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05-08-2011, 08:40 PM   #1
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Kr Didn't Suit Me, Now At Crossroads

So, my three day old Kr is now back in the hands of Lens & Shutter. It had great speed and the images were very striking, but I've decided I can't deal without weather sealing, and I got upset with the lack of physical controls vs. the K5/K7. No fault of the camera's, I just think I jumped too soon.

This begs the question: what to get instead. Obviously the K5 is the other new option, other than it costing a small mint, which unless I wait a few months, I can't really afford. I suppose I could wait. However, being an impatient youth, I'd itching to be out shooting. I could look for a used K7, but everything I've read says get the K5 instead because of the better sensor, noise performance, and overall speed.

Or I could go cheep on it. I found a K20d in the local camera trading shop. It's selling for $500, with the grip and two batteries. Now, I accept that this won't be at all as fast as the K5 or even the K7, but for a body used primarily for outdoor model, architecture, street and landscape photography, would it suffice? The images I've seen from this body certainly aren't anything to sneeze at.

Thoughts?

05-08-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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I'd say try to get a K-7 if possible, as it simply handles better than the K20. You'll notice that the controls are more responsive and things are easier/faster to access. Obviously its sensor is worse than that of the K-5, but the K20's got the same one, so you won't be losing anything by getting the k-7 over the k20.

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05-08-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
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You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Here's what you're looking at:
1) great ISO performance
2) weather sealing and additional controls/buttons
3) "cheap" price (<$700ish)

Only you can figure out which 2 of these 3 are most important, because you can't have all 3.
05-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Here's what you're looking at:
1) great ISO performance
2) weather sealing and additional controls/buttons
3) "cheap" price (<$700ish)

Only you can figure out which 2 of these 3 are most important, because you can't have all 3.
That is exactly the dilemma. I'm not as concerned about the money, as if I waited for awhile I could afford the K5. It's not like it's impossible. I'm just wondering if the wait is worth it, and if the extra bits are worth more than a grand.

@ Adam: Thanks! I haven't handled a K20d much (going to try it out on Tuesday), but if the K7/K5 ends of "feeling" better, then that will be that.

On an aside: I'm seeing a lot of kits on eBay. K5 + two lenses (the 18-55 WR and 50-200 WR) for $1600. That's the price of a body on it's own in the shops. Most of the sellers seem to be in Taiwan/Hong Kong however; is this worth considering as an option?

05-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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if - yes, if you can wait, then go for the K-5.
If you are in an urged need for a better body, then go for the K-7.
05-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
That is exactly the dilemma. I'm not as concerned about the money, as if I waited for awhile I could afford the K5. It's not like it's impossible. I'm just wondering if the wait is worth it, and if the extra bits are worth more than a grand.

@ Adam: Thanks! I haven't handled a K20d much (going to try it out on Tuesday), but if the K7/K5 ends of "feeling" better, then that will be that.

On an aside: I'm seeing a lot of kits on eBay. K5 + two lenses (the 18-55 WR and 50-200 WR) for $1600. That's the price of a body on it's own in the shops. Most of the sellers seem to be in Taiwan/Hong Kong however; is this worth considering as an option?
When buying on Ebay I usually only consider Canadian suppliers; anything out of the country probably won't have a Canadian warranty.

As for your dilemna, if you aren't doing a lot of high ISO shooting, the K-7 is probably fine. The K-5 outshines it in the area of high ISO.
05-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #7
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Just to add to your circle of confusion: the K20D will suffice nicely for your stated purposes.
05-08-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Honestly, I like my K20D better than the K-7. My cousin bought the K-7, and it was looking at his images that convinced me not to buy one. Not just not worth the update; I think the K20D makes images that I like better. The noise *level* is similar, but the noise is (IMO) less attractive on the K-7, and harder to clean up. That said, I *love* my K-5, even though it feels almost 'too small' without the battery grip. That has nothing at all to do with the "handling", though; I would have loved the K20D just as much with this sensor in it.

05-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
That is exactly the dilemma. I'm not as concerned about the money, as if I waited for awhile I could afford the K5. It's not like it's impossible. I'm just wondering if the wait is worth it, and if the extra bits are worth more than a grand.

@ Adam: Thanks! I haven't handled a K20d much (going to try it out on Tuesday), but if the K7/K5 ends of "feeling" better, then that will be that.

On an aside: I'm seeing a lot of kits on eBay. K5 + two lenses (the 18-55 WR and 50-200 WR) for $1600. That's the price of a body on it's own in the shops. Most of the sellers seem to be in Taiwan/Hong Kong however; is this worth considering as an option?
I haven't handled a K-7 except at London Drugs when it was still available, but my preference was and still is K20D. Maybe, having handled the K20D for so long I did not want to learn to handle another camera... If you could afford to wait, I think you should wait - I don't think a K-7 at this stage is worth buying, especially given the local used price in the lower mainland seem to hover around $800.00+. If you are buying a K20D to tide you over, I think that's a viable option too, considering you will lose hardly anything for the K20D kit you have mentioned, should you decide to sell and upgrade to a K-5 down the road.

If you are buying a K-5, I think you should consider buying at least within Canada because a K-5 from anywhere else is grey market and you will have trouble getting warranty service should you require it. Given that there are lingering issues with the K-5, returning the camera inside the border will be a lot easier to do than shipping it back and forth from the far east. Here is a link to Prodigital2000: NEW Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera Body Only 16MP 1080p on eBay.ca (item 130516857992 end time 03-Jun-11 16:17:59 EDT)

Thanks,
05-08-2011, 11:32 PM   #10
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I've got a K-x with a Katzeye which has Optibrite along with Eneloops, a Maha charger and a few extra goodies. I'm quite content with my K-7 and between it and my Nikon and Sony cameras and lenses, I need to let something go. The K-x is a fine camera, especially for anyone on a budget. I live in BC too, so if you interested, shoot me a PM.
05-09-2011, 04:44 AM   #11
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Pick up a used K7 or K20. By the time you have the money for a K5, your experience with whichever camera you've chosen will have afforded you the experience required to decide whether or not a K5 is what you want (at which time you could sell the K20 or K7 for about what you paid for it).
05-09-2011, 06:46 AM   #12
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I say get the best camera you can afford to buy. If it means waiting a month or two, so be it. You won't be happy with anything less. Yes, Sorry, but the K20 and K7 are less camera than the K5. Period. That doesn't make them bad cameras or less worthwhile but if you have your sights set on the K5, then follow through. In the end, all the buying and reselling to upgrade is just going to cost you money.

05-09-2011, 08:41 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
I've got a K-x with a Katzeye which has Optibrite along with Eneloops, a Maha charger and a few extra goodies. I'm quite content with my K-7 and between it and my Nikon and Sony cameras and lenses, I need to let something go. The K-x is a fine camera, especially for anyone on a budget. I live in BC too, so if you interested, shoot me a PM.
Thank you for the offer, but I'm afraid I'll have to pass. The K-x is the K-r's predecessor. A friend of mine has one and he uses it primarily out in the wilds and parks. He takes great pictures with it, but he bought it at Future Shop, where the dude told him it had WR (it doesn't) and he very nearly killed it finding that out. If it doesn't have WR, it's just not in the running for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
Pick up a used K7 or K20. By the time you have the money for a K5, your experience with whichever camera you've chosen will have afforded you the experience required to decide whether or not a K5 is what you want (at which time you could sell the K20 or K7 for about what you paid for it).
This is an interesting point, because I've been on eBay, and the K20D is selling for $700-800 there, which is two to three hundred more than I'd pay for the one I've found locally, if I bought it. That said, camera bodies depreciate like cars, so I'm not sure I'd make that $500 back in a year, let's say. Although by the time another year floats by used K5s may be easier to come by.

QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I say get the best camera you can afford to buy. If it means waiting a month or two, so be it. You won't be happy with anything less. Yes, Sorry, but the K20 and K7 are less camera than the K5. Period. That doesn't make them bad cameras or less worthwhile but if you have your sights set on the K5, then follow through. In the end, all the buying and reselling to upgrade is just going to cost you money.

Yeah, that's the argument I'm having with myself. If I pick up the K20D, I could be out shooting tomorrow, but I may not get the money back in time, or for whatever reason the camera gods may make me it's "last owner", if you will. How reliable was the K20D? How do you see how many shutter firings it has on it? If the unit is "high mileage", it may not be worth it.

QuoteOriginally posted by gebco Quote
When buying on Ebay I usually only consider Canadian suppliers; anything out of the country probably won't have a Canadian warranty.

As for your dilemna, if you aren't doing a lot of high ISO shooting, the K-7 is probably fine. The K-5 outshines it in the area of high ISO.
It sounds like I'll be avoiding the K-7, then. The performance of high-ISO shots on the K-r was brilliant, and I'm to understand the K-5 is better still. The K20D and K200D had noise, but it was a pleasant, mostly luminance based noise that could either be removed or toned down to make it look like film, almost.

I just found a fellow in Victoria with a four-month-old K5, selling it for $1200. That I could afford, if barely. Maybe I should jump?
05-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #14
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It really depends on whether TO YOU the K-5 is worth ~$750 more than the K-7 or ~$900 more than the K20 (ballpark used pricing).

From where I'm sitting the K-7 is the "best camera that isn't a K-5" right now so I think I'll end up getting one sooner than later. My story is kind of like yours.

I live in Seattle where, like BC it's wet most of the time. I sold off my K-x to get a K200d because I wanted the WR, and I also like the top LCD, raw button etc. The K-x was much better at high ISO of course but I was willing to accept the trade-off. The K200 still takes good photos after all. I love the K200 but the tiny buffer is killing me and it's quite slow. I feel like I'm ready for more speed, buffer and all the external controls.

But now I 've tried a K20d and I while I thought it was better than the K200 in every way I figure, so long as I'm upgrading then the K-7 makes the most sense. Besides the K20 is pretty big and I still like the K200 a lot.

As far as image quality, they'll all take good photos in the right hands. Is the K-5 better? Yeah. Is it $800 better? To some sure it is, to others no. There are still a lot of people using K100's that take much better photos than I do.
05-09-2011, 01:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by InlawBiker Quote
It really depends on whether TO YOU the K-5 is worth ~$750 more than the K-7 or ~$900 more than the K20 (ballpark used pricing).

From where I'm sitting the K-7 is the "best camera that isn't a K-5" right now so I think I'll end up getting one sooner than later. My story is kind of like yours.

I live in Seattle where, like BC it's wet most of the time. I sold off my K-x to get a K200d because I wanted the WR, and I also like the top LCD, raw button etc. The K-x was much better at high ISO of course but I was willing to accept the trade-off. The K200 still takes good photos after all. I love the K200 but the tiny buffer is killing me and it's quite slow. I feel like I'm ready for more speed, buffer and all the external controls.

But now I 've tried a K20d and I while I thought it was better than the K200 in every way I figure, so long as I'm upgrading then the K-7 makes the most sense. Besides the K20 is pretty big and I still like the K200 a lot.

As far as image quality, they'll all take good photos in the right hands. Is the K-5 better? Yeah. Is it $800 better? To some sure it is, to others no. There are still a lot of people using K100's that take much better photos than I do.
I bet if you used a K-5 for a week or two, you'd think it was $800 better. Although since the K-5 is $1339 on amazon... can you buy a K-7 for $500? I thought they were $700? Not much of a difference, true.

There will always be people who take pictures better than I do with iPhones; that has no material bearing on the DSLR I choose. For my purposes (shooting RAW - no picture modes etc) the K20D is still a better deal - same IQ, much less money. I don't touch it much, though, since I got my K-5.
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