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09-21-2012, 06:33 AM   #1
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Is Pentax future-proof ?

Hi, this is my fist post even thou I've been watching this site and it's forums for about 2 years now. I'm currently in a dilemma that it's haunting me even in my sleep. My first DSLR was Pentax K200D that I got second-hand 2 years ago and "I loved it to death" because it was a photographic revelation for me at that time since I upgraded from camera-phone to DSLR. It had almost everything that I wanted and needed but all was ended to soon because it started giving more and more white pixel in pictures until one day it didn't take any pictures anymore after just 9 months of owning, but that's the past and doesn't matter anymore. Then I took a loan and bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 because it was small, light and had more external controls then any DSLR or MILC camera that I could buy at that price (I bought it for 500 euros new with kit lens). Off topic a little: I did ponder for months to choose Pentax K-x but I was put off by the no visible AF point when AF lock in the viewfinder, by the lack of weather-sealing and most importantly lack of sufficient external controls. Back on track: but necessity makes be think it's time to upgrade because of the only 2 things that my Panny lacks and need the most: weather-sealing and high ISO performance. I do a lot of Landscape, Night-Shooting and Macro (at the moment cropping because of lack of dedicated macro lens and fear of investing in M43) and I want to get into Astrophotography (with wide-angles and telescopes). Now if there was the Sony sensor with Pentax firmware and weather-sealing in my Panny camera I would buy 3 of them to last me at least 25 years and I would die happy but I know what I would ask and it will never happen. My dream camera was always Pentax K-5 ever since I first ponderer of becoming a professional photographer ( I will be a National Geographic photographer one day or die trying) but lack of funds stopped me in my tracks, until recently. But after a couple of years of observing Pentax's evolution I'm starting to wonder if there would be Pentax 25 years from now. I made a few calculations of equipment that I would need from my main 3 options:

First is the cheapest Full-Frame (by BHPhoto prices) because of it's low-light capabilities and gathering light capabilities and wide-angle option:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Body = 2100$ [810gr]
Canon EF 16-35mm f 2.8L II USM = 1565$ [635 gr]
Canon EF 24-105mm f 4L IS USM = 970$ [670 gr]
Canon EF 70-300mm f 4-5.6 IS USM = 500$ [630gr]
Canon EF 40mm f 2.8 STM = 200$ [130 gr]
Canon EF 50mm f 2.5 Compact Macro = 230$ [280 gr]
Canon EF 100mm f 2.8 USM Macro = 600$ [580 gr]
------------------------------------------------ 6165$ [3.736 gr]

Second is the best weather-sealing system available right now(in my option since Four Thirs is dead) with excellent ISO performance and best DR you can get without selling your soul for it but with uncertain future:

Pentax K-5 IIs Body = 1300$ [740gr]
Sigma 10-20mm f 3.5 EX DC HSM = 650$ [520gr]
Pentax DA 18-135mm f 3.5-5.6 ED AL IF DC WR = 530$ [405gr]
Pentax DA 55-300mm f 4-5.6 ED = 355$ [440gr]
Samyang 14mm f 2.8 IF ED UMC = 400$ [530gr]
Pentax DA 35mm f 2.8 Macro Limited = 700$ [215gr]
Pentax DA 40mm f 2.8 XS = 250$ [51gr]
Tamron SP AF 90mm f 2.8 Di Macro = 500$ [405gr]
------------------------------------------------- 4685$ [3.306gr]

Third is the best light weight and compactness option you can get with professional grade build quality and weather-sealing and with a future-proof system:

Olympus OM-D EM-5 = 1000$ [430gr]
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f 4 ASPH = 900$ [300gr]
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f 2.8 ASPH = 1300$ [ 305gr]
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f 4-5.6 = 500$ [520gr]
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f 2 = 800$ [130gr]
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 20mm f 1.7 ASPH = 400$ [100gr]
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f 2.8 = 500$ [185 gr]
----------------------------------------------------- 5400$ [1.970gr]

Ok, I know I may be asking the wrong forum should I choose between Canon, Pentax and Olympus but I know many of you use Full-Frame DSLR (be it Canon or Nikon or Sony) and second camera M43 (be it Olympus or Panasonic) and you are (in my opinion) the most divers community in terms of equipment and knowledge. I need wide-angles for my landscapes work and fast one to for astrophotography so I don't have to sacrifice quality by using higher ISO and (by my observations) Canon has the best option on the market, I would need only one fast lens from Canon like the 16-35mm f2.8 where on Pentax side there is no fast lens like that so I would have to buy 2 or more lenses to achieve the equivalent and that really annoying since it adds weight, space and cost and on M43 side there isn't even an option beyond f4 and the excellent but expensive 12mm f 2 from Olympus. I travel a lot, and mostly on foot or on bicycle (I'm an out-door, nature kind of person) so weight is of concern and I would like too keep it at minimum possible (this is why I love my Panny G2), the less lenses I need to use the more I can carry every time I'm out (and that's daily) the more fun I have. And macro option are also important because Canon an Pentax have excellent choices but on M43 side we only have short telephoto of 90mm and 120mm equivalent, no wider option. Many say that Pentax Full-Frame DSLR isn't as needed nor wanted as many think but I'm one of the few? that could really use a FF where wide-angle really are what there are and ISO performance could be (by Pentax K-5 performance) the best in the world.

Now the best light-weight option is Olympus OM-D EM-5 but high ISO performance and DR is really disappointing and lack of wide-angle and macro lenses.

The best ISO performance and incredible DR range (I've seen a recovery of -3EV without one any loss of quality) and weather-sealing and the ability of astro tracking without an equatorial mount gives Pentax K-5 IIs a very long consideration but also here lacks the option of fast wide-angles (the fastest being Samyang's 14mm f 2.8 and Sigma's 20mm f 1.8). But will Pentax survive the passing of time and the evolution of technology and humanity or parish like many others like Kodak ?!? That makes me fearful of investing Pentax's system.

The best option for landscape and astrophotography is Canon's 5D Mark II because of the rich options of wide angles but it's size makes me think of using some steroids on my hand muscle and lenses are bigger then Pentax and M43 options.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
+Thin DOF - Big and heay
+ Low light performance - Compact Flash and not SDXC
+ High MP count - No built-in flash
+ Crop factor for wide-angle lenses - Slow burst rate
+ Long shutter life
+ Big and bright viewfinder
+ Small RAW file options
+ Long battery life

Pentax K-5 IIs
+ Compact size - Fixed LCD
+ Best weather-sealing
+ Best DR
+ Best high ISO performance
+ High burst rate
+ Best ergonomics and controls
+ Intervalometer built-in
+ GPS and astro traking option
+ Built-in IS
+ DNG RAW format option
+ Very light and small lenses option
+ Built-in HDR
+ Fast(er) AF (then the other 2 option)

Olympus OM-D EM-5
+ Extremely compact - Lack of proper wide-angle lenses option
+ EVF (I love it) - Slow shutter of 1/4000
+ Best built-in IS - Battery life
+ Tilt touch-screen LCD - High ISO performance
+ Usability with manual lens - Slow burst rate with AF
+ Accurate AF - 12-bit RAW
+ Very light and small and fast lenses ( Voigtlander 17.5mm f 0.95 !!!) - High ISO start of 200
+ Crop factor on fast short and long telephoto lenses (135mm f 2.8 = 270mm f 2.8) - No built-in flash

I'm sorry if the post is to long or to boring, but I appreciate any help I can get. I want to buy a new camera by next spring and I need to make a decision so I know how much I need to save up. Thanks in advance for your help and your patients for reading this topic.

09-21-2012, 07:34 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard! Glad you decided to join after so long.

If you are planning to do much photography involving moving targets - football, motocross, etc.- then I would say the Canon system. It's sad but the current AF system on the Pentax cameras isn't up to intense use in Continuous mode. If that is not likely for you then the Pentax system can offer you some real advantages IMHO. I have been very happy with my gear, and my ability to use old MF lenses, for Macro, night, and astro work. The limits in the Pentax system appear for me primarily in trying to shoot sport.
09-21-2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Welcome aboard! Glad you decided to join after so long.

If you are planning to do much photography involving moving targets - football, motocross, etc.- then I would say the Canon system. It's sad but the current AF system on the Pentax cameras isn't up to intense use in Continuous mode. If that is not likely for you then the Pentax system can offer you some real advantages IMHO. I have been very happy with my gear, and my ability to use old MF lenses, for Macro, night, and astro work. The limits in the Pentax system appear for me primarily in trying to shoot sport.
Or Nikon
09-21-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Or Nikon
Yes, but he specifically asked about the Canon system. I'm less of a fan of Nikon lately, and yes I know I mentioned the D7000 recently, because of their move to stop selling spare parts to independent camera repair shops.

09-21-2012, 07:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Yes, but he specifically asked about the Canon system. I'm less of a fan of Nikon lately, and yes I know I mentioned the D7000 recently, because of their move to stop selling spare parts to independent camera repair shops.
No that's fine - I just threw it out there because he mentioned sports.

I like Nikon nowadays over Canon, but I would definitely agree that Canon's AF (7D *cough cough*) outclasses Pentax in high speed situations.

Plus, they have lenses that are blazing fast in AF.
09-21-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaZZ3R Quote
I travel a lot, and mostly on foot or on bicycle (I'm an out-door, nature kind of person) so weight is of concern and I would like too keep it at minimum possible (this is why I love my Panny G2), the less lenses I need to use the more I can carry every time I'm out (and that's daily) the more fun I have.
Hi, welcome! Your 3 options are VERY different ones in terms of size, handling etc. All I can say from experience is: I am able to go hiking for a week with my Pentax stuff. I assume I would be fine with the OM-D, being smaller and all. However, I would NOT be fine with the 5D, even with only one lens on it. That thing is BIG!
Anyway, I can't really answer about your needs. I'm sure the 3 kits you describe are all very competent.
On the topic of your original question
QuoteOriginally posted by RaZZ3R Quote
Is Pentax future-proof ?
well I can only assume, and hope, as I think most of us Pentax users do. Otherwise nobody would stay! Personnally (but I have NO inside information) I'm quite optimistic about the future, yes. If that is the only thing keeping you from getting the K-5, my advice is to let go of all the negativity you can read on this forum or elsewhere and enjoy a fine camera!
Have fun!
09-21-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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I'm not worried about the future of Pentax right now. I'd be equally concerned that Canon or Nikon could change their mounting system again...and I don't think that will happen. It looks like Ricoh/Pentax is moving forward with R&D, so we should get some good new stuff.

It's a big decision (and bear in mind you can get better pricing on lenses from B&H if you call them).
09-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
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Even though you've listed 3 very fine camera systems, I believe the only "future proof" system out of your 3 choices is Canon.

09-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Welcome aboard! Glad you decided to join after so long.

If you are planning to do much photography involving moving targets - football, motocross, etc.- then I would say the Canon system. It's sad but the current AF system on the Pentax cameras isn't up to intense use in Continuous mode. If that is not likely for you then the Pentax system can offer you some real advantages IMHO. I have been very happy with my gear, and my ability to use old MF lenses, for Macro, night, and astro work. The limits in the Pentax system appear for me primarily in trying to shoot sport.
My main subjects are trees, mountains, rivers, stars and insects so I don't need that much FPS or fast AF (more like efficient AF for low light, something like the new -3 EV AF from Pentax K-5 IIs) and I rarely use C-AF, mostly S-AF. My only option that I can think right now is Tokina 11-16mm f 2.8 with an mount adapter, thus loosing AF. The only option made by Pentax are the DA 10-17mm f 3.5-4.5 ED IF, DA 12-24mm f 4 ED AL IF, DA 14mm f 2.8 ED IF, DA 15mm f 4 ED AL Limited and DA 21mm f 3.2 AL Limited which neither, except the DA 14mm, is fast or eficient for astrophotography and the DA 14mm isn't as sharp as Samyang 14mm f 2.8 IF ED UMC.
09-21-2012, 07:47 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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Hi, RaZZ3R,
I went the digital route in 2007, [B]Friday- 13th.-July.[B] to be exact. I had spent the previous 4 months agonizing - do I buy Pentax or one of the big two? Most of my photographic friends and all the members of the camera club tried to talk me out of Pentax because the company would not be around in ten years time.
Then I received advice from an old timer that went like this :- ``Buy the camera that a) you can afford, b) fits your hands and you are comfortable operating, c) is the best for your type of work, regardless of whatever make it is``.
`` Remember lad, if you get 3-5 years use out of it, it will have paid for itself many times over. If the company folds, well keep using it until it stops and then move on``.
I took his advice and three cameras later I`m still with Pentax, but remember, if I had found a Sony, Nikon or whatever had fitted rules `a` `b` `c` better than Pentax I would not be on this site now.
My advice to you is pick up the basic K5 whilst it is still available if it fits in with a-b-c. At its current price you cannot go wrong.
BTW. There are now 4 Pentax owners in the club and another one soon.

Good luck with whatever you choose and have fun. Richard.

Last edited by Richard Spencer; 09-21-2012 at 07:53 AM.
09-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Spencer Quote
Hi, RaZZ3R,
I went the digital route in 2007, [B]Friday- 13th.-July.[B] to be exact. I had spent the previous 4 months agonizing - do I buy Pentax or one of the big two? Most of my photographic friends and all the members of the camera club tried to talk me out of Pentax because the company would not be around in ten years time.
Then I received advice from an old timer that went like this :- ``Buy the camera that a) you can afford, b) fits your hands and you are comfortable operating, c) is the best for your type of work, regardless of whatever make it is``.
`` Remember lad, if you get 3-5 years use out of it, it will have paid for itself many times over. If the company folds, well keep using it until it stops and then move on``.
I took his advice and three cameras later I`m still with Pentax, but remember, if I had found a Sony, Nikon or whatever had fitted rules `a` `b` `c` better than Pentax I would not be on this site now.
My advice to you is pick up the basic K5 whilst it is still available if it fits in with a-b-c. At its current price you cannot go wrong.
BTW. There are now 4 Pentax owners in the club and another one soon.

Good luck with whatever you choose and have fun. Richard.
Sound advice. You were fortunate that the "old timer" was around to give it.
09-21-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
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Ha ha, yes I was very lucky, he is still around and aged 101, Shoots with a K100ds.

Richard.
09-21-2012, 08:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by victordeamorin Quote
Hi, welcome! Your 3 options are VERY different ones in terms of size, handling etc. All I can say from experience is: I am able to go hiking for a week with my Pentax stuff. I assume I would be fine with the OM-D, being smaller and all. However, I would NOT be fine with the 5D, even with only one lens on it. That thing is BIG!
It's really hilarious how the option are:

If I go with Canon I will gain lots of weight with the quality and option of wide-angle lenses
If I go with Olympus I lose have the weight that I would with Canon but limit to 3 wide-angle lenses and lower ISO performance and DR
If I go with Pentax I would be somewhere between the two above and the cheaper system but I would heve to get a lote of lenses, prime one to get to the quality of Canon's.

ARE YOU LESSENING PENTAX ... GIVE US MORE LENSES, MORE OPTION AND A GOD DAMN FULL FRAME DSLR ALLREADY
09-21-2012, 08:02 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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No, Pentax is not future proof, no company is. Look at IBM, Xerox, Cisco, etc. And among SLR camera companies, Pentax is definitely at risk. As far as looking out 25 years, that is very ambitious for ANY brand's products. One thing is almost certain, you won't be using the either the K5, EM-5, or 5D bodies in 25 years time. So it mostly comes down to, which lens mount do you think will survive best?

To be clear, I am not sorry that I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars this year to buy into Pentax, but I am definitely not normal either.

In some ways you have to live in the moment. I figured my kids are only young once, and by the time they are teenagers or adults, they won't want me taking so my pictures of them anymore. Your situation will differ.
09-21-2012, 08:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Spencer Quote
Ha ha, yes I was very lucky, he is still around and aged 101, Shoots with a K100ds.

Richard.
Well G*d bless him. Age and wisdom are not always found in the same place but more often than not.....
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