Former Olympus & current K-5 owners-a few questions

Started Feb 22, 2011 | Discussions thread
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DVSteve
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Former Olympus & current K-5 owners-a few questions
Feb 22, 2011

Hopefully, some of you former Olympus owners will chime in here. I'd really like to hear the reasons why you switched & some of the positives/negatives you've encountered. In short, I'm going to replace my E-3 with either the E-5 or the K-5. Since I expose my equipment to dirt, dust & moisture, the camera and lenses absolutely must be sealed. That rules out Canon & most definitely Nikon. Most of the time, I simply have no time to fiddle around with ridiculous bags or lens condoms. Been there, done that-will never do it again.

I absolutely love the colors and the overall IQ of the images I get out of my E-3, but those images are also pretty much restricted to really low ISO shots. I shot a gymnastics meet a few nights ago using ISO 400 & 800, and while I did get some nice pictures, the noise and subsequent noise removal & image resizing (to a smaller size) pretty much ruined any chance at printing something to hang on the wall. I rarely need high ISO, but it would certainly be nice to have for times like these. My other beef with the E-3 is that at ISO100, if I have a contrasty shot 1/2 of which is shadow, 1/2 of which is bright, I can't really pull much from the shadows without introducing noise. Yes, bad DR. I've learned to live with and manipulate contrasty shots (via extra frames & too much time in post), but I can't really do any workarounds for lack of high ISO. Yes, I only shoot RAW.

From everything I've read & the images I've seen, the K-5 seems pretty good. However, I do have reservations about a few things.

1. Lens has to be sealed. From what I understand, the DA* lenses are the way to go. I currently shoot with a 12-60 Zuiko (amongst others), which would mean the DA* 16-50 would be my best bet. I honestly don't know what to make of all the different posts, across many different forums, from people with USMs that have bit the dust. I've never had a zuiko or Canon fail on me, and would be quite unhappy if bought a supposedly top of the line lens only to have it die on me at some point in the near future. What other weathersealed lens options (zooms) are there between 16-18 on the wide end?

2. Purple fringing. I haven't seen this since my first digital P&S in 2001, and even it wasn't as bad as some of the K-5 image samples I've seen. I've seen comments that software can remedy this, but is there a price to be paid in IQ? I downloaded and installed the latest version of the Pentax software last week just to see what it was like. Klunky is probably the word I would use. I assume Photoshop or Lightroom can deal with the fringing just as well? I've never even looked it up since I've never needed to.

3. I realize Pentax is addressing the sensor stain. Kudos to them. But, the FF issue that I've seen posted all over the place (that may or may not be true, depending on who you ask apparently) would potentially be annoying. If I buy a camera, I expect it, at the very very least, to be able to focus correctly.

4. I've seen comments/speculation that the center focus point is actually larger than the viewfinder indicator? Any thoughts on that, and is there not a way to define the center focus point like with the E-3?

5. For those of you who have moved from the E-3 to the K-5, what are your comments on the IQ of your resultant photos between the two?

I'm going to stop by the one camera store in my area that might actually carry the K-5, so at least I'll (hopefully) have the chance to see & play with one in person. I'm not married to any one brand, only the one that meets my needs & functions correctly.
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