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01-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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Looking for a camera - need an input from Pentax users

I would like to buy a camera that would be a good system for low light situations. I have P&S which I like but sometimes I miss my now sold DSLR. I was thinking of getting a body, putting a prime lens on it (f/1.4 or so) and keep that for when I need fast lens. I have read good reviews about K-01 but I am curious if there are any (read: better) alternatives. What I need in the camera is movie mode and ability to accept fast prime lens. No need to have huge lens compatibility as I am not planning on changing lenses. Also, smaller is better which is why I am looking at the K-01. Also, since I have P&S I would like to get body with larger sensor (APS-C).

Any recommendations?

01-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #2
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The K-5 does better stills but has worse video. Hate to recommend another brand but the Nikon D7000 has better stills AND better video compared to the K-01. The reason that the K-5 and D7000 do better than the K-01 overall is that they shoot 14-bit RAW. For most users this won't make that big of a difference, so it really depends on what you're looking for!

P.S. If you're really daring, take a look at the Sony RX-1 also
01-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying Adam.

I am not printing my photos. They are usually viewed on TV or a laptop so honestly, I do not want to deal with RAW and post processing. JPEGs are fine.
01-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
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Then you can't go wrong with the K-01, I'd say! Get the FA 50mm F1.4 with it and you'll be set


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01-10-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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K-01 sounds really good (even more at its current price) but if you are really sure you are not into chaging / getting more lenses than a fast prime (although once you try it, youŽll want more!), you could consider the new P&Ss which have f/1.8 or f/2 at the widest (same speed as lenses for K-01 but much more background and foreground will be in focus at the same f-stop). Canon S95/100/110 are a classic... Olympus, sony, etc have their own too. Also, their sensors are not as small as common P&S

See this coparison:
Roundup: Enthusiast Zoom Compact Cameras: Digital Photography Review

Good luck!
01-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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for the price I would get the k01 asap. the better options like the sony rx-1 comes at a price of 10 times more.
01-10-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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By chance, have you tried video using a DSLR (either your previous DSLR or a borrowed one)? Do you need/want autofocus?

There have been a couple threads here, some quite contentious, about using DSLRs for video. I hate to even bring it up, but you mentioned that as a requirement.

Depending on what you want to capture, a DSLR (or K-01) is not the easiest/best tool to use.
01-10-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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The P&S I have is Nikon P300 which has pretty fast lens f/1.8 but that's only at the wide angle. It goes to f/4.9 at the other end. While f/1.8 is nice, I rarely use it because of the focal length it is available with. I rather have fast 50mm lens on APS-C sensor that will give me nice combination for portrait type shots.

As to the movie mode, it is a requirement but does not have to be perfect. What's not so good about K-01 movie mode?

Thanks for all the replies.

01-11-2013, 09:18 AM   #9
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The K-01 is pretty good compared to most other DSLRs in that it has good/better manual controls. But there is no autofocus during video. Just imagine you are taking still photos and trying to focus manually on moving subjects, while you are simultaneously panning the camera around, all while looking at just a little LCD screen, and you get the idea. After all, one of the major reasons to use a larger sensor is shallow DOF.

The K-01 does have focus peaking, but that turns off automatically as soon as the video clip is started, so it cannot track moving subjects.

You can use the dedicated AF button to autofocus on-command, but it will usually hunt, possibly through the full range of the AF throw. And with screwdrive lenses, the noise will get recorded as well.

You can manually focus of course, and on the K-01 you can easily set a smaller aperture for wider depth of field, even on lenses with no aperture ring. That will affect your low-light performance of course.

Overall, my assessment of the landscape is that you are still better off using a smaller sensor camera, or dedicated video camera, for "casual video" work. By casual video, I'm not just saying junky videos, I mean any normal stuff, were you don't want to use a tripod, or write a script and stage your actors. In this case, the quality of video will be better off with a normal video camera, or something with a smaller sensor where critical focus is much easier to achieve.

I do realize that not everyone wants to carry around a still camera and a video device. I was in your shoes a year ago. What I am saying is that I haven't found a one-product solution yet. It is possible the Sony Alpha cameras offers a good compromise between stills and real, practical video use. Don't get me wrong, I love my K-01, but if I know I am going to shoot video, I bring my video camera along. And it shoots in 1080/60p.
01-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #10
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Hmm? No AF during movie recording may be a deal breaker here. My small P&S does offer focusing during movie but I do not want to carry two cameras.

The new MX-1 looks promising. If I read correctly that "The AV/AE-Lock button sets autofocus in movie mode, and locks exposure in still mode.", it should have AF ability during movie recording.
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