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Thread: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

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    Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    • awesome interface
    • jpeg engine looks better than I was expecting
    • lots of customizability
    • DA 70 F2.4 is pretty awesome, nice and neat. Didn't expect a little bag with it.
    • smaller than I remember, this is effectively a pro-specced Olympus 620 with the spirit of the Olympus E-1
    • so far fast AF and accurate. Haven't stressed it yet though.
    • movie mode is crisp, clear with detail. Quite the surprise.


    But Pentax oh no Pentax, I have the curse of the dirty sensor thingie. UGH. Talk about a way to spoil the excitement, this camera has to go back. I'll probably keep it a week or so to test it anyway to see if it was to my liking, but ugh. The spots are visible at F11 and up. At F8 they are muted but they are still there. Depending on the photo they will matter or not.

    I am sorry but I didn't pay $1,600 USD for this. This has to be fixed. I'll probably send it back to amazon rather than fix it with Pentax, but depends on how strongly I feel. I am not in the mood of waiting 1-2 months for a replacement so if Pentax can guarantee me a quick turn around it's a deal, if not, then I have to conclude they don't have the network to provide service at a more pro level.

    (talking about USA here).

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    What are you talking about in spots? problems on the sensor? cover glass? or just dust?

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    I have seen many threads on PentaxForums about dust on the K5 and Kr sensors, where people got clean body after after 1-2 exchanges. You are right brand new camera out of the box has dust particles on the snesors. Probably QC is still an issue with Pentax

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Many people have reported what seems to be a black "spotch" or even like a piece of "thread/little hair" a bit black. Showed on on view finder, shows up at high F's. Apparently it's a manufacturing defect where oil or something else got trapped between the AA filter of the sensor and the sensor surface. Maybe it's not there and it can be cleaned.'

    SAGAR- what's your experience in general with Pentax's QC- sounds like you have some experience and I would like to know about it. Thanks.

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    Interface/ergonomics: superb!

    Terry maybe you are more right than I gave you credit for. Pentax's interface makes Olympus look a bit messy... it really is much cleaner. This camera has *tons* of features and I am picking it up fastest than any other camera I have ever picked up.

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    JPEG engine- promising.. very customizable...

    much more customizable then Olympus... including tone range, and with the high contrast filter which also works in color, I may be able to do a closer look to the Olympus JPEG if I set it mildy (still experimenting).

    Can't do much until battery charges. I am going to wait 2 hours because a full charge from zero is 6.5 hours!!!!!!

    At least once charges it seems to last forever (CIPA 1,100+ shots. Not using flash that probably goes to 1400-1500 which is a lot).

    - Raist

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    From Pentax USA response to a customer on Pentax Forum it is a problem to a batch or maybe it is several batches of cameras they only stated a batch (whatever size that may be)

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    HI Ricardo
    Glad it arrived . . . sorry about your sensor spots. I have them as well, but only when I shoot a white target at > f16 and then do a radical levels. I've checked blue sky up to f16, and it's not noticeable, so I'll leave it as it is.

    Terry - it seems that it's spots trapped between AA filter and sensor - sometimes a little trail of them , with kind of halos around them. mine just has a couple of very faint spots - I can live with it (which sensor doesn't have one or two faint spots).

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by redrockcoulee View Post
    From Pentax USA response to a customer on Pentax Forum it is a problem to a batch or maybe it is several batches of cameras they only stated a batch (whatever size that may be)
    What did Pentax say they will do? Thanks.

    - Raist

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Ricardo
    Glad it arrived . . . sorry about your sensor spots. I have them as well, but only when I shoot a white target at > f16 and then do a radical levels. I've checked blue sky up to f16, and it's not noticeable, so I'll leave it as it is.

    Terry - it seems that it's spots trapped between AA filter and sensor - sometimes a little trail of them , with kind of halos around them. mine just has a couple of very faint spots - I can live with it (which sensor doesn't have one or two faint spots).

    all the best
    Well unfortunately I can see some blur on the spots at F8, and I don't feel that paying $1,600 USD for this is in any way ok. So my plan is play with the camera for a week and use it in a real life situation (company Christmas party)- that will answer the "will I want a k-5 or not." Then call Pentax and see how they want to deal with this. If they can't tell me they have a replacement body ready to go with quick turn around then it goes back to amazon, and maybe I'll pick up one later.

    On autofocusing and lower light- it does allright. Better than the e-620 which is what I am trying to get away from on that end. But I bet the Olympus E-5 will do better as the lights go out and faster too. I get the impression the E-5 is more sensitive to low light AF without any light assist. The light assist of the Pentax is handy, but it won't help you much say on a wedding where people are walking/coming in... but hopefully the light there won't be *that low*.

    I have a christmas party next week and that should be "real life enough" of a situation to provide me with all the data I need.

    In all honesty, I still like the output I am seeing from the E-5 as far as JPEGS, but I just know the highlight recovery/depth in shadows it's just not there. But hey, that uses all my lenses.. and the lenses I have are pretty good.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Well unfortunately I can see some blur on the spots at F8, and I don't feel that paying $1,600 USD for this is in any way ok.
    I quite agree - I might see about mine later, but it's tiny, and really un-noticeable, even when you know where to look.
    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    On autofocusing and lower light- it does allright. Better than the e-620 which is what I am trying to get away from on that end. But I bet the Olympus E-5 will do better as the lights go out and faster too. I get the impression the E-5 is more sensitive to low light AF without any light assist. The light assist of the Pentax is handy, but it won't help you much say on a wedding where people are walking/coming in... but hopefully the light there won't be *that low*.

    I have a christmas party next week and that should be "real life enough" of a situation to provide me with all the data I need.

    In all honesty, I still like the output I am seeing from the E-5 as far as JPEGS, but I just know the highlight recovery/depth in shadows it's just not there. But hey, that uses all my lenses.. and the lenses I have are pretty good.
    Well, not having the E5 I couldn't possibly comment on this, but shooting over dinner last night, in our dark kitchen, I had no hunting, and almost 100% keepers (with the 100 WR) - this was up to 6400 ISO.

    The first thing I did when I got the K5 was to turn the focus assist OFF - it may work, but it scares and horrifies punters (why have a lovely quiet shutter if you're going to scare everybody off!).

    This is pretty much straight out of the camera at 6400 ISO - the real attraction for me is the colour (untouched). If the E5 is this good I'll be very impressed.



    f2.8 1/125 second 100mm WR macro ISO 6400

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    I think the E-5 will go in that direction at that picture size, but not that good. If we are talking about the image quality at high ISO that is.

    Auto focus- barring E-3 back focusing issues, should be faster. I did a test that I remember my E-3 passing (though it had the back focus issue, but the e-30 also passes it).

    But it's better than the 620 for sure. I Will be checking this again as the night falls, going out (and hopefully with more of that battery charged :-) ).

    On the spots- looks like also this varies per camera so some may have gotten the spots in a very easy to ignore way. I have one right close to center a bit up and in the upper left quadrant.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    BTW is that image a JPEG or RAW?

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    BTW is that image a JPEG or RAW?
    The thousand dollar question eh!
    It's RaW, because that's what I shoot ( no overhead in time using Aperture, and I like the WB flexibility.) but I'm sure the jpg would have been as good.

    Incidentally, it would make a perfectly good 12x16" print as it is, with care and a little work (and possibly some of that noise reduction stuff I never use!) I think you could go larger.

    As for the spots: I only found mine because I read the thread, and as I can't see them in any 'real' pictures I'm going to be grown-up about it. At least for now!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    The thousand dollar question eh!
    It's RaW, because that's what I shoot ( no overhead in time using Aperture, and I like the WB flexibility.) but I'm sure the jpg would have been as good.
    Haha, no worries, I am just asking to gauge more data on the capabilities of the JPEG engine / DNG, etc.

    Incidentally, it would make a perfectly good 12x16" print as it is, with care and a little work (and possibly some of that noise reduction stuff I never use!) I think you could go larger.

    As for the spots: I only found mine because I read the thread, and as I can't see them in any 'real' pictures I'm going to be grown-up about it. At least for now!
    I agree with you that the camera is entirely usable in an aperture range I can use it for. I just want it repaired if I am going to keep it because again the money spent, this shouldn't happen (this for me, looks like different K-5's got different severities of the problem).

    Here's something I tried to night- in bad fluorescent light, 70 mm DA Limited, ISO 12800. Used DNG/Mac OS X preview to convert, this was a very quick conversion (oh btw, I also use Aperture).

    Oh tried Pentax's own software. ugh no, horrible. I applaud them for trying to recreate the camera settings using Silky Pix's engine but really, it was dog slow and crashed on me easily.

    1600x1060, ISO 12800:



    And a 100% crop - not edited much at all. You can even see me in the eyes.



    - Raist

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    BTW yes, I said ISO 12,800. :-)

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Still think the E5 can keep up with it?

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Oh I never thought the E-5 could do this. What the E-5 does very well is at lower ISO keep tons of detail. Someone posted a shot with the F2.0 50mm macro and it was quite stunning in detail, the per pixel detail approaching the Sigma Foveon. This because the AA filter has been weakened further. Update: and because the F2.0 50mm macro is truly a 4/3rds jewel of a lens, but from what I am seeing the Pentax 100 Macro FA WR F2.8 (or whatever it was) is its spiritual equivalent except that the Olympus is a close up macro and the Pentax is a telephoto macro - a lens Olympus had in the 4/3rds roadmap since forever and they finally canned it officially.

    But I just checked the pictures of the neocamera review (which has E-5 and K-5 reviews) and in lower light, it reminds me oh so much of my e-620. And with this I have to say, score +20 points more to me keeping the K-5. I wasn't too happy seeing those shots.

    The color is right, it's just that there's only so much Olympus can do with a Panasonic sensor of three years back. AS it is they do great, but outside of daylight, at night the noise just creeps in. I even saw it at ISO 200 (better than the 620 class of course, still there). Then ISo 400 and by 800 there was some detail loss- so much for a weaker AA filter then.

    To the E-5 credit, maybe the review left the noise filter on "standard" but still.

    Anyway, Olympus still has the secret sauce to do great color out of the JPEG, but the sensor puts a cap on what they do, so yeah. I think I am going to be happier with the K-5 for many reasons. As a side note I will say Olympus lenses are really good and this is part of image quality. Have had to look a bit hard for the Pentaxes.

    Anyway, hope that answers.. I typed back way way way too much LOL ;-)

    Ah Terry I had a chance to try out the GH2 briefly today. The AF is definitively fast. I didn't do any extensive tests but the RAW files I downloaded the other week proved it's definitively an improvement over E-5/GH1/G1/GF1/Pens sensors. I thought it may be able to autofocus the old 4/3rd Olympus lenses fast but no dice- does it at super slow speeds.

    That's another thing that surprised me about the K-5- for being a DSLR the live view auto focus is actually pretty fast. I would even rank it as fast or very close to Pen Version 1.0 firmware which for a DSLR is pretty fast. Makes it usable.

    - Raist
    Last edited by raist3d; 12th December 2010 at 00:14.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    You know as I stare more and more at my cat shot at 1600x1060.... I think.... I am starting to realize.. I will probably switch... we'll see how the week goes.

    I still think the AF of the E-5 will probably be better but if the K-5's is "good enough" I rather take the extra DR/noise performance/pancakes and awesome filters like Toy camera/Cross processing of the K-5 which prove to be more flexible than the E-5's.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    That's another thing that surprised me about the K-5- for being a DSLR the live view auto focus is actually pretty fast. I would even rank it as fast or very close to Pen Version 1.0 firmware which for a DSLR is pretty fast. Makes it usable.
    I think this is one of the improvements that has been somewhat overlooked or underrated by Pentax users. The LV AF performance is much improved over the K-7, and an even bigger leap over my K20D which does not even have contrast detect AF - the mirror needs to drop down to take a phase detect AF reading (you can imagine how cumbersome this is). I think many of us got so used to the bad LV that we don't even bother paying attention to this feature anymore. So it's interesting hearing your good impressions of the LV AF on the K-5.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by photogerald View Post
    I think this is one of the improvements that has been somewhat overlooked or underrated by Pentax users. The LV AF performance is much improved over the K-7, and an even bigger leap over my K20D which does not even have contrast detect AF - the mirror needs to drop down to take a phase detect AF reading (you can imagine how cumbersome this is). I think many of us got so used to the bad LV that we don't even bother paying attention to this feature anymore. So it's interesting hearing your good impressions of the LV AF on the K-5.
    Thanks. The way yo describe it is how the old Olympus E-3 and 410/510 had to do it. That mirror dance. Still have to do it with non contrast AF lenses for the most part though I think the E-5 can AF them but slow.

    I used it tonight and I even got better focus than the normal AF. I was able to capture a thing or two. I was surprised.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    I agree with you that the camera is entirely usable in an aperture range I can use it for. I just want it repaired if I am going to keep it because again the money spent, this shouldn't happen (this for me, looks like different K-5's got different severities of the problem).
    Sorry to hear that you got hit by the "dirty sensor" problem. It seems that this issue is very prevalent (like, over 10%), based on the number of reports I'm seeing on the Pentax forums. Fortunately, it looks like Pentax and their dealers are acknowledging the issue, and trying to make things right. Though if I were you I might wait a bit before exchanging yours, as who knows if the problem has been really resolved now.

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Oh tried Pentax's own software. ugh no, horrible. I applaud them for trying to recreate the camera settings using Silky Pix's engine but really, it was dog slow and crashed on me easily.
    Oh yeah, the Windows version is nothing to write home about and I hear the Mac version is just plain bad. But like you said it's the only converter that has the Pentax in-camera presets, so some folks find it useful for that reason. Also, the general consensus in Pentax land is that the supplied software and retail version of Silky Pix give the best colours (with the least amount of work) for Pentax RAW files.

    Which version of the Pentax software did your K-5 come with? The latest is 4.31, so if that's not what you're running you should download the update from the Pentax website.

    You sorta asked this somewhere (it might've been on dpreview), but you lose nothing by shooting DNG instead of PEF (Pentax RAW). Pentax DNG files have an embedded colour profile, so as long as your software can handle that then you are set.

    By the way, since you use a Mac, have you tried RPP?

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    I used it tonight and I even got better focus than the normal AF. I was able to capture a thing or two. I was surprised.
    Yes, in theory CDAF should be better more accurate. I like how on the K-5, the display zooms into the focus area during LV so you can visually confirm the focus.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by photogerald View Post
    Yes, in theory CDAF should be better more accurate. I like how on the K-5, the display zooms into the focus area during LV so you can visually confirm the focus.
    I totally 2nd that. It surprises me that it does that *and* it is fast for a DSLR. Fast to the point it's usable for many situations.

    - Ricardo

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    What did Pentax say they will do? Thanks.
    In Europe they are exchanging bodies. I don't think Pentax USA has made any announcement yet.

    And the latest news is that according to Pentax Europe this is a defect in the glass covering the sensor, rather than some foreign contaminent (such as oil or dust). It supposedly only affects a few batches, and they are now specifically checking for this defect before cameras get sent to distributors.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Here is what Pentax Imaging President, Ned Bunnell told Enticingthelight.com

    I can confirm that Pentax Japan is fully aware of this situation and is diligently investigating the cause of these stains. Id like to remind our US customers that their K-5 is covered under the 1-year warranty and that well of course honor that. However, until we find out which batch(es) are affected by the stains, we recommend that photographers keep their cameras and refrain from exchanging them for another unit if purchased from an online retailer. Once we fully understand the origin of the stains and how to deal with them we will encourage affected K-5 owners to send in their cameras for warranty repair.
    Quote Originally Posted by photogerald View Post
    In Europe they are exchanging bodies. I don't think Pentax USA has made any announcement yet.

    And the latest news is that according to Pentax Europe this is a defect in the glass covering the sensor, rather than some foreign contaminent (such as oil or dust). It supposedly only affects a few batches, and they are now specifically checking for this defect before cameras get sent to distributors.

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Well, got my K5 a few days ago, tested of course any sensor issues - and there are NO issues!

    Bad for those who are affected, but maybe it is becoming a to big hype - like many times!

    Cheers

    Peter

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Thanks to this and Jono's thread, I ended up ordering K-5, specially since I got an Aamzon open box at unbelievable price of $1350. Now I have to decide whether to keep this or Olymps. I just hope there is no sensor issue

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    Re: Got my Pentax k-5... quick impressions...

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Well, got my K5 a few days ago, tested of course any sensor issues - and there are NO issues!

    Bad for those who are affected, but maybe it is becoming a to big hype - like many times!

    Cheers

    Peter
    You know I have to admit this really bothers me. This attitude. I realize things can get out proportion but could you please at least respect the people that paid $USD $1,600 that *have this issue for real*? Or you think I am making it up when I say my camera has it?

    Why is it that very often someone says "oh I don't have any problems so ... " ? This happened a lot with the backfocusing of the Olympus E-3. "OH my E-3 focuses fine so it must be a user error/only your camera/not an issue/whatever."

    Thanks.

    - Raist

    PS: Yes, a pro spec camera (actually any camera) should *not be doing this* period. I can't shoot a landscape at F8 or higher without risking it. (at F8 I have to be extra careful).

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