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05-17-2015, 06:46 PM   #1
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K-5II Likes and Dislikes

I've settled into this body now, so here's something of a best of / worst of list.

Most annoying things:

1. Buffer write speed. No UHS-1 support. Take 5-6 shots, press review to chimp, and you wait 2-3 seconds for the image to show up on the real LCD. If you are used as I am to having the image pop up the instant I press the review button, you'll know just how irritating this can be.

2. The metering. It's not bad, per se, but it has its quirks. It tends to overexpose, or overexpose more than I expect, in high contrast light. Given that for all the vaunted DR of the K-5 sensor the highlight headroom is still woefully small (all the DR appears to be in the shadows) overexposing is often unrecoverable.

3. There's no easy switch for the top LCD backlight. It's on all the time or off all the time, toggled in the setup menu. What I want is to turn it on only when I need it. Since I only need it when its too dark to read the LCD, the switch has to be really obvious and convenient (e.g. Nikon power switch reverse direction, aka Pentax DOF preview) A trivial thing that has tripped me up on 2-3 occasions now.

Best things:

1. It is sooo nice to snap back to the program line (or meter and set the exposure) by hitting the green button. Old lenses on Nikon, and Program generally, is such a pain in comparison.

2. I actually really like having WB and color profile on the right left keys of the 4way pad. ISO and EV comp on the top - less great but still good. It's generally intuitive. My D600 in comparison ... uh, ISO is down in the bottom left corner (bad), EV is up next to the shutter release close to the record button and meter mode button (marginal), while WB and color mode are mapped to two of the five identical buttons on the left of the LCD (ugh.). It's like playing a game of "memory" every time you pick up the camera.

3. I'm hesitating over point "3" not because there are none, but because most of the remaining great things about the K-5II most are more-or-less matched by my D600: the really nice rear LCD, the quiet, positive shutter release sound (D600 is louder, but crisper - less "squishy".), improved AF performance (Nikon still wins, duh), the excellent viewfinder, etc. I'm very familiar with the Pentax SR feature, and its great, but for me its not a huge deal as my photos are either daylight or I'm on a tripod anyway. So.... instead I'm going to go with the toughness of a real weathersealed cast alloy chassis which I gave up when I sold my D200. Nikon's recent plastic, or pseudo-metal efforts like the D600 don't cut it.

While the formal comparison should be one of the D7x00 bodies, the D600 is what I have and basically apart for the "FX-ness" what you can say for the D600 applies to the D7100.

05-17-2015, 07:49 PM   #2
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#1 is also my biggest annoyance with my K-5iis

When I am shooting sports with it alongside my K-3 the difference in response is really obvious.
05-18-2015, 12:42 AM   #3
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I agree the buffer write speed is slow. I've tried to turn it into a positive - now, when I click the shutter, I keep my eye to the viewfinder and continue thinking about the image for a few seconds before I pull away and review. I feel like it's actually helped me get more keepers by reducing the urge to point/click/review. But most of my shooting is landscapes/city, so speed isn't an issue.

complete agreement on the lcd light, it's really frustrating because I basically can't use it at all, I can't be bothered to go into the menu and change settings. I've even thought, the camera already has a frigging light sensor - couldn't they program a setting where, if the camera detects below a certain amount of ambient light, it automatically activates? But even just a setting on the info screen would be helpful.
05-18-2015, 01:12 AM   #4
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the zoom-in effect to focus when using Live View is my worst experience with the K5 IIs, impossible to disable. If I choose to use focus point in Live view (to avoid that zoom-in effect), it shuts down the live view =_=

05-18-2015, 07:04 AM   #5

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In the K-5, I always leave the top LCD turned off, just like the rear screen. The K-3 is an improvement in that it lets you assign the RAW/Fx button to turn on/off the top LCD, if desired.

More customization options would certainly be nice though for all of the buttons on K-5/K-3. One nice thing about Nikons like the D610 is that almost any menu command can be assigned to an external button.

As to K-5 buffer speed, with the right cards (I use smallish 8GB Sandisk Extreme Pros SDHC's in the K-5), the writes just burn along. No buffer issues. Note that when you go to playback, you may be seeing image read and 'CPU-rendering-of-the-RAW-for-display' speed too, not just buffer write speed.

Last edited by rawr; 05-18-2015 at 07:14 AM.
05-19-2015, 08:40 AM   #6
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I hate the way the TOP LCD flickers on an off when you turn the camera on and the lens cap is still on the lens.
05-22-2015, 10:37 PM   #7
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I have had the K5IIs for a little over a month now and I can't say I've found much of anything notable about it I don't like. The items listed above are certainly valid, just not to me. I don't ever shoot Live in no hurry to view my shots instantly...I don't care if the top light is on or off...I seldom look at it anyhow, all I need is in the viewfinder. The metering has been very acceptable, and the WB has been superb.

In fact, so far, I'd say this is my "perfect camera". Faster and more accurate focusing than my original K5 and the WB seems much better too.
The high ISO shooting that I often do appears to me to be better than my original K5 by a wide margin.....I guess You might say I am fully satisfied!

ISO 6400 ...shot him this morning on a dark and dismal day......this is a crop...of a crop. I shoot a lot of Cardinals, they come in all shades of red...this one is about as true to his real colors as you can get with any camera.

Best Regards......enjoy the K5II series...they are great cameras!
05-25-2015, 08:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjm Quote
Given that for all the vaunted DR of the K-5 sensor the highlight headroom is still woefully small (all the DR appears to be in the shadows) overexposing is often unrecoverable.
There are no such things as "highlight headroom" or "dynamic range in the shadows" for digital sensors.

Digital sensors record light levels in a linear fashion. There is only of notion of DR which refers to the difference of the brightest and the darkest image that can be captured.

The shape of a tone curve defines how quickly highlights become blown out or how quickly dark tones are crushed into black. Just shoot RAW and make sure you don't blow out your highlights then you can always make maximum use of the DR you have captured, having complete freedom over "highlight headroom" and "shadow DR" in post production.

Note that editing software like Lightroom always applies some S-shaped tone curve, even if all controls are set to neutral. This may cause highlights to be shown as blown out whereas they are not at the RAW level.

05-26-2015, 03:10 PM   #9
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The other day I was out in my back yard testing a new lens. I took a series of picture of cars in the parking lot. That's when I noticed that one of the cars which was a rusty yellow looked bright yellow on the back LCD. I though maybe it was the lens so I switched lenses. The back LCD still showed this car as bright yellow instead of the a rusty yellow. I tried changing the Hue, the White Balance, the contrast, the saturation but nothing really helped. So I thought this would be another thing to hate about the K-5II. That's until I downloaded the pictures to my computer and noticed that the colors were right on the ball. The yellow car was a rusty yellow just like in real life , so I guess it just must be the back LCD. I can live with that though.l

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