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09-17-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
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Live view: K-x, K-r

I have held the K-7 and also the K-x at camera stores, but have not had the opportunity to shoot with either one. From reviews (like the dpreview.com review of the K-7) I get the impression that live view in these cameras is fine if you are shooting with the camera on a tripod and want to confirm composition, perhaps even to confirm focus. (Well, not sure about the latter. CAN you magnify the picture in live view?) But I get the impression that live view is a bit slow and so perhaps not especially good for shooting things that move, candids, etc. (On the plus side, I gather that the K-7's optical finder is very nice. But that's beside my present point.)

Anyway, am wondering if live view on the K-5 and/or K-r is expected to be greatly improved. Anybody know? The dpreview.com preview of the K-r says, "The speed of contrast detect AF in live view has also been increased." But I'm not sure what that means—whether it's just saying that autofocus speed is better, or whether this is a way of saying that live view on the K-r is expected to be as good as it is, say, on the newer Sony DSLR and DSLT bodies.

Anybody know what to expect from the new cameras in this regard? And if you don't know about the new cameras, I'd still be curious what you think about live view on the K-7 or K-x. (The less said about live view on the K20D, the better. I never faulted it, because I regarded it simply as an experiment of some sort.)

Thanks in advance.

Will

09-17-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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I can't speak on the K-7 or the new cameras but the live view on the k-x is adequate. It can be zoomed in and I use it that way for macro shots or to check the focus if I have the time.

I came over from point & shoot cameras and at first was disappointed with the live view because I was used to using it all the time on my old camera. Once I adjusted to the view finder I rarely use live view except as noted above or if I'm holding the camera at a odd angle or over my head.
09-17-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Live view on DSLRs is meant to studio/tripod work only. For everything else, the AF is too slow because it uses contrast detection instead of the built-in AF method. This is the design of all cameras with a mirror, which means all AF in LV sucks.

You can still fallback to phase detection in LV, but the camera has to flip the mirror and then back again.
09-17-2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcarvalhoalves Quote
Live view on DSLRs is meant to studio/tripod work only. For everything else, the AF is too slow because it uses contrast detection instead of the built-in AF method. This is the design of all cameras with a mirror, which means all AF in LV sucks.

You can still fallback to phase detection in LV, but the camera has to flip the mirror and then back again.
Have you ever used the Sony A550? I have been trying one out this week. The A550 can't compare even to a K20D, let alone a K7 or K5, in a number of ways: no weather-sealing, just one control dial, no video, and more. But it takes terrific pictures and the live view is surprisingly useful, QUITE capable of being used for normal shooting (if you don't mind the drain on the battery). Reviewers noted that the A550 was the best in its class at the time of its release (little less than a year ago), but gosh, it's good. And I expect the forthcoming A55 DSLT will be even better. That's what I'm comparing against the Pentax here.

Will

09-18-2010, 12:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Have you ever used the Sony A550? I have been trying one out this week. The A550 can't compare even to a K20D, let alone a K7 or K5, in a number of ways: no weather-sealing, just one control dial, no video, and more. But it takes terrific pictures and the live view is surprisingly useful, QUITE capable of being used for normal shooting (if you don't mind the drain on the battery). Reviewers noted that the A550 was the best in its class at the time of its release (little less than a year ago), but gosh, it's good. And I expect the forthcoming A55 DSLT will be even better. That's what I'm comparing against the Pentax here.

Will
For every DSLR with mirrors, you're still better off using the optical AF system. AF in LV will always be slower because it's just a software algorithm like in P&Ss. And yes, it drains your battery, another reason why it's meant for studio/tripod work, not for shooting out there in the street.

In my opinion, there's no point on buying a DSLR to use LV all day. That's just silly, you're exchanging improved AF and optical viewfinder for crappy AF and a low-fidelity backlit LCD. You don't get better resolution and color fidelity than real life, you know?

Now: does this Sony model features a *mirror* or *prism*? If it's prism, it's using phase detection AF even in LV, which is another system altogether. While it allows to use AF in LV, there's a trade-off which is making the optics darker and less light hitting the sensor.

Last edited by hcarvalhoalves; 09-18-2010 at 12:11 AM.
09-18-2010, 12:56 AM   #6
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from the photography point of view,
psychology/techinical view from viewfinder is very very different than
view from LV, i think.
I understood this when i passed from P&S to DSLR.
09-18-2010, 07:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by akanarya Quote
from the photography point of view,
psychology/techinical view from viewfinder is very very different than
view from LV, i think.
I understood this when i passed from P&S to DSLR.
Yes, I had the same experience years ago, and I think you are right. Using the viewfinder seems more direct, more immediate. Using an LED to frame a shot seems a bit indirect, like using a mechanical arm to grab something rather than just grabbing it with your hands.

But there are times when the live view can be quite useful. I'm trying to get some idea of how responsive live view is on the newer Pentax cameras.
09-18-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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You may have a look at this K-r preview ??? | PENTAX K-r Preview - ??? | ??? ???
(Including the shutter&mirror sound,LV focusing)

09-18-2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcarvalhoalves Quote
For every DSLR with mirrors, you're still better off using the optical AF system. AF in LV will always be slower because it's just a software algorithm like in P&Ss. And yes, it drains your battery, another reason why it's meant for studio/tripod work, not for shooting out there in the street.

In my opinion, there's no point on buying a DSLR to use LV all day. That's just silly, you're exchanging improved AF and optical viewfinder for crappy AF and a low-fidelity backlit LCD. You don't get better resolution and color fidelity than real life, you know?

Now: does this Sony model features a *mirror* or *prism*? If it's prism, it's using phase detection AF even in LV, which is another system altogether. While it allows to use AF in LV, there's a trade-off which is making the optics darker and less light hitting the sensor.
Sony uses a different sensor for Live View so the AF works the same as the view thru the pentaprism. The cameras do not pull the mirror out of the AF pat when in Live View.
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