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01-30-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Pentax Kx - Canon EOS 500D dilemma

I know, I know, this has been asked so many times and I have read and read for the past few days users arguments for and against each camera.

I had almost decided 99% on a white Kx, with 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. Then I keep reading about people not liking the lack of focus point confirmation in the viewfinder. The only other negative I can find is the lower res screen (in comparison to the Canon 500D).

The Canon 500D was on my list in 2nd place... as my brother has a 450D. The 500D has nice menu system, awesome screen and good upgrade path.

So, I have a couple of questions for Kx owners...

1. Will the rear screen in live view mode confirm which focal point has been used?

2. Is it a real issue that it is not confirmed in the viewfinder?

3. Does the Kx always focus on the centre point?

4. Is this something that Pentax could fix in firmware?

5. Is the low res screen an issue?

6. How do you rate the menu system?

7. If I follow my original thought and go for the Kx, somewhere down the line is there likely to be a good upgrade path (maybe to a K7 successor)?

8. Is Pentax still going to be around in a couple of years, producing digital cameras?

Sorry to ask those last two, it just seems like Canon offers a natural upgrade path.

01-30-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DavoMrMac Quote
So, I have a couple of questions for Kx owners...

1. Will the rear screen in live view mode confirm which focal point has been used?
There is a focus point indicator in Live View, indicated by a small white box. By default, it starts in the center, but you can move it anywhere along the screen. If you use facial recognition autofocus and it recognizes a face, the focus point may switch to the facial tracking (indicated by a yellow box) and will follow the face automatically.

QuoteQuote:
2. Is it a real issue that it is not confirmed in the viewfinder?
This will depend on the person, but for me, it's not an issue. I mainly use center point focusing anyway, or remember what zone I set it to, then compose accordingly.

QuoteQuote:
3. Does the Kx always focus on the centre point?
If using 5-point or 11-point AF, the camera will try to use the focus point with a subject that offers the most contrast in sharpness. Whether this is at the center point or not depends on how you compose the shot. So, no, the K-x won't always use the center point unless you tell it to by selecting center-point AF.

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4. Is this something that Pentax could fix in firmware?
I don't see any problem to fix. If you use 11-point or 5-point AF, you're giving the camera a wide area to focus on. If the object that gives the most sharpness-contrast is not at center, it won't use the center focus point. If that's a problem with you, use selective-point or center-point AF.

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5. Is the low res screen an issue?
No. It works fine for checking exposure, and you can zoom in to check your sharpness.

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6. How do you rate the menu system?
It works fine. I like how there are a ton of customization options. Whether it be Pentax or another brand, you're going to have to learn the layout of the menu system, so it will never make sense until you start using it.

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7. If I follow my original thought and go for the Kx, somewhere down the line is there likely to be a good upgrade path (maybe to a K7 successor)?
I say start using the camera first, then when you consider investing more into the brand, come back and ask the question. By then, your options and priorities may change, and we can better answer the question.

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8. Is Pentax still going to be around in a couple of years, producing digital cameras?
Another crystal ball question. I'll bite this time and say yes.

- Jason
01-30-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DavoMrMac Quote
I have posted this elsewhere, but my main two questions I would like to pose here to the lucky new owner (Digital Dustin) and an additional one.

1. What was the deciding factor that led to you buying the Kx?

2. Do you miss the lack of focal point confirmation in the viewfinder?

3. Is the screen really that low res or is it fine?

Thanks.
Like you, I was torn between the Kx and T1i. I was so sure about the T1i until I held the Kx.

1. Deciding factor for me: Kx fits perfect on my hands. It is cheaper, even cheaper with 2 lens kit (55-300) + sling bag + 4gb SDHC compared to T1i w/ only the 18-55 mm lens. AA batteries is a + for me, some folks will argue on this.

2. I don't miss those 11 AF dots as I never had a DSLR before, so it doesn't bother me. Some folks gets bothered by the lack of it.

3. LCD screen is bright but less so compared to the T1i. The menu is very intuitive.

Budget DSLRs (maybe it also holds true w/ mid and high range DSLRs) will not have all the features you want on a camera. You just have to choose which one you can live without. Goodluck, both cameras are awesome!!!.
01-30-2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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Hi Davo

You mention that your brother has the 450D, does he have many lenses for his camera? If he does and you can use them, that would be a good reason to get the 500D. Both the K-X and the 500D are good cameras, you would be happy with either.

Rick

01-30-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone so much for your responses.

Jason, massive help, kudos to you.
May I ask if the Kx has AF tracking?
Also, is the HDR feature good?
One more, AEBracketing, does the Kx offer 3 frames?

Rick, no not many lenses, just two kit ones, not enough to influence.
01-30-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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there ahve been at least a thousand posts on the subject of the focus point; rather that rehash that whole discussion, I'd uggest you simply browse/search this forum. Bottom line: some people really depend on the focus points, others couldn't care less. If you don't already know for absolutely certain you need them because you have extensive experience with other cameras that provide them and, after carefully considering all the different options, have concluded that it is impossible for you to use a camera without them, then obviously, the K-x will be a problem. If you don't know for absolute certain you can't live without that feature, then I know for absolute certain you can.
01-30-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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Extra questions: Selectable 11-point? RAW format? Light/Aperture?

Thanks again everyone...

Just been browsing the Pentax website specs, as I really want to order this after the weekend. A couple of extra questions if you don't mind.

The specs state: * P/Sv/Tv/Av/M/B: AF.A, AF.S or AF.C selectable11-point wide autofocus system (SAFOX VIII)...
So what does the 'selectable' refer to?

File format says: RAW (Original/DNG)
Should I shoot in original or DNG?
Any benefit from one to the other?

I want to use either Lightroom or Aperture (Mac) for my photo management, do both of these support the Kx RAW format?

Any benefits of either app (or should I post/search that elsewhere)?
01-30-2010, 05:10 PM   #8
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Selectable means you can choose which of the 11 AF points are used for any given shot, if you happen to like shooting that way (I don't). You do it using the rear LCD, rather than the viewfinder.

"Original" isn't a file format; "PEF" is the name of Pentax' proprietary format. It totally doens't matter which you pick unless you happen to be a religous zealot on behalf of one format or the other - but if you'd like to see what the zealots do have to say on the matter feel free to read any of the umpteen million existing threads on that subject. too.

For advice on PP applications, you could try browsing the Post Processing forum for existing threads, but actually, there is a *ton* about Lightroom, and almost nothing about Aperture. There are plenty of comaprisons between LR and other applications, but very little about Aperture (except a threead noting it tends to be a lot slower than LR to support new cameras). Take that for what it's worth, but it might indeed be interesting to start a new discussion there on that topic specifically. BTW, one of the advantages of DNG is that you can often use it even with applications that don't yet support your camera's native PEF files.

02-02-2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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I had a Canon T1i for awhile before returning it for the K-X. Not having the AF confirmation in the viewfinder has not been a big deal, but then again, I come from using mostly P&S cameras that didn't offer such a luxury. I must say the LCD on the Canon is definitely a step up from the K-X, but I find the K-X is good enough or better in comparison to what I've used in the past. It is a little difficult to see the LCD in bright daylight outside, but again, that seems to be the case with many cameras.

Now, I'm not sure where prices are currently at for the two cameras, but when I was shopping there was about a $200 difference between the K-X and T1i. I felt the K-X was the better bargain and I could instead use the difference to save for a nice lens.

Lastly, I'm not sure if this is the case with all K-X packaging, but the one I purchased came with a rebate offer good for several Pentax lenses including the 40mm ($25 back), 70mm ($100), and 10-17mm ($80). The rebate does not require the lenses to be purchased at the same time and is good until 7/31/2010.
02-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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Again, you *do* get AF confirmation in the viewfinder with the K-x - that's what the green hexagon at the bottom. What you don't get is an indication of *which* focus point was actually used. You have to actually look at the image in the viewfinder to decide if it looks like it got it right or not, assuming you have reason to doubt. No big deal.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 02-02-2010 at 01:46 PM.
02-02-2010, 01:31 PM   #11
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get the k-x.. u won't regret it. I have handled my friend's 500D and everytime I play with it I'm greatful for getting the k-x.

Only benefit of 500D over K-X is the better LCD, everything else is inferior, it feels very cheap and plasticy in my opinion.

HOWEVER, if you are looking into upgrading for the future, then buying into Canon guarantees you wide availability of accesories like flash, 3rd party lenses and other accesories. That's something to think about..

02-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DavoMrMac Quote
The specs state: * P/Sv/Tv/Av/M/B: AF.A, AF.S or AF.C selectable11-point wide autofocus system (SAFOX VIII)...
So what does the 'selectable' refer to?
You can choose one the 11 AF points the camera will use. Think of it like center AF, except you choose which point is considered the center AF point to focus on.

QuoteQuote:
File format says: RAW (Original/DNG)
Should I shoot in original or DNG?
Any benefit from one to the other?
I prefer to shoot in DNG for two reasons. First, it's an open format; if a program supports DNG, it'll open the file with no problems. If you shoot in PEF, you have to hope that the program supports the revision of PEF that the your DSLR uses or wait for an update. The second reason is that the camera can embed color profiles into the DNG. You can also create custom color profiles, which can be useful if you want a calibrated profile under specific lighting conditions or want some creative lighting. PEF does not support this.

QuoteQuote:
I want to use either Lightroom or Aperture (Mac) for my photo management, do both of these support the Kx RAW format?
If you shoot in DNG, you won't have any issues. I believe the latest updates to Lightroom added support for K-x PEF files. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Aperture still lacks PEF support for the K-x. But again, shoot DNG and you shouldn't have an issue.

QuoteQuote:
Any benefits of either app (or should I post/search that elsewhere)?
I used to use Aperture, but I switched to Lightroom because of presets, as well as great third-party plugin support. If you use Photoshop (which I used to, but no longer use it in my workflow), Lightroom integrates well with it. Furthermore, if you use the DNG camera profiles, Lightroom is for you. If Aperture X were to add those iPhoto features, I might consider trying it out again. I wish Aperture (as well as Lightroom) had some of the latest features that iPhoto has, like face recognition, places, etc. Adobe is usually faster with RAW compatibility updates.

To answer your earlier question, the K-x has AF-C, which is continuous AF. This will do focus tracking. This isn't available in Live View, obviously.

- Jason
02-02-2010, 01:46 PM   #13
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Wow, thanks Jason that is the best answer yet. I will check out Lightroom trial to see how it runs.

Thanks to all who have replied too.
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