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Thread: K5 - not so good for me!

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    K5 - not so good for me!

    Folks,

    I finally returned my K5 kit and DA70 today! And I am really happy that I did!

    Overall it is a good camera for some of you I am sure, maybe with good IQ and colors, but it has its certain limitations and flaws.

    Was just playing around the last few days with AF, as I started using this thing more extensively I recognized that I had severe AF problems, although I had fine tuned the AF for both lenses several times. I still got out of focus results again and again - even in good light (afternoon indoors) - situations which NEVER EVER screwed up my D700. And trying to manual focus with that OVF is just a joke, at least it does not work with my eyes anymore, while the D700 again imposed never such problems on me.

    WRT resolution - well as I was warned the 18-55WR could not even come close to resolve what the sensor of the K5 can do. But especially in very low light in combination with ISO6400 the results are just for the garbage bin, even if they are in focus. But I know this is (was) my fault as everybody here told me that the kit lenses are weak. Only thing is that I had expected too much.

    The DA70 was the highlight of my kit, seems to be a decent lens, although I do not like the ergos and handling of it.

    Overall the K5 with lenses did not hold what I thought it could do for me. I bought it as add on to my D700 especially WRT smaller size and less weight. But the handling of it showed me that it is still pretty big compared to my M43 system and does not deliver better IQ. Yes you can get up to higher ISO but the results are then really questionable.

    And yes - I know that these results could get better with better lenses (zooms), but the talking about a 50-135 or 60-250 the size gets again very big and I do not see so much advantage to Nikon FF.

    Hope all who the K5 have more fun with it, for me it was a nice adventure but finally I am really happy I could just send it back and step out of this system!

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Dang! I was considering getting a K-5 in lieu of picking up a larger and more expensive D700 or 5D2. I'm suspicious of the AF issues I hear about, and also about the red issues and recently the sensor spot issue. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get the real thing instead of waiting around for something smaller to rise to the IQ and capability of the real thing.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Dang! I was considering getting a K-5 in lieu of picking up a larger and more expensive D700 or 5D2. I'm suspicious of the AF issues I hear about, and also about the red issues and recently the sensor spot issue. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get the real thing instead of waiting around for something smaller to rise to the IQ and capability of the real thing.
    While I had real issues with AF - in middle to dim light, not in bright light and in combination wit weaker lenses which do not deliver the contrast of better glass - I never found an issue with reds or anything else.

    I still think that camera is very good, it just did not meet my expectations. Not sure how to say that, but if I get results from my D700 or even from my EP2 or M8 in the past, the hit rate to satisfy me was just MUCH higher.

    But if you really want to get the REAL thing, I would spare the time and not play with the K5 because it will not deliver what you expect. Not sure if a D7000 would deliver better, WRT AF I would think yes.

    Maybe the best "small system" would be the M43 based on a GH2??? Not sure yet.

    I will buy an M9 now to have a "small" system and start reusing all my M glass!

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Dang! I was considering getting a K-5 in lieu of picking up a larger and more expensive D700 or 5D2. I'm suspicious of the AF issues I hear about, and also about the red issues and recently the sensor spot issue. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get the real thing instead of waiting around for something smaller to rise to the IQ and capability of the real thing.
    Hi There
    I've been using one for 6 weeks now, nothing is perfect of course, and certainly the K5 isn't, but as a small, general purpose dSLR it does a grand job. I do have the sensor spot issue, and I'll get it sorted when the dust dies down, until then I'll be prepared to do a little touch up on skies shot at over f11 (it takes all of 2 seconds).
    As for the AF - it's different from Nikon, the AF points are deceivingly larger than those in the viewfinder. But I've found it to be pretty good (by which I mean that in 2000 'real life' shots, many in really very low light, I've had very few spoiled by bad focus) - certainly no more than with my D700 when I had it. I think there may be an issue in tungsten light with front-focusing, but I haven't seen it myself, and I'd assume that it's easily fixed in firmware.

    dPreview have given it a splendid review - it has the highest Dynamic Range of any of the cameras in the DXO ratings, it's a joy ergonomically, and it's lovely and small. I'm sure that Peter's negative feelings are relevant - but then so are the great reviews.

    Pentax lens QA is problematical, and you may have to make several attempts to get a good copy of a lens - but when you do get a good copy, they're fine. The kit lens doesn't seem to be a triumph - but the 18-135 lens seems to be pretty good (as long as you aren't expecting a miracle of a 7 times zoom). The little macro 100 and the 35 macro are both wonderful - sharp, very small, and remarkably for macro lenses they also have good bokeh.

    Maybe the K5 isn't for you either - but don't write it off on the basis of the sensor issue (now cured). If you're really worried about the tungsten focusing issue, then you could either get one to try, or wait for a while and see if the do a firmware fix.

    Maybe it's a better 'using' camera than it is a 'testing' camera

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    But if you really want to get the REAL thing, I would spare the time and not play with the K5 because it will not deliver what you expect. Not sure if a D7000 would deliver better, WRT AF I would think yes.

    Maybe the best "small system" would be the M43 based on a GH2??? Not sure yet.
    HI Peter
    the REAL thing?

    I don't really think you can say this - your use was almost exclusively restricted to the kit lens (which we all agree is terrible . . . although even a few days ago you seemed to feel differently) and the DA70 pancake. I agree that an M43 system based around a GH2 would be smaller (marginally) - but if the K5 ain't the real thing, then that isn't either!

    I've taken nearly 3000 shots with the K5 and various lenses over the past 6 weeks, and whilst I acknowledge that (like everything else) it isn't perfect, I really don't have anything to complain about with any of the images that have been taken in the 'real' world. Very few out of focus, great exposure and sometimes breathtaking dynamic range.

    It's a fine camera (if not a perfect one)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There
    I've been using one for 6 weeks now, nothing is perfect of course, and certainly the K5 isn't, but as a small, general purpose dSLR it does a grand job. I do have the sensor spot issue, and I'll get it sorted when the dust dies down, until then I'll be prepared to do a little touch up on skies shot at over f11 (it takes all of 2 seconds).
    As for the AF - it's different from Nikon, the AF points are deceivingly larger than those in the viewfinder. But I've found it to be pretty good (by which I mean that in 2000 'real life' shots, many in really very low light, I've had very few spoiled by bad focus) - certainly no more than with my D700 when I had it. I think there may be an issue in tungsten light with front-focusing, but I haven't seen it myself, and I'd assume that it's easily fixed in firmware.

    dPreview have given it a splendid review - it has the highest Dynamic Range of any of the cameras in the DXO ratings, it's a joy ergonomically, and it's lovely and small. I'm sure that Peter's negative feelings are relevant - but then so are the great reviews.

    Pentax lens QA is problematical, and you may have to make several attempts to get a good copy of a lens - but when you do get a good copy, they're fine. The kit lens doesn't seem to be a triumph - but the 18-135 lens seems to be pretty good (as long as you aren't expecting a miracle of a 7 times zoom). The little macro 100 and the 35 macro are both wonderful - sharp, very small, and remarkably for macro lenses they also have good bokeh.

    Maybe the K5 isn't for you either - but don't write it off on the basis of the sensor issue (now cured). If you're really worried about the tungsten focusing issue, then you could either get one to try, or wait for a while and see if the do a firmware fix.

    Maybe it's a better 'using' camera than it is a 'testing' camera
    Jono,

    the issue is that with better lenses (as the limited etc) it does also focus better. At least this was what I found with my 2 lenses. Fully agree that the 18-55 is not the best one but the issue is that since it is not good in terms of resolution in low contrast this adds additionally on top of out of focus shots (in dim light).

    Now I agree that it should not be used under that conditions - but you know what? I do not care at all about when using a lens (which light) as I am used to do so from Leica, Hasselblad, Nikon and even Canon. And they all performed better, Leica and Nikon and Hasselblad being a kind of no brainer, but also the Canon 18-55 kit zoom I used to own performed significantly better compared to the Pentax 18-55.

    Maybe I should have tried some better zooms, agree, but there was also my feeling that besides the AF issues the whole system did not bring what I expected in size and weight reduction. So yes, maybe M43 will be better suited for me.

    But as I said, my requirements are not everyone's requirements and I did not say that the K5 is a bad camera. I only found for me it does not bring (will not bring) the expected difference in small DSLRs. I am pretty sure also the D7000 would not satisfy my needs either ......

    So all who read this - TRY the K5, it might be the right camera for you, it just was not for me.

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    But if you really want to get the REAL thing, I would spare the time and not play with the K5 because it will not deliver what you expect. Not sure if a D7000 would deliver better, WRT AF I would think yes.
    I think I'm coming to the same conclusion as well. I know there's no perfect camera out there, but I'm ready to spend some cash on getting one that's at least close to what I'd call perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Maybe the best "small system" would be the M43 based on a GH2??? Not sure yet.
    I'm happy enough with my GH1 for what it does, and it's certainly bordering on being too small for me. I'll keep it around for a while as a backup camera, and also one which allows me to experiment with weird lenses. It's simply not good enough for what I want to do right now with my photography.

    I played around with a friend's D90 the other day, and handling-wise it was spot-on to what I expect a camera to feel like in my hand. I've been looking at the D700, the 5D2, even the S5 Pro. I'm waiting to see more about the SD1 that may come out soon. Was hoping the K-5 might have been on the list, but now I have second thoughts. I'm also concerned about the lens selection for the Pentax system in general, because in the end it's not simply about the camera, but about everything else around it as well.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    I think I'm coming to the same conclusion as well. I know there's no perfect camera out there, but I'm ready to spend some cash on getting one that's at least close to what I'd call perfect.



    I'm happy enough with my GH1 for what it does, and it's certainly bordering on being too small for me. I'll keep it around for a while as a backup camera, and also one which allows me to experiment with weird lenses. It's simply not good enough for what I want to do right now with my photography.

    I played around with a friend's D90 the other day, and handling-wise it was spot-on to what I expect a camera to feel like in my hand. I've been looking at the D700, the 5D2, even the S5 Pro. I'm waiting to see more about the SD1 that may come out soon. Was hoping the K-5 might have been on the list, but now I have second thoughts. I'm also concerned about the lens selection for the Pentax system in general, because in the end it's not simply about the camera, but about everything else around it as well.
    The handling of the K5 was pretty ok for me, it was rather unreliable AF and the combination of low quality kit zoom. Now again this might be my failure to expect more, but well, finally I was expecting more from a kit lens (others show that this can be better). Actually in the beginning the kit zoom seemed to do well and the build quality is really good (as is the cameras build quality), but when it came to shooting at lower light (even indoors when there was no sunshine outdoors like a grey winter afternoon, the combination of the camera AF, high resolution and in this area really bad lens quality just did no longer work for me. Usually very bad AF hit rate (around 50% max) and shadows being just a nightmare. Should add that I only use RAW (in this case DNG) in combination with LR3.3. What I get out of a D700 from the scratch is just a different world.

    Now one can argue that I bought the K5 because of compactness. While it seems to be the most compact DSLR today, it was not as compact as I am used to from M43. Thus a GH2 would fit better my needs, also the zooms I would use there (14-140 and 100-300) would be more compact and light compared to what you could choose for the K5. And I know M43 lenses as I use this system, so I would expect higher quality from the new M43 zooms too as the Pentax kit zooms could deliver.

    When it comes to top Pentax zooms, which I learned here are for sure better than the kit zooms, these are already very bulky, heavy and come also at a high price tag. And I learned that there are very bad samples as QC from Pentax is not really good. Maybe QC from other vendors is also not what it should be, but I must honestly say that I fortunately did not run into issues with Nikon so far.

    Finally there are the limited prime lenses. Well these seem to be decent quality, my DA70 was very good and made a lot of difference WRT IQ when used compared to the 18-55. But then again the lens itself is small and light, but in combination with the camera this was too bulky - sorry I compare here with a Leica M8/M9 and Leica lens combo. I also am of course aware that the Leica comes at a totally different price tag, but I already own a ton of M lenses, so for me this also did not really draw a big new difference using the K5 with limited lenses and for sure not get better results compared to the M9.

    Another criteria for the K5 was the OVF. While the OVF of the K5 is decent quality, I would not call it superior to a EOS 550 or a Nikon D7000. But the Canon and the Nikon have better AF, which lowers the need for a good OVF that one can do MF if AF does not deliver. So also this part did not work out for me and I decided to rather live with a still hated EVF (in this case from my EP2 or the GH2 I might buy) compared to the OVF of the K5.

    End of the day I am very happy I have gone through that exercise, as it showed me to stay with Leica M, Nikon (currently D700) and build on my M43 system with some newer bodies (GH2) and lenses (14-140 at least).

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    I have to admit....

    I don't quite understand someone with a D700 buying a K-5, except for the "smaller DSLR aspect." I mean not sure what exactly the K-5 would bring to the table for them, and the D700 being around $800 USD more expensive, is bound to have at least some things that are better.

    Ironically the K-5 seems to boast the current best DR of any camera including the high end current full frames though I bet that changes in 2011.

    The AF has been partially problematic for me also, but mostly in tungsten light. Some Pentax forum from Spain corroborated that yes indeed, there's some issues in tungsten light, apparently sending all the info to Pentax for a firmware patch on this.

    Anyhow, whatever works for each of us.

    - Raist

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    A word of warning about micro four thirds....

    Since you bring up the Pentax lenses.

    Micro four thirds lenses aren't very good and come in slow speeds for the most part. They aren't what you are used to seeing with your D700 and if the Pentax lens wise worried you, on the quality side, micro four thirds surely will also.

    Now the Pentax kit lens has quality issues in harsh light, for sure. That's what i saw. IN soft light/lower light seems fine (at least the one I have). Micro four thirds will be ok but you will be forced to crank the ISO up in low light (and that's not one of the system's strengths- the Panny GH2 does better the rest of them though and ok), and the lenses have distortion and quite share of chromatic aberrations sometimes.

    That all said, looks like both Panasonic and Olympus are going to put high quality glass in the future- don't even think for a second that glass will be cheap, and I wonder how good it will be compared to 4/3rds anyway.

    - Raist

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!


    But if you really want to get the REAL thing, I would spare the time and not play with the K5 because it will not deliver what you expect. Not sure if a D7000 would deliver better, WRT AF I would think yes.

    Maybe the best "small system" would be the M43 based on a GH2??? Not sure yet.
    I am not sure how you can can't call the K-5 "the real thing" and suggest the GH2 would be. The micro four thirds system lenses are worse, usually slow, and the GH2 is not built to the rugged standards of a K-5. It's not weather sealed for starters. The CIPA battery rating is around 320 shots (vs like... 700/800+ of the K-5?).

    I find the enthusiasm showed for the K-5 with sudden "unilateral reversal" a bit puzzling to be honest:

    I only can agree to what you say. I am very pleased with my K5 and lenses, I find this combo definitely producing better IQ than my D700 with latest Nikkor pro grade zooms, but all in a much smaller and cheaper package!

    - Raist

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    Re: A word of warning about micro four thirds....

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Since you bring up the Pentax lenses.

    Micro four thirds lenses aren't very good and come in slow speeds for the most part. They aren't what you are used to seeing with your D700 and if the Pentax lens wise worried you, on the quality side, micro four thirds surely will also.

    Now the Pentax kit lens has quality issues in harsh light, for sure. That's what i saw. IN soft light/lower light seems fine (at least the one I have). Micro four thirds will be ok but you will be forced to crank the ISO up in low light (and that's not one of the system's strengths- the Panny GH2 does better the rest of them though and ok), and the lenses have distortion and quite share of chromatic aberrations sometimes.

    That all said, looks like both Panasonic and Olympus are going to put high quality glass in the future- don't even think for a second that glass will be cheap, and I wonder how good it will be compared to 4/3rds anyway.

    - Raist
    You forget 1 thing: I have already M43 and I am using the Oly kit lens which is not great, but better than the Pentax kit lens. I also use the 2.8/17, which is very sharp and contrasty and very small.

    Would you call Pentax lenses fast? 2.4/70 is not really fast, fast for me is 1.4/85, 1.4/75, 1.4/35 etc etc. So the reason for Pentax was size. As many others owning FF DSLRs bought (or tried) the K5 because of size and robustness.

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    I am not sure how you can can't call the K-5 "the real thing" and suggest the GH2 would be. The micro four thirds system lenses are worse, usually slow, and the GH2 is not built to the rugged standards of a K-5. It's not weather sealed for starters. The CIPA battery rating is around 320 shots (vs like... 700/800+ of the K-5?).

    I find the enthusiasm showed for the K-5 with sudden "unilateral reversal" a bit puzzling to be honest:




    - Raist
    As already stated, I own M43 and I do not find these lenses worse than Pentax in general.

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    Re: A word of warning about micro four thirds....

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    You forget 1 thing: I have already M43 and I am using the Oly kit lens which is not great, but better than the Pentax kit lens. I also use the 2.8/17, which is very sharp and contrasty and very small.
    This doesn't change one word of what I said. It makes it even more puzzling! :-) I mean, if the k-5 isn't all that good because the kit lens isn't very good I don't know what to tell you :-)

    The 17mm pancake is personally about the only lens in micro four thirds that looks interesting there, but I don't see how that is supposed to be better than the Pentax primes. It has also its share of distortion and thinking in a comparison like that, Pentax has like "several of them at different focal lengths" so not sure how the k-5 misses this.

    Would you call Pentax lenses fast? 2.4/70 is not really fast, fast for me is 1.4/85, 1.4/75, 1.4/35 etc etc. So the reason for Pentax was size. As many others owning FF DSLRs bought (or tried) the K5 because of size and robustness.
    But Pentax does have F1.4/F1.8/F1.9 lenses. Moreover, an F2.4/70 on a K-5 will do better at high ISO than the F1.7 Panasonic on a micro four thirds due to sensor performance. The Pentax 2.4/70 is also better built than the Panasonic Pancake and as far as photography ergonomics I personally find a lens that gives you the focal length right on the lens much better on that end than one that doesn't. Can you even do fast hyperfocal focusing? i.e. stop down (F8.0+) and quickly focus to infinity? How you do that on these micro four third lenses? As far as I know then don't physically "stop" when setting the focal length to infinity...

    I dunno man...

    - Raist

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    As already stated, I own M43 and I do not find these lenses worse than Pentax in general.
    Because of a comparison to one Pentax lens, the Pentax kit lens? I will agere with you that overall an Olympus 14-42 micro four thirds seems to handle light better than this kit lens of Pentax, but that's just one lens and a kit lens...

    I only can agree to what you say. I am very pleased with my K5 and lenses, I find this combo definitely producing better IQ than my D700 with latest Nikkor pro grade zooms, but all in a much smaller and cheaper package!
    How did you re conciliate these two statements? Where you trying Pro Pentax lenses when you made this comment? Or was this the DA 70 + Pentax Kit lens?

    - Raist

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    I tried the K5 for a couple of days, with the 21 and 43 limited. To sum up my experience, I found the the AF lacking and unreliable in dim indoor lighting, which could have just been my copy, or not. Having the review button on the opposite side of the camera from the grip made it a two handed camera, which isn't what I was after. It also seemed like there were too many buttons next to the track pad and I had to pull out my flash light to find what I wanted, but I'm sure more time would have helped with that. I bet a lot of people will get along great with the camera and for people like Jono, who live where a weather sealed camera is needed, they will probably be more than happy, but it wasn't for me.
    Last edited by clay stewart; 31st December 2010 at 07:45.

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    I tried the K5 for a couple of days, with the 21 and 43 limited. To sum up my experience, I found the the AF lacking and unreliable in dim indoor lighting, which could have just been my copy, or not. Having the review button on the opposite side of the camera from the grip made it a two handed camera, which isn't what I was after. It also seemed like there were too many buttons next to the track pad and I had to pull out my flash light to find what I wanted, but I'm sure more time would have helped with that. I bet a lot of people will get along great with the camera and for people like Jono, who live where a weather sealed camera is needed, they will probably be more than happy, but it wasn't for me.
    Everyone has different desires and needs when it comes to handling. Handling of the K5 was not the issue, just that AF did not do what I am used from Nikon (or not even close) and finally I find IQ from my other cameras just better.

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    For AF, were you doing single point or letting the camera pick the focus point? I shot Pentax for awhile, and always did single/center point AF. I found the performance to be acceptable. Their AF system is *not* as "smart" as Nikon, but it is workable. I found the ergos and iq to be worth the niggles, especially since you could get the awesome ltd prime glass.

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    Re: K5 - not so good for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    For AF, were you doing single point or letting the camera pick the focus point? I shot Pentax for awhile, and always did single/center point AF. I found the performance to be acceptable. Their AF system is *not* as "smart" as Nikon, but it is workable. I found the ergos and iq to be worth the niggles, especially since you could get the awesome ltd prime glass.
    I always did single AF point! As said it sometimes worked flawlessly, sometimes not. Did not even have to do so much with good or bad light. Issue is that if it is as unpredictable and MF not really useable with that type of OVF, then the whole camera is no longer reliable for me.

    GH2 for example delivers much better (and even faster) AF - and this is based on contrast AF! I think Pentax has a LONG way to go before thy come close to Nikon or even Canon WRT AF.

    What scares me is that I also found out that the AF module of the 645D is the same as used in the K5, which does one not let expect too good things for their MF camera too. But maybe MF users are not so picky. At least my H3D39 focuses reliably and accurate!

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