What makes Pentax special?

Started May 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
JeffAHayes Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: What makes Pentax special?

"Bang for the buck" -- even with Pentax pushing retailers to charge full MSRP (or close to it) for its best lenses for the past year -- and especially the fact that the in-body stabilization makes literally dozens (hundreds?) of older Pentax lenses going back to the 70s or 80s, no longer in production, but still available used, and MANY people who shot Pentax film cameras still own them (as did I) can use them and they're fully stabilized.

To me, the only downside is that Pentax is being (especially the last year or two) VERY slow in coming out with new models. The K5II/s IS an improvement over the original K5, but not enough of one to make many of us who have limited funds buy one when we may not be able to afford whatever comes next if we do (at least not for a while). Although Pentax has been around for about 75 years, it's still a (relatively) small camera company to be international. Of course the fact that Ricoh bought it and seems determined to invest resources into it appears good, and that may be part of why new models aren't coming out very fast (Ricoh may have re-started the R&D process when they made the purchase).

When Pentax released the K-5 in October 2005, just about any and every review on it put it as best-in-class (it was head-to-head against the Nikon D7000, and the only advantage the Nikon had was faster, dual SD card slots). But Nikon has recently released 3 new cameras with 24 MP sensors, the last of which is a replacement to the D7000, and Pentax is still dragging its heels with a similar release/releases.

With Pentax's smaller customer base, it's obvious it can't afford to have a dozen or more camera bodies, as do Nikon and Canon -- and the K-30 released last summer is probably still best-in-class in its price range -- even with Nikon's new releases with the 24 MP sensors (more MPs do NOT necessarily mean a better camera). And new rumors show Pentax is on the cusp of releasing a new APS-C and maybe its first FF camera.

Still, to me (and many others) it's worth waiting for the new Pentax camera over swapping to CaNikon, Sony or someone else. Pentax customarily includes features others have only recently thought to include in some of their higher-end cameras (such as multiple-exposure up to 9 images on the K-5). I was in Costco a couple weeks ago and they had the new Nikon D3200 (the bottom of the three new 24 MP cameras in its APS-C lineup) complete with the 18-55 lens AND the 55-200 lens on sale for $779 (about what a NEW 2.5-year-old K-5 model sells for, body-only). That was tempting, but still NO SALE.


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 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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