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12-18-2010, 06:11 AM   #1
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French Magazine "Réponses Photo" 2011 Gear Guide - Pentax very well positioned

I went through the 2011 Gear Guide of the french magazine "Réponses Photo".

Pentax is really well regarded this year. Traditionally a footnote behind Sony, Nikon and Canon, this year it seems like it took over Sony's place in third for DSLR articles.

All three cameras reviewed in detail (K-5, K-r and 645D), with comparison matches against Nikon and Canon. All three received 85%, which gives them the "Top Achat" ("Top Buys") category.

The K-5 verdict:

The K-5 (85%) fared well in the Advanced Enthusiast, Expert category: The head-to-dead match against the D7000 (86%) and 60D (82%). the D7000 winning by a slim margin; because of the extra AF points, better image quality in auto-mode, AF in video, AF points, better focusing screen, and mostly the Nikon kit zoom (18-105) being of better quality than the Kit 18-55 on the K-5.
They really hate the 18-55. They find it to be unbecoming on a camera of this class.

However, the K-5 did score higher points on build quality, handling, customization, reaction and image quality once you shoot in RAW and like to take control of your camera's output. They suggest dumping the 18-55 in favor of the 17-70 F4 as quickly as possible to get the full capability of the camera.

If it weren't for that kit zoom and video mode, it would win.

The D60 was a bit disappointing. In the final conclusion, they talk about it much less, saying it's great for a very hands-off beginner.

The K-r verdict:

The K-r did great in the Beginner head-to-head match-up against the Nikon D3100. Winning by a wide margin (85% against 82% for the D3100).
The D3100 did outmatch the K-r in out-of-the-box image quality and video mode, but losing in everything else.
Once again, the Pentax 18-55 kit lens was a let-down. I quote the final sentence of the review: "Ahhh If only the K-r came with a better kit lens!"

The 645D verdict:

Incredible scoring on everything except two points, where the score of 6/10 (reaction) and 4/10 (lens selection) really hurt.

In their conclusion, if Pentax beefs up the lens selection (There's only a single lens right now. Backward compatibility is great, but the old lenses aren't optimized for the digital age), if Pentax can deploy service support network and if they can make it a faster camera to use (it's extremely slow to do anything), it will destroy the competition.

No matchup, as they consider the 645D to be the only player in its price category. I quote: "For that price, you won't find better." and another "Is it twice as better as Pro Full-Frame DSLRs? I can't say. It's on it's own out there. It is in a dimension completely beyond Full Frame."

My own point of view:
I think this is very good for Pentax. The only DSLR category Pentax isn't present in is the Pro Full-Frame. But then again, there's the 645D flying high above that.
Sure, there was a lot of Sony and Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung in other categories (Evil, Compacts, Bridges), but they were very discreet in the DSLR categories.
Anyone reading this magazine will see Pentax as a very active, quality competitor coming back to the Forefront of photography...and giving a run for their money to the Nikons and Canons.

Last edited by Flickeroo; 12-18-2010 at 07:19 AM.
12-18-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Yes, I think Pentaxes Time Has Come !!!

I think we will start to see more and more advertising and more folks switching.

Pentax has always been" the little camera that could". I think Pentax now is starting to make their move.

The K20D was good, the K-7 was a letdown (sensor wise) ... but since then they have stepped it up big time.

The K-5 and the 645D are major players. I would personally like to see Pentax stay state of the art on APS-C sensor cameras (both DSLR and EVIL). A couple of new lenses for the K mount. (high quality stuff in the wide angle, along with a much better kit lens (an option, maybe the 18-135 is it). I think it is in Pentax's best interest to forget about the FF, as the medium format at a reasonable price would KILL any FF out there.

I would love to see them improve on the medium format, to take a huge market share from Mamiya and Hassy. They could do it with within 2011. Two or three more lenses for the 645 would push them in the for front I believe !


12-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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That's nice line-up for Pentax.

In my post to dear pentax My request is a faster CPU, the current PRIME II isn't fast enough anymore. Not for burst shooting with K-5 and not for the big files of the 645D.
12-18-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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Return to the obvious - Extremely slow?

if put up against machine gun dslrs of smaller sensor types - that's a really lame way to write a review.

Compared to other digital MF cameras, it's par for the course. this beaut never was intended for sports shooting obviously, but more than a few seem not to get the obvious.

12-18-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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Good report, and quite expected for the K-5. If the 18-135 WR was the K-5's kit lens, then it would have definitely been a better contender. Interesting they included the D700 in the comparison. Well I suppose there was no other category it would fit in (not pro, and not entry-level).

Ron, you're right. PRIME II was great for the K10D, OK for the K20D, not the best for the K-7 (should have been upgraded then) and now inadequate for the K-5. That's a #1 priority IMO for the next flagship model.
12-18-2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by solar1 Quote
if put up against machine gun dslrs of smaller sensor types - that's a really lame way to write a review.

Compared to other digital MF cameras, it's par for the course. this beaut never was intended for sports shooting obviously, but more than a few seem not to get the obvious.
I believe they were comparing it to the Mamiyas, the Hasselblads and Phase Ones of the world. Especially the 9 seconds before visualisation of the image, lack of firewire, etc.

They did mention that that the 1 image per second was average and very satisfactory for this type of camera.

He also said he didn't want to leave it alone for the 48 hours he had it with him, and was very sad to let it go!
01-04-2011, 02:22 AM   #7
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One of the two french magazines is pro-nikon, the otherone is pro-canon.
That's why I don't buy a magazine since long.
They are always late with the news and depend on advertising, so are also their tests...
I remember Réponse Photo saying that the K-7 is a really good camera in the issue where they tested it and six month later saying it is a disappointing camera...
They know nothing about Pentax and they aren't interested in. Only when Pentax is paying ads.
01-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flickeroo Quote
They really hate the 18-55. They find it to be unbecoming on a camera of this class.
This is true. I don't know why pentax doesn't offer kits with better lenses... maybe a K-5 & DA* 16-50 kit for $2000.

01-04-2011, 09:13 AM   #9
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there is a k5 kit with the 18-135 pending in Canada as far as i am aware. I think the idea of a 16-45 as the kit lens is a better idea though as it allows it to maintain a lower price (I really think it could easily be a 1799 kit given the price on the body will likely fall to 1399 before long, 1899 at the outside. however the 18-135 makes sense with the WR and I thought it was going to be about 1999 as a kit (can't remember where that came up though)

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