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05-25-2010, 10:07 PM   #1
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Upgrading from K10d to Kx--Should I do it?

Hi all,

I have had a K10d for a coupla years now. I haven't been taken the K10d out of my house because it always seem just a little too heavy and bulky. Among other things, the Kx is attractive to me because of the smaller size and lighter weight. I only use small primes so the I expect I would feel the weight difference. Video is nice. I don't really care about the extra megapixels.

I wonder if the Kx will also improve on the following:
-AF speed, especially when taking candid portraits
-High ISO IQ
-dynamic range or overall IQ
-Better out of the box jpegs


With my own wedding (no official photog) coming up, I would like to be able to hand my camera to a friend to shoot some nice pics (preferably jpegs if good enough, so it will take less time to process) and videos for us.


Things I may miss on the K10D:
-The top display. Are the controls on the K7 harder to use?
-better sealed body. (I do feel okay taking the K10D out in light rain with my cheap A 50mm f1.7 lens. Maybe I will need to be more cautious about using the Kx in light rain or on the beach)

Thanks,

05-25-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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To answer your points directly:
-No
-Yes: The K10D only goes up to ISO 1600, while the K-x to 12800. You'll see a big improvement at high ISO, but keep in mind that the base non-expanded ISO of the K-x is 200 rather than 100.
-Yes: added megapixels. No noticeable difference in quality.
-No

You'll really miss that top display, I can tell you that right now. I don't know where I'd be right now without it! The weather sealing is nice, but you'll have to ask yourself how often you walk out in the rain to determine if it's a factor. The other biggie is having two scroll wheels rather than one (the K-x only has one).

Overall, the K-x is entry-level while the K10 isn't. I'd hardly call it an upgrade, unless you're dying to get video mode and don't mind the simplified controls and buttons. Perhaps the K-7 might be a better choice for you?

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05-25-2010, 11:59 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Well, I'll weigh in since I upgraded from K10 to Kx. My first and last word (quoted from someone else here on the forums) on that transition is - everyone will tell you that the K10 is twice the camera that the Kx is. That may be true. But I get about four times as many fantastic pictures out of the Kx....and isn't that what we're here to do? Get great shots?

So here's my answers, subject entirely to my own subjective experience:

Yes, the Kx is so much lighter than the K10 there's no comparison. The K10 used to actually give me a neck ache even with a prime on it. The Kx I hardly notice I have on, and with a DA Limited lens on it it's laughably light I feel like I can have it with me all the time - something the K10 with its weight and bulk could never give me.

-AF speed, especially when taking candid portraits

YES ABSOLUTELY. I missed so many shots with the K10 because of slow autofocus issues. Never happens anymore with the Kx.

-High ISO IQ

YOU HAVE NO IDEA - you'll be blown away. I hated to shoot at ISO 800 on my K10, on the Kx I shoot at 3200 or 6400 without blinking an eye and jump to 128,000 if I really must have the shot, knowing I'll still like what I get.

-dynamic range or overall IQ

YK, I have less highlight clipping with the Kx than I did with the K10. I know that that's not supposed to be the way it is, but that's been my experience. Add to that the 99% accurate auto white balance and I'm almost never in the position of salvaging my photos as I did with the K10 on more than one occasion.

-Better out of the box jpegs

Yes, definitely. It's not a huge difference, but it's a noticeable one. Even if all you got was improved white balance in your JPEGs, that's huge


Things I may miss on the K10D:
-The top display. Are the controls on the K7 harder to use?


Reports really vary on this one. I got used to checking the back LCD for the 'top display' information in about a week. I don't even think twice about not having the top display anymore - all the information is still right there, just in a slightly different place. On a similar topic, the switch from 2 edials to 1 didn't even phase me - I used my right index finger on the front edial, now I use my right index finger to hit the button to switch from "front edial" functions to rear edial ones. The kinesthetic experience is different, but the functionality is not. There are a few functions missing from the Kx, but the missing front edial isn't the issue.


-better sealed body. (I do feel okay taking the K10D out in light rain with my cheap A 50mm f1.7 lens. Maybe I will need to be more cautious about using the Kx in light rain or on the beach)

I live in rainy Seattle, so you'd think having a sealed camera would matter to me more than it does :P I never had weather sealed lenses, so I never let my K10 get more than slightly damp. I take the Kx out in the rain and just make sure to keep it under my jacket till I want the shot, or with a ziplock bag over it with just the lens area open. If I was a real foul weather shooter, obviously these strategies wouldn't work. But I'm not interested in being out in the rain when it's pouring, so my camera doesn't need to be that sealed Do I wish the Kx was weather sealed? Sure. It would be some peace of mind. But for the drop in price and weight it's a no-brainer for me.

Everything I was in the habit of doing on my K10 I do on my Kx. The couple of specialized functions available on the K10 that are missing from the Kx I didn't happen to use - so that worked great for me The Kx is so much more than an entry level DSLR, it really should be given credit for its capabilities and not detracted simply because of who it's being marketed towards.

I almost never miss a shot I want with the Kx. The K10 couldn't give me that. At what point do you say which is the better camera?
05-26-2010, 02:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by annod Quote
I wonder if the Kx will also improve on the following:
-AF speed, especially when taking candid portraits
-High ISO IQ
-dynamic range or overall IQ
-Better out of the box jpegs
Yes to all of the above.

05-26-2010, 06:26 AM   #5
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I own both cameras

I own the K10D and a new white K-x. I love the K-x!!

I have had good luck with my K10D, and have had excellent results with the camera, but I like the K-x even more! Yesterday I was out shooting during 10-12 of course one of the worst times of day to shoot and with a little fine tuning use of Exposure comp, got great JPEG's right out of the camera. I love the HDR and special filters. Just in looking at photo comparisons of K10D and K-x side by side the K-x Jpegs look better.

The K-x is much easier to lug around all day and I plan on taking it to Europe on a Med cruise in October. I can hardly wait to take great images with it.
05-26-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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yes
yes
yes
no
05-26-2010, 07:30 AM   #7
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Well, I'd say that the Kx is better in all dept., except for:
- WR (but that's a moot point if you don't have WR lenses!)
- 2nd dial (but it really boils down to your shooting style, and if you are in Av mode 99% of the time, you won't even notice this!)
- Top LCD (again, this will bother you for maybe a week, then you'll be used to the rear LCD)

I now have both the K7 and the Kx, and I rather like the diminutive shape of the Kx. I often grab it instead of the bulkier K7 for casual kids shots...

The biggest bothering point I have against the missing dial is for quick parsing in playback mode... I usually zoom in, then go from one pic to the next by using the front wheel...
05-26-2010, 07:34 AM   #8
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The Kx is only meant to be an entry-level camera. I'd say wait a few months to see if Pentax comes out with something like the K-7 with the Kx's sensor.

Things the Kx lacks:
Top display
Ability to use battery grip
In-viewfinder AF points <- big one for me, why I just ordered a K7 over the K-x
Front e-dial (Also a big one)
Other buttons


The Kx just lacks a lot of things the K10 doesn't. Hell, it even lacks things my K200D doesn't.

05-26-2010, 07:40 AM   #9
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> I only use small primes so the I expect I would feel the weight difference.

You'll feel the difference on weight and bulk. That makes the K-x really enjoyable with the small pancakes whereas the K10D feels a bit awkward with a pancake like the 40mm ltd.

> I wonder if the Kx will also improve on the following:
> -AF speed, especially when taking candid portraits

yes, especially in low-light

> -High ISO IQ

no comparison, the K-x is one of the best APS-C camera for high ISO

> -dynamic range or overall IQ

Dynamic range yes, overall IQ I don't think so, I still regard highly the K10D after having used all the subsequent Pentax cameras.

-Better out of the box jpegs

Can't say since I shoot in raw exclusively but the K-x has much more controls on the JPEG appearance.

>Things I may miss on the K10D:
> -The top display.

Yes, but it's replaced by the back LCD which does a very fine job IMHO.

> Are the controls on the K7 harder to use?

You mean the K-x? Yes they are harder to use and if you used TAv a lot, it will a pain on the K-x. Otherwise, in daylight it's no big deal. You can access the back panel and change settings from there rather quickly.

> -better sealed body. (I do feel okay taking the K10D out in light rain with my cheap A 50mm f1.7 lens. Maybe I will need to be more cautious about using the Kx in light rain or on the beach)

Yes build quality is of course much better on the K10D. But you pay it in bulk. Other thing you may miss from the K10D is the bigger and brighter viewfinder. The buffer is also a bit short on the K-x, may not be a big deal if you shoot jpegs though.
05-26-2010, 08:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ecaterin Quote
... On a similar topic, the switch from 2 edials to 1 didn't even phase me - I used my right index finger on the front edial, now I use my right index finger to hit the button to switch from "front edial" functions to rear edial ones. The kinesthetic experience is different, but the functionality is not. There are a few functions missing from the Kx, but the missing front edial isn't the issue....
Ecaterin: Very nice post. One that has answered many of my questions regarding a future upgrade. For me it is giving up the two edials. I have never seen the Kx. Can you elaborate on your work around of the lack of a frone edial. I shoot mostly Av mode with the back dial and adjust the ISO with the front dial on my K10d. But, I also shoot M mode with strobes.

Your point on missing shots really hits home for me. I love taking candids of the kids. I have missed quite a few with the K10d.

Also can you comment on your experience with the lack of AF indicator that many have lamented about and also how much different is the viewfinder as it lacks the pentaprism. Do you miss either of these?

Thanks.
05-26-2010, 08:02 AM   #11
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I think Ecaterin says it all..and isn't getting a lot more out of a camera in features and enjoyment more of an upgrade?
To me that is an upgrade even if I had a K-7 and was not satisfied with it and changed to the K-x and enjoyed the features and camera more..then "to me" I upgraded "my" system 'coz that is what it is all about, being real at ease with your equipment and with being at ease, you will take better photos..and taking better photos is what all the upgrading is about.
05-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #12
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Ecartin is spot on. I sold my K20 and grip to get a K-x and haven't regretted it for the most part. Overall IQ is better and High ISO performance is remarkable. It's like buying 1-2 stop faster lenses all around. I don't miss the dual wheels or top LCD as much as I thought. The only negative is the limitation of not being able to use the timer and bracketing at the same time.

I'm not changing bodies until the the wished for K-7 with K-x performance arrives.
05-26-2010, 11:18 AM   #13
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I have a K20d and just bought the KX as a second body. After hauling the K20 around with the 18-250 or the 17-70 on it I decided that a lighter body would be nice for travel. After one trip with the KX I have really grown to like it. My K20 with grip will stay permanently attached to the Bigma for outdoor and wildlife photography while the KX will take the vacation/ family photo's. I have gotten used to the lack of the second dial but I also think the addition of being able to do an occasional video is a positive that cannot be overlooked. Overall, it is a nice little camera with great high iso performance....
05-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
Ecartin is spot on. I sold my K20 and grip to get a K-x and haven't regretted it for the most part.
QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
I think Ecaterin says it all..and isn't getting a lot more out of a camera in features and enjoyment more of an upgrade?
Thanks VaughnA and GerryL

QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Ecaterin: Very nice post. One that has answered many of my questions regarding a future upgrade. For me it is giving up the two edials. I have never seen the Kx. Can you elaborate on your work around of the lack of a frone edial. I shoot mostly Av mode with the back dial and adjust the ISO with the front dial on my K10d. But, I also shoot M mode with strobes.
The AE and green buttons are programmable both in normal modes and then differently in Program mode - you press one of those buttons with your right index finger & then spin the edial and it gives you different functions than the current edial setting. I haven't tried to set up ISO with the edial because I'm fast with my right thumb (Right thumb on right arrow adjusts ISO up, hit OK) A quick look at the menus and the Kx manual suggests that you can't assign ISO adjustment to a combination of edial/AE or green button. Anyone got any information on that? Seems like an obvious bit of flexibility than Pentax may have hidden in the software somewhere.

I also shoot mostly in Av & can see the advantage of a front edial ISO adjustment. Adjusting ISO on the back hasn't slowed me down much though

WRT shooting with strobes, I haven't done any extensive flash shooting. Someone who does studio pics will have to answer that question. Anyone? Beuler?

QuoteQuote:
Your point on missing shots really hits home for me. I love taking candids of the kids. I have missed quite a few with the K10d.
Yup, that was huge for me. I can set up carefully to get an arty shot, but I also use the Kx for my family photos and those are shots you don't want to miss! All last year I had birthday and holiday folders full of photos in which at least half of them had missed focus. Too high of attrition rate for me! With the K-x I just don't miss anything unless I'm out to lunch and not paying attention :P

QuoteQuote:
Also can you comment on your experience with the lack of AF indicator that many have lamented about and also how much different is the viewfinder as it lacks the pentaprism. Do you miss either of these?
The lack of AF indicator took hardly any time to get used to. With the guidelines etched onto the focus screen, you know where your indicators are, and a glance at the back LCD shows you which one you have selected currently (recall you'll be checking the back LCD as often as you checked the top screen, so it's no extra effort to check your focus point if you've forgotten which one you're using). I'm a "center focus/recompose" person, and I'm bang on my focus point every time. The brain knows within the etched guidelines where "center" is apparently Many many people here have said they won't buy the K-x because of the AF point lack....but it seems like those who actually use the K-x daily quickly adapt to it and don't find it a problem.

The viewfinder is smaller than the K10 and you do notice that right off. It's not dimmer to my eye. If I used mostly manual focus lenses, I'd have a KatzEye focus screen in there no matter which camera I was using BUT I'm sure a pentaprism is a huge advantage for shooting manually. Since I'm currently shooting with all AF lenses, the slightly smaller mirror quickly faded to the background of my notice and I never think about it.

QuoteQuote:
Thanks.
You're so very welcome!

Last edited by Ecaterin; 05-26-2010 at 12:13 PM.
05-26-2010, 01:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
My K20 with grip will stay permanently attached to the Bigma for outdoor and wildlife photography while the KX will take the vacation/ family photo's.
I've found that the Kx is better than the K20D that it replaced for outdoor photography in my case. I can shoot with a higher shutter and/or aperture for better sharpness and capture with my 55-300 because of the better high ISO performance in cloudy situations. It's like having a couple of extra stops of speed on the lens.
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