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11-06-2015, 06:10 PM   #1
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Focus Peaking -A deal Breaker?

Hi Folks
I am looking at buying a dslr,coming from an ME Super,and various point and shoots over the years.
I have a couple of lenses, "Pentax A series 35-105",and "M series 1.4 50mm"

So I have been looking at K5 vs k50 and wondered if focus peaking should sway me to one or the other.

I would probably use the old lenses for a while until budget allows for af versions.

Any thoughts

Thanks Shawn

11-06-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Focus peaking can be useful but I rarely use it except on a tripod.

If you are used to manual focus you should be able to adapt without problems.

I would consider focus peaking a nice feature to have but not a deal breaker.
11-06-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
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The K5 and K50 are completely different cameras. The K5 was the flagship camera while the K50 is more of an entry level camera. The K50 is also significantly smaller than the K5 and does not accept a battery grip. I own the K50 and a K3. Focus Peaking is definitely a plus and I do use it where focusing can be difficult. Live view and focus peak is great for landscapes. It really depends on what you want out of the camera. I used my K10D for many years and it did not even have live view. With the K5 and a well calibrated split level focusing screen I think you could get just as good results. The K50 is a nice camera and I carry it right along with my K3 but now I am thinking about the K-S2. If I came across a nice K5 I certainly would not turn it down because of the lack of focus peaking. I like the feel of a battery grip too much especially with long lenses, like your 35-105 which is quite heavy on its own.

11-06-2015, 06:39 PM   #4
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I would probably not buy a camera without focus peaking unless it had a split screen. Even so I prefer composing landscapes on live view. I only use it on a tripod because it is only available with live view. I always had trouble focusing manual lenses before I got a K-30 with FP, now I will occasionally even use it on AF lenses. Definitely one of the best developments in the last few years.

11-06-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
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Hi Shawn. Based on my own experience, focus peaking comes into its own with wider angle lenses. I shoot with a K3 and K5 right now. The K5 is my M42 / other adapted lenses camera. I use the O-ME53 magnifying eyecup on both. With lenses wider than 35mm, I find it tricky to manual focus through the viewfinder. With focus peaking on the K3 I can manually focus wider lenses in Live View just fine. That said, I don't enjoy using Live View generally. But for my wider lenses, it works. YMMV.
11-06-2015, 07:08 PM   #6

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The focus peaking 'mask' color is white though.. I think this makes it more difficult to use. At least it was to me. I found just eyeballing worked well in conjunction with Catch-in-Focus.

And it doesn't work in video/movie mode... for reference.
11-06-2015, 07:36 PM   #7
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Focus Peaking is useful but its absence is hardly a deal breaker. There are other ways to assure that you are getting optimal focus. I have both the K-50 and the K-5IIs and while the K-50 is a wonderful product is lacks many of the advanced features of a higher tier body such as the K-5 or K-3. Either one will serve you well but the K-50 is definitely in the entry level category. It would be a mistake to pin your decision entirely on one feature such as focus peaking.
11-06-2015, 08:18 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
The focus peaking 'mask' color is white though.. I think this makes it more difficult to use. At least it was to me. I found just eyeballing worked well in conjunction with Catch-in-Focus.

And it doesn't work in video/movie mode... for reference.
Turn on the highlight alert in your Live View settings. Those white sparkles will suddeny go yellow and red and start flashing since the camera will assume they're blown highlights.

11-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #9
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FP was super helpful when I was still trying to shoot MF, but have since lost enough closeup vision to diabetes, that even that isn't much help for me now. When I was using it, though, it made MF a whole new ballgame for me. Much easier to control my focus point. I don't know what your budget is, but I would pick up a used K-3, and call it a day. The K-50 isn't bad (was my first DSLR), but the K-5 is (like the others have said) a former flagship model -- and you get the best of all worlds with the K-3. If your budget is tighter, and you are picking between the K-50 and K-5, I would go with the K-5. While FP is nice to have, there are too many other advantages with the K-5. Plus, they are so cheap now. Low shutter counts for $300 -- hard to beat.
11-06-2015, 10:27 PM   #10
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For moe it is not a deal breaker, I use it a lot on myQ but not at all on my DSLRs I think you will find the in body focus indicator works just as well, but if you are really into manual focus, get a dual split image focusing screen. They work like a normal split image but move a whole slice in the centre to one side, it makes focusing a snap
11-06-2015, 10:45 PM - 1 Like   #11
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classic battle of tradition vs. technology. i like live view because it represents what the sensor is actually seeing. i like the pentaprism for speed and ergonomics.
11-07-2015, 04:25 AM   #12

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I use it merely for video.
For photo i don't like to use liveview. And when i use liveview, my cam is on a tripod with all the time of the world to zoom in.

Think, as mentioned above, there are more crucial factors that should make your decision...
like trying to put some money apart for lenses
11-07-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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Original Poster
Thanks guys for the great help

I am looking at a used K5 right now.

I will let you know

11-08-2015, 03:32 AM   #14
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I've some questions about the focus peaking on the K3.

• Firstly, is there a way to change te focus peaking color? I find it really hard to see... And since I'm shooting in raw, I could switch the mode to black & white and focus peaking in color.

• Is there a way to increase (/decrease) it's sensitivity? If I use fast lenses, it's not accurate enough. The only way is to zoom, but it's not handy. And by zooming, the focus peaking IS more accurate. This seems to indicate that FP is only performed on the "displayed" image, and not on the full resolution image, which is sad
11-08-2015, 08:06 AM   #15
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I find focus peaking exceptionally useful for finding critical focus when shooting with manual focus lenses. Whilst focus confirmation is undoubtedly very handy when handheld and using the OVF, it's nowhere near as reliable when composing with the point of critical focus off-centre.

Example of when focus peaking was far more appropriate than focus confirmation:


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