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11-25-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
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upgrading from k-x should i go mirrorless?

I bought the k-x about 4 years ago and it came with 2 kit lenses the 18-55 and 50-200. It was a great camera to learn on but am ready for an upgrade. I am looking for something with faster autofocus and better low light performance. There are some good prices on the k-3 at the moment but I have also been intrigued by the mirrorless cameras specifically the sony A7. I don't have much invested in pentax lenses so would be open to switching but wanted to get your thoughts on which you might choose and is there anything to be concerned about when going to a mirrorless camera. Thanks for all the help.


Last edited by rabblefrabble; 11-25-2014 at 09:53 AM.
11-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #2
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I had K-x, and as you said, it's a great camera for learning about digital photography. Sold it 4 weeks ago, and I really miss it.

Just ordered K-5 IIs from B&H, since I believe that would be a great upgrade over K-x. Don't need high pixel count of K-3, and I'm also not doing any sports photography that would benefit from the improved AF tracking.
I really dig AF in low light, though. -3 EV dependable auto focus sounds really good.

Not to mention that K-5 IIs is just about the best deal in history at this moment.

Can't wait to see how it get's along with Tamron 17-50 2.8, which was quite sharp with K-x (once I dialed in the front/back focus correction ). I also have a Pentax A50 1.7 , and I'm going to use it with a reverse ring for some macro action

Had some experience with mirrorless but not with A7. It was a Nex 5. Generally, I hated the interface, which felt awkward compared to a "real" DSLR. That said, I'm sure A7 has a much better interface.
11-25-2014, 10:06 AM   #3
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K3 is an APS-C so most lenses will be cheaper than what you can get with the A7 (AF lenses).. A7 have the advantage that have the FF sensor wich is great, also you can use adaptors to use other brand lenses but it will be in Manual Focus you lose AF capabilities.

So it really all depends of how much money would you like to invest.. and if you really think that for your type of photography a FF will be a better option, not every photographer needs a FF so, if that is your case, you will notice a HUGE improvemetn from the Kx to the K3.. even the K5iis will be something much better than the Kx.
11-25-2014, 10:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rabblefrabble Quote
I bought the k-x about 4 years ago and it came with 2 kit lenses the 18-55 and 50-200. It was a great camera to learn on but am ready for an upgrade. I am looking for something with faster autofocus and better low light performance. There are some good prices on the k-3 at the moment but I have also been intrigued by the mirrorless cameras specifically the sony A7. I don't have much invested in pentax lenses so would be open to switching but wanted to get your thoughts on which you might choose and is there anything to be concerned about when going to a mirrorless camera. Thanks for all the help.
If you want AF speed and accuracy, mirror less and specifically the A7 are not the direction you want to go. Sony has a poor lens selection. You can adapt 3rd part lenses but the AF speed is sloooooooow.

If your biggest concern is low light and AF speed, consider the following: K3, K5II, Canon 1D (III, IV, Dx), Canon 5DIII, Canon 7DII). All of those offer more in that way of autofocus and low light. Your wallet size and compromises you are willing to make will determine which one you get.

11-25-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZeljkoS Quote
I had K-x, and as you said, it's a great camera for learning about digital photography. Sold it 4 weeks ago, and I really miss it. .
Whichever camera I end up with next I will definitely be upgrading to some better lenses.

If you don't mind me asking what you miss about the k-x after upgrading to the k-5iis?
11-25-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rabblefrabble Quote
Whichever camera I end up with next I will definitely be upgrading to some better lenses.

If you don't mind me asking what you miss about the k-x after upgrading to the k-5iis?
I miss having a camera I didn't receive the K-5 IIs yet!
11-25-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
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I don't really need a FF as I would consider myself a casual photographer. The A7 price tag is a bit steep for me but I would like this next camera to last needing an upgrade so I can focus on getting better glass through the years. Just wasn't sure if mirrorless FF was the way of the future. It seems the camera industry is going through the same rapid change that the smartphone market experienced.

(Quick AF would come in handy trying to capture the dogs on the run)

---------- Post added 11-25-2014 at 02:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ZeljkoS Quote
I miss having a camera I didn't receive the K-5 IIs yet!
In that case I understand. Any camera is better than none. Would love to know once it arrives how it compares to the K-x.
11-25-2014, 12:51 PM   #8
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As others have said, newer Pentax DSLRs are a huge improvement over the K-x, and I think you'd be happy with either the K-3 or the K-5 IIs (the former if you like the latest tech).

Don't miss this steal if you decide to get the K-5 IIs!
Pentax K-5 IIs Black Friday Deal: Just $496 - Deals and Savings | PentaxForums.com


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11-25-2014, 01:24 PM   #9
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$496 for a k-5iis body is a smoking deal, you can use the autofocus glass that you have right now, and maybe invest in some used af k-mount primes, like a 24/2.8 sigma superwide ii... you'll always get your money back on that glass, if you decide to sell it later, so it's not a losing proposition.

for me mirrorless is all about the evf and manual focusing, but that's not for everyone, you should try it out at the local camera store before actually doing it.

mirrorless autofocus systems are pretty sophisticated these days(see a6000), in part because there isn't any mirror assembly to throw off the autofocus parameters, like you get with a dslr.

pentax will have to get on the mirrorless train sooner or later, maybe use the k-5 iis until things shake out a bit more.
11-25-2014, 01:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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If you are a casual photographer perhaps even the K5iis will be an awsome camera for you.. invest the rest in some good glass that will last a long time, that could be a good idea, the results in image quality betweek K5iis and K3 are minium.. almost none.. and you save money.. you should ask yourself.. Do i need 24mp?? Do i need 2 SD card slots? .. Do i need the wifi capabilities that the K3 have using the FluCard ??? ... if the answer is "not really" you sholud consider the K5iis deal for sure..
11-25-2014, 01:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
$496 for a k-5iis body is a smoking deal, you can use the autofocus glass that you have right now, and maybe invest in some used af k-mount primes, like a 24/2.8 sigma superwide ii... you'll always get your money back on that glass, if you decide to sell it later, so it's not a losing proposition.

for me mirrorless is all about the evf and manual focusing, but that's not for everyone, you should try it out at the local camera store before actually doing it.

mirrorless autofocus systems are pretty sophisticated these days(see a6000), in part because there isn't any mirror assembly to throw off the autofocus parameters, like you get with a dslr.

pentax will have to get on the mirrorless train sooner or later, maybe use the k-5 iis until things shake out a bit more.
I wouldn't mind manual lenses but from the experience I have using them with the K-x I have a hard time getting the focus exactly right when the lenses are wide open. I have a k-1000 I found in my parents attic with a SMC 50 f2 and 125mm Sears manual lens I have used on the K-x and I can't consistently get the focus right. If this is easer on the newer cameras i would be open to getting some good manual lenses.

---------- Post added 11-25-2014 at 03:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kooks Quote
If you are a casual photographer perhaps even the K5iis will be an awsome camera for you.. invest the rest in some good glass that will last a long time, that could be a good idea, the results in image quality betweek K5iis and K3 are minium.. almost none.. and you save money.. you should ask yourself.. Do i need 24mp?? Do i need 2 SD card slots? .. Do i need the wifi capabilities that the K3 have using the FluCard ??? ... if the answer is "not really" you sholud consider the K5iis deal for sure..
Thanks for the perspective as I do not "really need" the extras the K-3 offers. May have to see if there is a local shop that carries both to compare as nothing beats actually using the cameras to make a decision as to whether the newer model is worth the extra expense to me.

I notice you and few others have the TAMRON 17-50mm f2.8. Would you recommend this lens?
11-25-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
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Both the K-5iis and the K-3 are substantially larger with better overall performance and quality. Personally (having come from a K-x myself), the K-3 upgrade was painless and exhilarating. I had to borrow a K-5iis for a while and for one of the crazy K-3 deals going on right now I'd say it's worth the little bit extra. You say you want "I am looking for something with faster autofocus and better low light performance," and based on my experience the K-3 wins hands down.


Another option is the K-01, Pentax's mirrorless that takes your existing K mount lenses. It's discontinued, but still available. I'm not sure why you are thinking mirrorless, exactly, but it's an option that won't mean losing your Pentax lenses. Looks like it's running about the same cost as the K-5iis, tho.


K-3 deal: https://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/deals/pentax-k-3-grip-now-just-796.html

Last edited by NicoleC; 11-25-2014 at 02:11 PM. Reason: added link
11-25-2014, 02:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
Both the K-5iis and the K-3 are substantially larger with better overall performance and quality. Personally (having come from a K-x myself), the K-3 upgrade was painless and exhilarating. I had to borrow a K-5iis for a while and for one of the crazy K-3 deals going on right now I'd say it's worth the little bit extra. You say you want "I am looking for something with faster autofocus and better low light performance," and based on my experience the K-3 wins hands down.


Another option is the K-01, Pentax's mirrorless that takes your existing K mount lenses. It's discontinued, but still available. I'm not sure why you are thinking mirrorless, exactly, but it's an option that won't mean losing your Pentax lenses. Looks like it's running about the same cost as the K-5iis, tho.


K-3 deal: Pentax K-3 + Grip Now Just $796 - Deals and Savings | PentaxForums.com
The deals right now on the K-5iis and the K-3 are awesome! Excited to hear you use the term exhilarated when describing the upgrade from K-x to K-3! Ever since the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony a7 arrived they got my attention. It seemed like they offered all the benefits of DSLR in a more compact design. I like to do a lot of research so I didn't wan to count these out. I realize one is a FF and the other 4/3 but they are around the same price which would probably be a stretch for me to justify nevertheless they have my attention.
11-26-2014, 10:03 AM   #14
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I haven't handled any of these cameras, so I really shouldn't be saying anything. But I wanted to share sentiment from other posts I've read on this forum and others -- I think I've seen the K3 autofocus to be described as much better than the K5 and a sort of... cocky confident. Like it doesn't even have to hunt for autofocus. I wish I could see it in action...

I've also seen posts about Sony's offerings having cumbersome ergonomics and menu. Technologically, they've been innovative. But being true to a classic camera feel, it's not there. But then again, I don't really know. You probably could adjust to different menus and different ergonomics. I've also seen more negative than positive reactions to using legacy glass on A7. Same with autofocusing speeds and lens options... I'm not convinced that full frame sensors will really be that good anyways.

I've seen people say that the image quality in APS-C is very comparable to full frame. I've also seen people say the image quality of m4/3rds is very comparable to APS-C. So... if A=B and BC, then A=C? Ideally, full frame should be better. But m4/3rds seems to be a happy compromise. Maybe the A7 will get better and more lenses.

Basically, there isn't a perfect system. In the Pentax world, I think the K3 is what you're looking for, at this moment. But then again, what do I know, I haven't handled any of these cameras. This is probably the most useless, least helpful post.
11-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rabblefrabble Quote
I wouldn't mind manual lenses but from the experience I have using them with the K-x I have a hard time getting the focus exactly right when the lenses are wide open. I have a k-1000 I found in my parents attic with a SMC 50 f2 and 125mm Sears manual lens I have used on the K-x and I can't consistently get the focus right. If this is easer on the newer cameras i would be open to getting some good manual lenses.
that right there is why i went mirrorless, with an evf.

with an evf, you get magnification on an oled screen, not an lcd.

it can be slow to focus, but it's the most accurate focusing there is.

it takes awhile to get dialed in, some people look at once, and never figure it out.
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