Pentax KP–Sorta review–Part 2 After a… Uh… While

So I’ve had my Kp for a few months now – which to my brain is basically enough time for stars to form and die, civilizations to rise and fall, and monkeys to happily evolve into semi sentient sea-slugs. Anything over a month is lots to me. I still like the Pentax KP lots is the upshot.

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Take that shake reduction! I think at the time I was doing night landscapes and got bored.

I was planning a shootout between the K50 and the KP – but frankly I wound up selling the K50 after a few weeks – I literally just stopped using it, the Kp is a totally different class of camera. Between that and my Olympus EM5 I pretty well have my photography needs stitched up (maybe a medium format film camera… maybe a couple). Suffice it to say that the Kp is so far advanced from the K50 that it’s not funny (the K50 isn’t a bad camera, it’s actually quite a good camera, it’s like the canon 760d or the nikon d3200 – though both of those autofocus faster and quieter)

I haven’t spent much time using the K70, though the image quality seemed similar to the Kp – if image quality is all you care about then the K70 is a great buy, I use a camera all the time, so the extra ergonomics of the Kp are worth the money for me (especially as the K70 is $1200 and the Kp is $1800 here in NZ – the K70 would be about NZ$900 if the american pricing was carried across evenly).

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Pretty serious looking camera – I had a guy who was serving me in a shop say – “Ooh, nice. I have no idea what that is, but it looks really expensive” I suppose that’s something of an endorsement – it is a cool looking piece of kit.

The Kp is small enough to carry on a daily basis, but frankly it’s winter here, so I’m wearing a jacket – thus I tend to have my EM5 on me most of the time (jacket pocketable with the 20mm 1.7). I have shot a number of times documenting gallery shows and suchlike with the KP and the imaging potential there is exceptional.

I’ve documented a couple of exhibitions where other people simply gave up and let me have at it – they were using high end Sony and Canon cameras which were a generation or two old. So basically yes, it’s ideal for documentary photography. and surprisingly easy to manual focus in the dark. I wouldn’t buy it for sports photography.

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It was very very bloody dark, there were four bulbs in a 15×30 meter black painted space, that’s a projection on the wall – and I had to darken down the image about a stop in post and it’s still a bit bright to my tastes.

The ISO can be left to run to iso3200 or so in auto mode without any gratuitous grain – in a space which is evenly lit (ie no bright patches or super dark patches) you can push it to absolutely bloody stupid levels – I have shot at 64,000 iso with grainy but useable results. I used to routinely push b&w  film two or more stops so I quite like grain, the grain from the kp is quite natural although when you go over about 50,000ISO there is some faint green & magenta mottling when viewed at 100%. (this whole paragraph would have been bloody ludicrous five years ago).

 

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32,000 ISO – it’s grainy, but usable in this context – copy the address of the image and cut off anything after *.JPG to see it full size.

This low light performance is enhanced by a genuinely usable shake reduction system – I’m not sure what happens under the hood, whether the camera somehow bakes the file, but I’ve had basically grain free, sharp shots at 0.4sec, 1600iso and f2.8, it will also auto focus reliably and fairly quickly when it’s at least two stops darker than that(well, it’s not glacially slow anyhow – nothing else on the market is any faster in those light levels) . The shake reduction is far better then the k50, or frankly any other camera I’ve had hands on with.

Ergonomically I think it’s the mutt’s nuts, or some more appropriate animal’s body part colloquially used to denote good stuff. I tend to leave it set up with the raw button on the left side of the mount as a trigger for depth of field, and with it set to A mode I tend to have it set to rear dial = aperture, front dial = ISO & custom dial C1 set so that the second rear dial is EV compensation – it’s the closest thing to full manual override and this works well for me in that I don’t have to use the rear screen or take my eye away from the viewfinder when I am working (unless I’m using my sigma 10-20, just cos I tend to walk into stuff using that lens).

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Some leaf action.

One thing which I think has made the ergonomics even better for me is the medium size accessory grip (that’s my preference of the three), alongside a mod which looks bloody daft, but balances the rig nicely – that’s the poorly adjusted L plate which I have sticking out the left side of the camera by 40mm (1.5”) or so. As I said, it looks daft, but it’s great for carrying the camera and seems to help with the balance for larger lenses. Protects cables too.

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Nice ergonomics.

I have only used the flash for fill once, when photographing an artwork which was heavily spot lit in a dark room – it worked perfectly for that, and that is basically what it’s for – fill flash (or triggering strobes at a push). I frankly have no idea what the GN is, or the recycle time, or the spread for that matter. I very rarely use on camera flash, I’d rather use either natural light or else pocket wizards and a real strobe (or three).

It is really handy to have a fill flash on your camera but it won’t light up a room. I leave it dialed down ev –1.7 It never seems to blow out at that setting. I won’t show those photos as I don’t tend to show photos of other peoples artwork – it’s a bit weird to do that, and its not polite.

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I’m super pleased by photos of reflections right now – It’s great being this easily amused – 10 years of daily photography and I still learn something daily.

I don’t really see this as a camera that people would buy for landscape photography, though it works fine for this – nor would I buy one for sports or action photography – What I see this camera as is as either a ‘work’ camera or as a backup camera for someone who uses a K1 professionally. It is perfectly adequate for many things, and exceptional for several, but frankly its not a camera which I would see a wedding, landscape, product, etc photographer using as a main camera. Sure, it will work fine for these things, but there are better choices.

Using it as a backup camera for a K1 is logical, it uses most of the same gear, and will step in in a pinch (although it strikes me as more logical to just get another K1 and be done with it). As a work camera is where I see the real utility of the KP.

In my daily job I work as a photo technician in an art school (and no, I am not linking them), so I do a lot of installation setups, tech consulting, documentation including information layouts, some technical teaching, and one hell of a lot of admin work. It’s not exciting stuff really, though I generally enjoy it.

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A project I’m working on right now – that’s about 90% of the electronics involved. A post about this project is coming soon.

In this role the KP has become my go-to camera for stills. Most of the photos I take at work aren’t high end art shots, but rather they are documenting the condition of gear, they are documenting gallery shows for the schools Facebook page, I photograph a fair few paintings, some jewelry, setting up lights for people, and so forth – it’s basically the spec work you do when you are an art technician.

In this role I used to jump between my cellphone, Canon 60D’s, 760d’s, 5Diii’s, Pentax k50, Nikon d90’s, d7000’s, and Panasonic GH4’s (depending what was available and what I was doing). I still use my cellphone, especially for time-lapses, and very occasionally the GH4 for video. But for any stills I pretty much default to the KP as I know straight out that I can get the shot with no issues and quickly. I also know that I can get close as damn to the image quality of the 5Diii as is doesn’t matter.

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Very early morning with the white balance set blue, those smoke stacks are steam vents.

Keep in mind that I don’t do 40×60” prints and billboards for my day to day, most of what I do is documentation for digital and magazine size output – the KP will do a nice 40×60” if given a decent lens and decent lighting, it’s usually pretty hard to see much of a difference from full frame cameras at this scale – especially if you used to use 10mp cameras for the same stuff and are up to snuff with Photoshop prepress routines. Any camera which can do a 40×60” can do a billboard. For small images I have gotten away with using battery powered continuous lights and shooting at ISO3200 (the client couldn’t see any problems even when I mentioned it).

As far as video goes, it works just fine for static setups with a fairly static scene and no real camera movements, it has a audio input, and can be used with a laptop on wifi for a monitor, and also for sound mixing. So it’s fine for this sort of static studio shot (ie on tripod), but for anything with movements I basically think that m43 cameras typically do a better job – especially if they can film at 120p, which the KP cannot. I’ll probably use it for time-lapse at some point – I’m certain it’ll be great for time-lapse, though I’d probably use an external intervalometer and premiere pro rather than the internal video options.

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I mentioned earlier that I’m currently excited by reflections.

So yeah, as a travel camera with the ability to do some simple vlogging, yes, it’s fine, but as a dedicated video camera it won’t replace a m43 camera, or frankly even a cellphone. It’s a handy thing the camera can do rather than a reason to buy the camera – What it will do in terms of video which is a bit unusual is it will work quite nicely in extremely low light with it’s high iso performance, and that can be a segue into a thing which has been niggling at me since I brought it.

I’ve been reading reviews that say it looks like anything from a mirrorless camera through to it looks like a Pentax ME. It doesn’t look like these things at all, though it does look more like an Olympus Em5 than any other Pentax camera, Frankly it sorta looks like a Cosina CT1g also, but stylistically it looks to me like it was inspired by something else.

When I first brought the Kp I had a student look at it and excitedly say “Man, that looks like a handgun!”. He had a point – It really does look like is was inspired by a high end tactical firearm of some persuasion. I’m not really gun savvy enough to provide an example of what it might have been inspired by, but I can’t unsee it now, so I figured I’d share.

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My gun style shot – I’m not really a gun person, they look kinda cool, but I just don’t have much of a need to put holes in stuff. You can see my badly adjusted L-Plate mod here – makes a nice handle.

In a way the logical (to me) case-use for this camera seems a little similar to a handgun – Basically nobody ever (almost nobody I hope) has needed a handgun as a daily tool, that is, as a tool that they will use day in and out in the way that a carpenter uses a hammer, or a product photographer uses their camera. Rather it is a tool which you always have with you, which may have infrequent use, and may not be the absolutely perfect tool when or if it is needed, but it’d better freakin work if it’s needed, and you need to practice with it more than casually.

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It’s nice to have a weather proof camera, the weather was sleeting when this was taken.

I don’t see the Pentax KP as a tool which I will use to take thousands of frames each day, day in and out. I would buy a different, and probably much heavier camera for that case usage – This isn’t to say that the KP can’t do it – I’ve taken over 1000 frames in a day a couple of times, and I routinely take 100-200 frames per day even when I’m not actually photographing for a project – That’s not working,  it’s just cos I enjoy taking photographs.

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I’ve included this as an example of pulling back on a super contrasty shot – it was originally black shadows and a near white sky – I fiddled it in post. Lot’s of space to move stuff about in the raw file – I use DNG files rather than PEF.

I see the KP as a tool which I will generally have with me, and which will, in a pinch be able to produce the goods without any drama, hassle or screwing about. Despite the fact I work with camera’s I don’t generally go out of my way to call myself a photographer, and while I do take a lot of photographs it’s not the core of what I do (I tell people I plug stuff in). The Pentax Kp is good for this sort of work, It’s light, tough and flexible tool compared to any other options I have available.

It’s not a cheap tool, with an array of decent lenses it runs to $3000+ in the local currency, but that’s less than a canon 5Diii body only, and gives very nearly the same image quality in a smaller lighter form factor. It’s not the absolute best image quality out there, nor the fastest and most reliable autofocus, it’s not the smallest or lightest camera, it doesn’t have the best battery life* But it does fine, to very bloody well in these things, and all told I’m very happy using it, especially as I have a full set of lenses.

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Another very bloody early morning in paradise – Dunedin Harbor.

The down sides – Video, it’s just not so hot – if Pentax allowed the sensor stabilization to be used in video and for a higher data bit rate then it would be more useful. Also continuous AF is only average to be honest, it’s not awful, but I tend to leave the camera in central point and to manual focus when things get tough. The metal body can be a bit of a pain in cold weather, which isn’t a Pentax problem so much as a me problem.

* The rated battery life of 400 odd frames is pretty conservative, I have managed to get over 700 out of it including some video and flash without running it down. I think that the battery depletes according to how long it is switched on as much as how many frames it takes – I always have the rear screen off during stills shooting and I don’t chimp much, I also switch the camera off if I’m not using it. Having said that – you do need to buy spare batteries if you are considering heavy shooting or multi day excursions. I have several spares for every camera I own, so I don’t see this as a big problem apart from the eventuality of having to change batteries in bad weather. I’ve had to get out of the habit of leaving the camera switched on ready for shots.
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Just ‘cos I think it’s funny.

Mods

  1. The badly adjusted L plate – Gives it a handle, and protects cables – massively improves the balance.
  2. You can download a piece of software called Pentax KS2 remote from Source forge – it’s a bit twitchy, but it will let you tether the camera through wifi – that’s besides the cell phone app – I used them to trigger, not to transfer data.
  3. The grip size does make a difference, I’m looking forward to third parties making more-better ones.
  4. The old style 2.5mm cable release can be used with a simple audio adapter – I have a metal body 3.5mm four pole male to 2.5mm female – I’m using a 2.5mm canon style intervalometer with that, works fine.

Pentax Kp review (sorta) Part one – First impressions after a week

Fyi, most of these files have been edited, I almost always shoot DNG Raw format, and I rarely put unedited files out into the world – If I haven’t said something is ‘out of camera’ then it’s probably noise reduced, relit, and so forth, this camera doesn’t suffer much from noise. I haven’t spent much time editing these, they don’t need much. Everything is reduced to 1024 pix on the long side but the exif is probably intact.

I mean, who really cares what unedited shots look like – I try to do 99% of the work in camera, but most pix need a tweak – Incidentally the noise is very easy to control in lightzone, it’s very colour neutral for the most part at sub-bonkers ISO levels.

So I’ve brought a Pentax Kp, After waiting for five weeks or so for it to turn up I finally have it in my hand…

So What do I think? Well it’s nice and works well… Review over yup 🙂

I decided to write this because I was unable to find the information I wanted to know – like yes, CAF is nice, but how is the SAF (it’s good, it doesn’t hunt), cos that’s what I generally use. Where are the buttons (coming from the k50 it’s ergonomically sensible), how is the contrast control with non-standard lenses (good), is the in camera HDR still fugly (affirmative).

What I wanted to know was bits and pieces like that. Ergonomics, particularly coming from a K50, I’m not sure I see any point in upgrading from a K3ii or a k70 unless you either have critical needs or a corporate account.

The fancy grips everybody has been discussing are a bit naff to me – as I said I have the small grip, and it isn’t particularly comfortable to use, It tapers in at the top, so it doesn’t rest on your middle finger and fill your palm like most cameras – it feels awkward, I wind up using the tips of my fingers and thumb which gets uncomfortable. My work around for this is to hold the camera under the lens with other hand (it’s a comfortable and secure way to carry this camera) – not very high-tech, but it works fine.

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Gratuitous flower shot, just cos. Yes it was raining a wee bit.

The reason I don’t much care about the grips is because I have access to a 3d printer along with a few other gadgets which will allow me to make the grip I want. No doubt regular style camera grips will also appear on ebay soon. With a regular grip I think the ergonomics will be good. In time this will be a non-issue. It’s not a huge issue now.

And ergonomics – I do wish that the power button wasn’t so sharp as I tend to carry my camera on the strap over my right shoulder with the prism towards my body and the lens tucked into the back of my hip – In this position the power button digs into my hip – That’s probably the single thing that bothers me most about this camera. It’s not a big thing – also has a habit of turning the camera on or off at inopportune times.

I’ve seen people comment on it as being like a mirrorless camera, it’s not! It might feel a bit similar in the hand due to the silly tapering grip style, but frankly in size it’s between a K50, and a K10 (though both have more comfortable grips). This is a good thing as this gives it space to fit all of the buttons.

It’s still a small camera, but it’s not as tiny as you might be led to expect.

As a total aside, I do like the gray/silver embroidered strap – if it was bright red or green I would have replaced it with a more neutral colour.

The button layout is logical, ergonomic, and largely customisable, I have depth of field assigned to the +/-ev button next to the shutter and then +/-ev to the left of the viewfinder – this is due to my not being able to assign Raw/Jpg to the button left of the viewfinder – being able to use the raw/jpg button on the left of the body for depth of field would be ideal – I find that omission a little bit inexplicable.

I suppose this is as good a point to segue into why I decided to get one – yeah, my justification 🙂 There is actually a point.

What I want in a camera is largely good resolution, good low light performance (which is more than just high ISO), manual colour and contrast controls, reasonably portable as I tend to carry a camera every day (otherwise I’d have a canon 5diii). and… well, I like old lenses too, I’m willing to lose some sharpness in exchange for how a lens renders. Oh, I also want a camera which is me-proof (such a thing doesn’t exist yet).

I have had a Pentax K10d for a bunch of years – I’ve dragged it all over New Zealand and Australia, it’s been dropped in the desert, in crocodile infested swamps (it literally went underwater – not a nice feeling going after it), it’s fallen off cars. In short my lifestyle whilst I hitchhiked around NZ and Aussie was basically a camera torture test – it still works (a couple of lenses didn’t make it), I now use it in manual mode as the auto exposure has gone a bit screwy , apart from occasional over exposures in aperture priority mode it still functions just fine – great camera, and the locking latches are pretty neat – this is my studio camera and the one I’d reach for if I were wandering out into a cyclone or a sandstorm. That said, it’s getting tired, so it tends to stay close to home now.

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The K50 works just fine, it handles awkward lighting, and makes good pictures, I’m keeping it as a very capable 2nd body to the Kp – they take the same battery incidentally.

I came across a K50 with a lens for $499 in 2015 here in New Zealand, it was on clearance for some reason. For perspective – minus tax and exchange rates that’s like $300usd – I haven’t seen that price matched, So I’ve been very happy with what I got especially for the price – but after the K10d the build quality was a let down. Still a very good and fairly tough camera, nice and light, fantastic ergonomics, and it takes great pictures, just not my first choice for rough weather.

I was hoping the Kp would be the best of both worlds, and essentially it is – still probably not as tough as the k10, but it’s a very robust camera. Then you consider that it has absolutely fantastic image quality and surprisingly good low light performance – it’s pretty nice.

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Heavy mist, low light, and screwy lighting. The camera can see better than I can. No focus hunting incidentally, In very low light the focus gets really slow, but it never seems to rack back and forth. Whizz whizz whizz etc tends to irritate me. Slow is fine.

I can’t be bothered quantifying the image quantity, it’s extremely good. I use a wide range of cameras at work, I think the 5diii is maybe slightly better image quality, but that’s twice the price, and much bigger – not the same thing. It’s kind of similar to a D7200, but I’ll happily take image stabilisation over autofocus speed. I don’t use much in the way of autofocus modes – I generally either use it with center spot with a half press to lock focus (I lock the spot EV with the rear button first) then recompose and shoot – Or else I use manual focus and EV, I’ve shot plenty of film using these methods, it’s not so hard. The viewfinder is nice, bright, and fairly easy to focus with by the way (other than playing I haven’t used the LVF).

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Sure you could count the bricks in this shot at 100%, I was more surprised that I can count most of the nails in the tin roof to the left. This is also with a sigma 18-125 -not a wildly sharp lens – I’m guessing the exposure was something like 35mm – f7.1  – 1/60th @100ISo or so.

The high ISO is also surprisingly good – I’ve used it with the ISO set to auto 100-6400 with my only qualm being that the camera seems take ‘shadow correction’ a little too seriously – it the sky or lights aren’t in the shot then is can easily look like a day time shot. ISO 64,000 is usable if you can live with grain (quite heavy though reasonably neutral colour) and a very faint green/magenta mottling in the shadows. Shots taken at 10k look good, though it’s losing a bit of detail by then.

If your use of cameras is mission critical rather than aesthetic, the extreme low light performance is remarkably good. If you really expect more then you need to head straight for the Pentax K1, the Nikon D810 or the Canon 5div (I haven’t used current medium format digitals or other brands of full frame cameras but I’m sure the current models have great low light – that said, there frankly isn’t much in it over the Kp, and they’re all full frame and far more expensive (the K70 is very close and far cheaper if you are happy to let go of a couple of features that most people don’t really need).

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The 819,200 ISO setting is largely decorative. Incidentally it shows up in Lightzone (raw converter/editor) as being 65,535 or something like that.

The ridiculously high ISO is actually handy for checking focus and composition when it’s proper dark – that said, the settings over 100-200k or so are largely pointless for this, especially in the dark (no fine detail).

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64,000 ISO is surprisingly not crap, sure it’s grainy at 100%, and I wouldn’t bother to make a large print from the file, but it is good enough for some uses – This was an out of camera JPG file, no editing, just resized – this was evenly if dimly lit – deep shadows and high contrast ranges will make the high ISO’s look far worse… All digital cameras are the same in that.

I haven’t managed to get sensor shift resolution to work with any consistency off tripod, so I haven’t really bothered. On tripod I’m sure it’s brilliant, the camera also has a proper two press mirror lockup, bulb and time modes, depth of field preview and a couple of other tricks up it’s product/landscape photography sleeve. I will be playing with these in the near future (I’m moving house right now).

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Fairly dark, no real reason for including this shot, but the KP can handle mixed lighting quite happily – there’s four different light sources with neon lights on the building over my shoulder. Poor focus is my fault.

The rear screen does some folding stuff, which I’m kind of ambivalent about – I’d prefer it if I could flip it right over with the screen into the camera, but it seems fairly robust, so to me its neither here nor there. As with the K50 and the K10 you can turn off the screen in order to avoid blinding yourself at night, If you use the user settings to save your settings when you have all that stuff switched off then it’ll stay that way in the corresponding U mode. The Kp has 5 user modes, I do like that! You do also need to go into the menu and go through the memory modes – it’s like the 3-4th menu, in there there is a selection for save screen status – I basically never have my rear lcd on.

The Pentax kp has a night vision mode – by this they mean preserving night vision – not seeing in the dark (though the camera can). This just turns the rear lcd completely red, which is sorta neat, and the images shown in review mode come up red also (obviously they’re not recorded that way), along with the menus, etc. This is geeky fun, but I personally just turn the screen and review off all together when I’m working in the dark. The information in the viewfinder is still green incidentally, so still screws your night vision a bit – Center focus point is red, I assume the others are too.

I haven’t tested the astrotracer, seems cool, but I don’t have a gps unit. I have also played with the android app only long enough to establish that it works and can be used in lieu of a cable release – I’m not terribly worried about this feature – May well be handy for wet weather cable release or for video, I haven’t tested this. I’m just going to take a soldering iron to some audio adapters and adapt my existing release cables. For wet weather I can use the self timer as I’m used to.

My copy of the Kp front focuses a little, there’s an option in the menu to fix it. In manual focus it’s visually correct for the screen (not the focus confirmation obviously), so this will be an easy fix.

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This was dark enough that I could see the sign on the left, but I sure couldn’t read it. My focus point was on the light down the street – pretty obvious front focus at 2.4 Not an interesting shot, I was testing the low ISO by taking snapshots in the dark.
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35mm @2.4 6400 ISO @ 1/13th of a second by the way.

I have managed to lock it up to the point that I had to remove the battery and lose my last few shots – this came as a result of my taking half a dozen quick shots whilst changing settings such as wb and style – unrepeatable error so far. (immediately above was the next shot after I unlocked it)

On the battery front, I’m not too bothered to have an admittedly sub-par battery, this is for two reasons, firstly it uses the same battery as the k50, so I have a bunch of spares, and secondly, I guess because the k50, and my action cams, and my panasonic M-4/3 cameras have all lowered my expectations. Excepting severe weather 400 shots isn’t that much of a handicap (changing batteries in a cyclone isn’t amusing), I’m also unconcerned by the frames per second and buffer depth, I don’t shoot that fast that I’d be concerned by it. For that matter, the lack of a top lcd also doesn’t bother me too much, I can get most of the info I need from the viewfinder, the rest I tend to set ahead of time.

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In camera HDR is kinda fugly 99.97% of the time – this shot is no exception.

The mode dials on the right hand side are an interesting design decision – they basically make available a bunch of the image colour and tone settings, it’s an interesting idea, but I do wish the control dial to the right was half the height, it’s pretty easy to click it over accidentally – and if the mode dial is set to anything other than ‘off’ it’ll give you a surprise when you take your next photo – I had a bleach-bypass related incident along these lines.

I find the lens compatibility interesting. Yes, it works with damn near anything in manual mode, it’s a large part of the appeal of the system to me. However, ignoring that as a given, I have several lenses which shone on the K10 which weren’t at all good on the k50, for example my sigma 18-125, this lens funnily enough is perfectly happy on the Kp, it’s not a sharp lens, but maybe it’s the right sort of fuzzy, and the way it renders form is really quite pleasing – my 100mm f4 pentax M macro and adaptall ct300 are also very nice. By the way, a 300mm 5.6 isn’t exactly a diminutive lens, neither is the 18-125 and that seems to be staying on the Kp for now. Use your left hand to support the lens and they balance fine. Most of these shots were taken with either the sigma or a pentax 35mm 2.4

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The distortion from the sigma 18-125 can be clearly seen in the shapes of the car wheels at the bottom – doesn’t really faze me. Super flat lighting incidentally.
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architecturally intriguing.
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Just cos – incidentally, this is pretty close to how I set my camera to expose, fairly flat for photoshopping – there is a ‘flat’ mode for the colour mode, I tend to use natural with highlight corrections and let the shadows go.

More to come – In part two I guess…

Incidentally;

I only got the small grip with the camera (Asian and Pacific market segregation), This despite it being advertised as including all three grips, The importer has turned around and decided they don’t have to supply them, which is a bit disappointing and is very definitely an ongoing conversation (global market segregation’s suck by the way Pentax/Ricoh).
The best thing that Pentax could do to break into the New Zealand market by the way would be to change suppliers to a company which actually likes the brand – I am extremely fond of the brand having had three of them now (actually I still have all three),  but I do not enjoy dealing with the New Zealand distributor as they seem to despise the brand.
Nuff said.