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09-10-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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K-5 II half-baked?

From what I'm reading, most of the specs of the K-5 II are copied from the K-5, including the image sensor, image processor, metering system, shutter durability, continuous shooting capabilities, and most firmware capabilities. The AF system has been revised to greatly increase low-light sensitivity and add f/2.8 high-precision focusing capability, and the LCD is now an air gap-less design more readable in bright sunlight. However, the rest of the camera looks like an exact copy of the original K-5, and the AF system is still 11 points, 9 cross-type. This is a serious concern to me, as it likely indicates that Pentax:
  • had rushed the product for photokina,
  • had spent so much of its limited R&D resources on improving the AF system that it was not able to work on the other features, or
  • was unable or unwilling to build a new hardware architecture using PRIME M
    Note: using the new processor requires a redesign of the underlying circuitry, which can be difficult and expensive and may introduce behavior too divergent from the original K-5; it is much easier to build on a known working platform
As a K-5 owner satisfied with the AF in most of the use cases I encounter, I don't see any solid reason to upgrade. Any thoughts?

--DragonLord


Last edited by bwDraco; 09-10-2012 at 05:15 PM.
09-10-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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I'm going to wait a bit for the detailed reviews and see what's what. I think it looks like there is a lot to like in this release but I'm still going to wait and see.
09-10-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I'm going to wait a bit for the detailed reviews and see what's what. I think it looks like there is a lot to like in this release but I'm still going to wait and see.
+1 for me. I like the K-5 but I'm interested in what the testing shows with the mk II
09-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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Whilst it may not be directed to existing K-5 owners, it may give enough reason for a K-x/K-r owner to make the jump. The AF upgrade alone may make the camera a success.

09-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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I personally would have found value in upgrading if PRIME M was integrated. As it is it's a "half-baked" effort. I'll stick with my K5 until the next round.
09-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
As a K-5 owner satisfied with the AF in most of the use cases I encounter, I don't see any solid reason to upgrade. Any thoughts?
It seems pretty obvious to me that this is not supposed to be an upgrade path for current K-5 owners.

For people with older/lower-level cameras, it is a quite compelling proposition, I think. I'm seriously considering getting one. Am I disappointed that it doesn't feature Prime-M ? Yes, a little bit. But this is an incremental update to the K-5, so the choice of keeping Prime II is not unreasonable.

But I also seriously doubt that this is meant to be the actual top-of-the-line APS-C Pentax DSLR. Looking at the rumours, I'm hopeful to see a K-3 with 24mp, 21 AF points, tiltable LCD etc at least as an under-glass mockup during Fotokina.
09-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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My K5s focus just fine for me. I never had major issues. *New* K5s? Meh.

I think Pentax must have had a Phillips/HP/Samsung moment where something was not up to par, or was unavailable to put into their new APS-C flagship.

I think Sony decided to make Pentax sweat a little, along with the bully called Nikon.

Pentax is ready to make a FF and a killer APS-C, but is being shown who is *really* the boss.
09-10-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Whilst it may not be directed to existing K-5 owners, it may give enough reason for a K-x/K-r owner to make the jump. The AF upgrade alone may make the camera a success.
As a K-x user myself, I was hoping for a killer release so that all the current K-5 owner would rush on the Marketplace to sell their loved K-5... So for that reason, I'm a little disappointed. However, it seems to me that a better autofocus on a camera like the K-5 could make all the difference in the world for some people. I believe the K-5 has one of the best DR (in Raw) in APS-C format, and come even close to full frame. Also, we are all aware of the amazing high iso/low noise images it can produce. In that perspective, the K-5 with a better autofocus (if truly better by quite a margin) could become a serious contenter as a perfect tool for serious concert photography and wedding (or other indoor stuff) for those who rather APS-C for a reason or another (money, size, weight...).

Not to say the K-5 wasn't good at that, but if the autofocus of the K-5 II is indeed best in class, that could make it the best indoor photography tool in its class...

Just my two cents. Remember that I don't even own a K-5, but will eventually do!

09-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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I do not believe this was intended to be an upgrade path for current k-5 owners. It is just a refresh with some improvements. This allows them to keep the k-5 in the lineup for at least another year. Maybe they do not have access to new sensors yet, maybe they want to maximize the investment in the k-5 line, maybe the new sensor did not pan out they way they wanted, maybe there was technical difficulty somewhere.
Who knows? Pentax is not going to say.
While this might be a disappointment to Pentax enthusiasts it makes a lot of sense from a business perspective.
09-10-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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K5 ii

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Whilst it may not be directed to existing K-5 owners, it may give enough reason for a K-x/K-r owner to make the jump. The AF upgrade alone may make the camera a success.
Hi Ash,

I just rang C.R. Kennedys here in Brisbane and they do not have any more details than what is on the Forum site.

Regards.
09-10-2012, 07:28 PM   #11
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Uh...it's called the K-5 II, not the K-3 or whatever. Of course it is "copied" from the K-5. It is the K-5, new and improved, not a whole new camera. Whether there will an announcement for something truly new at Photokina, we'll see. I suspect that there will be, but it will be for something that won't be available until Spring. Any word on the release date of the K-5 II? I assume it will be available within a month or so.
09-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #12
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I will be disappointed if they didn't change the AF system to have more and smaller AF points... The number of points is settled, but how about AF point size?

I dont know for sure but if SAFOX X requires a hardware change, why not make the points smaller? Any info on this?
09-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #13
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They call it a K-5 II for a reason....
09-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #14
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I'm getting the impression that this is an interim update while Pentax continues to work on a all-new flagship. Perhaps there is a next-generation camera on the horizon?

--DragonLord
09-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #15
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As a K-r user looking to upgrade, I can't say either K5 II tempts me to spend $500 more than I'd spend on a K-5 new or $600 more on a used K5. Pretty remarkable that the supposed lower-tier K01 and K-30 have Prime M and neither K5 does. I'd have gone for K-30, but the shutter is as loud as my K-r, and I need something quieter.

So I will wait for K3. If there's no K3 available until the spring, I will probably go K5 off the marketplace here. But I will first wait to see the images from the K5 with no AA filter......
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