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11-13-2018, 11:01 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Two subjective questions for KP users

My current Pentax is a K200d, my second one. I bought it not because of its high ISO capabilities or its modern massive multi megapixel sensor - but actually because, like its predecessor the K10d, the K200d had one of the last older generation CCD sensors which, to my admittedly subjective perspective, always has seemed to produce remarkable colors. If my memory serves me well, the ancient Olympus E-1 and also a handful of old Leicas (the M8, the Digilux?) also had CCD sensors and...remarkable colors. Obviously the glass you put on your camera has a lot to do with it as well, it ain't just the sensor, but, still---these days I use my K200d for daylight photography and low ISO's and coupled with a lens like the DA 21, it still creates remarkable colors---

I know generations of more modern CMOS-sensor equipped Pentaxes have supposedly vastly improved everything - and the design of the KP, a relatively modern Pentax, reminds me a lot of my favorite old analog Pentaxes - the MX's and Spotmatics --- but I'm curious how its color-producing capabilities are? when compared to an old school K200d or K10d CCD image?

I know, I know, I know - it's a totally subjective and stupid question. But I'd love to get some responses from KP owners. Any and all answers welcome.

Question #2 has to do with the optical viewfinder. I spent decades using optical viewfinders on old analog pentaprism-equipped Pentaxes with no complaints. They weren't quite up to the quality of the ancient massive Nikon F's but they were just fine. But nowadays, in the modern digital age, when I shoot through the viewfinder of my K200d, it seems....well....a little DIM. I know, supposedly, this has something to do with cheaper pentamirrors (which my K200d has) and more expensive and better Pentaprisms, like the K10d and K20d and, from what I've heard, many of the modern iterations of Pentax DSLR's. BUT (and it's a problem) I like in a tiny town far far far from any camera stores - so it's impractical for me to go and simply do a physical look-through-the-damn-viewfinder-myself-so-I-can-actually-see-the-difference test right now---

So, Subjective Question #2: how much brighter (more visible) is the viewfinder of the KP --- than that of my venerable K200d?

As I said earlier, I really miss my old MX's. And my Spotmatics. And the KP is the first semi-modern Pentax DSLR which actually looks like it might come close to their feel. So, yeah, I'm tempted. But the viewfinder (did I mention I wear glasses?) and color rendition are my two big questions....and I hope someone can give me some clarification.

Muchas gracias to all you KPers, in advance!

11-13-2018, 11:45 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Well, I went from a K50 to a Kp for
like 1month ago. The first thing i gotta say is that when it comes to colours i felt it was more accurate than my k50. Viewfinder...well just gotta say that i love it.
11-14-2018, 04:33 AM   #3
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Colours from ccd are different and arguably better. I loved the colour from my old K10 but the sensor was a dust magnet, AF was slow and iso topped out at 800.

You will find KP vastly superior in high ISO and AF. The viewfinder is definitely superior although it can't compare to the K1.

If you use large lenses though the grip is likely substandard. You really need the battery grip for mid and larger lenses.

The user interface is great and I like it more than the K1.
11-14-2018, 07:17 AM   #4
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I have a k10d and a k3ii, so this won't exactly answer your comparison, but it's close enough imo.
The colors out of camera are different, but with raw pp the difference is less obvious. I haven't tried to match the two for the same scene so I can't comment if it is possible, but I like the k3ii colors as much.
The viewfinders are equally bright and both prism, and not mirror. I have a film zxm with a mirror viewfinder and it's noticeably darker.

11-14-2018, 07:18 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I own a K100D and a K100D Super as well as a K-3. The older bodies both have pentamirror the newer is pentaprism. There is a big difference in brightness. The pentaprism is substantially better.

As for colors, the main difference is the red channel. The cmos k-3 sensor like the k-50 before it is easy to overexpose the red channel.
11-14-2018, 07:18 AM   #6
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I have a K50 and a K100D (pentamirror) and trust me, you will definitely appreciate the difference in OVF. It's not as good as the old Spotmatics but it's definitely a lot better.

I can't speak to colors as I have always found I need to tweak in a RAW developer. I'll say you will definitely find the low light autofocus to be vastly better.
11-14-2018, 10:27 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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This thread may be of interest

Get "that CCD look" with the K-3 / K-3II and Lightroom - PentaxForums.com
11-14-2018, 11:20 AM   #8
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This is fascinating, caliscouser - thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by caliscouser Quote


11-14-2018, 01:35 PM   #9
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I have a K10 and a Kp - Subjectively with the viewfinders, the Kp seems brighter and looks much larger, the text across the bottom of the Kp looks smaller. The Kp has a bit more information.

The Kp feels much smaller in the hand, but it feels solid and robust in the same way - I like both to be honest, and I find it easy to switch between them, The K50 by comparison I really didn't like whenever I'd been using another camera for any length of time.

Image wise, the images from the Kp don't look the same, but it is subjectively warmer, and less clinical than cameras in between like the K50 (I sold mine and kept the K10). You can make images from the Kp look very similar without much effort. The way they deal with grain is also quite nice (colour noise is dealt with very well up to about iso 25k).

Not so good, the battery life is not good compared to the K10, and I frankly don't trust the weather sealing as much, but then I don't trust a canon 5iii as much either.
11-14-2018, 08:37 PM   #10
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The color palette of the KP is more accurate from my impression. I also have the K200D but have not shot with it in a few years because it developed a battery drain problem and I have yet to get it repaired. I have plenty of images stored from it, however. Colors are rich, but then the K200D tends to underexpose by a half stop at least, making colors deeper. I would often use the exposure comp with it to around + 1/3 stop, but it would sometimes still look a bit dim. In well-lit conditions that would translate into rich color in a bright scene. The K100D exposure seemed more right on. The KP exposure is about right on as well, and IQ is amazing. In the
"Bright" setting, colors are saturated, with plenty of pop without being overdone, and results are very fine right out of the camera. For best results in this case, be sure to implement "Fine Sharpening" in the Custom Image menus for superb detail in images with a high-quality lens.
11-14-2018, 11:58 PM   #11
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This is interesting to me, sqrrl, thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
I have a K10 and a Kp - Subjectively with the viewfinders, the Kp seems brighter and looks much larger, the text across the bottom of the Kp looks smaller. The Kp has a bit more information.
I should amend my original post to say that the OVF on my K200d is quite fine and more than adequate in most daylight conditions...although, honestly, I wouldn't ever have called it stellar.

In interiors, depending on the lens used, it can seem rather dim. I understand many OVF's exhibit this behavior. It seems brighter looking through a 50mm f/1.8 lens - than through the f/3.2 aperture of my DA 21. BUT I wouldn't call it bright by any means. So I'm pleased to hear your subjective impressions, sqrrl.

QuoteQuote:
The Kp feels much smaller in the hand, but it feels solid and robust in the same way - I like both to be honest, and I find it easy to switch between them, The K50 by comparison I really didn't like whenever I'd been using another camera for any length of time.
Hmmmm. That makes sense, since the K10d is actually, if my memory serves me well, significantly larger (and heavier) than my K200d - which from what I can tell is close to the same dimensions, almost, as the KP. I suspect the KP may be slightly heavier than the K200d but that's not a deal breaker.

QuoteQuote:
Image wise, the images from the Kp don't look the same, but it is subjectively warmer, and less clinical than cameras in between like the K50 (I sold mine and kept the K10). You can make images from the Kp look very similar without much effort. The way they deal with grain is also quite nice (colour noise is dealt with very well up to about iso 25k).
Hmmmmm. Interesting. I have long partially known that with RAW files, one can do a lot of tweaking. On the other hand, it helps to start out with something that you like more, if that makes any sense.

QuoteQuote:
Not so good, the battery life is not good compared to the K10, and I frankly don't trust the weather sealing as much, but then I don't trust a canon 5iii as much either.
I can like with battery life. The K200d is weather-sealed as well and though I've never had it in extreme elements with a WR lens, it's survived a few downpours. I'm honestly not sure what camera I would really trust, though.

Thanks again for your observations.
11-15-2018, 07:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MiguelATF Quote
I should amend my original post to say that the OVF on my K200d is quite fine and more than adequate in most daylight conditions...although, honestly, I wouldn't ever have called it stellar.
FWIW, the K200D uses a pentamirror instead of a pentaprism as used in the KP and K10D. The main difference is that pentaprism is brighter, while pentamirror weighs and costs less. You should be pretty happy with the OVF of the KP.

I have both the K10D and KP. They both use pentaprism, but to me, the KP seems a bit brighter. I've seen no loss of photo quality with the KP.
11-16-2018, 10:20 PM   #13
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My THANKS again to everyone for thoughtful and illuminating responses. After much cogitation - and some luck from the C.P.G.'s (Camera Purchase Gods) - I have just pulled the trigger on an extremely lightly used (a 'demo' model) KP, from a large and reputable Camera store. It's en route to me even as I write these words, so I'm looking forwards to putting theory into practice -

And seeing how its new (and improved) OVF viewfinder compares with that in my none-too-young K200D -

And last but definitely not least, seeing how its RAW files turn out in my digital darkroom (aka my Desktop Mac).

Of course, I realize that the look and rendering of photographs is just as dependent on the glass and the lens itself, and that the camera and sensor are only part of the equation but ---- I'm optimistic.

Will report back once I have some photos worthy (hopefully) of showing.

Incidentally, for anyone curious as to why I like the output of my K200d, here's the link to a recent (and blessedly short) collection of images, taken with the K200d + the SMC DA 21 Ltd.
Talent, Oregon, November 2018 – MIGUEL TEJADA-FLORES. PHOTOS.
11-17-2018, 04:45 PM   #14
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Good thing you have such a high quality lens, the DA 21mm Limited. It will serve well for you in taking advantage of the quality the KP can produce. If for any reason you choose to be lazy and just shoot some JPEGs, you might be impressed with the KP's in-camera processing also. One of its many points of excellence. Just be sure to set "Fine Sharpening" in the Custom Image menus.

And congrats for your apparently good find of a great price deal!

Last edited by mikesbike; 11-17-2018 at 04:50 PM.
3 Days Ago   #15
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Can't answer about how it performs compared to other cameras as the KP is my first one.
But I can tell I wear glasses and I shoot without removing them and I can see pretty clearly through it. I can also tell my father used to shoot with Pentax MX and had nothing to say watching inside the viewfinder.
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