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06-01-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Pentax vs others?

I'm contemplating a switch from my K7 to either the K5 or maybe even jumping ship.
With just a few ok lenses, mix of A, FA, DA, no limiteds or DA*, I'm not too tied but have been eyeing the pretty limiteds.

My buddy's 60D seems so much better suited for video, full manual control while recording and comparable IQ with cheaper glass for on par performance. One example he cited was the 85mm EF where I'd have to get a limited at double the price for similar IQ.

The K5 is amazing for its high ISO performance which I would put to great use and its basically a K7 so the handling will be familiar but video is not much greater. I really dig DSLR video as they have this special quality to them that can't be achieved with something like a GoPro or the like but full manual control...
I just shot some video yesterday and several times got the temperature warning along with the random limited file sizes it lets you record.

My only concerns are FF from Pentax if I need it down the line and how practical this move is. The price for the 60d and K5 are about the same except I'd have to get new glass.

To put it bluntly. What is so great about Pentax over other manufacturers? IQ, handling, etc?
Don't get me wrong, I really love my K7 and my film cameras, especially the LX, but the DSLRs don't really exhibit that kind of charm or draw especially when other cameras come into the picture aside from the legacy lens compatibility.

06-01-2012, 11:25 AM   #2
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the 85mm ef versus the 77 LTD is no comparison. the rendering on the LTD is far superior. no pixie dust in the canon from what i've seen the canon 85 1.2 OTOH is 2 grand. amazing lens but big bucks

60D is better implementing Video
but lower performance sensor by a fair bit
have a look at the dxo mark comparison of 60d,7d and K5

the K5 crushes the canon performance right across the board all categories. Expect the same of the K30 (slightly lower overall than the K5) but K30 looks like it will have better video
K3 when it comes in the fall will likely improve in movie and be as good or better than the k5

K5 - 82 overall
60D - 66 overall
7D - 66 overall

DxOMark - Compare cameras side by side

Canon has a huge number of lenses. some excellent, some just good, others mediocre
weather sealing starts at 7D and needs L lenses (an expensive proposition to be sure)
K5 build is light years better than the 60D - K30 is a better comparison to 60D build


a 77 LTD may cost more than the cheap 85 OTOH you own lenses for a very long time so cost averaged they are less expensive than bodies

FF is pretty likely within the year Is my guess

Is the canon usable - yep but you will give up a lot of value by going the 60D route IMO
Versus your K7 the 60D will give better high iso and a little more DR
06-01-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Well I know all this. The numbers on paper look good but what I'm getting from the K7 is different. Granted the 60d isn't great, the system seems better with more support. And although the 85mm EF isn't superb, it still looks pretty great. I haven't seen any direct comparisons but the 77 isn't like miles ahead though I still desire one. At least to my eyes (and wallet).

I guess what I'm asking is why is Pentax a better option other than some kind of strange brand loyalty. Is the dynamic range that much better? The quality of light it captures isn't highly superior. I mean if the K5 can render, what I refer to as the way light drapes, similar to FF or the 645D, then I'd have no problem coveting it but it doesn't really. I've handled both and prefer my K7 for ergonomics, but also notice some of the controls on the Canon also make sense. Ddifferent, not better.

Like I said, build quality is better on the K5/7, but I see both cameras as a step towards FF which is why I don't really want any DA lenses. I'm trying to find a reason for wanting Pentax that others don't offer and not just some pixel peeping numbers/ratings from a review site. I do like underdogs and don't want to be a Canikon guy but taking a step back, everything is just a set of tools and whichever can get the bast bang for the buck makes the most sense to own.

Also, the K5/7 isn't an Olympus that's actually waterproof, not just resistant.

Last edited by Asudef; 06-01-2012 at 12:06 PM.
06-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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The reason I bought my K7 a couple of years ago, and later upgraded to K5 was the smaller size of the camera...........it just seemed like such a solid package in a much smaller form..............As I've learned to best use it, it just gets better for me..............and the small LTD primes are gems...............see my list of lenses below.....

06-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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Really? I was under the assumption that the K7 and K5 were pretty much identical aside from the sensor and some under the hood differences.
06-01-2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asudef Quote
Really? I was under the assumption that the K7 and K5 were pretty much identical aside from the sensor and some under the hood differences.
I'm sorry I was not clear......................I bought the K7 because of it's size and the K5 is exactly the same....
06-01-2012, 12:54 PM   #7
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The Oly is not waterproof by any stretch. waterproof would come with a rating to so many feet that would be covered by warranty. the only waterproof ILC I've ever seen is a Nikonos film camera
Oly terms it weather proof same as their E series pro dslr - so about the same as a K5 with DA* lenses
a K5 with a DA* lens is very well weather sealed (people have rinsed them under taps for pete's sake)

As for comparing image quality I have no doubt in my mind that the K5 will blow the 60d out of the water, I've seen astounding high iso performance out of it and rescues at low iso that show just how huge the 14 bit DR is. the measurements on DXO are directly tied to performance of the sensor and can be used as indicative of what performance to expect.

In this case it's not about brand loyalty for me (I shoot Oly, Bronica, Mamiya, Pentax and fed still, I used to shoot nikon and canon as well. they are after all tools
If the 60D is giving you something you can't get (better movie mode) and that is high importance then it makes sens to maybe move. but it is not the better camera by any measurement than the k5 aside from movie for the most part. Lens wise if you buy L lenses they are pretty stellar. the 85 is a pretty good budget lens but it's not something i would compare with the FA 77
If you don't want DA lenses (some are FF compatible) there are still several including the FA LTD trio, but mostly you will be hunting down older lenses or sigma variants to buy FF lenses until they announced

you are the only one who can decide what feature is the most important (I understand K5 video is a little better, K30 should be a lot better as it is the K-01 guts)
if you can wait until fall of course a lot of new stuff will have been announced but of course will cost more because they are not end of life product like the 60d and k5
06-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #8
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The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Seriously though, Pentax is absolutely fantastic. Except for one area: AF. And that may be a non-issue anymore with the new AF system (K30).

06-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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Even though my K5 can shoot video I keep a purpose build HD video cam for that, a Samsung.... somethign or other that does full HD. If it is important that you shoot video I would probably snag a K30 so you can keep weather sealing, have something that will blow your K7 away in terms of IQ, and which has a much better video format. Personally I like one thing for pictures, and another for video.

Ohh, and I have afriend with that Canon 60d. He will not even think about posting his pictures next to mine from the K5 (heck, the Kx even did better pictures). He has camera envy.
06-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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IQ is probably eh least expensive part of a lens, if you get my meaning. The DA 35 has amazing IQ, as does the 40mm XS. They are, however crippled in other ways, and comparing the 85 Canon to the FA77 based on IQ is like comparing a Canon 1100D to the K-5 and pointing out the image quality is very similar in most situations.

The 60D is a fantastic camera, my friend has one and loves it. It's great for video and the IQ is fantastic too. But the USP of Pentax are the small primes and small system size in general, coupled with the handling and IQ of a semi-pro APS-C DSLR. To me, the handling is much better with Pentax and aesthetically I much prefer everything Pentax makes to Canon and Nikon.

If you want to switch for video then it's obvious. Switch.

As for me, I basically shoot Pentax because I thought the K-x was the coolest looking camera at the price point I was looking at three years ago when I bought it. And I enjoy shooting with my equipment, which is more than enough of a reason for me to stick with Pentax really. It's a lot of hassle switching systems, and bang-for-buck wise Pentax is still king in the UK.
06-01-2012, 01:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asudef Quote
Well I know all this. The numbers on paper look good but what I'm getting from the K7 is different. Granted the 60d isn't great, the system seems better with more support. And although the 85mm EF isn't superb, it still looks pretty great. I haven't seen any direct comparisons but the 77 isn't like miles ahead though I still desire one. At least to my eyes (and wallet).

I guess what I'm asking is why is Pentax a better option other than some kind of strange brand loyalty. Is the dynamic range that much better? The quality of light it captures isn't highly superior. I mean if the K5 can render, what I refer to as the way light drapes, similar to FF or the 645D, then I'd have no problem coveting it but it doesn't really. I've handled both and prefer my K7 for ergonomics, but also notice some of the controls on the Canon also make sense. Ddifferent, not better.

Like I said, build quality is better on the K5/7, but I see both cameras as a step towards FF which is why I don't really want any DA lenses. I'm trying to find a reason for wanting Pentax that others don't offer and not just some pixel peeping numbers/ratings from a review site. I do like underdogs and don't want to be a Canikon guy but taking a step back, everything is just a set of tools and whichever can get the bast bang for the buck makes the most sense to own.

Also, the K5/7 isn't an Olympus that's actually waterproof, not just resistant.
I think that's the key:

Best bang for buck for WR: k-5 (or soon to be k-30)
Best bang for buck for dynamic range/high ISO/IQ in APS-C: k-5
Best bang for buck for Video: Not k-5

And as far as whether the dynamic range/high ISO/IQ is quantifiable between the k-5 and the 60D - the k-5, to my understanding, is MUCH more forgiving than the 60D in terms of RAW files. You can recover -2EV shots from the k-5 that show just as much detail, color, and lack noise while a 60D's image is shot and gone. Check out some of the threads that show off the k-5's shadow recovery in high dynamic range situations (landscapes on a bright sunny day).

So bang for buck, the k-5 trumps the 60D in some areas as a camera. As a whole SYSTEM, that's tougher to say, as I am not too experienced with the best of the Canon or the Pentax line of lenses.
06-01-2012, 02:36 PM   #12
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I bought the K10, then the K20, but not the K7 because the sensor had no improvement over the K20.

However, the K5 sensor files are head and shoulders better than any previous aps sensor. They are so much eaiser to pp than the previous digital files i have worked with. Sony has the hot hand, thats for sure. It isn't just the K5, that same 16mpx sensor with 25,600iso capability (extended to 80iso and 51,200iso in the k5) is terrific in the Nikon D7000 and even the Sony Nex5n. I've taken dress rehearsal shots for the local playhouse at 20,000iso that turned out lovely. (12"x18" - wouldn't go larger than that )

If i was going to buy a camera other than Pentax, i'd make sure it was a Nikon or Sony, just because of the excellent sensors in them, not sure why Canon seems to be lagging in this area. The Fuji X Pro1 also seems to have an excellent sensor.

Obviously, you want top video capability, I'd wait till we see more from the K30 test images, should start showing up after June 25th, if i remember. Looking at the spec sheet, they boosted most things that were in the K01, which was already an improvement over the K5 in video. Canon has always seemed to lead the way on the video so that might be the reason to go there.

Why Pentax? i'm put off by the large camera bodies and now lens bodies that are the normal in Canikon. The optical vibration reduction systems that have been incorparated in Nikon, Canon, many Tamron and Sigma lenses just look bloated (heavier and larger volume) over Pentax and m4/3 and Fuji lenses. I would guess it has something to do with the VR/os mechanical stuff. The WR is another factor. The Pentax menus, i find easy to remember and find stuff. Also love the quiet shutter in the K5, just hate noisy shutters for theatre work. so i guess its a bunch of things.

Anyway, you can take good pictures with any of the digital cameras today, they all have some features better than others, and some worse. Find the one that fits your style of shooting is my advice.

Last edited by philbaum; 06-01-2012 at 02:41 PM.
06-01-2012, 05:00 PM   #13
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Those are all convincing arguments, a lot of points I let slip by.

I upgraded from a K20 to the K7 for the shutter and didn't find it to be that much quieter but I do really like the K7 for its handling/ergonomics and am very used to it. Even learning new things still. The K5 looks really good in that respect.
The in body IS is great and the poor AF isn't a huge deal for me yet as I rarely find a need. I'm still using manual focus lenses most of the time.

DXO says the dynamic range of the K7 is pretty poor, 10.7. When I was considering it, I thought I had read that the range was higher than average but the K5 looks that way and the low light would mean I can use it much more often.

I guess video isn't a real necessity but rather pointing out a detriment to the Pentax system that I previously felt was pretty unbeatable. The K30 doesn't have an external mic jack so that's a no go even if video is great.
The 60d isn't a camera to desire but just fills a niche quite well. Focus is quieter, it does the job well. Maybe I'm being hasty.

My plan will likely be a K5 when the new camera comes out and the price drops unless it boasts much better improvements.

Thanks for all the input.
06-01-2012, 05:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asudef Quote
My buddy's 60D seems so much better suited for video, full manual control while recording and comparable IQ with cheaper glass for on par performance.
I agree about the video, the Canon is better. That is the reason I bought a T3i. See this thread.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/181175-i-bought-canon-t3i-video.html
Video is even better with Magic lantern firmware.
The T3i has an articulated LCD, which even the K30 won't have.

I have not abandoned Pentax. I will probably not be buying many Canon lenses. I still only have the 18-55 that came with the T3i. I will probably share some of my lenses between my K-r and T3i using adapters. This can only work for Pentax lenses that have aperture rings, though. That excludes all DA lenses. But most older lenses have them.
I just bought a Pentax-F 50/1.7 which can be used on the T3i with a PK-EOS adapter. I have a Rokinon 800mm mirror lens which can be used on both Pentax and Canon with T-mount adapter. I have a Samyang 8mm fisheye on order which will work on both also using PK-EOS. And that lens will do auto-exposure on Pentax only (A position on aperture ring) !

I'm not sure if Pentax will ever be competitive for video. If they release an FF DSLR with 4k video and articulated LCD, I will sell my T3i for sure


QuoteQuote:
My only concerns are FF from Pentax if I need it down the line and how practical this move is. The price for the 60d and K5 are about the same except I'd have to get new glass.
Depends on which lenses you own right now. DA lenses can't be used on 60D, but many older Pentax lenses can be.

QuoteQuote:
To put it bluntly. What is so great about Pentax over other manufacturers? IQ, handling, etc?
I think the Pentax in-body SR is fairly great, something you don't get with Canon or Nikon. Olympus and now Sony have them too, though.
Personally I also like that Pentax is the only manufacturer that releases DSLRs that can be used with AA batteries without the use of a grip - K200D, K-m/K2000, K-x, K-r . Maybe not something you care about, but it is what drove me to Pentax in the first place with the K200D originally.
I hate proprietary Lion batteries.
06-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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The main reason I stick with Pentax is the lenses. Oldies but goodies like the 135/2.5 can be used with ease. And some nice compact new lenses like the da15mm which keeps the size and weight down. I look forward to the k30 with it's focus peaking and good manual control in video. In 2 years of owning a k7 I have never felt the need to buy an external mic. I think if audio quality is important, a separate sound recorder would be better anyway.
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