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12-30-2011, 12:04 AM   #1
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so I want to upgrade, K-5 vs competition?

Hi all,

These days I'm shooting with gripped K-7 and DA*55, FA*24 and FA*28-70. I started to use my AF500FTZ quite a lot too (bounced) to get the shots I wanted these days as the good light in winter UK is sparse..

Anyway, I want to upgrade the body. Main needs:
-noise control with higher ISO
-AF speed and accuracy in general

So, with my existing equipment, one would naturaly think og going for K-5 right? Much better higher ISO results, faster AF, bigger dynamic range..etc but! I read quite a bit about AF issues, especially in lower light. And that is a concern, especially when price of Pentax bodies is going off the cliff when compared to CaNikon. Besides, I'd most probably still have to sell a lens (FA*28-70 is top spot candidate) help financing it.

This got me thinking. If my kit would only be 24/2 + 55/1.4, then I could easily just sell it all and get similar CaNikon kit using Sigma 24/1.8 as a substitute for the uber expensive 24/1.4s or cheap 24/2.8s...

So how does K-5 compare to Canon 7D and Nikon D300s or 7000 in low light situations in terms of AF speed and accuracy and Nosie control? From what I've seen so far it seems that higher ISO nosie is better than that of 7D and 300s and on par with 7000, but does the Pentax's Safox system implemented in K-5 hold it's own against the other systems AF? I had a chance of trying D7000 with 50/1.4G and while not really faster in moving the elements than K-7 + DA*55, the lack of stuttering and second guessing itself before locking on target was amazing. And the same goes for EOS60D + EF50/1.4 that I tried, but on top that combo was noticeable faster to AF compared to my existing Pentax setup.

So, would K-5 help me to sove my problems or......?

Any input appreciated.
Thanks Peter

12-30-2011, 12:39 AM   #2
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from my experience, i find the k-5's AF in low light to be something like this:
if i were to us Av mode, center focus point, auto iso and spot metering on my DA*55, then an area that is metering to greater than iso 6400 might hesitate for half a second before locking focus, at which point you get a fairly grainy image anyhow.

as for noise control, i don't really notice noise until around 1600+ after which it starts developing a grainy sort of noise
12-30-2011, 01:17 AM   #3
Brooke Meyer
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My experience with K-5 AF in Low light, Tungsten & Action

I wrote about this previously https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/1755785-post30.html
12-30-2011, 01:23 AM   #4
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At Xmas I had a chance to do a quick comparison of a cousins Nikon D300s to my K5

He had a 17-55 2.8 lens on and I had the Tamron 28-75 2.8

Overall impression was that the Nikon would AF slightly faster and lock right away, whereas the K-5 would AF and do a quick fine tune before locking.

The picture quality was similar but the Nikon showed a tiny bit of grain earlier than the K-5.

The biggest difference I felt was the size of the Nikon + lens dwarfed the K-5, it almost seemed like it should have a full frame sensor in it.

The control button and menu was way different.

I did not feel like I was missing anything with my K-5 and appreciated the compact size/weight personally. Others may prefer a beefier body.

12-30-2011, 02:54 AM   #5
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I'm playing with a Nikon D300 I have access to and compared to my Pentax K-5, I don't really like it from an ergonomics standpoint. Some main points

1) Lens changes are awkward due to the button placement. Pentax has the best lens change imo. Nikon's system works with small primes but not so much with big zooms.
2) Changing ISO and WB are a two-handed affairs, lacks the WB preview that I'm so used to on Pentax
3) As beefy as the camera is, the hand grip feels too narrow to me
4) Paired with the 14-24/2.8 or 70-200/2.8, the camera is so heavy
5) Shutter is super fast with really short mirror blackout time but it's really loud too
6) AF tracking with the 51pt system blows the K-5 out of the water. No contest here
7) Indoors, AF-S is speedy and decisive. K-5 is similar (a bit of back and forth but I learned to live with it quite happily) but I've had trouble with front focus on mine in the past (K-5 away for repair now)
8) D300 sensor feels like it's around K10D level
9) Mushy rubber buttons, dislike
12-30-2011, 04:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
from my experience, i find the k-5's AF in low light to be something like this:
if i were to us Av mode, center focus point, auto iso and spot metering on my DA*55, then an area that is metering to greater than iso 6400 might hesitate for half a second before locking focus, at which point you get a fairly grainy image anyhow.

as for noise control, i don't really notice noise until around 1600+ after which it starts developing a grainy sort of noise
Thanks, I don't thin I'd be going so hight necessarily, I' be probably around ISO1600-4000 most of the time



QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
Nice examples, rather convincing. Thanks!


QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
At Xmas I had a chance to do a quick comparison of a cousins Nikon D300s to my K5

He had a 17-55 2.8 lens on and I had the Tamron 28-75 2.8

Overall impression was that the Nikon would AF slightly faster and lock right away, whereas the K-5 would AF and do a quick fine tune before locking.

The picture quality was similar but the Nikon showed a tiny bit of grain earlier than the K-5.

The biggest difference I felt was the size of the Nikon + lens dwarfed the K-5, it almost seemed like it should have a full frame sensor in it.

The control button and menu was way different.

I did not feel like I was missing anything with my K-5 and appreciated the compact size/weight personally. Others may prefer a beefier body.
I don't mind beefy cameras. With K-7 and therefore with K-5 I always have grip. Without it the body is touch on the small side. Not too small but enough to feel slight discomfort. Even gripped K-7 doesn't feel as nice as gripped K10D did despite having better hand grip.

That little fine tuning is exactly what I'm afraid of. When taking pictures of baby it can be the difference between getting the shot or not.


QuoteOriginally posted by darrenleow Quote
I'm playing with a Nikon D300 I have access to and compared to my Pentax K-5, I don't really like it from an ergonomics standpoint. Some main points

1) Lens changes are awkward due to the button placement. Pentax has the best lens change imo. Nikon's system works with small primes but not so much with big zooms.
2) Changing ISO and WB are a two-handed affairs, lacks the WB preview that I'm so used to on Pentax
3) As beefy as the camera is, the hand grip feels too narrow to me
4) Paired with the 14-24/2.8 or 70-200/2.8, the camera is so heavy
5) Shutter is super fast with really short mirror blackout time but it's really loud too
6) AF tracking with the 51pt system blows the K-5 out of the water. No contest here
7) Indoors, AF-S is speedy and decisive. K-5 is similar (a bit of back and forth but I learned to live with it quite happily) but I've had trouble with front focus on mine in the past (K-5 away for repair now)
8) D300 sensor feels like it's around K10D level
9) Mushy rubber buttons, dislike
1 - matter of getting used to it IMO. Besides with my long fingers I don't think I would have problem reaching the lens release button wherever they'd put it. But I do have to agree that lens changes on K mount are very comfortable indeed.
2 - not too big throwback regarding the changes, the lack of WB setting is bit disappointing though
3 - that comes as a surprise. I handled D90 and D7000 and didn't find them exactly comfortable
4 - Not the lenses I'd be using most probably. As i said, I'd start out with Sgma 24/1.8 and AF-S50/1.4G
5 - loud shutter may be an issue but then I don't think it's worse than my wife's K-x or my old K10D
6 - one of the main improvements I'm after
7 - as I posted above, that little bit of back and forth might be decisive for shot. My son is still relatively still but even now I keep missing shots with K-7
8 - fine by me. I always liked K10 sensor. And far preferred it to K-7!! And since noise is closer to K-x I don't think I'd have problems living with it
9 - now that might be an issue

---

Thanks for input to all of you..
12-30-2011, 04:45 AM   #7
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Hi Peter,
Beefy camera by itself does not bother me. However, a good f2.8 Canon & Nikon zoom coupled with a flash, the combo can easily weigh 2.5 kg. It is fun initially looking at the output. However, the fun quickly wears off when i find my gear sitting in the backpack most of the time during a long trip overseas when i have to go shopping, sight seeing and photo taking.
AF can be helpful if it is accurate. If you are shooting at f1.4 at close range most of the time, i doubt 51 focus points will help. It will be purely the skills of the photographer.
All the best with your decision!
12-30-2011, 05:04 AM   #8
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I havent tried the canikon's but the K-5 is more than capable of focusing fast and accurate. My kids are 4 and 6 years old and move very, very fast, I shoot wide open almost exclusivley and consistently get excellent results with the K-5.


Also renting before buying would be a good idea too

12-30-2011, 06:06 AM   #9
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I've brought up this example a few times before, I've shot in 3 separate events (dim light; funky light) against the likes of D700; D90; A700; D7000. The K5 was the one with more accurate AF in all cases.
K5 AF is much better than K7 and models before it, you have to try to see for yourself.
Its far more decisive.
I had the frustration of slow or indecisive AF on my K7 and K100D before that, missing shots because the camera was either too slow to confirm focus or was diddering around trying to do so.
No such problems with K5.


I do lots of photos of my 2 children, both indoors and outside and in all sorts of lighting. You can check out my flickr or look at some of my posts for the pictures.
The K5 won't disappoint.


Btw, TOUGEFC has made many posts with photos of his children before here. All are excellent and testament of what the K5 can do.
12-30-2011, 07:04 AM   #10
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I have seen many Simon's shots of his kids and agree that they are excellent but most of them are static!

Looks like I'll have to go to shop and try one

If only the cashback offer wouldn't stop tomorrow...
12-30-2011, 07:19 AM   #11
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I've compared the AF on my K7 and my D200 and the Nikon definitely focuses faster in general. I've also found that the lens influences the AF speed for both brands. If I were considering upgrading my K7 at this point, I would wait on the announcement of the new bodies before buying a K5. I used my brother's K5 last month and other than the awesome high ISO there is really no other major improvement at all over my K7. The 35mm f2.4 focused at the same speed on both K7 and K5, which is to say very fast. If there is a pressing need for a better second body, the K5 would be nice because it is the same form factor and button layout as the K7, and you could sell the K-x. I would wait for the new bodies though.
12-30-2011, 07:40 AM   #12
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Define static?
Sitting completly still or frozen? They cant do that even when asked! They fidget more than a baby.










Almost everyone shot wide open, and moving (swings, shoveling sand, running,walking, tennis, balancing on wall, river rafting)



The sport shooters seem to be doing just fine with the K-5....https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/115277-k-5-sports-photography-2.html

Last edited by TOUGEFC; 12-30-2011 at 07:51 AM.
12-30-2011, 07:45 AM   #13
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Axl, end 2011 on a high note and get that K-5!!!
12-30-2011, 08:16 AM   #14
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Simon, I didn't say all, but most. And that's still true...
Out of those shots you posted above there are perhaps 3 that I'd consider dificult (the swing, tennis and the boy in walking under the trees with rays coming through). The rest would most probably be doable even with K10D.

Besides, those are not the scenarios I'm concerned about. But up close with longer, faster lenses. So we're talking uop to 2 meters in dim light (not out door on sunny ausie day) shooting at f1.4 or 1.8...
12-30-2011, 09:36 AM   #15
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Uh, sorry to be blunt, axl, but since you're looking for justification to your (quite apparent) decision to move to Nikon for better AF, here you go; Nikon has better AF than Pentax.

On the other hand, Simon's photos above show what a good photographer can do with a high quality camera, regardless of brand or technical differences.

Simon, that shot of your boy under the trees with the sunbeams is a smasher! (Even better that he's carrying your tripod for you?)
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