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12-22-2010, 11:27 AM   #1
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Staying with Pentax ... form over function

After much running around and research, I am staying with Pentax and purchased a new Kx and will probably add a prime for the best IQ/portability combination.

As some of you might remember, I had a K20/Tamron 17-50 that I managed to ruin by falling into the swimming pool with it. That was followed by the ill-fated purchase of the floor demo K20 that just wasn't working right. Discouraged I began looking at other brands. I considered and tried several options in the $500-800 range, including the Lumix G2, Sony e33, Nikon 5000 and Canon 550.

What kept me with Pentax wasn't the function but the form of the cameras. Somehow Pentax manages to find the most harmonious form that simply feels better in-hand than anything in this class and makes taking photographs easier, friendlier, more comfortable , just right.

I know some folks dismiss the feel of a camera, suggesting that it's easy to adapt to the form if you want the latest/best/newest functions. And all the cameras I looked at take excellent stills, some take great movies as well, and each offers at least one feature that is superior to what the Kx has. But most of the time I'm holding the camera, carrying it, lining up shots, working with it etc etc. This is very subjective (much like the unending argument about the "special" quality of Leica images) but once you get it, you get it. When I opted to give at least as much weight to form as to function, the choice became clear.

Thanks for listening,
Brian


Last edited by FHPhotographer; 12-22-2010 at 12:26 PM.
12-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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Agreed!! I have not held a K5 but the K7 is one of the most comfortable cameras I have ever held and the Kx is not far behind. This is important because I hold this thing in my hand for hours at a time and others even longer. I do not believe how some people can say that the grip is unimportant. Try holding a Sony camera for that long, by far the most uncomfortable camera I have held. It has sharp edges and a small grip, how could Sony possibly think that would be comfortable to hold?

**Also Pentax isn't to shabby when it comes to camera functions. You get the best of both worlds.
12-22-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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Totally agree. Pentax manages to make these bodies to be joyful to use. today I tried Sony SLT A55. It's not bad camera at all, however the grip is to thin and menu is awfuly complicated. Also, cheaper canon models are not right for hands, so are most of nikons ( though I love D70 and d300 in my hand but not d7000). I have to admin the new canon 60D is well made and very, very comfortable to use. But I know I'll stay with pentax. Simply it is harmonious package of menu, IQ and handling. That makes sense.
12-22-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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Interesting observation. The Canons I used to shoot with were -- and still are, I imagine -- more capable than anything Pentax has to offer. But Pentax is more fun. The camera feels better in some fundamental way, even though it causes occasional problems. Canons are boring.

It's kind of like driving a used Jaguar instead of a Ford Taurus. The Taurus is more reliable. The Jaguar is sexier, even though it sometimes doesn't start and has been known to spontaneously combust.

I sometimes think I should just buy a camera that works, though.....

12-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #5
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If you keep the camera out of the pool the function ain't bad either
12-24-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Lowell, if I don't keep it out of the pool my wife says she'll have it drained and that's where I'll be living in the future. Merry Christmas,
Brian
12-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
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Just got a 40D because I'm curious about Canon AF performance :-)

The 40D is not a bad body, feature-wise it's on par and in some cases better than my K20D. Where it falls down feature-wise is lack of SR and weather-proofing.

That said.. the 40D has all these features, but the interface is.. weird. I figured it out without reading the manual (I used a 350D long ago, which has a different interface) but definitely the K20D feels more natural to use. Of course I've been using a K10D and K20D for three years so maybe it's just the familiarity..
12-24-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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This is something a lot of people don't get, or somehow don't care much about, but ergonomics are, for me anyway, more important than features or speed. I'll never complain about an excess in the latter criteria, but I won't make a buying decision based solely on it either, unless it is a dedicated piece of equipment that has to be what it it.

12-24-2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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I agree fully-hearted with your post as well as the other posts.

It cannot be stressed enough to any newbies that you must go your local store to try the camera in your hands. The hand feel is essential and the Pentax is leading edge in that domain with the K-7/K-5.

18 months ago, I decided to move the P&S ultra-zooms to dSLR. I had no pre-conceived idea on the brand, with a friend having a Nikon kit. I went to the local store and tried Canons (EOS1000, 500D), Nikon (D90, D5000) and Pentax (k-7, K-x). Based upon the feel only, the K-7 was way above the rest of the field. When I saw that the K-5 re-used the same body and viewfinder as the K-7, no wonder.....

Nice to share your thoughts.
12-25-2010, 12:05 AM   #10
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bleh, after testing out a bunch @ the store, i'm gonna go with the Sony A33. Wouldda picked the pentax but I refuse to cough up money for expensive prime, at the same time, the sony's zoom selection is a tiny bit better then the pentax.

1) Sony NEX: hmm this thing is pretty dam awesome, I'm predicting it'll be the micro 4/3 killer. It's smaller than the micro 4/3 yet packed an APS-C sensor... the design is crap though, no in body IS, not a whole lot of button, you have to use the tactiles 4 direction to choose your menu... The best thing about this crap is that it support almost all lens ever made with adaptors (all manual), but the focus for manual mode is pretty nice (it zoom in 7X or 10X on the subject onto the LCD, makes focusing kindda fun.

2) the micro 4/3 (especially the oly). No focus confirm bleh, but inbody IS (unlike it's cousin the pana), it's just Ok for me, most of the time you'll use it in manual mode with some other brand's lens, the sucky manual focus is a killer. What's good is the price of the body, only 250 a pop, the manufacture lens is expensive as hell though. I'll pass on this one after careful consideration. The crop factor is 2X, way too dam large to ever shoot landscape. Good luck buying cheap wide ass lens for this kindda crop factor.

3) Panasonic, same as the oly without in body IS, no thanks (can't believe people choose this over the oly, it's more popular to boot), no in body IS is a real killer with the small sensor size and noisy high ISO... don't know wtf they were thinking.

4) pentax K-X, K-R, beautiful camera, nice functions, lens price is a huge killer for me, the zoom is roughly 1.5-2X more expensive than Minolta A mount, the prime is like 2X+... I'm sorry but I can't afford that kindda money. Pass.

5) canon 60D, Xti, you know, the canon is quite nice, prices are good too, the only problem is no in body IS, but for this particular brand it might not matter, high ISO performance will probably make up for it some what, the menu and buttons are great, no complain, deals pop up left and right for this brand, I actually now see why canon is actually not a bad choice. Lens prices are pretty epic on this one, it's not that bad (unless you go to a big zoom, then the IS stack on will cost some mula).

6) Nikon, I thought the camera look kindda like an ass, skip. (really I hate the design, it looks so wack).

7) Sony A390... did not like the focus system that did not light up when you focus... also the LCD look like trash (not sure if it's because of the store copy), CMOS sensor, no video... pass.

8) Sony A33, me like, small size, it's just a tad bigger than those micro 4/3 camera, fully swing out LCD? me like. Short battery life? me no like. Ok all jokes aside, this is possibly one of the best camera out there right now with a similar sensor to it's cousins A55, A560, A580... which share sensors with the K-5. it's a bit expensive right now at 600 bucks for the body, but overall it's not bad. Suffer some setback due to the light not hitting the main sensor 100%, make it up with high ISO performance. If the price weren't so stiff i would totally get it, just a few days ago, some people were able to score the T2i for just under 500... now if I was to drop 600 for this thing I might look stupid lol.

Not sure what else I tested, I was bored so I ran to staple then fry, mess around with all the DSLR for kicks lol, fry stocks both the k-x and k-r, I couldn't believe they also stock the sony NEX and A33 (relatively new bodies)...
12-27-2010, 06:09 AM   #11
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I think that camera feel has a lot to do with familiarity, a bit like the old glove.

There are a great many fine cameras out there, made by many manufacturers, it's really just what suits you and in some cases, the use you have for the equipment.
12-29-2010, 12:04 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockwork247 Quote
bleh, after testing out a bunch @ the store, i'm gonna go with the Sony A33. Wouldda picked the pentax but I refuse to cough up money for expensive prime, at the same time, the sony's zoom selection is a tiny bit better then the pentax.

4) pentax K-X, K-R, beautiful camera, nice functions, lens price is a huge killer for me the zoom is roughly 1.5-2X more expensive than Minolta A mount, the prime is like 2X+... I'm sorry but I can't afford that kindda money. Pass.

8) Sony A33, me like, small size, it's just a tad bigger than those micro 4/3 camera, fully swing out LCD? me like. Short battery life? me no like. Ok all jokes aside, this is possibly one of the best camera out there right now with a similar sensor to it's cousins A55, A560, A580... which share sensors with the K-5. it's a bit expensive right now at 600 bucks for the body, but overall it's not bad. Suffer some setback due to the light not hitting the main sensor 100%, make it up with high ISO performance. If the price weren't so stiff i would totally get it, just a few days ago, some people were able to score the T2i for just under 500... now if I was to drop 600 for this thing I might look stupid lol.

Not sure what else I tested, I was bored so I ran to staple then fry, mess around with all the DSLR for kicks lol, fry stocks both the k-x and k-r, I couldn't believe they also stock the sony NEX and A33 (relatively new bodies)...
Well, I wanted to pick up this thread to muse about a couple elements of your analysis. On the one hand, I agree that Sony does offer some bargains on lenses and bodies, especially if video or full-frame are high on your lists of priorities.

On the other hand, you write about MILCs and DSLRs as if they were the same. Do you really not care whether you get optical viewfinder/electronic/no viewfinder at all? Do you really not care that Sony seems to be following Oly, Pana and Samsung out of the DSLR business properly speaking?

Also, I don't know about replacing SR with ISO; you would be hard pressed to find a Canon or Nikon e.g. that performs with a prime comparably to a Pentax K-5 or k-r with prime. And going with SR zooms would undermine your argument about Pentax zoom costs.

So by all means get the camera that will make you happy, from whatever brand. I am just not sure that you have identified your needs or wants clearly, or considered the relevant factors . . .

Last edited by Impartial; 12-29-2010 at 09:58 AM.
12-29-2010, 03:23 AM   #13
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I remember complaints about K-7 how small and weird is it etc when its arrived, now people get used to it, IMO K-5-7 are the best bodies in the dSLR history ever. Hope stays so in the future. IMO only missed point is SR button, looking for SR among the menus very time wasting/disappointing when you spot a fast object on the field.
12-29-2010, 07:46 AM   #14
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The thing I liked most about the k10D when I bought it was the "feel" of the camera. That is the biggest reason I bought it.
12-29-2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cbaytan Quote
I remember complaints about K-7 how small and weird is it etc when its arrived, now people get used to it, IMO K-5-7 are the best bodies in the dSLR history ever. Hope stays so in the future. IMO only missed point is SR button, looking for SR among the menus very time wasting/disappointing when you spot a fast object on the field.
((Turn the camera ON.)) - if it's not ON already
Press "INFO" button.
The SR is readily available right there, no need to browse through the menus.

Personally, I like the fact that with the K7/K5 one doesn't accidentally trip the SR button OFF, something I did countless of times with the K20D.

JP
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