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03-12-2013, 02:27 AM   #1
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K-5 (first model not II) Vs. K-30

Hi all Pentaxians,
I am here since I want to buy myself a new Pentax DSLR camera. I am debating between the first model of the K-5 (not II) since it's price descended dramatically because of the launch of the K-5 II generation and it is now cost about the same as the K-30,
and I wonder if someone here can help me to decide.

I used to have a Nikon D90 until it was recently stolen (the basters!). It was an OK SLR especially for the price, but I never really liked it's image quality, so I wasn't "devastated" when it was stolen.
Even when I bought my old Nikon I wanted a Pentax but for budget+available models+timing reasons I ended up with the D90...

I know that the K-5 supposed to be of higher grade then the K-30 but since the the original K-5 model is older then the K-30 by 2-3 years and most of the reviews where written close to their launch I wander if there is a "time gap" that covers up on some technological issues, meaning since the K-5 is older some features that were amazing back then are kind of mandatory nowadays?
(For instance, in dpreview.com they say in their reviews that the video handling in the K-30 isn't that good comparing to the competitors but on the K-5 review they seems to be pretty content, and I'm asking myself if it is since the demands are changed because the expectations are now different.)

Any suggestions anyone?

Thanks
Guy

03-12-2013, 03:20 AM - 1 Like   #2
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There are already a couple of threads on this topic, so please look for them, they answer it in depth. But here is a quick summary off the top of my head.They are both WR (so if you use a WR lens with it you can go out in poor weather), but the K-5 has overall better/tougher built. The two cameras have essentially the same sensor, but the K-5 records more bits of information, so if you shoot raw, you can edit the photos better and add/remove brightness to bigger extremes. I think the K-5 has better burst mode as well. The K-30 has slightly more video options, but generally using a DSLR for video isn't the best choice. Though some people still get great results, and the video capabilities are more than enough for any casual shooter or tourist or someone recording family events. You just need to know what settings to use and use movie software to compress the recordings
The K-30 also has the focus peaking feature (look for a video on youtube to see what this is), which can be helpful with manual focusing. The K-5 doesn't have this feature. On the other hand, most photographers use the OVF instead of live view on these cameras.
The K-5 also has slightly more professional controls, so more buttons but also more complicated. If you are a beginner, go with the K-30. If you are advanced, go with the K-5. Neither of these cameras will disappoint you,but there is a learning curve, with any DSLR.
03-12-2013, 04:07 AM   #3
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Hi Guy

I'd have to go with the K-5. Though older, it gets higher scores in most comparisons between the K-5 and the K-30. Low light focussing can be an issue with K-5, in my experience, but I really like it's tough exterior. (I shoot in mud at 4x4 events, and in rain at football matches!) Invest in a WR lens if you want to make full use of the weather-sealing.

I'm still learning about all the functions of the K-5 as I migrated from film only last September. I find the controls easy to use, the buttons seem to sit in logical places. If anything, I'd like to get a battery grip because I like a bulky camera - big hands! I hardly ever shoot video, but when I have, that's been good too. Generally, (apart from the above-mentioned action shots) I like to shoot landscapes, flowers and abstracts and so far I've been very happy with the move to digital. I like the 7fps for sports photography.

Very pleased also with the image stabilisation and sensor cleaning function. We live in a dusty environment and so far I've not had to manually clean the sensor - the camera seems to be able to shake any dust that gets in with lens changes off it's sensor quite efficiently on its own.

Like so many other nutters I'd like to see Pentax go FF, but the K-5 will have to do in the mean time. Having said that, with my record, I'd probably still be shooting the thing 20 years from now - I don't often upgrade cameras.

Hope this helps your decision. Either way, K-5 or K-30, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Kind regards,
Mark
03-12-2013, 04:08 AM   #4
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Thanks

Thank you for your help and point out.

03-12-2013, 04:16 AM   #5
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You could always use the camera side by side comparison feature of this forum, to work out what features are important for you and take it from there.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-cameras-compared/
03-12-2013, 05:18 AM   #6
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I changed from using K5 (3yrs) to K30.

To me, K30 is the better camera in most ways.
Better CDAF, Focusing Peaking; a bit better AF; slightly sharper o/p (non-empirical) ; Lighter; smaller;

The K5 is better for:
Slightly more buttons for faster access (real slight); Timer and IR release of exposure bracketing (the K30 needs a wired remote for this)

I don't care for mag alloy build. I don't endevour to drop my camera (never have over 15yrs of using a SLR).
03-12-2013, 05:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I changed from using K5 (3yrs) to K30.

To me, K30 is the better camera in most ways.
Better CDAF, Focusing Peaking; a bit better AF; slightly sharper o/p (non-empirical) ; Lighter; smaller;

The K5 is better for:
Slightly more buttons for faster access (real slight); Timer and IR release of exposure bracketing (the K30 needs a wired remote for this)

I don't care for mag alloy build. I don't endevour to drop my camera (never have over 15yrs of using a SLR).
RAW buffer on K-30 is much smaller. If you shoot action, then the K5 is far better. Focus peaking on the k-30 definitely gives it the edge if you use a lot of manual glass, or shoot in low light when the k-5's af gives up. I find the K-30s low light autofocus a bit better than the K-5 but using focus peaking is a real boon......
I have both the K-5 and K-30 btw. I keep the K-30 with a special optical body cap (DA40XS ha ha ) in my bag as a back-up
03-12-2013, 07:44 AM   #8
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thank you all for your help

thank you all for your help,
regarding the RAW, I haven't been using RAW format with my old camera and I don't see it changing since I tend not to post processing my photos (maybe just a little bit since my D90 light measuring wasn't that great along with the sensor's colour picking).
I shoot mostly landscapes and static object and people so extremely fast shutter speed is not the feature that matters most.
How ever I tend to switch between 'average' and 'spot' measuring and lock quite often and use DoF preview.
How does the K-30 cope with these functions does it have dedicated buttons or programmable ones for that without them canceling each other in regular use?
I must say that the lack of an upper info LCD is lowering the score for the K-30 since I find it very useful in general use, but maybe I can grow out on the lack of it the other features and image quality are better in the K-30...

03-12-2013, 07:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by guyni Quote
How ever I tend to switch between 'average' and 'spot' measuring and lock quite often and use DoF preview.
I use 'P' mode almost always and obviously in the quote above I was referring to light measuring :-)
03-12-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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also, if you have bigger hands, you can get a grip for the k5, not the k30. I also have the k5 and k30.... the k30 seems to be better with AF in lower light so that may be important for you (but I had few problems with AF w/ the k5 in conditions where I was shooting iso 3200, f2.8 @ 1/30 - but the k30 will be more decisive and quicker in these conditions). Image quality wise, they are both excellent. For video, the k5 saves the vids in a huge file, where the k30 uses a compressed video format (something like h264). I rarely do video, so maybe someone else can explain the differences here better than I.

weather sealing - tie
manual focusing - k30
good light AF - tie
lower light AF - k30 a little better
grip, top lcd screen, magnesium shell - k5
buffer for more shots in a row - k5 (the k30 is rated at 8 raws @ 6fps before slowing down)
quality control - k5 issues - lens release button falls off (mine hasn't yet ), some have found AF probs in low artificial light (not a prob for me), rare instances of freeze ups and/or shutter firing more than it should. k30 issues - haven't heard of any? If you live in the US, GET the 2 year extended warranty f/ b&h or adorama for $20 (3 yrs total w/ tuneup/ cleaning) - it does not matter where you buy your camera, but you have to get it quickly after you buy the camera (like within a week or something).

hope that helps!
03-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
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just wanted to add, the battery life is better with the K-5, probably lasts 40-50% longer, YMMV (I have used both)
03-12-2013, 09:41 AM   #12
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* Is there a big difference in weight between them (with bateries)?
* how is the designated/customized buttons operation? (I can't try out a K-30 where I live, but I "played" a bit with the old K-7 in a shop once and I understand it is similar to the K-5 but not quite)
* Are there difference in image quality? in favor of which and by how much?
03-12-2013, 09:58 AM   #13
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I shot both for a couple weeks and the image quality ws the same or so close as to be of no significance
03-12-2013, 10:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by guyni Quote
I shoot mostly landscapes and static object
Get the K-5.
03-12-2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by guyni Quote
* Is there a big difference in weight between them (with bateries)?
* how is the designated/customized buttons operation? (I can't try out a K-30 where I live, but I "played" a bit with the old K-7 in a shop once and I understand it is similar to the K-5 but not quite)
* Are there difference in image quality? in favor of which and by how much?
Compare camera dimensions side by side

The difference in weight is 90g. Keep in mind those 90g means a much longer battery life for the K-5. The trade off for battery life in the K-30 is the ability to use AAs.

The K-5 has several more buttons/switches than the K-30, including dedicated switches for focus selection and metering selection. It also has a dedicated DoF position on the power switch, the K-30 doesn't. You can see the differences in the link.

There isn't much of a difference in JPEG quality. The main difference is 14 bit vs 12 bit RAW.
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