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10-27-2009, 09:46 PM   #1
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Pentax K(?) questions

Hello,
I am new here and this is my first post. I don't own a Pentax, but after months of researching, I've narrowed my desires down to about 5 cameras, the top two being the K7 and K20d.

Months of research have been difficult, but fun. I've learned a lot.

My biggest problem is that I live on the east coast of Florida and can't find a K7/20d to look at anywhere in the state. I would really like to see one before I buy. I downloaded the manuals, but didn't find an answer to the some questions I have. I've read enough here to know that someone will be kind enough to answer questions I have, so I guess that will have to suffice (and I'm grateful that you will).

1. How does the LCD screen on the back of the camera (k7 or k20d) behave when shooting?
I have played around with enough cameras to know that I will be looking through the viewfinder as much as possible (Canon A1 habit), but love the information on the back of the camera. Some cameras stay on when you bring your face up to the VF, some have the IR detectors to blank the screen to keep light out of your eyes, and some turn the LCD off and it remains off. I don't want to have to keep selecting 'info' or some other button to turn on the LCD again because I pressed the shutter release halfway, or all the way, or the ISO button, WB button, etc. The Canon xsi, T1i and some sony's 'behave' the way I would like, that is turning back on after I shoot or release a half press, other button, etc. I couldn't get the Nikons to work the way I like in the stores. Not a deal breaker, but...

2. What is the "green line problem"?

3. Is having only a 12 bit ADC a problem, or deficiency?

4. Is the top LCD readout readable in sunlight?

5. Is the main LCD viewable in daylight?

6. I found a dealer with some old third party lenses (Promaster) on clearance and wanted to know if they would work on either camera. The box said for Pentax, and that's about all, but if they were for old film cameras, will they still fit the new digital ones?

7 I ordered my F828 from NY a few years ago. They said new, it wasn't, but I kept it anyway, and have had a blast with it. They wouldn't return my calls about the $300.00 warranty I purchased, but haven't needed it so all is ok. My question here is, if I order from somewhere now, what can I expect, and from whom would you order from (if it's ok to say here).

Sorry for the ramblings, but I really want to purchase and LIKE the Pentax (I don't like doing what everyone else does). SO-NI-CAN

That's all I can think of right now.

Thank you

10-27-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
Damn Brit
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Moved to Beginners Q&A as this is thread is not about Style or Technique.
10-28-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote


1. How does the LCD screen on the back of the camera (k7 or k20d) behave when shooting?
I have played around with enough cameras to know that I will be looking through the viewfinder as much as possible (Canon A1 habit), but love the information on the back of the camera. Some cameras stay on when you bring your face up to the VF, some have the IR detectors to blank the screen to keep light out of your eyes, and some turn the LCD off and it remains off. I don't want to have to keep selecting 'info' or some other button to turn on the LCD again because I pressed the shutter release halfway, or all the way, or the ISO button, WB button, etc. The Canon xsi, T1i and some sony's 'behave' the way I would like, that is turning back on after I shoot or release a half press, other button, etc. I couldn't get the Nikons to work the way I like in the stores. Not a deal breaker, but...
The K-7 rear screen can either be set to turn on all the time, only going off while the shutter button is actually being depressed (and perhaps the AF button as well), or set to come on when the info button is pressed.
A friend has Canons, I find the screen habit of turning on and off depending on where the camera is to be incredibly annoying.
I also find the Pentax screen coming on every time a button is released to be incredibly annoying, so I have mine turned off unless I turn it on.
QuoteQuote:
2. What is the "green line problem"?
Apparently if the K-7 sensor warms up enough it can go a little wonky. I haven't seen it, but I tend to not use live view or shoot video. I have a real video camera for that.
QuoteQuote:
3. Is having only a 12 bit ADC a problem, or deficiency?
The K20 has, IIRC, a 20 or so bit ADC. It's not an issue. All printing is 8 bit, and very few computer screens are hitting more than 12 bit as well.
It's something that marketing makes hype about because a bigger number is better, but the reality is it's about as important as beeing the winner of a pissing in the wind contest.
My K-7 takes better pictures than my K20 despite the lower ADC number.
QuoteQuote:
4. Is the top LCD readout readable in sunlight?



5. Is the main LCD viewable in daylight?
As readable as any. I've never had problems.
QuoteQuote:
6. I found a dealer with some old third party lenses (Promaster) on clearance and wanted to know if they would work on either camera. The box said for Pentax, and that's about all, but if they were for old film cameras, will they still fit the new digital ones?
They will work providing they are actually Pentax mount, not Pentax/Ricoh (KaR), but whether they will work well is something else. Promaster doesn't have a good reputation for being quality glass. These high pixel count cameras are not especially forgiving of junk lenses.
QuoteQuote:
7 I ordered my F828 from NY a few years ago. They said new, it wasn't, but I kept it anyway, and have had a blast with it. They wouldn't return my calls about the $300.00 warranty I purchased, but haven't needed it so all is ok. My question here is, if I order from somewhere now, what can I expect, and from whom would you order from (if it's ok to say here).
I'm fortunate in that I have a good camera store about 2 miles from where I live. Apparently both B&h Photo and Adorama are good, and both have corporate cheerleaders who monitor this forum.
10-28-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Wheatfield,

Thanks very much for the information.

I've narrowed my choices as I said before, and having a current generation 3" LCD hi-res screen is kind of important to me, otherwise I would have ordered the k20d already. What's your opinion on that issue? Is the 2.7" 230k pixel thing a big deal?

Also, may I ask, how do you feel about in-camera vs in-lens IS/VR/SR etc? Can an IS lens work on a Pentax (with SR off)?

Thanks again for your time.

Snydly

10-28-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
2. What is the "green line problem"?
As Wheatfield said, the green line could appear when SOME K-7s were used in video or live view modes and the sensor heated up. However, a recent firmware update claims to have fixed this (and I haven't seen it on my K-7).

QuoteQuote:
6. I found a dealer with some old third party lenses (Promaster) on clearance and wanted to know if they would work on either camera. The box said for Pentax, and that's about all, but if they were for old film cameras, will they still fit the new digital ones?
Promaster lenses are the house brand for Wolf/Ritz. They're generally rebadged Tamron or Sigma lenses. I've had a Promaster 17-35mm, which was a rebadged Tokina, and a Promaster 28-105mm, which was a rebadged Sigma (I think!). Both were fine lenses optically, but a bit questionable in terms of build quality. In general, just look around for reviews and see what users say. It's generally the best gauge.

And yes, any Promaster lens that says "For Pentax" will work fine/natively on any Pentax dSLR.

QuoteQuote:
7 I ordered my F828 from NY a few years ago. They said new, it wasn't, but I kept it anyway, and have had a blast with it. They wouldn't return my calls about the $300.00 warranty I purchased, but haven't needed it so all is ok. My question here is, if I order from somewhere now, what can I expect, and from whom would you order from (if it's ok to say here).
Reliable resellers these days include:

Amazon
Adorama
B&H
47th Street
Cameta
Abe's of Maine
Beach Camera
Buydig
Tristate Camera

In generally decreasing reliability (but I'd buy from all of the above with confidence).
10-28-2009, 08:39 AM   #6
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i think the k20d's lcd isnt good enough to do much critiquing of photos, its fine for functions and menus and seeing if the photo isnt BAD but not real critiquing.
10-28-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
I've narrowed my choices as I said before, and having a current generation 3" LCD hi-res screen is kind of important to me, otherwise I would have ordered the k20d already. What's your opinion on that issue? Is the 2.7" 230k pixel thing a big deal?
I've owned the K20D and recently upgraded to the K-7. The newer LCD is definitely a nice improvement, and the layout of image info is much improved as well, but in general it wouldn't be a make-or-break feature for me.

QuoteQuote:
Also, may I ask, how do you feel about in-camera vs in-lens IS/VR/SR etc? Can an IS lens work on a Pentax (with SR off)?
The ability to use any lens I can stick on the camera with in-body SR is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge plus. I love using my Takumars and other lenses from the 50s and 60s and having SR with them. However, I do believe a couple of lenses with in-lens IS have begun to come out for the Pentax system (all from Sigma or Tamron). The in-lens IS will not work in conjunction with the in-body SR (as I understand it). You have to use one or the other. In general, I think in-lens IS is slightly more effective, and it also provides the benefit of a stabilized viewfinder.
10-28-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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one more thing to think about, the K7 meters better than K20 with legacy lenses, and this may be very important since the OP talks about using older lenses.

aside from this point the better screen, the smaller but still comfortable size of the K7, 77 metering points in place of 11, and the ability to add a common focusing shift, and then apply lens specific ones makes focusing adjustment better than the K20, BUT .....

all for a price

10-30-2009, 03:15 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone.
10-30-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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Be VERY careful where you purchase the camera. There are many scammers out there that sell the cameras for a ridiculously low price, then try to bait and switch you to buy "extras", if you decline, all of a sudden, your camera is on "backorder" and you find out it is coming from overseas.( happened to me once, and canceling the order was a major PITA.) Avoid them at all costs. Stick with the big names like B&H, Adorama, or Amazon.com, they are all trustworthy...
10-30-2009, 08:27 PM   #11
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Evening, I have both a K100 body and have upgraded to the K20 body about 7 months ago. There are several item I can comment on.....

QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
1. How does the LCD screen on the back of the camera (k7 or k20d) behave when shooting?
I have mine setup to display the image for about 3 seconds with a histogram on the rear screen. I do a fair amount of evening/night shooting and I do bring up the image and use the rear wheel to zoom in on some detail so as to determine if I had any camera shake (long exposure) or smearing, or if with very long exposures some of the light points just are over bright. Various users will use this in different ways - and its also very dependent upon the shooting conditions. I would say I use the zoom function maybe 5% of the time. I find the K20 screen to be very usable with no real problems.

QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
3. Is having only a 12 bit ADC a problem, or deficiency?
As indicated previously the current ADC is something like 20 bits. The output between the two is like getting a check for $12.34 (12 bit ADC) or $12.34008 (20 bit ADC) and the image on your monitor or printed out is the equivalent of $12 (8 bit output). In the end your wife will take care of the check, and it will not matter.

QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
4. Is the top LCD readout readable in sunlight?
On both the K100 and K20 it is very readable.

QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
5. Is the main LCD viewable in daylight?
For the most part yes. Its qualified because I have never really had a problem. I will say that I have been in VERY bright sunlight on a beach - with sun glasses, and yes it was some what difficult to read. Your mileage will vary. I will also say that very bright direct sun light is a difficult condition for just about any camera's rear screen.

QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
6. I found a dealer with some old third party lenses (Promaster) on clearance and wanted to know if they would work on either camera. The box said for Pentax, and that's about all, but if they were for old film cameras, will they still fit the new digital ones?
One of the nice things about Pentax is that any of the K mount lenses will work. And with a M42/K mount adapter from Pentax (~$30) the M42 lenses will work as well. Manual lenses are still manual lenses, however in body image stabilization, stabilizes any lens mounted - regardless of age, mount (K or M42), manual or automatic.....

QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
7. I ordered my F828 ........ My question here is, if I order from somewhere now, what can I expect, and from whom would you order from (if it's ok to say here).
I have ordered from Amazon, Adorama. B&H, Beach Camera and Buydig (owned by Beach Camera) and have always received great service, and perfect products. Very happy customer!

QuoteQuote:
Also, may I ask, how do you feel about in-camera vs in-lens IS/VR/SR etc? Can an IS lens work on a Pentax (with SR off)?
This is a primary reason why I went with Pentax (along with their lenses). I like the in body stabilization concept, especially with wide angle lenses in the late afternoon or early evening. I have the SR and no one makes wide angle lenses with IS/VR etc.
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