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

Started May 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
JeffAHayes Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: Upgrade to K5II or IIs or wait for the next model?

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!


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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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