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02-24-2014, 12:21 AM   #1
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Head turned by mirrorless APS-C

So...I realise that it's almost sacrilegious to post this here...but I have come to the conclusion that this forum one of the most densely populated with knowledgeable pros and enthusiasts in the field of photography...hoping to get some good objective opinions.

So I have a K5-II that I am extremely pleased with. I got it thanks to a brilliant sales pitch by the sales person when I went looking for a second module for my GXR. (Bought the K5-II instead of a GXR module, naturally) Since my acquisition I have fallen so much in love with it that I have gone and acquired a few lenses to play with (sadly, my GXR has fallen a little out of favour). I am now a proud owner of a K5-II with an FA 50mm 1.4, DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 WR, Sigma 70-300mm, and Sigma 17-50mm 2.8, and I love all the options that this lineup offers me (maybe a higher IQ telephoto sometime in the future).

Here's the thing. The new Fuji X-T1 looks real good. And smaller and supposedly lighter. Reading reviews online, I can't really get a sense of the difference between the X-T1 and the K5-II in terms of capabilities. So, I would like to invite any comments or opinions on whether or not a switch in systems is going to be worth consideration at all.

I have a wide range of photographic interests: portrait, macro, birds, sports, landscape, architecture. I just like taking photos. I'm not a pro, just an enthusiast who has a very demanding job (in before sunrise and out after sunset most of the time) that gets in the way of my interest.

02-24-2014, 12:55 AM   #2
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The grass is always greener on the other side.

Unless you have a specific and identified reason why you think one camera (or system) is better than the one you have, it's probably just general gear-lust.
02-24-2014, 01:00 AM   #3
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After thinking about this, I think the answer is there is no single camera that is the answer to everything. The best compromise, I think, is to have two cameras. A decent dslr (with a real viewfinder) and a compact camera. Any situation where the dslr is too big, the mirrorless is also too big (such as fitting a shirt pocket), because they both have lenses pretty much the same size.
02-24-2014, 02:26 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Lots of us are already using a mirrorless APSC - the Pentax K-01
The Fuji Xt-1 really does look great, though. The main problem I see is that it isn't K-mount, beyond that it looks good. I even commented in another thread that the Fuji XT-1 is exactly the camera I was hoping Pentax would make (with K mount)

02-24-2014, 02:44 AM   #5
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I've been looking at Fuji these last few days myself. But it's not the camera I'm so interested it, it's the lenses. I think the X-T1 is just the body I might get to go with them.

The 14/2.8 and 23/1.4 look excellent. And the upcoming 56/1.2 as well. At least those are the ones I'm most interested in. The 60 macro looks good too, and the 35/1.4 looks good for the price.


They do have the best kit lens I've seen (18-55/2.8-4). And the 27mm looks pretty good, especially for $200 right now (though I'd opt for the significantly more expensive 23).

Just keep in mind they only have one realistic option right now on the long end, the 55-200 at $500 (I realize they have a 50-230 as well but it's slower and it's only $100 less right now). And it's not all the fast in aperture either, compared to constant f/4 and f/2.8 zooms from other makes. But I'm sure the IQ is still fairly nice.


The point is, you'll be investing some real money in lenses, and the selection is rather limited, so you have to be happy with the 18-55, 55-200, and primes no longer than 60mm for a while (unless you count 3rd party lenses like the Samyang (Rokinon) 85/1.4 MF lens).


BTW, your current lenses don't even begin to exploit the potential of the K-5 II.

If you do try a Fuji system, you'd probably be better off getting a used body or a new X-E1 bundled with the 18-55 lens for only $200 more. Then order the 55-200 with the current instant rebate and choose 1 or 2 primes you'd like to try (all of them look good for the price, except the 18/2 where the more expensive 14/2.8 just seems a better use of money for the IQ). So for example, if you're trying to be semi-economical, you might try the 27 or 35 and the 60 macro.


Regardless of which system you choose, you need to be looking at better lenses right now, not better bodies. The Pentax will let you grow your lens kit much more - for example you should be looking at adding something like a used DA*50-135 and budget macro (e.g. Cosina 100/3.5) right now. Much better than dropping $1300+lenses ($1500 minimum with only the 27mm) on a X-T1 right now. But if you want to keep it simple and grow at a slow pace (actually, be forced to), the Fuji offers nice options.


The only reason I was considering a Fuji is I've been wanting better landscape photos. But I've been carefully studying the Pentax Photo Gallery tonight (which you should too if you haven't: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model) and I think I see what I need to change to get better photos with my existing lenses. Believe it or not, part of it entails going back to my older K200D with certain lenses.



Sorry, rapidly depreciating camera bodies don't excite me that much. I want the cheapest one that will do the job (which, unfortunately, sometimes still requires an upgraded body) that I can attach my nice lenses to.

Last edited by DSims; 02-24-2014 at 03:07 AM.
02-24-2014, 02:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jwn.poh Quote
So...I realise that it's almost sacrilegious to post this here...but I have come to the conclusion that this forum one of the most densely populated with knowledgeable pros and enthusiasts in the field of photography...hoping to get some good objective opinions.

So I have a K5-II that I am extremely pleased with. I got it thanks to a brilliant sales pitch by the sales person when I went looking for a second module for my GXR. (Bought the K5-II instead of a GXR module, naturally) Since my acquisition I have fallen so much in love with it that I have gone and acquired a few lenses to play with (sadly, my GXR has fallen a little out of favour). I am now a proud owner of a K5-II with an FA 50mm 1.4, DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 WR, Sigma 70-300mm, and Sigma 17-50mm 2.8, and I love all the options that this lineup offers me (maybe a higher IQ telephoto sometime in the future).

Here's the thing. The new Fuji X-T1 looks real good. And smaller and supposedly lighter. Reading reviews online, I can't really get a sense of the difference between the X-T1 and the K5-II in terms of capabilities. So, I would like to invite any comments or opinions on whether or not a switch in systems is going to be worth consideration at all.

I have a wide range of photographic interests: portrait, macro, birds, sports, landscape, architecture. I just like taking photos. I'm not a pro, just an enthusiast who has a very demanding job (in before sunrise and out after sunset most of the time) that gets in the way of my interest.
You say it seems the K5-II appears to be almost identical to the X-T1. So why would you change? You've started a lens collection, which would all have to be sold and replaced.

This is a 'do as I say, not as I do' comment, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who falls for the 'gear-lust' all too often - but a like-for-like swap seems excessive and a bit unnecessary. Learn to love the K5-II, then work out what, if any, variations you need. An upgrade in features (so, perhaps a K-3), or a reduction in size and weight (Ricoh GR, or another APS-C compact).
02-24-2014, 02:53 AM   #7
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I have the X-E1. Fuji's jpeg engine and film simulation are fantastic, but the reason to jump up Fuji are the wide to normal lenses that seem to take advantage of the mirrorless for small fast primes.

If you prefer zooms, better to stay with the K-5. Fuji will be releasing a couple f2.8 zooms in 2014 I believe, at which point you could further consider, but I think you will find the lenses are going to be similar in size to Pentax options that the body size is not going to be of significance.
02-24-2014, 03:35 AM   #8
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From having both a Pentax K-r and Sony Nex 5n I can understand that there is the alluring world of the mirrorless with smaller camera's and less weight.
Also, the Fuji system is pretty good, if not THE best in the mirrorless world with photo quality.
BUT....and its a big one. You would really need to make up your mind what you would want from your camera. Specific key points. From my experience smaller size is not going to be a key point. Weight might play a role yes as my Sony goes more often with us somewhere than the Pentax mostly due to it taking decent photos together with good video. And its very light...something my wife appreciates. But the camera bag would be roughly the same size for both if I would want to go compact. The difference is not that striking.
The Fuji has arguably very good lenses. Would you see a difference between that and the Sigma lenses you have? Maybe not. I am not saying there are differences, but you would probably need to A/B them.The Sigma lenses are pretty damn good.
So does the Fuji system have a lens that would fit you like a glove (focal range or F stop?) which is not available in a Pentax mount? - Then its a good reason.
If not....save the money and stay with Pentax.
So...there is not ONE camera that does it all I think. You will always find some cameras with some features that are better than the one you have. But make a full list if what you would like in a camera as well as what you like in your camera. Also make a list of negative points from your Pentax gear and compare it to some negative points you see from Fuji cameras or lenses. See if any of those bother you. Weigh them up.

Gareth up here makes a valid point. Do not switch systems for promises of lenses or features. Take a look at what is on the table now. Otherwise you might be disapointed one way or the other: cancelled or delayed lens, not so good performance as promised, or higher price than expected etc etc...


Best of luck

Francois

02-24-2014, 03:44 AM   #9
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If I were to go mirrorless APSC, I'd go with the X-T1. I'm really intrigued by the "huge" EVF.
The reason I will not go with that system is the glass. Actually the lack thereof.
While the available glass is supposed to be fantastic, there just aren't that many options.
There are something like ten lenses from Fuji and a handful more from third party?
I like macro... Fuji's ONE macro lens only goes to 1:2.
I'm interested in telephoto... Fuji's ONE telephoto lens maxes out at 230mm f 6.7.
Those are but a few of the X mount's current lens limitations.
True you can always adapt other lenses, but that's cumbersome and negates the size advantages of mirrorless.
Besides, the K-5 II sensor is KILLER.
02-24-2014, 04:47 AM   #10
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Hi everyone, thanks for your comments so far. Just to clarify, one of the main draws for me with the mirrorless system is the reduced size and weight. As I mentioned, I have a very demanding job that is really draining inspiration from me, and most days for me are highly routinized. I don't really bring my camera out daily (I bring the GXR with S10 module) but most days I'm in very much of a rush, so I end up shooting with the iPhone, if at all.

I am most productive photographically when I go on holidays. Last June I brought my full kit (minus the Sigma 17-50 as I only got that later in the year) along to Melbourne for a holiday and had a ball of a time shooting but it was really heavy. Perhaps it was my inexperience in being selective with my lenses...anyway, our kid just arrived in December, and I think it's safe to say that it would be near impossible to bring all my options along for future trips, with baby/young kid in tow...which is why I am considering the smaller alternative.

As for the glass...yes Pentax does offer many very enticing options. I'm just thinking, considering that I am still not fully invested into the system, that perhaps now is a good time to switch systems? (and sadly, no I can't have both...)
02-24-2014, 06:31 AM   #11
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If I might ramble a bit... The grass is always greener? Too true. A camera is a complex package these days, and any way you turn you're going to run into pluses and minuses that were not obvious at first.

In many ways I adore my Olympus OM-D E-M5. It's a beautiful gadget, it's small, the physical controls are good, I'm getting great images from it, I have a nice set of lenses (two Olympus zooms, the Panasonic 20mm and the Bower 7.5mm fisheye). I've really come to appreciate the advantages of an EVF, as it gives me a better impression of how the camera sees a scene. I know Pentax DSLRs have some of the best optical viewfinders around, but they really will need to hop on the EVF train at some point.

Having said all that... The E-M5 doesn't have the focus peaking of my Pentax K-01. It doesn't have interval shooting, or a built-in HDR mode, or many of the art filter options (though it does have "Dramatic Tone" which is a wonder). The Olympus menu system is a labyrinth that has driven me up the wall a few times, and its Super Control Panel is a clumsy substitute for the Pentax's Info Panel. I miss the Green Button too. (Also, the M4/3 world doesn't have anything quite like pentaxforums.com!) When I got the E-M5, I had this idea that this system would replace all my K-mount stuff. Well, that didn't happen. The E-M5 is my most versatile and most used camera these days, but the K-01 has its role and isn't going anywhere. I may even pick up a K-30 or K-50 before all is said and done.

I can understand the temptation of the Fuji X-T1. IMHO the three most interesting camera companies to watch these days are Pentax, Olympus and Fujifilm. The X-T1 is clearly Fuji's spin on the OM-D design. It looks good. The biggest difference in your shooting experience would be the EVF. It's different. I'd suggest getting your hands on one and taking a look through the EVF, or at least borrow-or-rent some kind of recent camera with an EVF, to see how you like it relative to a pentaprism. Pentax may start putting EVFs on their cameras someday, but the Fuji system will never support a pentaprism.

Do give M4/3 a look too. I do get irked by some of the fanboys who seem to think the itty-bitty wimpy M4/3 sensor can't hold a candle to a big and manly APS-C sensor -- even though they're really almost the same size. The difference is trivial. (I also find the 4:3 aspect ratio convenient since it's midway between 1:1, which I crop to a lot, and 3:2, which I also crop to a lot.)
02-24-2014, 08:52 AM   #12
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Hi

This will come across as a very strong statement but I will say it anyways.

Fuji = Great lenses, great feature set, poor sensor!

The sensor just bleeds colors. The smudge just overflows. (Unless the contrast is really full of blues).

Having said that, if you really want a great camera, I think Sony Alpha 6000 (APSc sensor) looks like it could be onto something - Or Olympus new line up (No hate for 4/3rd sensor). Those guys are doing fantastic job with their brand.

My thought.

Cheers!
02-24-2014, 11:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
(I also find the 4:3 aspect ratio convenient since it's midway between 1:1, which I crop to a lot, and 3:2, which I also crop to a lot.)
Don't forget you can shoot 4:3 straight out the K-01
02-24-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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I would just say that I think the X-T1 looks OK, but nothing earth shattering. As DSims says, the reason to go with Fuji is for the lenses. They look really nice and are faster than anything Pentax currently offers. But, the system isn't particularly small in size -- the biggest gain in size is with regard to depth of the camera, but neither is particularly small or pocketable -- as far as width and height, the X-T1 is about K30 size.

Anyway, I think you should go with what you feel most comfortable shooting. This is the most under rated aspect of photography. There is no point in purchasing a D800 and 70-200 f2.8 lens if you dread taking them out shooting.
02-24-2014, 12:24 PM   #15
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Honestly!? They are both good cameras... and will do a good job.
In the end is a matter of preference. Try the Fuji... side by side with the K-5ii... see what suits "YOU" best.
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