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09-12-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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Updating from a K-20

A few years ago, I passed my K-20 down to my daughter. She was getting into the arts more, and I updated to the K-5.

Now, my son is becoming quite the shutterbug. He loves to photograph cars, nature, people. He's been using my camera, but can be a little rough on things, so I've been shopping for a used kit recently for him. (Last year, I sold my *ist DL with some entry lenses and now wish I hadn't.)

However, the K-20 has developed the dreaded 'all my pictures are black' disease. I contacted one shop for an estimate but never heard back. The next closest shop is 2 hours away. I have yet to contact Pentax about the issue, but plan to soon.

If the K-20 is beyond repair, then we're down to the K-5. I want both kids to have a decent camera with a few entry lenses. Used is fine.

Option 1 is to pass the K-5 down to the older kid, buy a used kit for the younger one (I found a K-50 with two lenses for a great price) and buy myself a new camera (the K-70 most likely)

Option 2 is to keep the K-5 for myself and buy each kid a used kit (again, most likely the K-50 as it gets great reviews -- the K-S2 doesn't). Yes, this gives me the older camera of the bunch!

Price isn't a huge issue. My bigger concern is the quality and reliability. I don't want to spend a fortune, but do want the kids to have good quality kits to take them through their middle/high school years.

Any thoughts on the best route? Any other models I should be looking at?


Last edited by nnyorkie; 09-12-2017 at 07:20 PM.
09-12-2017, 10:06 PM   #2
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I'd give the K5 to the rough user (it's the strongest), get yourself a K70, and a K-S2 for your daughter.
09-12-2017, 11:31 PM   #3
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Do you have a CEX near you? One of my sons works part time at one.
Over here in the UK they send all the dslr lenses and cameras off to get rehabbed before they sell them.
The standard advice is to find out how to check the shutter count for the brand you are looking for and do the check before you buy.
09-13-2017, 02:49 AM   #4
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The K-s2 has some advantages over the K-50. Articulated screen, wifi nfc app support sensor based AA. The K-70 is even better as it combines the advantages of the k-s2 with better IQ and pixel shift resolution (no NFC though). (not much iq difference between the K-50 and K-s2 despite it having a 20mp sensor instead of 16). All three share the same basic AF. Have you thought of the KP? It will give you the improved IQ of the K-70 (a bit better even) and a more modern AF sensor capable of tracking AF. There is also the issue of possible aperture block failure in the K-50. I believe their have not been reports of it happening to the K-70 yet, so maybe it has been resolved in that model. Instead of the K-50 you could also look for used k-5 's with a low shutter count.

09-13-2017, 07:53 AM   #5
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I think it all depends on your budget....
09-14-2017, 12:17 AM   #6
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I am very surprised if the K-20D has the aperture block issue of the K-30, 50, etc. since it is of the flagship variety, and thus more ruggedly built. Body control features are outstanding. It might be worth a repair. That said, the K-5 series represents a real advancement in many other respects. One is the viewfinder- 100% field of view with very good magnification and brightness. The body is smaller and yet presents excellent ergonomics for handling. The best of these for both improved imaging detail and AF performance is the K-5 IIs. I can tell you this since I also own the original K-5.

I essentially agree with mcgregni. The K-S2 is at bargain prices now as an outgoing model, being replaced by the K-70. It is a truly fine little camera with excellent imaging, and metering- also for flash. I shoot with the K-S2, K-5 IIs, and KP. All bought new and all highly prized.
09-14-2017, 01:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I am very surprised if the K-20D has the aperture block issue of the K-30, 50,
It didn't This probably the shutter giving out.
09-14-2017, 01:54 AM   #8
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Can you really go wrong? I would go looking for a K-5 II myself. Top lcd and the DoF preview position on the shutter switch, WR, great ergo's, and not costly used these days.

09-14-2017, 03:26 AM   #9
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If money is not a problem, why not get 3 k-70s? One for each of you. You can use your K-70 for the longer lens and the k-5 for the shorter lens or vice-versa. Then you'll have all your areas covered and I'm definitely sure your kids will love their new cameras.

Last edited by totsmuyco; 09-14-2017 at 03:32 AM. Reason: Grammar
09-14-2017, 03:55 AM   #10
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If money's not a problem, just get 3 K-1s and new lenses for everyone

That is why I asked earlier for a budget. This conversation is meaningless without a budget, and I expect there to be one, if the OP has been shooting with a K20D and wishes he hadn't sold his *istDL which is as cheap as a DSLR can get.
09-14-2017, 04:26 AM   #11
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If money is not an issue get 4 x K1's and give me one.

Seriously though, why not two more K5's?
09-14-2017, 05:26 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nnyorkie Quote
Option 2 is to keep the K-5 for myself and buy each kid a used kit (again, most likely the K-50 as it gets great reviews -- the K-S2 doesn't). Yes, this gives me the older camera of the bunch!
The K-S2 is an excellent camera, compact, well equipped, tilting screen, etc.

Its IQ compares well with the K-5, for sure.

I'd look into either a K-70 or used K-3 for yourself (K-3 is a nice upgrade from your K-5, K-70 an in-between but very capable camera), give the K-5 to your rougher kid, and a K-S2 to your daughter. Or a used K-5 too, those cam probably be had for a song. The K-50 is also very good, depending on the deal you get and the lenses involved it might be a good choice.
09-14-2017, 05:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by FreeSpirit9 Quote
Seriously though, why not two more K5's?
A minor variant - buy a used k5ii(s) and another k5. Give the kids the k5's. Plenty of inexpensive lenses out there to start them on, and this gives a set of near identical and very durable bodies.
09-14-2017, 09:52 AM   #14
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As far as detail is concerned, I think the K-S2 slightly edges out the original K-5, and probably also the K-5 II. This being not only the additional 4 mp, which by itself is not likely to be easily discernible, but along with the lack of an AA filter. The K-5 IIs appears to me very close in this regard, but the K-S2 impresses me more when it comes to on-board flash metering. Its metering in general is darn good also. All that said, my images from my original K-5 are impressive and certainly are keepers!

Of course, if money is not a problem, why not get all new cameras! I'm assuming the OP is interested in being economical in keeping his still fine K-5 and deliberating as to the best way to put it to use. The K-5 is indeed still a fine camera with a great pro-style control layout, pro-style build quality, handling, and able to deliver very fine imaging! I would say his proposed plan of getting a new K-70 will offer some visible improvement in fine detail, and especially an improved low-light performance. Since that was mentioned rather than a new KP, it seems cost is an issue. As per test reviews, it is as always, important to employ "Fine" in the sharpening menu of the custom image section.

Last edited by mikesbike; 09-14-2017 at 10:20 AM.
09-14-2017, 12:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
I'd give the K5 to the rough user (it's the strongest), get yourself a K70, and a K-S2 for your daughter.
Without giving it a huge amount of thought, I like this suggestion. If you are going to have 3 shooters in the family, a few decent lenses you can all use also makes sense. The 18-135 comes to mind, as does the 55-300 and a 35 2.4 or 50 1.8 are pretty much no-brainers for low light situations. I know folks love the 2.8 lenses for that, but, to my mind 2.8 is only half way there to a 50 1.8.
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