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09-04-2016, 09:11 PM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by roti Quote
I am a canonian, thinking about switching brands.
I started with 350D back in 2007 then switched to the 500D. I mostly shoot during my travels, so I value the portability of my camera.
So, my questions to you are:
What Pentax would you reccomend for me?
What are your general views and oppinions on Pentax as a brand? What's keeping you with Pentax, and what annoys you?
Razvan
Razvan...love your name!
Based on what you explained, Iʻd recommend a Pentax K-S2 as it is the smallest and lightest option. Your 500D heavily uses plastic and is very light, and you will find all Pentax models relatively smaller than Canon, but a bit heavier and more solid feeling with more use of metal. But the camera body weight is only part of the story and whereas Canon uses IS (Image Stabilization) in their lenses, Pentax opted for SR (Shake Reduction) in the camera body, so the lenses are relatively smaller and lighter.

My general view is that Pentax features such as weather-sealing, a bright pentaprism optical finder, and excellent low light and dynamic range with the Sony sensor outperforms both Canon and Nikon until you get into the upper price ranges. That weather-sealing is also going to be found in their kit lenses which is an amazing value.

There are three areas that Pentax is not as good as Canon:
a) AF speed
b) Video
c) Noisy AF mechanism

Out of fairness to your 7 year old Canon, you would see an improvement with their latest models, but youʻre still not going to get weather-sealing or a pentaprism finder until you get their high end APS-C or FF models. It will take you a few days to get used to the Pentax layout of buttons and the menu, but they are well designed and shouldnʻt be an issue unless youʻve got big hands.

I presently teach about 240 students each year in both film and digital photography and video. Canon represents about 65%, Nikon 30%, and Pentax 5%, but I recommend to the students and their parents Pentax. Most obviously donʻt believe me (Pentax??? Whatʻs that???) but the ones that did, and got a Pentax, are smiling all the time in class because they can see and know they have something special.


Last edited by Alex645; 09-05-2016 at 10:57 AM.
09-05-2016, 04:56 AM - 1 Like   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by wielandrew Quote
You would have several options. All have approx. 100% fov pentaprism viewfinders. All are weather sealed.

K-50 - $430 w/kit lens (discontinued)
  • 650g / 850g w/kit lens
  • 16.3 MP
K-S2 - $527 / $647 w/kit lens
  • 678g / 878g
  • 20 MP, AA filter-less
  • Articulating LCD
K-70 - $647 body only
  • 688g / 888g
  • 24 MP, AA filter-less
  • Articulating LCD
K-3 - $700 body only (discontinued)

  • 816g / 1016g
  • 24 MP, AA filter-less
  • Magnesium body
K-3 II - $847 body only
  • 799g / 999g
  • 24 MP, AA filter-less
  • Magnesium body
>What about the menu system and shooting modes?


For Pentax they are all very similar. All of these cameras have two control dials and a significant amount of customization available. The main differentiator of the K-3 is the magnesium body.


>I am a little bit skeptical about the shake reduction feature.


I have only heard good things about Pentax's image stabilization. Perhaps more importantly lenses without VR built in can be smaller, lighter, and cheaper. For example the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 for Pentax vs. your version with VR (VC):
  • $499 (INT $237) vs. $649 (INT $370)
  • 74 x 84mm vs. 80 x 94mm
  • 430g vs. 570g
  • I've read that the VC version is optically inferior
Very good listing, one suggestion I would recommend is adding the K-5, K-5 II and K-5IIs to the list. They are the previous generation enthusiast cameras to the K-3 series and they are still great cameras. Build quality is solid Magnesium Alloy body. It has a 16 MP sensor which can be cropped almost as much as the K-3 24 MP sensor and still retain sharpness. Good used copies should still be available.
09-05-2016, 06:32 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by roti Quote
Hi,
Hello and welcome to the forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by roti Quote
So, my questions to you are:
What Pentax would you reccomend for me?
What are your general views and oppinions on Pentax as a brand? What's keeping you with Pentax, and what annoys you?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Cheers,
Razvan
Hmm... it depends. What's your budget? What are you looking for? What are you shooting?

I would recommend, of course, a K-1 with assorted lenses
If you're on a budget, try for a second hand K-5IIs. If you don't shoot action, it's a very nice camera. I would recommend getting some DA Limiteds - if you're not a zoom-only person. I'm moving to FF, I'm quite thrilled with the K-1 but I will miss those little jewels (Limiteds).
However, as others noted, the K-5IIs is not compatible with the new KAF4 lens. At this point, we don't know which of the future lenses will be KAF4.

Don't worry about easy of use; that's a Pentax strong point. The menus might look a bit dated but they're reasonably well organized (or perhaps I'm just used to them?). And you can get dual control wheels on all but the lowest-end camera - the K-S1.
The Pentax interface tries to offer you the basic settings available without making you take your eye from the viewfinder (or change your grip).

One thing to note, you'd be migrating to a camera maker with a much smaller market share - and a smaller product range and 3rd-party support. Do your homework and make sure Pentax has everything you need. If in doubt about some specific equipment, ask us.

Last but not least, try before deciding.
By the way, where are you from? Hopefully we could organize a Pentaxian meeting; it's easier to discuss with cameras on the table.
09-05-2016, 10:19 AM - 1 Like   #34
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Welcome.

The responses you have received are why I love this forum.

You have received a great deal of accurate and objective information and very little hyperbole and defensiveness. The people who have responded have given you fair and honest answers, freely discussing the positives and negatives of the brand, and given you, what I feel, is an accurate picture of Pentax cameras.

I won't even try to give you any thoughts about which camera is best for you - you have read plenty about that - and it is your decision anyway. I will suggest that you to spend some time reading through our forum as well as the reviews and articles sections. I believe these will be very telling and informative for you. This will give you the opportunity to see what Pentax people say to other Pentax people. I especially urge you to look at this LINK which demonstrates the effectiveness of the Pentax weather sealing.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best and hope your choice works well for you.

09-06-2016, 12:21 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
By the way, where are you from? Hopefully we could organize a Pentaxian meeting; it's easier to discuss with cameras on the table.
Bucharest.
09-06-2016, 12:40 AM - 1 Like   #36
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I thought it might be so.
Well, we can get together, have a drink or something - and I can show you a K-1 (if you're curious), K-5IIs, few DA Limiteds; or if you have specific requests, we could try to find a solution.

I'm also thinking of having another Pentaxian meeting this autumn.
09-06-2016, 06:05 AM   #37
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Always compare within price ranges. Yes, the sports or nature photographer may be getting better images with their C&N camera. If you want to spend $12K and make it your profession you can get those images too. If you're not willing to buy the "PRO" gear then don't compare with it. Compare apples with apples. Then Pentax does shine.

You asked about a couple of downsides:
Shake Reduction: Panning shots do suffer with shake reduction, it's recommended you don't use SR with panning shots. Generally if the conditions are bright enough your shutter speed will be high enough anyway.
Cold: I've used the K3 and K5 in very cold weather with no problems. Generally I'm using the 18-135 lens in those conditions. Batteries will suffer in the cold, so keep a spare in a pocket where your body can keep it warm. Then you can swap batteries when the cold one starts to suffer. The camera never hesitated or suffered from any adverse cold, down to about 5-10 degrees F (-15 to -10C). I know I've had the camera out in colder weather but not for extended periods.
09-06-2016, 06:22 AM - 1 Like   #38
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Indeed - pros are using mostly Canon and Nikon because those brands have the expensive speed monsters like the D5 and 1Dx Mark II - and the expensive lenses to match. Unless we're talking about those pros who are after the best image quality, then it's not Canon or Nikon - but medium format (Pentax is a player here).

Agreed on Shake Reduction for panning; I'm assuming here Razvan would get an older model. I'm still not fully familiar with the K-1's SR... maybe it's not a problem anymore? In any case, this is one upside of the in-body SR: it gets upgraded each time you change your camera. For all your lenses

As for cold:


09-06-2016, 06:45 AM   #39
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In my own experiments I have not seen issues with panning while Sr is on but I have done this infrequently so I may have missed something.
09-06-2016, 08:39 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by roti Quote
I am a little bit skeptical about the shake reduction feature. It's a nice to have, but does it come with a compromise? Fuji does not have in body image stabilization because it is incompatible with the lens mount (there is no space for the sensor to shift without compromising image quality, see here: “Our highest priority is always image quality”. Interview with Takashi Ueno and Shusuke Kozaki from Fujifilm Japan. | FUJI LOVE).
That is Fuji talk loosely translated as "our system can't do it, but that is not really bad because our system is still good". Fuji's recurring marketing message regarding mount diameter is pertinent to their system and competing mirrorless product, but is irrelevant for systems with longer registration distances. As for the effectiveness of Pentax SR...My experience is that it works very well at focal lengths up to about 200mm and less well with long lenses. Its operation is fairly transparent and not something I think about unless I am working on tripod and need to turn SR off.

Regarding image quality...Yes, all current model Pentax cameras are capable of excellent image quality. The same is true, however, for most models from most makers. Pentax has a great lineup of lenses for APS-C (cropped) sensor and an adequate lens selection for the 35mm FF K-1. As for the choice of working professionals, there are a lot of factors that go into the mix on gear choice and the needs of pros vary by genre. For example, Pentax AF and SR comes up a little short for most sport photography where Canon and Nikon product dominate. Another consideration is pro-level support, which Pentax does not offer to the same level as C & N.

Moving on to user interface, that is a Pentax strong point. As is often noted in reviews, Pentax conventions tend to be fairly consistent model to model, year to year. I learned on a 2007 vintage K10D, had little difficulty moving to the K-3, and have been successful fielding user questions on all dSLR models using only the user manual for guidance. That being said, the graphical user interface has undergone some evolutionary changes in recent models and from what I have seen it is for the better. It is also consistent between models.


Steve
09-06-2016, 08:57 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Agreed on Shake Reduction for panning; I'm assuming here Razvan would get an older model. I'm still not fully familiar with the K-1's SR... maybe it's not a problem anymore?
Not a problem on current models with the K-1 being even less problematic. Even the older bodies were not that bad. Much depends on the lens focal length and speed/smoothness of the pan.


Steve
09-06-2016, 09:05 AM   #42
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I'm not experienced enough with panning so I could differentiate between the SR screw-ups and mines (the reverse is not necessarily true; this weekend I was at an airshow and my screw-ups were quite obvious ). OTOH, older SR versions didn't have a panning mode - while the K-1's has some sort of an automatic switch:
"Even when taking a panning shot, this system automatically detects the direction of the camera’s movement, and efficiently controls the SR unit to always produce the best image possible without requiring any mode switching operation."
PENTAX K-1 - RICOH IMAGING EUROPE S.A.S
09-06-2016, 01:27 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I don't own a K-1 myself yet, so I can't tell how many of these just-good-enough (or in some cases more than just-good-enough) lenses handle with the full-frame shake reduction turned on, but it would seem that the "older" mount with its longer flange distance actually confers an advantage (or perhaps a not-disadvantage) in this respect.
What do you mean by "the older mount"? I thought the mount is the same for all Pentak K models...
09-06-2016, 01:38 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by roti Quote
What do you mean by "the older mount"? I thought the mount is the same for all Pentak K models...
It's older than Fuji's mount, and older than mirrorless mounts.
09-07-2016, 11:26 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by roti Quote

What I miss in my current camera:
- high ISO
- weather sealing/high quality construction
- viewfinder who covers the entire picture

What I would like in my new camera:
- good construction and/or weather sealing
- more portability (less weight, smaller size)
- no articulated screen (I believe it shortens the life of the camera, as it will eventually break)

So, my questions to you are:
What Pentax would you reccomend for me?
What are your general views and oppinions on Pentax as a brand? What's keeping you with Pentax, and what annoys you?
Per your preferences: If you want to avoid an articulated screen, then the K-3 II is a great choice. Light weight = APS-C. Top build quality with top grade WR, KAF4 compatible. Good high ISO but probably not as good as the K-70 which has non-pro (but very good) build quality and articulating screen. Note that the K3 II has a GPS instead of onboard flash. The K3 has the flash (no GPS) but also can not use the new KAF4 lens if that matters to you.

If you want to go cheaper, there's perhaps a good used K-5 II or K-5 IIs that meets your specs.

To answer the last question, most of us are here because we like Pentax. I personally don't think that there's a better combination of build quality, features, image quality and value.
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