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12-14-2013, 08:50 AM   #16
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In regards to K-5II being better than K-x:
Yes, there is a significant difference. The K-5II has a much better sensor (newer, better high ISO performance, allows ISO 80, 16MP), records more bit depth (more data per pixel, has bigger dynamic range), has an improved AF system (the regular K-5 should already beat the K-x' AF, but the K-5II has an even newer AF module), has AF overlays in the viewfinder (you need to learn how to use these, they are smaller than the actual AF points), is WR (just remember to use a WR lens), uses better battery (though, no native AA support. Maybe with grip), and it remembers the micro-adjust for up to 10 lenses individually (this might not apply to manual and third party lenses, because those don't use normal lens ID's).
It is entirely possible you just had bad luck with your K-x. But very often we get threads where people complain about the camera, and then once they post sample photos we see that its just the person using it poorly. But sorry if we were condescending or if we overreacted. As stated, many of us have decided to just recommend people to go with Nikon - its the only way they will learn where the grass is greener. We have even had threads of people who switched brands and regret doing it. And we have members who use other brands and are perfectly content with them. Just remember that entry level cameras only allow so much, regardless of brand, and Pentax is generally most bang for buck.
You can also look at the sample photo gallery and look at some photos taken with K-x camera and lenses similar to yours.


Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-14-2013 at 09:07 AM.
12-14-2013, 08:52 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
This may not be the right forum, but one of my questions really was - is it just me or is Pentax less reliable than other brands?

K-5 II is an option I am thinking about. AF point overlay would be really useful. Other than that, is it really such a big difference compared to k-x?

Regarding AF calibration - I haven't do this, to be honest. Does it make such a big difference?
Every electronic device produced have certain percentage of defects. If Pentax is so unreliable you wouldn't see us still buying their cameras. I think you just happened to have a bad one. I had a K-x for 2 years before upgrading to K-5, not because I didn't love the K-x but I wanted more. Dynamic range is immediately noticeable. Using top LCD means I can turn off the back LCD completely unless for reviewing photos which saves battery. Weather sealing is extremely useful even if you live in sunny area.

AF calibration (or at least testing) is a must since there's variance between different camera bodies and lenses. Even if both the body and lens are within the tolerance range, if they are on the opposite end, focusing would be noticeably bad. I would test your camera with the lenses you got and see how they behave together first and determine if it's hardware problem or user error. The other thing is, with K-x I recommend using ONLY the center focus point to avoid confusion, since the camera doesn't tell you which point it focused on. Also, the center focus area is the entire ( ), not just the very fine center point in the view finder.
12-14-2013, 09:21 AM   #18
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I mostly take pictures of nature/landscape/interesting urban shots (as I travel a lot) and my kids.

Will try AF calibration, but the battery issue alone means I probably need to look for a new camera. K-5 II appears to be within my budget, so will think about it. Thanks for the advice, more tips are welcome. One thing is for sure - there is a very active forum with lots of Pentax users
12-14-2013, 09:28 AM   #19
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And since somebody brought up the issue of moving objects - as I take pictures of my kids, it was especially tricky to get a picture of them which is in focus - they tend to move a lot.

12-14-2013, 09:36 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
And since somebody brought up the issue of moving objects - as I take pictures of my kids, it was especially tricky to get a picture of them which is in focus - they tend to move a lot.
Yeah, taking pictures of fast moving children (also known as 'children') can be tough, especially indoors. I know it might not help now that winter is upon us, but almost all of my favorite photos of my daughter are either in a studio set-up or outdoors.
12-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
And since somebody brought up the issue of moving objects - as I take pictures of my kids, it was especially tricky to get a picture of them which is in focus - they tend to move a lot.
Are you shooting in shutter priority mode? If you do this, and set the shutter to at least 1/125 for a 50mm lens (or higher for a longer lens), this will probably improve your number of in focus shots.
12-14-2013, 08:40 PM   #22
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K-x with Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 Macro was my first perfect traveling kit, took thousands photos all around the World, the first firmware upgrade fixed battery issues.
it was small, light kit with AA batteries so convenient while traveling.
mid 2012 I replaced K-x with K-30 , again perfect traveling kit with now upgraded excellent Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 Contemporary Macro, still small light and can still use AA.
K-x still stays with Family and still going strong and taking great pictures.
I have used or still use number of Pentax digital cameras and it was and still is a joy:
K10D ,K-7 ,K-x , K-5 ,The Q , K-30 , K-01 ,MX-1 and K-3
you just had bad luck, sorry!
12-15-2013, 10:59 PM   #23
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My first DSLR was a k-x and I still enjoy using it today. I still have some issue with the screw drive not lining up completely so it doesn't engage the autofocus. I typically get around that by holding in the lens release button the entire time I twist in the lens & then shimmy the lens back into position. (Adam gave me this tip) Only then do I let up on the button & the autofocus usually engages. I only mention this since you have another thread related to it.

As far as taking pictures of fast moving subjects such as kids indoors I would suggest looking pretty closely at your technique, specifically introducing flash if necessary & bumping the iso. Here's some examples of mine. Some are taken with the kit lens, the DA35 & a Manual 50mm typically using catch in focus.

IMGP1884.jpg
IMGP1955

IMGP1776
IMGP2326
IMGP6180.jpg

12-20-2013, 10:41 PM   #24
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@moshepupkin:

Sounds like you got a lemon, should have returned the kit or gotten it repaired. My first DSLR was K100D, then the K-x. I took many good photos with the K-x, but technology progressed, and it got replaced by K-01, which took image quality to another level. If you got good lenses, Pentax is still a good brand to invest in. If your lenses are just kit lenses, no big loss switching. That being said, there are many good deals on K-30 and K-50, which have advanced features like assist lamp, focus peaking, fine auto-focus adjustment, and should help you get better pictures.

Joey
12-21-2013, 08:41 AM   #25
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I've been using two K-x bodies for a couple of years now with no issues. I get around 600 (give or take) shots per charge on a set of Kodak or Energizer NiMh batteries, which I'm totally fine with. I don't know if you use live view a lot, but that can be a juice sucker. I rarely use live view, so that could be a factor.

Another thing to consider about the battery issue is this: I don't know what battery charger you're using, but the fast chargers that charge in 15-30 minutes will kill your batteries. If you used to have good battery life and now you don't, that could be the issue. I use a Maha charger that charges in 1 to 2 hours.

Regarding focus calibration, one of my K-x bodies was dead-on when I got it, but the other one needed a bit of tweaking, which was no big deal. It's been right on the money ever since, but every photographer takes the occasional out of focus shot. It's just the way it is.

For what it's worth, I've owned two Q's, two *istDS bodies, a K-100D, and two K-x bodies, and have had great luck with all of them. You can see some of the shots I've gotten with Pentax gear here.

If I were you, I'd try updating the firmware to the latest version, evaluating your battery situation, and checking the focus calibration. It is also possible you just got a lemon, but that can happen with any brand of camera. If nothing else, you could just pick up another K-x body (or other Pentax body) on the cheap here in the forum & keep shooting. I've seen *istDS & K100D bodies for around $100, and another K-x should go for around $200.

Also in my opinion, the build quality, ergonomics and bang for your buck is MUCH better with Pentax than Canon. I had one of the better Canon point & shoots which had a faulty sensor for which they issued a factory recall. After the sensor went bad, I called Canon and was told they would not honor the factory recall, because it expired two days earlier, and I was out $400. That experience, coupled with the generally cheesy build of some of their cameras, kind of soured me on Canon. If you really want to switch, I'd go with Nikon.

Good luck,
Bob :-)
12-21-2013, 11:49 AM   #26
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I've replaced Kx with a K30 and for some reason Its not as good..... Photo quality output is worse (I only shoot manual)
As to batteries, using lithium AA's it's better vs propriety batteries.
I'm thinking going back to Kx.
12-31-2013, 03:58 AM   #27
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Hi I started with a Km -50000 shutter releases - then went to a Kr, 40000 and counting and love them. I use the kit lenses and have only just had any problems with focus recently, but I think this is due to wearing out my favourite 55-300!
I take mainly motor sport and have had many published.
I usually manage 500 on a Pentax battery charge, a little less with the cheap rechargeable packs and more with AA Energizer Lithium Ultimate s.
This dual battery option is one reason I went for Pentax.
Sorry you have had problems with your Kx, but it does seem to be that it's a dud example.
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