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01-11-2013, 02:58 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K-5 vs K-5 II vs K-5 IIs

Hi everyone,

I am new around here and this is my first post. I regularly read photography forums on the net but never posted anything but I need some help and guidance so I took the plunge on pentaxforums!

I am on the verge on purchasing a DSLR but I have some questions. Just a bit of background about myself: I started photography 2 years ago, I shoot almost exclusively street scenes (a fair share of which in low light) in various countries in South East Asia where my camera is frequently exposed to dust, dirt and rain. I never owned a DSLR before and my main (and currently only one as I sold the others) camera is a Fuji X100 (fixed 23mm equivalent 35mm) which suited my needs perfectly until recently I found myself missing a bit of zoom. The X100 is a great camera but it doesn't travel well and I often need to have it cleaned (OVF and lens) of dust.

Anyway, I feel I need to purchase a DSLR to take my photography to the next level so to speak. I researched the market and after trying countless nikon and canon, I remained unconvinced. My main criteria is a camera which is quick to operate, especially the AF in lowish light (every camera is quick next to a Fuji X100), has a good weather seal and of course decent IQ. I came across the pentax K-5 range and I was quite impressed by the IQ. I went to handle a K-5 in a shop and it felt just perfect.

However I need to some help and guidance before purchasing. My dilemma is:

- K-5: The price is a steal and it is a great camera but I read lots of reviews and reports about bad AF in low light. Is it as bad as they say?
- K-5 II: Currently the frontrunner in my mind as it seems to have a better AF than the original K-5 and from what I have seen in the shop, the LCD looks so much better than the one on the K-5. However do the slightly better screen and the improved AF justify the jump in price?
- K-5 IIs: I am not experienced enough to decide if the trade-off between moire and more sharpness is worth taking the gamble of buying a camera with no AA filter. Are the photos of the IIs so much better than the II. What is the risk of getting moire?

I know that I will buy one of these three cameras with the 18-135mm WR lens and a 50mm prime. I can afford one of these cameras with the two mentioned lens. I just want to be sure to get value for my money (I don't want to overspend or underspend.. just get bang for my bucks if you see what I mean)

Sorry for the long post and any help and guidance would be much much appreciated

Cheers

01-11-2013, 06:13 AM   #2
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Since you do street, I don't think you should go with the IIs, since moire removal can be a pain. The K-5 has problems under warm lighting and/or low light in general. Since streetlights are usually warm it's going to be a problem. That leaves the K-5 II with the 18-135 and a 50, and it's the setup I'll be (hopefully) buying soon. If you can cut it get the 55 [EDIT 1.4] since it's also sealed.
01-11-2013, 06:19 AM   #3
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With the 18-135mm, you'd be better off buying the ii over the iis. Not sure about the 50mm. To me the iis requires superb optics to make it worth it. Then again.....it wont do worse with those lenses and will do better once you come to your senses about limited and DA*s. There is but one right, and the possibilities of wrong are infinite.
01-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Since you do street, I don't think you should go with the IIs, since moire removal can be a pain. The K-5 has problems under warm lighting and/or low light in general. Since streetlights are usually warm it's going to be a problem. That leaves the K-5 II with the 18-135 and a 50, and it's the setup I'll be (hopefully) buying soon. If you can cut it get the 55 [EDIT 1.4] since it's also sealed.
thanks for your reply! I am definitely leaning towards the II. I didn't know there was a WR 55mm lens. Pentax websites doesn't mention that it is WR.

01-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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All the 'DA*' lenses are also weather sealed, better too than the 'WR' lenses. The only problem with the 55 is that the SDM focusing is supposed to be a bit slow.
01-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
All the 'DA*' lenses are also weather sealed, better too than the 'WR' lenses. The only problem with the 55 is that the SDM focusing is supposed to be a bit slow.
then I will definitely go for the 55 DA*... Thanks for the info! I will order the k5 II today. I'll post about my experience of the phone in a few days...
01-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Toto Quote
then I will definitely go for the 55 DA*... Thanks for the info! I will order the k5 II today. I'll post about my experience of the phone in a few days...
I'd agree with Giklab for sure. Given your usage, if it's within your means, get the II. Low light AF on the K-5 classic can be very frustrating. It's by far the biggest complaint I have with what is otherwise an excellent camera.
01-12-2013, 06:03 AM   #8
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The funny thing is that when the K5 was relatively new and some of us reported that it had problems with AF in low light situations we where pretty much dismissed as idiots. Then Pentax released a firmware upgrade that addressed the problem somewhat, but if you still had problems you where still an idiot. But finally it seems to be accepted that the original K5 isn't that great in low light.

01-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #9
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Is the K-5II really beter in AF? Especialy in low light?
01-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
The funny thing is that when the K5 was relatively new and some of us reported that it had problems with AF in low light situations we where pretty much dismissed as idiots. Then Pentax released a firmware upgrade that addressed the problem somewhat, but if you still had problems you where still an idiot. But finally it seems to be accepted that the original K5 isn't that great in low light.
I have a recent K-5 (original) manufacture date 7/23/2012 now with FW 1.13.23.25 (it actually came with FW 1.01!)

I do a lot of very low light photography at a very dark jazz venue
- for over 3 years now on an almost weekly basis -
I had been using a K-x - and I have been able to focus in conditions that were below both the spec'd metering and AF limits.

Now that I have the K-5 I have found that it does focus quicker and more confidently under those same very dark conditions -
and with the humblest kit zooms.

- how dark?


Original resized only, EXIF attached:


Metering segment LVs:


Having said that -
the K-5II has a new AF system - SAFOX X (vs. the SAFOX IX+ of the original K-5)
and it is spec'd to focus as low as -3EV (compared to -1EV of the original K-5)
so that is 2 full stops lower/better.

But like I said, I don't seem to have much problems focusing in what I would consider "ridiculously" low light conditions with the K-x, or the K-5.

Please see:

K-5 in Use ( 1 2)
01-18-2013, 08:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
All the 'DA*' lenses are also weather sealed, better too than the 'WR' lenses. The only problem with the 55 is that the SDM focusing is supposed to be a bit slow.
Is this true? I thought all the weather resistant lenses actually showed "WR" on the lens. I have the DA 55-300, and I don't think it is weather sealed.

Cheers
01-18-2013, 09:43 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by slr_neophyte Quote
Is this true? I thought all the weather resistant lenses actually showed "WR" on the lens. I have the DA 55-300, and I don't think it is weather sealed.

Cheers
DA* is weather sealed.....not DA.....
01-18-2013, 10:16 PM   #13
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Don't disregard the DA*16-50. Sure, it's bigger than the DA*55, but f2.8 is still quick enough, and with a zoom range from ultra-wide to short telephoto, excellent IQ and weather sealing it's worth a thought.

As for bodies, any of the K-5's will be fine, even the original. I have taken thousands of concert photos with my "old" K-5's and the autofocus is fine, but I must admit my K-5 IIs is better. Moire is going to be pretty rare on the streets, so I wouldn't let that worry you.

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 01-18-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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