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10-06-2010, 05:39 AM   #31
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Ok, it looked as if you were referring to horizon correction, not image stabalisation. The latter is crucial for handheld and on all these cams. The former is mainly tripod work. I actually can't even picture the horizon correction stuff or how to enable it, I think I switched it off.

10-06-2010, 07:14 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
If you have a flickr account, add me as a contact and I'll add you so you can see the family photos (that I don't allow public access to).

I really appreciate the offer, but don't have an account (yet) and won't be able to compare the two camera's on "identical" conditions either way. So I think I have to believe your blue eyes either way!!!

Initially I waited on the anouncement of the K-r, because I was hoping for larger & high resolution LCD and Focus assist beam and guess what the K-r got? Indeed, both!!! Including an "incredible" price raise for free...

In parallel I see the K-7 dropping in price and besides the better LCD and Focus assist beam it has much and much more I can discover over the years. (I especially appreciate Prism with 100% OVF, leveling information in view finder and active horizon correction, softer shutter sound, two control wheels, better metering & white balance, also in time connector for stereo microphone and weather resistance can be more valuable than I now can think of)
- I don't see myself taking many High ISO shots of my kids, on top of that most of my pictures will not be enlarged, so I just have to watch it a little and save RAW and do some post-processing (at higher resolution, so more to recover) if a relative high ISO photo gets selected to be enlarged either way...
- If needed please correct my understanding: JPG of K-7 at High ISO is significantly worse than K-x, but RAW is actually pretty good

Concluding I think both K-x and K-7 are currently the best bang for the buck and knowing myself I will prefer upgrading / adding a good lens over upgrading the body, at least for a couple of years.
K-x (incl 18-55) 38,000 円
K-r (incl 18-55) 71,000 円
K-7 (body only) 65,800 円
K-5 (body only) 126,800 円

My wife is getting tired of me, so tomorrow I go to the shop and if the K-7 feels right in my hand (K-x felt slightly small, but K-7 a little heavy) then I will be Pentax camera owner!!!

FYI: Next week my parents are coming of to visit us here in Japan and bringing a couple of used lenses I bought on the internet back home in the Netherlands.

(Just curious, is High ISO performance the only improvement of the K-5 over the K-7? No, also frame rate, full HD video, usefull Life View and potentially better auto focus, right?)
10-06-2010, 07:39 AM   #33
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Other "weaknesses" of K-7 vs K-5:
- K-5 has 16.3 MP over 14.6 MP, year really important...
- K-5 has High ISO noise reduction is customizable separately for each ISO setting, K-7 doesn't?
- K-5 has 5 Programmable USER Settings, K-7 only 1, really only one??? (LX3 has more)
- K-5 auto focus has light wavelength sensor (isn't this the "+" the K-7 also has?)
- K-5 digital preview is enhanced with optional image magnification, what?!?!?!

Oh, I should not forget to buy the viewer enlarger (don't know right wording) and a M42 ring.
10-06-2010, 07:41 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote

- I don't see myself taking many High ISO shots of my kids, on top of that most of my pictures will not be enlarged, so I just have to watch it a little and save RAW and do some post-processing (at higher resolution, so more to recover) if a relative high ISO photo gets selected to be enlarged either way...

- If needed please correct my understanding: JPG of K-7 at High ISO is significantly worse than K-x, but RAW is actually pretty good


(Just curious, is High ISO performance the only improvement of the K-5 over the K-7? No, also frame rate, full HD video, usefull Life View and potentially better auto focus, right?)
Apparently, from the reading here on PF, the K5 is basically a new camera in a K7 body beginning with a new sensor, keeping or improving a lot of the features. I know a lot of people have placed pre-orders for them but until they are in the hands of users, no one knows for certain about performance. Sample photos look promising, especially the ISO 6400 sample posted a couple weeks back. The K5 certainly blows the K7 away in that respect.

High ISO noise on the K7 is more manageable with the RAW files but I wouldn't say it's actually any Better (I know what the reviewers say). Everything is more manageable with the RAW files than JPG IMO. Post processing programs (in my experience) are better able to Handle the noise than the K7 processing software. In the ISO fight, I would have to give way to the Kx. My Best advice for the K7 High ISO is once you have the camera, Go out and take some photos. Play with the settings, the noise reduction (in camera for JPG), etc. Then decide what works best for You. As it stands, the only time I ever boost the ISO is if I need to get a better shutter speed. That is, the lens is wide open and I can no longer handhold the shot because the shutter is too slow. Otherwise, it stays pegged at ISO 100.



10-06-2010, 08:15 AM   #35
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i will say kx plus a good lens is the way to go.
10-06-2010, 09:02 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Apparently, from the reading here on PF, the K5 is basically a new camera in a K7 body beginning with a new sensor, keeping or improving a lot of the features. I know a lot of people have placed pre-orders for them but until they are in the hands of users, no one knows for certain about performance. Sample photos look promising, especially the ISO 6400 sample posted a couple weeks back. The K5 certainly blows the K7 away in that respect.

High ISO noise on the K7 is more manageable with the RAW files but I wouldn't say it's actually any Better (I know what the reviewers say). Everything is more manageable with the RAW files than JPG IMO. Post processing programs (in my experience) are better able to Handle the noise than the K7 processing software. In the ISO fight, I would have to give way to the Kx. My Best advice for the K7 High ISO is once you have the camera, Go out and take some photos. Play with the settings, the noise reduction (in camera for JPG), etc. Then decide what works best for You. As it stands, the only time I ever boost the ISO is if I need to get a better shutter speed. That is, the lens is wide open and I can no longer handhold the shot because the shutter is too slow. Otherwise, it stays pegged at ISO 100.

I knew that K-x is significantly better on JPG at High ISO compared to K-7
- I can understand at RAW K-x is also better

But I thought the difference at RAW is significantly smaller.

K-7
QuoteQuote:
At higher sensitivities it's obvious that Pentax is applying far less luminance noise reduction than Canon or Nikon. On the plus side this means that detail is retained and the results look visibly sharper; the downside is that noise is, inevitably, considerably more obvious. On balance, for viewing at normal magnifications (when color noise is still visible), the Canon and Nikon approach is preferable for JPEGs (though once you get to ISO 6400 none of them is that impressive).

ISO
The graphs below confirm what we have seen in the sample crops above. In numerical terms the K-7 teams up with its predecessor in being the noisiest camera in this group of four cameras. Up to ISO 400 the differences are manageable but then the gap opens up and measured noise on the Pentax duo goes pretty much through the roof.

RAW
The graphs below confirm what we can see in the sample crops. The four cameras compared here produce similar amounts of noise at all ISO settings. The EOS 50D measures the largest amount of chroma noise and the K20D is producing the lowest RAW noise levels pretty much across the range.
K-x
QuoteQuote:
ISO
The graphs below don't quite show what we have seen in the sample crops above. In numerical terms the K-x, EOS 500D and D5000 are not far off from each other (the Nikon has the lowest measured noise levels) but what we cannot see in the graph is the extra detail that is being retained by the K-x's clever noise reduction algorithms.

RAW
Here the graphs confirm what we can see in the sample crops. At higher sensitivities the Pentax K-x produces the cleanest RAW files.
10-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
Other "weaknesses" of K-7 vs K-5:
QuoteQuote:
- K-5 has 16.3 MP over 14.6 MP, year really important...
Doesn't matter. Ask all the people who are still using 6Mp cameras.

QuoteQuote:
- K-5 has High ISO noise reduction is customizable separately for each ISO setting, K-7 doesn't?
You can set the NR levels and adjust at what ISO they take affect but I don't think you can pick say ISO 1600 and say use Weak, then pick ISO 3200 and use Strong.

QuoteQuote:
- K-5 has 5 Programmable USER Settings, K-7 only 1, really only one??? (LX3 has more)
Only 1. As with previous cams, this has been a gripe of mine for quite some time. The K5 still only has 1 on the dial but apparently 5 can be stored and recalled. I don't know how yet but the option is there I guess.

QuoteQuote:
- K-5 auto focus has light wavelength sensor (isn't this the "+" the K-7 also has?)
First I've heard of this. Don't know how it actually works, just that it does.

QuoteQuote:
- K-5 digital preview is enhanced with optional image magnification, what?!?!?!
With the K7 in LV you can cursor around the AF point and the camera will focus on that point wherever you set it (I've tested this). A recent video of the K5 shows the AF point becoming magnified when you pick it and then zooming back out. You can do the same thing with the K7 but it's a manual process. It's a fun feature and if your camera is locked on a tripod, I could see some use but, in practice, I don't use it much.

QuoteQuote:
Oh, I should not forget to buy the viewer enlarger (don't know right wording) and a M42 ring.
Don't know what a viewer magnifier is unless you mean the O-ME53 eyecup (or similar) that Pentax offers. M42 ring? At least one if you intend to use those types of lenses.

10-06-2010, 09:17 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by sleeppygap Quote
i will say kx plus a good lens is the way to go.
Good advice, over time I expect to add a limited amout of good lenses to which ever camera I select either way. Because in my view upgrading a camera is kind of throwing away money (the street value goes down fast, especially compared to good lenses).

So far I "collected" (all used):
- Tamon 10-24 mm (with warranty)
- Pentax DA 18-55 mm II
- Pentax DA 50-200 mm
- Pentax SMC A 50 mm F1.4 (+ 50 mm auto macro converter)
- Pentax SMC M 28 mm F2.8, 135 M F3.5, 200 M F4
- 500 mm F8 (brand to be confirmed + M42 extention tubes)

And depending on my findings I am considering to add one or more of:
- DA 35 mm F2.4 (the new one)
- FA 50 mm F1.4 / Sigma 50 mm F1.4
- Sigma 50-150 mm F2.8
- Sigma/Tamron 70-200 mm F2.8
- DA 55-300 mm
- Any brand 18-135/200/250 mm
- Another fast long prime AF / MF - TBC

PS: So far only Tamron 10-24 and Pentax A 50 mm F1.4 did cost me any significant money.

10-06-2010, 09:20 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Don't know what a viewer magnifier is unless you mean the O-ME53 eyecup (or similar) that Pentax offers.
That is indeed what I mean, isn't a good add-on?
- Hope I can try it before buy it...
10-06-2010, 09:26 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
That is indeed what I mean, isn't a good add-on?
- Hope I can try it before buy it...
I like mine but do be aware, it does crop the viewfinder. So to see Everything, you'll have to kind of look around. The nicest thing about it is with it, I don't have to mash my face against the camera to see what I'm doing.

10-06-2010, 09:37 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I like mine but do be aware, it does crop the viewfinder. So to see Everything, you'll have to kind of look around. The nicest thing about it is with it, I don't have to mash my face against the camera to see what I'm doing.
Crop?!?! You mean magnify beyond standard eye width (and your eye width then kind of crops)?
10-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
I knew that K-x is significantly better on JPG at High ISO compared to K-7
- I can understand at RAW K-x is also better

But I thought the difference at RAW is significantly smaller.
These are shots taken with my K7 at ISO 6400. There are 5 different photos. Numbers 87 and 88 are taken with no in camera NR and no ACR NR done (87 refers to the 4 digit photo counter in the file name). The ...mFA43fromRAW were simply converted to JPGs from PEF files in Adobe Camera Raw (photoshop CS4) with only a white balance adjustment made. Files 89, 90, and 91 had NR applied in both the camera and ACR. The out of camera JPGs, 89 = low noise reduction, 90 = medium noise reduction, 91 = High noise reduction. I have noise reduction turned off below ISO1600. The files that do not have the ...mFA43fromRAW in the file name are straight from the camera.

Index of /Photos/HelpandStuff/ISO6400

This is a VERY extreme case that I would Never go to in actual practice but I'm trying to help you manage your expectations of the K7 (if you go that route).

10-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
Crop?!?! You mean magnify beyond standard eye width (and your eye width then kind of crops)?
What I mean is that the magnifier does just that. Think of how our lenses work on the APS-C sensor. The lens sees everything but the sensor is only recording a portion of what is really there. Now your Eye is the sensor but in this case, everything is there, you just have to kind of look around to see it. Difficult to put into words unless you are looking at it so that's the best I can do. I do suggest putting one on a camera before buying it.

10-06-2010, 10:01 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
These are shots taken with my K7 at ISO 6400. There are 5 different photos. Numbers 87 and 88 are taken with no in camera NR and no ACR NR done (87 refers to the 4 digit photo counter in the file name). The ...mFA43fromRAW were simply converted to JPGs from PEF files in Adobe Camera Raw (photoshop CS4) with only a white balance adjustment made. Files 89, 90, and 91 had NR applied in both the camera and ACR. The out of camera JPGs, 89 = low noise reduction, 90 = medium noise reduction, 91 = High noise reduction. I have noise reduction turned off below ISO1600. The files that do not have the ...mFA43fromRAW in the file name are straight from the camera.

Index of /Photos/HelpandStuff/ISO6400

This is a VERY extreme case that I would Never go to in actual practice but I'm trying to help you manage your expectations of the K7 (if you go that route).

How can I ever go to bed like this?!?!?
- It is almost 2 AM and my two daughters are already sleeping from 8 PM, so will for sure wake up by 7 AM...
- Oh, checked on them and they were cute, but making a picture of them in such dark setting wouldn't be won't be worth printing out enlarged either way... (and with a tripod to support long shutter speeds, it would be possible to enable lower ISO)

Gosh, I really appreciate your effort and looked and compared all the photo's, but don't know really what conclussion(s) to draw from them.
- Noise level on all of them seem to be not acceptable
- How would K-x perform?
10-06-2010, 10:12 AM   #45
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Owning both a K-x and K-7, I find myself reaching for the K-7 a lot more. My photos often are outside, but for the things that the OP mentioned (indoors, kids, family gatherings), I find the K-7 to still do quite well. I'm not sure about your indoor gatherings, but most of mine have plenty of ambient light. And if that's still not enough, a flash takes the rest of the slack. Most of my family/friends don't care about a flash going off, it's not like we're at a museum or show.

I just wanted to add that the K-x was my very first DSLR, but I've since grown to like the K-7 a whole lot more. The external controls, especially with the battery grip are one of the biggest factors for me. I find myself cursing sometimes when I go back to use the K-x and my index finger reaches for the front dial only to find it not there. Same thing when I flip the camera to shoot portraits, everything just feels better having the grip of the K-7. Well, at least that's the best way I can describe it.

You know, if I were to shoot dimly lit shows or concerts, I'd reach for the K-x, but for everyday shooting, I much prefer the K-7.
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