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02-11-2017, 05:10 AM   #1
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Is the Pentax K5 still a good option ?

i got this deal from a friend that had a pentax k-5 for years now yet it has only 19k actuations on the shutter until this day.
so it got me thinking is the k5 still a good camera by todays standards, lenses are a a little concerne for me as they are a bit expensive on the pentax system and i dont see them being really well known arround the internet for their sharpness, but i am no expert in the pentax system, i am going to get the 18-250mm f/3.5-6.5 lens and an old 50mm f/2 lens included with the camera
I need your opinion on this matter, if i get this deal it will be my first pentax camera, and i ve been a canon shooter in the past, so should i go with this deal for 400$ with lenses included? or should i just save up for something better or maybe even go for a 700D or 600D ?
also articulating screen is a really important feature for me, but for the price i cant argue, but i would be really nice if the was a way or a work arround for this matter, like an accessory or an external screen that could be mounted on as an accessory

02-11-2017, 07:55 AM   #3
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Absolutely it is still a great camera! I recommend them to beginners all the time because they're built like tanks, they have a lot of useful features, and the image quality is still really good even by today's standards. My dad has one, and it still serves him really well.
02-11-2017, 08:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Any DSLR and associated lenses can make for stunning photos today... There no bad choice. What would make the difference, really is the subject, lighting, composition and the photographer eyes. In other words: you.

I had K5, now K3. K5 is an old but quite capable and sturdy camera. At a good price, this is likely one of the best camera you could have to begin in photography. The one thing where it struggle is autofocus. The autofocus is ok for most still subject in daylight but not that great for action/sport/low light/shallow dof. It is ok but basic. In Pentax land, K3 (but also K3-II, K1 and KP) have much much better autofocus. Maybe not at the level of the best of the best, but good enough. Understand still that in any brand to get great autofocus you would have to spend at least twice what a used K5 should cost you...

Sharpness of lenses is honestly a completely irrelevant factor theses day because all are sharp enough... The limitation of most lenses is the resolution of the camera used, meaning Canon/Nikon have had for years very expensive FF cameras and they get the best shapness benchmarks because theses multi thousand dollars camera allowed for sharper pictures. But in real life, nobody care. Only other photographer will ever ask you the gear used for a great photo. Except you zooming at 100% in your photo editor, nobody will ever see the difference between a sharp and not so sharp lens. A 16 or 36MP pixel camera neither.

Some people over there or on the internet will try to convince you that you'd see the difference in 30x40" prints (75cmx100cm) and larger if you stare at them wih a magnifying glass from 10" away. But nobody does that in real life.

Example DA55-300, an entry level Pentax lens by all mean not sharp, but as sharp as the competition in the same price range:



DA55-300




Example, with DA15, a very small prime that many criticize for its slow apperture and lack of sharpness in reviews. Reality is that it manage to grab contrast and colors in a way few competitor manager to achieve... And it more than sharp enough:

DA15






Pentax design lens to be conveniant, practical and to make for beautifully rendered photos, not to please reviewers focussing on meaningless sharpness measures.

F135 a lens about to be 30 year olds, arguably noticably soft wide open... Is it really an issue or does it render portraiture just fine?



FA77, on of the mythic Pentax prime lens that is both small, extremely sharp and make for lovely pictures. Many people from all brand would kill to get one



From actual experience, on the exact same photo, your post processing skill, your screen or your choice of printer/paper or photo studio will have much more impact on the perceived image quality than if you have the sharpest lens ever of the kit lens. And much much more important that the rest are the subject, the lighting, the composition, the right moment rather than anything technical.

02-11-2017, 08:06 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rosbeast Quote
is the k5 still a good camera by todays standards
Yes, although the K-5 II(s) is still a lot better and easy to come by.

QuoteQuote:
lenses are a a little concerne for me as they are a bit expensive on the pentax system and i dont see them being really well known arround the internet for their sharpness
You must be looking in the wrong place

QuoteQuote:
i am going to get the 18-250mm f/3.5-6.5 lens
If you are getting a superzoom which tends to be pretty mediocre on any system, why worry about the sharpness of Pentax lenses in general?

QuoteQuote:
also articulating screen is a really important feature for me, but for the price i cant argue, but i would be really nice if the was a way or a work arround for this matter, like an accessory or an external screen that could be mounted on as an accessory
Not possible but why not get a decent K-S2 if the articulating screen is that important to you?

To be honest, you sound a bit confused - get your priorities and budget in order first, rather than jumping on a body that just happens to come on your way?
02-11-2017, 08:51 AM   #6
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My wife still uses a K-5, and we sell our photos from time to time. But of course that doesn't mean it's what you want. Pick up the DA 50 1.8 or DA 35 2.4 for $100 or so and you're good to go. There is not a work around that I know of to get a K-5 an external screen. It's after tethering ended with the K20D, and before the FluCard in the K-3.

Last edited by normhead; 02-11-2017 at 09:06 AM.
02-11-2017, 08:59 AM   #7
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This is a pretty good kit for someone starting out. Figure out where it is deficient and expand in that direction. That includes user ability. The super zoom is good to help show you what focal lengths most interest you. The 50 f2 wasn't really well respected when it was new but it will pull in light better than the zoom.

Do it.

p.s. If you do get the K-5 and such (I can't tell if you did or are just thinking about it) please stick around here! There's such a wealth of knowledge and assistance. This forum has been very helpful for me.

Last edited by pres589; 02-11-2017 at 09:28 AM.
02-11-2017, 09:44 AM - 3 Likes   #8
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To stick to your specific question and not wander off into other options.....the K5 is an excellent camera that can produce outstanding results. I found mine a little weak in two areas.....the AF system and AF in low light shooting. Image quality is not a question, in normal conditions it is outstanding....among the best. Considering the price, you won't find much better...if any?

I shoot mostly wildlife and the K5 served me very well...I was well pleased. I have thousands of K5 shots that thrilled me...and still do!


Fine color accuracy too...




Here is a crop of the original....about 80% of the original frame....


Here is the further crop of the same shot...the K5 has plenty of resolution for most shooters.


All in all.....I think you would be very happy! I now shoot with the K1, and my AF and low light shooting problems are gone, but at a cost considerabley higher that the offer you got. For my particular needs, the IQ of the K5 was fully equal to my K1.

Best Regards!
Rupert

Beyond your question, I will offer a little personal commentary....One of the very valid reasons to shoot with Pentax is this great Forum, full of helpful and friendly people willing and able to assist you and make every visit here worthwhile and satisfying. I don't see that much with other brands...certainly not to the extent you can find it here. There is a forum here for most everything and everyone....and you feel a part of it...because you are! Any camera brand can perform, but not every forum can deliver like this one......in fact, none of the others can.
On top of that, we also have a lot of helpful squirrels here.....that support the Forum and Pentaxians....but that is a "whole 'nother story"!

EDIT: I just got a note stuck on the outside of my office window......from one of those squirrels ( the famous one) that wanted you to send me a PM if you buy that K5 and become a Pentaxian....he said he has a "little something" gift for you. Don't forget, he is often quite generous!


Last edited by Rupert; 02-11-2017 at 09:51 AM.
02-11-2017, 10:05 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Still one of the best cameras I have owned.
I "upgraded" to the K3 (and kept the K5) but I find that the image IQ, especially with high ISO shots, is better than with the K3.

Edit: Welcome to the forum, BTW.

Last edited by jpzk; 02-11-2017 at 11:56 AM.
02-11-2017, 10:34 AM   #10
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It's an affordable camera whose image quality is as good today as it was over 6 years ago (ie. it surpasses the needs of most photographers). It has a very robust and solid build that feels far nicer than any entry level model - this was the Pentax flagship APS-C camera of it's day.

However, it will be behind on some of the latest whizz-bang features of newer models that you may or may not care about or even ever use. For example:

QuoteOriginally posted by rosbeast Quote
also articulating screen is a really important feature for me, but for the price i cant argue, but i would be really nice if the was a way or a work arround for this matter, like an accessory or an external screen that could be mounted on as an accessory
It has HDMI out, so you can use an external monitor. It lacks Wi-Fi tethering or focus peaking that newer cameras will have. Given the added cost and extra hassle of an external corded monitor, you might want to look at other models if it's that important to you. I don't see much point in buying something knowing it's missing a feature I found crucial - but only you can weight the importance of an articulated screen.
02-11-2017, 11:24 AM   #11
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It does render excellent images, and was a very prominent advance in the Pentax DSLR line up when it came about. The newer cameras in the aps-c flagship lineup lack the anti-aliasing filter, which since lacking causes the images to present more detail. Since the release of the K-5IIS, the aps-c flagship cameras have been made without the filter to be capable of this detail. The K-5 is certainly a great camera, I actually had two of them and sold them to buy new Pentax dslr cameras, but if you want to invest, you may want to purchase a new Pentax dslr which will have the advanced features/technology. Buying a newer model with a lens as a kit might be a wise decision for you. The offer being made to you may be attractive in many ways, I can see your point in considering it, and it might serve you well, but if you purchase newer equipment you will have access to the newer technology that comes with it which will accommodate the newer lens types and show you the newer feature types. It sounds like you are just trying to do the right thing, and my advice would be to be careful and purchase new equipment if possible. Like I mentioned,since the K-5IIS the detail factor has improved, so if you do not get a new camera, the K-5IIS to present dslr types would be providing the best imagery and modern performance.
02-11-2017, 11:54 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rosbeast Quote
i got this deal from a friend that had a pentax k-5 for years now yet it has only 19k actuations on the shutter until this day.
so it got me thinking is the k5 still a good camera by todays standards, lenses are a a little concerne for me as they are a bit expensive on the pentax system and i dont see them being really well known arround the internet for their sharpness, but i am no expert in the pentax system, i am going to get the 18-250mm f/3.5-6.5 lens and an old 50mm f/2 lens included with the camera
I need your opinion on this matter, if i get this deal it will be my first pentax camera, and i ve been a canon shooter in the past, so should i go with this deal for 400$ with lenses included? or should i just save up for something better or maybe even go for a 700D or 600D ?
also articulating screen is a really important feature for me, but for the price i cant argue, but i would be really nice if the was a way or a work arround for this matter, like an accessory or an external screen that could be mounted on as an accessory
I think it's still a good camera, but it's starting to show its age when it comes to speed and the user interface. If you don't care too much about those things, the camera will serve you well. I'd go for the K-5 II or IIs model for the improved low-light AF.

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02-11-2017, 03:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rosbeast Quote
i got this deal from a friend that had a pentax k-5 for years now yet it has only 19k actuations on the shutter until this day.
so it got me thinking is the k5 still a good camera by todays standards, lenses are a a little concerne for me as they are a bit expensive on the pentax system and i dont see them being really well known arround the internet for their sharpness, but i am no expert in the pentax system, i am going to get the 18-250mm f/3.5-6.5 lens and an old 50mm f/2 lens included with the camera
I need your opinion on this matter, if i get this deal it will be my first pentax camera, and i ve been a canon shooter in the past, so should i go with this deal for 400$ with lenses included? or should i just save up for something better or maybe even go for a 700D or 600D ?
also articulating screen is a really important feature for me, but for the price i cant argue, but i would be really nice if the was a way or a work arround for this matter, like an accessory or an external screen that could be mounted on as an accessory
I am wrestling with how to respond to you on this. As someone who owned a Canon 600d I can tell you it doesn't have very good high iso image performance, definitively not on par with the K-5. Also the 600d autofocus system was not very good on low contrast surfaces or in low light.The 700d is the same 18MP sensor so image quality is probably no better.

IF the K-5 focus system is like what others on here are saying and similar to what I experienced with the 600d then I would not personally recommend the K-5 as it gets annoying trying to grab a quick photo of a group of friends at a restaurant or bar and your camera cycles back and forth trying to get focus lock. BUT, if you are not going to use this in low light situations and don't mind moving the camera around to achieve focus lock then this is a very capable camera.

Not knowing your financial situation I would probably save a bit more and get a Pentax Ks2 with a 18-50 and 50-200 bundle for $650 here

Whatever you decide to do I am certain you will find dollar for dollar Pentax really does offer more than other brands. For example the K-5 has two scroll wheels that make it easy to adjust aperture and fstop. With my 600d (one scroll wheel) I had to menu dive to change the most basic settings. I learned more about photography in one month with my K-5lls than I had in nearly two years with my 600d (I am not kidding) all because experimenting with those setting was so much easier on the Pentax.

Good luck with your decision!
02-11-2017, 05:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rosbeast Quote
i got this deal from a friend that had a pentax k-5 for years now yet it has only 19k actuations on the shutter until this day.
so it got me thinking is the k5 still a good camera by todays standards, lenses are a a little concerne for me as they are a bit expensive on the pentax system and i dont see them being really well known arround the internet for their sharpness, but i am no expert in the pentax system, i am going to get the 18-250mm f/3.5-6.5 lens and an old 50mm f/2 lens included with the camera
I need your opinion on this matter, if i get this deal it will be my first pentax camera, and i ve been a canon shooter in the past, so should i go with this deal for 400$ with lenses included? or should i just save up for something better or maybe even go for a 700D or 600D ?
also articulating screen is a really important feature for me, but for the price i cant argue, but i would be really nice if the was a way or a work arround for this matter, like an accessory or an external screen that could be mounted on as an accessory
I have K3 and K30.
K30 is an entry level model relying on K5 guts, but with some lower grade parts.
My K3 has much better autofocus, which means it gets more keepers in action shots or busy scenes, and a more advanced ergonomy, but in most real life pictures, there is very little difference between the overall IQ of both these cameras.

I would be cautious if I had to buy a second hand entry level DSLR, because the failure rate is higher than in the flagship series.

But K5 was a flagship. Its ergonomy is very close to that of K3, and it is built like a tank, to whistand professional intensive use. It is designed for a MTBF of 200k actuations, which means 19k actuations are only 10% of its potential.

IMO, a mint condition K5 with DA 18-250 and the K or M 50mm f2, is an excellent kit to start with.

I dont have the DA18-250, but from what I have read, it is a good travel lens, with the convenience of a superzoom, and no special reliability issues.

The 50 f2 was the entry level standard prime in the film era, I have the M version, which works only in manual mode on modern DSLR. Soft and low contrast wide open, but much better at f2.8 and quite good at f4, even by today's standards.
If the offered one is an A version, it will be nicer because it will benefit of all auto modes, but it is not an autofocus lens, you will have to focus manually.



Anyway, the K5 +DA 18-250 alone is worth the $400 your friend wants.

The 50 f2 wil be a bonus to play with until you buy other lenses, it will give you the time to decide whether it will be primes or zooms, and which ones.
02-11-2017, 09:33 PM   #15
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The K-5 is in my opinion a great camera, still use mine and I use my K-3 as well, actually I have in mind, and will at some stage, to get a K-5IIs to preserve the ability to create images with the sensor used in these cameras. This won't stop me purchasing the next APS-C flagship camera or indeed something else forthcoming in the Pentax brand.
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