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12-21-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Which cameras share the Sony 16.3 MP aps-c sensor used by the k-5ii?

I'm helping someone on a very tight budget search for a new camera. Previous camera was a Canon superzoom SX***IS, where *** represents whatever model number was used in 2009, which is when it was purchased. They've already impulsively bought a Fujifilm XF1, which is a fixed lens zoom camera. They hate it.

Since the sensor in the k-5ii/s is so highly regarded, I thought of trying to get all the camera that use that same/similar Sony sensor listed. Then, they could start eliminating off the list by desired price, features, etc.

I tried Google, but I just kept getting k-5ii reviews.

12-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Pentax K-5/II/s, K-30/50, K-01
Ricoh GR, Nikon A,
Fuji X-Pro1, X-E1, X-A1, X-E2, X-?1
Nikon D7000, D5100
Sony a57, Nex 5, 6

I forgot many.

Last edited by Giklab; 12-22-2013 at 08:51 AM.
12-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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Giklab wrote a good list.
Just a note of caution, there are some differences, for example the K-01 has a low-AA filter (or even completely missing?) and the K-5IIs has a missing AA filter (So, sharper photographs, even though its the same sensor as the K-5II). And the K-5(II, IIs) series allow ISO 80, while the other cameras don't go as low. Some users claim the sensors evolved a little over time, and that for some camera series they would even be modified.
Btw, I think a K-50 (or K-30) would be a great DSLR to start with. And there are some great sales on them this season, you can maybe get it for under $500. The K-01 is probably the cheapest camera with that sensor and has interchangeable lenses, too! But its not a DSLR, has no OVF, and might have slow focus with slow lenses (slow lens, as in high minimum f-number or a long focus throw, like macro lenses). But a lot of us love the K-01, it produces very good photos once you get the hang of it
12-21-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Pentax K-5/II/s, K-30/50, K-01
Ricoh GR, Nikon A,
Fuji X-Pro1, X-E1, X-A1, X-E2, X-?1
Nikon D7000, D5200
Sony a57, Nex 5, 6

I forgot many.
Sony A77 & A65

12-21-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
I'm helping someone on a very tight budget search for a new camera. Previous camera was a Canon superzoom SX***IS, where *** represents whatever model number was used in 2009, which is when it was purchased. They've already impulsively bought a Fujifilm XF1, which is a fixed lens zoom camera. They hate it.

Since the sensor in the k-5ii/s is so highly regarded, I thought of trying to get all the camera that use that same/similar Sony sensor listed. Then, they could start eliminating off the list by desired price, features, etc.

I tried Google, but I just kept getting k-5ii reviews.
I'm sorry to say this, but focusing on the sensor first is the wrong approach, (whether the photog is a beginner or not). The quality of a photograph is probably least dependent on the sensor used. You need to be looking at cameras that have good reviews for their overall performance, usability, and ergonomics.

I have a suspicion that your friend is of the mindset that they want "the best" and a camera that can do it all for them. That is not what DSLR's and CSC's are for. You don't buy cameras like those so that they can do it all, but so that YOU can do it all. You don't buy them for automation but for control. The sensor therefore is one of the lesser important features to consider when buying a camera. Case and point, there are numerous folks here that take awesome images and they certainly don't have the latest-and-greatest gear.

If they are coming from the world of P&S cameras but are on a tight budget, I would suggest not looking for a new camera, but a used one from places like KEH, B&H, or Adorama.
12-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
I forgot many.
Pentax K-500
12-21-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
I'm helping someone on a very tight budget search for a new camera.
I second zekewhipper's opinion: On a tight budget, the basic answer is easy - don't buy a new camera.

I trust you know what's hated about the Fuji XF1, and what's really needed. If indeed a DSLR or ILC turns out to be the answer, make sure 1 or 2 acceptable lenses are chosen. All Pentax DSLRs have good sensors, and from the K-x on they're also good in low light.

For example, in Pentax, the DA18-135 or something like the DA16-45 or DA17-70, plus a DA55-300 makes a good starting point. In Nikon, the 18-105 could work well.
12-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zekewhipper Quote
Sony A77 & A65
No, those have the 24MP sensor inside.

12-21-2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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Well, it's my sister. And what she wants doesn't exist. So I'm trying to help her find cameras to look at. She's getting frustrated. She wants a small, throw it in her purse camera that she can take good lowlight pics of our kids' plays. And she wants it under $250. I already told her that's not happening. She can have two from small, cheap or excellent lowlight but not all three.
12-21-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Fuji X-Pro1, X-E1, X-A1, X-E2, X-?1
Fuji use their own (X-Trans) sensor technology.
These cameras do not use the SONY chip of the K-5 and other Pentax cameras.

I think the X-Trans approach is misguided but I agree with those that believe a camera should be chosen for its ergonomics and whether it is fit for the intended purposes.

Most modern sensors are very good in low light (Canon has fallen behind a bit, though) so your sister should look at whether she needs interchangeable lenses, what lenses she may want to use in the future and what their price is.

BTW, "small" and "good in low light" are in conflict with each other. A sensor with little inherent noise is good, but in low light you inevitably get "shot noise" (because of the stochastic nature of light) so you need big lenses to collect as many photons as possible. The specification "f/1.8" on a lens for a small camera could mean that it collects as much light as an f/11 lens on a big camera.

Last edited by Class A; 12-21-2013 at 06:23 PM.
12-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote

BTW, "small" and "good in low light" are in conflict with each other. A sensor with little inherent noise is good, but in low light you inevitably get "shot noise" (because of the stochastic nature of light) so you need big lenses to collect as many photons as possible. The specification "f/1.8" on a lens for a small camera could mean that it collects as much light as an f/11 lens on a big camera.
That's what I've tried to tell her. They're mutually exclusive. She dances. Her daughter, along with my son, performs in plays with our homeschool group. The situations she wants "a better camera" for are challenging for any pocket/purse size camera.
12-21-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Well, it's my sister. And what she wants doesn't exist. So I'm trying to help her find cameras to look at. She's getting frustrated. She wants a small, throw it in her purse camera that she can take good lowlight pics of our kids' plays. And she wants it under $250. I already told her that's not happening. She can have two from small, cheap or excellent lowlight but not all three.
There are quite a few cameras that are small with excellent IQ but under $250 is going to be tough. The Fuji X-10 is still available and discounted but not that low. Most of the high end P&S cameras will be in the $400-500 range. The Panasonic Lumix LX 7 is $279 at B&H. Close but if she wants a viewfinder she will have to lay out another $160. KEH would have a good selection of used DSLR's but she will still need to buy a lens or 2 and a very large purse.
12-21-2013, 07:22 PM   #13
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Maybe look at the Pentax MX-1 or even a Q if she needs interchangeable lenses
The MX-1 got pretty good reviews, offers some higher end features (for a compact fixed-lens camera), and looks great. Pretty compact, too. But I haven't handled one
12-21-2013, 11:41 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Why not lend her your camera? Then she'll experience the learning curve involved and realize that she can't have the DSLR low light performance in P&S price and will hopefully reconsider the budget.
12-22-2013, 12:45 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Action Jackson Quote
Why not lend her your camera? Then she'll experience the learning curve involved and realize that she can't have the DSLR low light performance in P&S price and will hopefully reconsider the budget.
Oooohhh this this this
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