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09-21-2016, 05:23 PM   #1
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Reliability of pentax DSLRs?

Iím drawn to the Pentax because of weather sealing, better value, and because I can use legacy lenses and have image stabilization while using them.
I'm planning on getting a K-70 in a few months to a year.

But, all of the talk of aperture block and shutter block failures on various bodies, has me a bit concerned.

Both Nikon and Canon have similar problems, but I was able to see their failure rate
ďabout 4%Ē in 2 years (squaretrade).

I couldnít find a failure rate for Pentax but I did see that Pentax had the highest customer satisfaction (JD power).

In your own experiences how is Pentax's reliability/longevity compared to the competition?


09-21-2016, 05:27 PM   #2
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Can't say about the opposition - I've never owned a Nikon or Canon. I do have a SFXn that works as well as it did 28 years ago and I've had no problems with my K-5. I've never had any problems with any of my Pentax lenses either.
09-21-2016, 05:28 PM   #3
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The last stats I saw had Pentax well ahead of the competition inf failure rate, on both cameras and lenses, but that was a few years ago,
09-21-2016, 05:31 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The newest Pentax DSLR I own is a 5 yr old K5 with about 11k shots. I also own a 13 yr old *ist D with about 40k shots. Plus a few models in between. All of them work perfectly, except for the AF/MF switch that broke off the *ist D a year ago (after 12 years of service!). So my experience with Pentax has been pretty positive

09-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #5
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I've been shooting with Pentax DSLRs since 2008. My experience related to your inquiry:

K200d never a problem. I sold it to a friend who is still using it today.

K-5 had the lens mount button pop off which was fixed under warranty.

K-3 never a problem. Recently demoted to backup camera with my purchase of the K-1.

K-1 working great since getting it in June.

09-21-2016, 06:08 PM   #6
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I have owned quite a few Pentax cameras starting from the K100D, then the K10D, K-7, K-5, K-5IIs, K-3, K-01 and the original Q. None of them has any problems related to reliability. I think it is pretty good in my opinion.
09-21-2016, 06:23 PM   #7
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I have had my K-5 for three years, I shoot in all sorts of weather, I've dropped it from my desk, and changed lenses in a field environment, no problems.
I did clean the sensor twice, and the lens on the dropped camera had to be repaired, but I've been very pleased with the ruggedness and reliability, as well as the ease of use.
09-21-2016, 06:26 PM   #8
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I have about 14,000 trouble free shots on the black K-50 & about 9,000 on the red K-50.

I had a Sony A200 DSLR prior to these cameras & I got about 65,000 trouble free shots out of that one. I'm hoping that these 2 K-50 bodies last a long while.

09-21-2016, 06:52 PM   #9
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As far as DSLR longevity, I can only speak about Pentax because that's all I've ever owned.

K-10 was the first. Bought it in 3/08 and have never had a problem with it. My granddaughter in FL took it home with her last fall to use in some photography classes she's taking this year. Last I heard it is still going strong.

K-5 bought new in 6/11. No issues to date. Currently used dedicated to Tak's.

K-5II bought used from PF member in 7/13. No issues to date. Also dedicated to Tak's.

K-3 Black bought new in 10/13. Initial minor issues solved by early firmware updates. No issues since.

K-3 Silver bought new in11/14. Updated firmware as soon as I got it.No issues.

K-1 bought new 5/16. No issues.
09-21-2016, 07:22 PM   #10
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Based on what I've seen, Pentax is no less reliable than other brands. While their support network is a bit lacking, many have had positive experiences, and attractive product pricing (i.e. the K-70) makes up for it to an extent.

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09-21-2016, 07:27 PM   #11
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Many of my non pentax friends have a repeat relationship with their canon and nikon service centers. I am amazed that after owning some 7 pentax cameras, not one has ever had to go in for a repair.
It's noteworthy.
09-21-2016, 07:56 PM   #12

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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
In your own experiences how is Pentax's reliability/longevity compared to the competition?
I've had two Canon P&S cameras fail totally,
and this year one of my Pentax Q7s died.

Among the DSLRs, one of my Kx cameras
had its LCD screen start displaying intermittently
after five years of use.

But my other Pentax digitals (mirrorless and SLR) are still doing fine,
except for occasional date amnesia on two original Qs.

Two Pentax film SLRs needed service to free up sticky mirrors,
but that was after decades of hard use.

So overall, I'd say Pentax does fairly well in the reliability and longevity department.,
09-21-2016, 08:05 PM   #13
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My K-5 still work very well with nota simgle issue.
In the meantime I got 2 Olympus high end P&S, one is dead, the second one, the zoom give me error many time.
09-21-2016, 09:23 PM   #14
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As Adam has pointed out numerous times the flag ship models have a great record of durability. I have had great luck with Pentax. In the digital era I have had perfect track record (so far).
K100 D 16,000+ shutter still going
K100 Super (sold with 8900+ and working when sold)
K2000 11500 still going
K10D 12,000+ still going
K30 #1 30,000+ still going
K30 #2 12,000+ still going
K50 5200 still going
K 01 18,000+ sill going
K3 in the near future because of the 2 SD card slots
09-21-2016, 09:29 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
In your own experiences how is Pentax's reliability/longevity compared to the competition?
I have had no issues with my two purchases (K10D and K-3), though I do have a friend that had the aperture/mirror controller issue on her K-50.

FWIW, Consumer Reports keeps a running account of failure or serious repair for interchangeable lens cameras based on member polls. The published numbers are:
  • Estimated failure rates for three-year old cameras
  • Based on member responses for cameras purchased between 2011 and 2016
  • Expressed as percent likelihood
The most recent tally goes like this:
  • Fuji: 3%
  • Canon: 3%
  • Nikon: 4%
  • Sony: 4%
  • Panasonic: 5%
  • Pentax: 6%
  • Olympus: 8%
Differences of less than 4 points are deemed insignificant. Both Nikon and Sony are doing better than the last report where IIRC, Sony was at 7% and Nikon at 6%. Pentax was at 5% and has been as low as 3%.

Edit: Boy was I off! I found a copy of the Fall 2015 reliability report and those numbers sorted out as follows:

Fall 2015 Report for period 2010-2015 (not current survey)
  • Panasonic: 4%
  • Canon: 5%
  • Sony: 7%
  • Pentax: 7%
  • Nikon: 8%
  • Olympus: 8%
There were no results for Fuji.

End edit


Last edited by stevebrot; 09-22-2016 at 12:29 PM.

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