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View Poll Results: Would you recommend Pentax to a friend?
Yes 6279.49%
No 67.69%
I'd keep my mouth shut 1012.82%
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10-07-2012, 02:18 AM   #1
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Question: would you recommend Pentax to a friend?

So, depending on your point of view, you've invested in the finest system money can buy or you've drunk deep of the poisoned kool aid.

Were a friend to ask you for advice on buying a high end camera, would you recommend that they go with Pentax? If not, what would you suggest instead?

I don't think I would. For the same reason that I wouldn't recommend buying into the Olympus E-series. Two perfectly decent systems, but without a long-term future. Nobody wants to buy into an evolutionary dead end.

Photokina 2012 was, shall we say, disappointing: two modest rehashes of an old body and an $8000 lens. Sony, on the other hand, stole the show.

Were I to recommend anything, it would probably be one of the upcoming micro four thirds bodies: maybe the E-PL5. You've now got really good IQ, instantly pleasing results and you're buying into a growing system. If you're never going to shoot raw or move beyond kit lenses, the Nikon 1 looks like a valid option too.

Last edited by top-quark; 10-07-2012 at 02:31 AM. Reason: Didn't answer my own question!
10-07-2012, 02:41 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I guess there is some difference between recommending "long-term future" and some fine camera with good money for quality.
If a friend asks about camera there is no place about "Nobody wants to buy into an evolutionary dead end."

Does Pentax makes good cameras for "cheap" - Yes.
Does it takes pictures? - Yes.
Are they good? - Yes.
Then buy it.

My wife have Mark II, but I'll never ever recommend it to someone.. its large, heavy, expensive and... I guess I'm canon hater.. considering that I had several C film cameras, I was never happy about them.
While Pentax, just sticks to my hand.
The only reason I would switch to some Mark series is to get it free and for selling it and get some sweet Pentax lenses.
10-07-2012, 03:22 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I'd certainly recommend a specific Pentax model but I'd do the same with a specific Nikon, Canon or what have you. Depending on the requirements of the person and where he/she is located. I do not "recommend Pentax" as a brand - I don't get paid to do their marketing.

I usually state that there are no bad cameras anymore and people should find something that suits their level of experience and their expectations - the brand badge that ends up on the camera is not something I tend to worry about.
10-07-2012, 03:29 AM   #4
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Unless his/her lens line up is not established, or she/he not needs an FF soon, why wouldn't I recommend the best APS-C camera to a friend? Of course I do.

Last edited by cbaytan; 10-08-2012 at 02:37 AM. Reason: correction
10-07-2012, 04:07 AM   #5
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If my friend is looking for a SLR or a mirrorless APS-C camera, I am not sure that I would recommend Pentax with the current body line-up.
Keep my mouth shut probably.
10-07-2012, 04:45 AM - 1 Like   #6
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@top-quark. Oh dear, what a gloomy view of the prospects for Pentax. Perhaps your expectations of Photokina were a little unrealistic?

If you read the more dispassionate analyses of the Pentax announcements, you might discern that the announcements were more the last gasp of the Hoya era, than the first products of the Ricoh era. But an "evolutionary dead-end"? I don't think so. Both the major DSLR manufacturers are sticking with their film-era lens mounts and developing their APS-C bodies, as well as other systems. Other manufacturers are moving in different directions, but so is Pentax.

The constant hand-wringing over the lack of a 35mm sensor body with a Pentax badge is distracting, but will probably cease at some point when those wishing for one have mostly left, or the long-awaited fulfilment appears. In the meantime, all that does is to deepen despair, with the prophets of FF or MFT wandering the Forums tolling the death of APS-C and touting the One True System they've attached their zealotry to (there's nothing so zealous as a reformed rake, is there?).

Many here still dismiss the Q because of its slow start, and its small sensor. They should read the posts by people who have experience with one. Is this to be considered a dead-end system, when its second-generation model has appeared so quickly? I don't think so. The K-01 was an interesting "sport" on the evolutionary line, since we read that it's probably a dead end as a series. The 645D isn't dead and lenses are being slowly added, but you'd expect that in a comparatively expensive niche system.

So, if my friends or family want an APS-C DSLR and they don't want super-fast AF, I have no hesitation in recommending Pentax. If they want value for money, I suggest they look at the K30. If they want a solid build and weather-sealing, I strongly endorse the K-5. I also point out the strengths and weaknesses of the K-5 from my own experience, but I suggest they try for themselves.

A young friend of mine used my K20D on a recent holiday, and then looked around for her own DSLR and went for the K-5 over the competition. If she hadn't sought my opinion, she'd have probably been "sold" a Canon or Nikon, but trying for herself convinced her that Pentax could deliver what she wanted and more at a much better price (she bought the DA18-135, as well, again based on trying mine).

People are astounded at the quality of the build and the images I get from my Q. It speaks for itself, so I don't have to try very hard to recommend that system. Again, though, I point out its strengths and weaknesses.

I just wish I had the cash to be able to recommend the 645D, from personal experience.
10-07-2012, 05:02 AM   #7

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To-days cameras are short-life electronic devices, and I would point this out to whoever asked, so why not recommend Pentax to a friend? You're not buying in to a life-time system, and Pentax is a good as any for general photography purposes.

That said, when I have been asked, I say why I shoot Pentax, (which is as much to be seen as an individual, not part of a mindless herd), but always say that, like Harry Potter's wand, the camera will choose you, so go and try all marques offerings within budget, ignore the sales pitch, go home, think, research the best deal/customer service offering, then buy and enjoy!

If I were true to my friend I'd avoid giving them any more advice, as it would be coloured by opinions and prejudices, just like your's top-quark!
10-07-2012, 06:44 AM   #8
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I assume that if some one came to me for advise on buying a system they are new to DSLRs. So I think the best advise is for them to buy Nikon. getting both the D4 and the D800e along with the 200 2.0, 300 2.8 and the 400 2.8 for long lenses. And the shift lenses and the 14-24 etc.Of course those lenses are expensive.

The best way to get a company to go under is for everyone to tell everyone else that it is going under. The idea that a person should buy a system where there are 6 thousand dollar cameras and ten K lenses they can 'upgrade' to some one starting out is assuming their goal is to become a professional photographer. Most people buy a camera and one to three lenses. For this size of system not buying the top lenses like limited or Canon L series lenses then Pentax represents a good value for the dollar and a great camera. Is that not what they are looking for rather then a professional system with cameras and lenses they will never buy. The fact that Ford might make a 5 ton truck does not influence me if I was looking for a compact truck.

There is no law that requires a company to only introduce new models at Photokina. If Pentax releases a new model next year it will be one year more advanced than if they did last month. There is no evidence that they are not going to introduce new and better models. And who says that APS-C is a dead end for digital cameras? I just do not see it as an evolutionary dead end. Well perhaps in twenty years and certainly in fifty years it will be. But then so would what everyone calls full frame. All the major companies may have new formats or new mounts by then anyways. I think telling people that Pentax is dead or on a dead end line is false and unfounded. If the friend expressed interest in wildlife or wedding photography I would recommend some thing else other than Pentax or the systems you mentioned. I would recommend what would work for them and their needs and goals not for my likes and dislikes nor due to my disappointment on what was released in Sept of 2012. But if they are looking for a decent DSLR I would still give them the same advise I would have in 2010 , 1990 or 1980. Try out the models from the major brands and see what feels to them the best and now adays which menu and buttons seem to make sense to them. And perhaps suggest other systems then the DSLR if it sounds like that would be suitable. What I would do is try to avoid leading them one way or another due to my own desire to get some thing that was not released on a certain date at a certain place.

10-07-2012, 07:44 AM   #9

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I love my Pentax gear, but had to buy the K20 with kit lenses, later the DA* 300, the K5 and the 18-135WR sight unseen through internet vendors based on reviews and recommendations in this forum ( which is probably not unbiased). For the record, I have not been disappointed, on the contrary.

It is just not possible to get your hands one of these Pentax products in this neck of the woods and many people are wary to buy something they cannot see. This would be the reason for not recommending Pentax. If there is none in the shops, but lots of the competition available, the perception is that the after sales service and part availability must be better, if not just at least available. Do I send it back to South Africa or the Netherlands and what about customs etc. If you are willing to take that chance, I would say go for it, but for peace of mind in terms of back-up, no, I cannot recommend it. Mine has been working perfectly, though.
10-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
@top-quark. Oh dear, what a gloomy view of the prospects for Pentax. Perhaps your expectations of Photokina were a little unrealistic?
You know, I'm generally quite positive. But, yes, I was disappointed. No-one likes the feeling that they've bought into Betamax or HD-DVD. Every other system had lots for its users to look forward to, but not us. Sony did particularly well. I often see expensive things and think "if I had x to buy a y, I still wouldn't but a y". You know what? I'm never going to own an RX1, but if I had 2500 to buy one, I probably would. Anyone else feel the same?

It looks like they got the mirrorless formula exactly right with NEX 6 too and that got me to thinking: any advantages of the DSLR form factor are rapidly being eroded. In a couple of years time, I really don't see people lugging around big, fat, unsubtle bodies. The OVF and prism may well go the same way as film: the reserve of the truly hardcore few.

I could care less about full frame. I already have to make a special point to go out with my K-5. I've no desire to dangle a 2KG body / lens combination around my neck. However, the lack of a sensible mirrorless strategy does leave me worried. Fuji didn't come out with a new DSLR yet I suspect that X-mount healthily outsells K-mount.

In the high-end camera business, I reckon that Pentax outsells Sigma, but at least Sigma has a healthy optics business to fall back on. In such a competitive business, it's hard to see a way up from the very bottom. Were I CEO, I might take a leaf out of Sigma's book and make glass for other mounts - it'd be a better strategy than the K-01 at least!
10-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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I have no trouble recommending Pentax. Particularly, since I know most people will never feel the sting of LBA or even Gear Buying Addiction. Who really cares if someone buys a K30 with a kit lens or, a D5100? The reality is that for most people, top end gear isn't in their future. The K30 matches up really well with Nikon/Canon's similarly priced camera bodies and if Pentax would someday bite the dust, well, then in five or six years, they can go out and buy whatever mid level camera and kit lens is offered from one of the camera companies that is still around.
10-07-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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I think it all depends on how the question is asked. As far as I am concerned all DSLRs today perform exceptionally when compared to film, Andy therefore if I was asked, I would probably take them to henry's downtown store and tell them to hold and touch all the makes. It rally does not matter much which brand someone purchases. If they like Pentax, or ask what I have I would tell them the good and bad about the camera, I would also tell them if they say are looking at Nikon, to make sure the model they purchase can work with older lenses to give them that option. I would also explain to them that canon with adapters can again with the right models use old lenses from just about everyone.

It is their choice, I would advise and make sure with questions whether they have selected correctly for their needs but not push them to any one system.
10-07-2012, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I have no issue recommending Pentax and have to a few friends, but I usually qualify it a bit first (if for instance they have Older nikon or eos lenses about it would be silly to recommend Pentax. I actually think it's even easier to recommend with the advent of the K30 which really is IMO the best camera in it's price category for photography. If they are more video oriented then I may suggest something different
10-07-2012, 07:24 PM   #14
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Already did to one of my bridge-camera-toting friends; actually didn't have to talk much. The guy asked me about Pentax before I even spoke to him about DSLRs. What I told him was actually balancing Pentax versus Canikon offers (lousy AF, hunting for old glass)... Well, he was pretty much sold to Pentax after hearing about me using old lenses and Takumars.

Something about vintage-y stuff, really. Quite the trend here lately.

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