My review of the Pentax K-5

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
smafdy
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Re: My review of the Pentax K-5
In reply to brandrx, Mar 28, 2013

As extensive as your review is, it's still an understatement.

In all seriousness — my first camera was an ME super, back when it was a new camera (at that time, it was the smallest 35mm available, and had an unprecedented 1/2000 shutter speed). I saved money for a year to buy it, and I loved that camera.

Years later, after working my into photography as a profession, I went the Nikon route, and also owned (and still own), a Mamiya RZ67 with a full complement of lenses and accessories. With the advent of professionally viable digital cameras, I was an early adopter of Oly's 4/3rds system, beginning with the venerable e-1, and progressing along with the technology (e-330, E-3). I still really like Oly's products, and continue to use them on a daily basis. The OM-D is spectacular.

At the time I went digital, I thought of Pentax as primarily a student grade camera.

When the test results of the K-5 ranked its sensor up there with medium format digital offerings, I began to take notice, but I didn't want to recommit to a new line of cameras and glass (high ISO performance is, for me, the holy grail of sensor performance). Nikon and Canon bodies were too costly to be justified (unless I get really great performance increases, or my clients require something only the big boys offer, I can't see the expense as being a good investment).

All of that changed when the price of the K-01 dropped to $300. I purchased that body and the kit 40mm lens. As a pro, I'm always looking for value/ROI, and also liked the backward compatibility of the K mount. $300 is next to nothing, so I treated myself.

The quality of the K-01 files absolutely blew me away. Especially the high ISO performance.

I decided to dive into the higher end Pentax bodies and lenses when the K-5II was announced. By then, the price of a K-5 body was at $700. I purchased the K-5, a K-30 for back-up (the 18-55 came with the camera at no extra charge, as part of a package from Adorama), and the 50-135MM F2.8 ED (IF) and the 77MM F1.8, for starters. I'll round out the lenses with older K mounts as my needs develop.

I could not be more impressed with these cameras. I'll always love my Olys and I'll always respect Nikons, but dollar for dollar, there is NOTHING that comes close to the current Pentax line up.

The only down sides, so far, are lack of dual card capabilities and flash offerings from Pentax and 3rd party manufacturers (I'm primarily disappointed that my quantum batteries don't work with Pentax-compatible flashes). The K-5 has an x-synch port — allowing me to use my studio lighting, so, for now.

Other than that, Pentax has made me VERY happy.

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