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02-14-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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Should I even upgrade?

I have a k-r, when I bought it did not know anything about photography (I still don't, but I know much more than I did ). It has been a fine tool to learn on and im left trying to decide if i need to upgrade or not. I'm starting to desire functions that it doesn't have, like auto multiple exposures, remote functions other than IR, mic-input, better video, and more than anything better high-ISO performance!

Naturally the high iso performance leaves me desiring full-frame, maybe a Canon 6D, but I would really hate swap over systems ($$$$ that I don't necessarily have..). If I swapped I would probably just grab the cheapish canon 50mm lens and call it good for a while due to the high initial investment.

I have compared the k-r to the K-5II on dpreview and im just not sure the K-5, or K-3 for that matter are a whole lot different noise wise at high iso. Maybe I want more for a $500-$1000 investment, idk... I've alwase tried to have the philosophy that its more about the photographer than the gear, but as i creep into low light more and more i just really want something that performs well in that environment.

I guess the decision im faced with is the following:
-Buy a Canon 6D now and say bye bye to Pentax, shell out some serious cash/sell my stuff. Kind of a pain.

-K-5 IIs right now and be happy for a while and enjoy a much lower investment, and a system configuration im already fairly familiar with.

-Do nothing and wait to see if Pentax makes a move on a FF model at Photokina...

-K-3, im not really considering the k-3, most of the features I would use are covered by the K5IIs

I think in the back of my head I really want FF, I probably don't need it, but i want it. So even if I stay with Pentax, im not sure how long I will hold out before i want to buy a FF, weather its pentax or not... What to do what to do...


Last edited by dmbaile2; 02-14-2014 at 02:29 PM.
02-14-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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I'd give it another year or 2
02-14-2014, 02:16 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Hey there. I have a K-r and K-01. The K-01 produces much better image quality. It is a slower camera, but the photos are sharper and ISO performance is better.
On the one hand, if your current camera delivers everything you need, there is no need to force an upgrade.
On the other hand, I think a K-5IIs would be a pretty big upgrade. Features, image quality.

Will it completely transform your photography? Probably not. (only a yellow brick can do that )
But! Waiting for a little, just to see what Pentax announces as a replacement for the K-50, might be a good idea.
02-14-2014, 02:19 PM   #4
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The K-5IIs will be a huuuuge upgrade to your k-r. With the prices being what they are, I say go for it and don't look back.
When you see clean files at ISO 6400 and you pull detail out of shadows you didn't even know were there, you will wish you had done it sooner

Of course the K-3 is a better camera, but I dont think you can top the K-5IIs price to performance ratio with any camera out right now.

02-14-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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Wait until they make whatever announcements they're gonna make at the next convention.
02-14-2014, 02:27 PM   #6
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k-5IIs would be a very nice upgrade that will hold up for quite awhile. I hear you about the FF, but just ask yourself why? I thought I wanted FF as well, I even have a full complement of FF lenses. But after seriously looking at the options I'm staying with APS-C, I do not think FF will gain anything significant over k-5II or k-3 and will have a number of serious draw backs including much smaller DOF and much less range on telephoto. It might have a better viewfinder and that would be very nice but not worth the expected price tag to me.
02-14-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmbaile2 Quote
and more than anything better high-ISO performance!
Why do you need better High ISO performance? What kind of photographic situations, and what lenses do you have?
02-14-2014, 02:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Wait until they make whatever announcements they're gonna make at the next convention.
Then you are paying the early adopter tax...
With the K-5IIs, you are paying fire sale prices beaceause it is discontinued, they have released various firmware updates which you would have to wait for with a new camera, and the K-5IIs still has better IQ than nearly every other APS-C out there.

02-14-2014, 02:46 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmbaile2 Quote
-K-5 IIs right now and be happy for a while and enjoy a much lower investment, and a system configuration im already fairly familiar with.
I think you may have answered this yourself. If you can cover all your needs with a minimal investment that would be the way to go. I would not expect Ricoh/Pentax to go FF this year. I am going to guess that is a year or more away.
02-14-2014, 02:52 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Then you are paying the early adopter tax...
With the K-5IIs, you are paying fire sale prices beaceause it is discontinued, they have released various firmware updates which you would have to wait for with a new camera, and the K-5IIs still has better IQ than nearly every other APS-C out there.
Because by then, the k-3 price will also have come down. Possibly to sub $1k.

I chose to buy the fire sale k5ii. It was an immense upgrade from my K-x. I know that I will probably not buy another body for wow a while.
02-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Why do you need better High ISO performance? What kind of photographic situations, and what lenses do you have?

My desire for high iso started during a recent trip to Japan, I was shooting a lot at night and it was the first time I really noticed that i would love to have better high iso performance. My shots were kind of "off the cuf" I was traveling with a group so I didn't have time to set up shots on a tripod so i need to keep shutter-speeds sufficient for handheld use. I have also been shooting in my house like the photo of my daughter below, again i have to keep shutter speeds up to catch her without blur.

Two photos i have taken with what i feel is a higher level of noise than i would like:




My daughter:

02-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #12
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While any of the cameras would be a significant upgrade - do you have a good fast lens or three?
A good fast lens can be a great step forward - especially if you are doing a lot of low light work.

I went from a K-x (similar to k-r) to a K-5 and was a big step up for me but that said getting hold of a FA35 f2 was another big step up and opened up all sort of options.
02-14-2014, 03:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
While any of the cameras would be a significant upgrade - do you have a good fast lens or three?
A good fast lens can be a great step forward - especially if you are doing a lot of low light work.

I went from a K-x (similar to k-r) to a K-5 and was a big step up for me but that said getting hold of a FA35 f2 was another big step up and opened up all sort of options.
I only shoot with fairly fast lenses, I have the 50mm 1.8, 35mm 2.4, and a Tamron 17-50 2.8, i rarely if ever shoot with anything else. I have old lenses down to f1.4 but rarely shoot with it anymore now that i purchased fast primes with auto focus.
02-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #14
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The K-5IIs has the following advantages:
-16MP instead of 12MP
-no AA filter
-ISO 80 instead of ISO 100 (on the K-r, even 100 is "extended")
-14bit raw, higher dynamic range
-new, improved AF module
-remembers individual lens AF adjustment instead of only global adjustment
-WR body
-many other features, in the menus and such

But only you can decide if you need it. People still take good photos with the *istD, you know. For high ISO, the K-5IIs is a great choice. Best Pentax choice atm.
02-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #15
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With all the comments above _ I will just throw in my own personal actual experience. I recently went Kr -> K5 IIs - the focus accuracy is much better, and the low light focus is assertive and quick compared to my Kr. Noise wise.. meh, I think the Kr was pretty good -unless you need to push an exposure then the K5 IIs excels -> I do think the 14 bit Raw are more pliable in post. I saved a two stop blow out and was stunned. The 50% increase in pixels will come in handy when I print up a few of my latest landscapes. I also have made use of he weather sealed body too - and in this respect the K5 IIs battery power is far superior.
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