D7100 or K-5IIs

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
JeffAHayes Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: D7100 or K-5IIs

I see this as a bit of a non-sequiter comparison, since the K-5 and the D7000 originally came out about the same time, and were considered direct competitors -- both with the same Sony 16 MP sensor, etc.

The D7100 is the replacement for the D7000, with 24MP vs. 16MP -- the third new Nikon APS-C camera to come out recently with a 24MP sensor (D3200 and D5200). In the most recent issue of the British magazine Digital Photographer there's a review of the D5200 in which they list the K-5 as one of two "contenders" vs. the D5200, even though the D5100 was CLEARLY not considered a direct competitor to the K-5. This, of course, has to do with the fact that Pentax hasn't had a major upgrade in 2.5 years (the K-5II/IIs doesn't really count that much, I don't think). The magazine said although the K-5 is a bit old, its solid, weatherproof construction gives it a leg up, or something to that effect (don't have the mag in front of me right now).

At any rate, until Pentax comes out with a TRUE successor to the K-5, I don't think it will have a DIRECT competitor to the D7100 (although it does appear the D7100 may have some issues with image clarity at maximum magnification, as well as buffering due to file size). That could be at least part of why Pentax hasn't come out with a camera with a larger sensor yet. There ARE issues with buffers and file sizes when MPs get that large, as well as potential issues with clarity squeezing that many MPs on an APS-C sensor.

Nikon continues to have ONE feature on its 7*** class of camera, however, I covet -- the dual card slots that also take advantage of the ultra-fast UHS-1 cards that can write up to 45 MB/s. Even with a limited buffer, with ultra-fast cards like that the camera is freed up quicker. I own a couple such cards, but the K-5 can't write that fast (I'm not sure if any of the other camera makers have card read/writers that fast, either, though -- this could be something proprietary to Nikon, for which Sandisk has created this class of cards JUST for Nikon).

The other big issue to me with the current K-5 (including last fall's upgrades) is the limited AF zones -- which Nikon has increased on its new cameras, yet Pentax chose to not increase (even though Nikon already had it beat on the older cameras) on the K-5II upgrades. A maximum of 11 AF zones just doesn't get it, I don't think -- especially not when Nikon's equivalents are now past 50 zones, and were already at 39.

HOWEVER, the reason I bought Pentax, and the reason I'm still here, is primarily the in-body stabilization that makes ANY lens from K-mount forward a STABILIZED lens, in theory, at least, making NEW lenses less expensive -- since they don't have to put OS in the lenses -- and certainly less complicated and with less to fail on them, at any rate (older CaNikon lenses won't work on their cameras). And even if Pentax continues to insist on charging too much for its NEW lenses, if you're have older AF lenses from the 90s, they work as fully stabilized lenses... This would work for Sony, too, since they have in-body stabilization, as well -- EXCEPT Sony wasn't selling SLRs in the 90s.

At present, OP (sorry, can't think of your name), the original K-5 is available at bargain-basement prices while supplies last. I'm not someone who would plunk out the extra for the K-5II, I don't think, unless I didn't think I could buy another camera for SEVERAL years. In that case, the regular K-5II is available at a pretty decent price, right now. The K-5IIs is still a bit high, by comparison, and I'm not sure how valuable that missing AA filter is.

I don't think I'd buy the D7100, were I you -- even not having any lenses of either brand. Even with Pentax now forcing many sellers to charge full MSRP (or close to it) for many of its lenses, dollar-for-dollar they're often still more affordable than comparable Nikon lenses. Nikon, of course, DOES have very many more lenses available, and other companies make more lenses for Nikon than they do for Pentax, although there are still quite a few available from Sigma, and a few from Tamron.

But if money IS an object with you, dollar-for-dollar you're going to spend less in the long run with Pentax... get "more bang for your buck," so to speak. If you're not in too big of a hurry, though, you may want to keep holding your breath a bit longer and see what comes next down the pike. Or if you can afford to spend "a bit" and still buy a better camera, the K-30 is an EXCELLENT mid-level camera. It's Pentax's "beginner" camera, but is considered "mid-level" in the market, and you can get it for about $500 at present.

Whatever you do, enjoy yourself.


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

 JeffAHayes's gear list:JeffAHayes's gear list
Pentax WG-3 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-30 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM +8 more
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