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07-18-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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K7 - Upgrade to K30, buy a "cheap" K5 or Wait for the K3?

I usually skip a generation or two in upgrading my DSLR body, and last did so a couple years ago in going from the K200 to the K7. I am generally pretty happy with the K7, except for the IQ above 800. Though I considered the K5 for a while after it was introduced (in typical fashion I bought the K7 when the price dropped near the end of its cycle), I decided to wait for the next iteration to see what new bells and whistles would be added.

The K-30 intrigues me as a possible replacement for the K-7, mostly due to the IQ and better AF capabilities. The primary negatives from early reports and specs (for me) are the lack of 14-bit RAW files, the questions over battery life, the possible need to replace my L-bracket for the different form factor, and the lack of a DOF preview around the on-off switch (I know I can reprogram one of the other buttons to do the same thing; but the stop down ring is just something I've long been used to with Pentax, both DSLR and in my film days).

The K5, at about the same price now as the K30, answers most of those questions, but I'm a little gun-shy about starting over again with "old" technology and suffering buyers remorse when the K3 comes out. Now if the K3 is full frame and K30 takes over the K5/K7 place as the top-end APS-C (unlikely, to be sure), I'd have no problem going with the K30. I am shooting mostly with the Limiteds these days and have no need/desire to upgrade all my glass to FF (or WR) at this point. On the other hand, if the K3 turns out to be a significant improvement in the APS-C line, I would gladly wait a little while for it. Its hard though to imagine what immediate improvements the K3 might provide that would justify it selling for twice the price of the K30 (which is about what I would expect it to list for).

So, what do you think -- K7, K5, K3 or K30? Talk amongst yourselves. All thoughts, advice and insight appreciated.

07-18-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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I would say it depends on your needs. If you are an "enthusiast" photographer, i.e. someone who shoots for pleasure and can take his time, I think the K-30 would be a great upgrade from the K-7. You don't lose much in the way of functionality (actually gain quite a bit) or ergonomics and you get top-of-the-line IQ, excellent video features, and great everyday AF. If you're a more demanding user, shooting paid gigs and whatnot, I might wait and see what the K-3 brings.
07-18-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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If you can afford it, wait for the K-5 replacement.

If you like a bargain, get a K-5 now.

I think if you are using the features of your K-7 such as all the physical switches, top LCD etc, you will miss them on the K-30.

If all you are after is improved IQ then the K-5 or K-30 now will get it for you. Expect the K-30 to drop in price in the not too distant future, though.
07-18-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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The K5 would be my choice between the K30/K5 because they can be had at the same price or close to it and it's pretty much a straight move, any specific accessories carry over etc. BUT at this point i would wait and see what Photokina has to offer myself. The Hi iso of the K5 has been calling to me too, and tempting as it is I'll likely wait and look at the new model. once it hits there will be a slew of K5's on the used market, and many will be low usage. If a Ff is shown in prototype for next year then i will wait longer
Even as much as i use my cameras none have ever come close to seeing the shutter life rating. Funnily in film days i rarely upgraded a body, now i seem to do it too often.

07-18-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by EstimatedEyes Quote
The primary negatives from early reports and specs (for me) are the lack of 14-bit RAW files, the questions over battery life, the possible need to replace my L-bracket for the different form factor, and the lack of a DOF preview around the on-off switch (I know I can reprogram one of the other buttons to do the same thing; but the stop down ring is just something I've long been used to with Pentax, both DSLR and in my film days).
Looks like you are concerned with the negatives since you pointed them out, so the K30 would not fit what you are looking for.

QuoteOriginally posted by EstimatedEyes Quote
Now if the K3 is full frame and K30 takes over the K5/K7 place as the top-end APS-C (unlikely, to be sure), I'd have no problem going with the K30.
There is no FF coming out anytime in the near future and quite possibly never by Ricoh/Pentax; the K5 replacement will be APS-C (Ricoh has noted their full commitment to and the advancement of the 1.5 cropped format) and should be announced in September. (Of course I could be wrong, probability says different though)

QuoteOriginally posted by EstimatedEyes Quote
On the other hand, if the K3 turns out to be a significant improvement in the APS-C line, I would gladly wait a little while for it. Its hard though to imagine what immediate improvements the K3 might provide that would justify it selling for twice the price of the K30 (which is about what I would expect it to list for).
Maybe the things you noted as the negatives will be included plus improved sensor, higher burst rates, faster AF, the ability to add a battery grip (standard for upper end DSLR), better warranty period as standard (like sigma EX warranties for pro grade equipment), firmware that enables and supports full tethering (with tethering software bundled with the K3 package), etc etc etc - I am sure if the srp is twice that of the K30 it will be justified somehow...

K5 or Wait for K3 (or whatever it is named)
07-18-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Funnily in film days i rarely upgraded a body, now i seem to do it too often.
Back then all you had to do was load different film to get an upgraded sensor
07-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Back then all you had to do was load different film to get an upgraded sensor
I know, I just don't have the *snark* smiley LOL

Life was simpler with film in many ways
But not as cheap
07-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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I agree with the others in that the K-5 successor will likely come out in September. I'm thinking APS-C and a nice upgrade from the K-5, seeing what's available in the K-30. The K-5 replacement will surely be well over $1k though. So you pay the new camera price and also have to deal with any first-adopter issues.

(Hopefully nothing as crazy as the T4i skin allergy issues!)

On the flip side, you can still pick up a new K-5 on the cheap (relatively speaking), and under warranty. It's a stellar camera.

Maybe try to test drive a K-5 to see if it satisfies your needs above ISO 800 and go with that if it does.

07-18-2012, 01:25 PM   #9
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I'd say wait for Photokina. If you can wait then you'll have more information to make a fully informed decision. Also, the K-30 may start to drop by then and if it is your choice then you'll pay less. The only downside to this is the K-5 is less likely to be available and the price may have rebounded a bit.
07-18-2012, 01:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The only downside to this is the K-5 is less likely to be available and the price may have rebounded a bit.
You have hit the proverbial nail on the head exactly. :-)

Thanks for all the advice and comments. All else being equal, I don't think a K3 that merely addressed *my* negatives with the K30 will justify the (assumed) price bump from the K30 ... for me its primarily about the IQ and, from the early reviews, the K30 does seem it might have an advantage not only over the K7 but perhaps over the K5 as well, if only slightly.

suspect I will wait til we get closer to Photokina and see what rumours start slipping out, and perhaps the K5 will be an option by then. I would like to pull the trigger before November, as I've got a trip planned to Kyoto then (Unfortunately my travels won't take me through Tokyo on that trip, so buying a replacement on the way probably isn't an option!)
07-18-2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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I'm basically in the same position:I will replace my K-7 in the near future and the K-30 is tempting - enough so that I will be trying one out as soon as my local shop has one in stock (within the next week, they tell me).

But I'm waiting until the K-5's successor is announced to make a decision.
07-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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I am also a K7 user trying to plan an upgrade path. I have decided to wait for K5 replacement as I need the time to save up for it anyway.

Although out of curiosity, I went into Henrys and got to handle one and even put a couple of my own lenses on it to give it a try. I was pretty impressed by the feel of it. The polycarbonate did not feel cheap and plasticky. It also seemed pretty well balanced with my DA* 55mm on it and made me wish that I did not have to make some other key purchases before I am to upgrade my current camera body.

In the off chance that my K7 was stolen, broken or just outright failed being reliable I would not have any reservations of picking up the K30 even if it was just a place holder for the next big thing.
07-18-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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I would love to wait for the K5 replacement, but my suspicion is I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. The K-30 is pushing the limit of what I can spend. Considering you get 99% of the IQ of the K5, I feel the K-30 is the perfect upgrade path for K-r users who can't quite afford that next jump up, people like me.

I'm sure when the K5 replacement is announced, I will be drooling and wishing I could afford one, but reality says it ain't happening.
07-18-2012, 04:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I would love to wait for the K5 replacement, but my suspicion is I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. The K-30 is pushing the limit of what I can spend. Considering you get 99% of the IQ of the K5, I feel the K-30 is the perfect upgrade path for K-r users who can't quite afford that next jump up, people like me.

I'm sure when the K5 replacement is announced, I will be drooling and wishing I could afford one, but reality says it ain't happening.
Well, I own a K-5 and am very interested in the new features on the K-30. It seems like its a great deal, and will only get better in a few months when the price settles. The dealbreaker for me is the lack of a grip (and the 14 bit issue).
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