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08-28-2010, 06:41 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote

many reviewers claimed the KX blew the K7 out of the water at high ISO

Dave
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Yes... but now that I know the K-7 and LR3, iso is a non-issue. Keep in mind, most reviewers are given about a week to 'learn' the camera and do their write-up. As such, expect their reviews to be superficial, stress the sensational and be behind the curve on the many subtleties that make a camera dance.

Experienced folks whose work I respect say it takes about a year to learn a new camera before they can get back to the skill point they had before they abandoned the old one. I agree. In fact, I'd argue it takes about the same amount of time to make the switch from the K20D to K-7, they are so radically different. If the 'reviewer' were required to work with each model every day for over a year in the real world, as I did with the K20D, followed by another year with the K-7, plus about 10 months with the K-x, I bet their write-ups would be very different.

Believe what you wish. Based on my experience with these three cameras, I stand by my assertion that the K-7 paired to LR3 is vastly superior to the other two. Plus, the rapid advances in pp software we are witnessing should easily extend the K-7's product life through the next model cycle and perhaps, longer.

Anyway, the OP asked for a comparison based on experiece... I am pleased to offer my 2 cents.

Cheers...

08-28-2010, 07:56 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
That statement, while commonly expressed, is flat-out wrong.

My experience with the K-7, when paired to capable pp software like LR3, out performs the K20D, and K-x in ALL respects.
Being careful not to discount your opinion, I think it's worth noting that when we pair camera's(K20D or Kx) with LR3 or ACR6, that they too receive performance improvements as well. Having said that... though recent developments certainly have pushed the boundaries of noise performance and image grain quality, I think it's equally important to highlight that such development do not address areas such as DR.

Ad for the K-7, I'd have to say that whatever ground it gains with ergonomics and improvements in function, it also looses with lowered DR and noise performances over it's predecessors. To which we know isn't simply a little by way of the Kx, but even to that of the obsolete K20D as well.

Which is not to say the K-7 can't be used for work. I think there have been enough examples of gigs and published media with K-7's to conclude that camera's abilities, though I do think Pentax made a real mess of things by delivering a flagship camera with an sensor that would turn out to be inferior to it's predecessor and an entry level camera.

FTR. I've been doing work with K20's for a little over three years now. I wish I could of upgraded to the K-7(I worked with one for a short time), but it proved to be too limiting in terms of low light performance for my needs.

QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote
i am supprised
many reviewers claimed the KX blew the K7 out of the water at high ISO
Unfortunately, it's true.
Someone(here) once illustrated it as such:
I bought a Ferrari(K-7) only to find-out it had a Volkswagen engine in it!
Then I picked-up a Volkswagen(Kx) and found it had a Ferrari engine under the hood.

The Kx doesn't simply outperform the K-7 in low light and DR, it literally runs circles around it! The output one can persuaded out of that sensor at ISO12000 is next to unbelievable.

Last edited by JohnBee; 08-28-2010 at 08:03 PM.
08-28-2010, 08:26 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote

Unfortunately, it's true.
Someone(here) once illustrated it as such:
I bought a Ferrari(K-7) only to find-out it had a Volkswagen engine in it!
Then I picked-up a Volkswagen(Kx) and found it had a Ferrari engine under the hood.

The Kx doesn't simply outperform the K-7 in low light and DR, it literally runs circles around it! The output one can persuaded out of that sensor at ISO12000 is next to unbelievable.
Dear John Bee,
I agree. Thank you for the well-phrased and much needed reality check here.
08-28-2010, 11:14 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Yes... but now that I know the K-7 and LR3, iso is a non-issue. Keep in mind, most reviewers are given about a week to 'learn' the camera and do their write-up. As such, expect their reviews to be superficial, stress the sensational and be behind the curve on the many subtleties that make a camera dance.

Experienced folks whose work I respect say it takes about a year to learn a new camera before they can get back to the skill point they had before they abandoned the old one. I agree. In fact, I'd argue it takes about the same amount of time to make the switch from the K20D to K-7, they are so radically different. If the 'reviewer' were required to work with each model every day for over a year in the real world, as I did with the K20D, followed by another year with the K-7, plus about 10 months with the K-x, I bet their write-ups would be very different.

Believe what you wish. Based on my experience with these three cameras, I stand by my assertion that the K-7 paired to LR3 is vastly superior to the other two. Plus, the rapid advances in pp software we are witnessing should easily extend the K-7's product life through the next model cycle and perhaps, longer.

Anyway, the OP asked for a comparison based on experiece... I am pleased to offer my 2 cents.

Cheers...
I am greatful for your input, it shows a big plus for the K7, unfortunately, by reading deep into your script, i realised the K7 performs well with outside help not on its own. which is what i am looking for.
As a matter of fact, any kind of camera will perform way beyond our wildest dreams, with a great computer and state of the art software .


Dave
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Being careful not to discount your opinion, I think it's worth noting that when we pair camera's(K20D or Kx) with LR3 or ACR6, that they too receive performance improvements as well. Having said that... though recent developments certainly have pushed the boundaries of noise performance and image grain quality, I think it's equally important to highlight that such development do not address areas such as DR.

Ad for the K-7, I'd have to say that whatever ground it gains with ergonomics and improvements in function, it also looses with lowered DR and noise performances over it's predecessors. To which we know isn't simply a little by way of the Kx, but even to that of the obsolete K20D as well.

Which is not to say the K-7 can't be used for work. I think there have been enough examples of gigs and published media with K-7's to conclude that camera's abilities, though I do think Pentax made a real mess of things by delivering a flagship camera with an sensor that would turn out to be inferior to it's predecessor and an entry level camera.

FTR. I've been doing work with K20's for a little over three years now. I wish I could of upgraded to the K-7(I worked with one for a short time), but it proved to be too limiting in terms of low light performance for my needs.



Unfortunately, it's true.
Someone(here) once illustrated it as such:
I bought a Ferrari(K-7) only to find-out it had a Volkswagen engine in it!
Then I picked-up a Volkswagen(Kx) and found it had a Ferrari engine under the hood.

The Kx doesn't simply outperform the K-7 in low light and DR, it literally runs circles around it! The output one can persuaded out of that sensor at ISO12000 is next to unbelievable.
Now this is an objective review which i am hoping Pentax would read and decide to wake up.

quote of the day
Let us stop being a die hard Pentaxian and become a photographer with a voice.
Dave
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08-29-2010, 04:37 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote
I am greatful for your input, it shows a big plus for the K7, unfortunately, by reading deep into your script, i realised the K7 performs well with outside help not on its own. which is what i am looking for.

quote of the day
Let us stop being a die hard Pentaxian and become a photographer with a voice
Eureka, you!

Back to the original question: K20D v K-7.

And the answer is (drum roll, please) easy... Getting good digital photography is all about hard work, not gear.

Research shows it takes around 15,000 hours of concentrated work at something to gain mastery (that's 7.2 years in 40 hour work week terms). You can buy three generations of cameras over that period and still wind up with crappy pictures, or spend the time developing your pp skills. What do you want to do?

Good software rules...

BTW: Beware of myths created by the "feature cherry-picking" argument. While I can point out things about my Spotmatic, Canon P&S, Fuji s609, Optio 30, K100D, K20D, and K-x that are quite attractive... on the whole, each one is vastly out-classed by the K-7.

Kum-ba-yah...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 08-29-2010 at 06:00 AM. Reason: typo
08-29-2010, 07:56 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Eureka, you!

Back to the original question: K20D v K-7.

And the answer is (drum roll, please) easy... Getting good digital photography is all about hard work, not gear.
That's quite true.
Then again... the original question was made-up of three very specific criteria:
  • auto focus speed
  • low light focusing
  • high iso clearity

To which I'd say the K-7 comes on top on two out of three counts.

However, I'm not sure how helpful this is with respect to those points as it it could lead people into thinking they are not qualified to warrant better gear. The way I see it, there are divides in digital photography between the equipment and the art. And it's on the gear side of things that we find legitimacy for higher performances.

One day, all this ISO and DR talk will be beneath us, and we'll look back at the days where a camera couldn't handle taking an indoor shot without blowing what's outside through the windows.
But that doesn't mean we are unworthy of wanting such things either, if you think about it...

Last edited by JohnBee; 08-29-2010 at 11:30 AM.
08-29-2010, 08:38 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote

FTR. I've been doing work with K20's for a little over three years now. I wish I could of upgraded to the K-7(I worked with one for a short time), but it proved to be too limiting in terms of low light performance for my needs.

Unfortunately, it's true.
Someone(here) once illustrated it as such:
I bought a Ferrari(K-7) only to find-out it had a Volkswagen engine in it!
Then I picked-up a Volkswagen(Kx) and found it had a Ferrari engine under the hood.

The Kx doesn't simply outperform the K-7 in low light and DR, it literally runs circles around it! The output one can persuaded out of that sensor at ISO12000 is next to unbelievable.

JohnBee,

IMHO you are spot on, I have my K-20D's just because IMHO the high ISO of the K-7 was very disappointing. I don't care how many bells and whistles you have and fast AF and bla, bla bla,. If your sensor stinks, it stinks !

I bought the Kx and it is a phenomenal camera, I'm very happy with it, its high ISO is on a par with cameras that cost 3 times as much.

I own 3ea K-20D's, and a couple of K200D's (much improved sensor firmware or rework than the K-10D, IMHO), and a K-x.

I used to use my old Ds's for concert stuff, but switched to the K-20D's cause I thought the higher ISO output was better .... now I use the KX for that low light stuff.

Waiting patiently for the next gen of Pentax's , it won't be to long.


PS: I would love the KR to have a battery pack like the K-5 will.


wll
08-29-2010, 09:18 AM   #53
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When comparing the K-7 and K20D's higher-ISO image quality, remember that the K-7 is way less prone to pattern noise and artifacts than the older model. There's always something.

The other thing to remember is that both cameras produce great results -- the discussion is really over fine degrees of excellence. (And I don't say that as a Pentax fan -- it's true for all of the modern mid-range-and-up dSLRs.)

08-29-2010, 09:36 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
... The other thing to remember is that both cameras produce great results -- the discussion is really over fine degrees of excellence. (And I don't say that as a Pentax fan -- it's true for all of the modern mid-range-and-up dSLRs.)
Thanks for pointing this out. I am always amazed, how much time and effort people put into comparing cameras (and other gear). I assume that more or less any modern DSLR of any maker will clearly "outperform" the vast majority of all amateur shooters.
Of course I can only speak for myself, but I try to go back more and more to "basic" equipment (k200d and manual lenses). To me, many "advanced" features can be more distracting than helpful.

But I agree that this attitude is not good for the economy and Pentax's market penetration ...
08-29-2010, 09:54 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
When comparing the K-7 and K20D's higher-ISO image quality, remember that the K-7 is way less prone to pattern noise and artifacts than the older model.
I know the K-7 maintains much better magenta cast(tinge) control than the K20D ever did.
However, with respect to banding, low frequency noise(color blotching) and detail loss, the K-7 fell short of it's predecessor along the sensitivity curve.

And of course lets not forget that such things fall heavily on ones needs and shooting methods too... Keeping in mind that we should have no issues quantifying the K-7 as having superb on-board processing and NR capabilities. Then again... in the RAW, things can change dramatically also if we take the K20's capacity for detail retention and noise performances into consideration, we might find ourselves on a make or break with respect to full size printing.

Along the same lines, I myself printed several hundred ISO3200 prints from our K20's, and a few dozen ISO6400 ones(full size of course). To which I'd would add, I couldn't have settled for less than this in part of an upgrade with respect to the K-7.

So all in all, I think it's equally important to stress the fine details that come along with the measured advantages between the K20D and K-7 with respect to noise and DR. IOW. does the K20D perform better than the K-7 at higher ISO's?

The short answer would be "YES, but..."
I guess we should consider "that" to be on a need to know basis

Last edited by JohnBee; 08-29-2010 at 10:06 AM.
08-29-2010, 11:08 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote

...could lead people into thinking they not qualified to want better gear.
Where did this come from? I have no problem with people wanting better... In fact, that's exactly what I'm advocating.

The intent of my contribution to this thread is to suggest to the OP that other and perhaps better dimensions might be worthy of consideration when comparing the K20D and K-7.

New software (LR3, etc) is doing a great job addressing the K-7's old iso noise objection. If an experienced someone wants to collect and shoot K20D's, or whatever, it's OK by me, but not for me. The K-7's status is no longer the "quo" of six months ago. The cheese has moved.

Suggesting that a K20D, or K-x, is a better choice than a K-7 due to an objection that's rapidly evaporating, is just behind the curve.

I absolutely want the OP to have better. Better is available now... and it sure looks like it's getting better, too.

Cheers...
08-29-2010, 11:10 AM   #57
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As I am primarily a still photographer, I am concerned about these new cameras with video.
I don't like the idea of SLR's optimized for video at the expense of still image quality. When I
upgrade I never want to take a step backwards in IQ. Even if it's only a tiny step backwards.

Last edited by jeff knight; 08-30-2010 at 06:39 PM.
08-29-2010, 12:13 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Where did this come from? I have no problem with people wanting better... In fact, that's exactly what I'm advocating.
The statement was offered as a precautionary highlight on how people may perceive the following information:

Q. Which is better the K20D or the K-7?
A. good digital photography is about hard work, not gear.

To which one could honestly ask, is it not possible to quantify camera's based on performance data alone? The truth of the matter is, if we substitute direct answers with proposals such as the one above, it could inadvertently lead to a perceived notion of evasiveness or the notion that they are either not qualified or up to the task of identifying the advantages of a particular camera under the scope of a performance analysis.

With this in mind, I think the best course of action(always) is to adhere to the cold hard facts with respect to questions of this nature. ex:
K20D vs K-7
  • auto focus speed: K-7
  • low light focusing: K-7
  • high iso clarity: K20D

Which is why I mentioned the aspects of acknowledging that software gains are not exclusive nor limited to one camera also.
Sorry if this is a little long winded, but I couldn't think of a better way of explaining it.
08-29-2010, 12:21 PM   #59
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I've never owned a K20, but I do own a K-7, my first DSLR in fact. I have been shooting RAW because I've read all over the place that RAW images from the K-7 are on par with everybody else. I know not everybody shoots RAW, but are the people that complain about the K-7's high iso performance only shooting JPEG? How do the RAWs of the K-20 compare to that of the K-7?

BTW, I have been very pleased with my K-7. I shoot about 75% outdoors, so maybe that's why I've been so pleased. Reading about the high iso performance of the K-7 gets annoying though. The K-7 coupled with the WRs have been great for everything outdoors that I've done. I'd always love better though. I knew the K-x was better in this regard before I bought the K-7, but I think the WRness of the K-7 and many other things led me toward it.

What I haven't been pleased with is the lens selection. One of the reasons I went with Pentax was they said the lenses are so inexpensive. You always read about people picking up manual primes for less than $100. After only experiencing the kit lenses, I have wanted to upgrade, but I just haven't found the deals. This has been the most frustrating thing for me. I'm an average consumer, but I feel like I have to get extremely lucky one of these days just to find a good deal on a quality lens. I don't want to spend saturdays at garage sales or bidding on ebay all day. I can tell that almost all good glass has gone up in price because the "average price" listed in the lens reviews of this forum is consistantly much lower than what I can find after hours of scouring the internent. I'm obviously new to this, but I just wanted to vent my frustration with pentax's lenses, not their bodies, which is the opposite of most forum members. Go ahead and fire back at the newbie .
08-30-2010, 04:55 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeff knight Quote
If there are any newbies out there wondering how people could possibly have such
different viewpoints about the same cameras, I would like to offer at least one explanation.................[/I]
I am not interested in any discussion as that has been done to death, and never ends up changing any minds. But you make an excellent point of someone reading this may benefit form different viewpoints. So, let me just give my opinion.

HIGH ISO

High iso sucks!, period. There is no substitute for low iso, as iso 100 is better than iso 200 and iso's above 1600 in any camera will look like absolute horror compared to these iso.

When it comes to iso 1600 and above we are just talking about which camera does a less shittier job, that's it. If ultimate IQ matter, then iso 50 is more important than better iso 6400. Loosing iso 100 for better high iso performance doesn't help me, and K-x without native iso 100 is a step backwards for me.

Then, why have high iso?, well mostly for low light work where flash cannot/or not wished to be used. If you do such low light work and are stuck in using an APS-C sensor then this will matter. High iso is also important for getting higher shutter speeds to freeze action even in good light with slow lenses (however in good light apparent iso performance is quite decent for all three cameras). But, when you use any camera in these instances you are settled on compromising IQ, and the K-x amongst the three will compromise the IQ the least.

High iso could be used in other instances, but overall it is used only a fraction of the time compared to low iso for an average photographer.

DYNAMIC RANGE

DR is a prime characteristic of any sensor, however at times small differences are greatly exaggerated. DPR which tests DR using real photographs get's a DR figure and then DxO mark get's it with sophisticated filters and instrumentation and gets another - they each get a different number and even the sensor rankings have no consistencies. I agree with the experts who say that DxO mark is measuring the true sensor DR, but how important can these differences be, that wouldn't even show up in photographs ? Having used the k10D with a much higher DR as measured by DxO mark than the K-7, I can unequivocally say, the differences doesn't show up much in real life.

Don't get me wrong. IMO, DR is a crucial characteristic of a sensor (IMO, much much more than high iso performance), but tests and charts and then subsequently some minds exaggerate even the small differences. I wish the K-7 has the DR of the K-x, or heck! even that of the K10D.

"K-7 HAS A CRAPPY SENSOR/IQ"

What is a good sensor?, is it only the theoretical DR and high iso performance that constitute a good sensor? will clean iso 100 images (not extrapolated iso 100)matter? does resolution matter? do things like color moiré and demosaicing artifacts matter as well ?

What is IQ? is it only based on low light performances or should other instances be counted (Do people still take photographs out in natural light?). Will better metering, better AF, better WB, 100% viewfinder to compose shots, high res. LCD to check your shots, ability to calibrate lenses result in better IQ as well?.

In the field, will the ability to check the exposure on the top LCD to fine tune it on the go, the ability to actually see the AF points, to adjust exposure parameters with both wheels result in a more efficient work flow?

Those who say 'inferior sensor" or 'IQ sucks' with the k-7 are having a severe case of tunnel vision (I am giving them the benefit of the doubt here, and be gentle and call it just 'tunnel vision' ).

CONCLUSION

If high iso performance is crucial for you at the expense of all other things (will be a minority of the photographers out there) then the best high iso sensor would be crucial and the k-x is ideal. For the majority of the photographer's out there, the K-7 is in a different league to the K-x and is an immense improvement over the K20D.

Last edited by pcarfan; 08-30-2010 at 08:12 AM.
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