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09-16-2010, 05:37 PM   #16
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Sounds like a fun experiment, @leadfoot. Thanks.

Here are the examples I showed my wife. The first was a lowlight shot using ISO 800 on both the Canon A710IS and the Kx. Guess which is which!

The second was taken so that each camera covered the same range. The sample is a very small portion of the pic w/ the Canon at 135% and the Kx at 100% crop. Kind of a tough subject, but you can see how well the Kx did handling it. (using f/4 ISO 400)


Last edited by mgvh; 07-07-2013 at 09:29 PM.
09-16-2010, 05:45 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
@agsy: I was in the same position as you! I didn't dare show my wife the pics after having argued that this was such a great camera and worth the price. I did show her now, and the difference is clear enough to get affirmation for the camera.
Yeah, after eight months and lot of practice, I can proudly present the KX's results to my better half. She doesn't even take her little camera when we go out, the KX is coming with us even if "that camera is so big" .
09-16-2010, 06:06 PM   #18
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My first dslr was a FinePix S2 Pro. That was like a $2800 body when it came out. I learned more about photography from that camera then I ever did from my K-1000. So easy to take bad pictures...but when you get it right....POW! The image pops right off the paper. I have an S5 Pro now and not used to it yet.
On the other hand I can pick up my MV or K-1000 still, and take a perfect roll.
09-16-2010, 06:19 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadfoot Quote
You will be really amazed at how well the pictures come out when you almost need a flashlight to walk around outside. Far beyond anything a P&S camera can do, almost like seeing in the dark.
I know exactly what you mean. Here is a shot that I took long after sunset. SMC Takumar 50 1.4 @ f1.4 ISO 3200 1/20 sec.

I'm not sure how to post larger resolution but it is pretty nice quality considering the circumstances.

Attached Images
 
09-16-2010, 07:07 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
The biggest factors I discovered are the ISO and f stop. Using Auto ISO, it sure seemed to want to jump up to 1600 or even 3200.
If this happens in auto mode then I would call this a "bug"
09-16-2010, 09:37 PM   #21
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@joep
I just went into the ISO adjustments and turned down the top end I would allow it to do. (I don't recall what the default setting was, but I think it was 3200.)
It didn't always go to the highest ISO, but that was the problem with most of my early bad pics.
09-16-2010, 11:26 PM   #22
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OK, bad default settings .
- Good to hear you are another happy customer!!!
09-17-2010, 07:33 AM   #23
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The 18-55mm lens is sharpest at 24mm F5.6 according to dpreview lens review charts. it gets quite soft at the extremes (18 or 55mm).

I did a test between three cameras trying to keep all settings matched as possible.

Canon is1000a, sony h20-dsc, pentax k-x. The pentax destroys them in both terms of details and even more in true color representation. on both the sony and canon the reds were more of an orange, a lot less detail, i can post them here if you guys want to see them.

Understanding your cameras strengths and weaknesses will allow you to get the most of it. with post processing 1600-3200 iso is very useable, one guy posted a picture of a swan at night at 6400 iso and it looked VERY sharp! (post processing makes a huge difference)

09-17-2010, 08:28 AM   #24
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I actually got rid of the kit lens and bought a Sigma 18-200 DC. Well after a while I bought an 18-55 AL II and I have to tell you, that lens is SHARP. A lot lighter than the Sigma too. It's a jewel little lens especially with the cute lens-cap.
09-17-2010, 12:58 PM   #25
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The next set of tests I run will be the focal length. My shots at 18mm were indeed quite soft. Ones at 55mm didn't seem quite so bad, but I'll have to do a structured test.
Thanks for reminding me about that.
09-18-2010, 09:09 AM   #26
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There is a process that everyone goes throught when they get their first DSLR. Part of that process is being discouraged with the camera. Don't worry. I went through it, my wife went through it, my brother is going through it.

The discouragement comes because people think that it will be instantly easier to get amazing pictures. Like any new tool it takes dedication to learning how to wield the tool to its maximum efficacy.

A few things to help with your photos.

1) Shoot in RAW. Every RAW file needs a little bit of Post-Processing sharpening but the final image is a lot better than a JPEG. Also you can WB the photo in the computer if you shoot RAW. I hardly ever WB on site. I always do it in the computer, that way I can get the look I am going for. When you shoot in JPEG the camera bakes all the settings in. If you shoot in RAW the image has more room for editing.

2)Shoot more than you think you need to. The more you shoot the better the pictures will get Also learn to shoot in Aperture Priority (Av) and Shutterspeed Priority (Tv). You'll be amazed at how fast you'll get at picking the right setting and at the photos you get.



3)Buy a lens with a fixed large aperture of at least 2.8. A 50mm f1.4 is a great lens to help people get the shallow depth of field that takes the photo to the next level.

4) Don't let your discouragement overwhelm you. Know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the light is the end of the tunnel...not an oncoming train.
09-18-2010, 11:27 AM   #27
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That's normal: people think that buy buying a DSLR and shooting Auto, they automagically get professional looking pictures. Chances are actually the opposite, as default adjustments on P&S tend to produce more "vivid" images.

Two things:

First, understand photography, how to focus, aperture control and how it affects DOF, exposition control and knowing when to underexpose / overexpose, how ISO affect quality, and - very important - learning how to grab the camera and take steady shots. Practice a lot.

Second, is understanding that lenses matter as much or more than the body.

Comparing to the best Ultrazooms today, DSLRs won't have any obvious difference in IQ with kit lenses and under good light conditions. The difference is mostly under adverse conditions and the lens flexibility. If you know what you're doing, which lenses to use, etc. instead of relying just on automatic modes and slow, normal range lenses, this is where there's a big difference.
09-18-2010, 12:28 PM   #28
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This question topic comes up every so often, more so right after a review of a new camera body comparing Pentax XX vs Canon YY and / or Nikon ZZ. There is a raw to raw and a jpg to jpg comparison, and each company handles it differently for different reasons. Your specific question is slightly different in that its a P&S vs a dSLR probably with JPG.

JPG format is how the company processes the image in the camera producing a "finished" product. Pentax tends to leave their JPGs under processed when compared to the others over processed to varying degrees.

As everyone else has indicated you can adjust the jpg output to your taste either in camera or via post processing. You can also bypass the in camera processing and shoot raw, then post process to your taste. One item to note, that in another raw analysis it was found that Pentax had preserved more detail in their raw, than the others, so that does give you more to work with.

There have been quite a few threads here on the topic on what and why Pentax does or does not do, in terms of being praised or penalized when their images are compared to the output of everyone else.

09-19-2010, 07:19 AM   #29
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I have no experience with Pentax dslrs and no offence Lurch but learning how to make the camera take good jpegs was kinda the point for me. Taking nothing but raw and gimping each one for half an hour or an hour seems counter intuitive. My brother in law does just that and gets paid pretty good too. I just think it's more prudent to learn to work with your camera rather than cut the manufacturers firmware out and fight with PS or LR or Gimp to produce something that may or may not even be there.
Easy for me to say with FujiFilm I guess.
I can't believe that Pentax is that bad at jpegs.
AFA pro dslrs, i've gone from S2 to D200 to S5. Each one does jpegs different but once you find the sweet spot, your PP gets really easy.
09-19-2010, 03:26 PM   #30
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Success!

Brought my new Kx to my daughter's soccer game to try out the 50-300 lens. It was a beautiful day, and I got incredible pictures that are so much superior to anything I was able to get with my Canon A710IS. The fast burst worked wonderfully. Focusing was fast (for the most part... I am using single point center focus.) I used the sports mode and let the camera do the work. I probably should have turned down the EV a notch or two, but all in all I am incredibly pleased.

Here's a fast burst sequence of 3 shots, the last of which is attached at 20% size.
If you want to check full size of the images (~5Mb each) they are:
http://www.scrollandscreen.com/images/IMGP0271.JPG
http://www.scrollandscreen.com/images/IMGP0272.JPG
http://www.scrollandscreen.com/images/IMGP0273.JPG

I was shooting these from a distance of about 35 yards away. The first is a bit OOF, but the last one is so sharp... I am really pleased and excited!

Still trying to work out the best parameters for shooting with the 18-55mm. I did a sequence of shots modifying ISO or f-stop or zoom. Does anyone know of a simple (and free) program to compare 2 pics on screen that shows the EXIF info?

Thanks again for the encouragement and advice!

Last edited by mgvh; 07-07-2013 at 09:29 PM.
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