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01-11-2017, 01:56 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Any Regrets After Switching from Canon to K-1?

Good Afternoon.

I'm a brand-new member (joined this morning). I joined because I'm considering getting a K-1 and figured this forum is a great way to learn more about this camera. Everything I read about it so far makes me think it's perfect for me. However, there is a problem: I've been a Canon shooter since the late 70s, upgraded cameras and added lenses (some really nice ones) over the years. I'm pretty heavily invested in Canon, so to speak. Whenever I upgraded cameras, I never even looked at other brands because it just made no sense, what with me already having all these great Canon lenses, right?

My current camera is the Canon 7D. While outdated, it's still a great camera. But when hauling it (and several lenses) on vacation became too cumbersome, I added a Sony bridge camera as well as the tiny RX100m4, the two became my travel gear.
However, after almost 40 years of shooting, I've decided I want a FF camera, if only to see what I've been missing all these years. I want to get one soon, before retirement, as I may not be able to afford it when retired.

I was looking at the 6D, but it's too outdated. There are rumors of a 6Dm2 sometime this year, so that could be one option. I always dreamed of owning a 5D, but never could afford it, until now. I was about to order the 5Dm4 but, given its huge price, decided to do something I haven't done before: research FF cameras, any brand, to make sure I'm getting the best camera for my money and needs. I've never spent $3,500 on a camera before. Well, I've never spent $3,500 on anything smaller than a car, so I wanted to make sure I'm getting the best bang for my buck.

I looked at Nikon, but none struck me as being better than the 5Dm4. Since owning two Sonys, I also checked Sony FFs. There's one in the same price-range and the good thing about Sony would be that I could use my Canon lenses (with adapter), so that's on my short list for now, though I'm not sure I really want to go the adapter-route.

Long story short, throughout my search, research, reading reviews, watching video clips on YouTube, etc., the one camera that also kept popping up was the Pentax K-1. Always heard Pentax made great cameras, but I thought Pentax was out of business, probably because I never see them in camera stores.

The K-1 sounds almost perfect for me. It has almost everything I want. The only downside, it's not considered a great sports camera (I enjoy shooting Indy and NASCAR races), but I decided to keep my 7D which is great for that. I'm not much of a videographer, so learning that the K-1 isn't the best for videos is of no concern to me. If I do need video, I'll bring my Sony or use my iPhone.

My favorite subjects to photograph are landscape, wildlife, macros, and pets. While I don't really like shooting people, my family often expects me to be the photographer at events. From all I've read, the K-1 should be able to handle all of these things very well. So should I switch brands and start over with Pentax? I am torn because the financial-planner part of my brain says NO. But then I look at the price tag and realize that for the price of a 5Dm4, I could buy the K-1 and a good lens to go with it (trying to forget that I may want to add more lenses later, which is what my financial-planner in me doesn't like).

So if anyone in this forum reads this and can relate or has made the switch from another system to Pentax, please share your thoughts. If you've switched from Canon FF to Pentax, are you totally happy with your decision? Finally, if I do get the K-1, what would be the best all-around lens(es) (I'm a pixel-peeper) I should get for my purposes, considering it'll likely be my only K-1 lens(es) for a long time. Total price not to exceed $3,500. Thank you all!

01-11-2017, 02:16 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome to the forums.
01-11-2017, 02:48 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Back in the 80s/90s I shot, for the most part, with Pentax medium format film systems and large format film. Canon A2e and Elans were my 35mm 'walk around' systems. When digital began to make serious inroads into the film market in the early 2000s, I remained uncomfortable investing in expensive digital bodies and got my feet wet with Canon Rebels, working up to a 40D, then a 5DmkII. I still missed the quality of medium and large format film and when Pentax introduced the 645D, I didn't hesitate to jump back to Pentax with the 645D and a K5 as backup. The 645D was eventually replaced with the 645Z and subsequently the K3 and now the K1 as backup. I don't miss the Canon system at all, particularly when comparing Canon sensor performance against the SONY sensors in Pentax cameras. If I shot action or sports then I'd probably still be with Canon, but my interests are travel, landscape, cityscape work and there is no problem whatsoever using Pentax for those shooting purposes.

As for lenses, if I had to limit my choices to two new lenses for the K1, they would be the 28-105 and the 60-250F4. Although the 60-250 is rated as I recall as an APSc lens, it covers full frame with no issues to well past 200mm. The image quality hangs right with the Canon 70-200F4 (one of Canon's sharpest zooms) as does AF speed. The 28-105 is affordable but can yield gallery quality results, especially in the pixel shift mode.

No regrets here about moving back to Pentax.
01-11-2017, 02:52 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Welcome to the forums. According to the forums website there have been 3,754,247 posts over the past +/- 10 years. Chances are your questions have been answered in detail. The forums have an excellent search feature. You should be able to find out all you want to know via search. There are sections on cameras, on lenses, on technique, etc. I have been using Pentax equipment since 1966 without any regrets. Good luck.

01-11-2017, 02:56 PM - 4 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Karmaya Quote
My favorite subjects to photograph are landscape, wildlife, macros, and pets. While I don't really like shooting people, my family often expects me to be the photographer at events. From all I've read, the K-1 should be able to handle all of these things very well.
Welcome!

I've worked with a lot of Canon shooters, but I've never been an owner myself. Reading over your post, I'd say that Pentax's strengths will lend themselves better to your cause than Canon's.

Landscapes: Pentax excels at this. Shoot in raw and you can pull incredible things out of your photos. The new D-FA lenses use 'HD' coating, which controls flaring very well, but reduces starbursts, so if those are important to you, I'd recommend looking at the FA Limited glass. They also handle very well, despite being "legacy glass" and all that naff, haha. These are both from the D-FA* 70-200mm.





The astrotracer is definitely not a gimmick:



Wildlife: I haven't had much of a chance to shoot wildlife, but I will say that 36 megapixels offers quite a bit of cropping power, and I've had some good experiences with tracking autofocus. Also from the D-FA* 70-200mm.



Macros: The D-FA 100mm Macro WR is affordable and just great for this purpose.





Pets: I've actually noticed my pet photography improve significantly with my acquistion of the K-1. The low-light capability and dynamic range let me pull usable shots of my black cat, Squeaker, when usually I had just given up on taking photos of him without off-camera flash.



Improved AF also definitely helps.



01-11-2017, 02:58 PM - 3 Likes   #6
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I used to have a 6D and a bunch of Canon lenses.
What I missed most about my experience with Canon are:
1) the 135mm f2.0L (no Pentax equivalent to that lens, it has a lot of "pixie dust" and is very quick focusing)
2) the 35mm f2.0 IS which has excellent IQ wide open, is stabilized and is silent
3) the number of ttl flash options.

The IQ of the 6D is also stellar. Yes the K-1 is better...but in real life prints, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

What I like better about Pentax:
1) Build quality of K-1 is much better
2) The tilting screen is very handy for weird angle shots
3) focus peaking (however you can get focus peaking with the magic lantern "hacks")
4) FA limiteds and FA* lenses (I am biased to the FA* 85mm)
5) The DFA 100mm WR is one of those unique lenses you wont find anywhere else due to its size and price is stellar
01-11-2017, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I used to be a Canon FF (film) and HF shooter. The only thing I sometimes miss from Canon era is their SLR gear ergonomics. Their cameras just fit in your hand so perfectly, that it felt as if they were totally integrated. But I have no regrets in regards of lens. Plus Pentax compensates for "lesser" ergonomics (lesser ergonomics is my subjective opinion) by offering better price, in-body stabilisation and bigger number of creative tools (TAv/Sv, astrotracer). Be warned though, with Pentax entering the DFF game, demand for Pentax gear will surely be on the rise, which will in result affect prices, making in time Pentax less affordable
01-11-2017, 03:04 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I have no doubt that you'd enjoy the K-1 and all it has to offer over the 5DIV...... so I won't dwell on that.... it's well documented and you seem to be a realist regarding your lenses. A few things pop into my mind..... firstly, the K-1 is quite competent for things like sports and wildlife..... and I find myself using quite a bit.... but I'm not a pro having to get a magazine cover to pay my rent..... secondly..... when retired you may enjoy getting involved in playing with old legacy lenses.... they can be cheap and rewarding to shoot with..... something the K-1 brings to the table.... however .... with regard to the finances.... I'd expect you to sink quite a bit of money into lenses in the first few years.... a bit like dog ownership.... the cheapest part is the original purchase.... not a lot of point going FF if you don't have the lenses to exploit it.

01-11-2017, 03:05 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Hi Karmaya & welcome,


I recently switched from the Canon 5dii to the K-1 and there have been both positives and negatives to the switch -- the K-1 is absolutely fabulous for landscapes which is my primary use for it. It is also extremely well built and weather resistant which is important for landscape work in inclement weather. I also love backyard photography -- birds, butterflies, etc. & pets in action (a couple of border collies I'm trying to get action shots of) and for this second purpose the K-1 isn't so great. I am working hard to improve my skills and I'm sure much of the action misses is user error on my part but having said that I also used the Canon 5dii for these kinds of shots and on the whole I would say that the AF on the K-1 isn't much of an improvement. The other negative I find is the lack of modern lenses, both Pentax and third party. Although there are a lot of legacy lenses that can be used with the Pentax it's not the same as having modern lenses easily available and if you find yourself needing one of the tilt/shift lenses, 150 to 200 macros, or high quality, lighter F4 line of zooms you may find yourself out of luck.


My favorite lenses so far for the K-1 is the dfa 70-200mm zoom, the 100mm macro, and the manual Zeiss zk 25mm.
01-11-2017, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #10
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An example of a "sports" photo with the K-1 and HD FA 150-450mm lens (not my image):



Another "sports" photo... just sayin' the reports of the K-1 being "deceased" as far as sports are concerned may be premature!




Search for images by Camera (top menu) and Lens (right side menu) here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/samplesearch.php#sstop
01-11-2017, 03:24 PM - 1 Like   #11
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A few things to consider:
1) Is your current glass OK on a FF camera? Or will you need to buy new Canon glass anyway.
2) Camera ergonomics are more important to me than pixel peeping image quality. Most cameras these days are far exceeding the ability of the photographer anyway. So consider what the button placement, menu organization and so on are and how will a change affect you. I pick up a Canon or a Nikon occasionally and am always appalled at the horrible interface compared to Pentax. But that is because I am used to Pentax, you might feel the opposite. So if you can, try a Pentax out to be sure it 'fits' your hand
3) The K-1 is not really a sports camera, but of course that depends on the sport. For landscape and general field work it holds it's own with anything out there in it's category.
4) For lenses the DFA 28-105 is hard to beat for image quality but might be slow for some. For landscape that is not going to matter much. The faster alternative is the DFA 24-70 f/2.8 which is excellent and might be all you need.
01-11-2017, 03:28 PM - 1 Like   #12
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OK, people are going to start posting sports images and such with their K-1.
As someone that has owned both systems, YES you can do sports with the K-1...but it is much easier with Canon's system.

It would be like someone posting beautiful landscapes with a Canon.
Sure it can be done and people do it all the time, but that does not mean that it is a better landscape camera than the K-1.
01-11-2017, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #13
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IF you're curious about the K-1, why not rent one, and a lens or two? I have rented a K-1 several times since it was released, and I become more impressed each time. I own many Pentax lenses already so I only rent the body.

One day, I might have the money to spare to purchase my own, but since my schedule only allows me to concentrate on shooting for limited periods, renting is the best choice for now.
01-11-2017, 03:31 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
The new D-FA lenses use 'HD' coating, which controls flaring very well, but reduces starbursts, so if those are important to you, I'd recommend looking at the FA Limited glass.
Last I checked, the HD coating had nothing to do with it. Rather, it was the rounded aperture blades they're using on the HD lenses that hurt the starbursts.


Though usually it's the DA Limiteds that I see people discussing for starburst purposes; I don't know if any of the FA Limiteds are particularly known for that. My FA 43 made 8-point stars, nothing special.
01-11-2017, 03:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scintilla Quote
Last I checked, the HD coating had nothing to do with it. Rather, it was the rounded aperture blades they're using on the HD lenses that hurt the starbursts.


Though usually it's the DA Limiteds that I see people discussing for starburst purposes; I don't know if any of the FA Limiteds are particularly known for that. My FA 43 made 8-point stars, nothing special.
Did they round the aperture blades for the HD 15mm Limited? That had reduced starbursts as compared to the SMC version.
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