I’m a Pentaxian. I’ve said before, shooting Pentax must be the photographic equivalent to owning an Alfa Romeo. It’s equal times frustrating and glorious. The UK show Top Gear insists that you can’t call yourself a true gear head if you’ve never owned an Alfa Romeo.
I think there should be a similar theory: You can’t call yourself a real photography junkie if you’ve never shot with a Pentax.
I’d like to think that in a world of bland Canikon sameness, having a Pentax is like pulling into a parking lot of beige Toyota Camerys and grey Ford Focus’ with a bright red Alfa Romeo 8C.
Google it. It’s drop dead gorgeous.
In terms of performance, it’s not a bad analogy either. Meaning that for a smaller company, Pentax has no trouble keeping up with the big boys. Back in November 2010, noted camera evaluation site DXOmark had this to say about Petax’s then flagship DSLR K-5 and it’s Sony sensor: “No need for suspense: this new 16.3 MP sensor is simply the best APS-C we have tested so far, sometimes able to compete even with very high-end full-frame cameras…The overall score of the K5 puts it in the lead with 82 points — more than 9 points better than the D90 or the Alpha 55, and 16 points ahead of the Canon 7D or 60D. The K5 is literally the best APS-C performer for each segment, even in low ISO.”
Now, I’ve got pretty much that same sensor for $299.99.
Unfortunately, it’s in a body that’s nowhere near as pretty as the 8C. Not even close.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here is The Brick.
Designed by Australian designer Mark Newson, the K-01 is a mirrorless, interchangable lens camera that was released by Pentax in February of last year to less than enthusiastic reviews. Basically, it got panned. In the press and with consumers. And the price has been dropping like a stone ever since.
I got my current camera, my Pentax K-x, back in March of 2011. I bought it primarily on the strength of this sentence for the DPReview of the K-x, “The K-x is surprisingly a lot better better in low light than its bigger brother K-7, and is no doubt one of the currently best performing APS-C cameras in low light.” Yes, I bought a camera based on one sentence of one review.
In retrospect, I did all my photography courses in college with a Pentax K-1000, probably one of the greatest cameras ever made. Fact. So, after leaving photography, coming back and spending a couple of years getting my groove back with a Canon Powershot A1000 point and shoot, I decided I needed to upgrade. Contrary to the above sentence, I actually did a lot of research. Buckets of research. Obsessive amounts of research in fact. I’m strange like that. But, yes, that DPReview really did seal the deal, and I returned to Pentax.
And have been very happy ever since. The K-x has been a workhorse, no question. It’s done everything I’ve asked it to and far more. And never once skipped a beat. It’s been a fantastic instrument. But, as with all things, I’ve been feeling like I needed to move on. And move up.
I needed an upgrade.
To be continued.