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01-11-2016, 06:49 PM   #1
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Why buy Pentax in 2016?

In response to suggestions last month, I am preparing a PF guide on why non-Pentax users should consider a Pentax as opposed to (say) a Canon, Nikon, Sony, Oympus, Fuji etc interchangeable lens camera (ILC) ie DSLR or mirror-less camera.

We know Pentax users are discerning. Only about one in 20 Pentax devices are purchased in the ILC market these days. Yet things are changing. The forthcoming FF model may rekindle broader interest in the merits of a Pentax device.

So what are your top five (5) responses to a colleague or family member that sounds you out on why they should consider a Pentax interchangeable lens device in 2016?

Some initial brainstorming suggests:
  • A focus on compactness and ergonomics, and still image quality
  • Only manufacturer with weather sealing in entry-level bodies
  • Very competitive lens pricing
  • Huge second-hand lens market, both genuine and third-party
  • PF!

What are your top five reasons for persuading a non-Pentax user to get on board in 2016?



Last edited by johnhilvert; 01-11-2016 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Grammar... and dignity always dignity.
01-11-2016, 06:52 PM   #2
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Pretty much the same as yours
And: Why not?
01-11-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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I have a few other reasons.

- Good selection of APS-C crop lenses, including the DA* lenses that seem to be absent in other systems. It's the only DSLR system whose maker has really taken APS-C seriously.

- Unique lenses that you can't get for other systems, like anything Limited and the fisheye zoom.

- Good selection of specialized lenses at mid price. For me, mid price means between $400 and $1,000. That's a price range that I'm comfortable with.

- Eccentricity. I know that other brands come out with successor models of cameras and lenses more reliably, but about once a year, Pentax/Ricoh comes out with something nobody was expecting. It might irritate some people, but I love that.

I went out this weekend with my K-01, DA21, DA40, FA77 and DA10-17. Next week it might be the K5ii and the 18-135. All this versatility at a price I could afford.
01-11-2016, 08:31 PM   #4
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I don't mean to be unkind, but dude, get a life.

Anyone totally bought into brand loyalty is not gong to change. That includes you.

Almost sixty years in the photo business, if your will, I just don't get this brand cock fight.

01-11-2016, 08:59 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulvzo Quote
I don't mean to be unkind, but dude, get a life.

Anyone totally bought into brand loyalty is not gong to change. That includes you.

Almost sixty years in the photo business, if your will, I just don't get this brand cock fight.
I think you are way off the reservation. His question is valid. If people ask why they should possibly buy a Pentax what are the top reasons BESIDES brand loyalty.

---------- Post added 01-11-16 at 11:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I have a few other reasons.

- Good selection of APS-C crop lenses, including the DA* lenses that seem to be absent in other systems. It's the only DSLR system whose maker has really taken APS-C seriously.

- Unique lenses that you can't get for other systems, like anything Limited and the fisheye zoom.

- Good selection of specialized lenses at mid price. For me, mid price means between $400 and $1,000. That's a price range that I'm comfortable with.

- Eccentricity. I know that other brands come out with successor models of cameras and lenses more reliably, but about once a year, Pentax/Ricoh comes out with something nobody was expecting. It might irritate some people, but I love that.

I went out this weekend with my K-01, DA21, DA40, FA77 and DA10-17. Next week it might be the K5ii and the 18-135. All this versatility at a price I could afford.
The secondary market isn't better really. It is good and a fine selection can be had of some things.
APS-C lens selection is a good one.
Very high quality small primes.
More bang per buck.
Sensor shift ultra resolution for still subjects.
01-11-2016, 09:10 PM   #6
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As a teacher of over 240 photo and video students each year, I am bombarded by parents asking what they should buy and why. I think this is a legitimate question and fills a real purpose. Yes, every brand has its pros and cons, but at this time Pentax IS my top recommendation for anyone not biased or have a reason to use another brand, which in my mind top five are:

1) WR body with WR kit lenses.
2) Bright pentaprism optical finder.
3) All the advantages of SR over IS or VR.
4) Price.
5) Dual control wheels.

....and all this (the K-S1 withstanding) in their entry-level DSLRs?

Again, there are many times I will recommend Canon or Nikon and even Sony if video is a priority, but if they are starting from scratch or they have Pentax FSLR lenses, then the K-50 or K-S2 is the best value.
01-11-2016, 09:29 PM   #7
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Hyper Functions

I'll admit to being swayed to take a look at Nikon. Specifically the D750 (I'm a K20D user looking at either the D750 or K3II). Recently did a shoot with it and remembered why I've stuck with Pentax and why well I still think others should consider it.
The Hyper modes the camera provides makes my shooting just that much easier. I keep my eye to the viewfinder more with my Pentax that the Nikon's and Canon's I've shot with thanks to them. Now, I am not sure if other manufacturers have mimicked the functions, but, I find the implementation in the Pentax camera bodies very well thought out.
01-11-2016, 10:45 PM   #8
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Do you realize that Nikon still doesn't offer user modes that can save all the operating and setting parameters available? That's what I'm reading, and Ken Rockwell aims a fine rant at them over this omission in their latest two announced models. (I know Ken's rants don't suit some tastes, but he knows the Nikon system and doesn't make such major errors.) My Minolta 7D had three user-selected settings back in 2007! But today, you can't lock down consistent user settings that way in Nikon's $6,500 flagship, the D5...That's pretty pitiful, I think.

01-11-2016, 11:19 PM   #9
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IMP, advantages of Pentax DSLR products:
- IBIS
- Best in class sensor
- I like the way the lens mount is
- Layout of camera body
- Weather sealing
- Fixed screen
- Trying to be different / innovative vs other brands

Disadvantages (regarding products still available new):
- Inconsistency of lens product line technology (most FL covered by some of it with old glass / old AF tech.)
- Lens tech not up to date
- Lack of good long lenses
- Lack of third party lenses for k mount
- AF technology not up to date
- Lack of brick and mortar representation
- Very poor presale and after-sale service
- Slow to follow competition
- Market share and company size make survival of Pentax/k-mount questionable (Ricoh imaging might not be the first company to go bust, but it may well continue to shrink down to nothing, essentially due to insignificant market reach).

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-12-2016 at 12:49 AM.
01-11-2016, 11:20 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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In no particular order:

1. IBIS. Every freakin' lens I attach to the body is stabilized.
2. Price of the system. Bodies, new lenses, used lenses, "legacy" lenses... it's so (comparatively) affordable.
3. Build quality. Every Pentax body I've fondled - starting with the K100D, nearly a decade ago - has felt higher-quality than the corresponding Canikon body.
4. All the systems are really good, but there's a bit of a philosophical difference with Pentax (Limiteds, WR, K-Sx models) that's just nice.
5. It's kinda cool being part of a smaller community.

---------- Post added 01-12-16 at 01:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by paulvzo Quote
I don't mean to be unkind, but dude, get a life.

Anyone totally bought into brand loyalty is not gong to change. That includes you.

Almost sixty years in the photo business, if your will, I just don't get this brand cock fight.
Given the way you've phrased this, you clearly do mean to be "unkind". In fact, you mean to be more unkind toward the OP than the OP intends to be toward non-Pentax cameras... because the OP intends to promote Pentax strengths and not to disparage other camera brands. All these Pentaxes and Nikons and Canons and Fujis and the others have enough specific strengths and weaknesses and differences that an individual case can be honestly, sincerely, and impartially made for each brand.

And yes, I do use the "Oxford comma"!
01-11-2016, 11:31 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Do you realize that Nikon still doesn't offer user modes that can save all the operating and setting parameters available? That's what I'm reading, and Ken Rockwell aims a fine rant at them over this omission in their latest two announced models. (I know Ken's rants don't suit some tastes, but he knows the Nikon system and doesn't make such major errors.) My Minolta 7D had three user-selected settings back in 2007! But today, you can't lock down consistent user settings that way in Nikon's $6,500 flagship, the D5...That's pretty pitiful, I think.
Nikon isn't going to make the D500 to kill the D7200. The D500 is set up for those used to using the D200, D300, D300s series where 4 custom banks are available, and if you know what you're doing, with the Fn button, it's just a different approach than the U1/U2 type set up on the D7000 series. There are many threads on dpreview regarding this.

I would really take Rockwell with a grain of salt. Current quotes on his site include:

"You can pay more for fancier cameras, but no camera takes better pictures than a D3300." Seriously???????

"...my go-to camera for everything is my Canon 5DS R, my Canon 16-35mm IS L and Canon 100-400mm IS L II. One camera, two lenses, and I can shoot anything and everything with it. For the mix of things I'm called to shoot, it's the best camera." Wait, the D3300 isn't good enough? I should spend $8K on a two lens system like Ken Rockwell's?

And about the Pentax K3 II:
"It is more primitive than the current Nikon and Canon cameras...."
"Canon and Nikon make better and more refined cameras for the same price if you actually own and use them as I do...."
"sadly Pentax took out the built-in flash and put a GPS there instead. Without a built-in flash, image quality will suffer, especially outdoors since you won't have any fill-flash unless you bring a separate shoe-mount flash. Boo."
"Pentax copied Nikon's flawed power switch. It's easy to knock on or off because it has no lock."

And finally about the Pentax 645D:

"it's designed to appeal to hobbyists, meaning garbage features like 77-segment metering, wimpy, slow SD card media, stupid picture modes, live view, electronic level, 11-point AF — and gag me — multiple exposures and in-camera HDR, which have replaced the intelligent usability of simpler cameras designed for pros who know what they're doing."
"With this Pentax, I see a long list of garbage features which will only serve to distract, instead of focus, any photographer's attention."
"The 645D looks like another exercise in digital frustration"
"When I get over complaining about how Pentax screwed-up the opportunity to make a great camera, I'm sure that I'll love it."

So is it any surprise Rockwell doesn't review the 645Z?

Shoot, now Ken Rockwell has me ranting about Ken Rockwell. I'm infected!!!
01-11-2016, 11:54 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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The benefit I see is that Ken Rockwell doesn't own or shoot Pentax, therefore decreasing the danger of reading misguided, subjective drivel aimed at denigrating the brand.
01-12-2016, 02:05 AM   #13
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My best 5:
1 - excellent (sony) sensors inside, based on k5 experience
2 - ergonomics, physical controls,100%pentaprism and WR
3 -SR or IBIS
4 - a lot primes
5 - advanced features (TaV,advanced bracketing,excellent custom WB, etc..)
6 - K,M,A,F,Fa, lens compatibility (k mount)
01-12-2016, 02:57 AM   #14
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I personally bought a Pentax in 05 and have used it a couple times, but when I went researching to upgrade this year I seriously looked at Canon and Nikon, then since I had a few lenses and enjoyed the quality of the device I bought another.

I actually got the K3 instead of K3II because of the flash but what I have learned since I got the K3 is that a flash inset really needed at all with it. Definitely not like my older camera but who knows, maybe I'll need it some time, but GPS is something I really don't need. lol

My 5:

Other brands hype up the market for same tech as previous years with minimal change except the price.
Device construction quality is better
Offers more functions than others
Weather resistant just in case it rans during a shoot, you don't have to "baby the camera or it will break"
Pentax seems to be the leader in tech advancement in the photo world
01-12-2016, 03:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
IMP, advantages of Pentax DSLR products:
- IBIS
- Best in class sensor
- I like the way the lens mount is
- Layout of camera body
- Weather sealing
- Fixed screen
- Trying to be different / innovative vs other brands

Disadvantages (regarding products still available new):
- Inconsistency of lens product line technology (most FL covered by some of it with old glass / old AF tech.)
- Lens tech not up to date
- Lack of good long lenses
- Lack of third party lenses for k mount
- AF technology not up to date
- Lack of brick and mortar representation
- Very poor presale and after-sale service
- Slow to follow competition
- Market share and company size make survival of Pentax/k-mount questionable (Ricoh imaging might not be the first company to go bust, but it may well continue to shrink down to nothing, essentially due to insignificant market reach).
What he said + very poor flash implantation as disadvantage.
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