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02-05-2013, 07:38 AM   #1
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Possible upgrade

My parents bought me a K-r last year for Christmas (December 2011). However, being new to the camera world, neither my dad or I knew about the extended warranty programs offered and just how big of a value they were and we didn't purchase one. In July 2012, my K-r presented its first mirror flop issue, under warranty, and sent it out for repair. 3.5 weeks later I had the K-r back and it's been working fine until about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I've noticed that the focusing mechanism isn't quite as accurate as it once was. (I'm posting from work so can't post picture samples at the moment, can update later) I got a Tamron 17-50/2.8 for Christmas 2012, and tested it. Thinking it was a dud, I sent that copy back for a new copy. However, while that lens was under repair I decided to check out my kit lens 18-55 and 55-300 again. Both of these lenses aren't focusing quite as sharply as they should be, either.

Long story short, if I send my K-r in for out-of-warranty repairs to the focusing mechanism and it's going to cost 250+, I'm going to seriously consider just upgrading to the K-30 or K-5 II.

From all of y'alls uses with the K-30, are there any glaring maintenance issues to look out for like the mirror flopping with the K-r? Any other smaller issues that may be worth mentioning? I'm trying to decide between sticking out with my K-r and getting it repaired properly, or cutting my losses and selling it for parts to someone and then putting the funds towards a new K-30 or K-5/K-5II. I work for my school's marketing department and do events on the side. I can't afford for my camera to need repairs so often.

02-05-2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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At this point in the K-r life cycle putting $250+- into it wouldn't be the best use of resources IMHO. The other issue is the step up in specs on the K-30 (or K-5 for that matter) is dramatic over the K-r. I've owned the K-r and the K-5 and the difference is night-and-day. The K-5 is more versatile in some ways than the K-30 but the 30 has focus peaking and will take AAs with an adapter. The K-5 takes a grip (doubling the battery life and holding an SD card for emergencies) plus it is 14-bit. In either case you have already found out about the extended warranty and know that it's a must have with a new Pentax camera.

Adorama has the K-5 body for $744 - http://www.adorama.com/IPXK5.html

B&H has the K-30 body for $626 - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/860656-REG/Pentax_15613_K30_Digital_Camera_Body.html
02-05-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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Exactly my thoughts Doc. Putting 250 into a discontinued body, at this point, would just be silly. I feel bad because my dad dropped some good money buying me this camera body for Christmas in 2011, but unfortunately we caught a bad time and a few months later the K-r was discontinued. I feel like it's a slap in the face to him to just buy a new camera body, but oh well :/ I'll have to see what the quote from CRIS is going to be, and I'll post some shots later tonight comparing before the original mirror flop issue, to just after and then the past week or so.

So the main differences between the K-30 and the original k-5 is:

1. K-30 has new focusing system and AA adapter availability. What exactly is focus peaking?
2. The K-5 has a grip available. I take it the K-30 does not take a grip? What do you mean it is 14-bit?
02-05-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
Exactly my thoughts Doc. Putting 250 into a discontinued body, at this point, would just be silly. I feel bad because my dad dropped some good money buying me this camera body for Christmas in 2011, but unfortunately we caught a bad time and a few months later the K-r was discontinued. I feel like it's a slap in the face to him to just buy a new camera body, but oh well :/ I'll have to see what the quote from CRIS is going to be, and I'll post some shots later tonight comparing before the original mirror flop issue, to just after and then the past week or so.

So the main differences between the K-30 and the original k-5 is:

1. K-30 has new focusing system and AA adapter availability. What exactly is focus peaking?
2. The K-5 has a grip available. I take it the K-30 does not take a grip? What do you mean it is 14-bit?
Focus peaking puts highlights on the LCD where the image is in focus so it makes it easier to manually focus lenses.

14 bit refers to the color depth (essentially) so the 5 has more color depth to play with in RAW images than the 30.

No, the K-30 does not take a grip - its like your K-r in that regard.

02-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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Ah ok got it, thanks. Where do I buy the extended warranty from? I noticed on B&H it has a squaretrade warranty, that is separate from the Pentax warranty, correct?
02-05-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
Ah ok got it, thanks. Where do I buy the extended warranty from? I noticed on B&H it has a squaretrade warranty, that is separate from the Pentax warranty, correct?
B&H and Adorama have them. If you buy from an Authorized Dealer the extended warranty can come from anywhere. You just have to get it within 30 days of the camera purchase.

Pentax 2 Years Extended Warranty for K5 / K30 / K01 / K series DSLR 80227

Pentax Two-Year Extended Warranty for the K5, K5-II, 80227 B&H
02-05-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
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Ah, I see. Great thank you very much! Going to put my camera through some more focus tests and see how it goes. I'll post updates here and let y'all take a look at the pictures too. I'm wondering if maybe I'm just being too picky when looking at the sharpness of the pictures since I get to use my boss's 5D Mk III when shooting weddings.
02-18-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Well after a bit more use of the K-r with my new Tamron, I've discovered that the focusing issue is the normal K-r tungsten lighting issue. I've been able to recreate the issues under tungsten lighting and in low-light conditions, but it gets semi-fixed whenever I set the WB to tungsten. Did a photoshoot outside yesterday and the pictures were mostly all tack-sharp.

05-12-2013, 06:02 AM   #9
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You can extend life of your K-r using the AAs adapter( original or alternative). It works really good with rechargebles AAs, with no flops atall and even more accurate IMO. Try to get 2 packs of 2500mas and above. I use my original lithiums just for emergengy meanwhile I save for stepup Pentax DSLR. Not decidedje , like you, if the K-30 or the K-5II(s).
05-12-2013, 06:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
What do you mean it is 14-bit?
Powers of 2.
8-bit JPEG - 256 levels of luminance for each colour channel
12-bit RAW - 4096 levels
14-bit RAW - 16384 levels

So you see that the jump from 12 to 14 bits is bigger than that from 8 to 12.
05-12-2013, 07:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
Powers of 2.
8-bit JPEG - 256 levels of luminance for each colour channel
12-bit RAW - 4096 levels
14-bit RAW - 16384 levels

So you see that the jump from 12 to 14 bits is bigger than that from 8 to 12.
Bit police alert :- 2 bits difference is always less than 4 bits difference.

I would like to see the proof of the K-5's IQ superiority over the K-30, I have yet to see any even with rescued underexposed RAWs.
05-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
Bit police alert :- 2 bits difference is always less than 4 bits difference
Not true, because the increase is logarithmic. Think about earthquakes. Magnitude 7 is much worse than magnitude 4. But magnitude 9 is a disaster that will reverberate around the world, literally in some cases.

That said, the perceptible difference isn't necessarily that great (you view the image on something limited to 8-bits in most cases). The advantage is in signal-to-noise ratio. 14-bits is significantly more information in the raw file.
05-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
The advantage is in signal-to-noise ratio. 14-bits is significantly more information in the raw file.
I agree 14 bits should be better, but only if there's real data down there in those last 2 bits. I would just like some visible proof i.e. comparison images, that there actually is.
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