Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, some honest unbiased thoughts on the matter desired..

Started Nov 2, 2013 | Questions thread
Jon Schick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,196
My rambling thoughts - hope they might help a little!

Well I guess if you post here with a load of Pentax fans the advice may be understandably slightly less than neutral... but looking at what you've got, it's not a large kit where you're going to lose lots by shopping around so I can completely understand your hesitation.

My advice is to go to a decent camera shop somewhere and pick up and try a few of the alternatives on offer.  Personally, I like the feel of Pentax cameras, especially the higher end ones, as well as the weather resistance (live in England...) and build quality (with kids....).  I've had a soft spot for Pentax since learning with my dad's Spotmatic and then buying my first proper camera - an MX. They feel right to me, but other people might pick up another brand and find that it fits like a glove. And that is fine.

Let's be honest, Canon and Nikon (and perhaps I should reluctantly - through sheer snobbery I admit - include Sony) didn't get where they are without offering some great cameras, but perhaps that also makes people like Pentax try just a little bit harder to offer something a little more or a little different to keep in the race?  If I wasn't sticking with Pentax I'd actually be heading for Fuji X, but that's just me and it wouldn't suit your needs with long lenses and sports in mind.

I suppose there is a question about whether to invest heavily in APSC or Full Frame too.

Unlike many Pentaxians I am not desperate for Pentax to enter the FF arena with yet another me-too dSLR. Unless you go for the mirrorless option offered by Sony (or a Leica M!), full frame offers a heavy, bulky and very expensive future - for me it's one that involves kit so large that it would simply be left at home most of the time.  Yes I know there are advantages of FF (more control over depth of field, even better image quality but not that I'd notice at the image sizes I view and print at), but for me APSC makes much more sense in terms of size, portabiity and cost.

If you want to buy me a 645D, however, I wouldn't dissuade you

So unless FF is important for you, then I'd urge that you consider staying with APSC.  In which case there's an argument that Pentax, with its range of designed for APSC DA and DA Ltd lenses, is one of the more compelling systems available - but for goodness sake they really do need to offer a reasonable zoom in the 80-400 ish range.  At least you can get those from Sigma.  The Limited primes offer something that other manufacturers can't really compete with in terms of size, image quality and sheer fun.  The newer zooms are pretty good.  And for a cost-effective long lens, I'd probably start with the 55-300 as a decent upgrade to the 50-200 (never one of Pentax's better lenses).  I also like the look of the new 20-40 DA Limited zoom, which might be a street-shooter's dream.

To me, the recent revamp of the lens system and launch of some excellent cameras in the form of the K-3, K-50 and K-500 indicate that Ricoh is taking some sensible and coherent steps in developing and strengthening the Pentax system - as Canon and Nikon increasingly encourage people to spend more on FF cameras, and Sony have abandoned the idea of true APSC dSLRs equipped with a real viewfinder, Ricoh/Pentax may find themselves with a rather unique proposition and some enthusiast space to play in - I'm rather confident about their future.

Oh, and as a K-5 user I can't recommend it highly enough - I think a K-5ii (or ii S) still makes a very good buy regardless of the launch of the next greatest thing.

I have no idea whether this post helps, but hope it might!

Good luck whichever direction you choose


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