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07-08-2011, 08:53 AM   #1
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The good news for Pentax

As extensive as the "teething problems" with the K-5 appear to be, I have noticed that they pale in comparison with what's going on with the camera's principal competition--the Nikon D7000.

Widely reported issues include: (a) hot pixels in video mode; (b) backfocusing with newer lenses (that can't be corrected by AF adjustment); (c) dead menu and playback buttons; and (d) general camera lock-up.

Myself, I'm a bit put off by camera companies 'beta-testing' on their customers. If they are going to follow this course, their early bug-ridden offerings should sell at a discount rather than a premium.

Just my two cents.


Last edited by Byrd-2020; 07-08-2011 at 09:03 AM.
07-08-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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I agree with your 'beta-testing' point Byrd-2020. Microsoft has been doing it for decades.

Tom G
07-08-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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My K5 froze once in Live-view..
07-08-2011, 09:06 AM   #4
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That is interesting to hear - what about the Canon equiv?

I also do agree with your second bit.

07-08-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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We, the consumers, are now the quality control department. Companies are relying too much on firmware fixes. Some things just cannot be fixed with software, which might be the case with the K-r's front-focusing problem.
07-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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Although I know the original post included mechanical failures as well, I think it's worth noting that the more our cameras become computers, the more they're going to behave as unreliably as computers. I'm still waking up to similar problems with my new and first smartphone -- who'd have thunk it, a phone that can "crash" and automatically "restart".
07-08-2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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In France, the best seller photo magazine, Chasseur d'images, have lower the note of the D7000 in their last publication, because of reccurent problems.
In november, for the first test (with K-5 & 60D), the D7000 has 5*, like the K-5, 4* for the 60D.
And now, 4* for the D7000, K-5 take the lead.

Their are some very angry D7000 users on Chasseur d'Image forum actually... http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,123470.0.html
07-08-2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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I think this whole "QC Problem" is a myth created by forums. Every camera company has lemon units in every production line. It's not like people who have perfectly working units are creating threads stating "my camera works 100%!" en mass the way people who ARE having problems do. So of course it seems like there are lots of problems. If 1000 people out of 100,000 have bad cameras, and even a small number of those go onto a forum and post about it, it's going to seem like fluke units are everywhere.

So I'll start it. I have purchased a K-5, the dreaded 16-50mm zoom, a 70mm 2.4, and a 31mm 1.8, plus a super risky second battery. I can report they function perfectly! My SDM moter has not died, I have no sensor stains, my camera focuses accurately with all my lenses! Pentax must be doing something rigth! Holy Crapy! It Works! I can't imagine what's going on in those factories but apparently it's the construction of properly functioning cameras!

And for the record I rented a D7000 before I decided on the K-5, and that worked too.

If there was a serious QC issue there would be recalls people, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell broken units in mass.

07-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #9
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Everyone knows those who have negative experiences with any kind of product will always be the most vocal of consumers. Though I don't own a k-5, I'm inclined to believe the stellar reviews about it and dismiss a lot of the complaints.
07-08-2011, 10:19 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, most camera companies have a certain level of malfunctions that they tolerate. Maybe it is 5 per 1000, maybe a little higher. Anyway, there goal isn't perfection, it is to hit that market. The more units you sell, the more people are guaranteed to have defective units.

Now some things are due to poor design/programming. Flash issues with the K5 seem to fall into this camp, as do focus issues under low light. Often those things can be fixed with firmware updates.
07-08-2011, 10:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
I think this whole "QC Problem" is a myth created by forums. Every camera company has lemon units in every production line. It's not like people who have perfectly working units are creating threads stating "my camera works 100%!" en mass the way people who ARE having problems do. So of course it seems like there are lots of problems. If 1000 people out of 100,000 have bad cameras, and even a small number of those go onto a forum and post about it, it's going to seem like fluke units are everywhere.

So I'll start it. I have purchased a K-5, the dreaded 16-50mm zoom, a 70mm 2.4, and a 31mm 1.8, plus a super risky second battery. I can report they function perfectly! My SDM moter has not died, I have no sensor stains, my camera focuses accurately with all my lenses! Pentax must be doing something rigth! Holy Crapy! It Works! I can't imagine what's going on in those factories but apparently it's the construction of properly functioning cameras!

And for the record I rented a D7000 before I decided on the K-5, and that worked too.

If there was a serious QC issue there would be recalls people, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell broken units in mass.
The SDM failures that have occurred (primarily) in 50-135 and 16-50 seem to take at least a year to exhibit, so you can't know yet.

You can invert your argument and state that we hardly ever heard of issues regarding cameras 20 years ago because there were no popular Internet forums for complaints. So defects were largely not discussed and unacknowledged.

As far as recalls, no. An item that functions, but does not function well, is not broken and does not have to be recalled, as (at least in the USA) there are no provisions for that. Generally the only gov't issued recalls have to do with safety (and even then rarely) and all other recalls are voluntary.

And lastly, often recalls are made years after the defect has been observed.

Last edited by luftfluss; 07-08-2011 at 10:56 AM.
07-08-2011, 10:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by spicy cho Quote
Everyone knows those who have negative experiences with any kind of product will always be the most vocal of consumers. Though I don't own a k-5, I'm inclined to believe the stellar reviews about it and dismiss a lot of the complaints.
There were many complaints about the K-5 were regarding the focusing under tungsten issue, which has been acknowledged - and at least somewhat addressed - by Pentax. There were many complaints about stained senors, which was acknowledged and addressed by Pentax.

Given that these two are the primary issues that plagued the K-5, it's safe to say the problems were mob-induced hype, but indeed fact.
07-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Unfortunately, most camera companies have a certain level of malfunctions that they tolerate. Maybe it is 5 per 1000, maybe a little higher. Anyway, there goal isn't perfection, it is to hit that market. The more units you sell, the more people are guaranteed to have defective units.

Now some things are due to poor design/programming. Flash issues with the K5 seem to fall into this camp, as do focus issues under low light. Often those things can be fixed with firmware updates.
Doesn't alter the fact that if a company offers a product of a certain standard then should the product fail to meet it then it is not fit for purpose and we start entering the world of consumer law. Whether it's only one in a million or five in a thousand is irrelevant, the consumer has the right to to expect and receive what he was led to believe he was purchasing.

Now I quite accept that there may be a problem with any item bought be it a car or camera but the test to my mind is how it is put right. If a issue is admitted to and corrected promptly then I have on argument but denial, evasion and attempts to shift the responsibility back on to the purchaser pee's me off no end.

Nothing new about the customer doing the beta testing BTW. British Leyland/Rover were infamous for it during the 70's and 80's.
07-08-2011, 10:54 AM   #14
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Worst thing that's happened to me(us) is where the K-5 would momentarily freeze while metering scenes in M mode at higher ISO.

Other than that, I've never had a lock-up of battery removal moment with either unit to date.
And considering what's been written here to date, I guess that makes us very fortunate.

Anyways, I know without a doubt that every device has it's problems. And... that some manufacturers are worst than others when it comes to releasing fixes. Heck... I can't count the number of times I spent big money($300+) on motherboards only to have them deprecated in favor of a newer model without ever addressing the issues. And in some cases, these were crippling issues(Asus anyone?)

Having said that, I think DSLR camera's are amongst the highest ranking when it comes to scenario's of this nature.
ie. I've owned a D200 and lens that could never be calibrated despite having it sent-in three times for repairs.

Additionally, I've owned a Canon which was so problematic that we ended-up returning in exchange for an older more usable version.

Yes, there's no doubting the severity of the DSLR market when it comes to product distribution insofar as QC goes. But... in their defense, I will say that most all of the products do end-up being stabilized over time. Which is why I am partly excited about the Ricoh acquisition. Because here we have a company who has a very strong FW reputation.

Either way, the K-5 is doing exactly what I need it to do.
In fact... it is even more than I needed.

And that makes me very happy
07-08-2011, 11:15 AM   #15
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There's also loads of D7000 DPR posts now about sensor oil stains that appear after some use which sounds like the body is flinging oil around to me, rather unlike the K5 2010 production issue.
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