Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?

Started May 19, 2013 | Discussions
miles500
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Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
May 19, 2013

This has been my dilemma ever since the K5II was announced and like some other members I have been reluctant to shell out for this upgrade in case a more major one should appear in the near future, whenI might feel that my money was better spent.

On the other hand I am just a little frustrated with the autofocus performance of my K5 when photgraphing anything which moves and I am wondering whether the improved autofocus of the K5II would be worth having now.  Low light performance is not a particular concern but it seems logical to suppose that good low light performance would go hand in hand with better overall AF performance.

Of course some of my failures may well be down to some form of user error of lack of technique on my part .  Yesteday I visited a wildfowl reserve and was a little depressed at the proportion of poorly focussed images even though I was using spot and continuous focus with a monopod and taking some care.   I realise that the focus point may well be somewhat larger than the red spot would suggest and maybe that is the cause. As for birds in flight - well one in ten was reasonably close to focus but not spot on. On the other hand where the focus does lock on properly on less mobile subjects, I do get sharp images, so I am not worried about the lens/camera calibration.

My question is really addressed to those who have taken the plunge and upgraded to the K5II.  Is the improved autofocus worth the outlay?

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ASR45
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

I have upgraded to the K-511 if you already have the K-5 i would say keep it, the one thing im having a problem is Dust on the sensor, but guess thats another fact of life. Im still getting use to the K-511, but need more time to get how i can be happy with it.    

The best camera is the one you are using now, there will always be the next model ect, go out and shoot is the best advice i can give, if it serves you well keep it.  

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Andrew53
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

I upgraded to the K-5IIs from the K-5. IQ differences are barely noticeable. AF is better, but hard to say how much.

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Diffraction
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to Andrew53, May 19, 2013

Andrew53 wrote:

I upgraded to the K-5IIs from the K-5. IQ differences are barely noticeable. AF is better, but hard to say how much.

Depends probably a lot on the lens, but yes, if you look at the differences in a controlled lab setting on DPR - the differences are minuscule. Keeps me from upgrading from my K-x.

The statistics on DPR are really funny - the K-5, the K-x, the K-10D, those are the Pentax picture makers. It goes to show that some people upgrade quickly (hence low numbers of K-20D or K-7, because those were often upgrade cameras), but the workhorses that got the press (the K-10D, which I had, the K-x, which I have, and the K-5, which I would like to have, but cannot justify) are still out there in numbers.

So, to answer your question - I would most likely wait around a little bit. See what the next Pentax workhorse is going to be. If nothing good follows, you might get the K-5IIs cheaper in a couple of months.

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moephoto
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to Andrew53, May 19, 2013

I'm in the same position... In have been waiting for that "big news" to happen and all the while watch as these upgrades continue to make the shooting experience better.

To the earlier point, the best camera is the one you shoot with, having said that, I still use a K10 and have no problems with it. I have learned to work through the drawbacks and still get the results I want...

...but the K5II is nice and the specs make it a superior cam to the K10. The K5 could fill the "upgrade" and would satisfy all concerns till the next big announcement right?

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moephoto
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to Diffraction, May 19, 2013

Diffraction wrote:

Andrew53 wrote:

I upgraded to the K-5IIs from the K-5. IQ differences are barely noticeable. AF is better, but hard to say how much.

Depends probably a lot on the lens, but yes, if you look at the differences in a controlled lab setting on DPR - the differences are minuscule. Keeps me from upgrading from my K-x.

The statistics on DPR are really funny - the K-5, the K-x, the K-10D, those are the Pentax picture makers. It goes to show that some people upgrade quickly (hence low numbers of K-20D or K-7, because those were often upgrade cameras), but the workhorses that got the press (the K-10D, which I had, the K-x, which I have, and the K-5, which I would like to have, but cannot justify) are still out there in numbers.

So, to answer your question - I would most likely wait around a little bit. See what the next Pentax workhorse is going to be. If nothing good follows, you might get the K-5IIs cheaper in a couple of months.

Great points....

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Mike Hiran
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

I don't do birding, so I can't really tell you if the AF will be enough of an improvement or not.  But I do think the sharpness difference between the k5 and the k5iis is significant giving my shots now a bit more of a 3d look.

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jm_mac
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

Can I ask which lenses you are using?  I don't do birding, so I can't speak to that type of photography, but I have been very happy with the focusing ability of the K5 with certain lenses (Sigma 50-150mm and 18-250mm hsm, Pentax 18-135mm).  They compare very well with the lenses I have for Nikon (Sigma 70-200mm hsm).  I know none of these are birding lenses, but I discovered a long time ago that, if you want good AF speeds and tracking, the lens plays just a big a role as the camera.  Particularly so with Nikon and Pentax, which have a bunch of lenses that look good on paper for things such as sports and birding, but in practice don't work out so well.  So with my kit and shooting, I don't think the better AF algorithms of the K5II will make much of a difference.  And it may/may not for you, either, depending upon the lenses you are using.

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bkpix
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

I have the K-5 and K-5IIs. The autofocus is improved on the IIs in poor light, but I don't think they've really turned it into a birding camera.

If that's what you're looking for, you probably should look to other brands. I doubt Pentax is suddenly going to come up with brilliant autofocus next time around, either, though I'd be very happy to be proved wrong.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

" I have been reluctant to shell out for this upgrade in case a more major one should appear in the near future, when I might feel that my money was better spent."

It believe it was a number of years between the K5 and K5ii.   So I think it only makes sense to get the K5ii now and not wait.   If the rumors are to be believed, Pentax has been busy developing a full frame and I would expect that is consuming all the DSLR engineering resources.

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Greyser
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

miles500 wrote:

Yesteday I visited a wildfowl reserve and was a little depressed at the proportion of poorly focussed images even though I was using spot and continuous focus with a monopod and taking some care.   I realise that the focus point may well be somewhat larger than the red spot would suggest and maybe that is the cause. As for birds in flight - well one in ten was reasonably close to focus but not spot on. On the other hand where the focus does lock on properly on less mobile subjects, I do get sharp images, so I am not worried about the lens/camera calibration.

Hi Miles,

I do birding with K-5 and Sigma 500/4.5 or FA*300/4.5 (Plus 1.4x TC sometimes). Regardless of some  posts in favore I found AF.C not working for me. It doesn't track well and then gives me uncontrolled mirror flops.

I always shoot:

  • handheld (not necessarily the best advice, though)
  • Continuous mode (7fps machine gun as I call it)
  • SR on
  • Central focus point
  • central metering (always keeping an eye on EV-compensation)
  • Av-priority or TAv depending on conditions (BIF shots may require TAv, but need EV compensation to be taken care of)
  • Shutter speed preferably 1/1000 or higher
  • ISO up to 800

Yes, I do clean some junk after every shooting session, however, I noticed that my friends with 7D and D7000 do not have visible advantage over my shots (tracking is noticeably better, though)

To make it short, I use what I have, waiting for the new APS-C flagship.

BTW: There is a report from MightyMike that IIs AF performance with long tele is worth than on K-5.

Terns a very fast birds:

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JeffAHayes
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

I'm in the same boat as you, Miles. I'm sort of holding my breath, hoping whatever Pentax replaces the K-5II with is more of an upgrade and improvement than the K-5II was to the original K-5 (and frankly I think it's a pretty poor excuse for a new model to go two years and then just do some minor tweaks to an existing model and give it a revised name, even as good as the K-5 is).

And yes, generally, the K-5 is an excellent camera. It was certainly state-of-the-art and top-of-its-class when it was introduced only four months shy of THREE YEARS AGO! But in consumer electronics, three years is two lifetimes. Computers go through two entire generations in three years. When I built the computer I'm using just shy of four years ago and put 12 GB of DDR3 RAM on it and a solid state boot drive, folks at a computer-building forum thought I was off my rocker. Just the other day I saw a Toshiba LAPTOP in Costco with 12 GB of RAM and a solid state boot drive. I bought part of what I needed to "re-do" my system last fall (new MB, boot drive, 3770 Core i7 CPU, 32 GB DDR3 RAM, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop but was going to cannibalize the rest of this current Core i7 system, but... Never could bring myself to do it. Soooooo, just 30 minutes or so ago, after literally HOURS of agonizing over my choices and decisions, I clicked away another $672 to Newegg for a NEW Coolermaster computer case (current case is Coolermaster -- they make great cases, but I bought a slightly smaller, less expensive one, since my current case may be a bit of overkill), new power supply about what I have (750-watt Corsair) and I may have gone overboard with the graphics card ($419 for a 3GB DDR5 Sapphire AMD-based 7950 with 2048 processing streams and a core clock at 950 Mhz that can be clocked up to 1,000 Mhz). Oh, and I bought four extra 120 mm fans (only $8 after I send in a $5 rebate -- small rebates on all the other stuff, too). The case I got comes with three 120s built in, plus spots for up to SIX more, lol. I believe in case fans.

Anyway, sorry for the OT, but my point on THAT is that since it's been OCTOBER since I bought the OTHER HALF of my new computer kit, I had to be VERY CAREFUL with what I bought to match it, because even just six months can make a major difference in the computer world. And although digital cameras obviously arenn't computers, they nonetheless contain all sorts of miniaturized computer circuitry that's quite similar to, and doubtless benefits from the same "Moore's Law" that generates the 18-24 month "doubling effect" in computer speeds.

While I realize Pentax sort of "went through the wringer" with its sale from Hoya to Ricoh mid-development cycle, to me the K-5II(s) appeared to be little more than a half-hearted attempt to have something... anything to show at last September's Photokina. Bear in mind I've not even SEEN a K-5II in person. All I know is what I've read. I know it has slightly better AF, and certainly has better low-light AF, with a -EV rating that many professional cameras could envy. But there are so many OTHER issues that still need addressing, and haven't been, that unless I just had $$$ to burn there's NO WAY I'd buy a K-5II(s). And if I had $$$ to burn, I wouldn't be going 4 years between computer upgrades and THEN building my own, would I (even if I AM building one on the "high end" of the spectrum). I'm building on the high end mainly because I want to be able to do serious photo, and maybe even video editing when and if I can ever get THOSE ducks in a row... Same reason I may stick my neck WAYYYYYY out and get a Dell U3011, if I can buy it on 12-months-same-as-cash (although with the release of the new U3014 I'm rather dismayed Dell hasn't dropped the price any on this now 2-5-year-old monitor). Then again, HP's version is $100 or so more, and NEC has one about TWICE the price in this class! Currently, Amazon has the Dell for $1,026 -- lowest I've seen it yet.

Back to the topic. Miles, I'd wait on what Pentax does next, were I you. While I agree with one poster that even then it may be CaNikon who TRULY makes the "birder's camera," it's also possible that Pentax will "see the light" with its next APS-C model and come through with major improvements in AF, external flash sync, tethering, maybe a dual, high-speed SD card slot... stereo mikes -- a lens change button that STAYS ON! If we get even two or three of those five I'll be ecstatic -- especially if it's two or three of the first three!

As for those who say Pentax is so busy coming up with a FF camera that the next APS-C will take a back seat... POPPYCOCK! Whether Pentax comes out with its first FF model this fall, next winter, or whenever, or not, I feel CERTAIN they will have a new APS-C model for us by September or October... At least they SHOULD if they know what's good for them! And if it DOESN'T turn out to be what we're hoping for, well, Miles, as one poster said, you likely WILL be able to get "a deal" on a K-5II at that point.

Happy Shooting!

Jeff

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 19, 2013

Maybe the question about if it is time upgrade depends on what you are looking for.

The AF speed and accuracy of the K5ii is amazing even going well into dim light conditions.   It is better than my Sony A65 which has gathered lots of praise for its AF performance.

But if you turn on lens corrections the K5ii takes a lot more time.   Pentax has been pretty clever about how they do the lens corrections so it lets you keep shooting.  It is just that when you turn the camera off, it will continue processing until it is done and then power down.    But HDR shots take a long time to process in between shots.   Sony processing speeds are way ahead of Pentax.   I guess that is the obvious place to look for an improvement in the next model.

What else might you be looking for in an upgrade?

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miles500
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to Mike Hiran, May 19, 2013

Mike Hiran wrote:

I don't do birding, so I can't really tell you if the AF will be enough of an improvement or not.  But I do think the sharpness difference between the k5 and the k5iis is significant giving my shots now a bit more of a 3d look.

Thanks to everyone who has replied.  It is a difficult call - two reviews I have seen, say that the upgrade is worthwhile and some who have made the change also think so.  I agree that the difference in IQ does not seem that great from the lab test picture which I have seen but IQ is not really the problem as I print up to A3 size and have no problem with my K5 in producing sharp pictures. I guess I am curious to see whether using my Ltds I might be able to discern an improvement..

I am not really a birder - it is just that there are several in my camera club and a bird on a stick generally finds greater favour from competition judges than my normal landscapes.  So I thought that if I could not beat them , then I might join them.

I was, however, for the most part not doing anything too difficult - merely attempting to focus on ducks swimming across a pond and I was surprised that quite a few shots did not focus properly.

Maybe the 55-300 is not really suited to this sort of thing and maybe I need a lens with HSM.

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miles500
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to Greyser, May 19, 2013

Greyser wrote:

miles500 wrote:

Yesteday I visited a wildfowl reserve and was a little depressed at the proportion of poorly focussed images even though I was using spot and continuous focus with a monopod and taking some care.   I realise that the focus point may well be somewhat larger than the red spot would suggest and maybe that is the cause. As for birds in flight - well one in ten was reasonably close to focus but not spot on. On the other hand where the focus does lock on properly on less mobile subjects, I do get sharp images, so I am not worried about the lens/camera calibration.

Hi Miles,

I do birding with K-5 and Sigma 500/4.5 or FA*300/4.5 (Plus 1.4x TC sometimes). Regardless of some  posts in favore I found AF.C not working for me. It doesn't track well and then gives me uncontrolled mirror flops.

I always shoot:

  • handheld (not necessarily the best advice, though)
  • Continuous mode (7fps machine gun as I call it)
  • SR on
  • Central focus point
  • central metering (always keeping an eye on EV-compensation)
  • Av-priority or TAv depending on conditions (BIF shots may require TAv, but need EV compensation to be taken care of)
  • Shutter speed preferably 1/1000 or higher
  • ISO up to 800

Yes, I do clean some junk after every shooting session, however, I noticed that my friends with 7D and D7000 do not have visible advantage over my shots (tracking is noticeably better, though)

To make it short, I use what I have, waiting for the new APS-C flagship.

BTW: There is a report from MightyMike that IIs AF performance with long tele is worth than on K-5.

Terns a very fast birds:

Thanks Greyser for the advice. I will persevere!

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Miles500

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miles500
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to jm_mac, May 19, 2013

jm_mac wrote:

Can I ask which lenses you are using?  I don't do birding, so I can't speak to that type of photography, but I have been very happy with the focusing ability of the K5 with certain lenses (Sigma 50-150mm and 18-250mm hsm, Pentax 18-135mm).  They compare very well with the lenses I have for Nikon (Sigma 70-200mm hsm).  I know none of these are birding lenses, but I discovered a long time ago that, if you want good AF speeds and tracking, the lens plays just a big a role as the camera.  Particularly so with Nikon and Pentax, which have a bunch of lenses that look good on paper for things such as sports and birding, but in practice don't work out so well.  So with my kit and shooting, I don't think the better AF algorithms of the K5II will make much of a difference.  And it may/may not for you, either, depending upon the lenses you are using.

I was using the 55-300 which is my longest lens

This is a very good point.  Maybe I need a lens with HSM raher than screwdrive in this situation.  I may well get the Pentax 18-135 in the near future and it would be interesting to see whether that d improves things.  I really need to get a Sigma 150-500 for serious birding , but I am really more interested in other sorts of photography and am not sure whether I can justify the expense.

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miles500
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to JeffAHayes, May 19, 2013

Thanks Jeff for your comments.  If a new flagship APS C camera comes out with some worthwhile feautures, I shall go for that and pass on the K5 II but it is maddening that there is never any indication from Pentax as to where their priorities lie.  I guess they want  to sell their stocks of K5 II and the announcement of a new APS C flagship would harm their sales ,as most people would hold off until the new model arrived.

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miles500
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to OpticsEngineer, May 19, 2013

OpticsEngineer wrote:

Maybe the question about if it is time upgrade depends on what you are looking for.

The AF speed and accuracy of the K5ii is amazing even going well into dim light conditions.   It is better than my Sony A65 which has gathered lots of praise for its AF performance.

But if you turn on lens corrections the K5ii takes a lot more time.   Pentax has been pretty clever about how they do the lens corrections so it lets you keep shooting.  It is just that when you turn the camera off, it will continue processing until it is done and then power down.    But HDR shots take a long time to process in between shots.   Sony processing speeds are way ahead of Pentax.   I guess that is the obvious place to look for an improvement in the next model.

What else might you be looking for in an upgrade?

Clearly I am looking for improved AF, but I would not mind a slightly bigger sensor just to allow a greater amount of cropping where necessary and not because i need to print any bigger.  I would love an articulated back screen to help with macros and where the camera is low on the ground.  I am afraid that I am at an age where lying on the ground is not particularly welcome - it is getting up again which is the problem!!  Focus peaking would also be useful.   As you say processing speed might also be an area which could be improved.  I do not often use the lens correction feature for that reason.

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JeffAHayes
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Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?
In reply to miles500, May 20, 2013

miles500 wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

Maybe the question about if it is time upgrade depends on what you are looking for.

The AF speed and accuracy of the K5ii is amazing even going well into dim light conditions.   It is better than my Sony A65 which has gathered lots of praise for its AF performance.

But if you turn on lens corrections the K5ii takes a lot more time.   Pentax has been pretty clever about how they do the lens corrections so it lets you keep shooting.  It is just that when you turn the camera off, it will continue processing until it is done and then power down.    But HDR shots take a long time to process in between shots.   Sony processing speeds are way ahead of Pentax.   I guess that is the obvious place to look for an improvement in the next model.

What else might you be looking for in an upgrade?

Clearly I am looking for improved AF, but I would not mind a slightly bigger sensor just to allow a greater amount of cropping where necessary and not because i need to print any bigger.  I would love an articulated back screen to help with macros and where the camera is low on the ground.  I am afraid that I am at an age where lying on the ground is not particularly welcome - it is getting up again which is the problem!!  Focus peaking would also be useful.   As you say processing speed might also be an area which could be improved.  I do not often use the lens correction feature for that reason.

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Miles500

Yeah, Miles, in addition to the things I mentioned, an articulating rear screen (and for mostly the same reason -- if I get on the ground, there better be someone around to help me back up!), and a larger sensor -- and in my case I MIGHT want to print up to 16 x 20, which works out to PRECISELY 24 MP at 255 dpi, which is considered "professional-level" printing, and the focus peaking, too.

And no, I'm not going to go to Sony, or Samsung, or Fuji or Olympus to get it (even though Olympus just came out with what they claim is a VERY WR OS camera). I WANT TO STICK WITH PENTAX.

BUT in the hours since my last post I've been thinking about an article I read 30-years ago written by a reporter who attended the national convention for the Libertarian Party. At the time that was a fairly new movement and was generating a good deal of interest in America and so the reporter wanted to find out more about it... what it was all about. As I was looking for a rational alternative to the Republicans and Democrats, I was "in the same boat," so to speak. His report from the convention DID NOT bode well for Libertarians. He said he found them stand-offish and suspicious, and that while they all seemed to know what they were about, they seemed to have neither any desire nor ability to convey that to any "outsiders," nor did they appear to really care to... That while on the one hand they appeared to want to be a legitimate 3rd-party force in American politics, on the other hand they didn't appear willing to do ANYTHING required to get there.

That's almost EXACTLY how I perceive Pentax's corporate policy. As I wasn't an "active Pentaxian" from 1997 -- 2011 and there wasn't really much of an internet where we could keep up with such things prior to 1997, I have no idea if they've always been like this, or not. But at present, they really do seem to be in some continual sort of "stealth mode."

On the flip side, they just good a REAL KUDO in the new June issue of Popular Photography (maybe more than one, I'm only part-way through). On one of the opening pages, in the new products area, there's a half page on Ricoh's new high-end P&S camera. I wish I had the issue in front of me so I could give a direct quote, but essentially they said based on the poor quality of Ricoh's prior offerings vs. the impressive quality of this new one, their association with Pentax must have been a good influence on them.

AND THAT'S WHAT'S SO DANGED FRUSTRATING! I think we all know Pentax is very well capable of making equipment that's up to the best standards, dollar-for-dollar, of ANY camera manufacture. Certainly they never have, and likely never will be able to turn out the number of different models and lenses as do CaNikon. But what they DO turn out, when they really "put their backs into it," generally is "best of class." They just need to get some more new products into the pipeline before they get left behind.

As for the question of them taking their time with a new model so they can sell off K-5II stock, well, just how many of us did they really think WOULD buy the K-5II?!?!? I mean, sure, many folks have the $$$ to buy every new camera and/or lens that rolls off the line. Some of us don't. And I certainly can't see buying a K-5II and then selling it for likely a 50% or greater loss in a few months so I can get the next camera they make, assuming they make what I'm looking for. If they don't, maybe then I WILL get a K-5II. But certainly not before. I'd buy a Nikon D3200 kit first, if only out of spite!

Jeff

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A word is worth 1/1000th of a picture... Maybe that's why I use so many words!

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Zvonimir Tosic
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K5II is not an upgrade for K5
In reply to miles500, May 20, 2013

It's just one more flavour. Extra sugar and chocolate topping on the same cake. We all know that all too well, and still want the K5-II to be something it really isn't. And it isn't. Pentax didn't do anything to warrant serious attention.

I think your K5 can serve you many more years. And after that, you may see what Pentax has in store for you. I actually envy you, for I still use my K7 quite a lot but hate the banding the Samsung imager provides me with. :-/

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Zvonimir Tosic
“A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it.”
— Edward Steichen

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