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10-26-2010, 02:38 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K-r is so good, I'm trading it in



I was an early adopter of the K-r. I got mine at the Henry's show. 8 days later, I returned it!

The trick is ... the K-r managed to upsell me to the K-5.

I bought the K-r with fairly low expectations. It shot nice looking video, which was important to me, but I already have a K20D for "serious" still photo work. So I didn't need the K-r to be a "fantastic" camera.

Turns out the K-r is a fantastic camera. In the few days I had to play with it, the image quality impressed me greatly. Both low ISO and high ISO shots. The AF was the fastest and most accurate** I've used outside of the K-5 I tried at the show. The video quality is good, and very usable for the personal filmmaking I will be using it for.

Of course, the K-r isn't perfect. No camera is, and the K-r is a reasonably priced camera that isn't oriented at pros. That means only one e-dial/command dial. An interface that is heavy on menus, light on buttons. No weather sealing. It has AF Fine Tune (which is GREAT!) but only global adjust, it doesn't memorize lenses.

** I did have some front-focusing issues with my body. It required, I felt, excessive AF Fine Tuning. (Like -9 for my FA 77 under tungsten, and -5 under daylight.) So I was tempted to return it for another K-r that was closer to factory spec. (My K20D has +- 0 adjustments for my FA 77 lens.) Seeing as the camera was brand new and within the return time frame, I wanted to have it as good and accurate as possible.

Once I decided to swap this particular K-r for another one, a whole bunch of other questions came to mind.
  • The K-r image quality is so good, I will want to use it more than my K20D.
  • The AF speed on the K-r is so good... it reminds me that the K-5 is even better!
  • The lack of dual e-dials puts a crimp on my shooting style.
  • If I carry my K-r everywhere... wouldn't it be better to have weather sealing? I love that on my K20D when it rains.
  • If I carry my K-r everywhere... wouldn't it be good if it were made out of indestructible magnesium alloy?
  • The K-r looks great. Just like a little K-7/K-5. (!)
  • The K-r handles great, I love the ergonomics of the grip. It's only bested by the K-7/K-5. (!)
  • The K-r high-ISO image quality is AMAZING. When I chimp a shot at 12,800, I can't tell that it's a "high-ISO" shot. I bet the K-5 is as good or... even better according to early results on PF.

Do I NEED this stuff? No, just want it. That's OK!

So the K-r has been returned, and the K-5 is on order.

10-26-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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Sure looks like Pentax did a hell of a job with the two new bodies. I'm looking forward to my K-5 just as much as you are.

Adam
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10-26-2010, 02:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote


I was an early adopter of the K-r. I got mine at the Henry's show. 8 days later, I returned it!

The trick is ... the K-r managed to upsell me to the K-5.

I bought the K-r with fairly low expectations. It shot nice looking video, which was important to me, but I already have a K20D for "serious" still photo work. So I didn't need the K-r to be a "fantastic" camera.

Turns out the K-r is a fantastic camera. In the few days I had to play with it, the image quality impressed me greatly. Both low ISO and high ISO shots. The AF was the fastest and most accurate** I've used outside of the K-5 I tried at the show. The video quality is good, and very usable for the personal filmmaking I will be using it for.

Of course, the K-r isn't perfect. No camera is, and the K-r is a reasonably priced camera that isn't oriented at pros. That means only one e-dial/command dial. An interface that is heavy on menus, light on buttons. No weather sealing. It has AF Fine Tune (which is GREAT!) but only global adjust, it doesn't memorize lenses.

** I did have some front-focusing issues with my body. It required, I felt, excessive AF Fine Tuning. (Like -9 for my FA 77 under tungsten, and -5 under daylight.) So I was tempted to return it for another K-r that was closer to factory spec. (My K20D has +- 0 adjustments for my FA 77 lens.) Seeing as the camera was brand new and within the return time frame, I wanted to have it as good and accurate as possible.

Once I decided to swap this particular K-r for another one, a whole bunch of other questions came to mind.
  • The K-r image quality is so good, I will want to use it more than my K20D.
  • The AF speed on the K-r is so good... it reminds me that the K-5 is even better!
  • The lack of dual e-dials puts a crimp on my shooting style.
  • If I carry my K-r everywhere... wouldn't it be better to have weather sealing? I love that on my K20D when it rains.
  • If I carry my K-r everywhere... wouldn't it be good if it were made out of indestructible magnesium alloy?
  • The K-r looks great. Just like a little K-7/K-5. (!)
  • The K-r handles great, I love the ergonomics of the grip. It's only bested by the K-7/K-5. (!)
  • The K-r high-ISO image quality is AMAZING. When I chimp a shot at 12,800, I can't tell that it's a "high-ISO" shot. I bet the K-5 is as good or... even better according to early results on PF.

Do I NEED this stuff? No, just want it. That's OK!

So the K-r has been returned, and the K-5 is on order.
not intending to confuse you, but I'm in the same place.. of whether to buy kr or k5.. for now, I think:

1. K-5 is too expensive, compared to kr.
2. On k5 you will have smaller buffer, that is, less raw images in one burst.
3. k5 files will be huge.. they'll take so much space.. since they are 16mgpx and 14bits. so compared to kr's 12mgpx and 12bits, the difference will be somewher 6-8mb. per file.. (i'm guessing); yet the quality of them will be better.. we have seen that already.. but kr image quality will be more than enough to me. since Kx's is enough.
4. no more points.. hmm...


anyhow 1st point about the price is crucial to me.. i'll get k5 in about a year.. or if my financial situation will get better then sooner, but now I will buy kr another e-dial.. of course it's very usefull metering and AF switch are also great, yet I lived with Kx so, will live with kr too..

and there's also weather sealing.. ohh my god..

Damn it Pentax, your'e good! I want K5!!! anyone wants to join me in some illegal job to get some $$ let's rob a bank? huh?
10-26-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Sure looks like Pentax did a hell of a job with the two new bodies. I'm looking forward to my K-5 just as much as you are.
I don't like your use of the present participle.

In other words, I wish you'd written "I looked forward to my K-5" followed by "and I was well-rewarded when it arrived."

10-26-2010, 03:22 PM   #5
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Pentax really did good this time. When I was at the show, after I looked at the Pentax booth I spent a lot of time "hands on" at the Nikon booth. Nikon make good cameras, no doubt about it. But the K-r is quick and competitive. And the K-5 in a back to back comparison made the D300s seem... crude.
10-26-2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote

** I did have some front-focusing issues with my body. It required, I felt, excessive AF Fine Tuning. (Like -9 for my FA 77 under tungsten, and -5 under daylight.) So I was tempted to return it for another K-r that was closer to factory spec. (My K20D has +- 0 adjustments for my FA 77 lens.) Seeing as the camera was brand new and within the return time frame, I wanted to have it as good and accurate as possible.

Can these be fixed by a new firmware?
10-26-2010, 05:28 PM   #7
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Who said the problem was the body? We don't know how far out the FA 77 is Its likely both are out the perfect amount in opposite directions, so = 0 adjustment.
10-26-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by yanzhi0714 Quote
Can these be fixed by a new firmware?
There is no need to fix it in firmware.

All camera bodies and lenses are built to a certain tolerance. Even though they are finely crafted machines, there is a little bit of variation from one unit to the next. Imagine -- the sensor, the viewfinder groundglass, and the autofocus module all need to be PRECISELY identical in distance from the back of the lens. Tough job. The factory OKs any unit that is "within tolerance", that is, "good enough."

This has been true forever. Check out this article to see what I mean:
The Online Photographer: How I Learned Not to Trust Camera Bodies

Front focus and back focus issues have been around forever. On a modern autofocus camera, you have two options. The old fashioned option of physically adjusting the components (good luck!), or the modern option of tweaking the AF software to compensate ... using the programmability of the camera to make tiny adjustments to where the AF system thinks "in focus" really should be. Until very recently, this second (very good) option required sending a camera back to the manufacturer. Some folks didn't bother. They bought a camera, and then tried out lens after lens until they got one that focused "perfectly" on their camera body. Others sent their individual camera and lens combinations to the manufacturer who would ensure they were optimally fine tuned for each other.

Only in the last couple of years have we seen User-adjustable AF fine tuning. This is a very smart development. It means that we photographers can get the optimum results from our lenses, without sending away for service. And the manufacturers lessen the cost of returns because they have given the customer the ability to adjust the camera to their liking.

The only reason I was uncomfortable was because I had to adjust my K-r to -9, on a lens that I know is manufactured to tight tolerances and has proven in good adjustment on another top grade body from Pentax. I was concerned that having to adjust to -9 meant that I was almost out of options... if I bought a lens that was a little more out-of-spec than my FA 77, I might hit the limits of the AF Fine Tuning. So I opted to return the body. I would have done so, and happily gotten another K-r. Odds are, it would have been different (hopefully better matched to my lenses.) Instead, I've splurged for the K-5.

With the K-5 I'm going to get a few things ... presumably slightly better tolerances in manufacturing ... additional flexibility in AF Fine Tuning (+- 10 units of global adjustments, and an additional +- 10 of per lens adjustments) ... another try at the lottery of bodies (i.e. by chance maybe this K-5 will be better aligned than my K-r was) ... an AF system that is responsive to different wavelengths of light (tungsten/daylight). And a cool new camera.

10-26-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Who said the problem was the body? We don't know how far out the FA 77 is Its likely both are out the perfect amount in opposite directions, so = 0 adjustment.
Agreed! But it's my FA 77, so I'm going to say it's perfect
10-27-2010, 02:24 PM   #10
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Fun story, best of luck with the K5

QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
There is no need to fix it in firmware.

All camera bodies and lenses are built to a certain tolerance. Even though they are finely crafted machines, there is a little bit of variation from one unit to the next. Imagine -- the sensor, the viewfinder groundglass, and the autofocus module all need to be PRECISELY identical in distance from the back of the lens. Tough job. The factory OKs any unit that is "within tolerance", that is, "good enough."

This has been true forever. Check out this article to see what I mean:
The Online Photographer: How I Learned Not to Trust Camera Bodies

Front focus and back focus issues have been around forever. On a modern autofocus camera, you have two options. The old fashioned option of physically adjusting the components (good luck!), or the modern option of tweaking the AF software to compensate ... using the programmability of the camera to make tiny adjustments to where the AF system thinks "in focus" really should be. Until very recently, this second (very good) option required sending a camera back to the manufacturer. Some folks didn't bother. They bought a camera, and then tried out lens after lens until they got one that focused "perfectly" on their camera body. Others sent their individual camera and lens combinations to the manufacturer who would ensure they were optimally fine tuned for each other.

Only in the last couple of years have we seen User-adjustable AF fine tuning. This is a very smart development. It means that we photographers can get the optimum results from our lenses, without sending away for service. And the manufacturers lessen the cost of returns because they have given the customer the ability to adjust the camera to their liking.

The only reason I was uncomfortable was because I had to adjust my K-r to -9, on a lens that I know is manufactured to tight tolerances and has proven in good adjustment on another top grade body from Pentax. I was concerned that having to adjust to -9 meant that I was almost out of options... if I bought a lens that was a little more out-of-spec than my FA 77, I might hit the limits of the AF Fine Tuning. So I opted to return the body. I would have done so, and happily gotten another K-r. Odds are, it would have been different (hopefully better matched to my lenses.) Instead, I've splurged for the K-5.

With the K-5 I'm going to get a few things ... presumably slightly better tolerances in manufacturing ... additional flexibility in AF Fine Tuning (+- 10 units of global adjustments, and an additional +- 10 of per lens adjustments) ... another try at the lottery of bodies (i.e. by chance maybe this K-5 will be better aligned than my K-r was) ... an AF system that is responsive to different wavelengths of light (tungsten/daylight). And a cool new camera.
Thanks for the link. As he writes :
"Aerial tests on medium format lenses show that the best of them can peak at over 200 line pair per millimeter".
His 35 mm format, hit 100-150 lines. It is one of the first articles that I've come across that states how medium format lenses can be sharper than 35 mm.
(But then again, I don't read all that much about medium format)
10-29-2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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I picked up my K-5 tonight. Battery is charging... hope to have more to say about the K-5 soon!
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