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07-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #31
Brooke Meyer
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I bought 2 K-5s to replace my 2 K20's for the same reason. Quiet shutter is also a big deal. Lady sat down in front of my tripod and asked if it would be noisy like last year. Wasn't me then , some guy with a Canon or Nikon. I'm now shooting a Sigma 100-300/4 wide open and racked out at 1/320 and 12,800 and I don't believe what I'm getting. No way to do that with a K20. Most of my stuff is at 3,200.

07-12-2011, 06:36 AM - 1 Like   #32
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For those of you with K-5s that meet your expectations, I say "Good for you." The K-5 is, in most respects, a wonderful camera, and I'm sure that it is a genuine step up for many Pentax users.

However, it is wrong to suggest that the controversy over the K-5 is the result of just a 'few bad apples' getting through quality control. There have been serious quality control issues. Sensor stains, shutters going off unexpectedly, camera lock-up etc., etc. If you owned one of these faulty cameras you would not be happy about it. And the only thing that mitigates this sort of bad qc, is the fact that the majors (Nikon and Canon) seem subject to it as well. Pentax spares itself criticism for its lax qc only by pointing out that it's at least as bad "over there" in Canikon Land.

However, the real issue with the K-5 is a design issue--a flawed focusing system. And no amount of 'cheerleading' for the K-5 will make this problem go away.

I owned my K-5 for a bit more than a week before I sent it back. And I sent it back because both autofocus and focus confirmation simply started to fall apart (front focusing) at about EV3. (This is a widely reported phenomenon.) Again, for some users, this is not a problem. However, for me and others it is serious--for me, so serious that I have elected to shoot with my K-7 (and other Pentax bodies) until Pentax has it worked out.

I am a strong supporter of Pentax. I have used continuously Pentax cameras for more than twenty-five years. I currently own four Pentax bodies and I have more invested in K-mount lenses than I would like to admit. Certainly I want to see Pentax survive and flourish. (I believe that the new ownership by Ricoh is a very positive thing.)

Still, we are doing neither ourselves nor Pentax any favours when we go into a state of denial about what is a very problematic camera release. I am confident that Pentax will (eventually) fix what is wrong with the K-5. (Let's hope it can be done with a firmware update.) However, in the mean time I'm not going to tell others who use Pentax equipment, or who are thinking about migrating to Pentax, that everything is 'rainbows and moonbeams'.

Last edited by Byrd-2020; 07-15-2011 at 06:22 PM. Reason: spelling correction
07-12-2011, 12:32 PM   #33
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So after reading these posts, would it make sense to wait a year before moving from my K-7 to a new K-5, as I had planned?
07-12-2011, 01:51 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Ev3 equals f2.8 1s and iso100 or f2.8 1/30s iso3200 this is perfect evironment for flash pfotography one can perfectly see everything around.... with k5 and clear iso6400 one can get 1/60s at f2.8 without flashgun.
There are places where you can't use a flash (live event, church…)
The FF issue we talk about is mainly a matter of light level. Below EV 2-3 you will get the FF at any iso, aperture and shutter speed.
I don't know much about flashes, but I can't see how it would help as the camera focuses before the flash. If it's dark enough it will still focus with a big FF and you'll get a well lit out of focus picture


Last edited by PhilippeG; 07-12-2011 at 02:01 PM.
07-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
There are any number of people who have said they aren't having a problem since v1.03. Rupert below, Brooke, check the old threads on dpreview. Falk has test results, i don't so there is no conflict. Checking 2 photos from the last play, they were at ev2 and ev4 as much as i can calculate, and were reasonably sharp at 100%crop.
Firmware 1.03 indeed made things better, the issue is still present though. It now affects fewer people which is a very good thing.
The type and colour of the light have a influence on the FF. It's worse in tungsten/reddish light, so you may actually get a good focus below EV 2 in natural light. But when we complain about "low light" issues we usually mean low and artificial light, as it is the most common case.
07-12-2011, 02:38 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by droth33 Quote
So after reading these posts, would it make sense to wait a year before moving from my K-7 to a new K-5, as I had planned?
That depends on
  • how much you depend on low-light AF accuracy.
  • whether Pentax will issue another firmware which really fixes the low-light AF issue.
The latter may not be possible, due to hardware limitations.

Note that the K-5's Achilles heel is not an insensitive AF sensor but an insensitive metering sensor. The latter is used to correct wavelength-dependent AF deviations and when it fails, the K-5 front focuses.

As it is the meter that fails, you'll see the problem earlier with slow lenses (e.g., cheaper zooms, or relatively slow primes like the DA 15/4). Fast lenses allow more light to fall on the metering sensor and will let it fail much later, i.e., in darker conditions.

For many the K-5 will provide more than sufficient AF capabilities, but I'm with Byrd-2020: The K-5 has a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed before one can recommend it without reservations.

Last edited by Class A; 07-12-2011 at 02:52 PM.
07-12-2011, 04:03 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by PhilippeG Quote
Firmware 1.03 indeed made things better, the issue is still present though. It now affects fewer people which is a very good thing.
The type and colour of the light have a influence on the FF. It's worse in tungsten/reddish light, so you may actually get a good focus below EV 2 in natural light. But when we complain about "low light" issues we usually mean low and artificial light, as it is the most common case.
I would add that folks have said there were fewer problems with situations where:
a. there was a bright light somewhere in the frame
b. lens wasn't at F2.8 (produces a smaller DOF requiring more precise focus)
c. the user had manually put the WB into a tungsten mode.

After i bought the K5 in Feb, i was expecting more problems with focus from all the threads on the subject. They just didn't materialize in my shooting and so i've been wondering why. Perhaps its that theatres always have a spotlight on dark stages somewhere, i rarely shoot at f2.8, and i always preset WB to tungsten to ease pp workload. Or maybe i have a camera thats been fixed by 1.03.

Last edited by philbaum; 07-12-2011 at 04:09 PM.
07-14-2011, 08:17 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by PhilippeG Quote
Firmware 1.03 indeed made things better, the issue is still present though. It now affects fewer people which is a very good thing.
The type and colour of the light have a influence on the FF. It's worse in tungsten/reddish light, so you may actually get a good focus below EV 2 in natural light. But when we complain about "low light" issues we usually mean low and artificial light, as it is the most common case.
Yes, that's my experience too. I had huge FF issues in EV 4-5 artificial light that were solved by fw 1.03, but it didn't change a thing at lower light levels. I seriously considered returning my K-5, but owing to several reasons I decided to keep it. I'm still not happy knowing that I'll HAVE to use LV focus in low light, but these shooting situations are few and far between for me, and the K-5 is a great camera otherwise.
But this AF issue is real and I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy a K-5 without proper consideration of their low light shooting needs.

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