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03-14-2013, 06:52 AM   #1
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K-30 vs K-5/II (budget "action" photography)

Hi.

I am in the market for a DSLR and I don't have much experience. As I want to be able to use my camera in most weather conditions (I live in Norway), I want the Pentax WR. So I'm looking at K-30, K-5, K-5II.

I will mostly be bringing my camera on hiking with my dog and will be taking pictures, mainly handheld, of moving animals, landscape and nature in general, but I also want to be able to take decent sport pictures.

I am on a budget which means that I will not be able to buy any fancy lenses right away (unless something used incidentally appears for sale). I have read about decent sport photography with expensive lenses, but I am wondering about the performance of the standard 18-135 WR kit lens. (I think I will be able to get the DA 55-300 used too).

K-30 - it seems to me that this has an ok AF, but I would like a larger buffer in RAW. I would also have liked the top-LCD screen. That's included in the K-5sBut it is the cheapest model, and I here I would be able to go for a flash and some other stuff too.

K-5 - the AF of the K-5 is rumored to be dubious and I am wondering if it is noticeably slower than the K-30? Even in low light situations? (Like early dusk, indoors sports). It's not that much more expensive than the K-30 so it wouldn't really blow my budget.

K-5 II - is supposed to have an improved AF, but is it only effective in low light? Some reviews seems to suggest that. I would opt for this, but I am not sure if I can afford the K-5 II with the 18-135 lens (I think that's a smart move for an all-round lens), although I could get the 18-55 WR with the used DA 55-300 non-WR lens - I might be barely able to get the 18-55WR + 50-200WR kit instead).

So if I want as much versatility as possible (moving animals, action sports, landscape, nature, portraits etc), which of these should I go for? I'm only at a hobby level, but would like some keepers after use. I will of be able to add some more fancy lenses eventually, but I think I should play around a bit first to see what I really need before I decide on exactly what else I want.

So I wonder about this:
1) Are any of these able to do decent action photography (soccer, hockey, riding, birds in flight, dogs/horses in motion) with the 18-135 kit or other kit lens(es), or do I need better lenses for that or should I look at other brands? (try to getting a new or used D7000/7D or something). From what I've read all of these will do brilliantly with non-moving objects.

2) Will the K-5 AF suffice (both accuracy and speed) when it comes to action photography (since I can afford this with 18-135WR, and includes better buffer and LCD) or should I only consider the K-30 or K-5 II if I want to do action photography?

3) Is the learning curve of the K-5s much steeper than the K-30 for a newbie, so it would be much wiser getting the K-30 now and consider upgrading (maybe when some new models have come) in a year and I have a lot more experience?

4) I've read that the WR of the Pentax is much better than the competition, and it's probably hard to predict exactly what they can take before being damaged. But will it survive some light water spray from the ocean, light rain (will cover it better if "wetter") and will I be able to use it at all below -10C degrees? (I guess I have to acclimate it when going back inside in any case though).

5) Which of these will take the most decent videos? (Some says K-30 others K-5... and I'd like to have the opportunity of the mic for stereo sound..)

Thanks for any advice!

03-14-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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Bonjour,

K-5 plus 18-135 WR would get my vote here ... that would be a very decent package for your limited budget IMO ... both cameras will have learning curve to overcome, just advance at your own pace.

I have a K-5, but don't shoot any sports, so cannot say anything about its AF ... plus I do little to no "low light" shots. Others could maybe chime in here (?) ...

I looked at the K-30 when it came out, and it seemed OK, but FYI, you cannot attach a grip to a K-30. So, if you want later to increase your kit to include a grip, you'll be out of luck, so to speak. Plus I like the presence of the top LCD a lot ... look at it and use it primarily ...

Good luck and let us know how you decide. Salut John le Frog
03-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #3
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Video-wise the K-30 is the best. All of them are similarly WR and when coupled with the 18-135 will take almost identical pictures, with the K-5 II having a slightly better AF performance than the K-30.
03-14-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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The AF performance of the K-5 and K-30 (in phase detect mode) is more or less the same. The K-5 is sometimes faster according to our tests (see the K-30 review). In any case, for action, all the current models will deliver about the same performance. While the 18-135mm has a fast AF motor, you might want to get a 70-200mm F2.8 as it will probably end up focusing faster on the K-5 II, plus it's more of an action lens.


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03-14-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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There was a test with the K-30 where they tried testing it with a dog running towards the shooter and only got a few in-focus pictures (although it was a slow focus in the lens according to the testers). I have a dog and I would love taking such pictures. I realize I have to practice to both get my timing and aim right, but unless I really miss with the shot, I would like to be able to get most (at least many) pictures like that in-focus. Have anyone tried any such pictures with these cameras and the 18-135 lens, or other kit lenses - or do I have to go for a really expensive lens for that?

I did see some other post of one who had taken some very decent basketball pics with a K-30, but I believe that was with the sigma 70-200, and wonder if that would be possible to do with the 18-135 too. (with any of the cameras).

But from what I'm reading now, you're saying that for sports the best house is the K-5II/s over the K-30, and that the K-5 got the slowest AF?

I've read that most suggest other brands for sports/action for the price-range, but then it would be more hassle to protect the camera in humid, cold and sandy conditions, so that's why I'm curious if the Pentaxes can do a decent job, also until I can get more funds to get more expensive lenses...
03-14-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by athorod Quote
There was a test with the K-30 where they tried testing it with a dog running towards the shooter and only got a few in-focus pictures (although it was a slow focus in the lens according to the testers). I have a dog and I would love taking such pictures. I realize I have to practice to both get my timing and aim right, but unless I really miss with the shot, I would like to be able to get most (at least many) pictures like that in-focus. Have anyone tried any such pictures with these cameras and the 18-135 lens, or other kit lenses - or do I have to go for a really expensive lens for that?

I did see some other post of one who had taken some very decent basketball pics with a K-30, but I believe that was with the sigma 70-200, and wonder if that would be possible to do with the 18-135 too. (with any of the cameras).

But from what I'm reading now, you're saying that for sports the best house is the K-5II/s over the K-30, and that the K-5 got the slowest AF?

I've read that most suggest other brands for sports/action for the price-range, but then it would be more hassle to protect the camera in humid, cold and sandy conditions, so that's why I'm curious if the Pentaxes can do a decent job, also until I can get more funds to get more expensive lenses...
I can't do much to adequately answer your question other than to say the 18-135 WR is a fast-focusing lens.
03-14-2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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Ok, thanks. :-)

Then I think I'll hold off on the K-5 II for now, and focus more on the K-30 vs K-5.
06-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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k-x upgrade

Hi to all!
I am thinking to change my k-x with something better (with o-gps). I don't want k-5 because there are newer cameras - k-30, k-5II and k-5IIs.
Can you gave me some advise, keeping in mind i don't record video, and prefer viewfinder to take photos?
Thanks!

06-05-2013, 10:15 AM   #9
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I owned both original K5 and K30. Kept the K30 and sold the K5. K30 has faster focus and the pictures come out looking sharper because of the weaker AA filter.

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06-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #10
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Well, k-30 is newer, that is why I try to choose between k-30 i k-5II/s. As i know k-5 is old as k-x.
06-05-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by miroshi Quote
- k-30, k-5II and k-5IIs.
Can you gave me some advise, keeping in mind i don't record video, and prefer viewfinder to take photos?
All these have the same viewfinder, so no difference there.

Coming from the K-x you will find the K-30 very much the same. All three can serve you well.
06-05-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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I think the best way to know is to just get a basic kit and go out there and see what you're lacking. You might find for action you can leave it on Manual Focus, pre focus the lens and anticipate where the action will be beforehand. That's how we did it before AF was out there!

If you find manual focus works for you, there are plenty of old, good "A" lenses for cheap that will give you sharp results if you focus correctly.
06-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #13
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Hehe, i seems i am too young - i always use AF, except for astro-photos so i prefer to have fast and accurate AF, and good IQ, because i don't find time for pictures postprocesses in photoshop or gimp.
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