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06-07-2017, 09:23 PM   #1
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Upgrade from Pentax Kx?

I own a Pentax K-x and would like to upgrade the camera body. At present, the I have the following:

Pentax SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
Pentax DA 50mm f1.8
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens
Sigma EF-530 DG Flash
Pentax Remote for K-x

The following are the Pentax models I am considering at present:
Pentax K-r
Pentax K50
Pentax K70

I am a huge fan of AA batteries. Hence, I did not really look at KS1. Also, I would prefer to see all that are mentioned above to work with the new camera body.

Could you suggest the Pentax models I should consider for my camera upgrade?

06-07-2017, 09:31 PM   #2
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The K-r is a minimal upgrade over the K-x. The K-50 or K-70 would be much bigger upgrades. The lenses will be fine, but the flash might need to be upgraded. I don't know if Sigma still does that.
06-07-2017, 09:47 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by krishna Quote
I own a Pentax K-x and would like to upgrade the camera body. At present, the I have the following:

Pentax SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
Pentax DA 50mm f1.8
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens
Sigma EF-530 DG Flash
Pentax Remote for K-x

The following are the Pentax models I am considering at present:
Pentax K-r
Pentax K50
Pentax K70

I am a huge fan of AA batteries. Hence, I did not really look at KS1. Also, I would prefer to see all that are mentioned above to work with the new camera body.

Could you suggest the Pentax models I should consider for my camera upgrade?
The K-70 is by far the most capable of the bunch, and it'll deliver the best image quality. I don't believe it can be used with AA's, but I totally recommend the upgrade as the improvements all around are easily worth it. Just get a couple extra third-party batteries and you should be good to go.

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06-07-2017, 10:43 PM   #4
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Just to add to what Adam said, I used to be a die hard fan of AA batteries too and indeed I had a K-x myself (great little camera) but was very surprised how I changed my tune when I got a K-5 (with a spare battery). I really appreciated the improved battery life (never had a problem in the field), the compact battery size (light and easy to keep spares handy) and even the charger is fairly compact. I was intending to get a grip so I could use AA batteries with the K-5 but I never bothered!

As it turned out our family now also has a K-01 and a K-1 - which all share the same battery type (increasing potential spares).

If you are like me then I probably can't convince you change from AAs, but from my experience moving to Lithium batteries have been almost entirely positive experience. Also I agree with boriscleto that K-r is not worth upgrading from a K-x.

Edit: forgot to add that there are after market alternatives to Pentax batteries too which are much cheaper - but be sure to pick one from a reputable manufacture. My K-5 was second hand so I was not too worried about using after market batteries and have had perfect problem free run. I don't use them in the K-1 (while its in warranty anyway) but thats just me being cautious with such a lovely piece of kit.


Last edited by kiwi_jono; 06-07-2017 at 10:51 PM.
06-07-2017, 11:24 PM   #5
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Drop AAs.

I got 463 shots in one day (last week) with my 2-and-a-half-years-old K-01 (and its two-and-a-half-years-old battery!), and still it wouldn't turn off (I came back to the hotel before it did)!

That is quite an age for a lithium battery.
06-08-2017, 12:24 AM   #6
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I loved my k-x a lot -- and I loved the fact I could stop in at any store on any vacation and get batteries.

But then I realized I was going to get new batteries -- also a lot. And even with the expensive, $8 for a 4-pack super batteries, I was always having to play the game of shifting them around to squeeze the final few electrons out of them. And once depleted, those batteries were a recycling hassle.

If I could convince you on the battery thing -- and what did it for me was finding an after-market car charger compatible with the Li-ion batteries -- I would also suggest a look at the K-S2. It felt like a natural progression from the k-x; light yet rugged. Also, it's a good bit cheaper than the K-70 now, but has some of the nice features like Wi-Fi and the movable display. Image quality I think is better than the k-50, too.
06-08-2017, 01:36 AM   #7
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I'll second the recommendation for the K-S2 as a compact little replacement for a K-x.
Since your zoom lenses are slow, you'll benefit from the great performance of the K-S2 at higher ISOs.

06-08-2017, 03:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by krishna Quote
I own a Pentax K-x and would like to upgrade the camera body. At present, the I have the following:

Pentax SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
Pentax DA 50mm f1.8
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens
Sigma EF-530 DG Flash
Pentax Remote for K-x

The following are the Pentax models I am considering at present:
Pentax K-r
Pentax K50
Pentax K70

I am a huge fan of AA batteries. Hence, I did not really look at KS1. Also, I would prefer to see all that are mentioned above to work with the new camera body.

Could you suggest the Pentax models I should consider for my camera upgrade?
Hi

I was in a similar situation at the end of last year, a K-x and a similar bag of lenses. I made the jump to a K-3 which I am enjoying immensely!
It turned out to be not so great a jump as I feared too, it functions enough like the K-x for me to learn it very quickly. Like you, I was concerned over the battery situation too. But so far I have not had any difficulties, just remember to charge it the day before any planned shoot and it will last through the shoot and more. I will be getting a second battery when funds allow.
06-08-2017, 03:45 AM   #9
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Last model with an AA adapter was the K-50(500). Just get the K-70 and you are good to go for years. More megapixels great noise performance, pixel shift resolution 14 bit RAW articulating screen. Like Adam said, one or two third party batteries and you are fine. They are small enough to carry in a pocket.
06-08-2017, 04:04 AM   #10
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When I was looking at replacing my dead *istDL, power requirements were part of my thought process. I already had a charger and two sets of rechargeable AA that came everywhere with me, but the knowledge that in an emergency I could find AA batteries and also rechargers just about anywhere loomed strong in my mind, especially as I travel between Canada and Australia at least once every year.

In the end, the better specs of the K-5 won out and I abandoned AA. I have not had cause to regret this move - unless I'm shooting heavily with internal flash, the K-5's battery when fully charged is good for just about any full day of shooting that I care to put it through, and usually lasts much longer than that. I'm never shooting long enough to use up two (I now have three, because the K-1 came with its own), and carrying the recharger (and an overseas adapter plug for it) on long trips is not difficult.

Hence, of the models you specify, I would (as others have already done) choose the K-70.
06-08-2017, 04:27 AM   #11
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I would avoid any Pentax camera suffering from reliability problems, namely the K-30, K-50, K-S1 and K-S2. The K-70 is the first model that does not seem to exhibit problems, but it may be too soon to know.
06-08-2017, 07:41 AM   #12
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I loved my k-x, but the choices you listed would not be my next step (I've owned a k-5, k-3, k-1, and k-s1).

Don't miss the AA batteries, they are actually a right bother. Assuming you remember to charge the battery beforehand, the camera with the worst battery life is the k-x/k-r. You'll get twice the performance from the k-s1 battery, and it won't degrade over time in the same way.

I can't comment on the k-30/k-50 too much (i once played with a k-30 at the British Grand Prix, whilst swapping out my DA40 ltd on my k-x, to take a shot).

The k-s1 has a really bad reputation, and I don't think it's deserved imho. When I bought my k-x, everyone was banging on about how great it was (high ISO performance, great IQ, cheap, and decent build quality). Yes it didn't have weather sealing, yes it used AA batteries, yes it didn't have the AF points highlighted in the view finder, but it was alright.

The k-s1 follows that trend. If you want cheap, with fantastic IQ, a superb viewfinder, then it's a no brainer. Compared to the k-3, it's not weather sealed, the white balance is a little suspect in poor light, and it doesn't have a second wheel. If you gave me a choice between the k-5 and the k-s1, id choose the latter. If I could afford a k-s2/k-70/k-3, id but those options. However, for best IQ for low cost, I'd skip the k-30/k-50/k-r models, and go straight for the k-s1.

The images from the k-3 are better than those from the k-s1, but not by much given decent light. If you've managed to survive on a non weather sealed camera for so long, then the IQ from the k-S1 craps all over the k-50/k-5/k-30. The high ISO performance is a notch above the k-3, and previous k-5 era sensors in my opinion.

The only downsides to the k-s1 in my mind: ergonomics could be better. White balance could be better. 12bit vs 14bit raw. No weather sealing. I'd prefer a k-3 in all honesty, however over the options you listed, the k-s1 would be my second choice. (It's just the k-x, but with a sensor that can, sometimes, make the k-3 look bad)

---------- Post added 06-08-17 at 02:51 PM ----------

There's a lot to like about the k-x. Look through the k-s1 viewfinder, then look at the resulting shots, you'll be gobsmacked. There are better bodies out there, but save your cash, put it towards a lens that can match the k-s1 sensor.
06-08-2017, 07:58 AM   #13
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The KS-1 sounds like the ideal cost-conscious buyer's step up from the *istDL. Only one control wheel? Can't miss what you never had. No weather sealing? Likewise. Vastly improved IQ, AF, high ISO performance? Bring it on. Size? Tiny and nimble has its place. Ergos? Handle before you buy if at all possible, but that's so subjective I wouldn't want to comment further.

However, my recommendation in view of the OP's proposed choices remains (K-70).

QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
a sensor that can, sometimes, make the k-3 look bad
Under what specific circumstances, out of interest? Tech marches on, yes, but the KS-1 wasn't that much newer and the K-3 was once a premier flagship. (Then again, even a phonecam can blow a poorly handled DSLR away when the composition and subject are right and the ambient light - like the Force - is with you.)
06-08-2017, 07:59 AM   #14
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And just to parrot the advice above, once you've moved on from AA batteries, battery life is no longer a concern.
06-08-2017, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I recently upgraded from the K-x to the K-50. I'll briefly go over some things I noticed in adjusting.

- The k-50 has a little more bulk, I actually liked the compactness of the K-x more, but the K-x is also one of the smallest dslr bodies ever made so it wouldn't be easy to "replace" in that regard. On the other hand the hi-res screen on the K-50 is SUCH and improvement over the lower-res screen of the K-x. But just about any camera made after 2010 is going to have a higher res screen, so that should be something you notice on any upgrade. The K-50 is also weather-sealed and just a sturdier feeling camera all around.

- The user interfaces of the two cameras are nearly identical but there are some slight differences.
Pros of the K-50 interface: I've heard people complain about the live view/delete button location on the K-50. I personally think it is in a great spot. On the k-x I would accidentally hit it because it was next to all the other right thumb buttons. I prefer it out of the way on the opposite side of the screen. Also having 2 dials makes you wonder how you ever got by with just one on the K-x.

Pros of the K-x interface: On the other hand the display on the k-50 is a little more finicky. On the K-x, you could set the display to be turned off all the time in the menu settings (which I would commonly do). This is not as easily done on the K-50, on this camera, you have to cycle through several different screens just to turn off the display screen. Easily the most aggravating thing for someone who likes to use rear display as minimally as possible.

I am having what I think is a fairly common problem on the K-50 regarding the aperture ring. When I turn the camera on after a long period of non-use the first shot I take is stopped all the way down to f22 or f16. Every shot after this is fine with no problems. I have worked around this by just hitting the depth of field preview button right after I turn on the camera. This fires the aperture ring without firing the shutter and taking a picture. It's almost like it has to be "re-calibrated" after a long period of non use. I can deal with this problem though and am keeping my fingers crossed that it does not worsen. If it does, I have seen some diy fix videos on youtube for it. I even read on another forum that someone fixed it simply by spraying some WD40 on the defective part!

Bottom line: K-50 is a great upgrade, but there are some trade-offs as there always is. Considering the affordability of K-50 bodies right now I have no regrets about doing it though. Now if this aperture problem worsens, I might be singing a different tune, but for now I am fully satisfied with the K-50.
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