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11-23-2011, 10:23 AM   #1
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K-5 small enough for candid street photography

I have a k-r, which I love, and the DAL 35 and DA 21 that I use for street photography, which I am starting to try out. The downside is the k-r shutter is pretty loud, and obviously, the K-5 is better in low light and all around better, period.

I've read a lot by street photographers about the value of having a smaller, more discrete camera, and the micro 4/3 cameras like the E-PL# and E-P3 have caught my attention.

I' m at a point where I could either upgrade to a K-5 and use my pancake 21 and the 35, or invest in an m 4/3 camera.

It'd be helpful to hear reports from K-5 owners on how the camera works for candid street photography -- in particular whether whether it draws too much attention as compared to the more touristy-looking m 4/3 cameras, and whether the lack of a fold-out screen has been a bother when trying to shoot from the hip.

I know, of course, that the K-5 has a bigger, better sensor than any m 4/3. Indeed, so does my K-r. I am just wondering whether the street photogs out there are highly successful with the k-5, or whether they also reach for a smaller camera when street shooting.

Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving, all.

11-23-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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Depending on how discrete you want to be. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/162001-travel-paris.html
11-23-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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I don't know about street photography, but at weddings I can take pictures without disturbing anyone. I think the camera noise thing is over rated, especially for street photography. The camera operator is right beside his camera, and so thinks it is louder than it really is.
11-23-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
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The sound issue depends on the level of ambient noise and how close you like to get to the subject. In a noisy place my Panasonic GF2 (an M43 camera) is very discreet. I'm comfortable working with my 20mm (40mm FFeq). But the shutter is loud. In a quieter environment I'll take the K-5 and a slightly longer lens (i.e., DA40 or DA70). The only problem with the K-5 is that the screwdrive AF is louder than the shutter sometimes!

11-23-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
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I suppose a blimp or underwater housing is out of the question?
11-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Basset Quote
whether the lack of a fold-out screen has been a bother when trying to shoot from the hip.
Yes. The only thing I have missed in street photography.

If you have a small prime lens on a K5 or Kr it should not be an issue. I have not found shutter or AF sound to be much of a hindrance in the street the majority of the time.
11-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #7
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I just upgraded from the K-r to the K-5, yes the K-5 is a bit heavier and bit larger, but really not much.

The size difference is actually really small but the increased weight is more noticeable.

I really appreciate the quiet shutter of the K-5 over the machine gun shutter on the K-r

I think the K-5 would be fine for low-key street shooting, certainly not much different than the K-r anyways
11-23-2011, 12:38 PM   #8
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The Pentax K-5 is awesome for street photography. Limited glass, quiet, tough...what else could you ask for? If you want to couple it with an X100 instead of getting the 21mm 3,2 then even better!

11-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
Yes. The only thing I have missed in street photography.

If you have a small prime lens on a K5 or Kr it should not be an issue. I have not found shutter or AF sound to be much of a hindrance in the street the majority of the time.
Thanks for the reply. And thanks to others as well. Keep them coming . . . especially from those who have been using the K-5 for candid street photography

I've ordered on of those Fllpbac viewfinder mirrors, to see if that might be useful for the k-r. I know the mirror's image would be inverted, but some say it takes only a little getting used to. Besides it's only a $20 experiment.
11-23-2011, 02:12 PM   #10
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For me, the K-5 is great for candid street photograpy, if you choose the right lens. For example, you wouldnt want to choose the 35mm LTD because if it misses focus, it hunts forever. However, my DA70 LTD and 50mm f1.7 snap to focus nice and quick, not to mention are real small.
11-23-2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
For me, the K-5 is great for candid street photograpy, if you choose the right lens. For example, you wouldnt want to choose the 35mm LTD because if it misses focus, it hunts forever. However, my DA70 LTD and 50mm f1.7 snap to focus nice and quick, not to mention are real small.
Good to know. Right now my primes are the 35 DAL plastic fantastic, the 21 mm ltd, and the FA 50 / 1.4. I know about the fast Sigma 30 / 1.4, but it weighs a ton.

I rely most heavily now on the 21 mm for street with my k-r, both for the focal length and the small size. I use the 35 DAL next most often, for the focal length. I might pick a 40 pancake, again for size, primarily.

Any k-5 owners prefer to go micro 4/3 when they do candid street photography? If so, why? Thanks again.
11-23-2011, 02:43 PM   #12
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Right angle viewfinder attachment might also be an option. The K-5 is well suited to this genre. I've done it reasonably well in my travels in SE Asia, given the public there are more attentive to their surroundings and change their behaviour when they see someone with a camera shooting around them. Your 35 and 21 lenses would be your best suited lenses, both of which are insignificantly larger and heavier than the 40 - whilst having the slightly wider FoV to capture more of the street surroundings - leaving room for you to crop your 16Mp images without too much loss of image quality.
11-24-2011, 01:04 AM   #13
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I did a bit of street photography over the weekend with a K-5, D-BG4 grip and a DA* lens, about as large a rig as one can do, and I still got shots like this



without being noticed. I was literally walking right behind this guy and he was so mesmerized by the lights of Times Square that he didn't notice me sticking my camera almost right in his face. I think camera size and shutter silence are overrated as qualities for a street photographer. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing when to shoot are much more important.

As for weight, a BlackRapid strap does wonders.
11-24-2011, 01:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Basset Quote
I have a k-r, which I love, and the DAL 35 and DA 21 that I use for street photography, which I am starting to try out. The downside is the k-r shutter is pretty loud, and obviously, the K-5 is better in low light and all around better, period.

I've read a lot by street photographers about the value of having a smaller, more discrete camera, and the micro 4/3 cameras like the E-PL# and E-P3 have caught my attention.

I' m at a point where I could either upgrade to a K-5 and use my pancake 21 and the 35, or invest in an m 4/3 camera.

It'd be helpful to hear reports from K-5 owners on how the camera works for candid street photography -- in particular whether whether it draws too much attention as compared to the more touristy-looking m 4/3 cameras,
Either camera is going to be seen. might as well use the K-5. I use a tiny Sony TX-5 for discrete shooting


QuoteQuote:
and whether the lack of a fold-out screen has been a bother when trying to shoot from the hip.
the whole point of "shooting from the hip" is not looking through the view finder or at the LCD screen. That's the beauty of it. the screen should be turned off for battery life and discreteness.


QuoteQuote:
I know, of course, that the K-5 has a bigger, better sensor than any m 4/3. Indeed, so does my K-r. I am just wondering whether the street photogs out there are highly successful with the k-5, or whether they also reach for a smaller camera when street shooting.

Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving, all.
it depends on the street. Some areas of town you will be safe to shoot with a DSLR so use the K-5. Other areas of town won't be safe flashing an expensive camera around. use a tiny compact

the K-5 shutter is all but silent in the street where there is a fair amount of ambient noise to mask it
11-24-2011, 02:59 AM   #15
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I have both bodies but use the Kr only for street work usually with a 1.7 50mm and thats a small [large pocket ] combo.

Shutter noise has never been a issue in the street, the k5 in a church definitely good, stand next to the couple and the Vicar does not wince at the sounds!!

These are Kr images people and faces - a set on Flickr
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