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Old Aug 29, 2011, 11:08 AM   #1
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I just phoned Pentax to ask them about the two problems that worry the most about buying the K5, The sensor stains, and mirror flop. They were very reluctant to tell me much about either issue. They did tell my that they were still getting returns for the stain issue on a few new cameras. I thought this was all cleared up? What puts me into a real corner here, is I'm leaving for Italy, and Paris in mid November, and won't have time to get either issue addressed. So I asked Pentax if this mirror flop issue did appear, could I send the camera back to Pentax for a new body given my situation. Answer... No. This puts me in a very tough position, because going to Italy without a camera would be kinda stupid. So let me ask this. Would this just be an annoyance while shooting, or would this make shooting so difficult that I wouldn't really be able to use the camera? If so I will probably send it back and switch to the Nikon D7000. What do you think? It's really bad timing for Pentax to have yet another issue.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Hi Tony,

IMO, neither issue is a deal breaker. The sensor stains only really seemed to show up on images when using very small apertures (f16-22), and then could only be seen as s slight smudging when located in an area like a clear sky. It was pretty easily corrected in PP for the small percentage of images it would actually show up in. I would not let this issue stop me from using the camera if it showed up on an important trip.

The mirror overrun seems to be an issue with fully charged batteries, and also seems to be an issue that shows up after a thousands of actuations. It could be annoying, but it doesn't seem to make the camera inoperable, and could probably be worked around in a practical sense if it did occur by taking a number of nothing flash shots of nothing in particular until it stopped. The only penalty that you'd suffer is fewer shots per battery charge, so you'd maybe get 500-600 per charge instead of 600-700.

I don't feel that any of the issues with the K-5 would stop me from buying it and taking great pics on a vacation. Probably the worst thing that could happen is that the camera became inoperable for some reason, and this is just as likely with any new camera, which is to say not very likely at all. If that happened on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I'd be disappointed, then go out and buy a decent P&S in whatever country I'm in to record the trip and move on. . .

I hope you can get this settled in your brain. IMO, you're letting photo forum mass hysteria effect you more than it should. your actual chances of getting an effected camera are probably significantly less than 1 in 20. I'd take these odds any day, and apparently the D7000 is not without its issues also, like the mirror mechanism slinging oil on the sensor. One of the Pro Canon models (I really don't keep up on this) had widespread occurrences of faulty focusing sensors. There is no brand or model that is immune.

Don't let this stuff get to you. Work out a plan of action for your vacation where you could cover any possible photographic gear disasters by researching viable P&S substitutes in advance so you know exactly what you could buy to keep gear problems from ruining your trip. If you don't allow yourself to become a victim, you won't be. . .

Scott
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Scott. That makes sense. The camera should be here tomorrow.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 3:19 PM   #4
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I agree with Scott that it's so easy to get caught up with forum hysteria. It's so easy to read complaints about something that you'll miss all the positives (if there are any posted). Major downer - like one particular board's storm of complaints about the Q, before any pictures had surfaced at all. Would be enough to stop anyone from buying it and at that point, no one had even seen the camera! I'm positive that a big European trip on the horizon is also a very, very big stress item also (can I ever relate!).

I'm sure that there are stained cameras still making their way back to Pentax as early adopters, who don't frequent forums, discover they have an affected camera. The only reason I noticed stains on my first camera was due to some slight-of-hand pictures I wanted to take that would require using a very small aperture and included a lot of sky. After I knew where to look I went back and discovered that they had been showing for about a week or more, though they were so indistinct at my usual fairly large aperture settings that I hadn't noticed them at all.

When I read about all the SDM problems with the 50-135 I started wondering about my lens (one of the very first sold in SoCal). This was when I still had the K10 and I kept trying to blame any focus issues I had on the lens. It took me quite a while to figure out that the lens was fine, it was the camera that was faulty. My 50-135 still focuses perfectly by the way (though I think when it got dropped a couple of years ago that something might have gotten jarred inside, it's now showing signs of possible decentering, something the lens did NOT have when I first got it).

By the way, I had a chance to use my department's D7000 one day. The pictures looked almost the same as they would have if I had used my K5 (I wasn't actually very impressed with the lens I was using on the Nikon - a lower quality one and it made me wish I were using my Pentax) when shooting in adequate light. I sure missed the SR when I was shooting in low-light, fewer keepers.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 3:58 PM   #5
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This would really be a non issue for me if my trip wasn't just 9 weeks away. It is costing me about &9000.00 bucks. It would really be a shame not to have a good camera with me. The K5 should be here by Thursday. I will check it out very well. If I run into problems, I'll just send it back to B/H, and go with the D7000. I really hope that's not the case, because I liked my K7 alot.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 9:28 PM   #6
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I completely agree with Scott, but I'd like to take his recommendation one step further. I suggest you buy a high quality P&S now, before you leave. That way if disaster strikes, you already have a backup with you, but perhaps equally important, you have a small pocketable camera that you can take with you in any situation.

Several years ago, we went on a family trip to celebrate my mother's 75th birthday. I brought my K100D and a bunch of lenses; all my brothers brought simple P&S cameras. I came back with lovely scenic photos, but when we got together to compare photos, i was embarrassed to realize I had very few photos of my kids and their cousins goofing around in the hotel lounge, or the family having meals together. Why? Because I didn't want to lug my DSLR to dinner every evening, but my brothers and sisters in law all brought their small compact cameras. Sure, many of my photos were very nice, but the ones that meant the most to my parents were quick snapshots of the family having fun. That taught me a valuable lesson, and now when I go on a big trip, I bring a little P&S and my Pentax DSLR (now a K20D, and someday I hope it will be K5).

Have a great trip. Italy has a very prominent spot on our (very long) list of places we want to visit some day.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 9:07 AM   #7
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+1 on mtnman's comment I always have a small P&S with me even when I bring the DSLR, enjoy your trip. On my trip to London, Paris and Italy in 2004 I only had a 4mp Canon S400 compact (before my DSLR) and I have several shots from the trip hanging on my wall at 20X30"

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...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DAL 55-300, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8 DA 18-135, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 10:52 AM   #8
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I'll probably bring my Lumix FZ30 as the point and shoot. It has a very sharp Leica lens.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 11:06 PM   #9
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I agree with all that has been said. Nikon is a GREAT camera but so is the Pentax. To better understand potential Nikon issues though check out.

http://nikonrumors.com/forum/topic.php?id=2662

Buddy of mine returned his for a Cannon after he had problems.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 11:15 PM   #10
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oh and have fun in Italy ... what a place to shoot!!!!
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