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04-07-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
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Dilemma: from K5 to canon or nikon?

Howdy people,

After shooting for a couple of years with a K5 waiting for the day Pentax finally announced their full frame camera... i gave up.

I need a full frame, and i'm afraid that if pentax will ever release a full frame sensor, it will probably on some sort of mirrorless camera (which i don't like at all).

Anyway, since i never got used to the crop factor I started look for replacements of my beloved K5 in other brands. I had to ignore the Canon 5d mark III and Nikon D800 because i just can't afford their price.

So I looked towards the "entry level" of full frame cameras, Canon 6D and Nikon D610. The Canon's seems to be better than the K5 regarding high iso and Noise and the Nikon seems to have a slight better dynamic range and color depth. For everything else, K5 seems to be better than both but... it's not a full frame.

So, if you were in my shoes where would you waste your money? In the Canon 6D that doesn't seem to be an upgrade (but where i work they use a 5d mark II so they have spare lenses i could borrow and save some money) or in the Nikon D610 that could be a better camera, but where i should invest more money in some quality lenses? Or the absence of the april's fool regarding a pentax full frame means that this year is the good one? :P


I beg your pardon if i posted in the wrong section. If so, please forgive me and move it somewhere else if needed. Thanks again.

04-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #2
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I sometimes feel the pull for a FF DSLR but when I look at the cost of the better quality lenses I quickly go look fondly at my Pentax's. I've been looking and reading reviews and decided that if the pull becomes so strong that I have to pull the trigger I'll probably get a used D700. Great reviews and great looking images from this one. I figure I won't bother with the outrageously priced Nikkor lenses. I'll just use my S-M-C Takumars with a Kood adapter. Works for me.
04-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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I think you need to better outline your requirements to either this forum or yourself. It's easy enough for any of us to discuss what's worked for us, but without knowing why you need this tool, the quality of information may be off target. What's driving you to a 135mm-size format? What are your specific performance needs? Once you articulate these needs, finding the right lens system will be easier as you are really purchasing a whole system rather than a single body.

04-07-2014, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I'd look at which maker's lenses I preferred, then handle both cameras to see how they feel in my hands, and which camera controls I preferred. But since the glass in most cases will outlive the body/sensor, that's what I'd focus on. Just my 2 cents.

04-07-2014, 03:25 PM   #5
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Hi Miguel, thanks for your comment. You are right, i should have better outlined what is driving me toward 35 size format. Thing is what drives me toward it is simply the same thing that drive some one towards a medium format. Theoretically larger format means better quality, but also a shallow depth of field. I consider K5 quality quite good and i can imagine that K3 is even better. What it lacks (for me at least) is the proper depth of field for a given focal (or at least what I consider proper). For me the cropped 50mm is too short, the cropped 80 is too long and the cropped 35 is just flat. It just doesn't work for me. It's my limit, really, but you can't decide who you love.

When I bought the K5 it was an easy choice for me. I was coming from the film age with pentax cameras, so I just kept that tradition going on for me. Now that I have to change system, well, that's giving me some headaches. If I have to change toward a new system(which in fact means to marry to a brand, since money doesn't fall from trees allowing to change system as the heart change) i want to change for something that it feels at least a little better, not worst. The 6D looks just "meh" and the D610... well maybe it could be her (but in the noise area? I shoot a lot indoor or at night). Something else that stays in the way is the fact that in the photography studio where I work they use Canon, so i virtually already have some lens (but I can take them for a day or two, not for weeks if I need to).
04-07-2014, 03:47 PM   #6
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I too finally gave up on the dream of a Pentax full-frame this past year However, I was heavily invested in K-mount glass, and it did take a while to sell off my lenses. (I still have a few for my film cameras.)

My full frame solution was the Nikon Df--an expensive option, but one I do not at all regret. And, though I got flamed for saying this last year, I still think that the full-frame bargain out there is the Nikon D600.

The 'shutter-dust' problem was, I believe, greatly overblown. (Lots of folks said they never experienced this problem.) And Nikon is now replacing the shutter in the D600 at no cost. You can still find a new one for around $1400 to $1500.

Nikon lenses? I buy 'imports' from Adorama and B & H. They represent, to my thinking, a tremendous value.

I would agree that--in the world of APS-C--the recent Pentax cameras (K5-iis and K3) are probably the best available. But these are still cropped sensor cameras.

Some people don't need what a full-frame sensor offers. But if your are one of those whose photography would benefit, I encourage you to take the leap.

Last edited by Byrd-2020; 04-08-2014 at 03:53 PM. Reason: spell correction
04-07-2014, 03:49 PM   #7
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Does it have to be a 5D Mk III? Why not an earlier 5D, still very good cameras.

Last edited by p38arover; 04-07-2014 at 04:31 PM.
04-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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Since you seem to have manual Pentax lenses, maybe Nikon is a better fit vis-a-vis using older glass.
I gather the following:
-- the higher level Nikons can take all AI and after lenses, and
-- pre AI can be modified cheaply by outside service ($25~40 or so per lens).
Effectively almost as good as Pentax in this regard.
If I was looking to switch I think the Nikon D700 would be what I would think hard about.
But ultimately I think the camera that handles really well is most important. Haven't even held a (better) Nikon digital, but if it is anything like my favorite film cameras: the FM2 (and the Nikonos III, as a sort of point and shoot--don't get me started!!) I probably would go with Nikon.
I also am prejudiced against camera companies (Canon, etc.) that switch mounts and don't leave a method for using prior mount (although Nikon is not perfect in this regard).

04-07-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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The main reasons I use Nikon D800 or any Canon/Nikon 36M FF dSLRs:

I often shot in very tight space, a 14-24 zoom on a FF covers almost every inches in front of me without going into fisheye.
I often handheld my lenses, the 36M FF sensor allows me to crop/adjust afterward without much IQ lost.
In addition to their own offer of vast collection of lenses, there are all kind of crazy adapters & gadgets for Canon & Nikon mount. I use an Ukraine adapter to mount my 30/3.5 Kiev 88 fisheye lens onto my 35mm/FF Nikon cameras to use as a 20mm tilt lens.
04-08-2014, 05:22 AM   #10
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Out of the 2 cameras you mentioned I would recommend the D600/610. It's got better high ISO noise than Canon, the AF is better (Canon only has one cross point), more MP (if it means anything to you),...
I too would advise to try to get a D600 new if you can (with the new service order out you can get them to change the shutter mechanism for free).

This is a sample taken with a D600, 85mm f1.8G @

Photo at full size:
04-08-2014, 07:21 AM   #11
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The Pentax cameras I think are the top of the APS-C... With both Canon and Nikon you'll miss somethings - even though 'small' for the brands, these are big cameras compared to Pentax. And the in-body SR is a feature neither has, and this has ended up being the biggest thing I miss with the D600. And paying for stabilized lenses isn't fun, plus, in practice they don't work as easily as the Pentax system: you have to let the lens settle to get a good sharp image.

Backwards compatibility with the D600/D610 is excellent, as noted above. You get full automation except for focus with the Ai lenses... though the programming on the camera is a bit strange, as it will first crank up the ISO with these lenses. Backwards compatibility to a huge supply of film era AF lenses is also something Pentax lacks, and there's some very nice lenses to be had at decent prices.

The Canon felt nice when we tried it at the store. At the time my daughter was considering attending SVA which is a Canon shop. The idea was she'd be able to borrow stuff from the school. But when she decided against, I went with Nikon instead for the lens compatibility. Dust was an issue, though not terribly so, but I did have Nikon replace the shutter last month for free, with a 1 week turn around.
04-08-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote
It's got better high ISO noise than Canon
Are you sure about that? I have always heard that 6D handles high iso noise better than nikon
04-08-2014, 09:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bebopkorsakoff Quote
Are you sure about that? I have always heard that 6D handles high iso noise better than nikon
I think they are pretty close as far as high iso. The 610 gets a sports iso score of 2925 from DXO Mark, while the 6D scores 2340. Not a big advantage for Nikon. The big difference is that at low iso, the D610 has 2 EVs more dynamic range and that is likely to be really visible in real life shooting. At least if you do any landscapes...
04-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #14
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From my comparisons they're about half a stop apart in high ISO. The advantage going to Nikon. It just feels more of a camera to me....

04-08-2014, 11:38 AM   #15
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You should compare systems and not single cameras. Canon has lens mount that it is years ahead of Nikon. Today Nikon cameras are ahead of Canon in dinamic range but that could change very quickly, lens mount of Nikon has a lot of limitations (mechanical aperture).

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