Why is an OM-D better than a Pentax K-5?

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions
Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook Senior Member • Posts: 1,212
Oh please

Yes, Pentax has had its blunders (K-01, Q), but it's also had home runs (K10D, K-5, 645D..) and puts out some fantastic glass as well.

The reason the K-5 is selling for 2/3 its original price is that the MSRP was too high to begin with, and that it's near the end of its lifecycle. It's no different than most other bodies in that regard. Are you going seriously going to argue that the GX1 and EP-3 suck because they've recently started sliding in price?

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Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook Senior Member • Posts: 1,212
Re: Why is an OM-D better than a Pentax K-5?

There are a couple of simple fundamental question to ask yourself. Do you feel safe with Pentax? Do you want to buy an APS-C DSLR now?

Unless you have a lot of K-mount lenses already, there is not a lot of reason to take such risk with a company with an uncertain future. Pentax has been sold twice already and there is little left in that camera company now in Ricoh's hands. For example, no new models for DSLR now.

Very fair concerns about Pentax viability, ones that I happen to share.

Assuming you still think it is OK and safe, then consider this. The K-5 is no more than an very old K-7 with a Sony sensor and some trivial update. The same old and inadequate 11-point AF system, the same out of date flashes, the same problems in lens lineup and the dreaded SDM lens motor problem and even worse, independent lens makers keep dropping support for Pentax K-mount, e.g. no new Tamron, Tokina, and others. The Nikon D7000 is much safer bet if it has to be a DSLR.

You miss the point that the K-5, even if a bit old, is still an absolutely rocking DSLR. Have you actually ever used one? There's a reason why it scored so high when reviewed by this very site.

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Everdog Veteran Member • Posts: 4,837
That post made me laugh!

millsart wrote:

If CDAF is so accurate on any lens, then why does Sony have AF fine tune adjustments on the NEX7 ??

As others said...for PDAF lenses. CDAF needs no adjusting...which is why it is so much better IMHO.

Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 4,937
Re: Oh please

The GX1 and E-P3, and even the GH2 have recently started sliding in price because the E-M5 is out. I suspect even the D3200 was priced low as a result of this new mirrorless trend. You can resist and you can slow down the change, but it is inevitable that APS-C DSLRs will become niche. Just think why we are still using the Stone Age technology in these flipping mirror clunkers.

Olympus 43 is as good as dead. Even if you get a new model again, what good is a new expensive camera every 3 years when technology is so fast. The E-5 was old even at release time. So was the K-5, except for one Sony sensor. Sure, there are very nice lenses for these systems, but no future. Is Pentax going the same way as 43, that is up to you to decide and it is your money you are investing in a system.

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook Senior Member • Posts: 1,212
Re: Oh please

I don't disagree with you that DSLRs are on their way out -- in this case you're preaching to the choir - I disagree with you that the K-5 is any different than any other DSLR in this regard. If anything it is hurt by the question of Pentax's viability, not by the quality of the camera itself.

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Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,038
Re: Why is an OM-D better than a Pentax K-5?

Promit wrote:

I hear the E-5 owners feel exactly the same way Pentax exists now, and I don't really see a point in speculating about their health any more so than Olympus.

Anyone considering the E-5 as their first DSLR would have to consider the health of Olympus. If it weren't for m43, and the groundwork laid over the last four years, the Olympus camera division would be dead and buried at this point.

Putting it nicely, Pentax has made a number of 'questionable' decisions regarding the future trends of interchangeable cameras (Q, that prism-less DSLR, $10k 40MP MF camera). That, and their recent corporate history, makes buying into the K-mount a very risky long-term prospect. In comparison, m43 - even Olympus - is one of the safest bets going.

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-CW

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Melbourne Park Senior Member • Posts: 2,683
Re: Why is an OM-D better than a Pentax K-5?

Sergey Borachev wrote:

Assuming you still think it is OK and safe, then consider this. The K-5 is no more than an very old K-7 with a Sony sensor and some trivial update. The same old and inadequate 11-point AF system, the same out of date flashes, the same problems in lens lineup and the dreaded SDM lens motor problem and even worse, independent lens makers keep dropping support for Pentax K-mount, e.g. no new Tamron, Tokina, and others. The Nikon D7000 is much safer bet if it has to be a DSLR.

Perhaps the D7000 has better focusing. And sure Nikon has "critical mass". But ... if you have a D7000, is just some very mediocre weather proofing that keeps it from being on the bottom of the Nikon ladder of success. I believe the K-5 is much better sealed than the Nikon (any Nikon DSLR) and its the top camera they sell with a APS-C sensor. And they have a few weatherproof lenses, of which a couple are cheap. Asahi Pentax were much much bigger than Canon once you know ...

And as far as being a development of the K-7, that's a bonus IMO. Its mature tech - a good thing, and the sensor is a beauty.

I hope Pentax stay in business. And if one is considering the K-5 versus the OM-d, then consider also the mirrorless Pentax with the K-5's sensor. It may not react quickly etc, but its low cost and has a great sensor. It'll also work just as well as a K-5 probably for 80% of a normal person's shots.

Obviously the advantage of OM-D / Pen, is in lens size. And already there are small primes, some quite excellent. As Olympus and Panasonic bring out better lenses, including teles and better zoom lenses, they'll still be relatively quite small. And sensors will continue to get much much better, year after year. And each year than happens, the better m43 and its compact lenses will look.

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daddyo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,670
Yes, it matters to a lot of people...

Sorry, I don't get the obsession with carrying an interchangeable lens camera in your coat pocket. One could easily carry a complete OMD system in a photo vest -- if someone absolutely hates camera bags or backpacks.

Here are the size and weight differences between the E-M5 and the K-5 -- and this does not take into account the differences in size and weight for comparable focal length lenses:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 is 8% (10 mm) narrower and 8% (7.4 mm) shorter than Pentax K-5.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 is 43% (31.1 mm) thinner than Pentax K-5.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 [400 g] weights 46% (340 grams) less than Pentax K-5 [740 g] ( inc. batteries and memory card).

This info is from the Camerasize.com website.

The K-5 is obviously an excellent camera. To me, the main appeal of m4/3's is the clearly smaller size and weight over any DSLR.

God Bless,
Greg
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Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,910
Re: Long List

1. Greater resolution.

2. About equal IQ otherwise which is quite impressive since Pentax is the best APS-C

3. Smalller

4. Lighter

4. Tiltable OLED

5. Better quality primes, especially for the price.

6. Better movie quality

7. Larger user base

8. More certain future, less chance of m43rds mount becoming extinct

Promit wrote:

Honest question, I am not trying to troll. I've never shot Pentax, though a good friend is very happy with them. I've just got a lot of money wrapped up in m43, an OM-D order, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe I've gone crazy. By the spec sheets, they seem like awfully similar cameras with the hard numbers tipped in favor of the K-5.

Is it just down to (good) live view and size?

Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,910
Re: No, the K-9 is a dog..........

Erik Johansen wrote:

....a PEN-dachs........
--
It is never too late to give up your prejudices.

rubydoomsday Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: Why is an OM-D better than a Pentax K-5?

It's not - I've owned and used both, and they're both brilliant photographic tools. Frankly, the lens world has no equal for the Pentax LTDs when balancing price/durability/IQ portability.

The K5 is an excellent camera that will never let you down, with superior ergonomics to the OM-D and equivalent performance, at least.

BUT - overall, the OM-D is smaller, lighter, and more portable - when this is paramount, the numbers don't lie. Oly win. Also, Oly AF is better = Oly win.

If I could match just one Pentax lens it would be the 43ltd, both for equiv focal length and rendering/sharpness. What a beast! The Panny 20 is close, but it's not all-metal, physical aperture dial, focus-distance scale etc.

In fact, I am tempted to get one as an MF only portrait length (86mm EFL) - even though I already own the 45mm f1.8 - just because it's such an amazing piece of photographic engineering. And it's BLACK.

SirSeth
SirSeth Veteran Member • Posts: 9,962
Re: Many cameras are better than the OM-D.

Promit wrote:

SirSeth wrote:

That said, every spec sheet is only part of the equation.

Yes, and I've read glowing reviews of cameras that were pretty shoddy once I handled them. (D3100, NEX 3/5). I'm finding it's very difficult to evaluate a camera without having it in hand for a couple days.

Totally get you on this. My E-1 was love at first touch. E-3 also just felt right. K-5 is very close to ergonomically perfect for me too. Better than E-3 and on par with E-1. (Must be my Maxxum 7 that I loved).

That said, all indications so far are that live view alone is enough of a killer feature for me that I would not buy a DSLR.

It's 6 on my list. So a priority, but not so high that I'm not ready to sell my DSLR and lenses just yet.

It's about priorities. Here's my list.

1. Priced In My Budget
2. Lenses I Want
3. Pleasing Color and DR/RAW Quality
4. Weather Sealing/Robust Build/Anti-Dust Solution
5. Ergonomics/Controls
6. Live View/Video Implementation/Tilt LCD
7. Viewfinder Quality
8. Competitive Noise Control/Image Stabilization
9. Competitive AF

10. Reasonable Versatile Size/Weight (Not too small for larger lenses. Not too big or heavy for the long haul).

Some of these priorities are really nailed by the OM-D. More so than the K5 would get, but I suspect the OP will have a completely different list compared with mine, so my opinions are really moot. I wish everyone who asks about cameras would post their top 10 priorities, but maybe they are asking because they really don't know their priorities. I think that's common. Things that didn't even make my top 10 are MP count, battery life, brand name, sensor size, art filters, panoramic mode/focus peeking, miniaturization... Good stuff, but not in my top 10.

For people who really want HD video and live view and miniaturization, mirrorless is a no brainer. For those who have high ISO and DOF control on top FF is the real deal. I think most people have placed brand name near the top too--just because they don't know what else could/should be priorities.

So subjective and so much fun!

Cheers,
Seth

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Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 4,937
Change! Technology Change

It is happening right now, even as we post. So many people are switching to mirrorless, even though some are still hanging on to their old DSLRs, especially if they are FF.

As DPReview said so clearly, in the review of the E-M5, you need to go to FF due to the insignificant difference in IQ, if you want better IQ than the E-M5.

Just wait until the GH3 is announced. And also others with really advanced features that are only possible with EVF data, when more makers are confident to release truly high-end MILCs as the market grows.

History has shown that many who clung to old technology lose big time. We have seen the same thing and the same arguments before, how the encyclopaedia was so much nicer with its beautiful prints than some disc version, how heavy belt driven analogue turntables were so much better than CD players, how CRTs were still better than LCDs for critical displays, and of course people will continue to argue about how mirror flapping DSLRs are better than MILCs until the minute they are swept away in that avanlache of change.

Ignore at your own risk.

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 38,657
They are both competent cameras- which one

Is better for you is something you have to ask yourself and no one else

Both have their pros and cons. The em5 is smaller. The k-5 sensorultinately
Delivers more dr, ISP and
Tonality

The em5 doe pretty good anyway. You have to answer this question to yourself according to needs and wants

Even though these forums may give you the impression that "there can only be one" that's just a lie promoted by fanboys or people who do not know much photography

Yes your friend could be totally rightfully happy with a k-5 and you could
Be totally rightfully happy with an em5! It's really possible!

You could even continue being friends!

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Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 38,657
Re: Hopefully Ricardo will comment...

As you predicte:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=41470407

I could go into a list of pros and cons I find so far of each but will these forums be able to handle such a mature discussion from a real genuine curiosity to get more informed?

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- "You are taking life too seriously if it bugs you in some way that a guy quotes himself in the .sig quote" - Ricardo

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 38,657
Him and your reply are the most ridiculous

Thing I have read in the entire month so far. Still three weeks to go so maybe you two won't hold that crown. I am going to guess your photography sucks given your mentality but would be great if I am wrong.
--

Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- "You are taking life too seriously if it bugs you in some way that a guy quotes himself in the .sig quote" - Ricardo

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 38,657
That said

Pentax is supporting actively the k-mount so a bit difficult to understand what exactly is wrong here.

If anything Pentax is in the best position it has been in a while
--

Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- "You are taking life too seriously if it bugs you in some way that a guy quotes himself in the .sig quote" - Ricardo

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 38,657
Hear hear- someone who gets it! (n/t)
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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- "You are taking life too seriously if it bugs you in some way that a guy quotes himself in the .sig quote" - Ricardo

s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,888
Re: Why is an OM-D better than a Pentax K-5?

Promit wrote:

Honest question, I am not trying to troll. I've never shot Pentax, though a good friend is very happy with them. I've just got a lot of money wrapped up in m43, an OM-D order, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe I've gone crazy. By the spec sheets, they seem like awfully similar cameras with the hard numbers tipped in favor of the K-5.

Is it just down to (good) live view and size?

I'm afraid you will be frustrated with E-M5. This camera makes even seasoned Olympus fans to scratch their heads: wast menu, numerous options and configurations make folks wander.
Be ready for the shock - this camera is tameless
--
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The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: CDAF is usually more accurate

Thom Hogan said in one of his blogs that DSLRs are made unnecessarily large, including the small entry level ones. I don't know if he meant the lenses as well. But I believe him - look at how small the Olympus OM1, Olympus XA or Pentax ME Super were, and they were full frame!

Of course cameras today do more, but I can also argue that manufacturers have had 30 years to equalize that.

I work with the IQ/size ratio. I will put up with a somewhat larger camera if it has superb IQ. Conversely, I will put up with slight inferior IQ if it means a significantly smaller camera.

If a camera such as the Nikon D3200 can be made smaller, that ratio will start to appear attractive. The ultimate for me would be the Canon S100 with a super duper sensor. It will take the IQ/size ratio to infinity!

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