on December 31, 2012
I've had the K-5 for almost two years and it's been my workhorse. 30,000 photos of almost perfect autofocus, and almost perfect high ISO shooting. I was very satisfied with it, except for about 10% of my photos where the K-5 would simply not autofocus, but so wouldn't any other camera, so switching brands wouldn't help at all.
Enter the K-5II. I had many reviews and had asked people in other forums if they had found any significant differences between the K-5 and K-5II regarding autofocus in extreme low light. The responses I got pushed me over the edge so I thought I should give it a try.
Oh, man, does the K-5II deliver. Pentax built around the critically acclaimed K-5, giving it a better LCD screen, and most importantly, at least for me, amazing autofocus accuracy in low light. I shot more than 8000 photos in December, from different dance festivals, and all the shots I couldn't previously get with the K-5, the K-5II did. Mixed light, single spotlight, horizontal spotlights, all of very low intensity, the K-5II locked focus without a problem with little to no hunting. These events I shoot are essentially the same every year, with the same lights, and the previous two years the K-5 didn't help much in the low light scenes.
Other than predictive autofocus and accuracy everything is essentially the same. The autofocus speed is still great, I would say perfect for my needs. This is said by someone that shoots mostly ballet presentations.
on May 29, 2013
I recently bought this camera body after doing a lot of research about it. It was a real toss up between it and the K 30. I decided on this one mainly because of the external flash socket since I have an older studio light I would like to use with it. I really liked the lower price of the K 30 and its reviews were outstanding. I like that both have the water resistance and temperature fluctuation ability--because I like to do outside shots especially in inclement weather. I liked that the K 30 was set up very much like my Kr and, of course, I liked the cheaper price too. However, I did buy the K5 II and I am very happy with it. Today I started taking pictures with it using it with and without the built-in flash--outstanding!!!! I tried again with the Kr to compare the two and, well, there isn't any. I have never been able to get such good exposure and color saturation with so little effort. I love this new body. I did find it to be heavier than I am used to and I will have to get used to the dial placement--but I can live with that. This camera feels very solid. If you do any wildlife or bird photography you will love the shutter--it makes almost no sound. This was an expensive purchase for me but I feel it will be well worth it in the long run. I purchased this through Electronic Basket and it came with all the kit was supposed to have--correct battery, manual, etc. The Pentax box was opened and the lens was removed--because I did not purchase the lens, just the body. I expected that it might come to me in a Pentax box with just the body and the accessories and not a box that advertised the lens as well. Not a big deal to me though. The seller was SUPER fast and was also good to converse with me before I made my purchase. No complaints.
on November 13, 2013
Firstly, I am no professional photographer. Secondly, being a grad student, I have to manage my finances very carefully. With these two things being said, I find that the Pentax K-5 II to be an affordable semi-pro DSLR that exceeds my expectations. I am technologically knowledgeable enough to know that MPix ratings are not the only deciding criteria, and it pains me to see people lugging around >20MPix DSLRs, with lenses that only render close to 8MPix resolution. Heck, I met this person shooting a Nikon D5100, I think, and when I asked her what lens she had, she said she had a Zoom Prime. What a joke. Enough said.
Anyway, my inclination towards Pentax is two fold: Firstly, my dad used to have a Pentax MX-1 in the film days, and I started off with a DSLR (again I was even poor-er then, so a Pentax K-x). Loved the interface, but with a 18-55 kit lens @ F3.5 Max, there was only so much I could do with DOF etc etc. Secondly, a company without a great marketing department, if had made it this far, the weighting factor for good cameras is, formidable for Canikon, huge.
I moved from the K-x, to the K-01, to now the K-5 II. Again the 250$ difference between the IIs and II was a big deal for me. Especially since every new camera I moved to, I had to sell the older one, with much difficulty, and waiting to find a Fellow Pentaxian.
I loved the K-01, but it had trouble focusing with its contrast-detect AF. Also the e-dial broke. However, Pentax (now Ricoh) eventually refunded me the full amount I had paid for the camera.
OK, coming back to the Pentax K-5 II:
Dynamic Range, fantastic when shooting landscapes and portraits (in color), the latter I cannot show examples of, because I only do portraits in B/W
Backward compatibility to old Pentax glass, sometimes I am lucky enough to find specimens at the local thrift store for $10. In-body Shake-reduction particularly is, a blessing, in this case.
I find the user interface much simpler that my friends Nikon of a similar class.
Two mode dials (hence it being labelled as a semi-pro model) comes in particularly handy, when shooting in TAv mode.
AF is a HUUUUUGE improvement over K-x, and definitely over the CD-AF of the K-01. It focuses instantly with my Sigma 50mm F1.4 HSM (even at F1.4). With my Tamron 18-200, it's OK, can hunt 1-2 times in low light, but it does eventually lock on, as opposed to the K-01, that would keep hunting.
Battery life: Outstanding. On my trip to CA (Yosemite, SF, Mono lake) I counted 1284 shots on a single charge, and there was still juice left (I never use flash, except when bouncing off the in-built flash with a credit card, thanks to DigitalRev). I bought a Wasabi Power battery just to have as a backup, it works fine, but I didn't have to use it.
With a Class 10 SDXC, I can manually fire 5fps, no problems.
The LCD of 921K dots is a great improvement over the last models I had owned.
More AF points would definitely be better. When doing hand-held of static objects, this isn't an issue, because one can always center AF, and while holding the shutter button half-way, recompose and shoot. However, tripod mounting can call for more AF points.
High ISO (past 1600) is not something I'd consider. Well, for any camera, any make. So boasting about ISOs up to 51200, is pointless.
A split-prism focusing screen would be golden. This is reminiscence from the 'old film days', but it worked when there was no AF systems in cameras, right? SO if Pentax is backward compatible, and especially when using manual lenses, a Split-prism would be phenomenal.
Cons for some, but seriously, ask yourself why you take photos, if this matters:
No me too factor. Everyone around you will be one of them, Canikonians. I personally like to stand out, being cheap, whilst taking good photos.
As DXO Mark says: this camera is generating some serious appreciation from the professional arena.
I recommend it, and I would buy it again in a heart-beat, well, if I had more money that is.
Pictures speak larger than words, so here are some examples:
500px [dot] com/shrin12
dxomark [dot] com/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Database/Pentax/K-5-II
on April 28, 2014
I have been an avid photographer for most of my life, but have had poor luck with a battery of lower quality point and shoot digital cameras. I decided, after much research, to go with the Pentax K5ii and could not be happier with the decision. For someone like me, who likes to have control over the picture, and my wife that wants to point and shoot and get a good result, the K5ii is a very happy medium.
The green auto function with a 50mm f1.8 setting will get pictures in almost any light, and with auto focus, not drive someone crazy while the camera tries it's best to find a good focusing point, after which point, the picture is lost. Our last Nikon had this problem and as a result my wife would not use it.
This camera is powerful, but IS also very simple to use. Here are the benefits as I see them:
- Wonderful color rendition. Looks like beautiful KodaColor slides from a medium format camera from a studio in the 70s.
- Great battery life. Almost 1000 pictures from one charge. Amazing!
- Low light natural shots with very fast accurate autofocus. Let's you gets shots you would miss with another camera.
- Fast auto shooting when needed (up to 7 frame per second)
- Doubles as a video camera for those family moments
- Huge range of lenses, including the Limited series. Uses all the Pentax lenses from my camera in the 70s.
- Relatively small for a high performance SLR
- Ideal for the aspiring amateur with a wife/husband who is technically challenged. (Hope my wife does not read this one!)
- It's still bigger than a point and shoot, but you get what you pay for
- At 16MP would probably be too low a resolution for all "professional" applications, but I can put more than 1000 pictures on a 32GB card
- Was advertised as a "metallic solid" feel device. Still feels very plastic like to me, but that's probably just a persona preference.
All in all a wonderful device, of which I hope to use for many years to come.
- No need for a flash. The camera will take good low light pictures.
on August 21, 2013
I am a long term pentax user started with *ish body. There are plenty of reviews of how great this camera so I'll just add a major improvement for me over my older pentax camera (K20), auto white balance. With K20, my biggest complain is shooting indoor under incandescent lights and no flash, images have yellowish and unnatural tint. Yes, you could do manual white balance and post process pictures, but who has time to do all that, I just like to point and shoot. It also has a auto-iso feature in fix aperture setting that work really well. That new feature and AWB improvement has allow me to skip using flash and get more natural looking pictures. This has also push me over and get sigma lens 17-50 2.8 when it was on sale on ebay. With that lens, I could shoot in a practically dark room and still get a decent images. And yes, auto focus has significantly improved as well, especially with fast lenses.
on January 17, 2014
let me start off with saying i have try them "all"...Canon 60D with 50mm f1.4 and 70-200mm f4 IS L and 24-105mm f4 L, Nikon D7000 with primes, Sony A77 with 16-50mm f2.8, Micro 43 GH3 with 12-35mm f2.8, 35-100m f2.8, Pana/leica 25mm f1.4, Olympus 45mm f1.8, Olympus om-d micro 43, Sony A57 with multiple Minolta lenses, Pentax k-30 and many others....until K-5II with 18-135mm WR arrived at my door step.
My k-5II with 18-135mm was purchased at different well known electronic store located in NYC for $800, same week i was able to sell super quickly kit lens for $300 bringing down cost of K-5II body to $500.
This is the camera that puts smile on my face each time I use it to take portraits of my 5 months old daughter and family. I have paired it with Pentax DA35mm f2.4 prime lens, Pentax DA50mm f1.8 and Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 zoom lens also purchased Metz 52 flash gun for it. There is sooooo many more old cheap lenses made by/for Pentax bodies available out there.
Low light capabilities of this body and nice fast lens can get you really far as far as low light photography goes, to be honest i don't think there is other APS-C sensored camera that can match it, yes its that good, best there is as far as can tell after testing out so many before.
My set up of K-5II with DA35mm, DA50mm, Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and flash gun cost me ~ $1600....I mean crappy Sony A77 with 16-50mm f2.8 cost ~$1400 and is no match for K-5II paired with sigma 17-50mm f2.8 attached to it, which in my case was less than $1100
To me the choice is clear...if You need DSLR that You need to perform exceptionally well not only on the sunny day but also in low light where You would be using higher ISO this is Your absolutely best bet.
Well done Pentax, well done !!!!!!