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11-22-2018, 09:08 AM   #1
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K-5 or D300

Hello.

I currently own a K-7, and previously had a K10d. I own a 50/1.8 manual lens, an 18-55 kit lens and an old 70-200 Pentax AF lens from the days of film. I also have an old Pentax flash.

However, most of my recent photography has been done with an Olympus OM-D EM10 with 20mm f1.7 Panasonic lens. I bought the Olympus for two reasons - firstly because it's small and was easy to fit in a bag with baby things, when I had to carry such things, and also because my K-7 was slow to use - I always had the manual focus 50mm on it because it was so, so much sharper than the kit lens that it seemed a waste of a shot to not use it, if you see what I mean.

My K-7 has since lost the diopter adjustment lever and is stuck at a setting where the viewfinder is blurred for me, and as I recall the hot shoe was unreliable. I took my K10D apart to try and fix an issue with the input dial though, so I'm not averse to trying to fix the K7, in theory. I never really liked it as much as the K10 though - I only got it because I had to claim on my insurance for the K10 when it was dropped, and the K7 was the current model then.

I quite fancy getting more into photography now the baby is older, and I quite fancy getting a dSLR again. The Olympus is nice, but it feels a bit 'synthetic' - even when you turn the focus ring in manual mode it's electronic.

So, I always really wanted a Nikon D300 for the focus speed and [whisper] it looks nicer than the Pentax models [endwhisper] and I notice that they are pretty cheap now on eBay. I'm not a Pro and never will be, by the way. However, I've noticed that the K-5 seems to go for about the same or a bit less - and obviously it's a newer camera - but aside from insanely high ISO settings, what would I gain over the D300 I really wanted but couldn't afford 10 years or so ago? What would you do, and why?

11-22-2018, 09:29 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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If you are on that much of a budget to be buying old generation cameras, why would you chose the Nikon that you have no lenses for?
11-22-2018, 09:33 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
If you are on that much of a budget to be buying old generation cameras, why would you chose the Nikon that you have no lenses for?
^^ this ^^


plus the K-5 would be a huge step up from the K-7; I recently bought a K-5 IIs and it is a sweet body...
11-22-2018, 10:06 AM - 1 Like   #4
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The advantage to the Nikon is the autofocus speed. If you are on a budget remember that the Nikon does NOT have in body stabilization like the Pentax, so all the stabilized lenses are significantly MORE expensive. Even your old manual focus 50/1.8, and all other MF lenses, are stabilized on the Pentax. The Pentax menus are easier to navigate, the camera is weather sealed, and it is backward compatible with all K mount lenses (and M42s with an adapter). So, AF is better without question on the Nikon but in all other things the Pentax has it beat IMHO. I am biased obviously as I own a bunch of Pentax gear. Also, if I were looking I'd seriously go with the K5IIs because its simply a significant step up IMHO (having owned both the K5 & K5IIs). Also, I'd be more inclined to buy from KEH.Com for used because you get a 1 year warranty (current special from them) and they have an solid reputation for rating used gear conservatively (you get better condition typically than you expected). Good luck.


D300 = $200ish on eBay; $250ish KEH

K-5 = $150ish on eBay; $250sih KEH

K-5IIs = $300ish on eBay; $350 KEH

11-22-2018, 10:09 AM   #5
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I think cameras made after about 2009 are better than me, so I don't really see the need to buy a newer one. I mean, I'm skint too, don't get me wrong! I was just looking at D300 cameras on eBay and I just sort of fancied one to play with really - it didn't occur to me until today that a K-5 would be the same price as the D300 had been discontinued before it even came out.

I used to get frustrated with the focus ability of the K10 and K7 - is the K5 a lot better?
11-22-2018, 10:38 AM   #6
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I've been seeing some used K-5 IIs used on ebay for about the same price as K-5 (around 300$). I guess the K-5 IIs would be closer to D300 focuswise than the K-5 with improved image quality.

Although I wonder whether Pentax system can overall keep up with Nikon in focus speed if you consider both body and lenses.
11-22-2018, 11:02 AM   #7
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It’s your call as to what you need. Value wise you can’t beat Pentax. But it does not look like your looking for value.
11-22-2018, 11:16 AM   #8
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I don't know what I'm looking for really I guess! I found my K7 in the cupboard the other day and I think making this thread and reading your replies has made me realise that maybe I just want a new 'toy' which could explain the appeal of the D300. But as @Ramseybuckeye says, I have no Nikon lenses - but I'd consider the 50 manual as the only decent Pentax lens I have, to be fair.

11-22-2018, 12:55 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
aside from insanely high ISO settings, what would I gain over the D300? What would you do, and why?
Here's a link that will give you a very good side by side technical comparo:

Pentax K-5 vs Nikon D300 Detailed Comparison

Essentially they show the K-5 is a better camera in nearly every way other than, as other's have stated, auto focus.

After a lifetime of photography, what I've learned is that the biggest visible difference in my images was the lens. If I were you, I'd analyze what lenses I really wanted and could afford to acquire, and then go with the camera that best supports those lenses.
11-22-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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Get the K5II or K5IIs over the K5 because it seems you will be taking pictures indoors a lot and I think the AF will be a lot better, the K5 is famous for missing focus in artificial light.

I personally would pick a K-S2 or K70 for your intended purposes.
11-22-2018, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I started with the K10D. I was shooting Nikon and Canon film cameras at the time, but Pentax offered better weather sealing (versus none on equivalent bodies) and real backwards compatibility with lenses. (Nikons is limited)

In this comparison, you’ll get a Nikon 12mpx camera with better auto focus, or a Pentax 16mpx which many consider the best image quality from a 16mpx sensor plus sensor based shake reduction.

I really like my K5, the size and ergonomics are excellent along with the image quality.

It sounds like your limiting factor is lenses. You don’t need the 50+ like some of us have, but the K5 with the DA35 2.4 or DA50 1.8 (either lens around $100) is an impressive set, or spring for the DA20-40 Limited which closes the auto focus speed gap with its DC motor, and is weather sealed.
11-22-2018, 02:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
I think cameras made after about 2009 are better than me, so I don't really see the need to buy a newer one. I mean, I'm skint too, don't get me wrong! I was just looking at D300 cameras on eBay and I just sort of fancied one to play with really - it didn't occur to me until today that a K-5 would be the same price as the D300 had been discontinued before it even came out.

I used to get frustrated with the focus ability of the K10 and K7 - is the K5 a lot better?
I had the K20d w/stock focusing screen, and K-5 w/ same, and I don't recall any significant difference in focussing, but it's been many years since changing the K20D's screen (I changed the K20D to a split screen for vastly improved focusing). Also the K-7 and K-5 should be the same basic camera/same focussing screen--the sensor was the significant difference.
11-22-2018, 08:16 PM   #13
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Cant help with the D300 question, never used one.
The K7 to K5 transition was an eyeopener for improvement in high-ISO image quality , better AF also but not so much. Enter K1 then KP for much better performance...
Pick the one you think is best for you.
11-22-2018, 09:03 PM   #14
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I donít know how old your Pentax DA 18-55 lens was, but the original version wasnít very sharp. The Mark II was much better, then they came out with the WR version.

I find the lenses with the DC focus motor like the DA 18-135 or DA 16-85 to be significantly faster than the older camera driven auto focus lenses like the 18-55. Both the 18-135 and 16-85 are nice on the K-5. The 18-135 is a huge step up from the 18-55. If you liked using the 18-55, Iíd go with the 18-135 on the K-5; should be similar menu to the K-7 but a big step up on the lens.
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