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06-13-2007, 03:54 AM   #1
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Is it worthwhile to upgrade ...

... from MZ-5 to MZ-5n? Or should I save up more money and get a Pz-1p?

Thanks

Kenny

06-13-2007, 07:23 AM   #2
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There's a significant difference between the MZ-5 and the PZ-1, so I'd go for the PZ-1 if I were you.

The PZ-1 is one of Pentax's finest film SLRs, arguably on par with the MZ-S. The PZ-1 has some features that the MZ-S doesn't have, and vice-versa.

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06-13-2007, 09:26 AM   #3
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My first Pentax was a MZ-10. Was tempted by a MZ-5n for awhile, but found a good deal (at the time) on a PZ-1. Wow. Night and Day. Loved the PZ-1. Never thought about a MZ-5n after that.

If possible, I'd recommend holding the cameras you are thinking about in your hands. I expect that would make the decision easy. There are some features the MZ-S does have above the PZ-1 (film imprinting comes to mind), but how it feels in your hands is one of the major decision factors in my opinion.
06-13-2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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I agree with davek. Ergonomics is the key to how you get along with your camera.

I've got the MZ-S and PZ-1P. My Z-1P comes with the grip + handstrap. I find that my hands are a bit too small for the Z-1P + grip/handstrap combination, so I have decided to put it up for sale if you are interested (haven't gotten around to writing up an advert yet).

For me, the biggest functional advantages the Z-1P has over the MZ-S is the Z-1P has the hyperprogram feature that the MZ-S doesn't have. With the MZ-S you can only use aperture priority via the aperture ring, which means you can't use "J" or "DA" lenses with it (unless you want to shoot P or Tv mode).

The other camera body I find very ergonomic and user-friendly is the MZ-6/7 + FG battery grip, which came just after the MZ-5n. I've also decided to sell my MZ-7+battery grip in case you are interested.

06-13-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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I owned MZ-5n, PZ-1 and PZ-1p at one time. T MZ-5n was a great camera but my fav was clearly the PZ-1p. Some great features are: Of course the hyper program. 'User" setting that could be setup almost any way you liked as your custom shooting setting (which replaced some of the extra custom settings on the Pz-1 (15 vs 18)). the PZ-1P also had a better grip which was rubberized instead of textured plastic. There was a minor upgrade to the Safox II AF system, a little faster. The mirror lock up is a must have feature and the way the mode button was improved is better on the PZ-1p vs the PZ-1. Also 1/250th X-sync and 1/8000th shutter are big feature upgrades.


If you're looking at getting a used one, make sure you find out the condition of the bottom plate. These were great cameras but had one nagging flaw. The bottom plate around the battery door would often crack if it took a hard knock. The plate was a plastic/resin not metal. So check that before you buy. Parts should be available for both fairly easily but these are older and the parts availablity won't last forever if you need a new bottom plate.

Here's a great link on the PZ-1p

photoSIG » Pentax PZ-1p Camera

The camera also fit in the hand a little better with the improved grip. The PZ-1p has a better fit in the hand than even the K10D. If you've never used the Hyper-program system, then once you learn the camera and the features you'll love how that works. Once set up to your preference, the Hyper program allows quick adjustments without removing your eye from the viewfinder. Unique to Pentax and very well thought out. This camera is very much the film version of the K10D digital.

IMO this camera was the best camera available from any brand at the time. In many ways superior to the MZ-S which lost the Hyper Program. Only dumb feature was the Pana button on the back but just ignore it. MAKE SURE you get the manual!! I can't stress that enough on this model. It has many menus and buried features that you will have to read the manual for to figure out. Without the manual this will be a tough camera to master.

Good luck and enjoy it.
06-13-2007, 03:04 PM   #6
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Thank you for all the replies! They are all very useful. Currently I have got MZ-5 and the functions that I have been missing most is the depth of field preview and exposure locking which are available on my DS. That's why I have been thinking about upgrading the 5n.

PZ-1p is another step up from MZ-5n and some other very useful features, eg hyper program, mirror lockup, higher x-sync and faster shutter speed. However it is also bigger, heavier and more expensive. And also because I can't find one lcoally that I can try my hands on, to see how it feel, I guess I will just do the minor upgrade to 5n for now and keep my eyes out for a good deal on PZ-1p.

Thanks again!

cheers
Kenny
11-26-2008, 11:31 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I owned MZ-5n, PZ-1 and PZ-1p at one time. T MZ-5n was a great camera but my fav was clearly the PZ-1p. Some great features are: Of course the hyper program. 'User" setting that could be setup almost any way you liked as your custom shooting setting (which replaced some of the extra custom settings on the Pz-1 (15 vs 18)). the PZ-1P also had a better grip which was rubberized instead of textured plastic. There was a minor upgrade to the Safox II AF system, a little faster. The mirror lock up is a must have feature and the way the mode button was improved is better on the PZ-1p vs the PZ-1. Also 1/250th X-sync and 1/8000th shutter are big feature upgrades.


If you're looking at getting a used one, make sure you find out the condition of the bottom plate. These were great cameras but had one nagging flaw. The bottom plate around the battery door would often crack if it took a hard knock. The plate was a plastic/resin not metal. So check that before you buy. Parts should be available for both fairly easily but these are older and the parts availablity won't last forever if you need a new bottom plate.

Here's a great link on the PZ-1p

photoSIG Pentax PZ-1p Camera
Thanks for the link.
Didn't know that the MZ-S lacked the hyper program feature.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
IMO this camera was the best camera available from any brand at the time.
I agree. A full featured camera, at an approachable price
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