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09-14-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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Panasonic LX5 or Pentax K-X?

Hi,
I'm lookng to buy a new camera and still can't decide between the two. The Pentax k-x + Sigma 17-70mm looks good but will it outperform the LX5's f2 Leica lens in terms of IQ and low light? It will be used mainly during travels so a compact package will help.

If I get a Pentax k-x, what lenses should I consider? My budget is around or under $1500AUD(around 1400USD) I like to shoot landscapes, some macros and low light. I am thinking of these 2 combinations:

1. Sigma 17-70mm, Pentax 12-24mm/Sigma 10-20mm
2. Pentax 12-24mm, a good prime, Tamron 90mm macro

Will a good prime lens be much better than Sigma 17-70mm? What is a good focal range of a prime for general use? 30, 40 or 50mm? Or should I get 2 primes for better coverage?

I saw these on ebay, which of them are better buys?

Pentax SMC M- 50mm-1:1.7+1A Toshiba filter+pouch,EXC+++ - eBay, Lenses, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 20-Sep-10 13:29:48 AEST)


Pentax 50mm F1.4 lens - eBay, Lenses, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 21-Sep-10 17:39:34 AEST)

Sigma 10-20mm lens for Pentax - eBay, Lenses, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 21-Sep-10 18:04:38 AEST)

Pentax DA 12-24 F4 ED AL (IF) - eBay (item 320586013064 end time Sep-14-10 22:23:14 PDT)

Thanks.

09-14-2010, 06:38 PM   #2
Ole
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It is difficult to give general advice on which focal lengths to chose since it is highly personal and depends on how you see the world.

With that said, about 80% of my photos are taken with the FA* 28-70. For landscape I supplement with the FA 12-24, and for macro I use the D FA 100.

Only rarely do I need anything longer than 70mm in which case I grab the DA* 60-250, FA* 80-200, or F 70-210 (if I travel light).

Primes are generally sharper and more contrasty than zooms, but do you want to let go of the convenience of a zoom for a, perhaps imperceptible, improvement in image quality? Only you can answer that question.

Contrary to me, my son takes most of his pictures with an FA* 85mm lens! So - it is highly personal!
09-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
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Hi, well I have the LX5 predecessor the LX3. I also have the K100 (6mp) and K20 (14.6 mp). I also shoot landscapes, cityscapes - things that don't move (often). I picked up the LX3 about 2 years ago for business trips, where I just could not take a SLR with me. In that respect it is a wonderful camera. I like it a lot.

All of that said, comparing the LX3 or 5 for that matter (essentially the same sensor) and a dSLR be it the K100 or K20, is really an apples and oranges exercise. The largest difference I see is sensor size which directly translates into noise, especially in the evening. I do have to say it does as well as it can (which is really pretty good), however it is very difficult to compete with a much larger sensor, especially at ISO 400 and 800, and forget anything above that. The K100 and K20 do well up through ISO 1600 and I have had good luck at ISO 3200 ( with post processing noise reduction).

Size wise obviously the KX 3/5 wins hands down. I really love the Leica f2 lens. It is great, and does very well. Again, as I said, its a wonderful camera for what it is, however you are trying to compare two completely classes of cameras.

Here are some LX3 images....
The lenses on the Pentax, is a hard one, especially if size is a consideration. The 12-24 is a wonderful lens (I have it and use it a lot). It large drawback it - well, its large, no doubt about it. That said, its like shooting with a number of primes - its that good. I also have the FA31 Ltd, and I really like it. I use it for stitched landscapes, due to its sharpness.

Actually, to compete with the LX5, I would go with the KX and DA*15 and DA*40, if you desire the best in image quality. 2 very small and light lenses, that would pack well, would be excellent for landscapes and general use (the 40 is less than an inch thick - I believe). However, the Pentax DA 18-55 is a very small kit lens that will also do very well - I would not count that option out at all (see the kit lens thread in the lens area). I would also get a very small and light travel tripod and external shutter release. In this way, you can trade f stops for longer shutter speeds coupled with higher ISO speeds. You will be able to get wonderful ambient low light landscapes with long shutter speeds, with excellent image quality and better resolution.Now you can do the same with the LX5 (tripod and external release) using the manual controls and lower ISO speeds in order to reduce the noise, and still come out with great images.

Bottom line - Pentax will be a bit larger (but the lenses are actually very small), vs the LX5 where the entire unit will almost fit in a pocket - well a jacket pocket.

Hope that helps...

Last edited by interested_observer; 09-14-2010 at 07:13 PM.
09-14-2010, 07:13 PM   #4
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Well, a 30 or 40mm prime will be better than a 70mm prime in general right? Since you can always crop some of the image.

09-15-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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Hi, welcome to the forum!

In short, and to echo what "interested observer" said, they're really different beasts. I came to Pentax DSLRs a few years back from a Panasonic FZ7. The image quality from the difference in sensors is huge. The K-x with the kit lens will outperform the LX5 in image quality. This is assuming you're going to print a few photos large, and is really the question you need to answer to make the decision. If you are only going to post shots to the web, blow up no bigger than 8x10s, aren't looking to really grow as a photographer, then you should definitely go with the LX5. If you want big vacation prints, and want to see where photography takes you, then I'd go with the K-x and lens setup.

As far as primes vs. zooms, as Ole said, "It's highly personal." If you don't know what you want just yet, you're still going to get very good image quality out of the K-x and kit lens. Some find they don't have a taste for really wide (I do), or primes (I also do). As far as the lenses you're looking at, they're all very good, but a bit more sizeable than a compact setup. Pentax primes would help this (the Tamron 90 is fairly large and heavy). You might want to consider one of the 18-250 superzooms (again, relative to Pentax DA Ltds not the same image quality, but compared to a compact sensor like the LX5 it will still be much better) or the rumored new 18-135mm from Pentax.

Anywho, I'd figure out the final destination for your pics first before I made any other decisions on lens setup, etc.
09-15-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by catastrophe Quote
Hi,
I'm lookng to buy a new camera and still can't decide between the two. The Pentax k-x + Sigma 17-70mm looks good but will it outperform the LX5's f2 Leica lens in terms of IQ and low light? It will be used mainly during travels so a compact package will help.

If I get a Pentax k-x, what lenses should I consider? My budget is around or under $1500AUD(around 1400USD) I like to shoot landscapes, some macros and low light. I am thinking of these 2 combinations:

1. Sigma 17-70mm, Pentax 12-24mm/Sigma 10-20mm
2. Pentax 12-24mm, a good prime, Tamron 90mm macro

The size and weight of LX5 is really different even if compared w/ Kx + DA40
but since you mention low light then you should get the Kx.
The LX5 has a FOV of 16mm on APS-C so if you want wider you can the 12-24

1. Kx + 12-24mm and the LX5 (instead of getting a prime or sigma 17-70)
2. Kx w/ kit lens and LX5
09-15-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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As nice a camera the LX5 appears to be, the K-x with any of the lenses you mentioned should kick the LX5 to the curb in terms of IQ.

Talk about size and the tables are turned. Even with the smallest lens (DA40), the K-x is much larger than the Panny.

So at the end of the day it really depends on what's more important to you, portability (LX5) or image quality (K-x)

There's a couple of discussions on Flickr that may be of interest to you:

Flickr: Discussing LX5 vs GF1 as companion for my SLR? in Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
Flickr: Discussing Panasonic Lumix LX5 announced. Thoughts? in SeriousCompacts.com

Good luck!
09-16-2010, 05:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
Hi, welcome to the forum!

In short, and to echo what "interested observer" said, they're really different beasts. I came to Pentax DSLRs a few years back from a Panasonic FZ7. The image quality from the difference in sensors is huge. The K-x with the kit lens will outperform the LX5 in image quality. This is assuming you're going to print a few photos large, and is really the question you need to answer to make the decision. If you are only going to post shots to the web, blow up no bigger than 8x10s, aren't looking to really grow as a photographer, then you should definitely go with the LX5. If you want big vacation prints, and want to see where photography takes you, then I'd go with the K-x and lens setup.
Thanks for your helpful comment. I'm pretty much decided on getting the k-x. But is there an aperture, exposure control in video mode like the LX5? How much mb will a 20 sec video take in 720p? The video options in LX5 looks attractive since it gives you full control and the new lite format which reduces the video size...Though I prefer picture quality over video. Will the PQ be noticeable when viewed on a 1080p TV?


Last edited by catastrophe; 09-16-2010 at 06:35 AM.
09-16-2010, 07:20 AM   #9
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Since my dSLRs do not do viedo, I can not answer. However, there is a way for you to capture the information. On Google, do a search for Pentax KX and click on the video up at the top, thus doing a search for KX videos. You can see, especially on the Viemo (?) site.

09-16-2010, 07:31 PM   #10
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I already own the LX3 and planning to go for a K-r next to it (so no dSLR yet).
  • The LX3/5 are nice little camera's, but with my SLR background and LX3 experience I can tell you they are totally different tools.
  • The LX3 always goes with us, typically deep down my wife's bag, but it is 99% used on the iA (auto) mode.
  • A dSLR gives you much more parameter you can / parameter range you have to control, mainly because of the bigger sensor and more lenses...
QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
It is difficult to give general advice on which focal lengths to chose since it is highly personal and depends on how you see the world.

With that said, about 80% of my photos are taken with the FA* 28-70. For landscape I supplement with the FA 12-24, and for macro I use the D FA 100.

Only rarely do I need anything longer than 70mm in which case I grab the DA* 60-250, FA* 80-200, or F 70-210 (if I travel light).

Primes are generally sharper and more contrasty than zooms, but do you want to let go of the convenience of a zoom for a, perhaps imperceptible, improvement in image quality? Only you can answer that question.

Contrary to me, my son takes most of his pictures with an FA* 85mm lens! So - it is highly personal!
So true!!! The cheap standard 18-55 mm kit lens pretty well covers the LX5 focal range, so any additional lens gives you more!!! The fun thing with dSLR is that you can always extend your collection later towards your new intended applications and also a different budget levels (2nd hand manual focus can be very cheap).

QuoteOriginally posted by catastrophe Quote
Thanks for your helpful comment. I'm pretty much decided on getting the k-x. But is there an aperture, exposure control in video mode like the LX5? How much mb will a 20 sec video take in 720p? The video options in LX5 looks attractive since it gives you full control and the new lite format which reduces the video size...Though I prefer picture quality over video. Will the PQ be noticeable when viewed on a 1080p TV?
I doubt you will notice any aperture effects on LX5 (except if used for macro pictures of e.g. insect / flowers)...

If you want "simple" but beautiful family pictures (and/or video) with a camera you will always bring with you then go for the LX5.

If you are dedicated to bring a bigger tool and see it as a hobby to play with to get more artistic / glamour pictures then for a dSLR.

Or go for both !!!
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