I mulled about this purchase for quite awhile. The K-5 is probably the best DSLR produced by Pentax to date, and it caved in the competition when was first released. It is a 2010 model though and part of me was desperately in love with the silver edition (why Pentax doesn’t make this absolutely gorgeous camera standard is a PR move I’ll never understand…they would probably make a killing if they did). At $1700USD plus associated duties (as it is only shipped out of the USA) it would have probably clocked in at over $2000. A bit steep.
However, a solid tax return, an ancient (circa 2003) second hand Pentax*ist DSLR and the knowledge that whatever Pentax comes up with to replace the K-5 in the next year or two will have a whopping price-tag, persuaded me otherwise and my brand new K-5 arrived in the mail today. This will be my fourth Pentax. My first was the venerable Spotmatic F which belonged to my late-uncle and it was this unit which pushed me toward Pentax as my camera of choice. I always like the ability of a Pentax body to use virtually ANY Pentax lens ever produced. I can mount 40 year old lenses on to my K-5. I then bought a K-100D when I lived in Nanjing. It was an awesome camera which I supplemented with a 18-250mm lens. I dragged that K100D across Asia and would still be using it today if I hadn’t dropped it on a glacier in India during my 2009 trip through the Kashmir. It wasn’t easily repaired and I was not able to scrounge up the cash required for a replacement. I needed a camera though and ended up purchasing a used Pentax *ist. The *ist was the first Pentax DSLR and it unfortunately doesn’t have much tiger blood, which I blame partially on it’s silly name. It did not jive well with my 18-250mm, was an atrociously slow focus and could be substituted as a war hammer in a tight situation. Still, it worked and I’ve used it since 2009, taking some nice shots of Kingston, the Rockies and my hometown. One thing I did like about it was the insanely loud old school shutter click. An unintentional throwback to the old SLR’s. She’s a beater though…it was time to upgrade…especially since I’ll be moving to Fort Nelson and the Northern Rockies for the summer.
I just have the K-5 out of the box and haven’t had much time to mess around with it. I’m impressed so far. It lacks the use of AA batteries which is kind of a bummer since I always like the ability to use a power sources that is easily found all over the planet. All camera units seem to be going proprietary lithium-ion, and I can see the advantages, but I like the freedom of the AA. She’s light, fast, quiet, has live-view, a smooth and quick interface, a classic Pentax green trim, has a new camera smell and even looks sharp with my 18-250mm.
I’m looking forward to some mean shooting this summer.