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06-21-2011, 07:20 AM   #1
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Kr/Kx or Micro Four Thirds

I've been lurking on here for a while getting as much info as possible about the Kr since it's release. I'm ready to make a purchase but would like some advice between the Pentax and the 4/3 options.

This is what I intend to use the gear for:

1-Shooting sports, my son plays baseball and soccer so everything will be outside
2-Traveling, I take numerous trips on a motorcycle and would like something small enough to be able to store it in my tank bag
3-General photography, I also like shooting wildlife and nature scenes.

I have used a D60 at a baseball tournament and I was impressed with the quality of pics I was able to get compared to my old P&S.

I'm looking for advice or others experiences who have used the 4/3rd's and how they compare to the Kr/Kx performance. I know I've asked a lot but hopefully I can get some good points to help me with my decision.

Thanks for any assistance

06-21-2011, 07:53 AM   #2
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The reasons I upgraded from p&s to DSLR were; higher ISO sensitivity, greater dynamic range and faster auto-focus. I also prefer an optical viewfinder. The K-x and K-r beat micro 4/3 cameras on all of my main criteria.
06-21-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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Micro 4/3s will give good pictures but the K-x and K-r will be even better. M4/3 isn't really that much smaller than Pentax when you add a lens.

Fitting into your tank bag seems like your toughest criteria, especially if you take long trips and bring multiple lenses, extra batteries, etc. Maybe buy the Pentax from a store with a liberal return policy? If it doesn't fit in your bag return it and try M4/3.

In my situation, I bought a Canon S95 to use whenever the reasonably compact K-r is too large to carry. The S95 cost less than a pancake lens and gives me a tiny camera with a reasonably large sensor that I can carry everywhere.
06-21-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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Also note that not all m4/3 bodies have image stabilization. That's a biggie IMO.

06-21-2011, 10:00 AM   #5
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For a tiny APS-C camera with in-body SR and the ability to use MANY lenses: Sony NEX.
For a small APS-C camera with in-body SR, great high-ISO, and heritage lenses: Kx or Kr.
For a smaller half-APS camera which MAY have SR and can use many lenses: various m4/3.

I personally think that m4/3 (with frames the size of 110 film) will die as an active format before too long. EVIL/MILC's like the NX or NEX just give better images in same-size or smaller bodies. I'm an optics junky and I'm dying to use cheap fast cine lenses. When I have the cash, my next body will likely be a NEX, unless Pentax releases something comparable.
06-21-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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I've got a GH2 (Micro Four-Thirds) and a K-x at my disposal. Here are my $.02

QuoteQuote:
1-Shooting sports, my son plays baseball and soccer so everything will be outside
The Kr/Kx will have the edge here in terms of AFS, FPS and less shutter blackout, but the GH2 has some interesting subject tracking AF modes that may help. And if you are interested in video, the GH2 is better. Here's a sample of the GH2 with the 100-300 zoom (with Image Stabilization):




It's not Sports Illustrated but I've just started experimenting with it. I wonder how the K-x/K-r with the 55-300 would compare?

Bottom line, the K-x/K-r will likely be easier out of the box to get good shots, while an M43 like the GH2 has interesting potential, particularly with video.

QuoteQuote:
2-Traveling, I take numerous trips on a motorcycle and would like something small enough to be able to store it in my tank bag
I'm leaving Friday for my first motorcycle trip with the GH2. Prior to that I've traveled with Nikon and Pentax. I've no doubt that the image quality will be sufficient, and I'm excited by the idea that I'll be able to carry 28mm to 600mm (35mm equivalent) in a small package.

Bottom line, Micro Four-Thirds wins for size, but the K-x/K-r are pretty small too.

QuoteQuote:
3-General photography, I also like shooting wildlife and nature scenes.
The 2x crop factor of Micro Four-Thirds helps really zoom in on distant objects, but I've heard other note that dSLRs are still better at tracking birds in flight and whatnot.

Bottom line, Micro Four-Thirds wins for zoominess, but K-x/K-r win for tracking objects.

At the end of the day, it's pretty close, but I think that the K-x/K-r still has the performance edge, unless video and/or small size are important. Then Micro Four-Thirds squeaks ahead.

Hope this helps...
06-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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Own both

I have a full mFT setup (GF1 and EPL1, 7-14, 14-45, 45-200, 20mm and FT 25mm) and a full K-5 prime setup. The mFT came first to be added to my Oly FT setup. At first it was a blast but soon the limitations became apparent. First is the slow speed of the lenses. Matched with the smaller sensor gives great deep DOF but it is very hard to get real shallow DOF.

IQ is not all that different for most applications with a slight edge to Pentax over either Oly or Pany mFT. Since I always PP the great JPGs from the Oly cams is really negated. But if that is your bag, they are the best out of cam you can get.

The shutter reaction is somewhere between the cursing I did with P&Ss and the blazing speed of my K-5 or E-5. You will miss a few from the CAD AF vs the PSAD in DSLRs.

The LCD for focus and composing just sucks outside during the day. The Oly EVF is great while the Pany is just functional. The real problem with both the EVF and LCD is when a polarizer is used. It is nearly impossible to tell what actually going on from either. It really was just a guessing game. In an OVF, you see what is what you get. In the mFT bodies, the EVF or LCD tries to compensate for the change in image so you never get a real feel for the polarization effect that is really happening.

After realizing all of the above, I bought a K-5 plus a assortment of DA and FA primes. My mFT setup will probably go to one of my daughters. The only hold out is the GF1 plus 20 f1.7 prime. This is my very casual outing cam. I still have my E-5 plus zooms for days I need that vs the K-5 plus primes but those days grow further apart as time goes on. I am very happy with the K-5 plus my DA 15 and 23, FA 31, 77 and 135. This is my Leica dream setup at 1/4 the price.

Take my experience as just that YMMV depending on your needs. Dave
06-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by djc737 Quote
I have a full mFT setup (GF1 and EPL1, 7-14, 14-45, 45-200, 20mm and FT 25mm) and a full K-5 prime setup. The mFT came first to be added to my Oly FT setup. At first it was a blast but soon the limitations became apparent. First is the slow speed of the lenses. Matched with the smaller sensor gives great deep DOF but it is very hard to get real shallow DOF.

IQ is not all that different for most applications with a slight edge to Pentax over either Oly or Pany mFT. Since I always PP the great JPGs from the Oly cams is really negated. But if that is your bag, they are the best out of cam you can get.

The shutter reaction is somewhere between the cursing I did with P&Ss and the blazing speed of my K-5 or E-5. You will miss a few from the CAD AF vs the PSAD in DSLRs.

The LCD for focus and composing just sucks outside during the day. The Oly EVF is great while the Pany is just functional. The real problem with both the EVF and LCD is when a polarizer is used. It is nearly impossible to tell what actually going on from either. It really was just a guessing game. In an OVF, you see what is what you get. In the mFT bodies, the EVF or LCD tries to compensate for the change in image so you never get a real feel for the polarization effect that is really happening.

After realizing all of the above, I bought a K-5 plus a assortment of DA and FA primes. My mFT setup will probably go to one of my daughters. The only hold out is the GF1 plus 20 f1.7 prime. This is my very casual outing cam. I still have my E-5 plus zooms for days I need that vs the K-5 plus primes but those days grow further apart as time goes on. I am very happy with the K-5 plus my DA 15 and 23, FA 31, 77 and 135. This is my Leica dream setup at 1/4 the price.

Take my experience as just that YMMV depending on your needs. Dave
Interesting. Thx for this perspective. I wonder if the M43 universe is diverse enough that the Oly Pen experience is significantly different than the Panny GH2 experience? I suspect that they might be.

06-22-2011, 07:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies and advice.

Looking at prices, it appears I can get the Kr with both lenses fairly close to a mFT setup. I was looking at the Olympus side, EP2 or E-PL2 for the mFT.

I have seriously considered going the route of a S90/S95 for bike trips and getting Kr bundle for everything else but I'm really trying to go with just one camera.
06-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
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Canon G series

I would also consider the Canon G series for your motorcycle adventures. I've been using a G9 on ski tours in Europe for the past few years and have really liked it. Compact, optical viewfinder, and very nice images.
07-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I've got a GH2 (Micro Four-Thirds) and a K-x at my disposal. Here are my $.02



The Kr/Kx will have the edge here in terms of AFS, FPS and less shutter blackout, but the GH2 has some interesting subject tracking AF modes that may help. And if you are interested in video, the GH2 is better. Here's a sample of the GH2 with the 100-300 zoom (with Image Stabilization):




It's not Sports Illustrated but I've just started experimenting with it. I wonder how the K-x/K-r with the 55-300 would compare?

Bottom line, the K-x/K-r will likely be easier out of the box to get good shots, while an M43 like the GH2 has interesting potential, particularly with video.

I'm leaving Friday for my first motorcycle trip with the GH2. Prior to that I've traveled with Nikon and Pentax. I've no doubt that the image quality will be sufficient, and I'm excited by the idea that I'll be able to carry 28mm to 600mm (35mm equivalent) in a small package.

Bottom line, Micro Four-Thirds wins for size, but the K-x/K-r are pretty small too.



The 2x crop factor of Micro Four-Thirds helps really zoom in on distant objects, but I've heard other note that dSLRs are still better at tracking birds in flight and whatnot.

Bottom line, Micro Four-Thirds wins for zoominess, but K-x/K-r win for tracking objects.

At the end of the day, it's pretty close, but I think that the K-x/K-r still has the performance edge, unless video and/or small size are important. Then Micro Four-Thirds squeaks ahead.

Hope this helps...
John
How did you make out on your trip? Did the GH2 perform to your expectations?

I'm still researching/deciding on which format I want to go with. With Olympus coming out with the Pen 3 series now and saying it'll focus just as fast as DSLR gives me more to think about. I still feel the Kr would be the best setup to go with. The biggest problem I'm facing is not having any local stores to try the Kr firsthand to compare the size between the cameras.

Last edited by snowfreak; 07-09-2011 at 07:50 AM.
07-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #12
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Is there a Fry's in your area? I've seen pentax bodies there before...
07-09-2011, 08:22 AM   #13
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did you consider options in micro 4/3rds system for upgrade in future, something like Fullframe in DSLR sector???
07-09-2011, 08:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by acrollet Quote
Is there a Fry's in your area? I've seen pentax bodies there before...
No Fry's in my area, just the normal Best Buy, Wal Mart, etc.


QuoteOriginally posted by gut1kor Quote
did you consider options in micro 4/3rds system for upgrade in future, something like Fullframe in DSLR sector???
I know I'll be limited with the options in the 4/3 and with the Kr I would be able to use older glass.
07-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by snowfreak Quote
John
How did you make out on your trip? Did the GH2 perform to your expectations?
The Panasonics did fine. The GH2 is a real camera for photographers willing to give up an OVF for an EVF (with the plusses and minuses of that decision). The GH1 is ok but not as good - it's missing a couple of features (touchscreen, control of EVF settings, simplified access to key settings) that make usability much worse than the GH2.






















While I might make some different lens choices next trip, overall I don't think that M43 held me back in any significant way.
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