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05-25-2010, 02:20 AM   #1
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K20 vs. Nikon D700

O-K here's a non scientific comparison between these two cameras. A brand new Nikon D700 with it's full frame sensor versus a used generation old Pentax K20 with it's APS-C sensor. The D700 used the brand new lower line Nikon 70-300 lens while my K20 had a well used bottom end Sigma 70-300. I believe the D700 was at ISO 4000, f5.6, 1/250 sec with a Nikon SB800 flash.

I haven't got the EXIF data available on this computer but I think I was at ISO 2000+/-, f5.6, 1/180sec using a Metz 60-CT4 about 1/8 power.

A little background. I've been shooting Dirt Track Racing for several years migrating through the DSLR's up from a Pentax 1st, K100, Kx and finally to the K20. I've had the K20 for about a week and a half thanks to forum member Scott (pghwarrior23). This was my second outing with this camera. I still have a bit of shaking out to do with it to get my own settings nailed down. My results will get better as I refine my technique with this camera. I see that I've got to work on my white balance and maybe a bit of noise reduction.

The D700 is used by a friend of mine, Cory Stivison the track photographer from Lernerville Speedway. He purchased his camera at the beginning of the season and as can be seen below, has it pretty well figured out.

My images are directly from the camera with only resizing and the watermark added, as far as I know Cory's are the same.

Ironically it appears that we both took the same shot within a split second of each other, what a better comparison?

More shots of the same event from both cameras can be seen HERE or click either photo below


K20



D700


By the way, I paid $600 for the K20 while the D700 cost $2300, almost four times as much.

Comments please.

FRANK


Last edited by FWW56; 05-25-2010 at 02:28 AM.
05-25-2010, 03:30 AM   #2
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There's something wrong with you. You can't use a Pentax for sports.
05-25-2010, 04:03 AM   #3
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Impressive!

I have to admit, I've drafted a couple of FF rants over in the rumors forum. I think I'll shut up now
05-25-2010, 04:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FWW56 Quote
By the way, I paid $600 for the K20 while the D700 cost $2300, almost four times as much.

Comments please.

FRANK
its all about consistency, you d20 produced results with consistency and people would be using k20d for sports and not d700.

i remember once there was a samba here in kobe and i shot my photos with 50mm F1.2 wide open. A lot of action and got some very good shots. Now it does not mean that every one should switch to manual lense and shoot at F1.2.

05-25-2010, 04:36 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by zxaar Quote
its all about consistency, you d20 produced results with consistency and people would be using k20d for sports and not d700.
could it also be about skill? the op said he has been photographing this sport for several years and has worked his way through the pentax line. not to underestimate the value of a d700 (which i have never even touched). but at the same time, it seems likely the op can produce these results pretty consistently using a pentax camera or he wouldn't be posting as he has. not that i think the op is touting his own skill - more pointing out that pentax is not as lacking as some claim.
05-25-2010, 06:26 AM   #6
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They're not real shots

I don't want to cast aspersions on the op here but...

Am I the only one to see that the two photos are NOT real, but a mere composite? It seems to me that the cars have been cut using software and placed on top of a picture of the track. This is clear by the fact that the two cars are presented in completely different angles (you can see more of the top of the black car as opposed to the white one), alluding to the fact that the pictures of the two cars were taken at separate times from different positions. Moreover, the detail and lighting of the cars' suspension is inconsistent with the overall lighting of the picture and is not possible given the shadows cast on the ground.

And come on, the cars don't even seem to be touching the road!

Am I missing something here? This post is a joke, right? This is not a comparison of any means between the k20d and the d700.

Regards
05-25-2010, 06:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kilowatt Quote
I don't want to cast aspersions on the op here but...

Am I the only one to see that the two photos are NOT real, but a mere composite? It seems to me that the cars have been cut using software and placed on top of a picture of the track. This is clear by the fact that the two cars are presented in completely different angles (you can see more of the top of the black car as opposed to the white one), alluding to the fact that the pictures of the two cars were taken at separate times from different positions. Moreover, the detail and lighting of the cars' suspension is inconsistent with the overall lighting of the picture and is not possible given the shadows cast on the ground.

And come on, the cars don't even seem to be touching the road!

Am I missing something here? This post is a joke, right? This is not a comparison of any means between the k20d and the d700.

Regards
I don't think it's a joke. The lighting at smaller venues is challenging - barely enough so that the cars don't have to run lights. So there are fairly bright areas but also areas of deep shade. Here's a photo to give you a sense:



In any case, it's a fun night out. Just be careful, if you are near a chain link fence with clumps of mud on it, be sure to duck when the cars go by!
05-25-2010, 06:58 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kilowatt Quote
I don't want to cast aspersions on the op here but...

Am I the only one to see that the two photos are NOT real, but a mere composite? It seems to me that the cars have been cut using software and placed on top of a picture of the track. This is clear by the fact that the two cars are presented in completely different angles (you can see more of the top of the black car as opposed to the white one), alluding to the fact that the pictures of the two cars were taken at separate times from different positions. Moreover, the detail and lighting of the cars' suspension is inconsistent with the overall lighting of the picture and is not possible given the shadows cast on the ground.

And come on, the cars don't even seem to be touching the road!

Am I missing something here? This post is a joke, right? This is not a comparison of any means between the k20d and the d700.

Regards
Of course they were shot at different times from different positions - the K20D and D700 cannot occupy the same physical space. They were shot by two different people and just happened to be taken at almost but not exactly the same time.

As for the "floating" look, that's because of their camera's flash illuminating the tires. That's also why you can see the inside of the wheelwells and some suspension. I don't see any indication of fakery here.

05-25-2010, 07:13 AM   #9
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John,

First of, that is a very nice photograph at the tracks.

With respect, I would still contend that the photos posted by the OP are not real, but rather computer generated. Here are some of my reasons:

-The dirt on the track is motion blurred, but the poles on the fence are static
-Where the shadows of the car are being cast towards the viewer, it is highly doubtful (if not impossible) for there to be so much light spilling into the wheel arches of the cars to show the suspension components so clearly
-The sides of the cars are clearly reflecting light, inconsistent with the direction in which the shadows of the cars are cast
-The wheels are not spinning... even at 180th shutter speed, there would still be motion blur unless the cars are stationary or going very slowly
-The images of the two cars were taken from inconsistent angles: arguably, the black car being taken from a higher angle (you see more of the bonnet/hood and roof) as opposed to the white car, which is taken from a lower angle.
05-25-2010, 07:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kilowatt Quote
I don't want to cast aspersions on the op here but...

Am I the only one to see that the two photos are NOT real, but a mere composite? It seems to me that the cars have been cut using software and placed on top of a picture of the track. This is clear by the fact that the two cars are presented in completely different angles (you can see more of the top of the black car as opposed to the white one), alluding to the fact that the pictures of the two cars were taken at separate times from different positions. Moreover, the detail and lighting of the cars' suspension is inconsistent with the overall lighting of the picture and is not possible given the shadows cast on the ground.

And come on, the cars don't even seem to be touching the road!

Am I missing something here? This post is a joke, right? This is not a comparison of any means between the k20d and the d700.

Regards
Mr. or Mrs. Kilowatt I take offense at your accusations. If you would have taken as much time to look at my profile as you did to defame me, you would have seen that this kind of photography is what I do, what I do very well and what I have done for a quite a while. I am published regularly in various racing publications and have been published in national magazines.

The example I posted above is not one of my better shots by any means and I did not submit it for critique by the forum in general nor you in particular. I can see the problems with the technological aspects of the shot. I will however stand by my statement that that shot is exactly as it came from the camera with the exception of re-sizing and adding the watermark.

I never stated that the K20 is a better camera than the D700 I would love to be able to afford one with an assortment of accessories. But rather I made an observation that under certain conditions that the K20 will provide you with shots just as usable as one of the flagships from the Nikon line at one fourth the cost.

And to make it a bit easier for you to research me take a look at the photos below that I have previously posted to these forums over the last couple of years. If you'd like to see more of what I do click any of the photos. Every one of the photos below has been taken with either the K100 or the 1st. I left the bottom photos very large to make it easier for your "pixel peeping"

Once I can attain the skill level with the K20 that I had reached with the old 6mp Pentax line I'll be happy.

FRANK























05-25-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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I think they are real.

Kilowatt you need to study flash photography a little more.

You can get motion blur and frozen images in one shot with a flash. The flash freezes motion even at 1/180th but it doesnt light evenly, so you get some bluring in some areas. There is lots of ambient light in the shot too, thats what is casting the shadows towards the camera (from some big trackside sodium vapor lights) The flash isnt as powerful as that light but its creating some useful fill.

The photos are real but thats not what is important here.

these are not being viewed full size.

You dont buy a fulll frame camera so you can take nice 1000 pixel wide web photos. Hell my wife can do that with her point and shoot.

The full frame is for taking images with superior image quality when viewed full size or blown up large OR to allow for the same image quality with room to crop the image making composition easier (after all thats why the call the APSC a "crop" sensor!)

If you use a couple of crappy zoom lenses on both cameras that will also reduce the differences between them. But I submit if we were able to see some 100% full size images we would easily see some difference in the details.

Is the FF still worth it? depends on how seriously you need that last bit of image quality. How often do you make huge prints? How often do you find yourself cropping in tighter? Its a lot of money, but it is measureably sharper, better, just not on small web images. It reminds me of Spinal Tap, "It goes to 11, thats one louder!"

I know I want FF, do I "Need" it. No, will my customers notice? Probably not, but I think it will help me take pictures by allowing me more freedom to crop to compose my images and still maintain flawless image quality. Not to mention high ISO quality, dynamic range etc...
05-25-2010, 08:16 AM   #12
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D700 white balance, colors and ground look far better.
05-25-2010, 08:18 AM   #13
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... and the outdoor pics look way better than the indoor pics
05-25-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kilowatt Quote
John,

First of, that is a very nice photograph at the tracks.

With respect, I would still contend that the photos posted by the OP are not real, but rather computer generated. Here are some of my reasons:

-The dirt on the track is motion blurred, but the poles on the fence are static
-Where the shadows of the car are being cast towards the viewer, it is highly doubtful (if not impossible) for there to be so much light spilling into the wheel arches of the cars to show the suspension components so clearly
-The sides of the cars are clearly reflecting light, inconsistent with the direction in which the shadows of the cars are cast
-The wheels are not spinning... even at 180th shutter speed, there would still be motion blur unless the cars are stationary or going very slowly
-The images of the two cars were taken from inconsistent angles: arguably, the black car being taken from a higher angle (you see more of the bonnet/hood and roof) as opposed to the white car, which is taken from a lower angle.
First of all, thank you John and Groucho for chiming in with your take on this. Groucho in particular has experience shooting at these types of venues.

This track has state of the art Musco lighting. They have it in place for the televised World of Outlaws events. This lighting is the same as used in sports stadiums and is very bright. The lighting on this side of the track is located behind the grandstands to illuminate the sides of the cars facing the fans, lighting from the other side where we shoot from is very low. As we all learned in photography 101 when shooting with a flash, the flash in effect provides your exposure by being a very short burst of light measured in the thousands of a second. However with the sync speed of an slr physically limited to a shutter speed of somewhere in the 1/160th to 1/250th of a second there will be a measure of ambient light reaching the sensor.

Now with that being understood, wherever there is ambient light (the light lighting the track) you will have motion blur as the camera is panned to follow the subject, this would be the track surface but the fence poles and the wall beneath them are not lit by the ambient light therefore they would not be blurred by the panning of the camera. The light "spilling" into the wheelwells is not spilling but rather it is being shot into the shadows by the flash. Fill flash 101.

Of course the sides of the cars are reflecting light, flash is being used. See above.

The motion of the wheels is frozen by the flash with it's duration measured in the thousands of a second. Again refer to the above paragraph. There is no ambient light reaching this side of the car to give any "motion blur". Take a look at the other photos posted above. There are several that were taken in the daylight with no flash. In these cases even with the shutter speed over 1/1000 of a second there is "motion blur" and I can assure you that the cars in these photos are not standing still but going anywhere from 100mph to over 140mph.

And finally, of course the photos were taken at different angles. This was not a planned shot it just so happened that we both took a shot of the same action at virtually the same time. Cory was standing about 20 or 30 ft to my left and was on an area of the infield that was slightly higher than where I was standing.

I would suggest that before you so quickly call out somebody with your "expert" opinion that you do some research on the subject of which you're critiquing. It is obvious that you need to brush up on the effects of flash photography and on this subject in particular.

FRANK
05-25-2010, 08:36 AM   #15
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The D700 shot looks better to me, especially shadow detail as expected. The K20D frame is a bit underexposed.
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