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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default K-5 Replacement Coming?

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for entertaining a question from me...I had thought I had all but decided on my first DSLR, and was ready to go buy it. I was going to get a Nikon D5100. But at the last minute, I saw Costco advertising the new K-30 from Pentax, and it got my interest with in body IS, HDR, weather resistant body, etc. Really great features for the price point.

From there, my decision was out the window. I quickly realized the limitations of the D5100 for what I wanted (very fast shutter speed, >5fps, etc), as well as other things like wanting a pentaprism viewfinder with 100% field of view. The K-30 really seemed like a great option.

But then I read further, and discovered I really might want something like the K-5. I don't want to grow out of the camera in short order, and I have a usual approach of buying more than I need up front, to make it be relevant longer. And I like to tinker, so more control is better. And that's what concerns me. As great as the K-5 seems (yes, I'm over the Nikon and Canon camera marketing brainwash), it's almost 2 years old now.

I haven't followed Pentax much, so can you guys advise me on how often they tend to come out with new models/bodies? It seems like the K-30 has some neat upgrades that even the K-5 doesn't have, but as the flagship camera, the K-5 is feeling the K-30 nipping at its heals.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:28 PM   #2
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Evening Steve,

Welcome to the Forum. The K5 is coming to the end of its product cycle and will be replaced in September - rumor has it. It will have had a product cycle of 2 years. The K30 was just announced and its a mid level camera. There has been no replacement for the Kr as of yet.

The K5, even though its 2 years old is a camera that is going to be difficult to replace. Even after 2 years its sensor is still rated at the top for APS-c and even suppresses quite a few full frame cameras. The deals on the K5 are going to get pretty tempting here. You have to remember that the K5 was originally priced at $1,700+ when it came out. Its replacement will be priced at least that high if not more. It has all the controls you can think of.

The K30 is very similar, but does not have the metal housing, indicated to have better AF and does have focus peaking. However it does not have an extended ISO range as large as the K5, and its A/D sensor is 12 bits and not the 14 bits as the K5. What that translates to is the K5 has better dynamic range - thus better in the shadows and evening/night. Also better in low ambient light levels.

Bottom line, you can't go wrong with either, and can easily save $1,000 over the rumored K3. By buying new you can pickup an extended warranty for $20 and add an additional 2 years of coverage - totaling 3 years.

I have been buying at the end of the product cycle now and its very difficult for me to see that I will actually outgrow the K5. What ever you do it is difficult to make an error....

Last edited by interested_observer; Jul 31, 2012 at 10:31 PM.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 11:40 PM   #3
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I wouldn't be surprised if they announce the K5's replacement in September, that's been a persistent rumor for a while now. Also, it seems like vendors have dropped the price of the K5 to clear inventory (that's how its worked in the past). I bought the K5 when it was new and while there are a couple of things I think would be nice to have, it will have to be a really awesome camera for me to upgrade now (I've owned the DS, K100, K10, K20, K7 and K5, of which I still own the K100, K7 and K5). I'm so happy, still, with the K5 I have no plans of replacing it any time soon. Maybe in a year or so, when the replacement is at it's cycle I might think about it.

Since I still think the K5 was worth the $1600 or 1700 I paid for it when it first came out, I think its a great buy. The main thing I would like that the K30 has would be the focus peaking - would be nice when shooting macro on a tripod and a manual focus lens (I use them quite often). But that by itself is not interesting enough for me to go out and buy a new camera. And I do depend on the K5's dynamic range for high-contrast situations, it's amazing how much detail you can recover in the shadows without introducing noise.

On the other hand, it sure sounds like the K30 is going to be a good buy. And recently I've spent a couple of days shooting the K100, a much more basic camera. I had a great time and the only thing I missed was live-view since I was using a tripod and a filter that blocks most visible light. Shooting with it is always a hit-and-miss/trial-and-error experience so using a simpler camera was helpful.

Whether it is right for someone really depends on what you want to shoot - I think sports are a weak area for the K5 since the AF isn't the most up-to-date. It's fine for me, since most of my shots are of things that don't move. Also, the Pentax flash system is more basic than Nikon (since I struggle so badly with flash, that's probably a good thing for me).

If you want a K5, I wouldn't wait to see what happens - the vendors will eventually run out of inventory in the pipeline and then prices will go back up. If you think you'd be happy with the K30 but want to see what the K5's replacement is going to be and don't need to buy a camera right now, then why not wait a month to see what the new camera is going to be like before making a decision.

The thing is, though, there's always a new fabulous camera coming out. If you wait for the next one you'll wait forever. Also, cameras are almost expendable supplies - in 3-4 years you'll probably be upgrading anyway. So buying the K30 now isn't such a bad thing - you'll be replacing it eventually anyway.

Not sure this all makes sense - it's past my bedtime and I'm tired. But hopefully you can make out what I'm trying to say (badly, I think).
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Old Sep 23, 2012, 9:18 PM   #4
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I hope they get the hot shoe flash issue worked out on the K-5 replacement. Bought a Pentax speedlight flash for the hotshoe and can't use it because of synch issue etc and it seems that the K-5/speedlights have these known issues.

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