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09-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
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How sturdy are these cameras?

I started longer ago than I will admit, with a couple of K1000 film cameras. When I decided to invest in digital, one of the main reasons I stuck with Pentax is that both those cameras have had "adventures" over the years -- fell in the sand at the beach, got dropped off a horse, etc. -- and still work fine.
But digital cameras might be a different story, more delicate.
So there I am hiking along the trail at Natural Bridge in Oregon (highly recommend this) and carefully negotiating stones, roots, etc. I get to a flat place in the trail on a ledge high above the churning water and SPLAT I go down on my face. (I am a professional, 24/7/365 award-winning KLUTZ and specialize in tripping over my own shadow).
Well, I bounced around a few times and stopped, luckily before reaching the edge, clutching my k100D. Which also bounced. Naturally I was terrified that I had wrecked it. But amazingly the only casualty was the UV Haze filter on the front, which had several scratches, and the tulip lens hood, which cracked. The camera and lens (carefully and thoroughly cleaned out) have never skipped a beat.
"Takes a lickin' and keeps on clickin'" as a friend said. I wouldn't recommend this camera treatment (kinda hard on my body, too) but if anyone wonders, Pentax still builds sturdy stuff!

09-23-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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I dropped my K10D once while standing up on a mountain. It fell about 3.5 feet and impacted a rock, resulting in just a small scratch (about 1mm) on the bottom, as well as damage to the lens hood. Nothing else broke...so yeah, I'd say they're pretty sturdy! Definitely more sturdy that comparably-priced cameras (i.e. a Canon rebel).

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09-23-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gallopingphotog Quote
Well, I bounced around a few times and stopped, luckily before reaching the edge, clutching my k100D
Thanks for the story

I'm probably a bit older and I was clutching my new pentax spotmatic F while I was on my back in a creek a couple of feet from the vertical drop over a waterfall. camera and I were OK but the incident reinforces my fear of heights. Much later I did need to get the spotmatic F meter fixed from a a couple of further drops. I still have it for the memories.

However some of my digital cameras K-10 through to K5 have taken a lot lot worse and lived to tell the tail. They have had some nasty drops. I felt sick when my K7 went flying out of my camera bag from shoulder height onto the road. Only smashed a $150 filter on my bigma. My flash guns are constantly getting broken like when I was holding two cameras with flash guns and I slipped onto my face going up a gravel slope. (didn't get a photo of the fox). I have ripped off the hot shoe from my my K7 and my wife half killed a K5 by spilling sprite lemonade over it and not cleaning up. Didn't realize what sugar can do.

Just as well I try to be careful.
09-23-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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I don't think the digitals are any more or less fragile than the film cameras.

I dropped my istDS and Sigma 18-50 once, it slipped from the bag I was using and fell from about hip height onto the bitumen I was standing on.

Damage:
Sigma lens hood has a cosmetic scrape
Lens now has some creep in AF (ie: there's about 1-2degrees of play in the focus ring in AF, means AF is often out) (not sure if that's the lens is damaged, or the camera)
Camera popup flash no longer works (no idea about the hot shoe)
A circuit board inside is broken, causing flash issue above.
Camera has a few scratches and scrapes.


The camera still functions fine apart from the minor annoyance of not having a working flash. I tend to use and prefer MF anyway, so the inaccurate AF doesn't bpther me (I never liked the18-50 anyway)



Cameras take a fair bit to kill, even the SP1000 I use is perfectly fine.
It's about 30 years old, I've no idea on it's treatment apart from the fact that it spent a good 10 of those years in a humid garage, with the battery in it still! (no corrosion thankfully.... and I'm still using that battery since it's not flat yet)
The lens has biggish marks on the front element, and it has 2 aperture blades that don't open. And the viewfinder has an odd black/brown horisontal line through it.

But, despite all this it still meters perfectly and takes a pretty good picture (the only issue is that there is always a slightly dark corner in the pics from the dead aperture blades)

09-24-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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Yep, I dropped my K7 as exiting the car recently (I had left the handbrake off and panicked when the car began to roll - oops!). It hit the kerb hard and bounced, the flash popped up but was undamaged. Only damage was a very slight ding on the mode dial.
09-24-2012, 07:44 AM   #6
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I banged my K-5 hard enough to crack the LCD protector screen. It's one of those thicker ones. I should peel it off, but it is a useful conversation starter...
09-24-2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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I had my K20D go over on an improperly set up tripod on a concrete ledge, it hit the ledge and then rolled off onto more concrete several feet below. Smashed in the plastic casing in one corner and put a big crack in the front plastic around the lens mount but a little black RTV fixed the WR and the everything else works perfect (thankfully my A50 F1.4 hit mostly on the rubber grippy part of the focus ring).
The K5 with its metal skin might not have been more than slightly dented.

My Super Program and K1000 I would feel confident throwing at someone without damage.
09-24-2012, 08:48 AM   #8
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I managed to damage my K10D enough to require repair - but I had to slip on an icy rock on a 30 degree slope and land on the camera. There was a small crack leading to the AE-L button. It fouled up some of the innards enough to make me pay for a new top plate.

I've also managed to drop my M 400/5.6 off a tripod. It seems that when one wants to loosen the ball head release lever, one should not instead loosen the quick release plate lever. The lens was still working, but deteriorating. It bent in the middle, which isn't a pretty sight.

Each of the repairs cost me in the vicinity of C$300.

Yep, Pentax stuff is built as well as can be - but not well enough for someone whose middle initial is "K" (for Klutz).

09-24-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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I've managed to break my K20D by way over-tightening a quick release plate. I had to try really hard to do that. The camera still functioned fine but I sent it off for repair anyway. The camera was totally cleaned inside and out so it's better off than if I hadn't broken it in the first place. I dropped a *ist DL once lens down. That cracked the lens hood and scratched the UV filter. My sister is still using the camera years later For those who laugh at UV filters, they can be life savers for we of the klutz persuasion. The lens is fine. Overall, I am very happy with the durability of Pentax cameras.
09-25-2012, 06:32 AM   #10
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While never dropping my K10D hard, it's taken a beating. I also shot with a Pentax film camera that went through incredible abuse and still worked. When I was shopping for my first DSLR a few years ago, one phrase came up about the K10D from several reviews, "Built like a tank". I backpack, kayak, and ride motorcycles with my cameras always along. The one thing I don't have to worry about is whether or not the camera will hold up. The K5 seems to be every bit as sturdy as the K10D so far.
09-25-2012, 06:39 AM   #11
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11 months ago I dropped my K-7, which was inside a thinly padded holster, 3 feet onto a wooden floor landing I guess right on the front e-dial which stopped working. Completely dead.

2 weeks ago, on the same day the K-5 II / IIs was announced, it magically started working again.
09-25-2012, 07:55 AM   #12
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It's afraid you are not in love with it any more.
09-26-2012, 02:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
It's afraid you are not in love with it any more.
She's scared she'll be replaced. At least now I can go back to more easily using Manual mode and wait for the reviews and early adopters to consumer test the K-5 II / IIs
09-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
11 months ago I dropped my K-7, which was inside a thinly padded holster, 3 feet onto a wooden floor landing I guess right on the front e-dial which stopped working. Completely dead.

2 weeks ago, on the same day the K-5 II / IIs was announced, it magically started working again.
Watch out, she could be an reincarnated Christine!.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 09-28-2012 at 06:46 PM.
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