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06-18-2020, 12:49 PM   #1
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K50 body acting weird, time to upgrade camera body... Considering KP vs Sony A7 ii

Hi all,

I started developing weird issues with the k50 where the camera shuts off every time I attempt to take a picture. This is different from the standard aperture block failure. I have tried a number of things (swapping batteries, using AA battery adapter, cleaning electrical contacts, swapping SD cards, upgrading to latest firmware, etc) but this seems like a hardware issue with the electrical board. I have kept this camera in good condition and shutter count is less than 2000 for reference. Precision Camera is quoting ~$175 for the repair, and given other reliability issues with the K50, i am seriously questioning if it is worth putting this money into the camera body if later it develops other problems like the aperture block issue.

So I'm currently looking at new camera bodies (would consider buying used too). I don't want to deal with any camera body with reliability issues, and have heard that the k30/k50/k70/ks1/ks2 all have the aperture block failure. I use exclusively older, film era manual focus lenses to keep the costs down and although theoretically you can use manual lenses if the aperture block fails, I've also heard members report that they started getting weird power issues when the aperture block failed, and regardless I would prefer a camera body that will just work as intended over its lifetime.

Anyway, was thinking about the KP or the Sony A7 ii. KP because it's the natural upgrade from the K50 without the reliability issues, the Sony A7ii because why should I reward Pentax's poor quality control with another camera body purchase? Kind of ridiculous that they let so many manufacturing defects continue from K30 to K50 to K70.

I wanted to get other members thoughts who use older manual lenses, would it make sense to get a KP or Sony A7 ii, or something else entirely?

Budget matters. I am not thrilled about shelling out $750 for a KP, or $900 for a Sony A7ii. Ideally would spend $500 or less, but could go up to $1000 if I am confident that any new purchase will last 7+ years.

I don't see myself getting into new digital lenses. I want to keep my costs down, and the manual primes are good enough for me.

Thank you for any insight.

06-18-2020, 12:55 PM   #2
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Back when I bought my K50 (around the same time you did) I was strongly considering a used K5iis. The only thing that tipped the scales toward the K50 was the focus peaking feature (lacking on the K5's). Maybe that or a K3 will suit your needs and budget? I haven't heard of reliability issues with those models.
06-18-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
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If I were the type of person to use only manual focus film lenses (I do have a few, my favourite being the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7), I would go for a mirrorless with manual focus aids. So, between your two choices, I would lean towards the Sony. However, I will say that on my Pentax K50, I find manual focus fairly easy, but I have fairly good eyes. In fact when I used it regularly, the K50 with Pentax-A 50 f/1.7 netted me around a 90% hit rate with perfect focus. However, I realize that camera have different calibrations and what might appear sharp in the viewfinder might be a little off with the sensor on some individual units. So I think I got lucky with my K50. If you like Live View though, the KP will also have focus peaking.


Anyway, I actually think another camera would be even better for you: the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III body, with a a PK adapter. Comes to under $500USD. The reason I say this is that it is actually within your comfortable budget, whereas the other cameras are twice that. Image quality in most situations should be as good as your K50.
06-18-2020, 01:16 PM   #4
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Not had any problems with my K-70 - 20k+ exposures - but the KP is a step up again, though, for my old manual lenses (several drawers full!) I usually stick with my tried and tested *ist's, one of which has an M42-PK adaptor more or less permanently fitted


I wouldn't bother with the Sony unless I specifically wanted a full-frame camera and was happy with totally manual lens control, assuming not replacing existing lenses for something more compatible. I'm not impressed with my experiences with electronic viewfinders either, though they can have some benefits.


If budget is of some concern, I'd suggest looking for a low-mileage K-3 or K-5 ... full lens compatibility with the hi-end build quality that seems to be what is wanted.


Good luck!

06-18-2020, 01:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sachmo Quote
Hi all,

I started developing weird issues with the k50 where the camera shuts off every time I attempt to take a picture. This is different from the standard aperture block failure. I have tried a number of things (swapping batteries, using AA battery adapter, cleaning electrical contacts, swapping SD cards, upgrading to latest firmware, etc) but this seems like a hardware issue with the electrical board. I have kept this camera in good condition and shutter count is less than 2000 for reference. Precision Camera is quoting ~$175 for the repair, and given other reliability issues with the K50, i am seriously questioning if it is worth putting this money into the camera body if later it develops other problems like the aperture block issue.

So I'm currently looking at new camera bodies (would consider buying used too). I don't want to deal with any camera body with reliability issues, and have heard that the k30/k50/k70/ks1/ks2 all have the aperture block failure. I use exclusively older, film era manual focus lenses to keep the costs down and although theoretically you can use manual lenses if the aperture block fails, I've also heard members report that they started getting weird power issues when the aperture block failed, and regardless I would prefer a camera body that will just work as intended over its lifetime.

Anyway, was thinking about the KP or the Sony A7 ii. KP because it's the natural upgrade from the K50 without the reliability issues, the Sony A7ii because why should I reward Pentax's poor quality control with another camera body purchase? Kind of ridiculous that they let so many manufacturing defects continue from K30 to K50 to K70.

I wanted to get other members thoughts who use older manual lenses, would it make sense to get a KP or Sony A7 ii, or something else entirely?

Budget matters. I am not thrilled about shelling out $750 for a KP, or $900 for a Sony A7ii. Ideally would spend $500 or less, but could go up to $1000 if I am confident that any new purchase will last 7+ years.

I don't see myself getting into new digital lenses. I want to keep my costs down, and the manual primes are good enough for me.

Thank you for any insight.
Well, I own several flagships and none of them has shown any problems. But I agree with you that sometimes the quality control is not what it should be. On the other hand do not think that Canon, Nikon or Sony do not have issues and that they are more reliable with their budget models. If you can get a decent K-3 second hand then I think you can buy a very reliable camera. It works with all that old glass. If you buy that Sony you have to buy an adapter as well to use your Pentax glass and as you stated, you want to keep the costs down. A shutter count of less than 2000 in seven years since it was released is very low. So in terms of costs it might be wise to have it repaired.

As this post is a follow up to your original post about K50 aperture block failure perhaps a moderator can put the two together. It is a bit confusing perhaps to have different posts about the same issue.

Last edited by Unregistered User; 06-18-2020 at 01:22 PM. Reason: question for a moderator
06-18-2020, 01:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
But I agree with you that sometimes the quality control is not what it should be. On the other hand do not think that Canon, Nikon or Sony do not have issues and that they are more reliable with their budget models.
That is definitely true. That is why I think it's a good strategy to wait 2-3 years until after models have been tested a while, and avoid the ones with more issues, because some models definitely have more issues than others.
06-18-2020, 01:26 PM   #7
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I would probably buy a K-70 if I was forced to today.
The KP hand grip (even the largest grip) doesn't fit my hand very well.
I'm holding out for the new aps-c flagship to be released this year.

06-18-2020, 01:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sachmo Quote
Anyway, was thinking about the KP or the Sony A7 ii. KP because it's the natural upgrade from the K50 without the reliability issues, the Sony A7ii because why should I reward Pentax's poor quality control with another camera body purchase? Kind of ridiculous that they let so many manufacturing defects continue from K30 to K50 to K70.
You might want to add a lightly used K-3 or K-3II to your short list. BTW, Sony has its own issues.

QuoteOriginally posted by sachmo Quote
Budget matters. I am not thrilled about shelling out $750 for a KP, or $900 for a Sony A7ii. Ideally would spend $500 or less, but could go up to $1000 if I am confident that any new purchase will last 7+ years.
That is a pretty good price for an A7ii. Have you priced lenses? Do you get on with the electronic viewfinder? Have you researched adapters?


Steve
06-18-2020, 01:40 PM - 1 Like   #9
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KEH is a good place to look for used Pentax bodies.

They currently have a K-3 for $414 and a K-5iiS for $330. Both rated "Excellent" (EX) with a 6 month warranty.

I've recently purchased a K-S1 ($218, EX, 4000 clicks) and a K-3 ($439, EX, 1000 clicks) from them and have been very pleased with both cameras.
06-18-2020, 01:44 PM   #10
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I'm a bit biased (I have one), but I agree with those above who suggest a used K-3

richfam beat me to it: There's one at KEH in your price range ($414): Pentax K-3 Digital SLR Camera Body, Black {24 M/P} at KEH Camera

(I have nothing to do with KEH.)

Last edited by AstroDave; 06-18-2020 at 01:45 PM. Reason: add richfam
06-18-2020, 02:17 PM   #11
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Hi all,

Thank you for the suggestions!

I haven't seen as much posted on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III on this forum, but will start looking through threads on it.

Will also take a look at the K3 as well. Most ebay sellers don't post shutter counts, though I guess I could message them on that. I've seen ppl recommend the KP over the K3, though I guess I could save a little bit if I went that route.

I'm a little skeptical of the repair route. Precision Camera will only warranty repair for 90 days. That's a lot of money for something that may only be a temporary fix. If i'm going to drop $175, it needs to be on something reliable. I kept the camera in good condition, so honestly am very surprised that this issue came up. Wouldn't consider the K70. I've seen pics of it now unassembled, and it's basically the same components as the K50, and some of the same quality control issues are starting to bubble up.
06-18-2020, 02:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sachmo Quote
Precision Camera is quoting ~$175 for the repair, and given other reliability issues with the K50, i am seriously questioning if it is worth putting this money into the camera body if later it develops other problems like the aperture block issue.

Anyway, was thinking about the KP or the Sony A7 ii. KP because it's the natural upgrade from the K50 without the reliability issues, the Sony A7ii because why should I reward Pentax's poor quality control with another camera body purchase? Kind of ridiculous that they let so many manufacturing defects continue from K30 to K50 to K70.

I wanted to get other members thoughts who use older manual lenses, would it make sense to get a KP or Sony A7 ii, or something else entirely?

I don't see myself getting into new digital lenses. I want to keep my costs down, and the manual primes are good enough for me.
a) If money matters, $175 for a repaired K-50 makes the most sense. Not everyone, myself included, has had the aperture block failure and even if it does occur to 25% of the cameras, the odds are in your favor.

b) The incidents of this happening on the K70 are extremely rare and I believe any new K70 should not have this issue. I also have access to and use a K70 and it has not had the aperture block failure.

c) If you've got the coin to pay for a KP, then that makes the most sense because you wrote that you did not want to get into new digital lenses (Sony).

d) The Sony A7II is not without issues. It's an excellent camera, but I'd say just as many as the aperture block failure on the K-50 complain about IBIS and camera overheating issues, and poor high ISO performance. It's also a totally different consideration with pros and cons of mirrorless and FF. I would only recommend this camera if you shoot more videos than photos.

e) Beware that your 16MP K-50 was a good match with older film era lenses. When you upgrade to a higher MP sensor, you're going to see how a better digital lens makes a significant difference. So then, the best solution would lead to a flagship 16MP Pentax like the K-5.

When I was younger, I had some bad experiences with Ford cars and Canon cameras. So I understand how emotionally you want to reject products made by Pentax. So now that I drive a Toyota and shoot with Nikon and Pentax do they ever need maintenance and repairs?
06-18-2020, 02:56 PM   #13
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For 500 I would buy the K70.
06-18-2020, 04:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sachmo Quote
I'm a little skeptical of the repair route. Precision Camera will only warranty repair for 90 days. That's a lot of money for something that may only be a temporary fix. If i'm going to drop $175, it needs to be on something reliable. I kept the camera in good condition, so honestly am very surprised that this issue came up. Wouldn't consider the K70. I've seen pics of it now unassembled, and it's basically the same components as the K50, and some of the same quality control issues are starting to bubble up.
FWIW, $175 would be getting off cheap. If you want a longer repair warranty, KEH offers six months (some strings attached) and a flat rate of $300 for dSLRs (major parts extra).

As for the K-70 sharing components with your K-50; yes, that is true. Strangely enough, both cameras share multiple components with almost all Pentax SLR cameras back to 1983, my fully functional 37 year-old Pentax Super Program (almost identical aperture control block, for example) being one of them. I, personally, would not hesitate to buy a K-70 if I had a need, but I understand your hesitancy given the prevalence of posts on this site claiming pervasive aperture control block failure for that model.


Steve
06-18-2020, 04:39 PM   #15
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in case the OP hasn't discovered the forum's comparison tool

KP vs. K 70 vs. K 3 II vs. K 3


Pentax KP vs. Pentax K-70 vs. Pentax K-3 II vs. Pentax K-3 - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com
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