Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

Started Aug 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
miles green
miles green Veteran Member • Posts: 6,449
Re: Thinking of switching to Pentax from Canon

The Pentax is a great option for family pics. I'm very fond of my K5 and would not trade it for any aps-c from canon or Nikon.

SR is nice for posed pics, but pretty much useless on wide or normal lens if your subject starts to run around (but it's a a godsend for short teles like the 77). A super fast lens is also not the solution - you'll run into depth-of-field problems. What you want is high iso.

You also want accurate focusing in low light. Do consider the K5ii, for its upgraded AF system for low light applications. those who have it are thrilled. The build quality of the camera is also remarkable, but you have to hold one to find out.

You shouldn't worry about lens selection. Pentax has no gaps until you decide you want to spend some serious bucks on a lens. Lens pricing is a different point, but please don't compare a limited lens to a plastic-fantastic f/2. If you like prime lens, Pentax is a very nice place to be.

Another huge advantage is the dynamic range of the Pentax sensor (OK, it's a Sony sensor, just like in most of the Nikons). The RAWs are extremely flexible. In dark lighting, they'll bring out colors that your eyes cannot see.

My 2c! 

McGooble wrote:

Hi, everyone.

I apologize in advance for the long post, but I've been thinking about this for quite a while.

I'm not officially a Pentax owner yet, but it seems like a definite possibility. Currently I use a Canon Rebel XS and have a 18-55 kit lens and the "nifty fifty" 50mm 1.8. I have been thinking of switching systems for a while now as I felt both Nikon and Pentax were much better in low noise, high ISO photography. I enjoy taking natural light photos, so this is a big emphasis for me if I end up upgrading. On the XS I feel that anything above ISO 400 gets a bit too noisy, too much detail starts to degrade. Everything I've read makes me think that Canons in general are noisier athigher ISO. Plus I hate the way the auto white balance renders incandescent light, even with the incandescent setting it is still far too orange, which seems to be a problem with all the Canons I've encountered. I take pictures in RAW+jpg, so I'm not adverse to touching things up in post, but if things look decent out of camea use the jpg.

In my research I ended up focusing on the Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K-30. Both seemed like excellent upgrades, having great high ISO performance, two control wheels and generally easier controls to help me develop my skills further. My father-in-law has a Nikon D60 and I've always admired then straight out of camera colors and contrast, so initially I was more geared towards Nikon. Their lens selection was also rather robust, so that was great too. I've been wanting a wider angle fast prime and Nikon's 35mm 1.8 is a lot cheaper than most wider primes.

Unfortunately the D7000 is also a bit out of my budget at the moment. Also I was talking to a local camera shop owner and he said that he wouldnt even carry them because they have back/front focusing issues that can't seem to be figured out. This guy knows what he's talking about too, since he repairs cameras as well he gets some insider knowledge from his colleagues in the warranty centers. So that was strike two against the D7000.

Then I started to wonder if I should consider the D5200. It had the same focusing system as the D7000 in addition to having an updated 24mp sensor. It seems pretty good, but it also seems more like a lateral upgrade since it would take some additional menu diving to change settings, same as my XS. One of my other goals if i upgraded was to get a camera that would help me grow as a photographer.

So that of course is where the k-30 comes in. I feel that for the price that it is a great deal for a better than entry level camera. It meets many of my criteria and has in body stabilization, which would be awesome to have even on a prime lens.

I do have some reservations however. As I said, I would love to get a wider fast prime (28 to 35mm and f1.4 to f2), but it seems the Pentax primes that fall in this category are much more expensive than Nikon's or are manual focus. While I wouldn't mind trying my hand at a manual focus lens (especially with focus peaking on the K-30), my main subject matter is my young children. They don't stay still long enough for a manual lens and I also prefer capturing them in a moment playing, etc. Also I have heard that the K-30's focusing can be a bit slow when compared to Nikon, not sure how much truth there is to that.

I had tried a Sigma 18-50mm 2.8 on my XS, but it seems that typical conditions in my house are still too dim for f2.8, so I really do need a faster lens. Of course with a higher ISO threshold that may be a different story. Typically my 50mm is on my camera 90% of the time so I'd really like a prime anyway. My next step if I stayed with Canon would be to get a Canon 28mm 1.8 or a Sigma 30mm 1.4, but I balk at spending $400-$450 on a lens.

Which brings me to my question. Do you guys think it would benefit me enough to switch systems? I don't have that much invested in Canon. Plus I could probably settle on the Pentax 50mm 1.8, since it just became sub $200. I might have to stagger my lens purchase though, at least until I sell my Canon gear. Not sure I could go back to having only the kit lens again. Other lens suggestions are welcome, but I don't have the cash to go buy any star lenses or anything. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.


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Miles Green
Pentaxian with chronic LBA
Corfu, Greece

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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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