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05-13-2015, 06:35 PM   #1
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Substitute for top lcd?

On Pentax dslr's without a top lcd, is there a suitable replacement function? What is it?


My current k5 and k100d Super both have top lcd's. I use them not infrequently. If I "upgraded" to the KS2, I would no longer have the top lcd, but would have the articulating back lcd, which I know I would use on occasion, but probably less frequently than I use the top lcd now. So if the KS2 has a suitable "replacement" function for the top lcd, that might be an okay trade-off for getting the articulating back lcd.


I have looked at the specs for both the K3 and KS2 and the top vs articulating lcd's are the only material (to me) differences between the two cameras.


Thanks, Glenn

05-13-2015, 06:39 PM   #2
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the top LCD is one of the most useful features....heck even my old K200D has one.....personally I'd wouldn't buy a DSLR without one but that's just me.
05-13-2015, 06:40 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
I have looked at the specs for both the K3 and KS2 and the top vs articulating lcd's are the only material (to me) differences between the two cameras.
There are plenty of other differences (quieter shutter on the K-3, silent dust removal, faster burst, larger buffer, magnesium alloy body, dual SD slots, more comfortable grip, etc.) but the replacement for the top LCD is essentially the status screen, which shows the same information on the back LCD as the top LCD would.

I think one could get used to not having a top LCD, but it's certainly a convenient feature to have. I don't think it will be dropped in Pentax's flagship DSLR lineup.

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05-13-2015, 06:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
the top LCD is one of the most useful features....heck even my old K200D has one.....personally I'd wouldn't buy a DSLR without one but that's just me.
Even the K100D had one, and, like you, I wouldn't buy a camera that didn't have one. To me, it is indispensable.

05-13-2015, 07:01 PM   #5
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As a former K-x user, I was quite used to using the Status screen on the rear panel to ascertain camera settings. So much so, I am still getting used to relying on the K-3 top LCD display more and using the status screen less. Personally I'm reasonably indifferent as to the ergonomics of looking at a top lcd or at the rear screen but other users may have different opinions on this.

The main advantages I see of the LCD top display is:

(1) a whole lot less battery drain if the rear screen is turned off. Very handy if you know you will be pushing the battery hard with a long day's shooting, or inadvertently headed out for the day with a partly discharged battery (a common Doh! moment for me unfortunately).

(2) you wish to avoid having a bright screen on, eg shooting in a concert or similar where you don't really want to advertise what you are doing, or in situations where you are trying to preserve your night vision (say night time street shooting).
05-13-2015, 07:04 PM   #6
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Much of the information from the top LCD screen is also shown in the viewfinder. Not quite as convenient,
I agree.
05-13-2015, 08:33 PM   #7
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I found myself using the top monitor less and less with the K5, preferring to use the rear screen which has more information when I need more than what I can see in the viewfinder. I ended up not missing it at all when I got the K-S1. If anyone had told me that when I was using the K20, I would have thought they were nuts, as I used it all the time. Now I don't even think about using it whenever I use the K3. I think it depends on how ingrained one's habits are and what their shooting style is like.
05-13-2015, 08:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses, all.




QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
I found myself using the top monitor less and less with the K5, preferring to use the rear screen which has more information when I need more than what I can see in the viewfinder.

Thanks for the info. I guess I could use the rear screen and practice to see how much I would miss the top lcd. Maybe just cover it up for a while, that would give me an idea.

05-13-2015, 08:48 PM   #9
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Outside of viewing this data through the viewfinder, there isn't another feature.

As others mentioned this is somewhat down to preference on usage...

However, An issue with using the rear LED panel for this data is it glows.. brightly.. which creates glare when looking through the viewfinder unless you have your eyeball jammed firmly in the viewfinder.

This is a rather sizable advantage to using the top lcd panel if you have one. Even in daylight but especially in less lit situations. I turn off the rear LED panel and use the top LCD instead. Plus, all of the necessary exposure data is in a tighter box meaning you can see it all quicker when setting up a shot.
05-13-2015, 09:10 PM   #10
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12 vs 14bit is a huge difference.
05-14-2015, 06:22 AM   #11
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top lcd was one of the main reasons I purchased a K3 instead of a K30/k50 when my K10D became old IMO once you get used to having a top status LCD it is difficult to go back. I was using a friends NIkon D3300 and struggled so much. Its like learning to drive on a Porsche, anything 'lower' than that is simply 'meh' !
05-14-2015, 05:41 PM   #12
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I went from a K100d to a K-30 and the top screen was something I thought I'd miss.
Turned out to be a massive non event. I wouldn't let that hold you back.
In most situations there is no difference between looking at 1980s LCD top screen and the larger rear screen which shows more information.
Looking down on a top screen is physically very similar to looking down on a rear screen.


Inside the camera there are massive differences between the K-S2 and the K-3. The top LCD is only one of a host of differences.
Mechanics wise the K-30 and the K-S2 are very similar, as in burst mode speed, focus points etc. The K-3 is quite a step up, just without the addon features of a floppy screen and built in wifi (requires flu card).
05-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #13
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Thanks again for the responses, all. Factoring in the perspectives into the next upgrade move. Thanks. Glenn
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