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06-18-2013, 02:12 AM   #1
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K5 vs K5II (ordinary)

Hello,

I have been using my K20D for more than 5 years now and I am overall quite happy with it, excluding the AF performance, which has been bugging me from the very beginning (poor low light performance, inconsistency etc) but nevertheless I have made quite a lot of nice pictures with it.

The K5 shoud have a better AF and loads of more dynamic range and a far better high ISO performance. Actually I would really like to have the latter features, but as the K5 was expensive quite some time and the K20D still did the job, I was not too eager to replace it. But things have changed. I can get a brand new K5 for about 900$ (whereas the used ones are around 650$ and people pay 300$ for the K20D). As I would sell my K20D, the actual price of a K5 would become about 600$, which seems little money for the upgrade and thus reasonable, before the K20D prices drop down to nothing.

But now there is the K5II and the K5IIs, which cost 1300$ and 1600$ respectively. So the KII is about 400$ and the KIIs 700$ more expensive than the original K5. It is more than obvious that I would not pay about twice the price for the IIs comparing to the K5, but as my main concern was the AF of the K20D and the K5II is said to have a noticable edge over the K5's AF, then i might pay the extra 400$ for the K5II.

At this point I think it is not the question of whether I should upgrade (or is it?), but whether should I go for the original K5 with its low price, or pay extra for the K5II and get an even more improved AF. Is the difference of the AF performance of the two enough for the 1/3 higher price tag?

06-18-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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IMO the K-5 continues to be a better value, as the difference in AF is mainly in low light. See the K-5 II review on our homepage for more detail.

BTW, you should also be able to get the K-5 II for much less than $1300 if you look hard enough, as it's selling for under $800 on amazon/ebay in the US.

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06-18-2013, 02:32 AM   #3
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I don't know where you are getting your prices from, but he K-5 IIs is generally only $100 more than the K-5 II.
I paid $1100 for a K-5 IIs seven months ago.
06-18-2013, 02:50 AM   #4
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1. where are you located? I payed $870 for the K-5 more than a year-and-a-half ago in the US. Now Adorama has K-5 II and K-5 IIs for $900 and $1000 respectively (when you factor in the extra $100 gift certificate). Pentax K-5 is available for $680 through Amazon, K-5 II and K-5 IIs are $790 and $960 respectively through Amazon.

2. The biggest issue I am having with the K-5 is front-focusing in artificial light. or this link
If the newer models fix this issue, I would be ready to pay the price difference if I were to buy a camera right now.

06-18-2013, 02:53 AM   #5
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I live in Europe and the prices are much higher here.

For example the K5II in Amazon.de is about 1150 USD. If I add shipping, I might aswell buy it straight from the local dealer.

I guess ordering from the US is not a great option aswell, because then there will be the customs tax, shipping and I will probably lose warranty.
06-18-2013, 03:24 AM   #6
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The OP's profile states he's from Estonia, so I can understand the prices. If I were you I'd get the K-5II just for the sake of longer-term support.
06-18-2013, 04:57 AM   #7
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Let's try to look past the exact prices and discuss on the differences of the K5 and K5II (not s). And perhaps, if you would like to consider the price factor, then maybe you could say how much you'll be willing to pay more to get the advantages of the K5II over the K5.

On that information I can perhaps judge how much of an improvment the K5II is. I cannot make reliable assumptions trying the cameras in a store, because there is always a lot of light and quite contrasty subjects so the results would be misleading.

The aspect of the K5II being newer and having longer/better support, is ofcourse a good point and worth taken into consideration.

QuoteOriginally posted by vanyagor Quote
2. The biggest issue I am having with the K-5 is front-focusing in artificial light. or this link
If the newer models fix this issue, I would be ready to pay the price difference if I were to buy a camera right now.
That is more or less the same thing I am experiencing with my K20D. I was quite frustrated by the fact that i could not get consistent results with my FA50 F1.4, because if I'd adjust its AF indoors, the results would be totally different in natural (outdoor) light. I tried with two different lenses and the results were similar. I had to adjust the AF all the time. To hide the effect of misfocus, I stopped the lens down, but then I lost most of its potential and purpose. I ended up selling the lens.

And then there are my friends with Nikons and Canons, who shoot with wide apertures and apparently never miss focus. Once I had to work with a Canon 5D mkII, the button layout and handling of the camera was rubbish compared to Pentax, but nevertheless all the images were focused spot on. Therefore I doubt it is user error (using an uknown camera should then be even more prone to error).
06-18-2013, 05:05 AM   #8
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im posting a photo taken with my pentax k-5 fro critic and persusal. this shot was an experimentation with my sigma 28-300 mil xoom lens.what caght my attetion was that i took it handheld at S1/6sec.yes, handheld!!!! and i think,there's a lot of details in it with the kind of shutter speed i used.....the aperture was F/36! pleas post comments and critics on the image...

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06-18-2013, 07:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vboy Quote
im posting a photo taken with my pentax k-5 fro critic and persusal. this shot was an experimentation with my sigma 28-300 mil xoom lens.what caght my attetion was that i took it handheld at S1/6sec.yes, handheld!!!! and i think,there's a lot of details in it with the kind of shutter speed i used.....the aperture was F/36! pleas post comments and critics on the image...
Dear vboy, how exactly is your picture helpful in this thread? An aperture of F36 is way over the diffraction limit and it does not give an accurate result for comparing image quality and with the deep depth of field it is impossible to assess the AF accuracy. Nevertheless the K5 and K5II should be on par concerning IQ, so just one nice picture is not helping to decide whether the K5II is a significant improvement over the K5.


I can see that you are praising the K5's shake reduction mechanism, but isn't it the same as the one in K5II? So the effectiveness of the SR is not actually a topic in this thread. Or if they are indeed different, then this picture alone still says nothing, because one needs to compare it with something and pictures taken in different (uncontrolled) environments just aren't comparable.



I am sorry if this seems offensive. I do not intend to be, but please try to focus on the subject which is the difference and advisability of the two cameras.
06-18-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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The K-5 II does not just have better AF in low light than the K-5. It also has improved focus tracking and more consistent accuracy under coloured light. I had a K-5 which front-focussed badly under tungsten light, which soured me on the line. I would replace my K20D with a K-5 II or IIs, but not another K-5. I am waiting though, to see what the K-5 III offers.
06-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kristo. Quote
Let's try to look past the exact prices and discuss on the differences of the K5 and K5II (not s). And perhaps, if you would like to consider the price factor, then maybe you could say how much you'll be willing to pay more to get the advantages of the K5II over the K5.
..............
That is more or less the same thing I am experiencing with my K20D. I was quite frustrated by the fact that i could not get consistent results with my FA50 F1.4, because if I'd adjust its AF indoors, the results would be totally different in natural (outdoor) light. I tried with two different lenses and the results were similar. I had to adjust the AF all the time. To hide the effect of misfocus, I stopped the lens down, but then I lost most of its potential and purpose. I ended up selling the lens.

And then there are my friends with Nikons and Canons, who shoot with wide apertures and apparently never miss focus. Once I had to work with a Canon 5D mkII, the button layout and handling of the camera was rubbish compared to Pentax, but nevertheless all the images were focused spot on. Therefore I doubt it is user error (using an uknown camera should then be even more prone to error).
If I remember correctly the front-focusing with K-5 is a specific issue of the AF-system used in the K-5, and this issue was not present in K-7 for instance. K-20D is probably having some other issues. Maybe I am wrong here. After having used the K-5 for a while I came to think that this issue is too important so if I were to buy a camera right now, this issue alone would be enough for me to remove the K-5 from my wish-list.

If you are dead locked on Pentax brand I would wait longer before upgrading and I would try to make sure the newer models do not have those focusing issues before I upgrade. If I were forced to upgrade right now, I would get the K-5II hoping the issue is gone, as I am convinced the K-5 does have this issue for sure.

So if I were you I would do this:
1. try the K-5 and see if you can reproduce the front-focusing discussed in those links I gave in my previous post. If not, then by all means, get the K-5. Conditions for the front-focusing to happen: tungsten light, low light levels, big aperture, AF illumination aid disabled, warm color/reddish subject - such as skin, automatic phase-detection AF, I have also heard the issue is not present with SDM lenses (not sure if it is true as I don't have any SDM lenses), also I've heard that manually setting WB to tungsten helps avoid the issue, so test at AWB setting
2. if you do see the issue described above, decide if it is important for you or not. If yes, try the K-5II and see if the issue is still their under the same conditions
3. If after step 2 you determine the K-5II does not have the issue, while the K-5 has, I would pay any reasonable price to get the newer model. Reasonable = competitive compared to other "good" options, "good" = which do not have this or any other serious issues. If the price for the K-5II is too much for you, I would wait. If the K-5II still has the same issue I would also wait before I upgrade or consider changing the Brand or maybe look at the mirrorless options (Pentax K-01 ?) with contrast AF, which will be free from this issue for sure.

Last edited by vanyagor; 06-18-2013 at 03:06 PM.
06-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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K5ii body-only is 691 from UK retailer SRS Microsystems. It also had stock of K5 body at 499. Don't know what shipping costs to Latvia would add.
I have the K5. I like it very much but I have found some difficulties with autofocus with certain lenses, and not just in low light.
I have recently bought the Tamron 17-50, with which the K5's autofocus seems to work quite well, however.
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