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01-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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Thinking of jumping ship to CaNikon

I have been a Pentax enthusiast and supporter since 2007, and in that time I have appreciated the ergonomics, features and lenses, but as always the AF was an issue since the day I bought it.

I moved from a K10D to a K-7 and then back down to a K20D (which I still own) and I have to say every NEWER model from Pentax has had more reliability and QC issues.

AF has not been improved even in the K-5 which I was really hoping it would be. I mean come on, how long does it take?

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.

So here is the deal, I have the following equipment and not sure if to jump ship or wait it out for Pentax's next camera.

Pentax K20D
Pentax D-BG2 Grip
Pentax AF540FGZ Flash
Pentax DA-70mm f2.4
Pentax SMC-A 28mm f2.8
Pentax SMC-A 50mm f1.7
Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 (only 6 months old)
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 (most recent model)
Kiron/Lester A Dine/Vivitar 100mm f2.8 1:1 Macro (Kiron made)

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.

Please help me decide what I should do.

Thanks in advance.

01-29-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Buh Bye.
01-29-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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I don't think you can discount the K-5 until you try it. It sure would be a cheaper option than changing all your kit over to another brand.

I'm curious though what type of shots are you missing? Sports? Indoor concerts?? The only situations in which I feel like my K-5 is causing me to miss shots is if I've left it at home, something that would happen a whole lot more if I owned a bigger Nikon or Canon kit
01-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Just do it if you feel like it.

The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. But it may not always be so once you are over there.

If your main beef is with Pentax AF, my sage advice is that the issues that bedevil you with Pentax may follow you over to Olympus/Sony/Canon/Nikon/Sigma, none of which (despite appearances) have problem-free AF. I would suggest that you look a bit into the way you rely on AF generally, and how you expect it to work. I have never had any issues with Pentax AF, but I use centre-spot exclusively.

I would also LOL a bit for switching brands just for AF (unless I was dropping $6k for a top of the line D3X or 1DIV or something). If I was to go for Canon or Nikon, it would be for their great range of excellent glass, and other stuff like the wider software support for their bodies and lenses (eg in DXO).

01-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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Don't they all take pictures? The pain of setting up a new glass is yours....
01-29-2012, 09:12 PM   #6
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"low level of keepers from shooting with Pentax"
Three of your lenses are manual focus, the Sigma 10-20 doesn't require focusing for any subject more than 1m away, the DA70 is a portrait lens, so can't imagine the subject jumping around too much there, which only leaves the Tamron 70-200.

I can get bird in flight photos no problem with my K7 and DA55-300. Same when I was using K10d and Sigma 70-300. Neither set up is exotic - it's just shooting technique which requires a few weeks practice. In fact most birders shoot manual focus. Birds are about the biggest reasonable focusing challenge (apart from maybe trying to get photos of flying insects) so what's your subject, lighting and the scenario where you're not getting keepers? For the record, I normally shoot birds in flight at f8 in good light wherever possible and use minimum of ISO 400.
01-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Just do it if you feel like it.

The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. But it may not always be so once you are over there.

If your main beef is with Pentax AF, my sage advice is that the issues that bedevil you with Pentax may follow you over to Olympus/Sony/Canon/Nikon/Sigma, none of which (despite appearances) have problem-free AF. I would suggest that you look a bit into the way you rely on AF generally, and how you expect it to work. I have never had any issues with Pentax AF, but I use centre-spot exclusively.

I would also LOL a bit for switching brands just for AF (unless I was dropping $6k for a top of the line D3X or 1DIV or something). If I was to go for Canon or Nikon, it would be for their great range of excellent glass, and other stuff like the wider software support for their bodies and lenses (eg in DXO).
Agree with rawr, grass is always greener over the other side of the fence. I had many chances to play with the 7D and 5D MKII, and agree with fast lock-on AF but don't find it to be as accurate as I would like; of course, YMMV. If you feel better being on the other side and want to have a bigger body, then I think you are better off owning the other system. The good thing about being in the canikon camp is that you can easily offload your stuff in the resale market if you decide to return.
01-29-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
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Don't get obsessed with brand loyalty, it does nothing for you, choose the one you want. Pentax forums has a good 2nd hand market, and canikon gear are ridiculously easy to move on ebay. Just think of the switching costs as rental fees.

Looking at your gear, you should be able to find equivalent Canikon models for all of the modern glass you have (besides the DA 70). Sigma makes a Canikon version of the 10-20, the same for the Tamron 70-200, you should be able to sell + buy equivalent models for minor losses (or even no losses), unless you insist on buying them brand new again.

Your other lenses are old manual focus ones, people in these forums seem to be obsessed with manual focus (i remember reading a thread asking pentax to make modern manual focus lenses), so they should be easy to move.

Also its not secret that Pentax is playing catch up in a couple of key tech areas: autofocus and flash systems, while also ahead on refinement such as smaller lighter cameras and lenses. So its up to you what you want more.

01-29-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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You don't mention what you photograph.

As much as I like Pentax, autofocus is not the camera's strength. I sometimes miss shots on assignment and that pisses me off. That said, the K-5 autofocus is noticeably better than the K20D, somewhat better than the K-7. More than that, though, the image quality from the K-5 is pretty stunning.

Having used, and still on occasion using, Canon gear, I go back and forth. The Canon autofocus sizzles. But I don't like the bulk and weight of the Canon pro models, which is where the autofocus is really great.

Switch if you want. But realize that every system has its strengths and weaknesses. At some point you have to just get used to your equipment and take photos.
01-29-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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Switching to Canon for AF improvement is a no brainer. Just be aware the jump in size and weight.
01-29-2012, 09:43 PM   #11
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Having lots of experience photographing birds my advice would be if you are planning on getting one of the pro level bodies I.e. the 1DX or D4 and fast glass, then switch but if you are looking at the 7D or lower Nikons don't waste your money Pentax is better for the midrange stuff... I am switching to Nikon simply to get the incredible capabilities of the D4 AND more important to have a wide choice of super tele's and TC's... I love my Pentax gear and am going to keep it for backup purposes but will be using the Nikon stuff for my main gear...

Who knows maybe Pentax will bring out a D4 equivalent and some nice fast super tele's?

Then again maybe pigs might learn to fly??
01-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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If you want a full-frame system with pro-level glass, or want to get into video, then I would jump ship (Nikon D700/D3s, Canon 1D/5DmkII). If you can't afford that, or don't care about video as much, then I would stay with Pentax and get the K-5.

The K-5's AF is more accurate than that of the K20- in fact, the K20 seems so sluggish to me overall that I would also be annoyed if I were forced to use it, coming from the K-5. So you're definitely missing out, one could say.

A while ago we compared the K-5 to the 7D. The 7D had faster AF and better video, but it lost in the remaining categories.
Canon 7D vs. Pentax K-5 - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

IMO, the K-5 is really under-appreciated. If it carried the Nikon logo, it would probably be winning prizes left and right.

In short, my recommendation is: get a K-5. In the intro and advanced amateur sector, Pentax really is no worse than the competition, and even wins in some areas (i.e. in-body SR, hyper program, weather sealing).

Adam
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01-29-2012, 09:47 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Just read a post on another forum where several Canon shooters were lamenting the "awful" auto-focus on the 5D MKII and hoping that Canon will "finally get it right" with the upcoming 5D MKIII.

Few will argue that auto-focus is a strong point for Pentax. But if you are missing a significant number of shots just because of the auto-focus it must either be what you are shooting, your technique or how you have the camera set up. If you are shooting birds in flight or fast sports in low light with slow glass then yes maybe you need to change. But for most other types of photography I don't think you will gain much by changing brands.

There are a number of tweaks that can be made to improve your keeper ratio depending on what you are shooting. One of the reasons I love the k-5 is that it has 5 custom modes that can be set up for specific situations, like birds in flight.

Spend some time on the Canon boards and see how many folks there are complaining and threatening to jump ship.
01-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Buh Bye.
This.

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.
01-29-2012, 10:31 PM   #15
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I always feel more confident using the canon autofocus. But tests show that the canons I have used are no better than the pentaxes.

I will stick to the pentax as I can take a lot more kit for the amount of weight.
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