What an upgrade for me

Started Mar 21, 2013 | User reviews
BLanam Junior Member • Posts: 32
What an upgrade for me

My history with Pentax starts with the Pentax Super Program - film 35mm SLR, then the K100d, the K10d and now the K5 II.  I've only had the K5 II for a few days (150 photos).

I've used the following lenses so far: Pentax 50mm/f1.4 and 18-55mm/f3.5-5.6, Tamron 28-75mm/f2.8 (my favorite IQ of my lot) and 28-300mm/f3.5-6.3, Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5.  None have internal motors.

I got the K5 II for $893.

Comparing the K5 II to the K10d:

It's comfortable to use even though it is quite smaller.  So far I prefer the feel of the K10d, but it's better than my old K100d and it's size will be fine.

ISO performance of the K5 II at 12,800 is as good as the K10d at 1600 and almost as good as the K100d at 3200.  Will make usable photos.

ISOs above 12,800 get to be questionable, but small prints in good light will be decent up to 25600.  Other Hi ISOs will be used when you want to capture the moment, but won't be publishing it for any contests...  I am predicting I'll like to use 3200 & 6400 in good light for long lenses and movement and the IQ will be good.  With the incredible amount of flexibility in customization for Auto ISO and noise reduction options on JPEGs, makes the need to shoot RAW diminish.  If you shoot a JPEG, that, upon review, you wish you would had shot RAW, you can do a conversion during review to RAW, as long as the data is still in memory (you haven't shot another shot or timed/powered off).

It has amazing ability to focus in low light at all ISOs.  I couldn't make out the subject in the view finder, because the light was so low, yet the K5 II locked right in.  And that's using lenses <$400.

The sound of the shutter is much quieter and less clanky sounding.  Sounds more like the Nikon 200 & 300.  I don't think I'll attract the attention with the K5 II, like I did with my prior K's when using continuous mode.  Speaking of continuous shooting, this K5 II is really fast and for a lot of shots.  With normal lighting and shutter speeds, I'm confident it will live up to the published specs of 7fps for a lot of shots.

Like the K10d and K-5/K-7, it has a lot of buttons, so you can get at critical settings with ease and speed.  I don't know how the K7 and K5 before it were, but there are now options that show up on the "Info" screen and with a depression of the "Info button", you can pick from the "On Screen" display many of the functions.  You'll seldom need to dive into the Menus for "shooting" parameters and if you do, the new menu system is quick to navigate.

It's much quicker to obtain focus than the K10d AND it doesn't get lost while focusing like the K10d.

The in body flash gets the right exposure (that's a first for me and Pentax) and AWB is much, much improved.

Now I have to invest into some lenses to resolve and focus side by side with the ability of this camera.

Auto focusing during Video, is not continuous.  This is a disappointment, but for me, not too big of an issue, but for those who use video a lot, it might be.  This short coming is reflected in my "Action/Sports" rating and brought the score down from Excellent to Good.

The user manual is not in the box or on the CD.  You'll need to download: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-5-2.pdf  this link is not findable from Pentax's site.  I had to have an agent send me the link.

I would recommend reading the 320 pages, as there is a lot to learn.

From my brief hands on experience and DPR's reviews of the older K5 and K7, plus other site's full (but not as good as DPR) reviews.  I believe you'll find this a great upgrade for less than $900.  B&H photo gave me about $150 for my old K10d, so I've got less than $750 invested.

If DPR ever reviews the K5 II, it will have to be well above the great score of 83 on the K5.

 BLanam's gear list:BLanam's gear list
Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 12-24mm F4.0 ED AL (IF) Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) +6 more
Pentax K-5 II
16 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Sep 10, 2012
BLanam's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Pentax K100D Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-7
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