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09-07-2012, 09:48 AM   #1
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new k-30 or used k-5

I'm looking at a new K-30 or a used k-5 (let't assume that the cost is equal for body only, which is almost true) to purchase in a near future.

Which would be a better option for a enthusiast that only does stills (travels, landscapes, portraits, macro, and product photography)?

I would care less about AF speed, weight, handling, video, and anything related to action. I would believe that the most important aspects would be durability and highest usable ISO. I travel like 20 times a year or so, mostly to inhospitable places, and I'm not going to lug around a bunch of strobes. I would carry a AF360, a dual purpose macro/portrait prime, a walk around zoom, and sometimes a nifty (just bought a 40mm).

I already have a K20d, which has proved to be very durable. On the topic of possibly getting another body, I can't decide between the "tank" K-5 or the newer K-30?

I have this weird idea that newer release date might mean better pictures (at least, it was this way on the Nikons).

Any opinions will be appreciated...

09-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #2
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Picture sharpness is practically equal, and noise performance as well. Size is not that different, but the feel is. K-30 is much louder than the k-5.

For travel stills where you don't take video and don't do a lot of bracketing (k-30 only has 3 shot bracketing I believe), they should be practically equal - except that the k-30's AF has been reported to be much more pleasant to use than the k-5's. Several users have stated that their k-30 is as fast or better than the k-5, but more importantly, much more decisive and accurate.

A good k-5 will be good enough, in my opinion - but a k-30 may be more enjoyable to use if you have fear of dodgy AF.
09-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #3
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If I were to buy a used K-5, I would make sure to check its' serial number, the earlier models tend to be problematic. Just a heads up ;P
09-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
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go for the K-5 and you will not regret it at all, I went from a K-10-D to a K-7 and I am happy
since you have the K-20-D you will find it easier to navigate the K-5 and also the K-5
has that window on top near the shutter button like the K-20D has, and that's why I got the K-7
good luck which ever way you:

09-07-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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K-5 has the option of a battery grip, K-30 no. K-5 has higher bit rate than K-30. K-5 has a more solid metal frame, K-30 has polymer frame.

K-30 has focus peaking, K-5 no. K-30 has improved AF over K-5.

K-5 is quieter than the K-30 in operation.

If I were going to inhospitable places I'd prefer the K-5 because it has a tougher body. New K-5s are running about $100 more than the K-30 these days, where you can find them in the US.
09-07-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
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The K-30 is an absolute steal since the price is coming down. I've seen it under $700. I don't think you'd go wrong with either camera, but I think the K-30 is the better buy right now considering IQ is practically identical and the autofocus is better.
09-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #7
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if the top lcd is important (is to me) then K5. DR is also better on K5 according to some lens test I read this morning. Having a grip may not be important now, but it's always an option in the future with the K5, not the K30. According to this forums review of the K30, battery life on K30 is 410 shots, on my K5 I can easily get 800 without much chimping YMMV. I'd wait for a used K5 in case it is upgraded later this month. There will be more than a few K5 owners who will want the latest incarnation!
09-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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I'm used to the top LCD, but I think I can live without that as long as I can see the parameters in the OVF (unlike some EVF cameras that don't show the parameters except on the big LCD.)

If the K-30's robustness is at least as good as the K20d...I think I can live without the metal body. The battery life of my K20d seems to be excellent (compared to my D200, which is good for about 300 clicks only).

The price of a used K-5 may go down after the next "flagship" shows up after Photokina, but I don't think it will be far better.

Jindesu and loco have brought up the issue of the AF. While I don't mind a sluggish AF, I find that my k20d often has problems identifying if the subject is back or front focused. My father's K10d often has problem getting AF lock even when the it's fairly near perfect focus. My D200 seems to get a AF lock a lot easier (on dim conditions) and seems to better identify back or front focus (which leads to less hunting). I guess AF is a frequent issue in all Pentax DSLR's.

How much better are the K-30 and K-5 in this regards?

09-07-2012, 03:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HSV Quote
I guess AF is a frequent issue in all Pentax DSLR's.
I wonder if this is why they developed quick shift, to allow easy correction of the camera AF decision?
09-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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I could be wrong but I find that my FA Ltd's focus accurately and fast, my Sigma 17-50 f2.8 is accurate and fast, my F 50 f1.7 same, the problem is DA 60-250, DA 50-135 both of which are slow and struggle to lock. So, I think it's not my K5, it's the lenses. My FA* 24mm is also fast and accurate. YMMV
09-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #11
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HSV, I have a K-r and K-30 and I can tell you the K-30 is much quicker and much more accurate in every day shooting than the K-r. I can't comment on the K-5 personally, but I have read comments that the K-30 AF is more accurate in every day shooting. The K-30 has no tungsten light focus issues like the K-r and K-5 had.

In fact, I am noticing some of my lenses focus much faster and more accurately on the K-30 than they ever did on the K-r. The FA 77 in particular is MUCH faster and more accurate now.

I got over 500 shots on my first lithium ion battery. I have been rotating between it and rechargeable AAs so I don't have much of a sample, but I was impressed with that number.
09-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #12
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Well, quick shift helps, in the few lenses that have them. In more tricky situations, I pre-focus with quick shift, then half press to lessen hunting, but unfortunately most lenses don't have this.

Seems to be that the light threshold required for reliable AF is rather high in Pentax bodies. I have much less problem when using fast glass or outdoors (as franky2step has stated). I haven't heard of the tungsten AF issue...but it does seem to hunt more when the light is warmer.

Thanks to y'all for your input. I still got sometime to decide...
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