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06-21-2014, 12:19 AM   #1
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Am I crazy?

Hi everyone. I have been shooting Pentax DSLR's for about 3 years now. I use to shoot only film (Fujica, Nikon, Canon, Konica). I had a KM and nowI have a K-X that I use with a 18-55 DA AL, 50mm smc-a f2, a Takumar 55mm 1.8, and a Sigma 70-300 DL Super Macro.

Ok, now that the exposition is out of the way here's my issue. Everything on paper tells me that I have a good camera, but when I compare Pentax KX to most Canon dslr images I seem to always prefer Canon. I just feel like I could reach in and grab the images. With my KX it just kind of sits there. I have taken some shots on my wife's t1i and I much prefer the results.

So the obvious answer is to just get a Canon and shut up already. But am I Crazy? Is it all in my head? I am seriously thinking of switching to a Canon 20d! I just love the images I see. All lenses, even kit. It just looks right. Should I follow my gut and make the switch to a 20d with a 70-300 usm and a 40mm 2.8 STM or stick with the Pentax and try to get over this?

I am not great at this photography thing by any means. Here is my flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mariopanda/ (a couple of my wifes t1i pictures are in there.)

Maybe I just need some tips to take better pictures. Help clearing my jumbled mind at this point would be much appreciated.

Here are some Canon 20d images: Flickriver: Random photos from Canon 20D World pool

06-21-2014, 02:17 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mario-trumpet Quote
Should I follow my gut and make the switch to a 20d with a 70-300 usm and a 40mm 2.8 STM or stick with the Pentax and try to get over this?
As I told someone else recently, it's 10% equipment and 90% skill.

I'll be honest with you - I've seen and spoken to a number of photographers who were unsatisfied with their own work. I mean, we all are, but these are the desperate ones. They generally fall into two camps. One asks 'what can I change about my equipment to make better pictures'? The other asks 'what can I change about myself to make better pictures'? It's almost always those in the second camp who grow beyond this stage.

So, my advice is to get whatever it is that floats your boat and brings joy to your photography. If that's a 20d, great - but if you're asking the same question six months from now, revisit the paragraph above.

P.S. Your photos are better than I think you're giving yourself credit for!

Last edited by OregonJim; 06-21-2014 at 02:40 AM.
06-21-2014, 02:31 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I think you are being too modest. You have some terrific shots there. I've only been through a small subset, but I really like the Stellar's Jay, some of the macro bee shots, and some of you B&W people images. The only Canon shot I've noticed so far is the Raccoon Drinking, which does have a different look to it, though I can't say I prefer it. The difference may just be down to the lens you're using. Certainly, the DA 18-55 is a pretty basic lens, and both the A-series and Takumar are old-world, not designed for digital. They therefore bring a certain look, that I don't mind but that you may not like.

However, I think it is more likely that the camera settings are the cause. Canon's default settings tend to be more aggressive than Pentax's. In particular, the Raccoon shot seems to me to have had more sharpening applied and more definition/contrast. Can you achieve the results you want from the K-x by ramping up sharpening and definition in post processing? If so, you can probably do it with in-camera settings too. I don't have a K-x, so I can't advise on exact process. I really doubt the K-x intrinsically is stopping you getting the quality of shot you want.
06-21-2014, 02:35 AM - 1 Like   #4
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On one hand I agree with OregonJim (the photographer is what makes great photos not the camera) and on the other hand, sometimes a person needs to go on a bit of a journey (with a variety of gear) to find what they can do. Also sometimes a photographer just does not click with a particular camera for some reason.
I have stuck with Pentax and have no intention of changing but I have bought a few different lens (mostly old second hand) and have learnt a lot from doing so I think.

By the way your photos are pretty good. The photographer is also their own harshest critic. I know I'm never 100% happy with my own photos but if I can get to 75% I feel I'm winning.

06-21-2014, 02:49 AM - 1 Like   #5
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What do you prefer about the Canon vs. Pentax shots? Is it colour, bokeh, what?

If it's not a technical thing I'd suggest any camera from any manufacturer will produce the same results, because it's the person behind the camera, not the camera in front of the person that produces the results.

That said, sometimes there's just 'something' that attracts you towards one thing vs. another - cars, TVs, cameras, etc. Go with what you like and can afford; we're all different.

Whatever your choice, enjoy your photography!
06-21-2014, 03:23 AM   #6
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I tend to like the color from Canon better. The Canon pictures on my Flickr feed are not examples of what I am looking for. I should have been clearer they just kind of ended up there. Also when I see portraits and close ups the canon images seem to come off the page. That is a very subjective thing to say I know. It is a very hard decision and after some different shots I took this week and some crude monitor calibration I can see a big improvement in my KX photos. Still on the fence though. It would be easy to go to a 20d with my financial situation but hard to go back to the kx if I changed my mind. Lots of things to think about.

One thing I am worried about is the mega pixel difference. If I want a large print 11X14 or bigger can I get away with an up-res in Light Room or Photoshop to make up the difference?
06-21-2014, 03:26 AM   #7
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Oh and thanks for all the kind words regarding my photos! I will keep working at making better pictures, no camera is going to do it all for me that's for sure.

---------- Post added 06-21-14 at 03:27 AM ----------

Side note: why does the moderator have to approve some posts and not others?
06-21-2014, 04:05 AM   #8
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I looked at the photos taken with the Canon 20D and at your photos. The former didn't impress me at all. The latter I found surprisingly good, given your complaints, and much better than the the first 20 I looked at in the 20D pool.
But if you have this sort of dissatisfaction, I don't think anybody could help you quench it. The itching can only go away if you do what it tells you to do. Anything else is scratching it.


Last edited by causey; 06-21-2014 at 06:08 AM.
06-21-2014, 05:37 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
I looked at the photos taken with the Canon 20D and at your photos. The former didn't impress me at all. The latter, I found surprisingly good, given your complaints, and much better than the the first 20 I looked at in the 20D pool.
Same here. I like the natural look on your page, and the composition and content are easily above average. The 20D page you linked has gimmicky processing that may work for the odd photo but is way overdone when used everywhere. The skin particularly looks unnatural, not what I want to see at all, except for the odd specialty shot.

Anyway, there's nothing a 20D will do that you can't do with K-x image. You just need to adjust the Image Tone settings if you're shooting jpeg, or better yet shoot raw and process them for the over-jazzed look you seem to prefer. I would advise against doing so, but whatever floats your boat.

I'm not a fan of the 18-55 kit lens, but you seem to be doing well with it.
06-21-2014, 06:09 AM - 1 Like   #10
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One answer is the Canon JPEG engine. It's different than Pentax JPEG engine, and many says that's better. Even the best. Another answer is your own taste. But all can be change if you shot in RAW, and PP how you like.
06-21-2014, 06:29 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
better yet shoot raw and process them for the over-jazzed look you seem to prefer. I would advise against doing so, but whatever floats your boat.
Hello Mario-trumpet, welcome to the Pentax Forum.
Dan nailed it there, if you honestly prefer that amped, crunchy and somewhat brittle look, go Canon. It's not worth souping up a Pentax to simulate it, when you can easily have the real thing.
jmo,
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 06-21-2014 at 09:18 AM.
06-21-2014, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mario-trumpet Quote
Hi everyone. I have been shooting Pentax DSLR's for about 3 years now. I use to shoot only film (Fujica, Nikon, Canon, Konica). I had a KM and nowI have a K-X that I use with a 18-55 DA AL, 50mm smc-a f2, a Takumar 55mm 1.8, and a Sigma 70-300 DL Super Macro.

Ok, now that the exposition is out of the way here's my issue. Everything on paper tells me that I have a good camera, but when I compare Pentax KX to most Canon dslr images I seem to always prefer Canon. I just feel like I could reach in and grab the images. With my KX it just kind of sits there. I have taken some shots on my wife's t1i and I much prefer the results.

So the obvious answer is to just get a Canon and shut up already. But am I Crazy? Is it all in my head? I am seriously thinking of switching to a Canon 20d! I just love the images I see. All lenses, even kit. It just looks right. Should I follow my gut and make the switch to a 20d with a 70-300 usm and a 40mm 2.8 STM or stick with the Pentax and try to get over this?

I am not great at this photography thing by any means. Here is my flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mariopanda/ (a couple of my wifes t1i pictures are in there.)

Maybe I just need some tips to take better pictures. Help clearing my jumbled mind at this point would be much appreciated.

Here are some Canon 20d images: Flickriver: Random photos from Canon 20D World pool
Mario - you are indeed crazy (you asked). The pictures you have up on your Flickr are very good - I'd be proud of them if they were in my portfolio. However - if you like the OOC JPEG look from the Canon Rebels you can indeed either work with the Pentax JPEG settings in the camera to approximate it or you can tune your raw convertor. Some convertors like DXO Optics lets your choose various camera developer settings. So for example you can take a raw from your K-X and process it according to whatever model of camera you wish. Its not exact but it comes close. ACR will allow you to tune things to a very high degree with the use of the Profile editor.
I think (IMHO if I can be so bold) your photography has reached a stage where exploration of the conversion process and tuning it would be cheaper, more flexible and likely more satisfying than buying another camera to accomplish what seems largely a conversion taste.
06-21-2014, 07:29 AM - 1 Like   #13
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The easiest way to help you would be to post 2 pics, of similar subject matter, one with Pentax one with Cannon, so we can see (or not) what you mean. I know I like the jpegs out of my old *ist DS better than those out of my K5, but with processing I can usually do more with the latter.

Honestly, I thought your pictures were very good! Which ever system you settle on, keep shooting.
06-21-2014, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mario-trumpet Quote
One thing I am worried about is the mega pixel difference. If I want a large print 11X14 or bigger can I get away with an up-res in Light Room or Photoshop to make up the difference?
For an 11x14 print, all you need is 8MP. Even 6MP can make a good 11x14 if the original is sharp enough.
06-21-2014, 02:01 PM   #15
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That DXO Pro looks awesome! I need to try it. I think I am going with the Canon for these reasons: 1.Brighter viewfinder 2. More controls on body (I am an ex film shooter and love these) 3. Battery grip 4. I can still use my old Takumar with an adapter 5. great cheap primes.

However... I am going to wait to get a good price out of my Pentax gear (I am not soliciting anyone here) Maybe in that time I will have changed my mind. I am going to go out to day and shoot like crazy, load the free trial DXO pro and see what happens. This is a great forum and I appreciate all the kind words and great advice. I am also a Trumpet player and I will tell you the trumpet forums are not as nice! Thanks again!
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