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09-11-2010, 04:55 AM   #1
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Can the K-5 dethrone the D700 ?

D700 IMO is just an amazing package, and for many (including me) the perfect camera in many ways, with almost no major compromises (Very very hard to find such a body). Can the K-5 be that next camera?

We'll never get the VF, dof of FF, or 35mm focal length equivalency, so for those who require this, no APS-C will ever suffice.

K-5 is smaller, better ergonomics, dual cards, higher res., even 1080p video ( got to include this, nowadays). It looks like it will match the iso performance of D700. (I am sure there are many more advantages to the K-5 as well)

Will the AF match the D700 ?, this is the major sticking point. It most likely will not (well, more like, definitely not with 18 points vs 51....but at least better fps, hah ), but Pentax by sticking to APS-C IMO may have come very close to dethroning the gold-standard smaller bodied FF camera for almost half it's price....what an achievement. I am sure Nikon will put the gauntlet down with it's D700 successor, nevertheless....

I guess the answer is 'yes' and 'no' based on personal requirements, but it is still amazing to see how much the APS-C sensor had advanced (Just two years behind FF in many ways, wow!)

What say you all?


Last edited by pcarfan; 09-11-2010 at 05:00 AM.
09-11-2010, 05:24 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
It looks like it will match the iso performance of D700.
Where did you get this? Have you seen actual samples taken at high iso?
09-11-2010, 05:36 AM   #3
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HI Pcarfan,

You also have to mention the nikon CLS as well. That was one thing that got me once I had the D700, flash just worked so easily and everytime.

AF may come close, really the K7 wasnt that far away from the D700 except predictive AF and low low light.

DOF field can be good and bad too. FF makes macros a little harder by narrowing DOF when really I wish it were more, so thats a plus for APSC

Then theres the crop factor, long lenses especially, you get free mm and again thats a plus.

I really hope it will come close, cant wait for some REAL testing.

Cheers Neil
09-11-2010, 05:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote

Will the AF match the D700 ?, this is the major sticking point. It most likely will not (well, more like, definitely not with 18 points vs 51....but at least better fps, hah )
There really is a lot more to an AF system than just the number of points. The important thing is that the system is responsive and that the points are numerous enough and laid out well enough to be able to track moving subjects. My 7D "only" has 19 points but I really do not see it being any worse than the 45 pt system on my 1DsII.

09-11-2010, 06:11 AM   #5
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I will be shocked if the K-5 has the high ISO performance of the D700, since smaller pixels always produce more noise than larger pixels-APSC sensor vs FF sensor.

As for the APSC crop factor (that is all it is, a crop of the image) it does not give you more mm on any lens, just a cropped view of the image.

The detail on my D700 is simply amazing compared to the detail on my K7, the APSC sensor just does not have the detail to compete with the FF sensor, and the K-5 would need to be around 24MP to equal the detail in the D700 12.1MP FF sensor. And then there is the noise with a APSC sensor with that many pixels!

The AF is the main reason I went to the D700, as I could have lived with the APSC sensor in my K7 and K20D, but the AF was simply frustrating with sports and birding.

I truly hope the K-5 does all it is rumored to do, but I will wait until I see actual results before I buy one to replace my D700.

Tom
09-11-2010, 06:37 AM   #6
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I am a pentax fan but I don't think the AF will compete with the D700. Since the K100, at each new generation of pentax, everybody expect an amazing AF when the specs are released and this never happens.

Nevertheless, I am pretty sure every other aspect of this camera will be able to match or exceed our expectations and if I can (money is a big issue there) I will definitely buy the K5
09-11-2010, 06:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
Will the AF match the D700 ?, this is the major sticking point. It most likely will not (well, more like, definitely not with 18 points vs 51....but at least better fps, hah ), but Pentax by sticking to APS-C IMO may have come very close to dethroning the gold-standard smaller bodied FF camera for almost half it's price....what an achievement. I am sure Nikon will put the gauntlet down with it's D700 successor, nevertheless....
I was never a sports shooter so predictive AF never really jumped out at me. However, the zip, click, shoot performance of the D700 is highly addictive. But there are other things I love about the D700 as well. The Viewfinder for one like no other camera I've ever used(including the A900) and the ergonomics have a feel to them that just gives you confidence(yes it's that good). However, my first love was on a Nikon system(D200 then S5 Pro), and so I think it left an imprint on me as to what quality feels like. Still, I think the D700 is a very positive system to hold and work with(and most people I know agree).

Having said that, as a quasi-owner of a D700, if someone asked me if I thought the latest crop sensors could match the D700, then my answer would be yes. I think it's an inevitable future tbh. as we've been seeing crop sensors closing-in on FF equivalents over the past few years. Though I don't think it will stick on the other hand, because I think that whatever advancements are made on one sensor will undoubtably be applied to the other and so on and so forth so it's sort of a moot point to beleive that crop sensors would ever catch-up "or" surpass FF sensors at some point in history.

However, on the issue of the K-r raw files I've seen, "it almost looks" as though it is every bit as good as the D700 in terms of SNR. I can't speak for DR and other sensor attributes such as color depth etc. but on noise alone, this is what I've seen in the K-r file(just as good if not...)

I'd also like to say(sorry to repeat myself), that aprox. 7 months ago, I received an email in part of a conversation with a Pentax Canada service manager who told me that this year, Pentax would bring a camera to the market that would give Nikon FF a run for it's money. And in some strange way, I think the K-r is that system. And though, it could still be the K-5, for some strange reason, I think that system was optimized for speed rather than high ISO and DR. Which is where the K-r will shine.

My very long winded two cents
09-11-2010, 07:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
D700 IMO is just an amazing package, and for many (including me) the perfect camera in many ways, with almost no major compromises (Very very hard to find such a body). Can the K-5 be that next camera?

We'll never get the VF, dof of FF, or 35mm focal length equivalency, so for those who require this, no APS-C will ever suffice.

K-5 is smaller, better ergonomics, dual cards, higher res., even 1080p video ( got to include this, nowadays). It looks like it will match the iso performance of D700. (I am sure there are many more advantages to the K-5 as well)

Will the AF match the D700 ?, this is the major sticking point. It most likely will not (well, more like, definitely not with 18 points vs 51....but at least better fps, hah ), but Pentax by sticking to APS-C IMO may have come very close to dethroning the gold-standard smaller bodied FF camera for almost half it's price....what an achievement. I am sure Nikon will put the gauntlet down with it's D700 successor, nevertheless....

I guess the answer is 'yes' and 'no' based on personal requirements, but it is still amazing to see how much the APS-C sensor had advanced (Just two years behind FF in many ways, wow!)

What say you all?
.

If the new AF module is really an improvement over the K-7 - I mean, a real, noticeable improvement, zippy, accurate response even in low-light - then, yes, it could bump right up against the D700 in some important ways. I have my doubts that Pentax would be able to improve AF that much at once, but if they do...

09-11-2010, 07:45 AM   #9
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Could somebody more intelligent than me explain how to arrange 18 points symmetrically with one point in the middle? I'm really not that bad of a mechanical designer, but i'm puzzled...


That being said, it feels like Pentax is really lost the track of where it's going.... K5 will be what ~1800$CAN for the body up here? That is from a advanced-amateur-oriented brand? WTF??? Unless Pentax is aiming the US market where most "advanced-amateurs" and soccer-moms can afford a D700.... but then again.... a non-FF body at the FF price.... WTF???? on paper it could be the mother of all camera bodies... But in real life - good luck selling a well-equipped Chevy at Mercedes prices...
09-11-2010, 07:49 AM   #10
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I hope so. I know someone who sold his whole new premium pentax equipment (K7, da* 55, da* 18-55, da* 55-135) after he tested the d700 for a weekend. I told him he should sell the body only and wait for the K5. But he didn't.

I also like the FF idea, BUT you won't become a better photographer with a bigger camera. I guess the D700 is amazing, but not amazing enough for me to sell such a great equipment. The da* 55 is already FF, a da* 18-125 which is compatible to FF would be a great next step (for the pentax user).

I wish the day will come, when people compare images, no camera sizes.
09-11-2010, 07:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
It looks like it will match the iso performance of D700.
You're dreaming. Just look at raw numbers like the DXOmark, even the "bad" A900 is much better than the best APS-C. I won't say APS-C cannot improve but they will always have the handicap of having less than 50% of an FF sensor area. But they may improve up to a point where this difference is not much relevant for actual shooting.

For AF, I don't know. Pentax still has a lot to prove in this area so it's a case of wait and see for me. The K-7 was also supposed much improved, and it was, but not enough to really impress. There's one small advantage for APS-C though: AF points cover a larger proportion of the frame.
09-11-2010, 07:53 AM   #12
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The very act of comparing these two cameras doesn't seem quite right to me somehow . . . . .
09-11-2010, 08:01 AM   #13
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The short answer to this question I think is no, it won't quite catch up to the D700 in all around performance, especially in the areas the D700 is praised for. Plus the D700 is due for an update I imagine sooner rather than later. I bet the D800 (or whatever) will probably sell in the high $2,000 range, and the D700's price will eventually drop -- although it has kept its current price surprisingly well.

Then again the K-5 has some advantages that the D700 does not -- better video for example, smaller size (big deal to me), the K-7's super quiet shutter (I hope this is retained), and it will be $500-800 cheaper than the D700 even at release price. Oh, and I can use my Pentax lenses on it, that's a plus.

I've long wanted full frame, but the performance is becoming good enough for APS-C cameras like this and the Canon 7D that full frame may become the realm of specialists just like medium format already was and has been. The fact that they will be able to cram this much performance into a K-7 sized body boggles my mind a little bit, and that's something it may take a few years for full frame cameras to match -- oh happy days when that happens.

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 09-11-2010 at 08:08 AM.
09-11-2010, 08:05 AM   #14
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I tink the short answer is no...

1)Full frame is full frame
2)Nikon has very good lenses with ultrasonic motors. I played with a D200 with 16-85 ? The focus was instant on not so good light, on every subject. Compared to that my K100D (I know an ancient camera ) with the FA50 f/1.4 took maybe 3 seconds to focus.

In the same evening I also played with a D90 with a normal lens (motor driven). The focus was a lot worse than the silent wave one. Somehow faster than mine, but not impressive. So the lens with ultrasonic motor made all the difference.

So the ideea is if the new body has very fast autofocos on par with the competition, what about the SDM ? Will a SDM lens be faster on the K5 ?
09-11-2010, 08:37 AM   #15
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I think Raz makes a valid point about SDM. Even if Pentax makes a great camera, they still will be held back by current SDM performance. I find the rumors about new flashes coming out next year pretty encouraging for this reason, because (if true) it is a sign that Pentax is aware that they need to upgrade their system, not just their camera.
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