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02-21-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
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Pentax k-5 worth it? vs Nikon / Canon?

Hello everyone,

Im new here so first hello to you all - nice to see such a large and friendly community..

I currently own a Pentax k-x with two lenses - DA-L 18-55 / DA-L 55-300 and I love it, its fun, intuitive and easy to use.. I have had it for a little over a year and four months and I find that now its time for an upgrade for the future..

Im attending photoschool in Denmark and photography always been what I wanted and one of the things I was really good at..

So what I want is a professional DSLR and after months of reading I came up throwing the towel in the ring..

Im up with 4 cameras at the final stand :

Pentax K-5
Nikon D300
Nikon D7000
Canon 7D

I know Canon and Nikon has more lenses.. But Pentax has the ease of use and feels better in the hand.

I will primarily shoot a variety of Fasion/studio work and nature/architecture ..

Im not sure does anyone other than Nikon supports flash at the level of what Nikon sets - everyone says Nikon has the best flash and autofocus..

Does Pentax k-5 lacks that so bad?

Will a Pentax k-5 be able to shoot with external flash and lamps as you do in a studio where you shoots direct in photoshop/lightroom/aperture .. ?

Canon has also been there for long and has the more "power" effect, Im afraid that if I choose Pentax people will look down at my equipment as they have with my K-X vs Nikon/Canonn users...

Will Pentax K-5 match my needs for the future ?

Or should I go with the highly loved Nikon d300 or new d7000?

Or the 18 mp Canon?

Which to choose?

And please start a debate on this there is so many topic out there, lets address it and find the best of the 4..

Please help,

Regards Malthe

02-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #2
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With Pentax you will probably miss the tethering option. Strange situation, probably they have some kind of licensing problem with that feature.
For the rest I see no other reason not to stay.
02-21-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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Things like this might be of interest:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/125401-pentax-k-5-beat...rmany-now.html

Pentax K-5 Beats Out Canon 5D Mk II, 7D, Nikon D700, D300s at The Phoblographer

Also consider that Pentax glass is extremely highly regarded;

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02-21-2011, 10:33 AM   #4
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Well for studio I guess you will be shooting in controlled invironment and then the K-5 set at iso-80 will be better then the other camera's.

For fashion you good to go with the DA*55mm/f1.4 and DA*50-135mm/f2.8
For nature you will need a nice short and telelens so the DA*300mm/f4 or the DA*200mm/f2.8 will be good adds to your lensline.
For Architecture a nice medium and (ultra)wide lens will be of good help. So you coult go for the DA*16-50mm/f2.8 or split it up and take the DA14mm/f2.8 (or the DA15mm/f4 Ltd) and the FA31mm/f1.8.

You are looking at wich system and body to go with, but your system is also about wich lenses to take.

02-21-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Concerning tethering

Does that mean that you cant setup Pentax k-5 and shoots directly into my mac - into photoshop/lightroom/aperture??

Thats kinda a downside? - Is Nikon the only brand where I can do that?


Yeah lenses is as much important as the camera house - so thx for the lovely output - always been confused of what to buy..
Is there any of the ones you listed thats waterproof like the Pentax k-5 housing is or are they older than that line?

My 55-300 does not seems to be the best mid lens - is it a bad one? - (smc pentax-da l 1:4-5.8)

If i was to compare Pentax k-5 to Nikon d7000 / d300 how much better is the auto focus and flash functionality?

Thx for the inputs so far!
Keep it up..

Regards Malthe
02-21-2011, 11:35 AM   #6
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No doubt K5 tethering will come but for the moment the 7D or 300s sound like better options for you to be honest - simply for the flash & tethering possibilities in the studio. Good for architecture too. You say nature - what does that mean ?
02-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by malthe Quote
Is there any of the ones you listed thats waterproof like the Pentax k-5 housing is or are they older than that line?

My 55-300 does not seems to be the best mid lens - is it a bad one? - (smc pentax-da l 1:4-5.8)

If i was to compare Pentax k-5 to Nikon d7000 / d300 how much better is the auto focus and flash functionality?
All the named DA* lenses are as solid sealed as the K-5 body is.

The 55-300 is a nice lens, but it is not part of a professional line.

If you are just looking at having tetherd shooting, then you will be fooling yourself i think. In wich event of studiowork is AF an issue? The Nikon flash system is sertainly great and has some advantages when using a mutlsegment system, be willing to invest in it and don't end up buying Metz or so.

If you choose different brand then at least pull up to 5D Mk-II or D700 since they will bring you something more.
02-21-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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The Metz 58 af-2 flash for Pentax is reportedly very good. It has wireless, slave and command abilities. It is not weather resistant though.

I think you would get more excellent glass for your money with Pentax's lenses.

Is tethering something that you know you would use or is it something you think you should have? If it is the only thing that keeps you from the K5 and you don't know whether you woud need/use it or not, it would be a shame to miss out on the k5's image quality and ISO performance over the feature.

I would encourage you to look at the lens review database here on the forum to learn what is available for use with Pentax. The DA 55-300 is a surprisingly good lens for the money. If you want to see what it can really do, go to the Pentax Imaging website. There is a gallery there that you can search for pictures taken with a specific lens. I would recommend making a list of the lenses you woud be interested in and then check them out there.

02-21-2011, 12:00 PM   #9
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If you look at Benjikan's posts then you will have no doubt that Pentax can be easily used in a professional setting.
Have a look at this for an example:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/58504-ricehigh-new-ben...tml#post573593
He's a great photographer and he just proves that equipment "Brand" does not get you great pictures.

Your equipment will not be looked down upon for it's brand name, what matters is the photos you are able to take with them.

Tethering isn't on the K-5 at the moment, may never be. But in studio using the k-5 at iso 80 will give you more dynamic range to work with and running strobe flashes you should be able to trigger them with a radio transmitter. So yes Nikon has a better flash system, but in the studio I wouldn't think that you would use a hot shoe flash. Strobes would be where it's at. AF on the K-5 is no slouch in all the comparative tests out there. In studio you're subjects aren't moving that fast are they? Just my 0.02. :-)
02-21-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by malthe Quote
If i was to compare Pentax k-5 to Nikon d7000 / d300 how much better is the auto focus and flash functionality?
Regarding AF the Nikon has 3D tracking. That is supposed to help when shooting moving objects. Other brands do not use this system, but they are likely to be faster in other situations. The CLS system Nikon uses to control flash is great when you use system flashes. with studio flashes Nikon loses this advantage.
02-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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The key word is "professional". If I were going pro, I would choose Nikon first then Canon.
I think it is best to choose your lens first, then the camera. Eg. Work backwards.

Also, how will be photos be used. Eg. In Magazines, web, etc. If printed, what is std. DPI for the prints. What MgPix will you need to produce the prints. Then, find the camera which matches your needs.

If you stick with Pentax, there is an adapter to allow you to use Nikon glass.

Last edited by dmfw; 02-21-2011 at 03:49 PM.
02-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmfw Quote
The key word is "professional". If I were going pro, I would choose Nikon first then Canon.
I think it is best to choose your lens first, then the camera. Eg. Work backwards.

If you stick with Pentax, there is an adapter to allow you to use Nikon glass.
By going with this idea, you're stating that Pentax glass is not on par with that of Nikon glass. I would have to disagree with you on that point. If the poster wanted to use the built in flash system Nikon would be a good choice. If 3-D "tracking" focus was the primary objective then Nikon would have an edge. But in terms of glass options, I think Pentax has quite an range of excellent "professional" grade lenses available.

Nikon and Canon marketing is very good at persuading the general public that "professional" means big camera bodies, large to extremely large zooms, and FF.

There are so many people that have their work published and only use a K20D or even a K10D still. My K100D Super, will do A4 without breaking a sweat as long as I do my job. How many times will you print something bigger than A4?
02-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #13
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If I was going pro I would buy a Nikon. Sorry but that's the reality of the situation with pro support, FF option, gear hire, and general snobbery in the pro photography world.

If I was not intending to go pro, and given your equipment list, I'd be buying a quality lens or 2 (eg limited prime(s) or DA* zooms) and not a new body.
02-21-2011, 04:07 PM   #14
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In controlled studio environment, the nikon flash system is not really used... If you're dealing with big strobes, alienbees and such, then you're in manual territory, and Pentax is as good as the others... PocketWizard does not support Pentax, though...

Nikon's CLS is really great for wedding pros and such, where you have to constantly adapt to the situation. But you obviously have to buy several Nikon flashes to really use it...
One advantage of Nikon CLS is the ability to fully control the slave flash from the camera, and set them up in TTL, A or M mode without even touching them!

Regarding AF, From what I read on the web, it seems like AF-S is quite on par between Nikon and Pentax now (talking D7000 and K5 here). But Nikon still blows Pentax in AF-C territory...

Tethering is a shame... There is an unofficial standalone application allowing tethering with the K5, done by a Polish guy, but nothing for Lightroom or Aperture yet... I wonder how hard it would be to port PKTether in Lightroom?
02-21-2011, 08:19 PM   #15
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I graduated from Brooks Institute 40 years and used a Spotmatic. Most everyone else had Nikon F. My Spotmatic still works and my M42 Taks fit my K10. Check your exif data and get reasonable priced lens(es) that match most used FL. When you get a job, get camera for the job. Save your money now-what ever you get will be obsolete when you need it.
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