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05-18-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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Considering Pentax

Hello, I am fairly new to DSLR photography. I am hoping to become a pentaxian, but have a few questions before I purchase. I had a 35mm Canon rebel back in the 90's but never really got into it because of film processing costs. About a year ago just prior to my son's graduation from high school I decided to ante up and get a good camera. I purchased a Canon T3i. Liked a lot of things about the camera and really got comfortable shooting in full manual but a few things bothered me, such as not as great as I hoped for low light high ISO shooting of events like concert choir, etc. Also the buffer in continuous mode was horrible when shooting RAW. Also the shutter sound was simply too dang loud.

I did a ton of research and keep coming back to a few Pentax cameras that I would really like to get some feedback on from those of you who own or have owned both. I should add that there are no Pentax dealers near where I live so I am relying on reviews and discussion to help me make my decision.

Before listing the cameras I would like to get some clarification on one thing. Some of the complaints about Pentax seems to be around focusing in low light, but then I'll read a review from a later post that seems to suggest issues have been resolved with a firmware update. When responding please keep in mind that I'd like to know how the cameras perform now, with the firmware updates.

So, the two primary camera's are the K-5 and the K-30. I do not care about video performance and I will not be using flash often. I will be doing more low light high ISO. With this in mind can you tell me:
Which camera takes better pics in the ISO 3200-6400 range? I'd be using the 55-300(?) lens the most in this situation.
I know the K-5 has a quieter shutter sound(youtube comparison), but I'm coming from the T3i which is very loud so can anyone give me an idea of the difference.
I shoot mostly RAW, so is one of the cameras better than the other in this area?
Is there a diffidence in LCD resolution?

Lastly if you were going to an indoor concert which of the two cameras would you grab?

I would like to add that if you happen to also own the k-5ll or k-5lls and picture quality was the most important criteria with cost not considered how would you rank all 4 cameras?

I know this is a lot of stuff to ask, but I really want to get the best camera body on the market (for the money) for high ISO low light and worry about lenses later.
I greatly appreciate any advice, and look forward to joining the Pentax community!

Thanks,

Dan

05-18-2013, 09:06 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-5 II / IIs vs. Pentax K-30 vs. Pentax K-01 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

K-30 has better video and an updated AF system, it also includes focus peaking which is great for manual focusing but it does not sound like that is important. K-5II / IIs improved on AF in low light over the k-5. k-5 series is 14bit, k-30 is 12bit so a better performance at high ISO is expected with k-5.

If money is not a prime consideration then get the k-5IIs, except for focus peaking and better video I don't think k-30 has anything that k-5II does not do.

The issues with focusing in low light seem to be highly personal and likely have as much to with photographers skill, actual specific conditions and expectations as they do with the camera. I have never had an issue with my k-5, it always focuses even in light so dim I could not manually focus. Others seem to have issues but there are too many variables to say.
05-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-5 II / IIs vs. Pentax K-30 vs. Pentax K-01 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

K-30 has better video and an updated AF system, it also includes focus peaking which is great for manual focusing but it does not sound like that is important. K-5II / IIs improved on AF in low light over the k-5. k-5 series is 14bit, k-30 is 12bit so a better performance at high ISO is expected with k-5.

If money is not a prime consideration then get the k-5IIs, except for focus peaking and better video I don't think k-30 has anything that k-5II does not do.

The issues with focusing in low light seem to be highly personal and likely have as much to with photographers skill, actual specific conditions and expectations as they do with the camera. I have never had an issue with my k-5, it always focuses even in light so dim I could not manually focus. Others seem to have issues but there are too many variables to say.
Thanks! Good to hear about the focusing not being a problem for you. I would rather have the k-5 because the shutter is so much quieter, but I don't want to have a camera hunting for focus!
05-18-2013, 10:27 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi, since you are looking into the Pentax system, i'd say, tread it "light" and easy, yet get the latest so that you can have a better sense and judgement of the system. Therefore, i would recommend you to get the K30 over the K5.

It's newer, better in AF, very good JPEG output in high ISO(i use mine up till 6400 with no issues) and it is sharper than the K5..
Ultimately, it's cheaper, considering you are paying for an updated technology..

To be honest, i wouldn't commend the K5iiS if you are just starting off. It is also IMO just another stopgap product. If you REALLY don't mind waiting, the next true flagship will be a cross of K30+K5iiS+24mp.
Just sayin'...

05-18-2013, 11:41 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by djam Quote
I purchased a Canon T3i. Liked a lot of things about the camera and really got comfortable shooting in full manual but a few things bothered me, such as not as great as I hoped for low light high ISO shooting of events like concert choir, etc. Also the buffer in continuous mode was horrible when shooting RAW. Also the shutter sound was simply too dang loud.
I recommend the K-5 II for its quiet shutter, deep buffer (21 RAWs), top low-light performance (14-bit) and high-accuracy AF system.

The K-5 II not only fixes the low-light issue the K-5 had, but also introduces an f'/2.8 AF sensor in the centre which allows more precise focusing with faster lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by djam Quote
Lastly if you were going to an indoor concert which of the two cameras would you grab?
Definitely the K-5 II because of its f/2.8 AF sensor.

If I were you, I'd spend the extra for a K-5 II (over the K-5) because both are cameras that will last you a long, long time. The bit of extra cost will disappear when considered over the whole ownership and in particular when considered against lens purchases. A better body will help (almost) all your lenses, so I regard it as a very good investment.

I got a K-5 II myself, recently. I was not tempted by the K-5 IIs in the slightest because you can achieve the same kind of acuity with a K-5 II and appropriate capture sharpening but don't have to worry about false colour. There is a reason why manufacturers build in precision parts (Bayer AA filters) into cameras, thus increasing their production cost.
05-19-2013, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... looks like you're getting some good advice and hope to see some images soon ... J
05-19-2013, 02:18 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Welcome to the forum.

For low light concert type shots your often better switching to manual focus, as often autofocus homes in on what you least expect.

For example the mic stand and not the singers face behind it.
05-28-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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Purchased K-5iis body, now need lens....

Well, thanks again to all of you for your advice! I just purchased the k-5iis! I had a 10% off offer from eBay and I found it listed at BigValue Inc for $984,00 so I ended up getting the body for $888.00. In addition to all your pointers I went to the DPreview site and went over each ISO setting with the k-30, k-5, k-5ii, k-5iis, Nikon d7000, canon t3i (my old camera), Sony A65, and Olympus OM-D-EM5. First of all I have to say how unimpressed I was with the Nikon. I am a serious novice here so perhaps I don't know what a good image is, but the d7000 just seemed "washed out" compared to the Pentaxes. The Olympus just seemed inconsistent over the ISO range. The Sony seemed soft, and the Canon T3i just fell apart at the higher ISO's. The K-5iis seemed sharp and clear. Incidentally the dpreview pics do display moire at lower ISO settings on the coin directly above Mickey Mouses' head. Yes, I was looking very closely at the pics!

I would like to get some advice on what lens to purchase. I am leaning heavily toward the Sigma 18-250mm 3.5-6.3 DC macro hsm for $399.00. I really need something that can zoom in on indoor school events. Is there a better all around lens than this for similar money? Is there a better lens combination that would get me better results? Thanks again for the help!

05-28-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by djam Quote
I would like to get some advice on what lens to purchase.
I suggesting starting a new thread in the lens forum. I'd recommend taking a look at the Pentax 18-135mm lens as well (though with any superzoom lens you don't get much, if anything, out of the s in the Pentax K-5 IIs ).

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05-28-2013, 11:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I suggesting starting a new thread in the lens forum. I'd recommend taking a look at the Pentax 18-135mm lens as well (though with any superzoom lens you don't get much, if anything, out of the s in the Pentax K-5 IIs ).
If OP wants to take mainly in-door photos of chorus events etc, as he wrote in one of his postings, then I'd humbly submit that an overriding criteria would be "fast fast fast lens" - so f/2.8 or better. In the Pentax range, that'd not be the 18-135, but rather the DA*50-135/2.8.

Or, being not a great fan of zooms at all myself, perhaps the 200/2.8 - although in my experience, that's on the long end for most human-sized (i.e., not organized in the Superbowl) events? [I've long cursed Pentax for not making a modern Ltd or DA* 135mm prime - this is the reason...]

I'm not well enough versed in off-brand lenses to know if there's anything to recommend there, though....but I definitely agree with Adam that buying a "superzoom" is not going to do any modern Pentax justice, and likely not going to satisfy the OPs expectations.
05-29-2013, 06:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I suggesting starting a new thread in the lens forum. I'd recommend taking a look at the Pentax 18-135mm lens as well (though with any superzoom lens you don't get much, if anything, out of the s in the Pentax K-5 IIs ).
Okay, thanks.
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