Monday, September 24, 2012

Making The Best Even Better: Pentax K-5 IIs

The Pentax K-5 is arguably the best digital camera with an APS-C sized sensor. DxOMark ranks it #1 in that category. Pentax did a brilliant job exploiting the highly-regarded 16 megapixel Sony sensor, squeezing just a little better image quality out of it than Sony or Nikon could.

The K-5 not just outperforms DSLRs with APS-C sized sensors, it also outperforms many full-frame DSLRs and even a couple medium-format cameras! Over at DxOMark, the K-5 is tied with the Nikon D3s and Pentax 645D and ranked above the Canon 5D Mark III and the Hasselblad H3DII-50 (an almost $30,000, 50 megapixel, medium format camera)!

The K-5 has been around for two years and it still remains on top. That's an amazing feat considering how fast technology changes.

So how does Pentax outdo the K-5? Well, with the K-5 IIs, of course!

The K-5 II is not much different than the K-5. Pentax updated the technology a bit, but it is 99% the same camera. The biggest upgrade is the auto-focus system, which performs better in low light situations. The other changes are very minor. Still, when you have a nearly perfect camera, does it need an overhaul?

What is most fascinating is that Pentax will offer a version of the camera without an anti-aliasing filter, called the K-5 IIs. The anti-aliasing filter prevents moire distortion, but at the expense of sharpness. Almost all digital cameras have this filter. Since the K-5 IIs won't include this filter, photographs captured with this camera will naturally be just a bit sharper.

There is a chance you'll get some moire distortion here and there, and that is the risk. For most situations and most photographs, it won't be a problem. There is a risk-reward with the K-5 IIs, but I think the reward will be well worth the risk.


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