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11-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #1
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Pentax K-5 vs. Sony A900

Hello fellow Pentaxians,
Today, I have came across to an irresistible offer. A mint Sony A900 with all original accessories even box for $1650 (No tax since it is a person selling it.
Now I don't know what to do. I currently have K-5 with 3 Zeiss lenses for PK mount: 25mm, 35mm, 50mm. I usually do landscape photography as hobby and sometimes close up shots of flowers. I am not into portraits or wildlife. Unfortunately, I am not lucky enough to keep both systems. Should I trade my K-5 and Zeiss to try out A900?
Do you guys know any information on A900 or why I shouldn't trade my K-5?

Any suggestions will be helpful.

Thank you.

11-22-2011, 06:14 PM   #2
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If you shoot at Low-ISO mostly and are willing to invest in only the best Sony Zeiss lenses (which will cost a lot more than $1650, and forget about the manual focus Zeiss line), then it's not a bad call. You should see a fair degree of increased resolution, though not as huge as you might expect. Honestly if full frame is your ball game, a better investment would be made in a Canon 5D mark II and the same lenses you currently have, in EF mount. That way you get to keep the good glass, which is better than the ZA stuff (save for the 24 f2), and get the extra resolution.

Or....stick with Pentax. Great camera, great lenses, great dynamic range.
11-22-2011, 07:04 PM   #3
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Hobby - K-5.
Career - A900.

ducking..
11-22-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
If you shoot at Low-ISO mostly and are willing to invest in only the best Sony Zeiss lenses (which will cost a lot more than $1650, and forget about the manual focus Zeiss line), then it's not a bad call. You should see a fair degree of increased resolution, though not as huge as you might expect. Honestly if full frame is your ball game, a better investment would be made in a Canon 5D mark II and the same lenses you currently have, in EF mount. That way you get to keep the good glass, which is better than the ZA stuff (save for the 24 f2), and get the extra resolution.

Or....stick with Pentax. Great camera, great lenses, great dynamic range.
One thing about Sony Alpha mount is that they offer AF in their Zeiss lenses. Even in K-5, I hardly go above ISO 400, I believe in carrying tripod everywhere and optimal image comes from ISO 50-200 . Best case would be find an adapter that converts ZK to ZA, but there are no adapters of sort that does not have glass elements. If I sell all my Zeiss lenses, I will be able to buy used Sony Zeiss 24-70 and some change. But nothing compares to these manual Zeiss. Only can be appreciated after shooting with it.

11-22-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Hobby - K-5.
Career - A900.

ducking..
So are you telling me that I will become a Professional Photographer by using A900?

ducking ....
11-22-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by eleventhirteen83 Quote
So are you telling me that I will become a Professional Photographer by using A900?

ducking ....
Well played, sir!
11-22-2011, 07:25 PM   #7
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I guess you really need to ask yourself what you see are the deficiencies of the K5 set up you have and what you are looking for from the Sony. What lenses would you want to replace those you have used on the K5. Sensor wise, the Sony is actually not quite as good with regard to dynamic range as the K5 and the high iso capability is only minimally better.

Personally, if I wanted to go full frame (I don't), I would probably go with the D700, which seems to bump high iso capabilities significantly over APS-C. Also, Nikon seems to have some pretty amazing lenses -- nicer selection than Sony (although for some pretty steep prices as well).
11-22-2011, 08:26 PM   #8
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Be prepared for the rather costly CZ Sony lenses.
If you have factored that in the A900 is a great choice for non-high ISO use.

I've never compare A900 dynamic range capability, but there was a comparison of that between 5DII and K5 in which the K5 was better.
Pentax K5 vs Canon 5D II - Collage 01 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

So if you print really big, A900.
Like more dynamic range, probably K5

Oh, yeah, forgot about the part that Sony is moving away from DSLRs and into mirrorless, so keep that in mind too if that bothers you.


Last edited by pinholecam; 11-22-2011 at 08:51 PM.
11-22-2011, 08:27 PM   #9
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Your buying into (out of) a system. Which one allows you to do what you want. It is not so much about the camera body IMO.

As far as FF Sony may decide to drop FF (seems likely IMO) and on the other hand Pentax may decide to go FF ( seems unlikely IMO). If you buy into Sony what then?
11-23-2011, 12:40 AM   #10
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Do your maths .... camera plus equivalent lenses of those you've got now. How much are you going to get for your K5 & those 3 lovely lenses ? Now does it make sense ?

Also there is no slam dunk for the 900 even though it is FF. The K5 has a better dynamic range at 14.1 EV to 12.7 EV. The K5 has 9 cross type focus points to 1 of the 900. The K5 has almost 3 stops better light sensitivity. The 900 has 1/3 stop better noise handling, overall more focus points and a 24 MP to 16 MP full frame sensor, so better FoV for landscapes.

It's a difficult call.
11-23-2011, 07:10 AM   #11
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I'm not sure about the "high cost of Sony CZ lenses" statements. The CZ 85mm is cheaper than the Canon or Nikon versions and there is not 85mm currently being made by Pentax. The 135CZ is more expensive, but is an absolutely amazing lens. The 24-70CZ is a best in class lens with really fast AF. Those are the only 3 I have experience with, but to buy the 3 from Canon or Nikon would be about the same amount of money except they are all image stabilized for Sony.
11-23-2011, 07:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Your buying into (out of) a system. Which one allows you to do what you want. It is not so much about the camera body IMO.

As far as FF Sony may decide to drop FF (seems likely IMO) and on the other hand Pentax may decide to go FF ( seems unlikely IMO). If you buy into Sony what then?

Please show where you have seen Sony announce they will drop FF cameras in the future. This kind of stupid posting happens all the time.
I personally shoot with both the K5 and A900, and for landscapes, the A900 wins. For other shots, the K5 is more fun.
11-23-2011, 08:33 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
I'm not sure about the "high cost of Sony CZ lenses" statements. The CZ 85mm is cheaper than the Canon or Nikon versions and there is not 85mm currently being made by Pentax. The 135CZ is more expensive, but is an absolutely amazing lens. The 24-70CZ is a best in class lens with really fast AF. Those are the only 3 I have experience with, but to buy the 3 from Canon or Nikon would be about the same amount of money except they are all image stabilized for Sony.
You may not need an actual 85mm lens. As a FF sensor, the 85mm lens on the Sony is a "real" 85. By using a Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM on the K-5, you end up with an equivalent 85mm (well actually 82.5) @ f1.4.
11-23-2011, 12:01 PM   #14
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I wish I can say that as well. I really want to keep both A900 and K5 but my bank says other wise.
I might try out the Pentax K mount to Sony/Minolta Alpha mount adapter. But I think it is a waste of fine Zeiss lenses if I do that.
I am thinking I will make $950 for K5, around $1750 for 3 zeiss lenses. With that price I can get the A900 and used 24-70 CZ lens.
Although I am a prime guy and might just buy 1 really fast 35mm prime for sony mount and just use that only.

QuoteOriginally posted by vario Quote
Please show where you have seen Sony announce they will drop FF cameras in the future. This kind of stupid posting happens all the time.
I personally shoot with both the K5 and A900, and for landscapes, the A900 wins. For other shots, the K5 is more fun.
11-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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I don't think Sony is going to drop full frame (although rumors abound about all sorts of things), but the possibility exists that they would stop making SLRs and go completely to SLTs or mirrorless cameras (would kill the possibility of going with them from my standpoint).
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