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08-24-2019, 06:42 AM   #1
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K5 questions & mirror flop

Hi there.

Thinking about picking up a used K-5 body as an upgrade to my K-x. Just a few questions, tho:

1) How much better is the low light image quality at high ISO than the K-x?

2) Is the autofocusing better/faster?

3) How common is the mirror flop issue with the K5?

4) Does the K5-II also suffer from mirror flop?

I had considered the K30/K50, but the seemingly common occurrence of the aperture block failure has put me off that idea.

Thanks! :-)

08-24-2019, 06:59 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I have a K-5 IIs that I use regularly and have yet to experience mirror flop with it....

I do not have any experience with the K-x, so no comparisons....
08-24-2019, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Getting a K5 fixed all the mirror flop issues I had with my K-r. The K5 still even today has AFAIK good high ISO performance relatively speaking - certainly a bit better than my K3-ii which gets grainier more quickly.
Pick up a s/h K5 for, say , under 200 bucks I would suggest you can't go wrong and will be very happy.
08-24-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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I have never heard of the 'mirror flop issue' with the K-5. Don't know what it is. I upgraded from a K10D to a K-5IIs and the mirror/shutter is much quieter on the K-5.

You can compare the K-x and the K-5/K-5IIs here:
Pentax K-x vs. Pentax K-5 vs. Pentax K-5 IIs - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

I've never used a K-x, but the image quality with my K-5IIs set at ISO 800-1000 is every bit as good as my K10D at ISO 400. I've taken some really nice shots at 1600, and some decent shots at 3200. The K-5's built-in ISO noise reduction feature can either be set to auto or to specific strengths based on ISO ranges according to your preference. I and others find it works quite well.


As far as autofocus goes, the K-x uses the SAFOX VIII system. The K-5/II/IIs uses the SAFOX X system, so two generations newer? I imagine you would see some improvement. [Correction: the K-5 has SAFOX IX; the II and IIs have SAFOX X.] The autofocus sensitivity on the K-x and K-5 goes down to -1EV; on the K-5II and IIs it's -3EV.

If you buy into the K-5 family, I suggest you choose a K-5II or IIs. The back screen on the original K-5 is more easily scratched according to what I have read. I really love my K-5IIs. You can check out some of my results here:
Apet-Sure's Album: Nature-K5IIs - PentaxForums.com

Please note: I always save my jpgs at 100% image quality. When you upload them onto Pentax Forums, they sometimes get downgraded to 85%, presumably to save space on the servers. Some of the images in the folder above have been downgraded, so the originals actually look better.


Last edited by Apet-Sure; 08-24-2019 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Updated autofocus spec.
08-24-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
I have never heard of the 'mirror flop issue' with the K-5. Don't know what it is.
It is a mirror control issue that got a lot of attention on the K-5 and also the K-r (IIRC, a few other lower tier bodies as well). This video illustrates nicely:


Note that this is different than the "crazy" or "runaway" mirror reported on early K-3 bodies.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-24-2019 at 11:13 AM. Reason: accuracy
08-24-2019, 11:13 AM   #6
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My K-5 does the flop thing. It only does it on a fresh charged battery. I'll run down the battery using live view for a while, then the extra shutter clicking goes away.


Maybe I'll charge up a battery, check the voltage, and do a quick test to see what voltage the shutter flop stops at.

But I still love the camera 😀

Last edited by Riggomatic; 08-24-2019 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Added text
08-24-2019, 11:16 AM   #7
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Hmmm... Good to know for future reference. Is there a fix? I'm using the last firmware version.
08-24-2019, 11:33 AM   #8
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I have a "fresh" battery ( has been off the charger for a week), that measures 8.2 volts.

Popped it in, and got the extra shutter noise like in the video.

Ran live view for 10 minutes or so (misc photos), and no flopping going on now.

Battery is now at 8.1 volts.




Pentax battery and charger was used in this experiment.

08-24-2019, 01:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
Hmmm... Good to know for future reference. Is there a fix? I'm using the last firmware version.
If you don't have it at this late date, chances are you have no need of a fix. Pentax offered a warranty fix; if I remember correctly, it involved replacement of the mirror box motor assembly. The same may still be available from Precision, though such might be dependent on availability of parts.


Steve
08-24-2019, 02:17 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I have not had any of that type of behavior with my K-5 IIs or the K-5 bodies that I had. I had that happen with my K-20D that I had, but all I would do is just turn the camera off, remove the battery, reinsert the battery, turn the camera back on, and the camera was fine. It was not an ongoing thing, it just happened occasionally. My K-3 II doesn't do it either.

The K-5 is capable of really nice images and is really well built in a stylish manner. It was once the flagship model.
08-24-2019, 03:00 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
The K-5 is capable of really nice images and is really well built in a stylish manner. It was once the flagship model.
That's why I bought one. Sounds like I may have dodged the mirror flop bullet.
08-25-2019, 02:09 AM   #12
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Thanks very much for the input! I may go on the hunt for a nice used K-5 or K-5 II. :-)
10-01-2019, 03:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Hi there.

Thinking about picking up a used K-5 body as an upgrade to my K-x. Just a few questions, tho:

1) How much better is the low light image quality at high ISO than the K-x?

2) Is the autofocusing better/faster?

3) How common is the mirror flop issue with the K5?

4) Does the K5-II also suffer from mirror flop?

I had considered the K30/K50, but the seemingly common occurrence of the aperture block failure has put me off that idea.

Thanks! :-)
I have a 50k+ actuations K-5 bought second hand and it didn't have mirror flop
What it certainly does have is some pink pixels on video, that was a sensor issue common to the three cameras that shared this sensor (Pentax-Sony-Nikon) and looks like the Pentax got the best control about it.

This is something i found about mirror flop:
10-25-2019, 07:09 PM   #14
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Our first DSLR was a Pentax K-x that we purchased so my wife could take pictures for her online business. After playing with it a bit, I decided it was time for me to get my own DSLR. The K-5 got good reviews, so I picked one up and never looked back. It is definitely a more robust, fully-featured, and seriously-minded camera body than the K-x.

Regarding your questions:

1. The K-5 won't match a modern DSLR in terms of high ISO image quality, but it does support higher ISOs than the K-x.
2. The same goes for autofocus, thanks to its newer SAFOX system.
3. I haven't noticed any occurrences of the mirror flop issue.
4. I didn't consider the K-5 II to be enough of an upgrade from the K-5 to justify buying one less than a year after I bought my K-5, but either camera would be a significant step up from the K-x.

I should point out that the K-5 is noticeably bigger and heavier than the K-x, and its battery life is supposedly less (I wouldn't know firsthand, since I use a battery grip with my K-5 while our K-x is powered by an AC adapter).

You might find this link to be useful: Pentax K-x vs Pentax K-5 Detailed Comparison
10-26-2019, 05:12 AM   #15
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I have had experience with the Kx, K-5 and K-5 IIs. The Kx is a great little camera, that I really enjoyed as a light travel camera that ran on AAA batteries. High ISO noise performance was surprisingly good (much better than the flag-ship K-7) but auto-focus in low light was not that great. It also only has a single control wheel (if that is a factor for you) and the penta-mirror viewfinder is a little darker. Being a budget model, the shutter noise is louder than the flag-ship models but it does not suffer from the aperture block failure issues of the K-30/K-50.

The K-5 and K-5 II series are considerably larger/heavier but probably offer a more comfortable grip. They use a Lion battery with good life but it does mean you can't grab batteries anywhere (unless you have the grip with AAA tray). The sensor in both is very good, with low noise at high ISO and excellent dynamic range. I have not experienced any mirror-flop issues with my K-5 or K-5 IIs. The K-5 II series has the later SAFOX X auto-focus system which performs much better in low light.

Overall, my recommendation would be to find a low shutter count K-5 II or K-5 IIs, which should provide you many more years of use. The Imaging Resource website has controlled shots of the same scene for all the cameras, so you can also do an apples to apples comparison for yourself. Unfortunately, the site has announced it will be winding up early next year.
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