Pentax K-5 as 1st DSLR?

Started Aug 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
miles green
miles green Veteran Member • Posts: 6,458
Re: I'd bet a star lens that you've never held these 3 cameras side by side!

torrent999 wrote:

Don't forget that in buying a K5 you are also buying into the Pentax ecosystem. That comes with positives and negatives.

On the negative side:

AF is usually not as fast on Pentax especially tracking moving subjects. Its not a huge difference, but if for example you are very keen on sports photography you may need to consider this.


Though the K5 has been tested to equal the D7000 and 60D in AF tracking speed. In other words, the K5 tracks decently. If you want to photograph kids running towards you, high-speed sports, or wildlife and BIFs, you're better off with Canon or Nikon, Canon offering the most options. In any case, this will be on a different budget, and both camera body and lens will need to be upgraded from either 650D or D5100 and kit lens...

By the way, do the 650D or D5100 have focus micro-adjustment? I believe not. This is another must-have in my book. Pentax's entry-level Kr has it.

On the lens side Pentax doesn't have quite the same range of AF zooms, especially long ones, as the other brands. However, it is well known for good primes.

Also true. 300mm is Pentax's current limit, though they have announced the 560mm. There's the bigma... Canikon are the only options for 7000$+ telephoto lens.

One of the reasons i love Pentax is the limited primes. You get a ton of quality in a tiny package. Nobody else has 8 compact quality autofocus primes to choose from.

Similarly as a minor brand you don't get the same amount of random widgets and accessories from 3rd parties.

Think underwater housings, software for astrophotography... For tethering options, go Canon, as i've heard that Nikon has a different SDK (Standard Developer's Kit) for every camera, so they're a pain to support.

Your friends are less likely to have pentax, so borrowing lenses etc might not be so easy. The same applies to rental.

Yes. Fortunately, none of my photography friends want to borrow my wonderful lens collection!

The thing is that all the issues above are for advanced users with a specific shooting agenda. The OP said he was looking for his first dslr, so i think it's safe to assume that all this is not really pertinent. Except maybe the kids running? If so, get a Canon 7D. Or maybe a used Nikon D700?

On the plus side:

You definitely get more in camera bang for buck. The K5 is a premium camera yet it price matches nearer canikons 2nd level cameras.

Support for manual focus and legacy lenses is unsurpassed. On all pentax dslrs you REALLY can use any Pentax fit lens since the 60s. And you get much better compatability with those lenses, Pentax A lenses essentially work the same as modern lenses with the exception of focus (naturally), and you even get help there with catch in focus. THIS IS A GREAT BONUS FOR A BEGINNER! You get to play with fantastic lenses on the cheap.

Very true! I have 3 manual Pentax lens and an M42 and i use them very often. They are stellar performers.

To get this on Nikon you have to get a D7000 level of camera, and the cameras below don't even support older AF lenses!

In the end you really need to try them out..

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Miles Green
Pentaxian with chronic LBA
Corfu, Greece

 miles green's gear list:miles green's gear list
Pentax K-1 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +8 more
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