I managed to hold off for about 12 months but I finally broke down and bought the PENTAX K-5 DSLR (a.k.a. Pentax K5—for the search engines). How could one not? The reviews for the K-5 are amazing. As one reviewer suggested, upgrading to the K-5 is almost totally justified by the amazing digital noise handling in a reasonably priced pro-am category camera.
I recently did a posting on the noise handling of the K-5 compared to the Nikon D7000 here.
But then there are so many other refinements incorporated into the K-5 even though the camera looks almost exactly like the K-7. It has a different sensor, updated autofocussing, updated automatic exposure, updated white-balancing, updated anti-shake (and the anti-shake in the K-7 was pretty awesome), better integration with the P-TTL external flash (exposure adjustments made for the in-camera flash are passed through to the external flash if one is connected), updated movie mode, updated continuous shooting rates, etc, etc.
I ordered mine on-line from Camera Warehouse (here). I had previously bought the PENTAX AF360FGZ flash from them and that went pretty well. I have to admit I was seriously impressed with how fast they got the camera to me. When I ordered it they had none left in stock, but they got stock in and got the camera to me in three days—from Sydney on the east coast to Kalamunda in WA on the west coast.
If there is one problem with updating your camera it is the time it takes to go through the screens and screens of settings to set it up to how you want to use it. And before you do that you have to download the latest program update for the camera and load that in. When you unpack the K-5 it has version 1.01 of its working software installed but the current version is 1.11. But after updating its software and then fiddling with it for most of the day (I picked it up from the Post Office this morning) in between working I think I have it set up to operate the way I am used to.
So, following are the first pictures I have taken with the K-5, just to make sure it actually works. All of the following pictures were taken with room lighting. No flash has been used. All were taken at ISO 1600 (seriously) with f5.6 using a PENTAX 18-135mm DA zoom lens set at 100mm. Apart from histogram levelling, cropping, resizing to 640x (640 pixels wide), and the border treatment, no image editing has been done. The K-5’s in-camera JPG processing was set to ‘Bright’.
No. They are not real. But they make a good subject for testing the colour and focus on a new camera . For those interested the flower at the front slightly left and down from centre was the focus point.
This comes from the glass panels in the double doors that open into my ‘office’. The colour balance is not quite right. The glass has picked up some kind of amber tinge. I can only assume the camera’s white balancing got fooled by something behind the door in my office. I was shooting through the glass into my office. Also when I set the histogram levels it has made the white a bit over-white, but still, effective.
This shot, like the shot before, was hand-held at 100mm and taken at 1/20th of a second with the K-5’s awesome anti-shake engaged.
This shot of the Elvis stamps is showing a tiny bit of motion blur and some digital noise but it is pretty impressive, I think, for ISO 1600 hand-held at 1/15th of second with 100mm of lens. It was taken on a slight angle and I think this has caused some focus blur going from quite crisp in the bottom right hand corner to not so crisp in the top left area. I could have gone and taken it again, but hey, I am just trying the camera out at this stage.
Tomorrow I will get to try some daylight shots, and depending on the weather I might get to shoot SCN (seriously cute niece). That will be a treat. New K-5 camera and getting to shoot SCN all in the same week. I might need Valium.
Uhhhm … know anybody who might be interested in a pre-loved PENTAX K-7?