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01-17-2011, 03:21 AM   #1
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K-5 vs K-r (autofocus and tracking objects)

Hello,
one of main areas of my interest in photography is aviation, especially aerobatics (some examples on my website: CIAF 2010, Malopolski Air Show 2010, Radom Air Show 2009) and I feel that my current body (K-x) limits me in this area. Number of FPS is ok but AF is not good enough (not fast enough during objects tracking in AF.C mode).

I use Sigma 100-300 f/4, which is one of the fastest af lenses, so I am pretty sure that K-x is the problem.

That's why I want to upgrade to one of newest Pentax bodies.

Has anyone compared AF in K-r and K-5? On paper they have exactly the same system inside (K-5 has only additional colour-sensitive sensor which does not matter for me).
Is tracking (AF.C) faster in K-5 than in K-r or it is comparable?

I know that the best idea is to go for K-5, but I would rather go for something cheaper (K-r) and buy something else (lenses, maybe some TC).

There are many topics comparing K-5 and K-r but I didn't find answer for mentioned above question so far.

I know all other differences between K-5 and K-r (viewfinder, controls, dials, better dynamic range, more fps, bigger buffor etc.) and actually they are NOT important for me.

BTW, I know that for this kind of photography I should buy Canon 50D + 100-400L but it is a little beyond my budget right now :-)

01-17-2011, 04:21 AM   #2
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I had a similar quandary.. the thing is the K-5 is quite expensive ($1400). You can get a used Canon 40D + new 200mm f/2.8L for the same price. The 40D may not be as advanced as 50D/60D/7D but it still has pretty decent AF. Don't go down to a 30D though..
02-17-2011, 10:30 PM   #3
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I am curious as well. Anyone?
02-18-2011, 12:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I am curious as well. Anyone?
Well, I asked the same question on "another Pentax forum" and one of the users reported that "K5 appears to be slightly faster AF tracking" and another that "there is no difference in the AF-C capability of both cameras".

Everything seems that difference between K-5 and K-r - if there is any - is so small that it's not worth extra price. It's better to buy some lens instead

02-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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Canon's loyalty program has the 50d available for around $719, just need to trade in any broken Canon camera.

I like Pentax, but for what you're shooting feel the other team (canikon) offers the better deal.

[note this is not a call for anyone and everyone that has ever taken an in focus AIF (anything in flight) shot with a Pentax to post it to prove that Pentax excels with it's AF. I'm not saying Pentax is bad at AF, just that others are typically a bit better]

P.S. Tomasz, you've got some really nice photos. I really like the landscape galleries.
02-18-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RyanW Quote
Canon's loyalty program has the 50d available for around $719, just need to trade in any broken Canon camera.

I like Pentax, but for what you're shooting feel the other team (canikon) offers the better deal.

[note this is not a call for anyone and everyone that has ever taken an in focus AIF (anything in flight) shot with a Pentax to post it to prove that Pentax excels with it's AF. I'm not saying Pentax is bad at AF, just that others are typically a bit better]
Well, few months ago I almost switched to Nikon because of that, but.... I just played a little with D5000 and AF was impressing but handling and external controls are a lot worse than my Pentax K-x. It just doesn't fit to my hand (shape of grip is completely different than Pentax). It seems that something like Canon 550D would be better but I didn't have chance to play with it.

I do not want to have anything bigger/heavier because of my hikes.

Another idea is to keep my Pentax for hikes and buy C or N just for airshows but I do not have so big budget :-)

I will giv to Pentax another chance this year. I am going to attend 3 really big airshows this year and we will see...

QuoteOriginally posted by RyanW Quote
P.S. Tomasz, you've got some really nice photos. I really like the landscape galleries.
Thanks!
02-18-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
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Tomasz, I hear you on the D5000. I'm using my wife's D5000 now as my camera. It's an alright camera, but no in body focus motor and the body ergonomics don't thrill me. Not enamored with the D7000 because of ergonomics, though gripped it might be quite nice, I haven't been able to see what one gripped feels like. I tend to like the Pentax and Canon colors better. I mostly shoot jpg, so having decent looking photos out of the camera are important.

I'm saving up, haven't decided what for. Really wanted a K-5 and may get one. Gonna give Pentax a bit more time to sort things out. I don't want to do the buy and return shuffle as some have done. My other lines of thinking are full frame Canon or Nikon or if a cheaper crop, a K7 or 50D and a more glass. Saving and waiting. I lurk here and on the Canon forum as they seem (usually) a more friendly forum with some good knowledgeable shooters. I do own a Pentax point and shoot
02-21-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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Can't really help with your decision as I a) am not experienced with AF lenses; and b) don't have a K-r or K-5.

What I wanted to say is that I too share your opinion on ergonomics of our little K-x. It feels great to operate.

Had a look at your gallery - some beautiful shots in there! If you're ever in the US again, drop me a line!

Cześć!

02-22-2011, 12:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voytech Quote
What I wanted to say is that I too share your opinion on ergonomics of our little K-x. It feels great to operate.

Had a look at your gallery - some beautiful shots in there! If you're ever in the US again, drop me a line!

Cześć!
It is so easy to change settings like ISO or drive mode in K-x in spite of not so many external controls. When I played with D5000 changing these settings was real pain in the ass

That's why I do not want anything more "advanced" like K-5. I will give K-r a try and I hope it will work well during new season of airshows... if not, then again I will start thinking about something like C 100-400 L and 50D... let's wait until September when two big airshows are taking place - I will let you know results for sure
02-24-2011, 07:03 PM   #10
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I shoot stock cars at dirt tracks and have similar requirements. I've faced that same dilemma several times over that past few years, and I always ended up staying with Pentax. This time however, the introduction of the K5 and the promise of closing the gap with Nikon regarding both focusing speed / accuracy and low light performance (focusing), the opening price of the K5 in the neighborhood of $1500 caused me to re-think my allegiance to Pentax. My thoughts were that if I was to invest that much money on Pentax with Nikon also due for replacements to their D300 and D700 lines I would once again be a generation behind them shortly. For less money than the K5 would have cost me, I decided to buy into the Nikon system with a used D300 and a few lenses to get me going. I was also able to pick up an SB600 flash, all for less than the cost of the K5 body only.

I do believe that I gave the Pentax system plenty of time to catch up investing thousands of dollars owning and having shot with a 1st, K100D, K20 and a Kx taking tens of thousands of images and published regularly in enthusiast magazines and trade papers. I finally realized that my requirements do not fall into the category of shooting that Pentax is targeting.

It became very frustrating when somebody would show up with a nine year old Nikon D100 with a kit lens and get a higher percentage of keepers due to focus issues than I was able to attain with any of my Pentax cameras. Although I have never been one to blindly follow the masses, there is a reason why Nikon has such an overwhelming presence in the infields of race tracks and other sports venues across the country, now I'm one of them. I intend to still use the Pentax at times, victory lane shots etc, but after my next upgrade they will probably be relegated to the closet.

I'm not turning this into a Pentax vs brand X debate and readily admit that Pentax offers a lot of bang for the buck, but must concede that they simply do not meet my requirements.

FRANK
02-24-2011, 08:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by FWW56 Quote
I shoot stock cars at dirt tracks and have similar requirements. I've faced that same dilemma several times over that past few years, and I always ended up staying with Pentax. This time however, the introduction of the K5 and the promise of closing the gap with Nikon regarding both focusing speed / accuracy and low light performance (focusing), the opening price of the K5 in the neighborhood of $1500 caused me to re-think my allegiance to Pentax. My thoughts were that if I was to invest that much money on Pentax with Nikon also due for replacements to their D300 and D700 lines I would once again be a generation behind them shortly. For less money than the K5 would have cost me, I decided to buy into the Nikon system with a used D300 and a few lenses to get me going. I was also able to pick up an SB600 flash, all for less than the cost of the K5 body only.

I do believe that I gave the Pentax system plenty of time to catch up investing thousands of dollars owning and having shot with a 1st, K100D, K20 and a Kx taking tens of thousands of images and published regularly in enthusiast magazines and trade papers. I finally realized that my requirements do not fall into the category of shooting that Pentax is targeting.

It became very frustrating when somebody would show up with a nine year old Nikon D100 with a kit lens and get a higher percentage of keepers due to focus issues than I was able to attain with any of my Pentax cameras. Although I have never been one to blindly follow the masses, there is a reason why Nikon has such an overwhelming presence in the infields of race tracks and other sports venues across the country, now I'm one of them. I intend to still use the Pentax at times, victory lane shots etc, but after my next upgrade they will probably be relegated to the closet.

I'm not turning this into a Pentax vs brand X debate and readily admit that Pentax offers a lot of bang for the buck, but must concede that they simply do not meet my requirements.

FRANK
A nice, well-reasoned post. Sounds like you did the right thing for you. Best of luck!
02-25-2011, 12:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by FWW56 Quote
I do believe that I gave the Pentax system plenty of time to catch up investing thousands of dollars owning and having shot with a 1st, K100D, K20 and a Kx
I am afraid that in few months I will write similar post...

I just want two things:
1. Canon AF system in Pentax body
2. C100-400L with Pentax mount
02-25-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by FWW56 Quote
...I intend to still use the Pentax at times, victory lane shots etc, but after my next upgrade they will probably be relegated to the closet.


FRANK
Don't closet it. Sell it on the marketplace!
02-26-2011, 05:22 AM   #14
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There is a thread about continuous autofocus abilities of the K5 here.
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