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08-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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K5 vs K30 vs nikon d5200

I'm looking to buy a somewhat better than entry level DSLR and three candidates on my list are the K5, K30 and Nikon d5200. I've read some comments saying that the Nikon isn't in the same class as the K5 but it does seem to have some advantages - more MP, an articulating lcd screen, more autofocus points, better video recording, etc. Any thoughts?

08-31-2013, 02:50 PM   #2
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They are actually in three different classes. Let's just throw out megapixels for a second (it just doesn't make that much of a difference, the sensors are rated about the same otherwise). The K5 will have the best build, by far, have more buttons on the body for easy access of settings and has the option of a grip. Both the K30 and K5 have weather sealing. The K30 probably has a little better auto focus than the K5, has better live view (includes focus peaking and better contrast detect auto focus), and no option for a grip. Both of them feature in body image stabilization, dual control wheels, a significantly better viewfinder than the D5200 (100 percent penta prism) and weather sealing. To me, both of them are probably better tools for still photography than the D5200...

The D5200 pros would be what you mentioned -- articulating screen, more auto focus points and better video.

I probably would pick a K30 of all three, but certainly there would be reasons to choose each one.
08-31-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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Comparing K-5 K-30 and Nikon D5200 is like comparing different kinds of fruit salads and then saying I would love to have a steak.

I absolutely hate it when I ask a question and someone gives me completely unrelated solution. I will however do that in this case.

Nikon D5200 is the best entry level camera / or enthusiasts. It is the best bang for the buck. It is new technology and offers almost the same sensor which was offered by Nikon D7000 (Semi-pro/ enthusiast camera). It has many more focus points and video capability is great. Not to mention the DXOMark review scores show it as THE BEST APSc Camera. Check it out for yourself.

K-30 is a great entry level camera and I cannot comment on that, However there are many detailed reviews available for it. (However you said you don't want an entry level camera).

Pentax K-5 is a great camera but it DOES NOT compete with Nikon D5200. K-5 is now an older technology, its successor is already here. Pentax K-5 II. What you have to keep in mind is value for money. Which system can you fully understand. That you can only decide when you go to a store and pick those cameras up. K-5 is a semi pro, D5200 is an advanced entry level camera. When you pick both the cameras, you will notice the difference. Just the quality and the feel is incredible on the K-5.

Since you are comparing features snapsort has a good answer to that.

Nikon D5200 vs Pentax K-5 - Our Analysis

I would recommend Nikon D5200 for bird photography and action shots + Videos. K-5 does the job but Nikon D5200 would just be better because of its focus points. But every thing else, I mean everything! K-5 is just better. K-5 and D5200 both have 9 cross type focus points.

I bought Pentax K-5 II over Nikon D5200 & Nikon D7100 though. The day I bought both cameras were right in front of me. Picked up my first DSLR. Almost a month now.
08-31-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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The K-30 is less of an entry level camera than the D5200. It has dual control wheels and a much wider range of lenses available. Nikon intentionally crippled the D5200 by leavening out the autofocus screw-drive. The K-30 will meter with any Pentax lens ever made, the D5200 can only use newer Nikon lenses. The K-30 also has in body stabilization meaning lenses are smaller and even primes are stabilized.

The D5200 doesn't come close to comparing to a K-5. The K-5 is an enthusiast camera in the same class as the D7000.

08-31-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by spudpug Quote
I'm looking to buy a somewhat better than entry level DSLR and three candidates on my list are the K5, K30 and Nikon d5200. I've read some comments saying that the Nikon isn't in the same class as the K5 but it does seem to have some advantages - more MP, an articulating lcd screen, more autofocus points, better video recording, etc. Any thoughts?
From an IQ standpoint, the D5200 has an edge with its new 24Mp sensor, but in most other aspects it's just like its predecessor, so I invite you to take a look at this comparative review:
Canon T4i vs Nikon D5100 vs Pentax K-30 - Introduction -

The K-5 isn't an entry-level camera, but it has become very affordable, so you may consider it as an alternative over the K-30/K-50 if you don't care for video/live view.

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08-31-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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Thanks to all of you for your helpful insights. This is valuable information I'll use in deciding.
09-23-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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buy the K-30!


I had an EOS 1000D and wanted to upgrade. The Canon APS-C sensors are the smallest ones (1,6x) and have less dynamic range and color depth - also more noise at higher ISO.
So I looked at other brands. Of course I first had a look at Nikon, because together with Canon they are the most "known".
I considered Sony also, because I learned that they build some great sensors, but the "light stealing" SLT system didn't convince me.

Then I came to know the Pentax K-30 - love at first sight. I like the design and the features are top.
The sensor is superb (Sony) and excellently refined by Pentax. It has low noise at high ISO compared to competitors, great color depth and dynamic range.
It has an AF motor (Nikon 5200 has not), 100% viewfinder (Pentaprism), 6 fps, etc.etc.
The K-30 saves raw images in DNG format, big plus. It also has the "pixel-mapping" feature and the great Autofocus finetuning feature, so you can correct a front / backfocus!

I considered to buy the Nikon 5200, but only before I knew about the existence of the K-30 - thereafter I was entranced by it.
A Youtube K-30 review-video by "TheCameraStoreTv" confirmed my decision and I bought the K-30 (with 18-55 AL WR).

I don't know what Nikon offers as kit-lens, but the "SMC DA 18-55 AL WR" is really very good for being a kit-lens.

Lastly I have to link to a comparison video between the Nikon 5200 and the Pentax K-30.
I don't know how careful the guy in the video did the test and maybe he's biased, but I know which image looks better...(K-30)



Last edited by Bernie_Rain; 09-23-2013 at 11:01 AM.
09-28-2013, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by spudpug Quote
I'm looking to buy a somewhat better than entry level DSLR and three candidates on my list are the K5, K30 and Nikon d5200. I've read some comments saying that the Nikon isn't in the same class as the K5 but it does seem to have some advantages - more MP, an articulating lcd screen, more autofocus points, better video recording, etc. Any thoughts?
Image quality of the K-5 and the K-30 are far better than the D5200. The K-5 is probably the closest you will get to "film quality" in a digital camera, and everything else just looks digital next to it. The K-5's image quality is up there with the $7000 full frames, but naturally not as good in low light being a crop sensor. What good is 24 mega pixels if the camera's processing software cannot render properly, this will also be seen in video. The D5200 does have up to 60fps, and to me this is the only really and tangible advantage the D5200 has over the K-30's 30fps or K-5's 25fps. But its not worth sacrificing image quality over video fps because you buy an SLR for the pictures 1st, the video capability is just a bonus. Video is a beast in itself and is far better performed on a tripod using manual focus, because the design of an SLR is not conducive for handheld video as opposed to a camcorder. As for an articulated screen, they come in handy from time to time but you can get by without one. Most pro cameras don't have articulated screens and pro's get by no problem.

Having more pixels is nice, but you will find that the K-30 has a very light anti-aliasing filter as can be seen when comparing "Still life at ISO 100" at "Imaging Resources" (you need to click on the image to view it properly). That D5200 image is blurrier than the K-30 and will negate some of those pixels. Plus if you take a look at the right of the image you will see a white wheel called "Proportional Scale". This wheel looks whiter with the Pentax cameras, and is very beige with the D5200. This means that the baseline white balance is wrong on the D5200, and by a long shot. They do this to make your images look more warmer, and in turn your colors will be untrue, and using your D5200 under artificial light will be even worse.

What ever rating the "supposed" independent online reviewers give, you need to add 5 extra points for Pentax's sensor stabilization, because it works better. Plus a further 5 points because you can use wide angle and prime lenses with stabilization. If you get a D5200 you need to switch the VR off when you're not shooting otherwise it remains on and wares out quickly, which can be fiddly. With Pentax, Sensor stabilization turns on and off automatically when you aren't shooting.

If you compare Pentax and Nikon lenses we all know that Nikon has a larger range, but nobody will literally buy the entire range, just a few lenses from diferent categories. What Pentax has in spades is high quality primes, Nikons primes are generally well behind in sharpness and quality, thats because Nikon are more about VR zooms (Compare them at 10mp vs 10mp).

Regarding focus points, 39 vs 11, more is better, but it is unlikely that you will use all of them in either camera, unless you are shooting sports. For that the Nikon will be better, but judging from all the internet chatter about "How to use 39 points" there seems to be a lot of confusion and difficulty for sports because the technology is not perfect. Sport photography is a whole other story with a high degree of difficulty. Like me, you will probably be using a single focus point for almost 100% of the time, because its too fiddly using multiple focus points.

In a nutshell, Pentax cameras are more of a fine art range of cameras and lenses and you shouldn't have trouble using them for sports. Nikon and Canon are more sports, wedding and journalist oriented camera manufacturers and are very successful. Sony went off on a different tangent and rewrote the concept of the traditional SLR and gave it a modern twist and they were successful.

Pentax - Fine art
Nikon - sports and weddings
Canon - sports and weddings
Sony - high tech.

Last edited by zoolander; 09-28-2013 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Adding hyperlinks

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