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06-30-2019, 10:41 AM   #1
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Is there a bad Pentax camera?

I was considering a personal review/thoughts of my first year with a K-70. A shortcoming would be I have no experience with any other DSLR. This in turn led to my question. Are there any Pentax models in production or recently discontinued that are, to be kind, less than adequate? If so, a short explanation. Please, no battles!

06-30-2019, 10:51 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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I can't say that there are any recent models that are "bad" but honestly most modern ILCs are incredible pieces of technology that are vastly more powerful than 99% of users even need. Even back in the K100D era the amount of tech you were getting in an entry level camera was insane.

Beyond that, what you consider adequate depends on your needs. The world is full of people with $4000 plus rigs who take perfectly OK pictures and seem to think that it would be impossible on a lesser device.
06-30-2019, 11:21 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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There are models that have had technical problems - specifically, the K-30 and K-50, with solenoid failure in the aperture control mechanism. This seems to have affected some K-S1 and K-S2 models also, but on a much more limited basis. But none of these were "bad" cameras... They just suffered from a poor quality component. In fact, that issue aside, these were and still are very good cameras.
06-30-2019, 11:35 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I've bought/had many Pentax cameras from 1968 onwards to the present dayand never had a lemon except in one case. It was a Pentax Optio WG series...very small...and almost immediately had the shutter button jam on without being able to shut it off. I took it back and as I had had the camera for less than a week was able to get my money back and I instead bought a small Canon, a G12, which I still have. The sticking shutter might of been the only issue that this camera had...I don't know...but I didn't want to chance it.

When you consider it...quite an excellent track record...for a camera line based on my personal experience. They have been reliable/durable in my experience and that's why after over half a century of experience I continue to buy Pentax.

06-30-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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Until the K1, all cameras that I know from Pentax had well rounded firmware. The K1 is a good camera, but the firmware seems unfinished, there are some way of working that are weird. Also, the K1 and the KP are the first two bodies with magnesium allow chassis being open at the top, the flash socket is maintained by a plastic molded shell and it can break very easily, that's a clear weakness implemented by Ricoh on Pentax models.
06-30-2019, 12:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Until the K1, all cameras that I know from Pentax had well rounded firmware. The K1 is a good camera, but the firmware seems unfinished, there are some way of working that are weird. Also, the K1 and the KP are the first two bodies with magnesium allow chassis being open at the top, the flash socket is maintained by a plastic molded shell and it can break very easily, that's a clear weakness implemented by Ricoh on Pentax models.
Has the plastic top anything to do with wifi?

Philip
06-30-2019, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrB1 Quote
Has the plastic top anything to do with wifi?

Philip
GPS.

As for the original question, maybe the K-01? But even though it was a commercial failure (because it was functionally a K-30 without the mirror, and then sold at a premium), many have come to like it due to the value it now delivers. It also looks kind of cool. Pentax cameras are generally built to pretty high standards, so I wouldn't say any models were subpar for their time and class.
06-30-2019, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
As for the original question, maybe the K-01? But even though it was a commercial failure (because it was functionally a K-30 without the mirror, and then sold at a premium), many have come to like it due to the value it now delivers. It also looks kind of cool. Pentax cameras are generally built to pretty high standards, so I wouldn't say any models were subpar for their time and class.
On that basis, I guess we could also say the the Q-series cameras weren't especially successful outside of their domestic Japanese market, and they were somewhat quizzically and critically viewed by the photography press. But they've developed quite a following over time, as they're capable of taking extremely good photos...


Last edited by BigMackCam; 06-30-2019 at 01:36 PM.
06-30-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Until the K1, all cameras that I know from Pentax had well rounded firmware. The K1 is a good camera, but the firmware seems unfinished, there are some way of working that are weird. Also, the K1 and the KP are the first two bodies with magnesium allow chassis being open at the top, the flash socket is maintained by a plastic molded shell and it can break very easily, that's a clear weakness implemented by Ricoh on Pentax models.
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
GPS.. . .
does the K 3 II suffer from that fault ?

it has built in GPS
06-30-2019, 02:03 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
On that basis, I guess we could also say the the Q-series cameras weren't especially successful outside of their domestic Japanese market, and they were somewhat quizzically and critically viewed by the photography press. But they've developed quite a following over time, as they're capable of taking extremely good photos...
It's amazing how the reviews focus on everything but the images.
06-30-2019, 02:39 PM   #11
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Original Poster
original question

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It's amazing how the reviews focus on everything but the images.
My question, and perhaps I was not detailed enough, was a focus on the box systems and overall mechanics. I avoided lenses which, I believed, would have made the answers to wide ranging and complex.My understanding, limited I admit, is that images are a product of the lens and camera, glass being primary I would be interested in opinion(s) concerning the aspects of the box that contribute to photo quality if that does not bog down to much with various sensor size.
06-30-2019, 03:03 PM   #12
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I'd consider the K-01 a substandard camera to learn on for a beginner or as an only camera in general (even though that's exactly what I did for years). It's a great camera with good image quality, but the short comings in AF and with telephoto lenses really can hamper your experience. It's an ideal sidekick to a more feature rich camera. I especially like it for candids since no one takes it seriously.

---------- Post added 06-30-19 at 06:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gump Quote
My question, and perhaps I was not detailed enough, was a focus on the box systems and overall mechanics. I avoided lenses which, I believed, would have made the answers to wide ranging and complex.My understanding, limited I admit, is that images are a product of the lens and camera, glass being primary I would be interested in opinion(s) concerning the aspects of the box that contribute to photo quality if that does not bog down to much with various sensor size.
People say that good glass will outlive any body, and my collection of great quality vintage lenses seem to back this up. We're also in an age where electronic based cameras have a far shorter life span than the well made, almost like fine clockwork, film cameras of old.

I think any body can be used to learn on, but having to upgrade crappy glass is a pain the butt.
06-30-2019, 04:06 PM - 3 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It's amazing how the reviews focus on everything but the images.
What?You mean there are actually people who spend $1,00s on equipment and they want to take photographs with it?Who’d of thunk it?!
06-30-2019, 05:48 PM   #14
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I agree with the different things that others have said. I think any camera (from really any company) made in the past 5 years or so is a camera that should be able to get the job done. When I think about 'bad' Pentax cameras, really the only thing that makes the cameras below bad are that they don't really feel like Pentax cameras (which is hard to explain). They're not bad though, because you do understand why they were made, even with their short-comings.

K-30/K-50:
If there are two 'bad' cameras... I guess I would go with these ones. They're essentially budget K-5s, and I imagine that they are just like that. Up until you run into the aperture stability problem, I imagine these are actually Great cameras. Out of all of the cameras listed here, I think this one looks and feels like a Pentax camera. I have used a K-50, and when comparing it to my old K-5... it pretty much does everything (I really can't tell you what is different about them, in use). But Pentax is known for durability, and these two cameras specifically seem to have the same problem. They're only 'bad' because they're truly the only cameras I've heard of that have broke the veil of indestructibility. Amazing value before that point.

K-01:
I got this for my sister (as it was included in a ebay purchase for a Sigma 30 1.4) to use. One of the things that keeps me loving my Pentax cameras, is that the Ergonomics and how it feels in my hand is so enjoyable that I feel almost compelled to take another photo. This camera makes me feel none of that! It reminded me, back to when I had a Sony a6000... except without the viewfinder. If you just take the body into account, it's almost the same size as any other DSLR (because using the K-mount I suppose means that they have to keep the same distance for the lenses to work properly) so you lose that advantage. The real sad part is that without the OVF, its essentially a K-30... if you could only use the Live View the entire time. It's also weird that it seems to have removed almost everything that makes Pentax cameras great or comes standard: only 1 scroll wheel, No weather sealing, Weird Green/Red Buttons. There are some really good things that it introduced though. I believe it's the first Pentax camera with focus-peaking(?), a full 2 years before a6000 would implement it... and to this day, I believe the 81 focus points is the most any Pentax camera has ever made. I remember thinking that this might have been an experimental camera, and they were seeing what a mirrorless camera could be... but sadly, they seemed to have given up on it now... as they (I think rightfully so, as other non-Sony or Canon will soon find out) believe that investing in a new mount is unwise. The only way they'd do it, is if they found a way to do it and keep the same K-mount. The good news, is these can be had for pretty cheap now ($150 or so)... and at that price, I would challenge anyone to find a camera that does what this one does?


K-S1:
I think it just turned people off... the toy look/feel of it, the weird pastel colors, the gimmicky flashing on the grip. The shallow grip, only 1 scroll wheel, a weird mode selection wheel... The lack of weather-sealing... and if I remember, it launched at almost the same price of the K-3(?). I think it was the first camera to have illuminated buttons though, so there's that. It just didn't feel like a Pentax camera. It was like someone took the K-01 and combined it with a DSLR. The K-S2 would fix this though, be the camera this should have been IMO.

Q-Series:
I think this camera gets a bad rep... if the best camera is the camera you have with you, it is a 12MP camera that you can literally put on a key-chain. A bigger key-chain, sure... but I've had bigger things on mine. The camera by itself punches well above, and has some really amazing engineering in the lenses too. I wish I had one!
07-01-2019, 05:47 AM   #15
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For what it's worth, when I first wanted to use Pentax film ear glass on a DSLR a few year's ago I bought a *ist DS [new old stock] for around $50. This is among the 1st of Pentax DSLRs, uses AA batteries, has a tiny screen on back and basically has base ISO value only. And I loved it and have had zero issues with it, and especially value the color and rendering of the old CCD sensor. It lead me to buy a K70, which after the initial shock of its bulk (compared only to the tiny *ist DS!) has also proven to be wholly reliable and a pleasure. I find myself hardly using it lately, as I have been drawn into the Fuji X system (I really value tiny cameras and lenses), but I had nothing to complain about and will surely return...
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