First Impression with K-5IIs, and Quick Comparison with K-30


fengwei

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#1
Well, I guess some of you guys already know that I've got a K-5IIs to play just before the outing. Had it for two days now, but only used it briefly. Since there is a pretty comprehensive review at pentaxforums, I won't go for a detailed review. Just some first impression and a quick comparison with K-30 (sorry I don't have any K-5 with me, can't compare them directly).

Here is the camera, pretty much the same as K-5:


The LCD screen on the back is slightly different though, basically a K-5's screen w/o the out-cover (glass?):


As reviewed at pentaxforums, the major changes in K-5IIs over K-5 is the removal of AA filter and a more advanced AF sensor. The result of removing the AA filter would be potentially sharper results w/ higher solution, while the new AF module would improve AF accuracy and capability under low light (which has been something Pentax cameras are lagging for ages). Are these really true? And how are the results anyway?
 

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fengwei

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#2
1. Low light AF improvement
Well, if you've read the review at pentaxforums, and some videos on youtube, you probably already know that the new AF module indeed improved AF accuracy for K-5II/K-5IIs under low light, the new cameras can focus properly even under -EV3 (that's pretty dark, almost as dark as your eyes can see properly). I tested K-5IIs indoor at night, it indeed can focus very well even when it's too dark for K-30 to even lock focus. And most important, the AF is mostly spot on if it can lock focus, not like K-5 which sometimes either gives up or focuses on the wrong points.

When the light is really dark, AF assistant light comes on briefly as quick flashing when the camera is trying to focus. Previous Pentax cameras would light up the AF assistant light first, then the cameras start to focus, it's like there is a brief delay from the light-up till the AF motor starts to turn, and the AF assistant light would be on all the time during AF process. For K-5IIs (and K-5II I guess), the AF assistant light would light up (when needed) as soon as the AF motor starts to move, and it only does a couple of quick flashing to help the camera to focus. The overall process feels much faster and AF is more decisive.

Overall I feel the new camera's AF indeed improved a lot when the light gets dark. For those who like to shoot under low light (indoor events, concert, weddings and etc), this would definitely be a big plus.

As to AF in good light, it's pretty much the same as K-5. I didn't have any problem w/ my K-5 before, and I don't have any problem with the new camera either.
 

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fengwei

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#3
2. Higher Resolution Due to Lack of AA Filter
K-5IIs is properly the very first APSC dSLR camera without an AA filter. There are some APSC EVIL cameras which don't have AA filters (Fujifilm X-Pro1, X-100, X-E1, Ricoh GXR and etc), but for dSLR cameras, K-5IIs is probably the very first one in APSC category? I won't talk about the pros/cons of removing AA filters here, there are plenty of talks about this which you can find on the Internet.

Anyway, Pentax is giving us the options to either go for a camera with weak AA filter (K-5II) or w/o an AA filter at all (K-5IIs). From sample photos on DPReview and Pentaxforums, we can see that K-5IIs indeed produces resutls with slightly higher resolution than K-5II or K-5.

I did a quick comparison between K-5IIs and K-30 (both cameras kept w/ the same settings). The resolution difference isn't big, but pretty obvious if looking at the results at 100% or higher magnification. Here is a quick comparison result:

The testing scene:


100% crop on the center - K-5IIs:


100% crop on the center - K-30:


100% crop on the side - K-5IIs:


100% crop on the side - K-30:


You can see resolution from K-5IIs result indeed looks a bit higher than that from K-30.

Another thing I noticed is that I always apply some curves on the final results from my K-5 due to lack of contrast. But I feel I don't need to do this as much now w/ the new camera. I guess the results are contrast enough, they look pretty good even w/o applying curves.
 

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fengwei

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#4
3. Moire?
Just like some of you guys, I was a bit worried about the moire problem on the new K-5IIs due to its lack of AA filter. Well, I am surprised that it isn't as bad as I expected during normal use. I've taken about 300 photos in the past 2 days w/ the new camera, so far I haven't even seen one photo w/ bad moire problem. I even purposely took some testing shots on pattens like this:



I can't see any moire at all even when looking at the results in full size:


This is from K-30, which also shows no moire problem:


But my G3 produces pretty obvious moire patterns on the same subject (the following photo was taken quite a while ago w/ G3+25/1.4 lens):


I also looked at all the other 300+ photos I took, I couldn't see any problem at all. So I guess this won't be an issue to most of us at all.
 

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fengwei

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#5
Okay, that's what I have so far. I'd post some sample photos I took w/ the new camera and DA40XS lens:









 

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fengwei

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#8
I'll try to take some landscape and macro photos in the next a couple of weeks with the new camera and post my feelings again when I'm done.
 

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PhilipKr35

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#9
To be Frank, All photos very Sharp and pop 3D effect !
Is it the DA40XS or the K5 IIs ?
 

pinholecam

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#11
Fengwei, thanks for taking the time to do this despite your busy schedule.


O/p looks good.

I did not really bother to try the camera this time round.
To me its a simple logic of buy or wait for the next big one only. :D
I know they are all good :D
 

fengwei

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#12
Yes, all current Pentax offerings are very good. But I do think K5IIs is the best ever APSC camera Pentax ever made. I used to say that K5 was good enough, I wouldn't upgrade at all. But after tried the K30, I loved it more, so I sold the K5 for a K30. Now after playing the K5IIs for a couple days, I think I don't mind keeping it.

But there are two things I still think K30 does better: SD card access speed (read/write) and focus peaking.
 

fastfrag

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#13
Yes, all current Pentax offerings are very good. But I do think K5IIs is the best ever APSC camera Pentax ever made. I used to say that K5 was good enough, I wouldn't upgrade at all. But after tried the K30, I loved it more, so I sold the K5 for a K30. Now after playing the K5IIs for a couple days, I think I don't mind keeping it.

But there are two things I still think K30 does better: SD card access speed (read/write) and focus peaking.
after reading your post... I think im gonna replace my Kr with a K30 instead !!
 

fengwei

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#14
after reading your post... I think im gonna replace my Kr with a K30 instead !!
Since K5II is basically a K5 w an improved AF sensor, while K5IIs is a K5II w/o AA filter, whatever short-comes on a K5 still remains (other than improved AF, and slightly higher resolution on K5IIs).

But I know quite a few guys like the k5 better than k30, so it's better you give both cameras a try and see which one you prefer. :)
 

fastfrag

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#15
Since K5II is basically a K5 w an improved AF sensor, while K5IIs is a K5II w/o AA filter, whatever short-comes on a K5 still remains (other than improved AF, and slightly higher resolution on K5IIs).

But I know quite a few guys like the k5 better than k30, so it's better you give both cameras a try and see which one you prefer. :)
I think i can't really tell which is preferred until i use it for a few weeks... I like the feel of the Kr though... but wanna upgrade to a WR frame

so far been quite happy with my Kr since i got it last year end
 

fengwei

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#16
I think i can't really tell which is preferred until i use it for a few weeks... I like the feel of the Kr though... but wanna upgrade to a WR frame

so far been quite happy with my Kr since i got it last year end
If you like the Kr, I think you'd like the K30 too. It has much improved AF, WR, 100% coverage viewfinder, more responsive, same battery as Kr w/ the option of AA batteries ...
 

fastfrag

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#17
If you like the Kr, I think you'd like the K30 too. It has much improved AF, WR, 100% coverage viewfinder, more responsive, same battery as Kr w/ the option of AA batteries ...
yup i think so too
most probably this thursday will get one
 

Lightbulb

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#18
No articulated screen, no focus peaking, no improved video frame rate, no dual card slot, no.......

How much is the K5IIs? Where to buy?
 

fengwei

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#19
No articulated screen, no focus peaking, no improved video frame rate, no dual card slot, no.......

How much is the K5IIs? Where to buy?
Well, if you want those features, better look elsewhere I guess. Price info will be available as soon as the stock comes in, probably by end of the month...
 

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