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10-15-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
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Another "Help me decide between K-5, K-30" thread

I could possibly be being gifted with sufficient funds ($850 if it happens?) to purchase a new camera body. I apologize, I'm aware that there are lots of K-30 / K-5 threads out there, but everyone's situation is unique and I wanted to get people's opinions on what I should do if rich relatives open wallets

A couple of the main factors:

Batteries
I have a K200D and a K-x and have invested a good amount into Eneloops. The K-5 can use AAs with the grip and if I got a K-5 that would be the plan. Can I use a K-5 with only AAs in grip and no batteries in body? (I suppose I could just keep the Li-ion in the body. I would like to stay on the AA side of the battery debate but am not completely firm on that. On a related note:

Grip
Obviously I'll have to get the grip if I want to power the K-5 with AAs. I shoot in portrait orientation a lot so this would be a welcomed purchase. It's unfortunate that there's no grip option for the K-30, but costs gotta be cut somewhere for competitive pricing.

Manual focus lenses
Aside from generous gifts/donations, I'm on a tight budget and as such, have mostly manual focus lenses. K-5 doesn't have focus peaking, but I've been getting by without it so far, with help from a Katzeye focusing screen. If I got a K-5 I would definitely go for a better focusing screen. Or would I?

Cost
I know, a bit ironic to be talking cost when the only way this purchase would happen is if I were gifted the money. But if I bought a K-5, I'd buy a grip and that adds about $150-$200 to the cost. So I'd have to buy a used K-5 (saw a couple on marketplace for about $725-$750), and sell my K-x to fund the grip. $850 in - $750 for used K-5 + $250 in for sold K-x - $169 out for D-BG4 from KEH - $77 for focusingscreen.com screen = $104 left to play around with.

I have no aspirations to do anything resembling semi-pro kind of video. Video with thin DOF is good enough for me. At the moment I'm leaning heavily towards K-5 but the K-30's focus peaking would be nice. I also like the white color but obviously that's not a huge deal.

Thanks everyone.

10-15-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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When I upgraded to a K-7 from a *ist DS, the AA issue was really important to me. I bought a 3rd party grip before I even had the K-7, plus a couple of third-party proprietary batteries. I really wanted my power options covered.

Two and a half years later, I've only used AAs in the grip once or twice. They don't last very long for me, and charging six is annoying. The AAs are really heavy too. It makes more sense to use one regular battery in the camera, one in the grip, a third one at home, unless you're on safari or taking a thousand shots a day.
10-15-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Two and a half years later, I've only used AAs in the grip once or twice. They don't last very long for me, and charging six is annoying. The AAs are really heavy too. It makes more sense to use one regular battery in the camera, one in the grip, a third one at home, unless you're on safari or taking a thousand shots a day.
At which point, AAs are again a waste of time. Might as well invest in 3 or 4 extra batteries and chargers, as AAs will be replaced constantly.
10-15-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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Or...

I am facing this same dilemma, but I am 60% sure I'll keep my kx and spend it on lenses instead (I'm thinking DA15 and a Sigma 30). This should give me more bang for my buck than upgrading bodies. Anyone think this is wrong? Is there anything in a k5 or k30 that will make as much change in IQ as these lenses do compared to the kit lens?

10-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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K30 for me

I went through this myself just recently. I was moving from a K20 so the perspective might be a little different. Here are my thoughts:

K30 for me.

AA issue - This is a non issue. Lithium batteries are so much better. Lighter and holds more charge. Plus they cost all of $7 at amazon.com with free shipping. Good rechargable AA cost far more. Get two extra lithiums and you are set. The K-30 AA adapter costs $30 and isn't included! I could get 4 lithiums at that price. Needless to say, I don't own an adapter.

Focus screens - I believe the focus screen can still be changed on the K30. But I decided against using it after all the exposure issues from the previous cameras and screens I've tried. Never tried it on my K30

Focus peaking - I use a lot of manual lenses myself and was really excited about this feature, I found it to be a letdown. The highlighted portion was so vague and on 3-D objects it was hard to tell what was in focus. In fact it made my focusing worse rather than better. The focus confirmation light works better (I think it is improved on the K30). Perhaps it is lack of practice. I don't know, but I don't trust focus peaking much.

Video - K30 video features are superior to that of the K5. Focusing with screw drive lenses is really loud and annoying (because it records the sound in the audio), but otherwise, the video mode is surprising good and useful.

Price - K30 is significantly cheaper.

Bad points about K30 - Much cheaper build that K-5. I've held both and there is no comparison. Lack of pro features like X-sync mode (I really miss manual flash) MTF Program (where it reads the lens data and adjust for optimal program mode for each lens). Lack of buttons (every button does double duty on the K30, sometimes that is annoying), No on camera side by side comparison of pictures. I really miss all the easy to access buttons on the K20 (but coming from a K200 and Kx, perhaps you won't see any difference). No grip as you mentioned. I actually like the feel of the grip on the K-5 better than on the K-30, but you may feel differently.

Both are wonderful cameras and you probably can't go wrong. I will say the K-30's low light capability was what sold me. It is exceptional. That made all the sacrifices from the K20's features and asthetics worth it. Since the K-5 uses the same sensor, it should be just as good.

Good luck.

Last edited by Youngster; 10-15-2012 at 10:55 AM.
10-15-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
A couple of the main factors:

Batteries

Grip

Manual focus lenses

Cost
I also like the white color but obviously that's not a huge deal.
So this goes: If I get the K-5 then I need to get the grip because of the batteries and the focussing screen because of the manual lenses and I like white but I don't have a lot of money.

I'd probably turn that around: Because of the batteries and the focus peaking and the white color and the price I will get the K-30.

I think you've made up your mind already. By the time you have the money the legacy K-5 will have all but disappeared from the stores to be replaced by the wonderful yet more expensive K-5 II(s). You only need us to nudge you, well there you go: nudge, nudge...

The K-30 looks like an (almost) perfect fit to your situation IMHO.
10-15-2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I am facing this same dilemma, but I am 60% sure I'll keep my kx and spend it on lenses instead (I'm thinking DA15 and a Sigma 30). This should give me more bang for my buck than upgrading bodies. Anyone think this is wrong? Is there anything in a k5 or k30 that will make as much change in IQ as these lenses do compared to the kit lens?
You will be better off getting the lenses. The K-x already has excellent IQ. I went from a K-x to a K-5 two years ago. At this point I already had a very good lens collection. So I didn't notice much improvement in IQ. In fact, for a while I thought the K-x had been better (but it was already sold). I now finally appreciate the K-5 for it's features, but it's taken me almost 2 years to get over feeling bad for putting so much money toward depreciation. When I bought expensive lenses, even those that cost much more than the K-x (which I bought at launch price) within days I felt no guilt because they were giving me real benefits right away. I knew those lenses would hold their value. And my guilt over paying full price for a new K-x also wore off quickly, because it gave me immediate benefits over my K-200D. Not so with the K-5.

So unless you spend the majority of your time shooting in demanding situations like fast-paced sports, keep the K-x. Even the high-ISO performance is not that different.


Edit: I just read your profile. If it's current, you seriously need to consider some more of the great bargain Pentax lenses with high IQ. The DA15 is very nice, and maybe should still be the next lens you get. But also consider:

A24/2.8
DA35/2.4
A or M 100/2.8 (non-macro)
Cosina 100/3.5 macro
K200/2.5
A or F 24-50/4
F 70-210/4-5.6 (much better than DA50-200)

Last edited by DSims; 10-15-2012 at 12:06 PM.
10-15-2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
So this goes: If I get the K-5 then I need to get the grip because of the batteries and the focussing screen because of the manual lenses and I like white but I don't have a lot of money.

I'd probably turn that around: Because of the batteries and the focus peaking and the white color and the price I will get the K-30.

I think you've made up your mind already. By the time you have the money the legacy K-5 will have all but disappeared from the stores to be replaced by the wonderful yet more expensive K-5 II(s). You only need us to nudge you, well there you go: nudge, nudge...

The K-30 looks like an (almost) perfect fit to your situation IMHO.
Hmm, maybe you're on to something Newmikey. In my original post I stated that I was leaning towards the K-5 but maybe I'm really subconsciously leaning towards the K-30? I guess the reason I stated I was leaning K-5 was because I heard it said on here somewhere that the K-5 is the better body for stills, and the K-30 for video. I like the quiet shutter too. Pentax just needs to make a K-5 with focus peaking, optional in-body AA tray, and in different colors

Of course, like some others have said, maybe I'd be better off using the (hopefully not) hypothetical gift money for lenses. I've always admired the DA 50-135 but SDM issues are a bit disturbing. Then again, 3 of my 4 lenses are in the 50-135 range so it'd be a bit redundant as far as focal lengths go.

10-15-2012, 02:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
... because I heard it said on here somewhere that the K-5 is the better body for stills, and the K-30 for video.
People write so much, it get's hard to know what to take seriously. I have the K-5 and it definitely IS an extremely capable body for stills. I never, ever shoot video and I haven't used the K30 so I can only go by the (p)reviews and it too, sounds like an awesome body.

QuoteQuote:
Of course, like some others have said, maybe I'd be better off using the (hopefully not) hypothetical gift money for lenses. I've always admired the DA 50-135 but SDM issues are a bit disturbing. Then again, 3 of my 4 lenses are in the 50-135 range so it'd be a bit redundant as far as focal lengths go.
If there's one rule of thumb I truly believe in, it is that every dollar invested in lenses pays itself back (virtually, I don't shoot for money) five times as fast as a dollar invested in a body upgrade. The glass will last, bodies age. I actually have the 50-135mm, had it for 2 years and never had an issue with it. It is fast, sharp and extremely capable for its size. I don't think I own one other lens that I trust as much as the 50-135 to deliver when I need it to.
10-15-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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In my case I'm probably going to get the K-30 and gamble that in a year or two Pentax will finally release the Holy Grail and I can then upgrade to that and use my old school glass on it.

(Hah! I avoided the dastardly 'Double F' word in this post!)
10-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
In my case I'm probably going to get the K-30 and gamble that in a year or two Pentax will finally release the Holy Grail and I can then upgrade to that and use my old school glass on it.

(Hah! I avoided the dastardly 'Double F' word in this post!)
Thank you for that!
10-15-2012, 05:38 PM   #12
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Like Youngster above I recently moved to the K-30 from the K20D. I find it light years ahead of the K20D and it has given new life to some lenses with it's low light capabilities and fast and accurate autofocus. Unlike Youngster, I have found focus peaking to be a huge benefit on a tripod (onlu time I use it). I can get very accurate focus with MF lenses with the focus peaking, it took a few shots to figure it out, but then, wow!

I did buy a cheap knockoff AA adapter for emergency, but will use Lithium Ions normally, it is nice to have that backup though. The only thing I miss, although minor, is the infrared remote port on the back, it only has one on the front. I'm very happy with the K-30, I can't compare to a K5 as I've never used one. I can't tell you what to buy, but can tell you that a K-30 is a great camera. But that money could buy a nice lens too.
10-15-2012, 05:53 PM   #13
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Hello, I am a super noob who just bought my first DSLR (the K-30) a few weeks ago, and if I offer my $.02, if most of your lenses are manual the K-30 might be the better choice. I also have a manual lens (Samyang 35mm 1.4), and I find even just using live view is really helpful for focusing. Focus peaking helps even more (I do most of my stuff handheld, unlike ramseybuckeye).

I have not used a K-5 so I can't comment on that, but I think whatever you get you will probably not make a bad purchase, as the both seem like great cameras.
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