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12-28-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
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Upgrading from ist DS to... ?

I've been shooting with my DS for years and now I'm ready to upgrade. Well, I've been ready, but Christmas brought on the extra cash to make the move. I've shot with Pentax for so many years, I just don't think I could ever jump ship, so I'm looking to stick around for a while longer. That said, I was 99% sure that I was going to get the K5. Heck, I had it in my shopping cart, but then I noticed the K-01 was 1/2 the price. I read about the K-01 when it came out, but dismissed it as something I'd never care for. The lack of OVF (or even an EVF) made me toss it aside. But, now, many months later, I've just started reading everyone's thoughts on here and on DPreview. They are much more positive than I thought they would be. Many people that were shooting with other cameras have claimed that the regular LCD is pretty darn good, even in bright light. The IQ is almost as good as the K5 (barring high ISO), etc. I haven't really given a lot of thought to the K-30 either...

So yeah, now I'm stuck. I really feel that the OVF is a huge feature that I'd miss, but I'm torn after reading some of these more recent threads. Looking at 746 vs 316 is pretty massive. At the end of the day, 400 isn't going to make or break me, but I'd rather use it else where. Heck, now the body only K30 is 609. I'm just wondering if 400 bucks is really worth all that the K-5 brings to the table. I'd also like to add that I'm not unhappy with my DS, but that I've been in a lot of situations with poor lighting (or mixed lighting) trying to get a workable family photo (6 nieces, 2 of my own, etc) where higher iso would have been helpful as the flash was not an option (w/o getting a bigger flash), etc. But really, I just have that upgrade bug. It is going to happen. Today probably, depending on feedback!

I know a lot of folks on here have a K-01 + a K-5 or K-30, so I'd be interested in knowing the thoughts from those that have used both (or all three). As for a quick bit of background, this is just a hobby for me. I enjoy being able to get crystal clear images (relatively speaking) from 30 year old glass as much as I love new glass, but I'm mostly shooting (these days) my kids, family functions, and whatever else happens to pop up while I'm with camera. My vision isn't what it used to be, so I find myself having a lot of trouble with MF on my old lenses and relying on the confirmation of the AF squares that come up when I'm focusing, if not switching to an AF lens and using that for most of the shooting I'm doing.

12-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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I have a K-30 and a K-01 (and a DS, for that matter). The 01/30 share a lot of hardware/firmware, so in terms of actual pictures, they are pretty close. Of course, the user interface and handling are completely different. I don't even have a neck strap on my K-01 - for one thing, my eyes are the age where I need to hold it just a little further away than the strap allows, but the lack of a viewfinder has really changed the way I shoot - I do a lot more "arm's length" shots.

If you will be shooting a lot of action (kids, critters, or sports), I would lean towards the K-30. The AF on the K-01 just isn't as fast. Also, the 30 handles better with big tele- or zoom lenses.

The K-5 has a lot of top-end features, but the K-01 and K-30 have better video capabilities, and focus peaking really does help with manual lenses. Since they are both derived from the K-5, image quality is top-notch. Any of the three will be a huge leap forward in terms of low-light performance. I happily let my K-01 or K-30 shoot at ISO 3200 where I wouldn't let the DS go past ISO 800 unless it was an emergency.

I don't think you can't go wrong with any of them - the K-01 is so cheap right now that lots of folks are getting it just as a second body, and all three are fantastic cameras.

Last edited by THoog; 12-28-2012 at 01:28 PM.
12-28-2012, 01:30 PM   #3
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Right, that is the thing, the K-01 is so cheap... I could buy two for the price either one K-5 or K-30 (with a few extra dollars). I've been reading reviews of all three so long today, my brain hurts.

Also, about moving subjects, I don't really do a lot of that right now as the kids are under 5 and move pretty slow as far as "action" shots go. I've done OK with the DS and I would hope that all three of those could focus faster than it does. I'm concerned about the RAW burst speed of the K-01. When I have a prefocused scene on my DS, I can fire off a lot of shots, it seems, faster than what I'm reading about the K-01.
12-28-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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Been there... I finally got sick of (a certain review site) not doing a "real" review of the K-30 and decided to just buy the darned thing. When the price went down on the K-01, I thought I would spite the haters, plus it does have the quietest shutter of the three (even quieter than the K-5). I do a lot of shooting in museums, and the 'Ka-Shunk!' of my dSLRs sometimes draws unwanted attention. The K-01 was going to get limited use, but I've really come to love the little brick. ... I can't quite say it's the one to get if you can only have one. It kind of depends on what you do. The K-01 loves small lenses (especially the Limiteds), but can be a handful with a big barrel.

Ooh, I just thought of one more thing - dunno if it matters, but the K-30 can use AA batteries (with an optional clip, available cheap from eBay). The K-5 and K-01 only use a Li-ion battery (the K-5/K-01 use the same battery, and the K-r/K-30 use the same battery or AA clip).

12-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
Been there... I finally got sick of (a certain review site) not doing a "real" review of the K-30 and decided to just buy the darned thing. When the price went down on the K-01, I thought I would spite the haters, plus it does have the quietest shutter of the three (even quieter than the K-5). I do a lot of shooting in museums, and the 'Ka-Shunk!' of my dSLRs sometimes draws unwanted attention. The K-01 was going to get limited use, but I've really come to love the little brick. ... I can't quite say it's the one to get if you can only have one. It kind of depends on what you do. The K-01 loves small lenses (especially the Limiteds), but can be a handful with a big barrel.

Ooh, I just thought of one more thing - dunno if it matters, but the K-30 can use AA batteries (with an optional clip, available cheap from eBay). The K-5 and K-01 only use a Li-ion battery (the K-5/K-01 use the same battery, and the K-r/K-30 use the same battery or AA clip).
If you ever plan to take pictures of your children at sports activities the K-01 is going to be very frustrating because of how it focuses and its "burst" speed. If I were on a budget I'd either buy the K-5 or 30 if I could swing it (and if you do don't forget the 2 year extended warranty for $19) or a get gently used K-x. The K-x is really a sweet little camera and while not as advanced as the K-30 it does so many things well that it's a pleasure to use, plus they run $250ish gently used and will handle bursts at a MUCH higher rate than the K-01.

If you do get a K-30, just remember to take your optional AA clip with you......
12-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbdm99 Quote
I've been shooting with my DS for years and now I'm ready to upgrade. Well, I've been ready, but Christmas brought on the extra cash to make the move. I've shot with Pentax for so many years, I just don't think I could ever jump ship, so I'm looking to stick around for a while longer. That said, I was 99% sure that I was going to get the K5. Heck, I had it in my shopping cart, but then I noticed the K-01 was 1/2 the price. I read about the K-01 when it came out, but dismissed it as something I'd never care for. The lack of OVF (or even an EVF) made me toss it aside. But, now, many months later, I've just started reading everyone's thoughts on here and on DPreview. They are much more positive than I thought they would be. Many people that were shooting with other cameras have claimed that the regular LCD is pretty darn good, even in bright light. The IQ is almost as good as the K5 (barring high ISO), etc. I haven't really given a lot of thought to the K-30 either...

So yeah, now I'm stuck. I really feel that the OVF is a huge feature that I'd miss, but I'm torn after reading some of these more recent threads. Looking at 746 vs 316 is pretty massive. At the end of the day, 400 isn't going to make or break me, but I'd rather use it else where. Heck, now the body only K30 is 609. I'm just wondering if 400 bucks is really worth all that the K-5 brings to the table. I'd also like to add that I'm not unhappy with my DS, but that I've been in a lot of situations with poor lighting (or mixed lighting) trying to get a workable family photo (6 nieces, 2 of my own, etc) where higher iso would have been helpful as the flash was not an option (w/o getting a bigger flash), etc. But really, I just have that upgrade bug. It is going to happen. Today probably, depending on feedback!

I know a lot of folks on here have a K-01 + a K-5 or K-30, so I'd be interested in knowing the thoughts from those that have used both (or all three). As for a quick bit of background, this is just a hobby for me. I enjoy being able to get crystal clear images (relatively speaking) from 30 year old glass as much as I love new glass, but I'm mostly shooting (these days) my kids, family functions, and whatever else happens to pop up while I'm with camera. My vision isn't what it used to be, so I find myself having a lot of trouble with MF on my old lenses and relying on the confirmation of the AF squares that come up when I'm focusing, if not switching to an AF lens and using that for most of the shooting I'm doing.
Go for the K-30 IMO. The K-01 is great, but it's not a DSLR, and if you care for an OVF, then it's not the right choice for you. The K-30 is better in just about every aspect compared to the DS anyway, so you've got nothing to lose!

Adam
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12-28-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Strong push for the K-30! For the 100/diff, I'd just assume go for the K-5, but now I'm rethinking that. Again, it's really that 400/diff that is getting into my brain. At 8:00 this morning, I was 99% sure I would be ordering the K-5 today. I'm pretty sure that all three will be leaps and bounds ahead of my DS.

Makes me want to just get out my ZM and go back to using the school's darkroom. That is, if they still have it. 300~750 is a lot of film and paper supplies. (mostly kidding of course. I just hate that the price of the K-01 has suddenly fallen so much, yet people are selling used K-5's for not much, if any, less than a brand new one).
12-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, I like the K-01 pictures that people have started to upload on here. I haven't used one, but it would be a nice complement to your *ist DS, and if you ever miss the viewfinder, you still have your old DSLR. So I guess I'm for the K-01.

12-28-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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One vote for the K-01! We only have one Pentax dealer in our area. They are generally grumpy there, charge way too much (1200 for the K-5 when it was 900 online), and make me really not want to every visit, but I guess I'm going to swing by tonight and see if they have any of these cameras to at least hold.
12-28-2012, 10:37 PM   #10
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I have a DS and recently upgraded (some buttons started malfunctioning). Went for the K-5. I was also considering the K-30, but it simply felt like a downgrade to me once I held it in hands. As a first timer, yes, it's great. But a DS is a higher end body. The way it feels, the screen on top etc.

Also the video functions of the K-30 are great... On paper. In reality it sucks. The image stabilization doesn't work in video mode, it uses a digital stabilizer for video. And that one gives tons of weird artefacts. It is so bad that you better shoot without. The auto focus has to be triggered by hand and hunts around. Quite distracting, and in the end when I tried it it took a few attempts to get focus. Nice on paper, useless in reality.

The only disadvantage of the K-5 is the SR is a bit noisy in videos. Use external mike if you want better audio. Also when the sensor gets warm it can get some hot pixels. And yes, the files are huge. So you will need a lot of big memory cards if you plan to shoot a lot. The image stabilisation is awesome on the K-5. You can walk and shoot and still get smooth video. I tried both cameras. Video was the main reason I bought the K-5.

If your main focus is photos, then the K-01 or K-30 will give you similar, if not better results. But they won't be such a joy to use.

Last edited by kadajawi; 12-28-2012 at 10:55 PM.
12-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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Video is at the bottom of the list of features I care about. I'd be happy if they just left them off. I use a dedicated camcorder for that. I suppose if I ever felt like being creative, then it would be something I'd want, but I hardly have time to post process photos these days.

You make an interesting point about the way the bodies feel. The DS is great in my hands. I have played around with some friends Nikon's and Canon's, but they really never felt nearly as good in my hands as the DS.

I missed the store last night, but I'm going to check them out today. Try some samples. I am going to bet that 1) They don't have a K-01 in stock 2) If they have a K-30, it will be priced around 900 body only and 3) The only K-5 will be the II
12-29-2012, 01:29 PM   #12
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I was mostly right. No K-01's, no K-30's. Only 1 K-5, priced 1099 body only. He said they just don't have much interest in Pentax these days.

He was making a hard push on the Sony A57 as it has a 150 rebate on it through today. 650 with the 18-55. I played with it for a few minutes and it seemed pretty neat. I tried shooting with just the live view and it wasn't terrible
12-29-2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbdm99 Quote
I was mostly right. No K-01's, no K-30's. Only 1 K-5, priced 1099 body only. He said they just don't have much interest in Pentax these days.

He was making a hard push on the Sony A57 as it has a 150 rebate on it through today. 650 with the 18-55. I played with it for a few minutes and it seemed pretty neat. I tried shooting with just the live view and it wasn't terrible
New system. The A57 gets descent reviews, except for how it handles Jpegs. It does have an EVF though. But you'd need to replace all your lenses. $650 is nothing praticularly special pricewise as its what Amazon offers it for with that lens.
12-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #14
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Right, that is with the instant discount. I was using the Amazon price, actually, I think he had it at 699 instead. If I was seriously looking at the Sony line, I'd go with the A65 as it can be had for the same price as a (body only) K-5. The OLED EVF is supposed to be quite interesting.

I only shoot in raw. I've never seen the advantage to shooting out of raw.
12-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #15
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If you can live without a viewfinder, the K-01 deals are hard to beat, and then you can get great Pentax glass for whatever body. If you have more money the K-5 deals are also great. K-01 has proponents and not, the K-5 is pretty much universally loved. I love my K-01.
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