Pentax as first DSLR?

Started Jul 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
Unexpresivecanvas Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: Pentax as first DSLR?

Ivan, probably this posting is kind of late as Yardcoyote seems to have made his/her mind re: Pentax APS-C and the discussion with Alex has become almost a two person discussion between the merits and limitations of the Canon 5D.

Sorry Yardcoyote by hijacking the thread in such a way and what follows are some closing remarks from my part, as after what I am going to say I feel probably there won't be too much to add later on. I hope you really enjoy the photographic experience of using the Pentax k-30. It seems to be an excellent aps-c product that follows in the tradition of the k-5 which I liked while I had it.

Yardcoyote started a thread asking for advise about a modern Pentax to buy given he/she owns some old K (and still useful) lenses. I suggested her/him a different path based on my experience of having moved from a k-5 to FF and still owning a Pentax Spotmatic SP-500 and a k01. Then, I am not strange to the aps-c world and as a matter of fact I also occasionally still use the Nikon D70 and the D80, which passed to both my sister and brother when I moved into Pentax k-5.

As one of the criteria of Yarcoyote was to have a camera that will give an experience similar to shooting film, it triggered in me the curiosity to recommend the Canon 5D as a possible alternative, as one of the first things I found when I borrowed a Canon 5D for the first time is that I felt like shooting with film again. Also for me, going back to full frame was an awakening experience, in terms of DOF, image quality and light rendering. Based on this I suggested that this could be an option for the OP, since an old 5D -again, based on my real experience- can be possibly the best value in photography, since is an old timer that sells for mere $500 but delivers the goods.

I never said that the Pentax K-.. series are bad cameras. There are at the top of the aps-c market right now and they represent good value. But if i were going to start from scratch again and knowing what I know today, i would never had bothered buying an aps-c Pentax system and would had bought a 5D three years ago. That's mostly all my point. If I moved and sold at a loss the K-5 is because, personally, I found myself liking a lot more the results I still get from the 5D. I found the colors very unique but also very accurate, the light rendition excellent and the effect one get with the more control of DOF helps a lot in most situations. Then, the 5D is considered a "classic" as the type of sensor it has, produces some particular colors and light rendition that is the result of having a large sensor with very low resolution and a very distinct processing technology.

Then it has been hard to keep a sane discussion, since some of the technical points from other poster are that the 5D is an 8 year old camera and hence it means is obsolete. I completely disagree with that statement, as being old doesn't mean that the camera can't deliver the goods. In fact, and based on my daily experience -no from friends or people who told me-, this little monster still doesn't stop to amaze me in term of reliability and image quality.

The 5D could be obsolete for a professional photographer who needs high quality, faster frame speeds and all the modern electronic gimmicks But I believe that for the average amateur photographer, the 5D can be a surprising answer to the needs of capturing light and moments. It was a camera used by a lot of professionals back then, which means it has the capacity. It lacks so many things that come today with almost ALL cameras (HDR, IBIS, MULTITUDE OF ELECTRONIC EFFECTS, etc.) and probably that's another reason why I like it so much, as I say it again, it gives me the closest experience I had shooting with film. Actually the 5D feels like a very honest camera: doesn't have all the big noise associated with thousand functions. Only basic drive, iso, af, wb and exposure modes and that's it. Even the photographer needs to be aware of the light conditions to set the ISO manually, almost exactly like in the old film days. and The sensor, oh, the sensor is there all the time, with its unique characteristics.

My perception is that some poster has been using FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to manage a conversation about objective things. Then his arguments are that the 5D is old, -of course, is old, that's why it costs now $500 instead of $3,600- that it can break, that the mirror falls, that the technology back in 2005 was no mature compared to today standards. all that is just arrogant smears. Any electronic or mechanic thing can break any time, just ask people with the lens release button in the k-5 falling some times. But I believe that with the 5D, Canon built a very reliable camera, since once the mirror gets re-glued -for free- there are not that many known issues about this camera. it is showing a reliability and longevity that impresses me more with the passing months. That's why I am not afraid to use or recommend one.

There is not perfect camera and never will be. there are only cameras that satisfy certain needs and at the end, they are mostly an instrument, not an end. I find the 5D, again, an honest and affordable solution to a high level of photography if one is interested in full frame. Full frame is not for everybody, specially people who never have tried it. That's why most people are happy with Aps-c systems. Nothing wrong with that. To each his own.

Good question. I would like to claim that sensor size difference is more important than (associated) image quality to anyone who knows what they need. In the sense that one picks the format based on other than IQ reasons. However I have to admit this claim is to strong and I am willing to accept that this importance also depends on the user.

100% agree. I have tried to say this, but i probably failed conveying the message

What I was really trying to say is that the tools (FF and APS-C) are different and these differences are (may be) important, though if this difference implies one is better than another depends on the photographer. Another thing I was trying to claim is that different sensor size and its implications on DOF are moreimportant to anyone than the resolution and other image quality differences. The last part is probably too strong of a statement


If you like to pick on semantics, I can only add that stating that "A is more important than B" does not imply that "B is not important"

This has been the constant in the discussion lately. is hard to have a mature conversation when other posters focus on semantics and trying to demonstrate they are right at any price.

All I have claimed is that the 5D is a viable option if one is interested in full frame at all (and obviously Pentax is not, simply because it doesn't have a FF in the line up.)

It seems Pentax has achieved something interesting; The Pentaxians don't need full frame as Pentax doesn't produce one and the other way too.

Depends on who is "us". I definitely would like to see more input by brand-neutral people or even from reasonable fans of other systems to have a bigger picture to be able to make a better choice for myself. It doesn't annoy me especially when people offer balanced and well supported opinions. I know different things work for different people and I can decide myself what works best for me based on a variety of info. If the info is irrelevant to me I simply ignore it.

Probably this is one of the best paragraphs I have read in this discussion. Congratulations for bringing back some sense of sanity. I have given my opinions freely, based on my experience. I have no interest to promote or destroy one or other brand. I just promote the 5D as what it is and based on my own experience. I am not a Canon fanboy but probably a 5D adept and promoter. I believe more people could benefit from what I have learned and what I know. I would appreciate the 5D anyway if it had been manufactured by either Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Sony or any other brand. I started my first posting in this thread stating that I am a brand eclectic.

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