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05-08-2014, 08:00 AM   #1
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Pentax DSLRs need to go on a diet!

Few would dispute that Pentax has a fantastic range of compact DSLR lenses. The zooms are optimised for APS-C format and there is also the DA limited range. Even the old full frame lenses are relatively small. But at the moment they do not make a small DSLR to fully take advantage of this. The smallest and lightest DSLR they make is the K-50/K-500 at 650g. I just did some comparisons.

Current competitors
D5300 460g (-190g)
Canon SL1 407g (-243g)
Sony A58 573g (-77g)
All competitors make a lighter model

Previous Pentax models
Pentax ist DL 470g (-180g)
Pentax K-x 580g (-70g)
Pentax K-01 560g (-90g)
They're getting steadily bigger and heavier

DSLR-like mirrorless models
Panasonic G6 390g (-260g)
Fuji XT-1 440g (-210g)
Olympus OM-D EM-5 400g (-250g)
These cameras are approaching DSLR size and weight

Does anyone else think that Pentax is missing something here? They already have the line-up of compact lenses, so they've done the hard part. They just need to make a K-mount body (DSLR or mirrorless) under 500g, and they could really get close to mirrorless systems in terms of size. A camera I really liked was the Olympus E-420 (445g). That kind of body with Pentax Limiteds would be lovely.

05-08-2014, 08:14 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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What does the K500 weigh? Of course it's not weathersealed....

Pentax has positioned itself as a tool for field photographers with rugged, capable compact cameras. Built like a tank...
That said, the mirrorless APS-C market - as with the K-01 - is still viable, I think.

I'll take heavier if it means I get a full metal frame and skeleton, weathersealing and heavier duty innards.
05-08-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Does anyone else think that Pentax is missing something here?
I'm awaiting a successor to the truly compact K-x. I don't know why they abandoned that design, I believe it was one of their most successful models. If they could stick the aging K-5 sensor in an updated K-x body and include an XS version of the DA 21, the mirror less market would be in deep trouble (and I would have a second body).
05-08-2014, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I don't agree with that sentiment.... usually when one says 'need to be diet' it is usually associated with bulkiness and I don't get the feeling that Pentax DLSR are like that. Pentax DSLR are in the category of rugged and sturdiness with magnesium body and weather sealing advanced features; which I rather have than the other cheap plastic DSLR bodies. YMMV of course... personal preference anyway.

05-08-2014, 08:50 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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Fine. Go with HSM only and take the motor out of the body, and cut all support for entry level cameras and legacy lenses like Nikon and canon entry level cameras.

Is that what you want. Also, forget body only weights. I never knew anyone who took photos with the body only. Stick a kit lens on them first. Then do a comparison
05-08-2014, 08:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I don't agree with that sentiment.....
I agree with your disagreement. Personally I'd like the next DSLR to be about the size of the K10 or K20. I never go anywhere without the grip on my K5iis, but I find myself wishing it was a tad bigger. Some days after a long hike, I really wish my bag had been lighter, but in the end I need a bigger/heftier body for handholding my long telephotos and just the fact my hands are big and fat with wide and short fingers.

I don't think small and light are conducive to sturdy and field ready. Instead of comparing a Pentax DSLR to lower end products, compare it to the prosumer and pro models. I personally can't stand how tiny the EOS line is, it makes my hand cramp in under a minute just holding it.
05-08-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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10 years ago Pentax had the smallest DSLR in the *ist D and since the flagships have been increasing in size and weight. The mirrorless models have taken over that small and light space that Pentax had so it is not as much of an advantage any more.

Dale
05-08-2014, 09:01 AM   #8
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And this is why I bought a Q for my wife. She had no problem with my D5100 and an 18-200 or 35mm prime, but my K5 is too heavy for her (carpal tunnel) to use for more than a few minutes (though with the 40mm xs or 15mm ltd and the battery grip removed, it's not *too* bad.)

---------- Post added 05-08-14 at 12:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
I never go anywhere without the grip on my K5iis, but I find myself wishing it was a tad bigger.
I wish the camera body was a half inch taller without weighing any more than it does. I have to use the battery grip or my pinky finger has nowhere to rest and it cramps up surprisingly fast when that's the case, especially with a heavy da* lens mounted.

05-08-2014, 09:17 AM   #9
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I think they have replaced the pentamirror by a pentaprism on the entry level models; better optically, but heavyer
05-08-2014, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Your numbers are misleading:

K-50 Body 650 g (with battery and memory card), 18-135 lens at 405g, 1055 all in
5300 Body 480 g (empty body), 100g battery, 23 g memory card, 18-105 420g. That's 1023g all in, and you have 30mm less FL.

With 18-55 kit lenses:
Pentax 230g, so 880g all in
Nikon 265g, so 868g all in.


So, I don't think 20 or 30 grams equals "need to go on a diet"
05-08-2014, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Awesomeness = weight. Have you noticed how heavy the K-3 is?
05-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #12
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One more comparison, with a VR55-300 lens:
Pentax: 465, so 1115 all in
Nikon: 530, so 1133, so 15 grams heavier.
05-08-2014, 09:52 AM   #13
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When checking the cut models of Pentax cameras you can see that they are stuffed to the limit. They would have to cripple some features (*ist lacked SR, pentamirror, smaller screen etc) to make them significantly smaller. The weight comes from using thicker and more metal in the construction and also a construction with good seals needs some compromising in the design.

So a light and small model could look like this:
- Pentamirror
- No SR
- No AF-motor
- Thin plastic shell
- Smaller viewfinder
- One SD-slot (maybe micro)
- Smaller battery

Or

- No SR
- No AF-motor
- Thin plastic shell
- EVF
- One SD-slot (maybe micro)
- Smaller battery

Do we want these?
05-08-2014, 09:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
Awesomeness = weight. Have you noticed how heavy the K-3 is?
The man speaks the truth.
05-08-2014, 10:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Fine. Go with HSM only and take the motor out of the body, and cut all support for entry level cameras and legacy lenses like Nikon and canon entry level cameras.

Is that what you want. Also, forget body only weights. I never knew anyone who took photos with the body only. Stick a kit lens on them first. Then do a comparison
Exactly. Not to mention using only (heavier) VR lenses to compensate for loss of SR.
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