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06-03-2010, 10:43 AM   #16
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I've used a Pentax K100DS, a Pentax K20D, and a Pentax K7 to shoot weddings, and all of them have performed admirably. I find the controls and low-light performance slightly better on the K20, but the K7's small size, big screen, autofocus improvements, and autofocus light are all nice bonuses for shooting weddings.

Really, what is more important is your lens selection. Any modern body can go up to ISO3200 which will be plenty, but if you try to shoot the whole thing with a kit lens you are going to have some situations that you probably can't handle. Get a 50/1.4 at the very least. Having more fast lenses will help.

PS - Also - a bounce flash will work miracles for you if you learn how to use it properly. I can't imagine shooting without one.


Last edited by Eigengrau; 06-03-2010 at 10:44 AM. Reason: added something
06-04-2010, 03:02 PM   #17
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None of this matters. If you want a K-7, buy it. I don't need a K-7, I have a K100d, but I wanted a K-7, so I bought it. Its for me and I take care of me. You will learn about it if you read the book. I read it for 2 weeks before I even put the battery in it.
Is it better than a canon, or a nikon, or a ford or chevy, what does it matter, what do you like? Thats what matters.
Buy it for you.
As far as being a pro or not, its art, you can't grade art. Remember, your ( just taking pics )
06-04-2010, 03:42 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Majikat Quote
....You will learn about it if you read the book. I read it for 2 weeks before I even put the battery in it.
.....
2 weeks
wow that is discipline
06-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Transit Quote
2 weeks
wow that is discipline
Wow, indeed.

I just read the manual online before it arrives.

06-04-2010, 05:10 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
Wow, indeed.

I just read the manual online before it arrives.

You guys read the manual? No wonder everybody here seems to know more than I do!

Will
06-05-2010, 04:17 AM   #21
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I very much doubt that if you buy the K7 that you will regret getting; however, just remember that there are new cameras released all of the time. There is bound to be a new successor in the fall and it will be better in many respects (and also more expensive). On the other hand, digital cameras don't last forever (or even twenty years), so in four or five years you would need a new camera anyway that will likely blow away any camera out there right now.

The most likely limiting factor in most situations is not the camera, it is the photographer. Learning how to get things right in the camera in the first place and then how to post process your images takes a lot of time, but it is quite rewarding in the end.
06-05-2010, 05:13 AM   #22
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K7 and good lenses will work

About 80% of the images on my web site (Home) were done with a pair of little Nikon D40's. The guys on the Nikonians site laughed when I first announced that I was going to use them. I'm convinced that their 6 megapixel sensors perform better in low light than the 12 MP ones in the more expensive models.

Nikon's matrix balanced fill flash is magical. Indoors, outdoors, almost always perfect. I usually try to find something to bounce it off of.

The other 20% were done with my Nikon F4 and Pentax MX using Portra 800 and 400 film because I have the fast glass for them. I may never spend $2400 on an autofocus 70-210 2.8 lens. The old MF glass works great for those church ceremony shots on the tripod from the back row. I only have to focus a few times because they don't move around that much during the ceremony. I sometimes sit in the front row with the MX and the 50MM 1.4 lens while my daughter is in the back with the tripod.

I still shoot whole weddings with the big 22 year old F4 if that's what the client wants. I do not agree that a digital can out-perform it except for the few seconds it takes to change film. You would have to have at least a D700 to equal it IMHO. A D700 is around $2500 while you can get a nice F4 for $300.
06-08-2010, 10:37 AM   #23
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Read this Jeff Ascough interview (and if you don't know who he is...well...you sure you want to do weddings? :-)
Wedding Photography Insight with Jeff Ascough - photo.net

"What’s the key to good focusing in very dark situations?"

06-08-2010, 11:10 AM   #24
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You could use a K-7 to wipe your behind but it begs the question ... why? There are far better alternatives for such a demanding setting as a wedding, particularly if you are the sole shooter and can afford the better offerings.

Pentax has many strengths and that is why i shoot with them but the weaknesses against the competition are .....

- AF speed in low light
- AF reliability in low light
- Flash system
- Slightly noisy sensor

i.e. exactly what you do not need for weddings.
06-08-2010, 11:45 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
You could use a K-7 to wipe your behind but it begs the question ... why?
I agree. If you want to wipe your butt with a camera, Canon is a much better choice. Especially one of those cheap Canon models.


QuoteQuote:
There are far better alternatives for such a demanding setting as a wedding, particularly if you are the sole shooter and can afford the better offerings.

Pentax has many strengths and that is why i shoot with them but the weaknesses against the competition are .....

- AF speed in low light
- AF reliability in low light
- Flash system
- Slightly noisy sensor

i.e. exactly what you do not need for weddings.

From my own experience shooting weddings (on my own) for the last several years, I'd disagree with you about your first two items. Pentax autofocus might not be AS GOOD as some of the competition. But you can take some feature on almost any camera, and say that it's not AS GOOD as the same feature on some other camera. For example, the image quality of pretty much every APS or 36x24 camera is inferior to the image quality of medium-format cameras. And image quality is a pretty important consideration, right? But AS GOOD isn't what matters. What matters is GOOD ENOUGH. And the autofocus capability of my K20D (and even my K10D) is good enough. I have problems with my photos from time to time. (Find me a photographer who doesn't.) But my problems rarely have to do with focus, and when they do, these days, it's invariably MY mistake, not the camera's.

I agree (and have said here many times) that the Pentax flash system is a regrettably weak part of the Pentax way of life. I wish the Pentax flashes were better made and I wish that the P-TTL system worked better.

Will
06-08-2010, 12:28 PM   #26
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Good enough for what exactly? What i mean is, sure you'll get some great photos but are you missing more shots than with a camera with better AF? Given that the two workhorse lenses (16-50 and 50-135) are notoriously slow to AF I just think it's not what this system is designed for at all.

Sure you can do it but why do it in any more stressfull fashion than you could otherwise?
06-08-2010, 12:38 PM   #27
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I understand that there are certain limitations of the Pentax line, but there are also certain things that are pretty big benefits.

1. Ergonomics. All the performance in the world doesn't matter if it takes you forever to access it. I got an opportunity to play with a D90 recently, and the default way to change ISO seemed amazingly clumsy. The K7 has a dedicated button - you can change ISO without leaving the viewfinder.

2. Size. Wedding photography can be a grueling job, up on your feet, squatting, and running back and forth for 12 hours straight. Having a camera that is efficiently sized means you are that much fresher at the end of the day when you still need to be sharp.

3. Being discrete. The size of both lenses and bodies for Pentax tends to be smaller, which helps. They also don't have giant white 'look at me' lenses. But also, with the K-7 (and I assume Kx) the shutter has been upgraded and is extremely quiet. My wife, who shoots with me and is amazingly sneaky and unnoticeable when she's shooting, will probably be practically invisible with her new kit, which is a K7, a 16-50 2.8, and a 31/1.8. Transferring from a noisier and larger Sony setup.

4. Weather sealing. There are a million things to worry about on a wedding day, whether rain or champagne gets on your gear should not be one of them.

5. Price. Pro photographers are often more price-conscious than most, because gear purchases come right out of your pay. Pentax, not as much anymore in the lenses, but especially in the bodies, offers more camera for your dollar. Especially if you can use some older compatible gear.

6. Build quality. What does this have to do with weddings? Well, first of all, I don't usually worry about my gear much, because I know it is well put together and I'm not worried that some plastic thing is going to break off. Also, don't discount the value of enjoying the tool you have in your hands. When I feel like the camera and lens I have is a solid piece of craftsmanship, it inspires confidence and often makes me excited to shoot.

Taking good photographs is a process of having the right gear and the right know how and the right eye, but it also means knowing what things make you think in the right way. For me, shooting in manual mode with primes connects me with the process in a way that helps me see things better. I feel like the way Pentax designs their camera system encourages this, while some other manufacturers advocate the "sit back and let the camera do it" mentality.

You may feel different, but these are all big reasons that my wife and I both shoot Pentax for weddings. Also, the previous poster is exactly correct - you don't need to have the best, you have to have what works. ISO, autofocus, metering, and so much else give us capabilities that were unheard of 20 years ago, and there was still amazing photography getting done. I saw a thread where a photographer did an entire wedding with only black and white film. These were some of the most impressive shots I've seen in recent memory.

For me, the more that the camera is doing automatically the less connected I feel with the process. Pentax makes me feel more like the camera is an extension of myself than with any other system I've tried, and that helps me take good photos. That's a hard thing to represent in advertising or on a spec sheet, but it is perhaps one of the most important aspects of good photography. I've tried cameras that are technically better performers, but done a worse job with them. As well, for my shooting style, many of the issues (flash metering for instance) are no problem, because I'm controlling it myself anyways.
06-08-2010, 12:54 PM   #28
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Size is almost a non issue, it's weight that counts and the K7 is a dense little bastard. OK the 7D is another story but still.

Price? Well bang for buck sure but but what price to ensure you nail that shot? It's more a bang for buck for a rank amature shooter like myself than for a even a semi pro who needs the shot and needs it now.

Discrete? The lense are no smaller than the competition unles syou shoot primes which is nice and all but super tricky if you are the only shooter.

There's more to consider, the ability to rent lenses, to buy good fast zooms on the used market at a fair price, a pro service arm ...... it never ends.

I just don't know why you'd do it unless you're looking through one eye.
06-08-2010, 01:00 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
You could use a K-7 to wipe your behind but it begs the question ... why? There are far better alternatives for such a demanding setting as a wedding, particularly if you are the sole shooter and can afford the better offerings.
The original question was "can the K7 be used to shoot weddings" and I linked the article to show that even w/ FF canon gear, Jeff uses manual focusing at times (something people keep pushing as not needed w/ non-Pentax systems).
It is interesting to note that he pushes ISO6400 at times just to get 1/8 to 1/15sec shutter speeds.

Ditto w/ the "can afford the better offerings". If I were shooting weddings for profit (and it'd have to be at least $3-4K/wedding to make it worth the pain :-), it'd be w/ a FF system capable of ISO6400 w/o noise (probably a D700), but for bang for buck, the K7 should do fine for the OP and he could buy a spare system w/ the price difference...
06-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Good enough for what exactly?
Um, good enough to make my clients happy? Good enough to take photos I can show to potential clients that inspire them to hire me? Good enough to keep working?


QuoteQuote:
What i mean is, sure you'll get some great photos but are you missing more shots than with a camera with better AF?
I dare say I am missing NO shots using my Pentax cameras. I have been through thread after thread on other forums for wedding photographers where Nikon and Canon users are complaining about missing shots because autofocus locks—but focus is poor. Now I'm not knocking Canon or Nikon autofocus, either. Cameras work differently. You just need to know how to work with what you've got.

Alfisti, you're a good photographer and I respect your view here, which is different from mine and certainly has its own validity. But I think your criticism of the Pentax DSLRs here is mistaken, at least within the context of this thread, which is about wedding photography.

When I was shooting sports, I DID miss shots using my first Pentax DSLR cameras, because I was quickly changing my targets (I shot a LOT of volleyball, and would move constantly from right to left, from one player to another), light inside the school gyms where I was often shooting was almost always poor, and autofocus sometimes simply wouldn't keep up with me.

But a wedding is NOT a sporting event! Much of what happens at a wedding is 100% predictable, at least for an experienced wedding photographer. Whether it's before the ceremony in the bride's dressing room, or during the ceremony, or at the reception, I just can't think of a time in the last couple of years when I've had a problem with the autofocus on my K20D or my K10D. And I assume that the K-7 is not worse than those cameras.

I WILL say that I have a small problem with the bouquet toss. The problem isn't with focus, though. I position myself so that I'm at the apex of an equilateral triangle whose other vertices are the bride and the first single girls in the group who will try to catch the bouquet. I'm invariably shooting with flash at this point, can set the aperture to f/5.6 or smaller for good depth of field, focus on the bride, and I can whip from her to the group without worrying about focus. The problem I've had is with the flash recharging. If I have my battery pack with me, I can probably take two or three flash shots in very quick succession. But what I tend to do is ask the bride to "fake" the throw the first time—to start the toss, but simply not to let go of it. I can photograph that. The second time, she gets to throw it, and I am pointed at the person who catches the bouquet. Works for me.

I can't think of any other autofocus problems that I have. I would love to have 20K to spend on a couple new Nikon D3ses and half a dozen primes, to match the Pentax system I currently use. It is possible that in some situations—especially shooting in the church without flash—the better high-ISO performance of the D3 would make a difference. But I don't think it would make any difference to the focus of my photos.


QuoteQuote:
Given that the two workhorse lenses (16-50 and 50-135) are notoriously slow to AF I just think it's not what this system is designed for at all.
One of the (many) reasons I shoot only with primes these days is that I find them easier and faster to work with. I simply don't THINK about zooming any more. It's simply not an issue for me.


So, if you ask the question, why shoot with Pentax when you could shoot with Nikon or Canon (which are presumably better), my answer would be that Nikon and Canon aren't better enough, in ways that matter to me and my clients, to inspire me to want to spend more money for them.

If I were starting from scratch now, if I had nothing invested in Pentax equipment, and if I were free to pick any system available, I'm not sure what I'd pick. I'm really not. Sony maybe. Maybe Nikon, because of the flash system. But I'd probably still look at Pentax carefully.


Will
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