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02-26-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Thinking of switching from Nikon D300s

Hello Community!
I just found this site and I would like to ask for advise about switching from Nikon D300s to Pentax K-5.
First of all I am not a pro photographer, my interest in photography is family, animals, macro and stuff like that. Right now I have a D300s. I don't have expensive lenses.
I have researched and seems that the K-5 is a better option. I have a budget of around $2500 dollars for a new camera system.
Besides the camera what lenses should I get?
Thanks in advance for your input.
Mr. Leon

02-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
Mr Leon, you mention that the K-5 is a better option over the D300s. What research brings you to this conclusion? And in what way are you looking for a 'better' camera than the D300s. The D300s is a very good camera, and has stood the test of time as a top APS-C camera. The K-5 does not quite match its autofocusing abilities, and this is an important consideration particularly in low light situations. Lenses are indeed where it's all at, though. So if you don't want to invest in good Nikon lenses (which are expensive), then Pentax is a good option. The K-5 is an excellent camera, nevertheless, and given the caveat above and a couple of little nuances, including some difficulties with P-TTL flash exposures, it is definitely worth its current cost. But more importantly, Pentax have created some excellent lenses that are both small and lightweight, yet maintain brilliance in the image quality arena. This is one of the big advantage points to Pentax, and carrying around a K-5 with some of these small lenses will be much easier on your neck than a D300s with similar lenses.

With the budget you have, and if you are serious about getting the K-5, then I would suggest you look at the focal lengths you use most frequently with your current camera, and hone in on some prime lenses that will give you the results you are after. Consider the DFA 100 macro (it's weather-sealed) and the DA 40 (it's a tiny all-purpose type of portrait lens). You might also want a couple of versatile yet inexpensive zooms, and the ones that come to my mind are the DA 16-45 and DA 55-300. These all should fit well within your budget.
02-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Hello Mr. Leon,
Hope you're finding the info on this site helpful.
A friend of mine has a d300 (not the "s" version) and it is a fine camera. I enjoy playing around with it when I get a chance. But would I trade it for my k5? Not a chance...
Although I'd agree the tracking AF on the d300s is a bit better than the k5, that is not the type of shooting I do. I am shooting a lot of events (including family stuff w/ lots of kids), architecture, landscapes and misc walking around shots so tracking AF is not as important as say a person who primarily shoots sports.
The advantages I see with the k5 - size and weight of the camera AND lenses, high iso will have less noise than the Nikon, in body image stabilization (which works for every lens), ergonomics (though this is highly subjective), and being able to adjust the sensor rather than move the camera to level out the image (when tripod adjustments aren't fine enough).
With the budget you have and the type of shooting you do, here is what I would buy:
k5 - $1000
Pentax 35 dal f2.4 @ $170 OR Pentax FA 35 f2 @ 350 used OR Pentax FA 43 f1.9 Limited @ $570 - relatively fast for indoor/ low light shooting - the pentax fa 43 ltd is a very special lens; build quality, sharpness, color all superb - but it's priced that way also...
Tamron 28-75 f2.8 - $500 new, $350 used - useful range for indoor shooting, relatively fast for a zoom, sharp, pretty decent macro capabilities
Pentax 12-24 f4 @ $800 or the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 $480 - love super wides for architecture and landscape
Pentax da 55-300 @ $350 or Pentax da-l 55-300 @ 250 - da-l does not have the lens hood or what is called "quick shift" where you can override focus from auto to manual without flipping any switches on the camera or lens - optically the same

So depending on which ones you buy and whether you're comfortable with buying used, this would make a very complete kit wanting for very little. You may want to keep a couple hundred in reserve in case you want to get a grip and or extra batteries, but for the most part, the above is pretty close to what I take with me a lot of the time.

Hope this helps!
Mike
02-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #4
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Think twice, for what you need D300s is more than enough. If d300s had the price of K-5 i would buy one this minute Better buy some lenses, if Nikkor looks expensive you can have a look at Sigma, Tamron and Tokina.

02-26-2012, 02:41 PM   #5
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Guys, let him tell you what he wants and shoots...
02-26-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for your input. I am looking for something lighter than my D300s. What I like about the K-5 it is so compact. I had the chance to play with one in the B&H store and I really like the feel. With a pancake I can be out all day!
What I meant by "better" is that the K-5 is newer technology and higher resolution.
I think the K-5 is more forgiving if I don't get the right exposure. But now you got me thinking.....
Decisions decisions decisions
02-26-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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I have the D300 and the K5..... While the K5 is capable of producing superb images, its a very finiky camera.
Would I swap it for my D3oo ? Not in a milion years !
Even though the K5 was pitched at the D300 and Cannon 7D both of these cameras are in another leauge as far as Im concerened.
I bought the K5 new and a tamron 17-50 and a metz 50 flash. I wish I had bought another D300 now.
I will keep it as a back up now ive got it. But one huge dissapointment for me, no question.
It simply doesnt hold a candle next to the D300
02-26-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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How about a Pentax Q? Small, portable, and meets your needs.

02-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #9
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I'm a bit surprised at the negativity towards the K-5 in this thread. IMHO the thing the K-5 does exceptionally well is provide a high quality APS-C sensor in a small DSLR body. Pentax also provides some very compact lenses. What's not to like about that combination when the OP'er has speicifcally said they want a more compact system?

The K-5 is a terrific camera, and coupled with some limited primes or plain FA primes (like FA35, FA50) is a terrifc compact high IQ package.

If you liked the feel of the K-5 body then I'd say go for it!

Last edited by twitch; 02-26-2012 at 07:22 PM.
02-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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The K-5 with any of the Limiteds is lighter than the D300s without a lens. Even with the D FA 100 it's only 162g heavier.
02-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #11
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Really?

Those claiming the K-5 doesn't "hold a candle" to the D300/s? Short of action or complicated flash photography (where Nikon is clearly ahead of Pentax), I struggle to see where the D300/s is better. I've owned all three of these. For image quality, ergonomics, and value, the K-5 is a real winner. Pentax needs some serious help in the brand strategy department, though. Let's see if Ricoh helps them get this sorted out, or whether we're in for another squandered ownership fiasco.

The switch the OP is contemplating is not an odd one.
02-26-2012, 06:26 PM   #12
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I think that having a camera that is comfortable to hold and the size that is easiest for YOU to use are the most important things in deciding among good cameras. In my last job when my co-workers went from a Nikon D1X to the D2X I chose the D200. My wife has a K10D which is slightly larger than the K5 but is noticeably smaller than the D200/D300. Myself I went with the Pentax Kr this past spring as I wanted a very compact dslr.

The right camera is the one that feels the best for your hands and your shooting situations. Try out the K5 and the D7000/D5000 or whatever the current Nikon models are and see how they feel but also consider the lenses you will be using. If you are going to be using large zooms, the camera size is less of an issue.
02-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
It simply doesnt hold a candle next to the D300
Funny that you say it doesn't hold a candle...the low light performance (pulling a black cat out of a black underexposed image) is something the D300 simply can't do since it uses a Sony sensor that is a generation back.

You also don't say what you're using it for? For AF, the D300 is no doubt better. For doing art nudes like your avatar, I'd say the K-5 would do better. I do studio work w/ the K20D and I'm still fine with it, but low key has too much chroma noise...which isn't noticeable at web resolution, but only if you pixel peep. The K-5 is far ahead of that and will probably do fine against the D300 for studio work...

The K-5 is a no brainer if you're going for small and low quality...it's not much bigger than the 4/3rd cameras...
02-27-2012, 12:52 AM   #14
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I've owned both the k5 and now a D300s..the K5 was a better camera in some regards.the D300s in others..in particular Low light AF..something the K5 still struggles with ...if you want quality primes in a lightweight system and shoot in well lit situations..then the K5 is a winner..if you want a more complete system with very high quality lenses of all focal lengths ,{ albeit expensive}.and AF that is good in all environments then Nikon is the way to go .

my main issues with Pentax were lack of a complete lens line up..with a total dependence on third party lenses at over 150mm at F2.8 and inconsistent Af ..Id really rethink your plans..perhaps look at a nikon 5100..same sensor as the K5/d7000 and a lot cheaper and smaller....also look at the lenses you want to aspire to....if pentax fills your desires..then go for it ...but nikon glass is about the best it gets ...
02-27-2012, 12:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Funny that you say it doesn't hold a candle...the low light performance (pulling a black cat out of a black underexposed image) is something the D300 simply can't do since it uses a Sony sensor that is a generation back.

You also don't say what you're using it for? For AF, the D300 is no doubt better. For doing art nudes like your avatar, I'd say the K-5 would do better. I do studio work w/ the K20D and I'm still fine with it, but low key has too much chroma noise...which isn't noticeable at web resolution, but only if you pixel peep. The K-5 is far ahead of that and will probably do fine against the D300 for studio work...

The K-5 is a no brainer if you're going for small and low quality...it's not much bigger than the 4/3rd cameras...

if you feel that a k5 is better because it can render a complete balls up of a image to be usable then I fail to see your logic...while its a good trick..a far better one would be Af that actually works with all lenses below EV2....something that's never been fully resolved in the K5... a misfocused image that has incredible DR and great resolution..is still a worthless misfocused image
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