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07-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
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Keep K20D and add K-01, or sell and get closeout K-5 instead?

I've got a K20D and I'm selling some non-photographic related equipment to raise funds for an upgrade.

I love the K20D but having ISO 800 as the maximum somewhat useful setting, can be troublesome as one of the main reasons I moved to DSLR is to take pictures of my family. Even ISO 800 has too much noise for my taste. Daylight pictures are lovely, but shots made inside the house, especially at night, can be very tricky. Having fast manuals that I could afford (or got as freebies), is helping a bit. But I feel now is a good time to upgrade.

I was decided on selling the K20D to get a K-5 but the prices around 400ish dollars on the K-01 on Amazon are too tempting, as it comes with that so-nice 40mm super-pancake lens. Plus, my K20D only has about 3000 clicks and looks brand new, it would be a shame to let it go... So would it be a bad thing if I was going for two "lesser" cameras that seem to compliment each other well, rather than one "perfect" camera? I actually put "perfect" in quotes because the K-01 seems to be a bit better at video than K-5, and it has focus peaking for my manual lenses. The K5 delivers the best image quality and I *think* my bunch of Pentax-M and Pentax-K manual primes would do the camera justice... Or would I need to have a newer Limited lens to start seeing any difference between a K-01 and a K-5?

K-5 bodies are in the high 600s so I think K-5 or K20D+K-01 are going to cost me pretty much the same.

I have the kit 18-55mm AL II, plus SMC 28mm f/2.8, SMC 50mm f/1.7 (it's coming in the mail...), Takumar-A 135mm f2.5 (sharp!), Sears 50mm f/1.7 (also sharp!), plus a couple of old freebie zooms.

07-25-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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I have both the K5 and the K-01. Between the two I think the K5 is a much better camera. The K-01 isn't a slouch, but it's no K5.
07-25-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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I could not live without OVF, thus the K-01 is really not for me ... and I adore my K-5 ... J
07-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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I'd have an OVF either way. K20D has one.

It would also help to point out what K-5 things I might be missing with K20D+K-01 for my intended purposes.

07-25-2013, 11:06 AM   #5
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14 bit raw, 80-51,200 ISO, that dynamic range, the handling of the K5...
07-25-2013, 11:24 AM   #6
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Yeah but I"m going to take pictures of kids running around, not complex landscapes or magazine covers.

For all intents and purposes, the tests show that up to ISO 12800 (which realistically is as high as one would use), K-5 and K-01 are pretty much identical. The 14-bit RAW and the dynamic range, for family pictures, is that going to make that much of a difference? I'm not going to sell posters of my kids. I think they're adorable but others might not be as excited about them as I am
07-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #7
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I think you need to get a couple more (or at least different) lenses first.

Therefore I think the cheapest camera with good high-ISO (i.e. starting with the K-x) is your better option right now.


The other consideration might be the AF performance, but that doesn't really improve until the K-30 or K-5 II.
07-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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The pictures from the K5 and K-01 do ahev a difference. I do anime convention pictures as a hobby and I do my wandering around landscape pictures too. The K-01 is better as a camera for using a manual focus lens, and it is smaller than the K5, but the controls, autofucus speed, autofucus noise while suing screw drive lenses, and overall handling are not as good as the K5. I speak from experience. Also, my experience is that the K5 seems to take better pictures, but in that regard pictures are subjective, so others may disagree.

07-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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Thank you VoR, that was good practical advice
I use manual lenses 80-90% of the time, I just love them. I even love my cheapo Sigma 70-210 and I think it takes great pictures, at least with the K20D.
I might have to sleep on this decision for a few days... and not rush into things.
07-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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I traded my *istDs in part for a K5 and I love it. My K20D hasn't been used since. I'll probably buy a K-01 next year.
07-25-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Yeah but I"m going to take pictures of kids running around, not complex landscapes or magazine covers.
Keep K20D and buy K01. For kids running around best you can do is make some videos instead stills. If you want - K20D will do good enough anyway - its a lovely camera with massive potential... if you stuck on kids and candid shots I highly doubt you've reached the point when the camera is holding you back. And for videos I hardly can believe that K5 would be better than K01. My advice is : Stick to what've you got + buy K01 and wait for things to clarify about new Pentax offerings. In the meantime if so - invest only in new good glass - fast zoom or prime will stay with you far longer than K5 would.

Hope it helps
07-25-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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Tough call. The K-01 has pretty good high ISO performance. I don't even hesitate to use iso 800 to shoot macro, and iso 1600 is usable in a pinch. But if what you're after are better shots of your kids indoors in poor lighting using AF, well, the K-01 might not be the best answer (unless you're also using fast lenses, and even then). Focus peaking is great, and the K-01 is significantly lighter and smaller than the K-5. No mirror box can also be an advantage under some circumstances (eg long exposure). It's a great camera and a steal at current prices. In fact, I'm very tempted to get a 2nd body myself. But if you want faster AF, maybe you should consider a K-30? They're also often discounted these days, and will give you focus peaking with your older glass, and the faster PDAF when you need it...
07-25-2013, 12:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Keep K20D and buy K01. For kids running around best you can do is make some videos instead stills. If you want - K20D will do good enough anyway - its a lovely camera with massive potential... if you stuck on kids and candid shots I highly doubt you've reached the point when the camera is holding you back. And for videos I hardly can believe that K5 would be better than K01. My advice is : Stick to what've you got + buy K01 and wait for things to clarify about new Pentax offerings. In the meantime if so - invest only in new good glass - fast zoom or prime will stay with you far longer than K5 would.

Hope it helps
Yeah that's kind of what I'm thinking right now.

I've seen a video shootout on Youtube where the K-01 clearly outperformed the K-5 as far as color and detail - even if both were good. It could have been user error thought, i.e. a focusing problem.

Getting the K-01 and maybe later this year some glass, might be the answer. Not to mention the K-01 would come with nice glass (40mm XR) and the K-5 wouldn't - not for the budget I have.
07-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Tough call. The K-01 has pretty good high ISO performance. I don't even hesitate to use iso 800 to shoot macro, and iso 1600 is usable in a pinch. But if what you're after are better shots of your kids indoors in poor lighting using AF, well, the K-01 might not be the best answer (unless you're also using fast lenses, and even then). Focus peaking is great, and the K-01 is significantly lighter and smaller than the K-5. No mirror box can also be an advantage under some circumstances (eg long exposure). It's a great camera and a steal at current prices. In fact, I'm very tempted to get a 2nd body myself. But if you want faster AF, maybe you should consider a K-30? They're also often discounted these days, and will give you focus peaking with your older glass, and the faster PDAF when you need it...
Yeah I considered the K-30, but the K-01 would come with a kit lens that I would like, as I don't have any autofocus prime lenses right now. And it would cost about 100 dollars less.

The only AF lens I have right now is the kit 18-55 and it's not a good indoors lens anyway.

But I guess the point is that with the K-30, I wouldn't need the K20D as I would have the image quality and focus peaking that I want, AND a viewfinder. Hmmmmm

Last edited by ChristianRock; 07-25-2013 at 12:30 PM.
07-25-2013, 12:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
[...]But I guess the point is that with the K-30, I wouldn't need the K20D as I would have the image quality and focus peaking that I want, AND a viewfinder. Hmmmmm
Exactly. If I were you I'd try to order the (currently back-ordered) Hunt's deal on a K-30 & 18-55mm WR lens. It's a fantastic deal, and you get a WR lens which opens up new shooting possibilities. Then stay on the lookout for 40 XS (or DA 35) deals in the marketplace to get an inexpensive, reasonably fast, AF prime.

But if you're gung-ho on the K-01, then by all means, it's a great camera! Just not sure it's the best fit, given what you identified as your main "itch" (good low-light AF photos)...
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