New DSLR - Pentax K5
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17-12-10, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: South East England
OK, after more than a week of ownership here are some comments on my K5 - the good and the not-so-good:
First the good: The K5 has proved to be exactly what I wanted. Compared with my previous Nikon D200 the body is compact and lighter (but not light) and at least as equally well made as the D200, if not better. The K5 with 70mm f2.4 Ltd lens fitted feels more like a film camera than the bulk associated with prosumer digital. To me the ergonomics are just about perfect with the K5 very comfortable to hold and all controls well positioned. I have found the menu system very intuitive and easy to navigate, with good clear graphics. Just the right amount of help information is provided without resorting to the hand-holding of entry-level DSLRs. Everything about the K5 says 'professional'. Image quality is just stunning. Shots can be taken very quietly if manual focus is used but AF is too loud for candid shots. However, AF is extremely quick in good light and still impressive in lower light. Overall this is a stunning and highly recommended camera.
Now the not-so-good: My K5 has proved to be one of those suffering sensor marks that cannot be cleaned off. There is much about this on the Internet and even in Amateur Photographer. In fact, Pentax has been so slow to issue any meaningful statement that rumours and, I suspect, a degree of mischief-making have run rife leading to panic. However, there is now a system in place to address the issue. Anyone having sensor marks (other than dust!) can ask their retailer to take back the K5. It will then be sent to Johnsons for checking. If the sensor marks are confirmed as not removable a replacement camera will be provided from new stock. I am told that Pentax identified the source of the problem and all K5 production now has 'clean' sensors. Dealers have been asked by Pentax to check all existing K5 stock for contaminated sensors so that no more are sold. None of this is formal from Pentax but has been confirmed by at least two Pentax Pro Centres. My K5 will go back for replacement. There is no question of me demanding a full refund as some owners have done - this camera is far too good to want any alternative.
BTW for anyone unsure, the way to check your sensor is: Activate Dust Removal and then carry out the Dust Alert procedure to make sure the sensor is dust-free. Then photograph a smooth white wall or sheet of white paper at f22, probably needing flash. Perhaps take two shots to be sure. Transfer images to the computer and view at 100%. A clean white image means no problem. The defects can look like smudges or spots with a halo - single or in clusters. There are plenty of examples on other forums.
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