writing this interesting mini review.
10-27-2010, 02:28 AM   #7
Forum Member




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: des veoux rd west, kennedy town
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 51
I enjoyed much of your K-5 experiences and putting them into the best possible low light shots.
Considering that K-5 is more in the level(or exceeds) with other popular pro brand, it is still a steal.
You action shots are awesome and those wedding pics as well. Don't you think its time for pentax to produce shoulder strap with a big name "Pentax K-5" ... LOL .
-- seriously --

buaobao
10-27-2010, 04:15 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lithuania
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 490
thanks Urkeldaedalus, the report is great, the pictures are nice too.

although I would apply some noise reduction to that woman.. before giving it to the client.

I would appreciate more pictures.. since you shoot a lot of events, you could share more pictures it's a pleasure to look at them.


QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
Thanks for this!!! Much appreciated!!

There's no way I could get shots like that with my K20D. What's lovely is the ability to run higher shutter speeds in lower light to freeze the action.

I'm putting my Mum on Ebay tomorrow!!!
I hope you'll set the price reasonable enough.. to get k5 and some ltd lens too.. won't you?


10-27-2010, 07:02 AM   #9
Forum Member
buster110's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: College Park, GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 50
My K20D suits me 90% of the time, but the more results I am seeing from the K-5 the bigger my itch gets for some sort of change.

Urkeldaedalus I appreciate your honest opinion between the results of the K-7 vs the K-5 and I think a lot of us K20D users who really want the K-5 but can't afford/justify the cost, for whatever reason, will have a lot of thinking to do as the K-7 users start to upgrade. I think for many of us it will come down to your typical type of shooting. (I would like to see a few more comparisons if anyone wouldn't mind) For me if I can get my hands on well cared for K-7 at a great price I may happily make the leap to the K-5 next year.

I do however want to say—before the inevitable posts taint this thread too and someone misinterprets why I'm probably holding out — I am absolutely tired of the bitching about the cost of the K-5. (I could probably afford it, but for me, I don't know if I deserve a camera at that cost yet based on my so/so skilz) Pentax has every right to price it along side the equivalent Canikon's. If you don't like it, jump ship and move on. Stop bringing the rest of us down with your unhappiness and trying to sway the VAST majority of happy Pentax DSLR/lens users....sorry, needed to get that off my chest. ( and I know someone is probably writing that negative post right now... It's not FF and it's not blah, blah, blah...stop it already!)

I love Pentax and have been a loyal pentaxian for 25+ years and it is a joy to see a camera come out with this much buzz and positive excitement. The above photo's are exciting and I look forward to seeing more and more!
10-27-2010, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 535
I put much more credibility in practical testamonies such as this than in so-called scientific reviews of questionable methods, so I appreciate your post.
I'm still pleased with my K20D and have learned to work around its limitations just fine, but I must admit the K5 has me excited. It appears to be a vast improvement in every respect over both the K20D and K7.
I evaluate equipment from a pragmatic, bottom-line viewpoint. My need for a K5 isn't great (especially when my bank account is factored in), but my desire for it is rising greatly.
The price, at first, seemed out of line with the Pentax way, but the more I look at it the more it seems it retains that value-for-the-money edge. Pentax not only obviously has outdone itself, but seems to have outdone the competition with the K5.
I may have to wait a year, but I've gotta have one.
10-27-2010, 08:41 AM   #11
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,187
This is an awesome hands-on account. Thanks for sharing!
10-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Iowa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,368
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences and pics.

BTW, did you save them with AdobeRBG or another non-sRGB colour space? They look a lot more saturated in my colour managed Firefox browser than they do in my standard Seamonkey browser.
Hmm, I have it in SRGB in camera but I see it is Adobe RGB in the EXIF. Maybe I need to do some tweaking in my RAW development.

QuoteQuote:
Don't you think its time for pentax to produce shoulder strap with a big name "Pentax K-5" ... LOL .
-- seriously --
I had a couple Canon shooters ask me about Pentax during the wedding. Pentax shooters are walking advertisements

QuoteQuote:
Thanks Urkeldaedalus, the report is great, the pictures are nice too.

although I would apply some noise reduction to that woman.. before giving it to the client.

I would appreciate more pictures.. since you shoot a lot of events, you could share more pictures it's a pleasure to look at them.
Thanks for the compliments. I was actually the second shooter for this particular wedding, so the final edit is thankfully not my responsibility. I actually like a little noise in some of my images, though. Gives a more realistic texture to them.

For the most part I wanted to show photos without a lot of work done on them so I didn't give a false impression of what the camera is capable of.
10-27-2010, 09:50 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Iowa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,368
Original Poster
One addendum, thanks for everyone who enjoyed my account of the K-5. I wanted to say that a large part of why I like the K-5 so much is because it shares so much in common with the K-7, which is still an awesome camera for general shooting purposes. If you own a K-7 or K20D and feel the need to wait a bit for the price to come down, I'd say that's a great move, especially for the hobbyists out there. I needed to buy the K-5 at full price in order to get it for this wedding (I would have been doomed without it) and it's also made my freelance sports shooting easier.

Now that I've done so and have been able to use it quite a bit in terrible lighting conditions, I think it's the first Pentax camera I've bought where I don't feel like I've had to sacrifice something compared to another model. Pentax still has a bit to improve in the next model, (manual controls in video, tethering, buffer)_ but I'd say now it's much more important that they add better wide and telephoto lens options and a new flash system. The camera, in other words, is not really their biggest problem anymore at this point.

A few more photos.

Self Portrait, FA43, f/5, ISO 800



Testing out Live view autofocus during a meeting, 200 mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600



A hug on senior night, 200 mm, f/2.8, ISO 4000



Examining specimens at a science demonstration, 50 mm, f/4 ISO 2500


Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 10-27-2010 at 10:05 AM.
10-27-2010, 12:47 PM   #14
Forum Member




Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sofia,Bulgaria.
Posts: 56
Колега,мерси за кадрите!
Наистина интересно и полезно.
Поздрав!
10-27-2010, 02:41 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lithuania
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 490
QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
One addendum, thanks for everyone who enjoyed my account of the K-5. I wanted to say that a large part of why I like the K-5 so much is because it shares so much in common with the K-7, which is still an awesome camera for general shooting purposes. If you own a K-7 or K20D and feel the need to wait a bit for the price to come down, I'd say that's a great move, especially for the hobbyists out there. I needed to buy the K-5 at full price in order to get it for this wedding (I would have been doomed without it) and it's also made my freelance sports shooting easier.

Now that I've done so and have been able to use it quite a bit in terrible lighting conditions, I think it's the first Pentax camera I've bought where I don't feel like I've had to sacrifice something compared to another model. Pentax still has a bit to improve in the next model, (manual controls in video, tethering, buffer)_ but I'd say now it's much more important that they add better wide and telephoto lens options and a new flash system. The camera, in other words, is not really their biggest problem anymore at this point.

A few more photos.

Self Portrait, FA43, f/5, ISO 800



Testing out Live view autofocus during a meeting, 200 mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600



A hug on senior night, 200 mm, f/2.8, ISO 4000



Examining specimens at a science demonstration, 50 mm, f/4 ISO 2500
Appreciate your new set of pictures.. I like them a lot.
And your thinking in presenting natural pics, not so pped.. is a good choice too.

I especially liked the hug, although others are impressive too.

your look is very deep and penetrating, just great!

thanks again.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
autofocus, camera, dslr, f/2.8, k-5, k-5 ii, k-5 iis, k5, light, pentax k-5, wedding, week
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature varied carpet beetle dcmsox2004 Post Your Photos! 2 06-03-2010 12:26 AM
Week 110 - Photo of the Week 11 April to 25 April Nomad Weekly Photo Challenges 57 04-25-2010 08:25 PM
Your thoughts please-HELP rmtagg Photographic Technique 19 04-18-2008 03:23 PM
Your thoughts please? Amped Post Your Photos! 10 03-14-2008 08:34 PM
Varied Prices on Pentax Primes krs Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 03-05-2008 12:24 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:03 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top