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03-12-2019, 03:29 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by dofmaster Quote
I don't want to pass comment on the OP, but I've noticed a general trend on these forums where people seem to think that the decisive factor in how a photo or a set of photos turns out is the camera.



It's not. It's the photographer.
Amen.



03-12-2019, 03:52 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
I just looked at a whole set of pictures taken with a Sony RX 10 IV, and I cannot believe how good they are. They are all photos of a theatre production, so lighting was tricky. And they were taken from the balcony! But the Sony has an 8.8 - 200 mm lens, f 2.4 - 4, so it lets in plenty of light. And despite that small sensor, the pictures look great.

So now Im trying to figure out if there is a lens that I could put on my K-70, with its much larger sensor, that would allow me to get shots of a similar quality, in a similar situation. I have the 55-300 PLM, but I dont think that would do it.

I know the Sony costs significantly more than my K-70, but I still didnt expect to see such quality from a fixed lens camera.

Someone help me stop feeling like I suddenly want to sell my Pentax and all its lenses, please!
Were the images you looked at straight-out-of-camera JPEGs? Sony's JPEG engine is good, though it's quite aggressive with noise reduction. As a result, photos look clean, but there's some risk of losing fine details. If you have access to the raw files, take a look at those and see if you're still just as impressed.

There's no doubt that the RX10IV is a capable camera. Depending on your range of use cases, it could be a better choice than a DSLR. Bear in mind, though, that fixed super-zoom lens is going to be a compromise. From the reviews, I understand its very good considering the huge focal length range, but it can't work miracles. Certain aspects of rendering will be sub-par compared to good DSLR primes, or zoom lenses with a narrower range. Furthermore, at its widest, it gives a field of view equivalent to 24mm on full-frame. If you're ever likely to want a wider field of view, no dice. And while it lets in plenty of light, the combination of focal length and sensor size means you'll never be able to achieve really shallow depth of field in your shots - so if you use shallow(er) depth of field creatively, or think you might want to, the RX10IV will be very limiting in that respect.

With all of the above considered, if the RX10IV covers all of your use case requirements and you're happy to live with one compromise fixed lens, it might be a good option...
03-12-2019, 05:28 AM   #18
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I so love this site. Thank you all. I wrote that post just before going to bed last night. Woke up this morning to 17 thoughtful replies. What a fantastic resource and community.

To the poster who wrote "I don't want to pass comment on the OP....but it's about the photographer, not the camera," You are right. What all these comments reveal to me is how much knowledge you all have of these impressively complicated digital machines and all they can do. I'm not sure I'll ever achieve that level. I'm not sure I have the interest or dedication to do so. And so, it may well be that something like that SONY is a better match for me and my photo interests. (Though laying out the $1700 all at once is a daunting prospect ... though of course, I've spent at least that over time on the Pentax and various lenses). Thank you all for giving me so much to think about.

I can't post the original photos because they're not mine, but I will add just one more thing. The pictures were taken during a performance. Whether I could capture the same quality photos or not with the right lens, I'd be reluctant to use my K-70 out of concern for those sitting around me, listening to the shutter clicking throughout the performance. On top of all its other qualities, I wonder if that SONY has a silent shutter?

Again, thank you all.
03-12-2019, 05:49 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
I so love this site. Thank you all. I wrote that post just before going to bed last night. Woke up this morning to 17 thoughtful replies. What a fantastic resource and community.

To the poster who wrote "I don't want to pass comment on the OP....but it's about the photographer, not the camera," You are right. What all these comments reveal to me is how much knowledge you all have of these impressively complicated digital machines and all they can do. I'm not sure I'll ever achieve that level. I'm not sure I have the interest or dedication to do so. And so, it may well be that something like that SONY is a better match for me and my photo interests. (Though laying out the $1700 all at once is a daunting prospect ... though of course, I've spent at least that over time on the Pentax and various lenses). Thank you all for giving me so much to think about.

I can't post the original photos because they're not mine, but I will add just one more thing. The pictures were taken during a performance. Whether I could capture the same quality photos or not with the right lens, I'd be reluctant to use my K-70 out of concern for those sitting around me, listening to the shutter clicking throughout the performance. On top of all its other qualities, I wonder if that SONY has a silent shutter?

Again, thank you all.
Sony does have a relatively silent shutter, dslr you will always have the noise of the mirror as well as the shutter, mirrorless cams will have some shutter sound in mechanical mode, and none at all in electronics shutter mode (but there is potential then for rolling shutter issues). 1700 leaves a lot of room to look at a secondary mirrorless setup.

03-12-2019, 06:39 AM - 2 Likes   #20
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Back in the day I used to do a lot of amateur theatre photography, usually musicals. I would shoot publicity and programme shots for a given production at no charge in exchange for the opportunity to shoot the dress rehearsal and do a company shot afterwards, selling my photos to the cast and crew. My camera was a Minolta X-700 (sometimes two). I usually shot 400 ISO, sometimes 800. My main lenses were 135 f2.8, 50mm 1.4, 24mm 2.8 and sometimes a 50-135 f3.5 zoom for flexibility. Shows are usually pretty well lit, so unless a given scene was particularly dim, I usually did okay. I would attend at least one rehearsal before I shot, so I could pick out the moments to watch for that I wanted to capture. The actual shoot would be a dress rehearsal.

If you're doing theatrical shooting to make money, keep your intended customers in mind. The shows I shot were amateur or university productions, where performers were community members or music students. My market was the performers themselves, who would want souveniers of their time on stage. The formal company shots always sold well. I learned, over the years, that the production shots that tended to sell most were the ones that had the most people in them; there are usually more chorus members than leads, so shooting lots of chorus shots gives you the largest potential market for sales. I always liked to get great, dramatic character shots of individual leads or several leads together. It was fun trying capture the relationship between two characters in a single image, but these shots were hit and miss for sales, as sometimes the only people who bought shots like that were the few people who were in them.
03-12-2019, 07:17 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
I just looked at a whole set of pictures...
How were you looking at them: on a phone, on a big screen, printed?


The Sony 1" sensor is good but not nearly as good as the K-70 in low light. You'll notice the difference more at larger display sizes or if you crop.

Note that even 4K TVs are "only" 8 megapixels.
03-12-2019, 07:30 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
I so love this site. Thank you all. I wrote that post just before going to bed last night. Woke up this morning to 17 thoughtful replies. What a fantastic resource and community.

To the poster who wrote "I don't want to pass comment on the OP....but it's about the photographer, not the camera," You are right. What all these comments reveal to me is how much knowledge you all have of these impressively complicated digital machines and all they can do. I'm not sure I'll ever achieve that level. I'm not sure I have the interest or dedication to do so. And so, it may well be that something like that SONY is a better match for me and my photo interests. (Though laying out the $1700 all at once is a daunting prospect ... though of course, I've spent at least that over time on the Pentax and various lenses). Thank you all for giving me so much to think about.

I can't post the original photos because they're not mine, but I will add just one more thing. The pictures were taken during a performance. Whether I could capture the same quality photos or not with the right lens, I'd be reluctant to use my K-70 out of concern for those sitting around me, listening to the shutter clicking throughout the performance. On top of all its other qualities, I wonder if that SONY has a silent shutter?

Again, thank you all.

I think the only downside to "just getting a shiny new camera and it works w/o me putting in effort" is that when it does not give the results you'd want in some conditions, this "I'll need a newer more shiny camera" doubt will come into your mind again.

So perhaps some folks may have put it in a rather blunt way, but knowing/learning what to adjust for will carry you thru better than just relying on the gears.
My few cents....
03-12-2019, 08:05 AM - 4 Likes   #23
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I have seen a bird shot taken with a Panasonic 1 inch sensor, that would make any birder proud. However, I've only seen one.When comparing two camera systems there will always be circumstances where one better than the other.

The circumstance you describe is probably one of them.

The smaller sensor will have more depth of field at the faster ƒ-stop. ƒ4 on a K-1 or even K-70 the DoF is going to be quite narrow. AT ƒ4 the 1 inch sensor will get much more of the image in focus by extending the depth of field.

I take advantage of this with my XG-1 shooting macros on the forest floor under the dim light of the canopy.

XG-1, every thing in focus at ƒ5.8


K-1 @ ƒ5.6 almost nothing in focus....

I like both images, but neither could have been taken with the other camera.

I like having both available, for when i want an image the other won't do.

I can stop the K-1 down to ƒ16 or ƒ22 to approximate the XG-1 image, though that will take the 2sec. timer and a tripod and a long exposure (and that technique absolutely will not work on a stage production, great on mushrooms though.). There's nothing I know of you can use to get the K-1 image with the XG-1.

The fact that you can do more with the larger sensor, in no way implies their aren't times when the smaller sensor won't have the upper hand.

There is a sort of internet myth that getting a larger sensor gets you better images in every circumstance. There will be times when the advantage goes to the smaller sensor for a of a host of reasons, one of them being, what you want the image to look like. The nonsense that the smaller sensor is just a crop of the larger is inaccurate on many levels, including DoF for given a given aperture. If you have to shoot in low light and need depth of field, a one inch sensor could be the best choice, but it will be based on many factors. ISO, Aperture/shutter speed ratio, there's definitely a 1 inch sensor sweet spot there. Maybe you and your friend found it.


Last edited by normhead; 03-13-2019 at 10:15 AM.
03-12-2019, 08:57 AM   #24
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I just got back from the large shopping mall a few miles from my home. While there, I went to Jessops, which is a nationwide photographic retailers here in the UK. They had the Sony RX10 IV on display, so I played around with it for a little while. Honestly, it's pretty nice and quite intuitive to use. The only thing I'd say is, it doesn't feel like a $1,700 camera. It's solid enough, and all the controls work positively, but the build quality doesn't quite have that premium feel to it, IMHO. But overall, for the time I played with it, I was quite impressed.
03-12-2019, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I just got back from the large shopping mall a few miles from my home. While there, I went to Jessops, which is a nationwide photographic retailers here in the UK. They had the Sony RX10 IV on display, so I played around with it for a little while. Honestly, it's pretty nice and quite intuitive to use. The only thing I'd say is, it doesn't feel like a $1,700 camera. It's solid enough, and all the controls work positively, but the build quality doesn't quite have that premium feel to it, IMHO. But overall, for the time I played with it, I was quite impressed.
They seem to have a nice combination of qualities. A large enough sensor to hold diffraction at bay into the smaller apertures, enough size to get decent resolution and MP. I was actually looking at a 1 inch sensor when I bought my XG-1. All the models I'd actually use (ones 12x zoom or more) were over $1k. About twice what i wanted to pay at the time. The XG-1 came in at about half my budget. Sometimes, you'd rather have the money.
03-12-2019, 09:43 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The only thing I'd say is, it doesn't feel like a $1,700 camera. It's solid enough, and all the controls work positively, but the build quality doesn't quite have that premium feel to it, IMHO. But overall, for the time I played with it, I was quite impressed.
Different price point, but I felt the same about the Sony a6300, vs. my KP, and even my K-S2. There's a solidity to Pentax bodies that doesn't seem to be present in other manufacturers' products until you've forked out more money.
03-12-2019, 01:22 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I have seen a bird shot taken with a Panasonic 1 inch sensor, that would make any birder proud. However, I've only seen one.When comparing two camera systems there will always be circumstances where one better than the other.

The circumstance you describe is probably one of them.

The smaller sensor will have more depth of field at the faster ƒ-stop. ƒ4 on a K-1 or even K-70 the DoF is going to be quite narrow. AT ƒ4 the 1 inch sensor will get much more of the image in focus by extending the depth of field.

I take advantage of this with my XG-1 shooting macros on the forest floor under the dim light of the canopy.

XG-1, every thing in focus at ƒ5.8


K-1 @ ƒ5.6 almost nothing in focus....


I like having both available, for when i want an image the other won't do.

I can stop the K-1 down to ƒ16 or ƒ22 to approximate the XG-1 image, though that will take the 2sec. timer and a tripod and a long exposure (and that technique absolutely will not work on a stage production, great on mushrooms though.). There's nothing I know of you can use to get the K-1 image with the XG-1.

The fact that you can do more with the larger sensor, in no way implies their aren't times when the smaller sensor won't have the upper hand.

There is a sort of internet myth that getting a larger sensor gets you better images in every circumstance. There will be times when the advantage goes to the smaller sensor for a of a host of reasons, one of them being, what you want the image to look like. The nonsense that the smaller sensor is just a crop of the larger is inaccurate on many levels, including DoF for given a given aperture. If you have to shoot in low light and need depth of field, a one inch sensor could be the best choice, but it will be based on many factors. ISO, Aperture/shutter speed ratio, there's definitely a 1 inch sensor sweet spot there. Maybe you and your friend found it.
Great post, Norm! The 1-inch might be good for certain uses as shown and as the OP is impressed with, but not so good for other uses, like portraits for instance.

I have also done quite a lot of theater performance shooting. Usually not from a balcony, however. Some years back, I did shoot a friend's university graduation. It was huge, and held in a huge indoor sports venue. Through a connection of his roommate's family, I wound up with their families in an executive suite, but that was way up and a long way from the stage. I took some big guns, DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, DA* 200mm f/2.8, and FA* 300mm f/4.5 lenses because I had no preview to determine what the distance would be. Luckily, we were at a perfect side angle to the stage which would face graduates as they came across to receive congrats from the dean, then farther to receive the same from the university president along with their diploma. I found the zoom lens useful for getting more of the stage and decorations in during the speeches. Also doing meter readings and test shots during that time. I found the 200mm prime lens to be just about right for what the individual congrats shots will be during this preliminary speech ceremonial time also. As another has said, the stage lighting was good enough so I did not need to use open aperture, nor did I need to up my ISO by much. I just needed to do so enough for a decent depth of field at telephoto range, and for enough shutter speed, since people would be in some motion. There is no way any of those present from the families could get what I did with their P/S cameras and phones. I gave all of them prints and a CD. They went ga-ga over the results. I was using my little K-r body!!

The OP's 55-300mm PLM might be adequate for good shots in a theater if the stage lighting is bright enough, especially with the K-70, which can do exceptionally well if needing to up the ISO a bit more.

Last edited by mikesbike; 03-12-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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