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02-29-2012, 07:50 AM   #91
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For some reason, i read all the replies, and for a different reason( or perhaps the same?) I felt compelled to offer my view on this...matter, thing, or whatever it is.

In November, i bought a K-5, my first SLR, and my third camera ever. I've owned and used two small P&S cameras before this.
I wanted a camerasystem that was small and lightweight enough to take anywhere, that could take a little abuse, and that could be ready to shoot no matter what the shooting conditions were. I wanted good IQ, full control and not having to worry...about anything. Just pull the trigger and enjoy shooting. And, of course, i wanted it as cheap as possible.

So, 4 months and 6000 shots later, what am i feeling about my K-5? What have i learned?

-Image Quality isn't just about the glass and the body. It's also about the shooter. The quality of my images have improved, and hopefully will continue to improve for years. The point here? If you get crap pictures with any 1000$ camera, check out what you're doing wrong first, because more than likely, it's your fault.

-Buying lenses on evilbay is addictive.

-My K-5 handles snowstorms, below -25 C temps, heavy rain, being bashed about, laying in the snow, travelling, hiking, running...and it's small and lightweight enough for me to actually DO all these things with it in my hands, around my neck, or on my hip in it's holster.

-The ergonomics and intuitive handling of the holy triangle of ISO - Shutterspeed - Aperture on the K-5 is a joy compared to the 3 other DSLR's i've messed about with: D7000, 550D, 1100D. Full control? No, but thats because i haven't figured out the details of all the OTHER settings. Yet.

-Perceived quality and build quality is excellent, and far better than the two Canon's i've been using. I would also say better than the D7000, but far less noticeable than vs. the Canons, which are all plasticfantastics.

-My limited experience with DSLRs tell me all cameras have AF issues under certain lighting conditions. I have accepted it as a fact that the K-5 is worse than Nikon, because thats what 'everyone' keeps saying, but i guess i'm blessed with having low expectations. I don't expect my cameras AF to be able to focus correctly when it's so dark i can't focus correctly myself. My girlfriend is studying Media-production, and she says, when they are filming, they aren't allowed to use AF on their cameras. It's never accurate enough, she says, and it's a waste of time in most applications. And this is on 10.000$ cameras.

-Price. I've bought a K-5, DA18-55WR, DA50-200WR, M28 2.8, 2x M50 1.7, M100 4, 3 vivitar close focusing thingys, Samyang 8mm 3.5, and a Tokina AT-X 28-85 3.5-4.5 for 2083$, and keep in mind that the K-5+the WR lenses and the Samyang is from Norwegian retailers with norwegian prices; it would have been less just about anywhere else in the world. I don't think i could have gotten the same functionality with the same perceived quality with the same potential for awesome results for the same price or less from any other brand. Do you?

-The camera has frozen up on me a couple of times, and had the shutterflutterbug twice; both when the battery had been charging overnight. It doesn't scare me. All electronical stuff does things like these. I've been around computers, machinery, digital gadgets and advanced, expensive measuring machinery for over 15 years; none of these has not shown some sort of weird behaviour at some point. It's just how it is, and my take on it is that the people who are programming these things can't possibly be prepared for every eventuality, or every random thing that may happen at any random moment.

I can't find anything about my K-5 that i'm not happy with. I'm pretty sure i would have felt the same about a D7000, with the only exception being i hadn't been the proud owner of a few cool old lenses, which cost me between 10 and 80$ a piece. Oh, and perhaps the placement of the ISO-button. I'm confident i woulnd't have been happy with any of the Canons i've tried, mostly because they feel so plasticky, and to me it feels like the buttons are just tossed onto them, with no plan or indeed purpose.

Conclusion: If you're an amateur and can't get acceptable results with a 1000$ DSLR, you're most likely doing something wrong. If you feel a D300s is too big, buy something smaller. I think the K-5 is great, and it handles a lot of different situations and weather very well. Put on a WR-lens, and you just don't have to worry about it. Thats the most important thing about a camera in my opinion; to be able to capture the moment anywhere, anytime, at any temperature, in any weather. How much money do you need to put in a Canon-system to confidently be able to say the same? I bet it's more than 2100$.

02-29-2012, 08:48 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
Not all pics are spot on 100% of the time with the D300 even, but they are always 100% close enough to be usable.
The problem with the K5 is that it acheives focus lock Ok.
So you expect to have the pic in the bag.
Only to find some of the pics are that far out they are simply unusable. Ive noticed it works fine when close up,
say upto three quater body lengh but loses the plot when you go further back. Its not that the camera doesnt lock, because it finds lock ok. Its just not accurate.
For the further back OOF shots, if you look at the background, are there any areas w/ more contrast?

One of the annoying things about the K-5 AF system which is hopefully fixed w/ the K-01 AF redesign is the AF points are a *LOT* bigger than they appear in the viewfinder. In contrast, w/ Canikon, they're similar in size.
You can test this by sticking some black electrical tape on a wall and then moving the camera slowly across it to find out where it gets "lock". If it sees more contrast in any of those areas, it'll "lock" and of course the intended subject will be OOF

This "locking on the background" was a lot worse in the K10D...
02-29-2012, 09:08 AM   #93
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QuoteQuote:
One of the annoying things about the K-5 AF system which is hopefully fixed w/ the K-01 AF redesign is the AF points are a *LOT* bigger than they appear in the viewfinder. In contrast, w/ Canikon, they're similar in size.
that's interesting, but, what Canikons were tested against the K-5? Or you have experience with all of them?

The next question of course would be, if you're shooting landscape and candid shots, does the larger area mean more good shots or fewer based on say 100 average shots.. a difference in design philosophy usually is better for some things, and not better for others, like sticking a piece of black electrical tape somewhere in your picture (not real world, no one really likes black electrical tape that much). I'm sure what you say is true in terms of black tape... I'm not sure how that plays out in the real world, maybe you could post some example photos to illustrate your point, or a link to where you got this info if it's not original.
02-29-2012, 09:12 AM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
For the further back OOF shots, if you look at the background, are there any areas w/ more contrast?

One of the annoying things about the K-5 AF system which is hopefully fixed w/ the K-01 AF redesign is the AF points are a *LOT* bigger than they appear in the viewfinder. In contrast, w/ Canikon, they're similar in size.
You can test this by sticking some black electrical tape on a wall and then moving the camera slowly across it to find out where it gets "lock". If it sees more contrast in any of those areas, it'll "lock" and of course the intended subject will be OOF

This "locking on the background" was a lot worse in the K10D...
Thank you so much for that !
Thats a great idea
Its got to be worth a try ! Thinking on those terms it is
poss they might not even be lined up propperly in dead
centre. At least it may tell me exactly where it sits.
I always lock focus on the eyes, so its easy to see how if its missaligned it could focus on the background considering the proximity of an eye at the edge of your head. This would also tie in with my observation of tele lenses being more accurate ( your focus point becomes larger ).

02-29-2012, 09:16 AM   #95
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Which is why canikon use more points. the K-01 AF system will not be the same as next gen DSLR it's a CDAF system and points are assigned to areas on the sensor, PDAF is more complicated
02-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
For the further back OOF shots, if you look at the background, are there any areas w/ more contrast?

One of the annoying things about the K-5 AF system which is hopefully fixed w/ the K-01 AF redesign is the AF points are a *LOT* bigger than they appear in the viewfinder. In contrast, w/ Canikon, they're similar in size.
You can test this by sticking some black electrical tape on a wall and then moving the camera slowly across it to find out where it gets "lock". If it sees more contrast in any of those areas, it'll "lock" and of course the intended subject will be OOF

This "locking on the background" was a lot worse in the K10D...
Ok Ive just tested this theory and you are correct !
Instead of tape I placed a coathanger on a peice of white paper and used the metal end bit.
I tried the D300 first and then I tried the D3s which has the same sensor but smaller in the veiwfinder. Both cameras reacted as they suposed to or as you would expect. Both cameras hunted until very close to the
focussing square. Then the K5.... Wow ! big differance !
The focus area is far far larger. In fact it sits just inside the two semi circles on the focus screen ! it snapped into focus instantly as the tip enters the very edge of the two semi circle aids on the focus screen.
So there you have it ! Consider the circle in the centre as your focus point and the red square as confirmation !
Armed with this info should poss make a huge differance !
02-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
Ok Ive just tested this theory and you are correct !
Instead of tape I placed a coathanger on a peice of white paper and used the metal end bit.
I tried the D300 first and then I tried the D3s which has the same sensor but smaller in the veiwfinder. Both cameras reacted as they suposed to or as you would expect. Both cameras hunted until very close to the
focussing square. Then the K5.... Wow ! big differance !
The focus area is far far larger. In fact it sits just inside the two semi circles on the focus screen ! it snapped into focus instantly as the tip enters the very edge of the two semi circle aids on the focus screen.
So there you have it ! Consider the circle in the centre as your focus point and the red square as confirmation !
Armed with this info should poss make a huge differance !
Which probably explains Pentax K5 AF being tested as being more accurate when you think about it. Being a heavy MF user i don't notice the issue as much, and I find the selective focus using my AF lenses pretty accurate even inlow light (though some of my lenses hunt in that scenario more than i like, without a big bright AF assist lamp so do most brands
More small af points apparently isn't always a good thing
02-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Which probably explains Pentax K5 AF being tested as being more accurate when you think about it. Being a heavy MF user i don't notice the issue as much, and I find the selective focus using my AF lenses pretty accurate even inlow light (though some of my lenses hunt in that scenario more than i like, without a big bright AF assist lamp so do most brands
More small af points apparently isn't always a good thing
No.... its like I said.... it has no problem locking focus, its
not as good as most but its fine. Its this huge missfocus even though the camera says its focused. Everyone uses the red focus spot but it extends all the way out to the semi circles in the middle of the focus screen. This meens that its going to lock on any area which as the highest contast within that area.Its not so good for real pin point acuracy since the smaller sensore can be placed more precisely. For critical focus then, it would make sense to shoot manual. Its obviously important that you see the semicircles as your focus point and ignore the red square, if you see what i meen.
As long as you keep that circle surrounding the red square covering what you are focusing on, then the focus should be close enough to use, rather than missing altogether. I hope i explained that ok lol

02-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Which probably explains Pentax K5 AF being tested as being more accurate when you think about it. Being a heavy MF user i don't notice the issue as much, and I find the selective focus using my AF lenses pretty accurate even inlow light (though some of my lenses hunt in that scenario more than i like, without a big bright AF assist lamp so do most brands
More small af points apparently isn't always a good thing
Actually yes.... i think i see your point ....
if test were carried out on a flat high contrast scene
then it would be spot on !
Sorry !
03-01-2012, 10:28 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
The focus area is far far larger. In fact it sits just inside the two semi circles on the focus screen !
Armed with this info should poss make a huge differance !
Thank heavens. I was worried it was a lot bigger. An explanation could be that since the AF is meant to be used with lenses with no optical stabilisation, therefore expecting some play around the focus point, the AF area was made larger to keep AF on the spot whereas a smaller point might dance off the subject.
Now someone needs to check the size of the other AF points.
03-04-2012, 11:33 AM   #101
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I had a choice between D300s and K5 and picked the K5. I would not switch from aD300s to a K5 though.
K5 is smaller than D300s and has all the features I need. Pentax offers a wider range of fixed focal length lenses in modern design. Nikon does not offer too many APS-C lenses, but are revamping the 1.8/85 and others right now. That is it.
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