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09-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #1
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Looking to change from Olympus

I have been doing quite a bit of research on switching, and I kinda was decided on a Sony A500 body as I have a few Minolta AF lens kicking around. I, however keep running into good things being said about the K-x.

With price of this kit where it currently is it seems like an extreme value.

My concerns with the K-x are really few, but the camera seems very comparable to the A500 (I have my concerns here too).

K-x concerns:

1. AA batteries - What kind of life? Rechargeable performance?
2. Lack of visible AF points - How big a deal is this in the real world?
3. Video. - Is it anything more than just a thrown on feature? I don't expect miracles here, but is it usable?
4. Live view? Sony shines here.
5. Articulated screen? I don't have one now, but I really would like one.

I realize the Sony has no video capability at all, and this is really one of the things that is bothering me about jumping into this camera. By all accounts the K-x seems to have the IQ edge. The K-x seems to also have the upper hand in user changeable functionality. The K-x actually fits my needs better (I swore my next DSLR would have video), but there is the glass issue. Which keeps my coming back to the Sony. Any advice would be appreciated, I have handled them both in person and I like them both on the tactile front.

Lastly, if I do go Pentax, is it worth it to go the extra $$ for the 55-300mm versus 55-200mm? I really want to keep the whole switch to a minimum for now, $700 for 2 lens kit (18-55mm & 55-300mm is really my max)

Thanks

09-21-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
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My opinions:

1. AA batteries: so cheap and ubiquitous that it is a real plus for me. Shares charger with flash. Performance? depending on usage characteristics, I've gotten nearly 2000 by taking pictures all day, but if I spread it out, anywhere from 600 to 1000. This is with low-self-discharge NiMH, others will give worse performance. Charger is of the utmost performance: get a smart individual cell charger.

2. Minimal. Only downside is if at a wedding or something where you have to turn off the beep, you need to look for the green hex (but I've actually heard the LEDs light up before it's really in focus).

As for locations, the brackets tell you exactly where they are. I even replaced the focus screen with a dual split-image and can remember the locations easily.

Auto 5-point and 11-point are used for say small objects in the sky where it doesn't matter. Sports and action you want to pick your exact focus point to focus faster and make sure it focuses where you want it.

3. High noise in darkness, no manual shutter control (although apparently there is a work-around). Pretty high amount of rolling shutter effect when panning without SR. Other than that, quite usable if you don't mind MF of course. SR is absolutely wonderful to get a steady-cam feel on cheap primes, but is crazy loud: external recording rig required for serious video.

4. Haven't used Sony's live view. Useful for shooting overhead or on the ground, etc, and manual focusing. Annoying double mirror slap when taking a picture not present in K-7. CD AF is real slow, I use PDAF in LiveView (you get blackout) but am quite satisfied.

5. Would make shooting overhead and other things extremely useful, but the K-x does not have one.

50-200mm is supposed to be quite good, but everyone raves about the 55-300mm.
09-21-2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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1. AA batteries - use eneloop NiMh's and you'll have no issues. also Lithium AA's. there are quite a bit of other NiHm's (LSD types0 that are ok as well. just remember to update your firmware 1st
2. lack of visible AF points - doesn't bother me. i only use center
3. video is usable. no AF though. i still think a video cam has more "features" but it's usable for short clips
4. live view - slow but it works.
5. none.

55-300 IS IMHO very well worth it.
just remember that all D-AL type lenses have non-metal mounts. optically, the same though
09-21-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
just remember that all D-AL type lenses have non-metal mounts. optically, the same though
Same thing with the Sony "kit" level lenses. Is the plastic mount an issue. It sure bugs me that manufacturers do this. I get it, but annoying none the less.

09-21-2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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1. AA batteries - What kind of life? Rechargeable performance?

pretty good with new firmware. Usually 500+ shots

2. Lack of visible AF points - How big a deal is this in the real world?

Not a big deal because camera beep and shows a green light when focus is acquired.

3. Video. - Is it anything more than just a thrown on feature? I don't expect miracles here, but is it usable?

Video is okey but no good AF. In fact very bad AF.

4. Live view? Sony shines here.

Sony miles ahead here. On k-x i only use liveview with manual lenses. On AF lenses it is painfully slow.

5. Articulated screen? I don't have one now, but I really would like one.

never missed but one of the best thing about sony R1 that i had was its screen and its position. Never seen anything close to it after that. (and that cam was released in 2005).
09-21-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
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If you can spend a bit more cash, I would consider the K-r. It has improvements in all your points except #5.
1) You have your choice of a proprietary battery or AA.
2) The viewfinder now has AF points.
3) You can now apply image modes to video.
4) Hopefully improved with the updated AF system. The K-5's LV CDAF is very fast.
5) I'd like one as well.

- Jason
09-21-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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kx had a firware update like the k7? cause k7 cdaf was vastly improved in the last firmware
09-21-2010, 04:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
My opinions:

1. AA batteries: so cheap and ubiquitous that it is a real plus for me. Shares charger with flash. Performance? depending on usage characteristics, I've gotten nearly 2000 by taking pictures all day, but if I spread it out, anywhere from 600 to 1000. This is with low-self-discharge NiMH, others will give worse performance. Charger is of the utmost performance: get a smart individual cell charger.

2. Minimal. Only downside is if at a wedding or something where you have to turn off the beep, you need to look for the green hex (but I've actually heard the LEDs light up before it's really in focus).

As for locations, the brackets tell you exactly where they are. I even replaced the focus screen with a dual split-image and can remember the locations easily.

Auto 5-point and 11-point are used for say small objects in the sky where it doesn't matter. Sports and action you want to pick your exact focus point to focus faster and make sure it focuses where you want it.

3. High noise in darkness, no manual shutter control (although apparently there is a work-around). Pretty high amount of rolling shutter effect when panning without SR. Other than that, quite usable if you don't mind MF of course. SR is absolutely wonderful to get a steady-cam feel on cheap primes, but is crazy loud: external recording rig required for serious video.

4. Haven't used Sony's live view. Useful for shooting overhead or on the ground, etc, and manual focusing. Annoying double mirror slap when taking a picture not present in K-7. CD AF is real slow, I use PDAF in LiveView (you get blackout) but am quite satisfied.

5. Would make shooting overhead and other things extremely useful, but the K-x does not have one.

50-200mm is supposed to be quite good, but everyone raves about the 55-300mm.
Ditto - nicely summarized. I would just add that ergonomically, this camera is easy to carry around for a long time. It's light, sturdy, and the grip feels good and solid. Built in HDR is handy if you have a tripod. Lots of relatively inexpensive manual focus primes out there if you need a faster lens. But high iso is so good w/ the kx, I often use a slow lens indoors. The kx really is one heck of a value!

09-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #9
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Yeah, personally I found the A500 and other Sony APS-C DSLRs to be quite uncomfortable to hold for with larger lenses, but he did say he liked them both on the tactile front.
09-21-2010, 09:01 PM   #10
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I really can see the K-x with a pancake being absolute joy to carry. The camera is also a true one hander for me.

As for the K-r I have two problems, cost and availability, but I suppose a couple weeks doesn't really matter.

Without the glass, it'd be a no brainer for the K
09-21-2010, 09:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by scottyinfrisco Quote
I have been doing quite a bit of research on switching, and I kinda was decided on a Sony A500 body as I have a few Minolta AF lens kicking around. I, however keep running into good things being said about the K-x.

With price of this kit where it currently is it seems like an extreme value.

My concerns with the K-x are really few, but the camera seems very comparable to the A500 (I have my concerns here too).

K-x concerns:

1. AA batteries - What kind of life? Rechargeable performance?
2. Lack of visible AF points - How big a deal is this in the real world?
3. Video. - Is it anything more than just a thrown on feature? I don't expect miracles here, but is it usable?
4. Live view? Sony shines here.
5. Articulated screen? I don't have one now, but I really would like one.

I realize the Sony has no video capability at all, and this is really one of the things that is bothering me about jumping into this camera. By all accounts the K-x seems to have the IQ edge. The K-x seems to also have the upper hand in user changeable functionality. The K-x actually fits my needs better (I swore my next DSLR would have video), but there is the glass issue. Which keeps my coming back to the Sony. Any advice would be appreciated, I have handled them both in person and I like them both on the tactile front.

Lastly, if I do go Pentax, is it worth it to go the extra $$ for the 55-300mm versus 55-200mm? I really want to keep the whole switch to a minimum for now, $700 for 2 lens kit (18-55mm & 55-300mm is really my max)

Thanks
1. Update firmware and buy 8 Eneloops. Put 4 in the camera, and 4 in the bag. Shoot for days, no problem!
2. Depends on your photography style. I mostly use center point or Auto 5, rarely fiddling with selecting AF points in the menu. So for me AF "just works". When I have an unorthodox composition, I use center point and recompose, or I use LV.
3. Video is pretty cool, the biggest downside being if you rely on audio, the in-camera mic is just regular.
4. I just LV for shooting with tripods and static objects, not day to day. If you use contrast-detect, AF is slower than phase-detection, although you can still use PD during LV (it flips the mirror to AF). So, LV is enough for tripod/studio work only, not anything phenomenal there.
5. No articulated screen. I kinda dislike this though, doesn't make sense with a more tough body.

About glass, I believe it's just as easy to find as glass for Sony - if not easier, considering all the older lenses (back to the 70's) that can fit. Can't really comment though, as the market here in Brazil can have quite differing offerings.
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