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11-19-2011, 11:33 PM   #16
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Here are some of my remarks, in no particular order:
-pentax's hyper program is one of their best features, and it's something that makes pentax DSLRs much easier to use than others
-there is a huge difference in handling between the k-5 and k-r, so we can't always generalize
-the battery grip is an excellent (and necessary, IMO) supplement for the k-5
-pentax's image processor is slow. It's not bad per say, but both Canon and Nikon have much faster image processing and playback speeds on most current bodies.
-pentax DSLRs are very intuitive and easy to use in general.
-in-body SR is way underrated. In the canikon world, there are lots of lenses that don't have IS versions (85mm for instance), and sometimes that IS would really have come in handy...
-Pentax is a big behind with AF and very behind with video. Hopefully these issues get addressed in a future bodies; I'm sure the latter is directly related to the slower image processor

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11-20-2011, 07:01 AM   #17
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The main handling difference I've noticed between at least the midline & entry level Pentax, Canons & Nikons, is that the Pentax SLR's & kit lenses are more ergonomic, the controls are more tactile, and they feel more solidly built. The others were ok, but the Pentaxes definitely felt better engineered, IMO.
11-20-2011, 12:00 PM   #18
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That was one of the main reasons that won me over - the ergonomics and build quality of the K7, which thankfully has been retained in my K5.

I tested cameras for months, and I am glad I was so scrutinous. In the military you are trained to consider your weapon an extension of your body. Only with K7/K5 did I ever feel like the camera was more than just a tool, but an extension of my hand. Nothing feels better, imo.

11-20-2011, 01:08 PM   #19
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i'm a very basic photographer when it comes to the level of complexity i'm willing to manage while i'm using the camera. If i have to twiddle more than one button and one dial i start looking for a rock to bash the lens in. The K-7 and the K-5 almost lets me work that siimply while giving me all the control i want over how it goes abt its business. i can specify pretty thoroughly how it automates itself so it does things the way i understand it.

That's no easy feat of ergonomic engineering. The menu system doesn't look like an iphone, but it's completely functional; everything's a couple of twiddles away with one or the other dial, nothing's deeply buried inside layers of menus, everything's logical with a general kind of basic mechanical logic, nothing is arcane or twisted or pointless.

The camera body is designed the same way. Everything you actually need to have is there, organized into the least number of control interfaces as will maintain simple, flexible control. And you definitely get the impression it's been designed by people who've lived with and used cameras for a long time, rather than a bunch of high flyers straight out of design school whose term project was to design an electric shaver that looked like a flying saucer remote control from Area 51.

It felt like a camera the first time i picked it up. It lets me use my lenses to their best advantage. It doesn't get in my way when i use it. In fact i pretty much take it for granted the camera will make it easy for me to get the shots i see.

--i did build up the hand grip to fit my hand better. It's because i don't want to put the thing down.

Last edited by conradj; 11-20-2011 at 01:21 PM.
11-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #20
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I own a Kx, K10D, and a K20D, and I can state unequivocally the handling of all these bodies destroys that of the Canon Rebel XS I am stuck using for macro photography at work. I find it completely awkward to make the most basic exposure changes on the XS without lowering it from my eye. Based on the awkward handling and poor build quality I cannot fathom how reviewer after reviewer has given the XS and its siblings such high praise.

On the other hand, I will say that the Canon 60mm EF-S f2.8 Macro is a nicely built, fast focusing, easy handling lens, though a bit largish in size compared to the D-FA 50 f2.8 Macro.
11-20-2011, 07:56 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by AOShep Quote
About all you can do is teach your friend how to take better pictures, not how to use the camera.
She can't teach her friend how to take better pictures until she teaches them how to use the camera. You can use a tool properly until you know what the tool is for and what it does.

Her friend needs to read the manual and do lots of experimenting and trial & error.
11-23-2011, 05:52 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by noaslplease Quote
I have a Pentax K-x, and I love how it handles, the buttons are responsive, the user interface nice and clean, and it's overall very easy to navigate and change settings.
So today, a friend of mine asked me to teach her how to use her Nikon D40x better, and I was dumbfounded at how hard it was to use and how different it was!
The shooting screen went off after a few seconds, and it didn't come back on after you half pressed the shutter release. Also, the exposure meter was reversed. Overexposed on the left side, underexposed on the right side. I also had a hard time adjusting the shutter speed, because it simply displayed "100" or "250" (1/100 or 1/250)

I want to teach my friends more about photography, but it's hard when you can't handle the cameras. (One's that aren't Pentax, of course! )
Anyone willing to share major differences (or minor) differences you've found when handling different brands of cameras?

This is why I hand brand specific questions to other members of my camera club when asked.

I did have a funny experience when I had to borrow a friend's D700 for a lesson where it was tethered to my laptop and projected. I asked him how to set the exposure to the correct exposure in manual mode. I thought there must be an equivalent of the Green button on a pro level camera. He said that you have to adjust it until the exposure meters correctly. My K100DS doesn't even have a Green button, but at least I can set exposure in manual mode with one button press.
11-24-2011, 01:19 AM   #23
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My first handful of tries fixing WB and Custom Image settings on a Nikon got me a bit perplexed. Most of my buddies are Nikon users and the interface isn't really that hard to adapt to (with the exception of some settings), especially if the models are around the same level as the K-x/K-r. I think beginners will find it easier to learn what "aperture" is with the Nikon layout since it displays on the LCD what the opening appears at different f-stops/numbers. But I still like Pentax's layout better, simple yet complete, and the interface font is more readable.

Last edited by Alizarine; 11-24-2011 at 02:13 AM.
11-24-2011, 01:49 AM   #24
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I've used several of my one teacher's Nikon DSLR's and I didn't mind their quirks. I still like Pentax better but I don't dislike Nikon. They do seem a bit less ergonomic to me. I do have very small hands though which is why I really do like my K-x a lot. Most Canikon cameras just seem huge and a bit uncomfortable to me compared to using my Pentax gear. I'm not really going to quibble about the tech specs and camera set up. Each brand has it's own quirks, Pentax not excepted. Whichever one suits you better is the one you should use. I find Pentax easier than Nikon and Canon, but that's just me probably. My teacher uses them all and he swaps back and forth no problem.
11-24-2011, 02:20 AM   #25
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I've had an EOS 300 which I never found especially intuitive. My brother has a D40 which I don't mind - Nikon have always had 'backwards' meters but you can make them work the 'right' way in the options menu on the digital ones.
11-24-2011, 06:53 AM   #26
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Never liked Nikon handling,nor canon. Never understood why Nikon instead of numbers writes Hi.1 ,Hi.2 when choosing higher iso. Should I know all ''hi's''? Thats illogical. Also D40 is as intuitive as visiting China for the first time.
11-24-2011, 08:37 AM   #27
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As a switcher to Nikon who still hangs out with the nice kids around here I'll put in my two cents.

I loved the interface on my K-x, more than the K20D. I've played with Canon and found their interface and controls confusing and just plain odd. And the entry level Nikons weren't much better. In the entry level cameras nobody comes close to the Pentax interface.

But moving up the chain I love the controls and interface on the D300. It took a while to get used to the reversed control wheels and a couple of other quirks but I was able to shoot a wedding after having it only two weeks and felt comfortable.

In the long run, you'll get used to whatever you use.
11-24-2011, 01:56 PM   #28
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Before buying my K20D online, I handled a few Rebels, fondled a couple entry-level Nikons, but I'd never touched any Pentax. I'd used Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and other film cams, but never Pentax. I've never even seen another Pentax dSLR in the wild except for a couple K20Ds, and I probably wouldn't recognize other Pentax dSLRs unless I looked real close. I've seen but not handled my bro-in-law's Sony dSLR (no, I don't know the model).

So my only touch comparisons are those plasticky Canikon n00b specials, and my great K20D. I didn't buy Pentax by touch, but after extended research and analysis. If I'd ended up with another brand, I'd learn to use it, and wonder what all the fuss over handling was about. Yes, we get used to what we use. Makers depend on that.
11-24-2011, 03:18 PM   #29
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A friend of ours bought a entry level Canon Rebel Dslr. He asked me about getting better results with it. Up to this point (he had bought it about 2 weeks ago) he had been using either auto mode or the pre-set settings. He was not happy with the results. I showed him the programmed mode and the exporsure override button to get better results. The camera layout through me a bit but got over it quickly. I find the camera body very light (I like the weight of the Pentax K-m I have better) I saw the results he was getting where far better the from earlier pictures he showed me that where in the memory card.

I think that once you learn the camera you happen to have and work with it. I found the multi-use wheel to be in a odd location to use effectively. The camera itself feel good to hold. It was nice to see him looking forward to getting better results. The location where he was experimenting was a night at a Santa Claus Parade. This has some of most difficult lighting going when learning a camera. With a bit of time I can see him getting a lot out of the camera he bought. I do not really care what name is on the camera, just that the use gets a good understanding of how the the most out of it.
11-30-2011, 04:10 PM   #30
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I shot a Canon T3I, and I noticed that my Pentax KX controls and menus are more logically arranged than on the T3i. You need to go to the higher end Canon D60 for better controls. I wonder if this is intended, eg. to make people strongly consider the higher end Canon cameras?

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