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10-20-2010, 01:55 PM - 4 Likes   #1
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I am a pro shooter and here is why I am so excited for my K-5 to get here tomorrow

Long time lurker, first time poster...

Like I said I am a pro shooter. I am the head shooter for the University of Colorado athletic program, as well as a landscape and portrait photographer. It is not my main job (I am finishing up my PhD in neuroscience) but it is a huge passion and actually pays a lot of the bills these days.

My first DSLR was a pentax K10D because of the combo of features and price. My pro career was launched when a picture I took after work of Folsom field went viral via CU alums.

****'em up, ****'em up, go CU | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I was contacted by the CU athletic dept out of the blue and they asked me to come shoot for them, so serendipity has been on my side and I have never looked back.

even got a shot in nat geo using the trusty K10D:

When Gods Watch... | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The university bought me a K20D, so I have extensive experience with that camera as well. I also recently won a nikon d90 and have gotten quite a lot of experiance with that body as well. I also have rented the nikon D3s on multiple occasions.

I know a lot of people in this forum are not really into HDR photography, but for me it is a passion. Little did I know when I bought the K10D, but it was just about the best camera for HDR that money could buy (and it still holds up great in many regards, the only camera with better bracketing options is the Mark III/IV, and the CCD has pretty nice DR). Needless to say I actually like the results for landscape, and handheld HDR much better than the K20D.

Now to the K-5, here is why it is pretty much my dream camera and why it may keep me in pentax for a long time to come (I was dreaming of a mark iv but those desires have really subsided)
1) 7fps is hugely fast (I have shot the D3s many times at 10fps and it is almost too fast at that speed). I see people freaking out about the buffer being too small but as a preo sports shooter, we never really burst longer than a second, and we almost always shoot jpeg. It will also really help with hand held HDR.
2) high ISO. obviously it will really help with sports and low light shooting, but what I am really excited about is the ability to do handheld HDR in more situations. With high FPS, shake reduction and great high ISO IQ, I will be able to burst off a bracket using high ISO to keep the shutter speed down. I already do this a lot on my K10 and 20 (check my flickr site for examples).
3) auto focus. the will help with all the shooting I do.
4) 16 mega pixels. Don't get me wrong my 10 megapixel shots from my K10D have been blown up to billboard size all over the state (using genuine fractals plugin) and I have 40x60's in my house at 10 mgpix and they look amazing, but the extra resolution should make everything that much better.
5) better metering and DR. (ps will someone please do an official DR test, I can even supply the shot starting tomorrow, just tell me what to shoot).

I'd love to start a dialoge with anyone who shares similar taste in photographic subject ect. I just had surgery this morning so I'm a bit loopy on pain meds, but just wanted to share my excitement.

check out my full pentax porfolio on flickr....

Flickr: @!ex's Photostream


10-20-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
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Looking forward to hearing how the K-5 helps you in your work. What lenses do you generally use for sports shooting?

Interesting portfolio, btw.
10-20-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Nice plug for the K-5. Good perspective and it's inspiring to have a pro excited about getting the K-5. For you the camera seems very well suited, and will do the job.

Very nice portfolio.
Thanks for sharing this.
10-20-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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Alex, I have to say your HDR is as good as I've seen. I think it helps to have a good eye (as you obviously do,) and the subject matter in many of those shots - HDR sports - isn't seen quite as often. Nice stuff, glad to hear you're sticking with Pentax.

Here's one of my Faves ---> Hypolite


10-20-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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my main sports lens are the sigma 100-300 f4, THE DA* 50-135 f2.8, the sigma 10-20, the smc 50 1.4, the 10-17 fish, actually when being creative I use all my lenses. If you look through my portfolio you will notice that I am not really a traditional photojournalist, and that my style is much more surreal. I actually find it a joy to have such freedom, because often when I am on the sidelines I see all the other photogs (canikons) glued to shooting through there big lenses at the same thing (close up player shots) all game. It seems that they are so narrowly focused (pun indended) that they really miss a lot of cool photo opportunities.

I am hoping that this hernia surgery heals enough that I can do some field testing of the AF-C of the k-5 on the players through i long lens this sat in the CU tech game (focus and shutter priority will be tested for sure), as well as HDR and new metering modes as sports shooting can be very demanding. I am also really interested to see how the white balance works. I see so many people on this forum that are obsessed with RAW, but to be honest I am obsessed with JPEG (ease and speed of use (RAW is soooo slow to work with), space considerations, just about any corrections, such as white balance that can be corrected in RAW can be done in PS with JEPG very easliy, and I have honestly never found myself saying, if only this was in RAW). Since I will be on the sideline, I'm planning on doing some real world comparisons with the Nikon D3s and Mark IV with some of my photog friends (as well as bragging and blowing their minds, I can hear them now, -machingun fire-, "is that a pentax?" me, "ya you want to try it out, or are you just going to stand there drooling?"... I will be more than happy to post, report, share examples and answer questions...
10-20-2010, 02:53 PM   #6
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Cool stuff, let us know how you like it.
10-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the compliments. That shot you like was actually taken from a single JPEG on the K10D, I am really hoping the dynamic range of the K-5 beats that out (which would be remarkable)..
10-20-2010, 02:57 PM   #8
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Thanks, Alex for sharing your HDR shots; very nice indeed..

I have my K10D and K-7, both of them has "multiple exposure" option feature. I wonder if this feature is also available on the Nikon lineup (d90 or D300s, D700 or D3).

Again, nice to hear from a pro shooter getting excited about the K-5.

10-20-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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I'm looking forward to getting home and checking out your portfolio. Blocked at work.
10-20-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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Great pictures you have there !
10-20-2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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multiple exposure is very different than exposure bracketing. Multiple exposure just superimposes multiple exposures into a single shot, and actually compensates for exposure. Most all cameras can do multiple exposure in camera. It can be really fun and cool when done right, here are some examples:

For HDR you don't use multiple exposures in that way, you use exposure bracketing, or AEB (auto exposure bracketing), which takes a series of shots with ev spacing, which you then later combine these shots in post process (can actually do it in camera on new pentax, but I would never do that because I love to layer in parts from original images and often tonemap multiple versions to also layer in the best parts of each) into 32 bits and then tonemap back to 8 bits..

nikons have AEB, but the software cripples them in that you can usually only do 3 shots with a max of 2 ev spacing. Flagship D3s can bracket 9 shots but only at 1 ev spacing! which really sucks because I've found that optimal ev spacing is 2. The pentax has alway had great bracketing features, and if you do a 5 shot 2 ev spaced bracket, then move exposure compensation down a bunch of stops shoot again, then move up a bunch of stops you can get 18+ stops of dynamic range very quickly and easily, and there are very few if any circumstances where you need more DR than that.

Hope that clears things up.
10-20-2010, 03:49 PM   #12
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I stumbled upon benisona's stuff on Flickr at the beginning of the K-5 frenzy. Some great HDR there. Welcome to PentaxForums - at least as a poster!

He's a mod at the Pentax K-5 dSLR Fan Club so I'm looking forward to see what he does with the new cam!
10-20-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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starting tomorrow, I will be pushing this camera to its limits. Not more test shots of toys and flowers I will use the best glass available and really see what this baby can do in the most demanding circumstances, and I will be updating here and on flickr...
10-20-2010, 04:55 PM   #14
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The HDRs are great. You obviously go to great lengths to not leave halos and the other artifacts that leave them deterring from the photo. Can't wait to see what you can do with your new toy!
10-20-2010, 05:06 PM   #15
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Amazing photos! As Jay says, you have a great eye for visualizing things that others don't see. There are only so many photos of a quarterback throwing the ball down field you can get before they start looking the same, but what you are doing is definitely more artistic. I look forward to seeing what you get out of the K5.

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