When my girls came back from Japan back in June, they came bearing gifts, one being the Pentax K-5. After owning the K10D since 2006 which is now kind of fucked (aperture lever doesn’t stop down) and then upgrading to the K-r, I kind of had a taste of what the K-5 had to offer, basically a beefed up version of it’s little brother. But to get the K-5, I had to sell off the K-r and go back to the K10D for a few months, so I feel I have an interesting perspective on upgrading my Pentax DSLRs and feeling the differences between three cameras.
When I upgraded to the K-r from the K10D, everything was so different. The weight for starters, ISO range and smooth noise control, larger file size, overall image quality, video, burst mode, faster AF, image processing features and ergonomics. Overall I had a pleasant few months with the K-r but it was unfortunately scarred by the front/back focusing issues with the DA40 & the DA*50-135. So when my wife offered to get me the higher end K-5 if I could sell of the K-r, I was in and sold it with the week. So for the next few months I was back to using the old K10D and it took a while to get used to the much smaller and lower res back LCD screen, the extra weight, noisy photos with ISO 800 or above and loud shutter. But a camera is a camera give or take a few features and I was still able to bet some decent shots.
So fast forward four months and that’s how long I’ve had the K-5 and feel it’s a decent amount of time to write my thoughts regarding the camera. Out of all the positive features I said about the K-r, they’re all here on the K-5 but more. Better ISO noise control and range (80-51200), 7 frames per second, faster AF, quieter, heavier but less so than the K10D. I guess I felt that with the K-r, it was a better camera but only because it was newer as the K10D was and still is a fine camera so the K-5 is a perfect amalgamation of my two experiences.
To my disappointment though, the front/back focusing issues also plagued my K-5. After conducting the usual back focus/front focus chart AF Fine Adjustment tests with all my AF lenses, I still wasn’t getting great results as they were all over the place. Not wanting to just put up with the focusing issues, I took the K-5 to C.R. Kennedy (local pentax distributor & service centre) where they adjusted the AF with my DA40 and have since had no issues though I haven’t really tested the DA18-55 & DA*50-135 but I’m pretty happy with all the results without pixel peeping.
Some of my experiences with the K-5 have been portraits, street, concert and candid and I’ve had great successes from all of those sessions. Overall, I’m content with the Pentax K-5 and what it can offer. When I first bought my K10D a few years back, I was really into the brand, buying old obscure lenses, trawling Pentaxforums.com for tips and tricks and not as concerned with the end image and the message I wanted to convey. Now, I see the K-5 as just another camera that gets the job done.
DA* 50-135 (70mm) : f/4.0 : ISO 5000
Super Takumar 55mm : f/11 : ISO 800
DA40 : f/3.5 : ISO 160