Is the K-5 a ten-year camera?

Started Apr 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
Gylfi Magnusson
New MemberPosts: 6
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Re: Is the K-5 a ten-year camera?
In reply to Don Kiyoti, Apr 12, 2012

One way to try to answer this question is to look at whether people are still using 10 year old digital cameras. The first generation of Pentax digital SLR's is now 9 years old, the *ist D having been introduced in February of 2003. Many are still using the *ist D and its siblings (DS, DS2, DL, DL2, K110D, K100D, K100D Super) - if you look at the statistics for Flickr, you can see that there is still a significant stream of photos being uploaded that have been taken with this generation of cameras. I am sure that this will also be the case one year from now when the *ist D turns 10.

Of course progress has been made since this first generation, the K5 being better than the 6 megapixel Pentaxes by just about any measure - but most of the improvements are marginal. You can live without them and still take excellent photos. Progress will of course also be made in the next decade, but probably at a slower pace, as DSLR technology has already matured. So the K5 will probably be less outdated 9 (or 10) years from now than the *ist D is now.

What have been the main improvements in the last 9 years? Probably these:

Better DR
Better focusing system
Higher resolution
SR
More FPS
Video
Larger and better LCD
Live-view

All of these improvements are welcome - but none of them such that they render earlier cameras obsolete.

We'll probably see a continuation of these trends in the next ten years (more DR, higher resolution, more FPS, faster focusing, better LCD's) and a few other improvements that are hard to foresee now. Mirrorless cameras will probably improve faster than DSLR's, as that technology is less mature now.

That said, the K5 will still be a fine camera in ten years, although much better cameras will be available. A few diehards will probably even still be using the *ist D in ten years time. Others will still be using Pentax film cameras. The Spotmatics will be pretty much as good when they turn 60 as they are now at 50, although the selection of films available will presumably be fairly limited.

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