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06-20-2009, 08:49 AM   #1
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New user considering a pentax system

I have been thinking of moving to pentax for a while now. Right now i own a nikon d200 with few lenses. Reasons for switching are mainly do to with the weight of the gear, my nikon gear is not going to lose any weight with age and D200 is on the limits of being too hefty for my liking. Now i passed on the K20D because having used 3fps i really wanted a minimum of 5fps, i also passed it because to my understanding from the reviews the K20D's liveview was not adequate for manual focusing.

However now when the K7 is coming i am very excited about it as it addressess all the problems i had with k20d and what made me stick with my nikon.

If the IQ in the reviews holds up i will be a pentaxian before the end of the year, i am not expecting K7 to surpass for example D90 but i am expecting it to get close enough. My IQ requirements are not very high as i have been perfectly happy with Nikon D70 (and its underexposing metering) for a long time and i have never been in a hurry to upgrade my D200 i didnt even get excited about D300, D90 or D5000. I just wished i could get D200 like build quality in a smaller package, and thats when i started looking at pentax.

Now about lenses. I think i will get a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, same lens i have been planning for my D200 but with pentax i have it stabilized. Then a 55-300mm altought i am a little worried about its focusing speed, but then again my cheap tamron 55-200mm has been fast enough in good light. 35mm f/2.8 and then 70mm f/2.4.

06-20-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Pemtax seems to be generating quite a bit of cross-platform buzz with the K7. If the K7 can get fairly close to the D90's high-ISO IQ, that qould be something!
06-20-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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I think there are lot of photographers who have found out that once the machismo of owning a serious looking big dslr wears out it starts to feel actually bothersome to have all that bulk with you. I even bought a battery grip for my D200 and im not using it at all. I still enjoy taking photos with it, but at the same time i find it harder and harder to take it with me.

I do enjoy the build quality but i need it in a smaller package.
06-20-2009, 01:39 PM   #4
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My first dip into the DSLR waters was a Pentax *istDL. I owned it for a year and I really enjoyed the camera but I wanted image stabilization, so I just bought a Pentax K200D. The weight of the Pentax cameras makes you feel more like you're carrying a point and shoot than a DSLR.
Not having owned any other DSLR than Pentax it would be hard for me to compare. I love the ability to use all of the older Pentax lenses with my camera. I have bought a manual focus 1:1.7 50mm K mount lens and love the pictures I get from it. I am very pleased with my Pentax camera.

06-20-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Perhaps a wider/heftier strap would help in the meantime?
06-20-2009, 05:12 PM   #6
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I already have one. Never liked stock straps anyway. I am planning on using it on the K7 too even thought i will not need it as much with the K7. Its mostly about the body and the kind of the grip i need, my hands are just on the limits with D200. I can hold firmly one-handed but i can still feel its not the most ideal size of a camera for me, at times it does feel a sort of bowling ball but i have managed pretty well.

Besides pentax has some very interesting lenses like the 70mm and 21mm primes. I dont need that many zooms (and one of the zooms i want is not pentax anyway) i believe pentax will only improve their zooms in the future anyway so i am pretty confident about the lenses. Nikon has a load of zooms but you dont really need but one or two wide-zooms then a single telephoto-zoom.

I just wish K7's IQ holds up and there are no quirks. I have never bought Nikon DSLR i hadnt sent for repairs, D80 had hot pixels in fast exposures and D200 had banding, and now the rubber is coming loose. Nikon D70 was problem free but i didnt buy it :P.
06-20-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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Sounds like you put your cams through a lot...
I've owned a *ist D, K100D, K10D and K20D, none of which had any problems with moderate use (OK, I don't make a living out of these cams). I'm quite confident (without any evidence, just a biased hunch) that the K-7 will turn some Canon and Nikon heads, and be an impressive little machine that exceeds expectations.
06-21-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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Hi, I own a K20D and find the live view fine for most things, but a serious picture is not taken using live view, not with any camera. The same with the *ist-D I owned, which was also a great camera for it's day - the lack of live view was nothing at all. The weight is also nothin even with the grip added. I mean, it's light and the supplied strap is excellent. Anyone complaining about the weight must have a fitness problem and at 58 years I carry a backpack with the 67 II and the K20D and lenses everywhere I go. Often with the Gitzo attached. The K20D is no issue with weight.

If you want accuracy you put it on a tripod and take time necessary and you look through the viewfinder. But the live view works fine for general work. It's a fine camera and I am pleased with it. The new K7 looks like a marked improvement and includes video which is the way things will be. It seems a logical progression.

I take serious landscapes with the three Pentax cameras I own and each camera is is great for the job. I love the 67 II best, but it isn't always convenient and with the Epson 3800 Pro printer I can readily print 13 x 19 off the K20D.

My next digital move, however will be to Canon 5D Mk II, but I will pass the K20D to my daughter who will love it and she's pretty serious with the kids she teaches. The K20D will get lots of great use yet.

06-21-2009, 05:46 PM   #9
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I consider myself a pretty average user but i guess my grip is tighter or hands sweatier .

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My live view comment has more to with manual focusing lenses, thin dof and indoor conditions. Why not outdoors too but mainly indoors. What i have read is that proper manual focus beats any AF system for pure accuracy, i dont have the comparison site bookmarked right now but it demonstrated AF and manual focusing to subject and while both were definitely acceptable and in-focus the manual one was indeed better. I could imagine myself doing something like that with macro, but i do need a tripod.

Because pretty much every APS-C camera lacks a proper OVF for manual focusing, i dont think i will go after manual focusing lenses or fine tune focusing unless i have a reliable and a proper way to use them, this means live view. This is mainly for thin dof, i can guesstimate larger dofs pretty well.

I know camera tells me when i have focus without live view also, but i havent found that feature to be that helpful with my D200, waiting for that tiny green dot to show up.

Most of my shooting will not be done in live view, but i do want that feature because it allows me to do very accurate fine focusing that is near impossible on a APS-C class OVF.

Last edited by casq; 06-21-2009 at 05:56 PM.
06-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #10
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Are you sure the K20 is not right up there with the D90 IQ wise, even in higher ISO? I know this may sound controversial but I don't think it is (much).

Pentax by default does not have noise reduction turned on, to preserve more detail and let you choose later if you want to apply it.

Have a look at the reviews of the K20 on the terrific website The Online Photographer. For example there is an article there comparing it very favorably - in night photography ! - with the D700.

At any rate the D20 has excellent IQ and is pretty darn good in high ISO.

K-7 has a (greatly?) re-engineered CMOS chip and is expected to be that much better.
06-26-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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welcome casq. IMO, if you really want to maximize the IQ of the K-7, I suggest you pair it up with an excellent lens like the DA* 16-50. or a prime 35 macro 2.8 or 31 1.9 if the 16-50 is too much for your budget. I recommend the 35 or 31 for you since it is between what I think the focal length that you would need for your shots. mind you that those are one of the best and new fast and sharp primes that Pentax offers. if I didn't have 2 fast 50s, I might had gotten the 35 for landscape, portraiture and macro use. 3 uses for the price of one plus the fact that you get a really sharp lens.
06-27-2009, 02:49 AM   #12
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D90 is very good though. Let's wait and see the real life application and capability of k7
06-27-2009, 04:58 AM   #13
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Build quality of the D90 doesn't fare so well compared to the K10D/K20D, though IMO.
And it looks like that sort of thing matters to casq!
06-28-2009, 06:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by casq Quote
I think i will get a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, ...
I like both your zoom choices.

And I'd like to support what lc_toronto said: High ISO performance of Pentax cameras is better than most reviews let it appear to be because they don't kill noise & detail with heavy noise reduction. Also, Pentax seems to be quite honest with their ISO figures whereas, e.g., the Nikon D300 has a real ISO value of 2063 when it is set to 3200.

Just found this post with more fake ISO figures. The K20D is also off the mark (the K-7 will presumably be very similar) but at least not as much.

Last edited by Class A; 06-28-2009 at 06:49 AM.
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