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10-28-2010, 03:36 PM - 1 Like   #1
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First impressions of K-r from a K-x owner

I previously owned a K-2000 and upgraded to the K-x the moment it was released. Likewise, I bought a K-r at my first opportunity. Here are my first impressions.

Feels very familiar, as all the controls are pretty much identical. Weight is similar enough that it doesn't seem foreign.

Focus point indicators in the viewfinder are very handy when it's dim and hard to make out the little indicators that indicate the center of the focusing screen. This is important to me, as I shoot center spot 99% of the time. If you move the spot focus around with the directional pad, the lights blip on momentarily in the viewfinder so you can adjust without taking your eye from the viewfinder.

Hand held HDR seems to align things well and make the feature much more useful than the old tripod only affair. It also has more control over how much compensation to dial in.

Contrast detect auto focus in live view is way better. I never used it before because it was intolerable on K-x.

My K-r has a noticeable front-focus under tungsten light. Even with -10 AF adjust, it's still a bit forward. This settings makes fluorescent light shots slightly back focus. My K-x has a slight front focus as well, but not as much.

Shutter seems a bit quieter.

Screen is OMG much clearer. At first I was thinking my high ISO shots looked terrible, but that's because I could see so much more resolution than before. It doesn't seem that much bigger, but it does seem much sharper.

Another feature I haven't seen mentioned is the option to save a single RAW file of the last picture you shot when you're in JPEG only mode. Might be nice if you just barely clipped a highlight and want to try to pull it back in later in RAW. This only works for the last picture you took.

During image review, it now lists the ISO during the Standard and Histogram view modes. Before it used to show the folder and file number here. I really like this because now I don't have to switch to Detailed mode to see what ISO the picture is.

Those are about all the differences I could find so far, apart from cosmetic ones. Overall, it seems like a refreshed and improved K-x.

Devin

10-28-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
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Congrats on the deep pockets ;-) How would you compare the viewfinder in term of brightness? This is one of my big peaves on the K-X ...
10-28-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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sometimes i wish I didnt read forums. i had a nikon d60 for two years never read a forum once....it had "ZERO" issues Now I have a k-r and before it has even been shipped to me its suffering from a faulty e-dial and bad FF/BF. I can just imagine if I had been hanging out on nikon forums back when I had the d60, im sure i would have "discovered" a few issues I didnt know I had

Gotta love teh internets!! Sometimes ignorance is bliss...hehe

thanks for the comparison. how much of an issue is the FF/BF, without making constant af adjustments is everything out of focus? is it a dealbreaker? otherwise you are happy with it?
10-28-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
the option to save a single RAW file of the last picture you shot when you're in JPEG only mode. Might be nice if you just barely clipped a highlight and want to try to pull it back in later in RAW. This only works for the last picture you took.
Now this is very well worth having -
I am a convicted JPG shooter -
but the ability to save a copy of the last shot in RAW
to me is fabulous.

Thank you for telling us that.

BTW - you didn't mention it (so it might be a hint)
- but is the K-r AF faster than the K-x?

10-28-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Another feature I haven't seen mentioned is the option to save a single RAW file of the last picture you shot when you're in JPEG only mode. Might be nice if you just barely clipped a highlight and want to try to pull it back in later in RAW. This only works for the last picture you took.
This is nice to have. And I think that if Pentax wanted, they could add this to older models too with a firmware update, because they always kept in memory the last image shot - just switch to the WB menu and you'll see it.
10-28-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vw_michael Quote
Congrats on the deep pockets ;-) How would you compare the viewfinder in term of brightness? This is one of my big peaves on the K-X ...
Heh, well I sold the K-m to fund my K-x. And the K-x will be sold now that I have a K-r. It's almost like a lease!

Viewfinder seems about the same brightness. I put the K-x to one eye and K-r to my other. Image seemed to be the same brightness through either.
10-28-2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
BTW - you didn't mention it (so it might be a hint)
- but is the K-r AF faster than the K-x?
Well, I just did some anecdotal testing. I pointed the camers towards the same things with one on either side of my head so I could hear which one focus confirmed first. In this test, the K-r pretty much always focused faster than the K-x. However, when not holding them side by side, the effect is less dramatic. I think the K-r seems to seek around less. And the motor seems quicker. But it's not that dramatic in my opinion.
10-28-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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I found another intersting difference. When in shooting mode, you used to be able to push the center "OK" button in the middle of the 4 way direction pad to change the AF focus mode from auto5 to auto11 to spot, etc. Now the button does nothing unless you are in the flexible spot mode. In this mode it will toggle to let you switch the direction pad to allow moving the focus point.

10-28-2010, 11:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
thanks for the comparison. how much of an issue is the FF/BF, without making constant af adjustments is everything out of focus? is it a dealbreaker? otherwise you are happy with it?
Well it seemed consistent between my 18-55mm kit lens and Sigma 30mm F/1.4 lens in that they both front-focused in tungsten. If you're not shooting very narrow DoF, you're unlikely to notice it. I have an old 50mm F/1.2 lens. I noticed that the focus confirmation on my old K-x used to noticably front focus on that in tungsten. Of course, with DoF less than 1cm, it becomes more important! I have to check the focus in daylight, but it's night now. I'm overally very happy with the K-r.
10-29-2010, 07:05 AM   #10
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could you post some sample shots? not iso range, but just random sharp quality real life shots..?

btw thanks for the nice overview.
10-29-2010, 07:46 AM   #11
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thanks for this 'regular' guy review... sometimes scientific evaluations make my head spin.... nice to know the real world, hands on, qualitative 'feel' and response of this new body from pentax..
what i find interesting though, is that is this new model so dramatic an improvement over the k-x to make me want to buy a k-r... for me, the collective jury is still out..... when more and more of 'us' here in the forum give it a longer term useage, we'll all know the answer to this question ...
lookin' forward to your pics from your new k-r.... best of luck !! thanks for this post, dave m
10-29-2010, 07:53 AM   #12
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Yesterday i decided to upgrade my k-x to k-r becuse of the high iso performance.today i am surprised with your samples.that doesnt seem different from k-x. Can you send some real life low light high iso samples?
10-29-2010, 08:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Well it seemed consistent between my 18-55mm kit lens and Sigma 30mm F/1.4 lens in that they both front-focused in tungsten.
In my testing with a K20D and K100D Super, I had front focus in MF and AF at all apertures of f2.8 and wider. My lenses (three primes and a 16-45) were right on at f4 with both cameras. As aperture widened, the in-focus area moved forward, so it was not just because the depth of field at smaller apertures included the target. I haven't tested my K-x but I expect it should be similar. All Pentax digital cameras with the exception of the K-7 and K-5 front focus at wide apertures in tungsten light. This is also true for other brands, Canon and Sony for sure, not sure about the rest. The new top of the line Pentax cameras have a second AF module for tungsten light.
10-29-2010, 08:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Well, I just did some anecdotal testing. I pointed the camers towards the same things with one on either side of my head so I could hear which one focus confirmed first. In this test, the K-r pretty much always focused faster than the K-x. However, when not holding them side by side, the effect is less dramatic. I think the K-r seems to seek around less. And the motor seems quicker. But it's not that dramatic in my opinion.
How about some testing like the original K-5 vs K-7 autofocus test. Hold down the button and pivot the camera around the room to different random objects and walls.
10-29-2010, 09:13 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Well it seemed consistent between my 18-55mm kit lens and Sigma 30mm F/1.4 lens in that they both front-focused in tungsten. If you're not shooting very narrow DoF, you're unlikely to notice it.
Do you find you need to change the af adjust for the lenses in different lighting conditions? if the tungsten af adjust is X then I assume youd need to change it for daylight

thnks
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