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09-26-2016, 09:33 AM   #1
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Second Pentax K-* dSLR advice needed

Greetings folks,

I'm a long time Pentaxian but by no means an expert, I started with a Ricoh K[something] and Pentax ME SLR and finally graduated to what I could afford at the time, a K-r with the 18-55 DAL kit lens. Since then have put more money into a variety of better glass, but I am about to take a trip and want a backup camera to loan (give) to my brother. I could get a used K-r on eBay (so he and I have the same) but it seems like I might want to upgrade a bit. A full frame K1 is out and I am fine with a used camera with <5000 shutter count, was looking at K-01 (mirrorless) but know nothing about it. Since the K-r is 12.4 MPx I'd want something that or greater.

I am a casual photographer and wish to learn more, but overall want reliability.

Any advice?

And if this is in the wrong forum I apologize.

Cheers!

09-26-2016, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hello and welcome to the forums

My recommendations - in descending order of price - would be to go for either a K-3, K-5IIs, K-5II or K-5. All have been flagship models in the Pentax range, and are *extremely* robust and proven. I've had my K-5 for a number of years and it has seen quite a bit of abuse, but it just keeps taking great photos alongside the K-3 and K-3II that are my main cameras.

In terms of value-for-money, if you can find a K-5 with a reasonably low shutter count, that's what I'd recommend. You won't get better bang for your buck
09-26-2016, 09:41 AM   #3
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Awesome, just what I wanted to know!!
09-26-2016, 11:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Hello and welcome to the forums

My recommendations - in descending order of price - would be to go for either a K-3, K-5IIs, K-5II or K-5. All have been flagship models in the Pentax range, and are *extremely* robust and proven. I've had my K-5 for a number of years and it has seen quite a bit of abuse, but it just keeps taking great photos alongside the K-3 and K-3II that are my main cameras.

In terms of value-for-money, if you can find a K-5 with a reasonably low shutter count, that's what I'd recommend. You won't get better bang for your buck
Just located a "brand new" K-S2 for a good price, comparing to K5 and seems similar in many ways. How important is that fact that it doesn't have built-in AA?

09-26-2016, 11:14 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The reason I didn't recommend a K-50 or K-S2 is that, despite them being excellent cameras, they are not quite as robust as the K-5 and K-3 series - which is to be expected, as they were mid-range models.

The K-50, in particular, has had numerous reports of the aperture mechanism failing just outside of warranty (depending on the amount of use, of course), and there is at least some (though not much) anecdotal evidence that the K-S2 may potentially be affected in the same way. You mentioned in your initial post that reliability is important to you, and I think you'd be better served by a K-5 series or K-3 series camera as a result.

All that said, the K-S2 is a fine camera and well-loved here by those that own it. The lack of an anti-aliasing (AA) filter means that photos will be that little bit sharper when viewed at very large sizes. In reality, unless you're blowing your images up to very significant sizes, it won't make much difference in my opinion. I could show you photos from my K-5 (which has an AA filter) side by side with some from my K-3 (which doesn't) and I doubt you could tell any difference.
09-26-2016, 11:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The reason I didn't recommend a K-50 or K-S2 is that, despite them being excellent cameras, they are not quite as robust as the K-5 and K-3 series - which is to be expected, as they were mid-range models.

The K-50, in particular, has had numerous reports of the aperture mechanism failing just outside of warranty (depending on the amount of use, of course), and there is at least some (though not much) anecdotal evidence that the K-S2 may potentially be affected in the same way. You mentioned in your initial post that reliability is important to you, and I think you'd be better served by a K-5 series or K-3 series camera as a result.

All that said, the K-S2 is a fine camera and well-loved here by those that own it. The lack of an anti-aliasing (AA) filter means that photos will be that little bit sharper when viewed at very large sizes. In reality, unless you're blowing your images up to very significant sizes, it won't make much difference in my opinion. I could show you photos from my K-5 (which has an AA filter) side by side with some from my K-3 (which doesn't) and I doubt you could tell any difference.
Yes, I understand, I had said "reliable" so I see what the concern is. Hmm, this is a dilemma. I have been poking around on eBay and elsewhere (plus the Pentax forum sales here) and not finding K5's with low shutter count that are priced where I need them to be. As far as robustness, I'm pretty careful with my camera. This K-S2 seems to be a huge bargain, seller assures me that it is sealed in box and not gray market/refurb and has full US warranty.
If it helps at all, I have had my K-r for 4 years and shutter count is 3600 or so, so I am NOT a power user.
09-26-2016, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
Yes, I understand, I had said "reliable" so I see what the concern is. Hmm, this is a dilemma. I have been poking around on eBay and elsewhere (plus the Pentax forum sales here) and not finding K5's with low shutter count that are priced where I need them to be. As far as robustness, I'm pretty careful with my camera. This K-S2 seems to be a huge bargain, seller assures me that it is sealed in box and not gray market/refurb and has full US warranty.
If it helps at all, I have had my K-r for 4 years and shutter count is 3600 or so, so I am NOT a power user.
The "robustness" issue has nothing to do with whether you shake, drop, or otherwise misuse the camera. The issue essentially has to do with the aperture control mechanism not lasting as long as people expect - reported failures occurring as early as shutter count = 2000 but sometimes they last much later than 20,000.
09-26-2016, 11:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
The "robustness" issue has nothing to do with whether you shake, drop, or otherwise misuse the camera. The issue essentially has to do with the aperture control mechanism not lasting as long as people expect - reported failures occurring as early as shutter count = 2000 but sometimes they last much later than 20,000.
Oh, I understand. Thanks! I decided to take a chance with it anyway, too good a deal to pass up. I can always be on the lookout for a K-5 as well, there is no law that says that I only have to have 1 or 2 camera bodies! If the ACM fails, I will be sad but I will know I was warned.

Now for more lenses...

09-26-2016, 11:37 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Pentax in the future will be releasing lenses in a new mount KAF4 with already a 55-300 released in that mount. Every camera K-3 and older will not be able to use it.

So basically, K-70, K-1, K-3 II, K-S2 and K-S1. Buying new, I wouldn't look at anything beyond those cameras, and I'm thinking of trading in my K-3 because at some point the new 55-300 is a possibility for me. It's collapsable for easier transport and doesn't have that obnoxious Aperture pin stick out of the back. In considering a K-70, I', also looking at a K-s2. In your position, that's where I'd go if I could find a better price on it up here in Canada. As it is, up here, a K-70 will be about the same price, and it has Pixel shift, 24 MP and a rotating back screen.
09-26-2016, 11:45 AM - 1 Like   #10
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K-s2 is a great purchase. Love the screen. I have have a K-5iis and would love to have a K-s2 as my backup / travel camera.
09-26-2016, 11:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Pentax in the future will be releasing lenses in a new mount KAF4 with already a 55-300 released in that mount. Every camera K-3 and older will not be able to use it.

So basically, K-70, K-1, K-3 II, K-S2 and K-S1. Buying new, I wouldn't look at anything beyond those cameras, and I'm thinking of trading in my K-3 because at some point the new 55-300 is a possibility for me. It's collapsable for easier transport and doesn't have that obnoxious Aperture pin stick out of the back. In considering a K-70, I', also looking at a K-s2. In your position, that's where I'd go if I could find a better price on it up here in Canada. As it is, up here, a K-70 will be about the same price, and it has Pixel shift, 24 MP and a rotating back screen.
Thanks, I understand the logic there. Good to know that if I do get a KAF4 lens I can use it on the K-S2 but not the K-r (which I might just give to my brother, he has no Pentax at all, how does one live without a Pentax?)
09-26-2016, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
I decided to take a chance with it anyway, too good a deal to pass up.
Congratulations - I think you'll love the K-S2. The important thing is that you've made a choice so you can get on with shooting and enjoying it (when it arrives!).

Which colour combination did you pick? I don't normally like non-standard colours - all my DSLRs have been black, while my film cameras are black, silver or both... but I actually like the different K-S2 colours on offer. Black looks great, of course, but some of the other combos are really nice too
09-26-2016, 12:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Congratulations - I think you'll love the K-S2. The important thing is that you've made a choice so you can get on with shooting and enjoying it (when it arrives!).

Which colour combination did you pick? I don't normally like non-standard colours - all my DSLRs have been black, while my film cameras are black, silver or both... but I actually like the different K-S2 colours on offer. Black looks great, of course, but some of the other combos are really nice too
The K-S2 is black, but my K-r is red (like my avatar) - I wanted something that stood out.
09-26-2016, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
Just located a "brand new" K-S2 for a good price, comparing to K5 and seems similar in many ways. How important is that fact that it doesn't have built-in AA?
Actually no AA has become a preference as a built-in AA filter applies that softening to all the pictures that are taken. The newer K3 II and the K-70 (which I own) have a AA simulation, micro shaking of the image sensor to simulate the AA effect, that can be enabled for those shots that suffer from moire patterns. I've never had to use it so far.

While it's brand-new, I do recommend the K-70. The build quality is very good but is not the all metal build of the K3 II. But it has so many of the flag ship features, includ[*]ing some from the K-1, that it has reviews from The Camera Store and others asking what is the primary draw of the flagships over the K-70. Granted there some (GPS at sacrifice of built-in flash, 27 focus points vs 11, faster shutter speed and continuous shooting, dual SD slots),but significantly less than the flagships over prior models including the K-S2. You get the native KAF4 mount support, the enhanced exposure control for video when in combination with the new KAF4 PLM lenses (50-300mm being the first and only release so far). The K-70 is likely the reason that there is so much speculation about a K3 II replacement as a new ASP-C flagship needs to be released to distance itself feature wise from the K-70.
  • It's the same image sensor at 24M, but the K-70 has higher ISO and lower noise due to the new noise accelerator chip in combination with the Prime MII processor.
  • Wireless is builtin instead of putting a FluCard in one of the SD slots on the K3 or K3II
  • Built-in flash that is far enough away from the lens to not suck. K3 has the flash but the K3 II only has the hotshoe as the GPS module took place of the flash.
  • O-GPS1 unit allows for Astrotrace (I use it) and from reviews appears to be more accurate than the built-in GPS of the K3 II when comparing Astrotrace results.
  • THe LCD screen is fully articulated, fantastic for low to the ground or above the head shots where you can't use the non-articulated K3/K3 II screen or viewfinder.
  • Weight is less, so if you use this for backpacking/kiking and landscape work you'll be able to hold it longer without fatigue.

But it's not a flagship or "pro" in that it only has the single SD slot. Imagine you are a wedding photographer and the SD card fails towards the end of the event, disaster! The K3 and K3 II with the dual SD cards can have your files write to both cards to cover the possibility of a single SD card failure. That on it's own is why Professionals need a flagship camera.

But if this is not for "crucial" shots and quality SD cards are always selected, it's a great camera. Even if you move to a K-1 eventually the K-70 could be that useful spare in the even of the need for multiple camera angles or photo shoots where you don't want to risk your K-1.
09-26-2016, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
The K-S2 is black, but my K-r is red (like my avatar) - I wanted something that stood out.
I went from the K-r to the K5IIs. MY k-R had a little over 27000 shots on it before I changed cameras due to the great deals when the K5IIs was discontinued. Yes they are still great cameras. Enjoy your K-S2, I know nothing about them.
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