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11-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #1
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Kx, Kr, K30 or upgrade to one of the K5s?

I know this is one of the perennial threads, asking which model to "upgrade" to, but sometime just talking it out with likeminded folks helps with the decision making process. Here is my situation: I currently have a K-7, which I love, and don't get me wrong, I don't think I've even scratched the surface of exploring everything my camera is capable of. I use it mostly for taking macro shots of my jewelry, and it does that job very well. But if you're going to have a camera like this, it's great to use it, right? So I use my K-7 for everything from family photos, to travel, to my own amateur attempts at landscape shots and the like.

However, one thing that I seem to routinely run into is the K-7's lowlight limitations. I don't like using flash, so I tend to run into this frequently. A family baby shower with poor indoor lighting turned out about half the photos as unusable. A trip to Disneyland, trying to take some photos of inside rides like Pirates barely turned out anything usable, even using settings others on these forums have recommended. These are just a couple of examples that were very disappointing for me. Now, I've seen the Kx produce some great lowlight images with something like the 40mm limited (which I have), and it can be had for some really awesome prices on the marketplace here. I've thought about picking it up as a second body.

On the other hand, the Kr is an upgraded version that also does good lowlight (I like that is has the focus indicator that the Kx lacks), and the K30 has all of that, plus the weather sealing I really like here in Oregon with my K-7. However, at that price I start thinking I should just skip the second body altogether, and sell my K-7 and upgrade to the K5 classic, or even hold out and save for one of the new models. And then I think a second, lighter body could be useful for carting around when we go on vacation. I love my K-7, but it can be a lot of camera to haul around on long and busy day trips, which our vacations tend to be. But I did just order an awesome bag from Porteen Gear, so that could alleviate most of my issues with that.

So here's the bottom line: if money were no object, I think I would upgrade to the latest K5ii and maybe invest in a K30 as well, to have a backup body and possibly a lighter body for carrying on long day trips, but the K5 would be my workhorse. However, money IS an issue, and I can't justify doing that (not to mention, there are lenses I would invest in first, I think.) I have used my friend's Kx for a day when I didn't have my camera with me, and I didn't like it as well as my K-7, but a lot of that could just be because I was unfamiliar with how to do a lot of customizations I was familiar with being able to do on my own camera.

Thoughts? What would you all do in my situation?

11-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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You have WR with your K-7 and in much of Oregon that's a real plus. I would eliminate the K-r from your thinking because it's not WR. The K-30 is a great camera and if it took a grip I'd have had one. Very good feature set, takes AAs with the same adapter as the K-r, and has focus peaking which no version of the K-5 offers. There have been some outstanding deals at Amazon Warehouse reported here on them too. Good luck with your decision.
11-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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If you're currently using the K-7, the K-5 classic would be most natural upgrade choice IMO, as it improves on a lot of areas without sacrificing any of the features that you already have. It's going to give you much better low-light performance and overall image quality. The $798 deal at Adorama is really hard to pass up on! Sell your K-7 (for free on the forum) for $400 and then you'll really be looking at a bargain

The K-r is a much more basic body, so I wouldn't recommend that, and while the K-30 is better for stuff like video, I'd say that the K-5 still delivers the best stills thanks to its sensor and 14-bit raw.

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11-13-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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Depending on how you prioritize budget, low light, and size, you have several solid choices if you sell the K7:

1) Replace the K7 with a K5 classic. That gives you Pentax' best low light performance and doesn't compromise on any K7 features.

2) If you want the best low light and the most compact K digital, the K5 classic plus K01. The K01 is there solely for size and (for me) not worth the money.

3) The K30, especially if you can live with the few K7 features you would lose, is a great compromise of low light and compact in a single body. Not quite as good as the K5 in dark and not as small as the K01 but the K30 gives both in a single body.

11-13-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
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You could think about a Q or Q10.
That would be a lot more "luggable" than either a K5 or K30, plus then you could experiment with super telephoto and super macro with the K mount adapter. Also more likely to get used for family outings and that sort of situation where pulling out a gigantic dslr looks a bit stupid.
just a thought...
11-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
So I use my K-7 for everything from family photos, to travel, to my own amateur attempts at landscape shots and the like.
Either K5c or K-30, and I'd lean to the K5c just from what you said about really loving the controls, layout, etc. K-30 appears great - little lighter, little cheaper, has focus peaking (if that even matters at all to you!). Both have WR, physical size about the same.
11-13-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for all of the replies!

Doc - Yes, being in the part of Oregon that sees a lot of rain, weather resistance is extremely important to me in a camera. Just taking a walk is likely to see at least a drizzle by the end many times of the year, even if it is dry at the beginning. K30 vs. K5c is a tough choice.

John - Great suggestions! I've looked at the 01 as a compact option, especially attractive as it takes K-mount lenses, but the lack of viewfinder is really off-putting. I do not like looking at an LCD screen to frame my shot. Do you know if the K30 is smaller than the K5? My understanding in the past has been that the Kx and K7, for example, shared the same basic body size, but the Kx was lighter and not as heavy.

calsan - I haven't really explored the Q, largely because I didn't think it took K-mount lenses...I might have to research it.

Everyone - It's looking strongly like the best fit for me will be selling my K-7 and getting a K5c - especially if the controls are largely the same, since I really like that layout. Thank you so much for the replies! I certainly have a lot to think about...
11-13-2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
Wow, thanks for all of the replies!

Doc - Yes, being in the part of Oregon that sees a lot of rain, weather resistance is extremely important to me in a camera. Just taking a walk is likely to see at least a drizzle by the end many times of the year, even if it is dry at the beginning. K30 vs. K5c is a tough choice.

John - Great suggestions! I've looked at the 01 as a compact option, especially attractive as it takes K-mount lenses, but the lack of viewfinder is really off-putting. I do not like looking at an LCD screen to frame my shot. Do you know if the K30 is smaller than the K5? My understanding in the past has been that the Kx and K7, for example, shared the same basic body size, but the Kx was lighter and not as heavy.

calsan - I haven't really explored the Q, largely because I didn't think it took K-mount lenses...I might have to research it.

Everyone - It's looking strongly like the best fit for me will be selling my K-7 and getting a K5c - especially if the controls are largely the same, since I really like that layout. Thank you so much for the replies! I certainly have a lot to think about...
Good luck. The layout of the K-5 is the same as your K-7, including the shared grip.

11-13-2012, 10:03 PM   #9
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This is a handy website for comparing body sizes: Compare camera dimensions side by side

I suggest you go for the K-5 II or K-30 . The original K-5 has way too many reports of wonky AF for my liking. The K-30 has improved auto-focus in coloured light and sensor level CA correction. The K-5 II goes even further, with improved low light capabilities for auto-focus down to -3Ev vs. -1Ev for the other bodies with 16mp sensors.

From the K-30 announcement:

Newly developed SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus (AF) module for improved autofocus performance
The K-30 features the new state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens. A dedicated sensor also factors the light source into its calculations at the time of shooting.


From the K-5 II K-5 IIs announcement:

These new dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant cameras include a newly developed SAFOX X AF sensor that delivers the broadest autofocusing EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV) in its class.

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-14-2012 at 12:02 AM.
11-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
SNIP
John - Great suggestions! I've looked at the 01 as a compact option, especially attractive as it takes K-mount lenses, but the lack of viewfinder is really off-putting. I do not like looking at an LCD screen to frame my shot. Do you know if the K30 is smaller than the K5? My understanding in the past has been that the Kx and K7, for example, shared the same basic body size, but the Kx was lighter and not as heavy.
SNIP
I'm correcting my earlier post. I thought the K30 was smaller than it actually is. Compare camera dimensions side by side has a visual display that lets you compare the sizes of any 2 cameras. Not that there's really that much of a difference between any K digital: someone who says "the K5 is too big too carry" will probably say the same about any other K, even the K01. So, I'll drop the K30 and K01 from my earlier possibilities because the K5 is superior for stills.

(hmm, audiobomber pointed you to the same exact link. I didn't see his post before.)
11-16-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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Well, after talking it over with the husband and reading up about the K-01, it looks like that will be the direction we're going to go after all. The price was a huge factor, and although the size difference seems minimal, those who own it say the size combined with the shape (and a slim lens) makes it a lot more "packable" than a full size DSLR. Husband pointed out that we're most likely to use it as a travel camera for situations like Disney, where we would rather be having fun than worrying about the best shot, but still want good stills.

The one sticking point we're having is color - he wants basic black, but I'd rather go with something fun like the white or yellow.
11-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
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I don't have a K01, but since you mentioned disney, you might want to consider whether you'll be satisfied without a viewfinder in bright sun. If you add one of the aftermarket accessory viewfinder hoods, the camera would become much larger. Without any accessory, you'll probably find it's harder to hold the camera still vs. a camera with a viewfinder.

Paul
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