Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-21-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
Forum Member
dwhopson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 76
K-3 vs Nikon D7000 - advice

Hi Everyone,

So, once again I find myself at a cross-roads. A bit aggravated, sad, and ready to just use an iphone for a camera. Forgive the long post - bear with me.

So - about a year and a half ago I did something that I think was probably VERY foolish in hindsight. After 25 years of shooting Pentax film and digital gear - I jumped ship and went to Nikon. I sold ALL of my digital gear and auto focus lenses and bought a really full-featured Nikon D7000, two lenses (50 and 18-105) and a battery grip. It was everything I wanted in a camera and even added a Tamron 18-270 to the kit this summer. I was tired of the 'all or nothing' approach to bodies by Pentax. Buy our $1400 hi-line body or buy our semi-crippled bottom of the line body. I couldn't afford a $1400 body at the time - but could sell-off and buy into a new system. I was aggravated with focus problem in lower-light and no focus-assist lamp, etc...

Well, flash-forward to now - I've had my Nikon for a year and a half and it's a great camera, but it's NOT the pentax gear I've owned. I've gotten some GREAT pics off of it - but nothing consistently similar to the Pentax cameras I've owned. Case in-point, I went to London and Paris in 2011 and took 1k pics on my Kx with a FA50/1.4 and Tamron 18-250. This past June, I went to Rome and Florence, and took 1k pics on the D7000 with a Nikon 50/1.8d and Tamron 18-270. Shot for shot - between these two kits, I had more aesthetically pleasing pics from my Pentax (and iPhone), under similar shooting conditions. I've spent a lot of time with the Nikon, so the learning curve should be over.

I'm noticing a lot of the 'wow' factor missing from shots off of the Nikon. I've tried various settings, auto-modes, lenses - and I think it's coming down to two things: optics and weight/shake reduction (and maybe in-camera processing). Pentax optics are just special - and certain lenses just have a 'look' about them that are undeniable. The shake reduction on the pentax is the best I've seen so far. I've not been happy with it on the Nikon (mount) lenses. The body is already heavy and the VR system is just adding more weight (and shake) to counteract. In most instances, it just seems difficult to hold the thing still with larger lenses on it and have the VR work completely effectively.

So - my issue: Is the K-3 a good enough camera at this point to consider coming back to Pentax for? I know there are some good deals to be had for the moment and it would require re-buying some of my favorite lenses - FA50/1.4, FA35/2, etc...

Or should I stick it out with Nikon? I know there is somewhat of a HUGE following with the D7000/7100 series.

I know all cameras have there +/-'s about them. I've already made one potentially costly mistake. I want to avoid making another one.

Thanks!
dwh

09-21-2015, 04:35 PM - 1 Like   #2
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,863
The D7000 has the same Sony sensor as the K-5, right? But without ISO 80. So even a K-5IIs would give you better image quality than a D7000, due to lack of AA filter. And K-5 is WR, has those Pentax features like green button, TAv, ergonomics, interface.. The K-5II series has improved AF over the original K-5. And the K-3 has another update. The K-3II is a top notch APSC camera. At this point, you need to decide exactly which features a camera/system is lacking that the other system has. Some people say Pentax has its special colours, though others complain about them. Some say Pentax has amazing lenses, others prefer Nikon lineup.

So just on account o the K-3II being newer technology, it is probably better than the D7000. Not sure about the latest Nikon D7xxx model, maybe it will give you what you need. Of course, part of consistently good photos is the lens, and even other equipment. But if you are unhappy with your current stuff, give Pentax another try.

I would suggest you rent a camera, or at least find someone with a K-3II so that you can hold it in your hands and take a couple photos. This might ease your doubts one way or another. Hopefully you do this with a decent lens attached, as the kit lenses are always rather limiting (even though the 18-135mm kit lens is pretty highly valued on these forums)

Edit: Also, even my K-r has focus assist lamp. I don't agree that the "bottom tier" DSLRs are crippled, even though they do have fewer features. But its not like Nikon, where some lenses don't fully work and so on. I think with Pentax you get lots of bang per buck, especially with the lower tier bodies. This is what drew me to Pentax digital - for the same price, I got something better than what Canon and Nikon were offering. If anything, it is Canikon where you have to spend over $1400 to get a really good camera
Anyway, hope you find what you are looking for. You can join a local photography club and ask people to try their cameras. Canon and Sony have some good offerings, too. As do Fuji, Olympus..

Last edited by Na Horuk; 09-21-2015 at 04:54 PM.
09-21-2015, 04:43 PM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central Ohio (formerly SF Bay Area)
Posts: 1,491
To be honest, I'm really not sure what you mean by this:

QuoteQuote:
I was tired of the 'all or nothing' approach to bodies by Pentax. Buy our $1400 hi-line body or buy our semi-crippled bottom of the line body. I couldn't afford a $1400 body at the time - but could sell-off and buy into a new system. I was aggravated with focus problem in lower-light and no focus-assist lamp, etc...
As of a year and a half ago, the K-30 and K-50 had focus-assist lamps and were very competitively priced. The K-S2 has one now. All of these cameras are quite full-featured relative to the competition (e.g. wireless flash control, two control dials, weather sealing, pentaprism viewfinder, etc.). The K-S2, I believe, can focus in very low light conditions like the K-5 II/s can (I don't know about K-30/50). And speaking of which, a year and a half ago the K-3 was already out for six months or so, and the K-5 II/s would have been pretty affordable too.

I'm sorry you were disappointed in your Nikon gear -- but Pentax is still here, and there are some very affordable camera bodies with great features. Just like before!

Unfortunately I can't say if you'll be happy with the change. As I think you're finding out, it's kinda personal and only indirectly related to specifications and objective capabilities.
09-21-2015, 04:58 PM - 2 Likes   #4
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 92
The advantage Nikon or Canon has over Pentax is Faster Autofocus, a better overall flash system and a wider selection of lenses. The advantage in my book that Pentax has is a remarkably intuitive User Interface, Outstanding Weather Resistance, IQ and rendition that has soul and In body Shake resistance. I would not trade my Pentax K-3 because it suits my style of shooting and I can live with the compromises - the Flash system is good enough for me, and the autofocus more than adequate. With my selection of lenses I can get all of my shooting done and love the outcome - Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, DFA 50 mm f/1.4, Pentax DFA100 mm WR f/2.8 Macro, Pentax DA* 50-135 f.2,8 and Pentax DA* 60-250 f/4. Now if I was to replicate those lenses in the Canikon world, I would certainly be on the short end of the stick financially.

09-21-2015, 04:59 PM - 1 Like   #5
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Parallax's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Dakota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,615
QuoteQuote:
'm noticing a lot of the 'wow' factor missing from shots off of the Nikon. I've tried various settings, auto-modes, lenses - and I think it's coming down to two things: optics and weight/shake reduction (and maybe in-camera processing).
First off, "wow factor" (or lack there of) is generally more attributable to the photographer than the equipment.
The other component here is the in-camera processing. Are you letting someone else (the guy who wrote the firmware) do the cooking, (jpg output) or are you cooking the RAW ingredients yourself?
09-21-2015, 05:16 PM - 1 Like   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,103
You can get a wow-factor shot from about ANY camera today in the price range you'll pay for D7100/K3. Be it Sony, Canon, Nikon, Ricoh, etc. There are a couple of types of people in the world, my friend. Those that have to have a touchy-feely camera to give them inspiration to shoot; otherwise, they just can't take pictures. And the men who can grab any camera, understand it and get ithe job done.
09-21-2015, 11:41 PM   #7
Pentaxian
old4570's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,382
Hmmmm...
My D7000 wears a Sigma 50mm Macro lens , My complaint is with the lens , its slow ( Focus ) , other than that , it takes great pictures .
I also have a F1.8 50mm Nikon lens as well the old 55mm Macro lens ( F2.8 )
Damn that old 55mm lens is fantastic ...
And there is nothing wrong with the F1.8 50mm AF lens either ...

What I like most is the ISO settings and shutter speeds ..
The D7000 is a good camera ...

I also have a Canon 40D that takes great pictures ,
For me both the Canon and Nikon are sharper than my K5 for general photography ..
The colors in the Canon are not as nice , but nothing Post Production cant fix ..

These days my go to camera for taking some where , is the 40D ...
It used to be the K5 , unfortunately the K5 has always been a little soft , no matter the lens attached ..

I am seriously impressed by the 40D and my next camera might be the 60D or 70D ...
Im also impressed by the Nikon D7000 ...

Really , the only reason Im so Pentax is the legacy lenses ...
Cant do that with Canon , and only so much with Nikon ...
Push come to shove , might have to own a little of all 3 ...
09-21-2015, 11:42 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
redpit's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Athens
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 729
I also can't really understand the reasons you bought the D7000 over the Pentax alternatives since you had Pentax gear to utilize, but that's not the point.

All I can tell you is that I took exactly the opposite route! I went in digital photography with Nikon and the D7000 and after some research when I finally had the chance to shoot with the Pentax K-5 I was really impressed not to mention the superb K-5IIs. Those 3 cameras use the same sensors so it is a fair comparison... The pictures I take from my K-5IIs I had never took from my D7000 and the whole Nikon gear was by far more expensive...

But this is just my opinion and I think that you may find other systems that better fit your needs. IMHO besides macro photography where Nikon excels due to the wonderful flash systems you can use (and as far I see you don't shoot macro) I can't think of a reason that I could leave Pentax and go back to Nikon... but once more that is just me!

09-22-2015, 12:03 AM   #9
Pentaxian
chickentender's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,993
I hear that the M9 takes the greatest percentage of wow-photo/dollar-spent.
/troll
Honestly, everything said here thus far sounds true to a point. Are you just speaking about "wow" from the in-camera JPG processing in the case of both of these cameras? Do you need new cameras to feel inspired to shoot (I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing). I'd say it sounds like you're bored and that the Nikon just doesn't float your boat. Truth be told, there isn't a whole lot of difference between those two machines, or any most others in the DSLR world now. They all do basically the same thing - you just need a body and lens that floats your boat and gels with your style.
Also, something else to consider - It's tough to look back at shots from the past when perhaps you may have been more amped about that system and took a more creative approach perhaps as a result, and compare them to the current shots when you're looking for something. If you want my serious advice.... find a camera, a wacky crazy and hopefully cheap camera, possibly a film camera that is like nothing you have ever shot on EVER but interests you .... Get it. Get to know. Shoot on it and forget your Pentax Nikon comparisons for a while. You say you're at a crossroads, so take the trail away from the road.
Reboot. Go shoot.

Last edited by chickentender; 09-22-2015 at 12:09 AM. Reason: lernine too spel gud
09-22-2015, 03:26 AM   #10
Pentaxian
kyricom's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 480
QuoteOriginally posted by dwhopson Quote
I'm noticing a lot of the 'wow' factor missing from shots off of the Nikon.
I think you answered your own question.
09-22-2015, 03:27 AM   #11
Pentaxian
old4570's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,382
Hmmm

QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
I also can't really understand the reasons you bought the D7000 over the Pentax alternatives since you had Pentax gear to utilize, but that's not the point.

All I can tell you is that I took exactly the opposite route! I went in digital photography with Nikon and the D7000 and after some research when I finally had the chance to shoot with the Pentax K-5 I was really impressed not to mention the superb K-5IIs. Those 3 cameras use the same sensors so it is a fair comparison... The pictures I take from my K-5IIs I had never took from my D7000 and the whole Nikon gear was by far more expensive...

But this is just my opinion and I think that you may find other systems that better fit your needs. IMHO besides macro photography where Nikon excels due to the wonderful flash systems you can use (and as far I see you don't shoot macro) I can't think of a reason that I could leave Pentax and go back to Nikon... but once more that is just me!
For me , its about taking a better picture .. If Pentax Ricoh wont make the camera I need , then I have little choice ...

Canon 38 to 40%
Nikon 33 to 35%
Sony 12 to 14%

This means Pentax barely registers on the Market share radar ..
It does not mean that Pentax does not make a good camera , because they do . ( Ricoh )
Unfortunately the folks at Pentax / Ricoh seem to be having trouble getting out of the 1950's and into the 21st Century .
The cameras are now Electronic - Digital devices run by firmware ...
So the possibilities and settings should be almost endless , unfortunately what we are given is very limited !

Nikon has a heck of a following , especially with firmware hackers , and they are rewriting Nikon firmware making the cameras even more functional than the factory drones ever imagined or could be bothered to do .
I would love to see Pentax do something wonderful with the firmware ...
Unfortunately I dont think they really care ! , and the same can be said for Canon and Nikon .. I think they do as little as they think they can get away with .
Digital SLR's are not Film SLR's , and the manufacturers have to let go of the old ideas regarding shutter speed and ISO settings , both should be customizable and infinite within the capability of the device ...
I had hacked firmware in my D3200 and it was fantastic ...
Unfortunately the D3200 was too small for my hands , it made me feel almost claustrophobic .
The D7000 is much nicer , and I will have to look into trying some hacked firmware one of these days .
09-22-2015, 03:29 AM   #12
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,241
Pentax cameras have come a long way since the Kx was released. You'd probably be satisfied with a K30 or K50, for that matter, although if you want a flagship type camera, you probably should go with a K5 II or K3, both of which are pretty reasonable at this point.

I don't really know why your images would be particularly different between the two cameras. My guess is that you are using super zooms now, with all of the compromises that come with those lens designs, while when you were with Pentax you tended to use primes. This can make a big difference and certainly getting a prime or two for your Nikon camera would probably be sufficient to fix this.

One thing that cannot be over stated is that ergonomics and enjoyment of use of a particular camera are pretty important too. A camera is just a box to stick your lens on and most are capable of taking good photos these days, but if you don't really like using it and it feels clumsy/unwieldy then you won't take it out as much and may not get as good photos when you do take it out. At this point, I really connect well with Pentax's lay out and when I pick up my brother's D7100 it feels clumsy to me. Yes, I can shoot with it, but I wouldn't enjoy it and it would take a long time for me to be able to do things quickly without looking at buttons, while with my K3 I can do a lot of stuff without ever taking the camera away from my eye.
09-22-2015, 08:06 PM   #13
Forum Member
dwhopson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 76
Original Poster
Ok...I was harsh with the "bottom of the line" remark; however, with minimal choices, minimal accessories, completely different focusing systems, etc...between a Kx and K-5, this is what can be perceived with a Pentax entry level camera - especially with no familiarity of other brands.

The more I think about things and evaluate - I think it's missed expectations/disallusionment with the Nikon. It solved the focus issues I had with the Kx, but in overall comparison to it - 'I' just haven't seen a huge overall image quality boost. I think I was expecting this boost with a body that was costing around 1200$+ new (vs 500$-600$ for the Kx). There is more definition/clarity of course - but the overall kit isn't showing enough improvement to justify the added weight and complexity that was gained.

I like the idea of going back to film. Maybe I should get my Spotty and ZX-M out and have a round... Some of my favorite pics were on film and came through my darkroom.

Basically, I think I need to make my mind up with regards to what I need a camera to do. I definitely need a camera with better focusing ability than what the Kx was giving me - but I'm not sure I need a literal mill-stone around my neck either - like the d7000.

Thanks for the input.
09-22-2015, 10:30 PM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
AquaDome's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: New Carlisle, IN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,472
I went the other way and ditched the D7000 (and my EOS 70D) when I got my K-3.
09-22-2015, 10:43 PM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 293
QuoteOriginally posted by dwhopson Quote
....I'm not sure I need a literal mill-stone around my neck either - like the d7000.

I used a friend's D7000 to photograph his wedding and it was quite a capable camera, but I found it large and cumbersome (which is why I started looking at Pentax). I now have a K-3 which feels much smaller in comparison, in addition to having a well thought out control layout. You can compare sizes at camerasize.com and you'll see what I mean.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
body, camera, dslr, gear, k-3, k3, lenses, nikon, optics, pentax, pentax k-3, pics, tamron
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K5 vs Nikon D7000 prices kshapero Pentax K-5 6 01-09-2013 09:32 AM
K7 vs Nikon D7000 RobG Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 03-19-2012 09:48 AM
DXOMark Pentax K-5 vs Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D Priyantha Bleeker Pentax K-5 25 11-08-2010 06:27 PM
Pentax K-5 vs Nikon D7000 image quality seliscan Pentax K-5 5 11-02-2010 01:54 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:33 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top