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09-10-2011, 10:59 AM - 1 Like   #1
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As a Canon man, I'm very interested in the K-R, but all of these problems scare me.

Well, the title of the thread pretty much lays it all out.

I'm currently using a Canon Rebel T3. To be honest, I don't really like it. The viewfinder is extremely small, the camera shoots very slowly in RAW, and the lack of menu options is really starting to bother me.

The Pentax K-R seems to answer all of those problems. Its viewfinder is significantly bigger. It shoots -much- faster, and I enjoy all of the many menu options that are available. To sweeten the deal, it appears its high ISO performance is even better than the T3's, which is quite good already.

However, I'm hesitant to switch, and this is because of the fact that I have been hearing reports about all kinds of problems with the K-R body.

Some of these include:

1. Front-Focusing in Artificial Light.
2. E-Dial Malfunctions
3. Flash Exposure issues.

If these problems did not exist, I wouldn't even think twice about moving over. However, as it stands, I am extremely hesitant. The K-X would actually be an interesting option in and of itself, but the lack of on-screen viewfinder points pretty much kills it for me. By design, it doesn't allow the photographer to make a quick change. You are forced to remove your eye from the viewfinder, which is terrible.

((Any other camera model beyond the K-R is out of my price range, so these are the only two options I am even remotely considering.))


Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this? It's unfortunate that these issues exist, because it keeps potential customers away from their product.


Last edited by JustShane; 09-10-2011 at 11:41 PM.
09-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
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Dear Canon user,
To be honest, K-r is not an answer on any Canon model. If you see it as such you are dead wrong. The main and only reason to get a Pentax camera body are fantastic Pentax Limited series lenses. Period. Everything else is just utter nonsense or political party propaganda.


1) FF issue only occured to me by provoking it with very weak (near darkness levels of) tungsten (wolfram) light. No FF issues on other artificial light sources at all. Even tungsten low light can be mastered by setting manual WB to tungsten or numeric by temperature (if known). No FF tungstel problem when using LIve-View.

2) If the E-dial malfunctions the camera should be returned and replaced within the warranty period. I had no such issues with mx K-r (black, early series)

3) Not sure what do you mean here. I used K-r on board flash with excellent results. Also with the FGZ540 in the wireless mode I had no problems. Maybe the trouble with flash exposure is due to various cheap third party flash equipment that people use.


Cheers,
D.

Last edited by dragra; 09-10-2011 at 11:58 AM.
09-10-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
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At the intro level, IMO, Pentax is on par or better than competing manufacturers, and the K-r is packed with features. The QC issues are very minor and don't affect most users. If you haven't invested much in Canon glass right now, I wouldn't hesitate to switch.

Adam
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09-10-2011, 12:08 PM   #4
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1. My K-R shows very bad Front Focus in TUNGSTEN light, not all artificial light, CFL lamps are fine. Shooting in Live View is the work around, no FF in live view.
2. My E-dial is fine - no problems. Users have reported that a drop of electrical contact cleaner dripped into the E-dial will correct the problem. I have not tried this.
3. The flash exposure problem that you have read about is a 'feature' not a malfunction. The Pentax engineers designed the program in Auto Mode to expose for the background and add fill flash.
This can lead to long exposure and subject blur in dim light. The work around is not to use Auto Mode. Use TV, and set to 180.
The other flash problems are with after market flashes. My Promaster works fine with my K200D, but does strange stuff with the K-R.
Promaster tells me that Pentax changed the way the flash and camera communicate. My Pentax AF360 flash works fine with the K-R.

09-10-2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Pentaxians are very critical about their gear. Mostly just because they suck and they don't want to admit that they suck in photography. So the gear is blamed a lot.
I'm using Canon in parallel, the old trusty 30D. I had few problems with both setups, but only minor ones.
There is no need to worry.
I recommend to get a better than kit lens for the K-r.
09-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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My e-dial is a little wonky, but otherwise I haven't suffered any of the reported problems people complain about. I've yet to try the contact cleaner on the e-dial, but I plan to soon; it has worked for most people, it seems. It doesn't bother me a great deal since I don't use it a whole lot anyway, it sometimes skips a little but it's not a big deal with how infrequently I use it so I just haven't got around to the contact cleaner yet.
09-10-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dragra Quote
To be honest, K-r is not an answer on any Canon model. If you see it as such you are dead wrong. The main and only reason to get a Pentax camera body are fantastic Pentax Limited series lenses. Period. Everything else is just utter nonsense or political party propaganda.
i wouldn't say that when comparing a 500D and a K-r Specially if you want a good burst mode.

You can't go wrong with a K-x or K-r, both are good body. Got a K-x (instead of a 40D), a year ago, and never regretted it !
09-10-2011, 02:36 PM   #8
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I'm probably going to reiterate much of what others have said already, but it's just that kind of thread, isn't it?

1. Front focusing: Some users complain about it in Tungsten light, at least an equal number say they have no issue. A few complain about any low light. I suspect a lot (not all, there does seem to be an issue affecting some copies of the K-r) of this is user error. I know my initial suspicions that my own copy was affected were due to my inexperience. If the issue hadn't been so public, I would have sorted myself out faster. I think also that the newer copies of the K-r are less (or not) affected by this issue, as increasingly, new users around here are posting they don't have ff, with newly purchased copies. That last is pure supposition though, so take it as such.

2. E-dial issues: This didn't deserve nearly as much noise as it got. It seems a lot of copies were affected, but the fix is so ridiculously easy that we can take it in stride if it happens. A little (emphasis on little) shot of contact cleaner spray into the dial fixes the issue, by dissolving a bit of the excess grease on the dial. That's all the issue was, a bit too much non-conductive grease on the dial mechanism. It was not a mechanical fault in the dial itself.

Never had this issue myself, my K-r is 3 months old now. I'm not concerned about it.

3. Flash Exposure Issue: gp1806 is exactly right. In auto (and I think some scene modes) the K-r will expose for background and add fill flash (or try to). If you don't know what it's doing, or why, it definitely looks like a problem. If you understand the process, you can work with it. More exposure of this "issue" should help people learn that.

The K-r is a great little camera. It beats the Canon T2i and T3i in most of the important specs, and costs considerably less. By all means give one a shot, but do yourself the favour of handling one in-store, shooting it a bit, making sure you like the feel and ergonomics of it. Check out the menu system, as it's a bit different than some other brands (but I think easier, there's no scrolling required, it's all paged). I think for me, with my available budget (which wasn't much), I made the perfect choice for my first DSLR.

Oh, and btw, about your problems shooting at a good speed in raw - that shouldn't happen. If it is indeed your Canon's fault, and not the memory card you're using, you shouldn't have to put up with that. The K-r doesn't have the most headroom, but with a good card it will definitely handle large bursts very well. If anything, I abuse burst mode a bit, and I can say I've only had to wait for the camera to catch up 2 or 3 times in three months, all of those instances perfectly normal for the length of bursts I was using.

09-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
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you can find faults with just about any kind of specialised piece of equipment, As a Canon photographer these things tick me off about the canon 1 series bodies are:

-No TAv Mode - My nikon D3s can mimic this mode which is only seen on Pentax DSLR cameras.
-You have to press two buttons the change ONE setting, you also have to press the "set" button in order to make changes to settings permanent
-E-TTL II isn't much improvement on the original E-TTL system
-Most of canons lens designs are around 30 years old.
-My 50mm f/1.2 broke in half early last year - they used glue and plastic pins to hold it together!

at the entry level camera makers put a priority on making the cameras to a price - I personally find this short-changes photographers a bit when their skills improve which they almost always do, because there is almost always some feature that they omit that turns out to be essential for the photographer to make further improvements.
09-10-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
-No TAv Mode
There's no TAv mode on the K-x or K-r, only the K-7 and K-5. I haven't used this mode, since I have a K-r, is it really necessary? Seems by the time you're setting both your aperture and shutter, you could as well be in M, no?
09-10-2011, 11:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I'm probably going to reiterate much of what others have said already, but it's just that kind of thread, isn't it?

1. Front focusing: Some users complain about it in Tungsten light, at least an equal number say they have no issue. A few complain about any low light. I suspect a lot (not all, there does seem to be an issue affecting some copies of the K-r) of this is user error. I know my initial suspicions that my own copy was affected were due to my inexperience. If the issue hadn't been so public, I would have sorted myself out faster. I think also that the newer copies of the K-r are less (or not) affected by this issue, as increasingly, new users around here are posting they don't have ff, with newly purchased copies. That last is pure supposition though, so take it as such.

2. E-dial issues: This didn't deserve nearly as much noise as it got. It seems a lot of copies were affected, but the fix is so ridiculously easy that we can take it in stride if it happens. A little (emphasis on little) shot of contact cleaner spray into the dial fixes the issue, by dissolving a bit of the excess grease on the dial. That's all the issue was, a bit too much non-conductive grease on the dial mechanism. It was not a mechanical fault in the dial itself.

Never had this issue myself, my K-r is 3 months old now. I'm not concerned about it.

3. Flash Exposure Issue: gp1806 is exactly right. In auto (and I think some scene modes) the K-r will expose for background and add fill flash (or try to). If you don't know what it's doing, or why, it definitely looks like a problem. If you understand the process, you can work with it. More exposure of this "issue" should help people learn that.

The K-r is a great little camera. It beats the Canon T2i and T3i in most of the important specs, and costs considerably less. By all means give one a shot, but do yourself the favour of handling one in-store, shooting it a bit, making sure you like the feel and ergonomics of it. Check out the menu system, as it's a bit different than some other brands (but I think easier, there's no scrolling required, it's all paged). I think for me, with my available budget (which wasn't much), I made the perfect choice for my first DSLR.

Oh, and btw, about your problems shooting at a good speed in raw - that shouldn't happen. If it is indeed your Canon's fault, and not the memory card you're using, you shouldn't have to put up with that. The K-r doesn't have the most headroom, but with a good card it will definitely handle large bursts very well. If anything, I abuse burst mode a bit, and I can say I've only had to wait for the camera to catch up 2 or 3 times in three months, all of those instances perfectly normal for the length of bursts I was using.
In the past, I had used a friend's Rebel XS equipped with a Transcend Class 10 8GB card. The result? Very slow RAW shooting speed. (I'd estimate about 2fps with an extremely short buffer.)

Unfortunately, I do not currently own such a card, but I already know that the T3 is also crippled in this way. For burst shooting, you are damn-near forced to use JPEG, which shouldn't be the case.
09-10-2011, 11:50 PM   #12
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To everyone: Thank you VERY MUCH for your replies. I am quite glad to hear that Live View effectively solves all of the focusing problems in tungsten light. That means my tripod work will remain unaffected by this problem, which was a critical requirement of mine.

However, one thing still bothers me: What about rock concerts? Will the K-R choke here given all the different kinds of light available at any given time?
09-10-2011, 11:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
At the intro level, IMO, Pentax is on par or better than competing manufacturers, and the K-r is packed with features. The QC issues are very minor and don't affect most users. If you haven't invested much in Canon glass right now, I wouldn't hesitate to switch.
This is EXACTLY why I'm interested in switching. The price, along with the features, is quite nice.
Furthermore, I am NOT heavily invested in Canon gear. I have the kit lens, along with a 55-250 zoom, and a nifty fifty f/1.8. That's it.

However, these problems are still a bit worrisome to me...

Last edited by JustShane; 09-11-2011 at 01:46 AM.
09-11-2011, 12:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JustShane Quote

However, one thing still bothers me: What about rock concerts? Will the K-R choke here given all the different kinds of light available at any given time?
I've had bad luck with my K-r, since new it front-focused badly in pretty much ANY type of artificial light plus the weak AF-assist beam only worked on rare occasions.

The range of internal AF micro-adjustments was too small to correct the focus, same lenses worked perfectly when used on my recently calibrated K-x.
Also a disapointment, pic for pic the low-light sensitivity of the image sensor is still better in my older K-x...

The camera has been sent away for service for about a month now but Pentax Canada informs me that parts are on backorder from Japan.

In my opinion, if low-light performance is really important to you, save up and get a K-5,
despite it's own set of know problems (sensor stains, button falling off, mirror flap)
it's low-light and autofocus performance sound more consistent than the K-r's.

If a K-5 is out of your price range and you can do without illuminated focus points in the viewfinder,
for now pick up a used K-x instead and you'll have more money towards a good fast lens better suited for your concert work.

Michel

Last edited by mlatour; 09-11-2011 at 12:57 AM.
09-11-2011, 01:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlatour Quote
I've had bad luck with my K-r, since new it front-focused badly in pretty much ANY type of artificial light plus the weak AF-assist beam only worked on rare occasions.

The range of internal AF micro-adjustments was too small to correct the focus, same lenses worked perfectly when used on my recently calibrated K-x.
Also a disapointment, pic for pic the low-light sensitivity of the image sensor is still better in my older K-x...

The camera has been sent away for service for about a month now but Pentax Canada informs me that parts are on backorder from Japan.

In my opinion, if low-light performance is really important to you, save up and get a K-5,
despite it's own set of know problems (sensor stains, button falling off, mirror flap)
it's low-light and autofocus performance sound more consistent than the K-r's.

If a K-5 is out of your price range and you can do without illuminated focus points in the viewfinder,
for now pick up a used K-x instead and you'll have more money towards a good fast lens better suited for your concert work.

Michel
And this is -exactly- the kind of reply I was referencing in my initial post...
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