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01-30-2012, 01:16 AM   #16
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I expected a bit of animosity so I'll take the good with the bad.

I know I'm comparing apples with oranges here, but I DID mention I had the K-7 (similar in release date to the Canon 7D) and my experience with the K-7 was very dissapointing, so much so that I actually have BETTER results with my K20D (hence my "downgrade").

Let me be clear as to say that I haven't made a decision 100% to make the jump, I am just looking over the fence to see how (if at all) much better things are over at the CaNikon camp. I'd appreciate if everyone were a little less condescending with their remarks and I'm looking for constructive opinions.

I will be honest and say I haven't tested the K-5 YET but a lot of reports on this site indicate not much in the AF department has improved.

I shoot a lot of low light outdoor events and some indoor events (i.e. xmas parties, karaoke etc) and my levels of frustration tend to reach boiling point when I've captured a scene (90% of the time you can't re-create) only to find the picture is totally out of focus, even when I use my flash. Don't get me started on the P-TTL inconsitencies either.

I loved Pentax when I first started shooting and I still do, I just wish Pentax paid a bit more attention to the primary issues with their cameras rather than keep releasing new models with more issues.

I've got my flame suit on so fire away, but I'd appreciate some more mature responses instead (thanks to those who have already replied constructively).

By the way, I MUCH prefer the ergonomics of the Pentax cameras compared to CaNikon, it was one of the deciding factors of purchasing Pentax originally.

01-30-2012, 01:28 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
I will be honest and say I haven't tested the K-5 YET but a lot of reports on this site indicate not much in the AF department has improved.
Speed hasn't, because it depends on the lens's SDM or the power of the drive shaft (which is the same). The AF system is new though ("SAFOX IX+", same as in the 645D) compared to the K20D's "SAFOX VIII", and consequently, it is more sensitive and does much better in continuous mode.

When I compared the K5's AF to the Nikon D3x, the Nikon blew it out of the water, but only indoors, where there was little light, or for action shots (its 50+ points sort of helped there). Then again, there's a bit of a price difference there.

Once thing I wish Pentax would improve on is the superimposed AF points in the viewfinder. Canon/Nikon cameras have that technology nailed, it looks like Pentax is still illuminating lights rather than overlaying the screen with an lcd of some sort.

In any case, it's your call. Pentax might be coming out with some surprises this year and next, but we will have to wait and see what they are

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01-30-2012, 01:50 AM   #18

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Not worth losing money for a switch.
IMO, K5 is that significant game changer for Pentax and perhaps K10D was the one before it.
I was not "wowed" by the K7 even when it was supposed to be a large step up for me from K100D to it.
To me, K7 was no more than a MP step up and nothing more.
The K5 is a totally different story.

Better and faster AF; very good high ISO performance and insane fine noise/grain.

You pay more for Canikon, though more can mean better AF on some models (ie. the $$ ones).
Otherwise, poor AF accuracy on Pentax is a bit of a myth, drummed in by hearsay (esp. before K5).
Slow and indecisive AF is more true pre-K5.
I've shot against the likes of D7K; D90; A700; D700 on 2 similar events and got to review the shots.
K5 never fared any worse in AF accuracy (and was in fact better in many cases).

Anyway, if your heart is already made up, I'd suggest you rent a 7D and K5 to give it a try.
01-30-2012, 02:01 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
I could not believe how accurate and fast the AF was of both cameras even in low light. The lenses never hunted, they just locked on and snap.

FWIW, my K-5 with my lenses focus very fast and accuratly, even in very low light.

My advice , try a K-5 with a decent lens

01-30-2012, 03:03 AM   #20
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My advice: if you can afford, buy Canikon with one lens while keeping your Pentax equipment for a short time. If you like it and see an improvement, sell Pentax gear. If you don't, i don't think you loose much selling Canikon, there's a better SH market than for Pentax.

I don't like AF either on my K-x. i use center point but sometimes it seems that point is huge. But I would not buy a camera that has the lens release button falling off, no matter how good is supposed to be. Was very very close to buy Nikon D7000 for upgrade, but i decided it has the same amount of problems reported as K-5. Canon 60D is not interesting for me, would have been maybe if it had micro-adjust. So i bought Sigma 17-70 Macro OS HSM and Tamron 70-300 to keep me going for a while, until somebody has the camera i want.
01-30-2012, 03:20 AM   #21
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If another brand does what you expect from your gear, go for it. Another member here made the jump recently to a 7D (if I'm not mistaken); maybe you can send a pm / email about the experience.
01-30-2012, 03:49 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote

Seriously, OP, if you do not think the AF has improved since the K10D, then you are stuck in your own mind, rather than interested in facts.

Comparing an older Pentax model with a much newer, $1500 Canon 7D and $2500 Canon 5D MKII...? Really?

So many other people obtain a large number of keepers with Pentax and even old, slow-AF Canikon cameras, that I can only imagine that you are looking for a crutch of some sort, rather than improving your skills... which is fine.

There's nothing to recommend against Canon or Nikon, so if that's what you want to do, just do it.
I have to agree strongly with the above. If the number of keepers is that low, then you would first have to take a look at your skills, before blaming it on the hardware. Or first rent/borrow a competitors setup and compare the amount of keepers.

But speaking of hardware... I don't see any fast focussing lenses in your lineup. For me personally, it would be really easy to complain about my slow focussing DA 35 ltd macro. Due to its extreme focal range, you'll hear it focussing: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzp... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzp... beepbeep. The lens simply isn't designed to do sports or birds in flight. But compared to the DA 18-135 DC WR it's a whole other story. The DA 18-135 is so fast, that it seems as if I can skip pressing the shutterbutton halfway alltogether. It's almost instant. And it seems that the SDM lenses are even faster, but I have no experience with that myself. I also can't remember if the K20d supports DC or SDM.

Point is, you shouldn't complain about the Pentax slow AF in general, if you're not using it to its full extend.
01-30-2012, 03:55 AM   #23
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I have no experiences with DSLRs other than Pentax (*ist DL, K200D, K-5) but I can subscribe to that AF speed and accuracy has imroved. Whether that is "good enough" will have to be an individual assessment. And it shouldn't be too difficult to rent - or perhaps borrow - another brand and try it out before any jump/purchase is being decided upon.

But I cannot help speculate: All these AF horror stories are NOT limited to Pentax. Try Google any model name+focus+problems and see what you get. Take as just one example the Nikon D7000 and just this singe thread on the matter: Nikon D7000 backfocus problem - Nikon Forum

So, are we expecting too much of AF in each and every situation? Or, is the general pressure on competition, street prices and manufacturing costs such that it is inevitable that quality control, generally speaking, has come to suffer?

01-30-2012, 04:39 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
As such, I have decided that the low level of keepers from shooting with Pentax has made me look over the fence; especially recently when I had a play with the Canon 7D and the Canon 5D MKII. I could not believe how accurate and fast the AF was of both cameras even in low light. The lenses never hunted, they just locked on and snap.
I honestly don't WANT to go over to the dark side but the more I use my camera the more I realise that I'm holding on to hope while losing out on the precious moments.
I never quite know what to do with this "dark side" stuff. These are camera's, not wives, remember? You seem to have tried out a few options and liked them so why not do what your feeling dictates you should do? Chances are that you'd never be quite sure of yourself anyway if you hold on to your Pentax stuff.

I happen to like my K-5 and the few lenses I have accumulated over the years, but I have no issue at all with Canon, Nikon, Olympus or any of the other fine brands out there - they all do what they should: shooting fine images. There really is no point comparing a K20D to a 7D or 5DMKII anyway except to help yourself in making up your mind. I'd say you already have and you should absolutely NOT be apologetic about it!

As said, you can probably get good money for your used Pentax equipment to help fund your Canon purchase. All that's important is that you feel confident about the gear you're using and the results you're getting. This whole brand loyalty thing is a marketing thing anyway.

Mike (who has NO intention whatsoever to move away from his K-5 and K20D)
01-30-2012, 07:15 AM - 1 Like   #25
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there are still hundreds of people successfully using, K100 , K200 , K10
look at that:
K20 , KX, K7 ,KR etc etc and they are all very happy.
one of the biggest problems with today's society is consumerism, have to have the latest and the best!
Why? That will not bring happiness! I know we live in rather competitive environment but photography supposed to be a pleasure and a joy ( well unless if you are using it to make your Family survive).
the camera is not freezing time, individuals with learned skills do.
Instant gratification = the curse of the 21st Century!
downgrading to CaNikons will not make you any happier, well unless you have a big bag of money and big strong hands so can go right to the top, well in that case you could aim for 645D.
Pentax gears are very competitive and capable in today's digital photo market
CrazyNuts may the Pentax force be with you!
kind regards
01-30-2012, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #26
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While I have no intention of getting rid of my K20 anytime soon there is one reason why (unless there is a major change) why my next system will not be a Pentax. I will not spend almost a months pay on something I cannot hold before buying. I don't buy things until I have the cash to do so (cars and a house included) so all my purchases are thought out well in advance. If Pentax wishes to keep their existing customers they need to have their gear available in places other than B&H and Adorama. I know others feel differently and that the retail issue has been brought up many times but I know I am not alone in my feelings on this matter.
01-30-2012, 12:04 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
I honestly don't WANT to go over to the dark side but the more I use my camera the more I realise that I'm holding on to hope while losing out on the precious moments.
My recommendation would be to try out the K-5 and then make the switch if you aren't satisfied. Do you have a credit card and a retailer with a good return policy (online or local)? Often it's cheaper to buy it then return it versus renting. I've done it a couple times through Amazon and the most I've paid is return shipping. Some people would probably condemn me for the practice, but again, I'd rather not pay $375 to rent a K-5 for 3 weeks (if you can even find a rental).

Anyhow, I'm not sure what return policies are like in Australia, but in the US we typically have up to 30 days. If you end up liking the K-5, then you keep it and sell off the K20D. If not, return the K-5, sell off the rest of your Pentax gear, and give Canikon a go. Nothing wrong with that.
01-30-2012, 01:04 PM   #28
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No indication of your budget. I would at least wait for Nikon D400 and Canon 7D Mark II before jumping anywhere.

One thing I don't understand is that you do read about the failures about K-5 but never gave a good look at the pictures made with that camera. It would be not to expensive if you just bought a K-5 and worked with it during 2011.

Camera's are tools not investments, so buy and use them.
01-30-2012, 01:50 PM - 1 Like   #29
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I entered the Pentax SLR world with the K-7 and like you felt underwhelmed by a few aspects. For me it was the autofocus and iso of the K7. Picture quality was fine, colors were nice and the body was solid and weather resistant. I went all in with mine and bought the DA* 16-50, the DA* 60-250 and some primes. I took it to Afghanistan with me for work and it weathered the worst conditions for the most part, the only real complaint was the video would overheat.

I bought a 7D for the autofocus for the second half of that trip. I grabbed an EFS 17-55 F2.8 with the USM motor (around 1k lens) and a Tamron ultra zoom 18-270 to try out the Canon system. The autofocus was much faster than the k7/k5 but it felt like the lens was the reason because the USM motors are MUCH faster than the SDM on the pentax DA*. I didn't shoot anywhere close the the same amount of shots because the Canon lenses suck in dust where the Pentax was resistant. (L glass would have fixed that but at a significant cost)

Guess which camera system I'm using a year later?

The K5 and DA*.

I almost sold the Pentax gear, but the DA* lenses are what stopped me. They felt so much more solid than the EFS from Canon, that lens was sharp and very fast but all plasticky and not weather resistant at all (which is important to me). The 7D required L glass to get weather resistance and the 7D body is not as robust in that respect vs the Pentax K7 and K5. L glass is REALLY expensive and if your going there just spend the money and get a FF body with it.

K5 actually beats the 7D in image quality as I did a lot of back to back with the two cameras before I sold the 7D, dynamic range is a real advantage and ISO is better on the K5.

In the end I decided that the AF was not worth the loss of quality in images and stayed with Pentax. Yes AF is better elsewhere and if you really just shoot mostly action subjects Canikon is better. I practiced shooting my dogs running about and some hockey matches and the 7d was at an advantage but only slightly and mostly with subjects coming head on. It really is the SDM that holds the K5 back.

I suggest you buy a really good lens and body of the manufacturer of choice and try it out, I sold my 7D and lenses for almost no loss (300 dollars) for owning them for 8 months. Keep the boxes and warranty cards and consider it rented equipment then Ebay it if you don't like it, that will eliminate any doubt in which system you want.

From what I learned I think you won't see an advantage unless you go full frame or really really need AF performance. Pentax from my experience has the best APS-C system unless your into sports.

my 2 cents take it for what it's worth.
01-30-2012, 02:42 PM   #30
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Eye opener.

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