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Pentax K-5 IIs Digital SLR Review

Pentax K-5 IIs Digital SLR Review - The Pentax K-5 IIs offers the same 16 megapixel sensor as the K-5 II, but with the AA filter removed, does it offer sharper images? John Riley investigates in this full review.

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Category : Digital SLRs
Product : Pentax K-5 IIs
Price : £617
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Pentax K5 IIs (6)

I reviewed the Pentax K-5 II in November 2012 and found it to be an excellent DSLR, well worth the Editor's Choice accolade. Pentax have been bold in introducing the IIs variant which, like the Nikon D800E, is an option with no anti-aliasing (AA) filter to reduce the full sharpness potential of the sensor.
 
The promise is increased resolution of fine detail, the downside is the extra cost and the possibility that repeating patterns could cause moire effects to become visible. Ever since the introduction of the “K-5 Twins” the burning question has been would the extra outlay be worth it and would the dangers of moire be a real problem or just a theoretical one? We shall now seek the answers.

Pentax K-5 IIs Features

Pentax K5 IIs (10)

As with the Pentax K-5 II, the IIs is an APS-C DSLR using a Sony 16.28MP sensor, well tried and tested. The ubiquitous K mount means a vast heritage of lenses can be used. All Pentax AF lenses and A series manual focus lenses will work fully with the IIs. Lenses prior to that will need the use of the aperture ring to be altered to “permitted” in the camera menu, after which they can be used manually. With adapters, there are thousands of even older lens options open to Pentax users.
 
The current lens range is continuing to expand and the lens roadmap is available on the Pentax website, indicating yet more on the way. Pentax have always made interesting lenses and there are several Limited prime lenses that are quite unique to the marque.
 
In-body shake reduction (SR) means whatever lens or accessory is used, camera shake can be significantly reduced, with a 3 stop or more advantage. Weather resistance of the body and many lenses means the freedom to shoot in all weathers. The magnesium alloy body is reassuringly solid and adds to the feeling of confidence that the camera will stand up to rugged outdoor use. The camera body remains relatively light and compact despite its modest size.
 
Live view, movie mode, digital filters, a fast 7fps shooting rate, AF sensitivity to -3EV and excellent control of noise all add up to an attractive package indeed. In the K-5 II test the camera made the grade with flying colours so now we need to see if the IIs has lost anything as it gains resolution from the modified sensor.

Pentax K5 IIs (13)

Key Features

  • 16.28MP APS-C sensor with no anti-aliasing filter
  • Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount
  • In-body shake reduction
  • Glass pentaprism with 100% field of view
  • 3 inch LCD monitor with 921,000 dots and no air space
  • Live View with Contrast Detection and Phase Matching AF
  • SAFOX X AF module sensitive to -3EV
  • Weather resistant construction with 77 seals
  • Magnesium alloy shell
  • 7fps maximum frame rate
  • ISO range 100 to 12,800, expandable to 80 to 51,200
  • Full HD Movie Mode
  • 17 Digital filters
  • DNG RAW format
  • Premium JPEG Quality level

Pentax K-5 IIs Handling

Pentax K5 IIs (15)
The simplest things can encourage a feeling of quality, from the excellent packaging to the quality of finish on all the components. Pentax have moved to the usual cardboard packing, but it all holds the various items securely and is all of good design. A proper paper manual plus software, cables and charger are all neatly and securely contained.
 
Ergonomics have always been a Pentax strength and this design is now well established. There are plenty of dedicated buttons and everything falls to hand. The old Spotmatic-era advertising slogan “Simply hold a Pentax” was very true in 1964 and I still believe that to be true today.

Pentax K5 IIs (17)
 
The cramped and awkward SD card door is the only weak point in the design. It does seem that the spring has been improved so that the card releases a little better, but it is still difficult at times. It does get better with practise, but the same arrangement on the diminutive Q does not have the same problem, so it is solvable. Hopefully Pentax will take note for future models. It's a small point perhaps, but nonetheless could be improved.
 
Menus are logical and efficient and it is useful to be able to lock the setting so that the last used tab remains in place. This was a time saver whilst testing, but could also be handy if, for example, formatting cards was the most usual reason to dip into the menus. It would save having to leaf through several button presses to arrive at the same place every time.

Pentax K5 IIs (16)
 
The Dli90 battery offers a specification of 740 shots with 50% flash usage and 980 without flash, or 440 minutes of movie playback. This is quoted by Pentax using the CIPA standard at under 23C. Three days of use has not shifted the indicator from full and battery life is clearly not an issue.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Pentax K-5 IIs
Shutter Response 0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.65
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.75
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.5
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.2
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.15
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
7fps
Continuous Shooting - Flash 1fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW 7fps

The times measured on the K-5 II were again tested on the IIs and are substantially identical. The RAW frame rate was slightly slower and measured the specified 7fps, so this seems to be the expected minimum performance. In use, the camera operates virtually instantaneously.

Shooting at maximum rate, the buffer filled after 28 JPEG shots (specification 30) or after 21 RAW shots (specification 20), slightly lower in performance than the K-5 II in the case of JPEG shooting. File sizes for the IIs were the same as for the II, so the capacity of cards was identical.

Pentax K-5 IIs Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Pentax K-5 IIs Sample Photos


Sample Photos - The K-5 II and K-5 IIs are largely the same camera, apart from the lack of an AA filter in the IIs version. I have therefore used this opportunity to repeat as far as possible all the shots made for the K-5 II so that the two cameras can be exactly compared. Two months separated the shoots, but fortune smiled and amongst the snow and ice of the last three days there have been some fortuitous spells of perfect weather.

Pentax smc DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR Other sample images


The lens used is the same model as the first review, a well tried copy of the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm WR kit lens. This was chosen to make a comparison between the II and IIs easier, with as few variables as possible. They were not actually the same lenses, but both were known to perform in a similar way.
 

Pentax smc DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Other sample images


Two more lenses were provided with the camera, the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm WR DC and the new SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm. A series of images has also been made using all three lenses. Images were shot at the canal junction at Worsley and at the Astley Green Colliery Museum. Finally, my young model Bethany was rushed in to make some outdoor portrait shots, at Tyldesley Cemetery.
 

Pentax smc DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM Other sample images


The test shots were made at default settings apart from increasing the quality to Premium JPEG. Normally I would use Custom Image Natural and Daylight white balance, but the test was generally kept at Bright and AWB respectively.
 
I was particularly interested to see if the removal of the AA filter meant better quality images, and whether or not there was any trade off in the other qualities of the camera.
 
Exposure is similar to the K-5 and identical to the K-5 II. Matrix metering offers the same slightly light result for my taste, but -0.3EV is enough to correct that if required. It is otherwise accurate and centre weighted and spot settings are available if preferred. As over-exposure can be the enemy of digital images, with the potential for burnt-out highlights, then my preference is for centre-weighted metering.
 
The dedicated exposure compensation button provides a generous -5 to +5 stop adjustment range, although only 3 stops can be shown in the viewfinder display because of lack of space. The rear screen display shows the full range.
 
Focusing is snappy and accurate. The measured values are a worst case scenario as they are from one extreme to the other, infinity to close or vice-versa, and focusing is much faster when little adjustment needs to be made. The DC and SDM motors are very smooth and virtually silent, so in-lens motors do have their advantages. The body retains its own motor for screw-drive AF, so all AF lenses can be used.
 
Distortion Correction and CA removal work very well, although they do slow down processing times. However, for architectural shots and for trees silhouetted against sky these features are a huge benefit.
 
Then we reach the question of resolution and image quality and how the lack of an AA filter affects these. The AA filter present in most cameras has always been there because without it interference patterns (moire) can appear in fine detail. Slightly blurring the image prevents this, but the consequence is that images then need to be sharpened post-capture. Unsharp Mask in Photoshop is one effective way to do this, although the “sharpening” depends on our contrast perception and is an illusion. However, images look crisp and sharp, so the technique is effective.
 
Sensor and electronics design have moves on, and of course pixel counts have increased, so Nikon (D800 and D800E) and now Pentax (K-5 II and K-5 IIs) have been bold enough to offer this alternative.
 
The result is amazing. Examining the images shot on both camera, especially impressive is how a fine tangled mass of branches suddenly becomes clear. How lovely hair texture becomes amazing hair texture. How the surfaces of decaying metalwork come alive with fine detail. This is perfect for detailed, texture-filled subject matter, such as landscapes and architecture, close-ups and macro, and, pleasingly, even portraiture. In the case of portraits we may have to diffuse slightly with some subjects, but we might anyway. The test images can be downloaded full size, so interested photographers can see for themselves if the difference is one that appeals.
 
Of course the K-5 II and other current cameras already provide sharp images after sharpening. The alternative is to use the K-5 IIs which seems to require little or no sharpening and adds a micro-clarity to the texture of subjects. It may be a matter of taste, but I can only say that speaking for myself I am very impressed.
 
That only leaves the question of moire, and try as I might I could not make it a problem. I have no doubt that as we have been warned of the possibility there may be circumstances, but the instruction book advises that using wider apertures than f/8 will reduce the possibility. Diffraction at smaller apertures can add to the moire effect, although I see no evidence of it so far.

Pentax K-5 IIs Lens test images


Lens Performance - Three lenses were used with the camera, as mentioned. The 18-55mm WR kit lens was used for most of the shots, enabling direct comparisons to be made with the shots in the K-5 II test. The kit lens performs well, especially when stopped down to f11 or beyond. It also focuses impressively close and the quality is well maintained. Stopping down is always advisable when shooting subjects up close, such as the watch shot.

I tested the 18-135mm some time ago and liked very much its wiry, sharp characteristics. This is for me the ideal general purpose lens and weather resistance adds to its versatility. The DC motor in the lens is quiet and fast.

The 18-270mm is new and has not been tested as yet. This one features an SDM motor in the lens, totally smooth and silent. The wide range makes for an ideal travel lens and the quality seems to hold up well. Longer focal lengths will mean relatively small apertures are available, so camera shake may be more of a problem if hand held. Like its predecessor, the 18-250mm, a lock is provided so the lens does not creep whilst being carried.

All three lenses were used at 18mm, 55mm, 135mm, 180mm and 270mm as their ranges allowed, and wide open, f/8 and f/22. All exhibit the same rise and fall pattern in sharpness that we would expect, f/8 offering the best result.

It is clear from the results that from the humble kit lens upwards, all the lenses have sufficient resolution in reserve to take advantage of the extra sharpness from the K-5 IIs.

Pentax K-5 IIs ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Low noise levels in the K-5 and K-5 II were very impressive and it's good to see that the IIs is just the same. There are still few DSLRs that can deliver the impressive performance of this series of cameras. I am totally happy to use any setting up to and including ISO1600. From ISO3200 quality steadily deteriorates, and by the time we reach ISO51200 there is a marked drop in sharpness and a marked increase in noise. Detail becomes mushy, but on the other hand we can still get an image that for some purposes might be useful. There was no ISO51200 film, so things have come a long way.

Pentax K-5 IIs White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - White balance controls perform well and as expected. AWB is a good general setting, but for photographers who enjoy the quality of the colour of light then this may be better preserved by using Daylight or another preset. We may wish red sunsets to remain red, for example.
 
It is worth noting that the presets by default are presets within a small band of auto adjustment – the camera still has some input as to the final value. This can be switched to a fixed value in the custom menus. Item 10 is “WB Adjustable Range”. The Tungsten (Incandescent) setting can also be altered to offer mild or strong correction. Thus a good degree of control is possible.

Pentax K-5 IIs Digital filters


Digital Filters - The same digital filters, HDR options and other effects are available.

Video -  The video mode works well. I felt it was slightly smoother than the K-5 II. A sample video was made after the model shoot. There are so many options to explore that it would take a much longer test to cover it all, but the effects available open up a whole new world of possibilities. I am particularly impressed by the Soft filter, which I expect may be well received by the subjects themselves.


Value For Money

This probably depends upon the requirements of the individual. There is no doubt that the excellent Pentax K-5 II offers a camera that competes at every level with its alternatives and at a very attractive price level. As the K-5 disappears as an option, then the K-5 II becomes an obvious choice for both new and existing users.
 
The K-5 IIs offers a new level of performance in terms of a gorgeous optical clarity and fineness of detail, providing that attention is paid to technique and in many cases a tripod used. Only then can the optimum benefit be enjoyed. It has the same qualities as using a fine grain film as opposed to a fast film.
 
There is currently a £130 street price difference between the K-5 II and K-5 IIs bodies. However, the K-5 IIs is also, on the same basis, £1490 less expensive than a Nikon D800E, the only other option with no AA filter. I see it as excellent value for money.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Pentax K-5 IIs Verdict

This review was started as a journey of discovery, hoping for the answer to the basic question – does it make a difference and is it worth the difference in cost?

The camera is basically well established – compact, efficient, rugged, weather resistant, all of which amounts to an excellent performer and an Editor's Choice. The only caveat with the K-5 II over the original K-5 was as to whether the improved low light AF performance made an upgrade desirable. There is no doubt that it was desirable as an upgrade from an earlier model or as a new buy-in to the Pentax system.

So we look at the K-5 IIs and now find not only the II improvements, but a new, totally impressive level of detail in the images. A clarity. It is visible clearly on screen. To have that quality, the lenses are up to it, but a tripod where possible, or at least attention to making sure that camera shake does not take the edge off again, are essential parts of the process.

Moire does not seem to be a problem, so a higher price than the II is all that remains as a barrier. Put it against the alternative though and it looks rather an amazing bargain. So does it make a difference? Yes, a significant difference. Is it worth the difference in price? Yes.


 
  The K-5 IIs offers new levels of image quality at an excellent price.

Pentax K-5 IIs Pros

Superb clarity in image quality
Rugged weather sealed construction
Compact body and lenses
Some unique prime lenses in range
Fast operation
Glass pentaprism viewfinder
Improved Live View
Backwards lens compatibility
In body shake reduction
Low noise levels
Excellent VFM compared to other marque alternative
Low light AF to -3EV
Wide selection of built in effects and filters
Outstanding colour reproduction
DNG RAW format

Pentax K-5 IIs Cons

Fewer lenses in range than Nikon or Canon
Live View focus and shutter release slow
Price penalty over K-5 II

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Pentax K-5 IIs Specifications

ManufacturerPentax
Lens
Effective Magnification1.5x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4928
Pixels (H)3264
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.7mm
Sensor Size (height)15.7mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/8000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • A
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 51200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting7fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable D-LI90P Lithium-ion battery
CIPA Rating740
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight680g
Width131mm
Height97mm
Depth72.5mm

View Full Product Details

 

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Photographs taken using the Pentax K-5 IIs

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Comments


hkragg 1 Norway
24 Jan 2013 5:04PM
Isnt it at F8 or smaller! apertures you will avoid moire due to diffraction?
Most Pentax lenses of high quality peaks at f4 to f5.6 I think, so moire most likely there I would believe.

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johnriley1uk e2
10 26 4 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2013 5:16PM
No, definitely the other way round. The reason is that diffraction increases with smaller apertures and adds to the moire defects if they exist. The instruction book is quite clear, although in any event moire was not a problem.
24 Jan 2013 6:44PM
Thanks John, for the review.
But honestly, for me, your reviews of both new Pentax cameras (K-5 ii and iis) don't make it easier for me to decide which one to go.
Would greatly appreciate an advice, since I'm very new to Pentax (just sold out my 'other brand' gears in order to have a Pentax), and particularly have had deep crush on the original K-5, but wanted (one of) the new models.

Thanks in advance.
Jon.
hkragg 1 Norway
24 Jan 2013 7:56PM
actually in my K-5IIs user manual, it sais if you want maximum detail,choose and aperture from Open to f8 if you have false color or moire chosse one over F8. my manual is not English.
But it should make sense,as diffraction is known to blur,and blur should make moire less visible.
So over f8 the lens diffraction could act as a AAfilter.
If you look at review of say 55mm 1.4 it is sharpest at 4-5.6 so consumer zoom who is best at f8 might have already enough diffraction at is sharpest not too show moire???
hkragg 1 Norway
24 Jan 2013 8:59PM
Hi I like this site and the amount of good reviews.
Small correction.
Sigma SD1 and SD1merril has no AAfilter
Leica M8 and M9 MM and M and M9s update etc has no AAfilter
Ricoh has at least 2 without AAfilter, Gxr with their Leica-Mmount module who takes voiglander might be cheaper than Pentax??? and A16??? Zoom unit.
and Sigmas DP series is without AAfilter.

all the above with same size sensor as Pentax except Leicas which are larger.
johnriley1uk e2
10 26 4 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 12:26AM
Taking the question of which one to buy first, the two reviews have images shot in almost identical conditions and from almost identical viewpoints, as close as could possibly be done. This means that you can download two images, one from each camera, and see if the differences are to your liking. The conclusion I have reached is summed up in the last two sentences of the review "So does it make a difference? Yes, a significant difference. Is it worth the difference in price? Yes." So my vote goes firmly to the IIs version. That's what I will buy when I can.

Yes, other cameras have no AA filter, including, I think, the small Pentax Q. However, in the context of DSLRs that offer two versions, one with and one without, there are only the D800E and the K-5 IIs. All the others are different sorts of camera and there is no option.

Giving an option of course potentially causes confusion and indecision. Ultimately I would suggest there is no downside to the IIs as the moire remains more academic than a practical problem, so to re-iterate the conclusion I think the IIs is the one to go for. You can check for yourself by downloading the files and having a play in Photoshop or similar.

As for the moire/diffraction question, I read what I read as I have written it, and unfortunately the information has now gone back with the camera. I shall double check that, but in anmy event no moire was found at any aperture, so that is the most relevant point.

Hope that helps!
25 Jan 2013 4:00AM
Thank you Sir!

Love your reviews, by the way.

Regards,
Jon.
johnriley1uk e2
10 26 4 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 8:44AM
Many thanks for that Jon!
hkragg 1 Norway
25 Jan 2013 10:39AM
I like your reviews as well, and love that this site test so many cameras and lenses so quickly.
So if I sounded critical in any way, I want you to know that I appreciate your work a lot Smile
Just happen to own a K-5IIs.
I also have Sigma Dp2m and since I love that amazing little camera, I look forwards to when the first review of the DP3M will come,when its send out.
H
johnriley1uk e2
10 26 4 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 12:21PM
Thanks H!
kodachrome 3 474
26 Jan 2013 11:21AM
Exellent review and well done. The Pentax K5,11S is certainly a very compelling piece of kit and a good alternative to some of the Canikons.

The pictures taken with the standard 18-55 kit lens seem to show a tad more contrast than the other lenses used.

A couple of Fuji cameras have no AA fliter either, I think the X-PRO 1, X100, X-E1.
I wonder if this is beginning to be a trend. It was only a few years ago that over strong AA filters were being blamed on certain makes of camera for spoiling what would have been pin sharp pictures.
simmybear 8 32
26 Jan 2013 2:31PM
Just watched the video sample.

Isn't it an outrage when parents make there offspring prance around in front of the camera and then to add insult to injury insist on showing it to all their friends

muuuuuum, daaaaaaaaad you are sooooo cruel !!!!!
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
26 Jan 2013 2:39PM
I had a K5 for a long time and I must say I found no problem with its sharpness (or anything else apart from the weight and bulk of the zoom and wide aperture lenses) which I think is over-emphasized by many photographers.

But for people who have very, very large monitors or like to print very very large prints this might make a difference. And pixel peepers, I guess.
johnriley1uk e2
10 26 4 United Kingdom
26 Jan 2013 2:45PM
Hi simmybear, I thank you for the compliment, and think it would have been very hard to stop my granddaughter Bethany from prancing around! Wink
My thanks also for this review. Timing is important in this life and so it is great to have this info, opinion and advice now to hand. I am now more than likely to purchase a K5 II or IIs. I just have some off-loading to do.
30 Jan 2013 3:13PM
Thanks for a great review! I bought my first Petax in 1979 (BC--before children), a Pentax MV SLR, for the whopping cost of $89.99, and purchased a 28mm lens for a really stunning price of $129 (but I still have it!). Because of the idiot-proof light meter (red light, green light, yellow light) in the MV, I never learned the workings of it, and simply depended on that. But, I got stunning shots. For many years I had to relegate photography to the 'snapshot' on the run category, and did not 'pick it up again' until purchasing my first digital camera in 2004. That is when the 'bug' came roaring back to life--and I haven't looked back! Bought the K10D in '07, and have been buying lenses ever since. It was only because people would see my images and ask if I would shoot this or that that I sort of 'got in the business' on the side. Because I have a career in another field, photography is still 'for fun' and buys my lenses. I Will put the K5IIs on the radar screen...my husband and I are planning to do our first 'big' wedding (for us, anyway Wink in July. We have 3 k10's and one k20 with a collection of lenses, both old and new. This fall I purchased my first 'non Pentax' lens, a Tamron f2.8 18-75mm in anticipation of this shoot, and so far am very pleased with it. I would have purchased a wide-to-tele f2.8 from Pentax, but they just don't offer it, altho I heard they were going to in the future (and, I may not have been able to afford it if they did). I am certainly not a certified 'pro', but have had a lifelong love for photography and a desire to learn more. After retirement, we hope to supplement our income with our cameras, but have hesitated to do weddings for fear that we may not be 'good enough'. Having said that, after seeing the wedding photos of friends' kids, I find myself often saying, 'we could do better than that blindfolded!'. I am shocked at what they get for what they pay! About 6 or 7 years ago, some friends' daughter got married, and a 'friend-at-work' photographer shot the wedding for them. After the wedding he simply handed them the a cd of all images he shot, and charged them $1200! No editing of any sort--and the photos were sub par, at best (imho)! As a favor to them, I spent probably 40 hrs editing, cropping, etc. and designing a wedding book for the bride. She had been married 2 years when she finally was able to 'show off' her wedding pics! I realize that I am a perfectionist, so my angst is always 'is the image sharp', because if it is, then I know I have unlimited possibilites in PS to 'create' with it. This camera sounds SO compelling because of the possibility of increased sharpness! My other angst is my dislike of 'flash' pics (not counting studio lights) and altho we have 2 of the best Pentax strobes, I rarely ever use them (which, I know, is probably why I don't like them...I don't really know 'how' to use them). I am already getting anxious about that wedding and having to use the strobes. I know that I will not have the luxury of looking closely at every shot to make sure it is what I want, so I want to use the fastest lenses I can to try NOT to use the flash if I don't have to! It will be an afternoon wedding and I think the church sanctuary is well lit with natural light, and, I am told the reception hall is, as well. (the venue is 1300 miles away and we will visit one time before the actual event). So I guess my question is that, in your opintion, if this camera, set at a higher ISO would be likely to improve our ability(so should is say 'chances', LOL!) to take sharp, non-flash images with a 2.8 lens 'stopped down' to f8-f11? As this is a close relative's wedding and this is our gift to them, we are planning to take our studio lights, backdrop, etc. and setting it up in an area of the reception hall to take studio shots, as well, while a lot of family members are there. But, of course, the large group photos in the sanctuary will be taken either with the existing light or strobes. I even had the wild thought of disguising our large softboxes with a ring of silk vines/flowers and having them on the podium, LOL! (Oh, why did I say yes????!!!!Smile. I just want to do a superb job, and although I am very competent in PS, I'd rather not spend 40-60 hrs 'creating' something out of nothing! The better you are behind the lens, the less time you spend in front of the screen! Thanks again for a thoughtful and comprehensive review without getting bogged down in tiny techie details that most of us haven't a clue about anyway.
johnriley1uk e2
10 26 4 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2013 4:01PM
Wow, what a great post!

The core question was about the ISO performance and I'm happy with the K-5/K-5 II/K-5 IIs up to and including ISO 1600. I like weddings shot by available light and so do my customers. Flash can kill atmosphere, although it does have a place. I think if you went to the venue in advance of the wedding (or a similar one if that isn't possible) you could make some test shots to see what you need to do.

High ISO is fine, but you will need an adequate shutter speed to avoid camera shake, so maybe you won't need to go beyonf f/5.6 or f/8, which might be safer. If needs be, open up that lens and use differential focus for effect.

Hope that helps!
30 Jan 2013 4:18PM
I simply don't understand why Pentax K-5 in reviews is better than Nikon D7000 and the new Pentax K-5 IIs in reviews is worst. I really don't understand.
30 Jan 2013 10:26PM
Remember the much loved and lost Kodak SLR/n had no AA filter either and the detail obtained was legendary. Still I am not going to dump my K5 and spend more money just to get a little more detail.
1 Feb 2013 7:31PM
Honestly i preserve my Pentax K-5 of 2010. This new one is not really good.

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