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10-11-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
johnruds
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Buying Advice

I currently have a Lumix bridge camera and am looking to upgrade to a dslr early next year. Besides looking at the big two manufacturers, I have looked at the K5II & IIs and seemed impressed. That was, until I looked at this forum and became worried that everyone appears to be having problems with their Pentax's.

Can anyone give me an insight to the build quality and the reliability of Pentax? Last thing I want is to fork out hard earned cash on a product, that judging by posts on this forum appears to be riddled with faults and bad build quality.

Thanks in advance for your much anticipated response.

10-11-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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High-end Pentax cameras have great build quality (the K-5 II and IIs have magnesium alloy bodies) which is actually much better than what you'll find from Canon and Nikon unless you pay a bit more.

There currently aren't any QC issues with Pentax cameras or lenses as far as I'm aware. In the past, there have been a few, but the K-5 is a tried-and-tested body (originally launched in 2010 and refreshed in 2012), so you won't run into any issues. They've all been sorted a long time ago

What's your budget BTW?

Adam
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10-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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Not sure about the issues you're referring to (might've missed them) but my experience with Pentax DSLRs has been great. K10D to K-7 to K-5 IIs, all have been very solid performers for me. It's the only line of DSLRs I've owned so I can't compare with other manufacturers, but I have no qualms about recommending them or using (and abusing!) them on a regular basis. I'm pretty hard on gear generally (always amazed at the pristine condition of stuff I see here in the Marketplace - how do they keep it so nice?!) and I've been 100% satisfied with all three that I've owned.

The only Pentax I've had issues with is a beat-up old LX I acquired, currently being re-habed by Eric H. But that's a different animal altogether.
10-11-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
Can anyone give me an insight to the build quality and the reliability of Pentax?
Sadly there are a good number of posters on this forum that seem to try to down Pentax at every opportunity. Some are active anti-Pentax haters. Some really love the brand and want it to be the best but sometimes come off as negative because no matter how good something is they always want better.

The old Pentax had some QC issues, but even then in most cases they have dealt with them quickly and surely. Contrast the 'stain' issue on early k-5's, which Pentax acknowledged and fixed, with other brands issues that are still being denied they even have a problem. Ricoh seems to have taken QC to a whole new level and products coming out now don't seem to have many if any complaints.

In short, Pentax build quality and reliability is at present as good or better than any competitor in the same price bracket. The k-5II is a refresh of the k-5 with better AF, and any issues sorted out. I don't think I've seen any complaints on the k-5II.

10-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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OCB' ers?

Hello Johnruds,
The complaints you see aren't the tip of the iceberg, they are the iceberg!
If you'll notice, the main complainers are the same dozen (or so) posters. Folks who look at a beautiful painting and aren't happy until they find one brush stroke that isn't perfect. Calling them ''picky' qualifies as a vast understatement.
As a recent example, the just-released K-3 has dozens of new, upgraded or novel features, many that people have been clamoring for, several that only come in DSLR's costing much more. It is garnering raves from nearly all the independent reviewers.
But a single item, the flash sync speed, wasn't improved. Now, there are at least 2 threads here devoted entirely to this omission. No other upgrades or features matter, because this wasn't addressed. Pentax is doomed because the flash sync speed is 1/2 stop slower than other major brands. All is lost!
So, take these Q.C. 'issues' with a ton of salt. Pentax gear is at least as reliable as any other brand and has always represented great quality and value.
JMO,
Ron
10-11-2013, 01:56 PM   #6
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John

I think it has all been said by previous posters. I've owned an SFXn 35mm, K10D and K5: all have been brilliant reliable cameras. Buy Pentax with confidence.

PS: you'll find plenty of complainers on Canikon forums as1 well. We all like a whinge at times!

Rgds,
John
10-11-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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To be fair to the OP, there are reports and anecdotes on this forum - and others - concerning real problems that users have had. Whether the various issues with Pentax gear exceed an industry average, who knows. We find reports of problems or failures in other brands as well, as recounted on similar forums. The overall rate of problems is relatively small compared to the total number of users, and not "everyone" has experienced a quality or reliability problem.

A newcomer or casual 'lurker' will find historical posts related to sensor stains, 'mirror flops,' battery issues, lost lens-release buttons, lens SDM failures, and firmware upgrade glitches. My own problems included a failed SDM on a 50-135 lens, and a mirror drive motor failure on a K-5 (both repaired promptly under warranty by Pentax Canada).

However, I now use a K-5 II, which seems to be very robust. Based on recent experiences of users, I think that Pentax (um, Ricoh) have resolved earlier problems of the original K-5 and other models. The current line of cameras seems to exhibit far fewer problems. I would not hesitate to recommend Pentax cameras or lenses.

- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 10-11-2013 at 02:53 PM.
10-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
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All manufacturers occasionally have issues to sort out. But Pentax certainly is not any worse than the big manufacturers - probably on the contrary.
Personally I probably qualify as a heavy user. My gear has repeatedly been exposed to the elements in the arctic wilderness in Finland, rainforests in the Amazon, wildlife parks in India, savannah in Africa etc. The track record is pretty much impeccable with hardly any quality issues. Quite honestly: build quality - or lack of it - is not an excuse for ignoring Pentax products.

You might also want to have a closer look into other manufacturer´s discussion forums. Exactly the same kind of whining there...

10-13-2013, 07:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
High-end Pentax cameras have great build quality (the K-5 II and IIs have magnesium alloy bodies) which is actually much better than what you'll find from Canon and Nikon unless you pay a bit more.

There currently aren't any QC issues with Pentax cameras or lenses as far as I'm aware. In the past, there have been a few, but the K-5 is a tried-and-tested body (originally launched in 2010 and refreshed in 2012), so you won't run into any issues. They've all been sorted a long time ago

What's your budget BTW?
Great information thanks for sharing in such detail.
10-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnruds Quote
Can anyone give me an insight to the build quality and the reliability of Pentax? Last thing I want is to fork out hard earned cash on a product, that judging by posts on this forum appears to be riddled with faults and bad build quality.
I don't know how you came to that conclusion from this forum, the K5II has an excellent reputation for QC and reliability here.
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