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08-25-2010, 09:58 PM   #1
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FF for weddings?

I'm getting ready to move into Wedding photography which means I'm also getting ready to buy another body + lenses.

I was wondering, for those of you that use a 5dmk2 or a d700, how much of a step up (from a k200d) are they in terms of capability (high ISO, AF, DOF) as compared to the k7?

Either way I'm going to wait until the K-5 and D800 come out before I make my decision.

08-25-2010, 10:05 PM   #2
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What makes you think that you need FF for weddings?
08-25-2010, 10:06 PM   #3
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I love my K200D, but you'd never be able to sell a photo taken above ISO 800.

I agree with the plan to wait for new cameras, should only be a month or two.
08-25-2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
What makes you think that you need FF for weddings?
It is based on the tendency for FF to have better high ISO performance, Greater DR, as well as higher resolutions for larger prints and deeper crops. The shallower DOF which seems to be in vogue is also appealing.


Last edited by lurchlarson; 08-25-2010 at 10:26 PM.
08-25-2010, 10:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I love my K200D, but you'd never be able to sell a photo taken above ISO 800.

I agree with the plan to wait for new cameras, should only be a month or two.
Exactly. 800 is really pushing it I think. The only way I've been successful with ISOs over 800 is convert to black and white.
08-26-2010, 12:16 AM   #6
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Other than the obvious advantages like shallower DOF, better high ISO performance & DR, I think 2 major concerns with FF at this stage is that the whole FF kit can be quite bulky and heavy (especially good zooms), and the edge/corner sharpness might not be as good as APS-C (especially with Canon wides). IMHO, existing APS-C DSLRs are good up to iso800 which is not too bad with fast lenses.
08-26-2010, 12:23 AM   #7
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There aren't many ISO 1600 shots I've had to resort to in my weddings.
The K200D is perfectly capable, only the image buffer may be a significant limiting factor.
You'll obviously find the AF speed and low-light capability leagues ahead in the D700 and 5DMkII, which is a virtue in wedding photography... but what would you expect?
08-26-2010, 03:41 AM   #8
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I don't think you would have any trouble shooting a wedding with a crop format camera. The K200 is a little slow with regard to autofocus speed and high iso performance is a little worse than even the newer cameras from Pentax. Full frame offers narrow depth of field, but that isn't always a good thing since it is easy to have just about everything out of focus.

I have shot second at several weddings using a K7 and it performed admirably. I am sure the K5 will do somewhat better.

08-26-2010, 05:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
It is based on the tendency for FF to have better high ISO performance, Greater DR, as well as higher resolutions for larger prints and deeper crops. The shallower DOF which seems to be in vogue is also appealing.
Umm, FF doesn't give you better DR or higher resolution or deeper crops. Better high-ISO, (in general) yes, shallower DOF, yes, but not DR or resolution.

Dxomark's DR tests show that the only FF camera to have a higher DR than current crop bodies like the D90 or the K-x is the rather expensive Nikon D3x. And the resolution you might get out of a 12MP FF isn't going to be much different from the resolution of a 12MP crop body.

So there's still hope for crop in weddings. Just ask all those Canon shooters happily doing weddings with the Canon 7D, which has even more of a crop factor (1.6 vs 1.5) than the D90 or K20D or K-x... And the 7D has a lower DR than the D90 or K-x too.

Last edited by rawr; 08-26-2010 at 05:41 AM.
08-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #10
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Get D700 or wait until spring 2011 for Pentax FF.

Canon is terrible in terms of controls - you can't change anything without moving your eyes away from the viewfinder to see what you are going to change.

Nikon has great AF, flash system and noise performance.
08-26-2010, 06:31 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Umm, FF doesn't give you better DR or higher resolution or deeper crops. Better high-ISO, (in general) yes, shallower DOF, yes, but not DR or resolution.
As I understand, what larger photosites give you is better DR *at* high-ISO. My K20D is good with full size images until ISO800, and smaller photos at ISO1600, but I do find that there's less latitude of adjustment when you shoot at higher ISO compared to ISO200...
08-26-2010, 06:56 AM   #12
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I'm not going to comment on whether or not FF has better DR, high ISO performance or any of the other technical stuff that a Google search can provide.
Frankly, I think worrying about this stuff is pissing in the wind anyway.
The advantage of full frame is a full frame viewfinder. And this is a very big deal.
08-26-2010, 07:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
I'm getting ready to move into Wedding photography which means I'm also getting ready to buy another body + lenses.

I was wondering, for those of you that use a 5dmk2 or a d700, how much of a step up (from a k200d) are they in terms of capability (high ISO, AF, DOF) as compared to the k7?

Either way I'm going to wait until the K-5 and D800 come out before I make my decision.
I think full frame is a big step up in terms of capability from you K200D, although cameras like the Canon 7D, Nikon D300s or Pentax K-7 (and soon to be K-5) would also be a big step up. A K200D could be used (for example, I think Keitha McCall has shot a few weddings with one) to do weddings, but you just have to accept its limitations, which mainly are poor low light AF and less than desirable ISO 1600. Full frame gives you the versatility to get shots in worse conditions than crop, it's just a matter of if you want to pay $5,000+ for a full frame system that will get you these results.

This said, and even though I admittedly lust after full frame, after using a K-7 for a couple of weddings, I think it is just about good enough for most situations. If the K-5 comes out and gives cleaner high ISO I would suggest that as a companion to your K200D. Then, shoot a few weddings (which will cover the cost of your K-5 purchase) and see if you are satisfied with the results. At this point, if you decide to purchase full frame, you will be making a purchase based on your actual needs and observations, rather than the recommendations of others.
08-26-2010, 07:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
As I understand, what larger photosites give you is better DR *at* high-ISO. My K20D is good with full size images until ISO800, and smaller photos at ISO1600, but I do find that there's less latitude of adjustment when you shoot at higher ISO compared to ISO200...
Yes, that is accurate. Many FF bodies are better at 'holding onto' a decent range of DR as they move higher up the ISO scale than most crop cameras. As DXO measures it, a 'decent range of DR' is 9 EV (iirc).

At base ISO a D90 or K-x will have a DR that exceeds that of every FF body except the D3x. But the K-x will start to progressively lose 'decent' DR from about 830 ISO and the D90 from about 950 ISO. The FF 5D2 only starts to eat into it's 9 EV of 'decent' DR from about 1800 ISO, and the FF D700 from about 2300 ISO. Combine the ability to hold onto a greater range of DR with the lower noise profile of the larger sensor and you can see how at higher ISO's, many FF can have a IQ advantage over crop.

But in the lower ISO ranges up to about 800 ISO, FF seems to have little IQ advantage over crop.
08-26-2010, 07:44 AM   #15
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Well I appreciate all the feedback. Having never shot fullframe (other than film) I was curious. Before I invest even more heavily into the Pentax brand I wanted to make sure that Pentax was up-to-snuff.

My main concerns were shooting at high ISOs and the AF speed + Buffer. As we all know the k200d is a great camera below ISO 800. It'll be my second body.

Now that I'm thinking about it...as far as the capabilities are concerned...I supposed I shouldn't be worried when I replace my body. If all those Rebel shooters can get good shots at weddings (I know someone who has done a beautiful job shooting weddings with her rebel) the Pentax sure as heck can do it--be it the k7 or k5.
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