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02-01-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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K100D, K20D, K-x? I'm at a crossroads

Hi,

I'm at a crossroads here. I lost my job a few months ago and I took the opportunity to get more into photography. Long story made short, I'm making some money out of it. It seems I'll get a job in the next few weeks but I want to push forward with my studio as a semi-pro photographer.
My studio is taking shape. I have a very tight control over the budget. I make sure I don't invest more than what it is generating and I have quite a few pros coaching me.
My only DSLR is my trusty K100D Super, which I unconditionally (and irrationally) love. It continues to deliver and after 26,000 clicks it is still going strong. I have learned to make the most out of what I have.

I've done up to 20"x30" prints out of it and IQ is excellent.

Now that this is getting serious, I need a backup. Or an upgrade and keep this as a backup.

I'd love to get a K5, but at this point, I can't.
Here are some scenarios I've come up with:

1. Get another 6MP CCD camera (*ist, K100D) as a dedicated studio unit.
pros:least expensive option, double as backup if needed
cons:lagging way behind in technology with no newer capabilities to what I have now

2. K20D
pros:weather sealing means peace of mind when shooting outdoors. Excellent reputation as a solid performer.
cons:Hi ISO performance, not a big increase in fps

3. K-x
pros: Hi ISO champ
cons:no weather sealing, no wire remote which I use regularly

4:K5
pros: ALL
cons:$$$$

Somehow, I don't manage to like the K7 yet.

My biggest problem is that I see 2 wanted features mutually exclusive: Hi ISO and weather sealing. FPS performance would be a nice to have.
Video: Not important
JPG processor: Not important. 100% RAW shooter here.

I know it will ultimately be my sole responsability to decide, but what do you think? Any other feature or consideration in this mix I might be missing?

This will take some time. Maybe a few months. I just spent most of the profits in studio lightning, some accesories and most importantly: good seminars.

Thanks,

02-01-2011, 07:21 PM   #2
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K-x is not semi-pro.
K-7 is yes.
02-01-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
My biggest problem is that I see 2 wanted features mutually exclusive: Hi ISO and weather sealing. FPS performance would be a nice to have. Video: Not important
QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
I need a backup. Or an upgrade and keep this as a backup.
I'm not a pro, but I did want to get you at least a "starter" response here. I'm guessing that others will give you a lot of valuable answers also. I'm perceiving your questions are more "business" questions, so that is how I'll answer. From what you've said I would suggest that you consider the business needs and priorities. First, determine whether you need just a backup to your current body (I presume so that you'll never be without?), or whether the new body will enable you to do different kinds of photography than you can currently. If you want to maintain the current business base, then the "backup only" option (1) is inexpensive and uncomplicated. However, it sounds like you may want the camera to allow you to expand into other markets - true? Then you may need to prioritize the needs. If you want to shoot in rain and k-5 is not an option, then k20d is the only alternative. If you were to select the k20d, could you address whatever iso shortcomings it may have by either post processing, or leaving the iso at a low setting and using a tripod? Being clear on your business plan and priorities will help you determine your next best camera purchase. This is my $0.02. Thanks. Glenn
02-01-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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K-X no question. when do you run out in the rain to take pictures? if you drop it in the pool all of them will die... WR is nice, not a requirement for me (and for most people who run out and take pictures in the rain).

actually if you're gonna use it just in the studio, anything will be fine, you don't use high ISO in the studio, you don't get it wet in the studio...

i still go with the k-x... get the funky looking color just for fun IMO.

02-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
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When you use the camera in studio, you don't need high ISO and FPS . With that, K-20D will be an excellent choice .
02-01-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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For a semi-pro I would go with the K20 (well first the K5 but I know $ is a problem, then a K7 but not one of your choices). The K20 will be the best overall camera for you if you are serious about a semi-pro studio. The extra controls, WR and extra MP will suit your needs more so than the Kx. I would suggest though, take a look at the K7. Overall better camera than the K20 and not much more $.
02-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #7
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Between the K20D and K-x, your going to have to decide between weather sealing and the added one or so stop of high ISO advantage. From a practical point of view the K20D is a more professional build and has more features that can be set and adjusted at your fingertips. The K-x has decent access of features with just an extra keystroke or two. Just make a decision.
02-01-2011, 09:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by KxBlaze Quote
For a semi-pro I would go with the K20 (well first the K5 but I know $ is a problem, then a K7 but not one of your choices). The K20 will be the best overall camera for you if you are serious about a semi-pro studio. The extra controls, WR and extra MP will suit your needs more so than the Kx. I would suggest though, take a look at the K7. Overall better camera than the K20 and not much more $.
i agreed, i saw a used k-7 from B&H at 8+ rating for 350... i knew it was cheap, but didn't get it (i'm on a different system), lol, it was grabbed in a hurry by someone in the matter of hours since i saw it.

The k-7 is probably the best for studio situation.

02-01-2011, 09:50 PM   #9
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You have already limited yourself to two as K5 is too expensive and K-x does not have wired remote.

Between the other two, K20D will win for me because of the extra options.
02-02-2011, 12:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockwork247 Quote
when do you run out in the rain to take pictures?
Thats silly, Since I got my K20D I do not have to worry like crazy if a storm approaches when I am out, instead I can take some lovely rain shots, the WR very much is a good thing in a camera...I think its on my top list of reasons I bought the camera. Also I have purposely went out in the rain with my camera, rain shots are nice.

I am not gonna drop it in a puddle....cause I wear a strap O_O.....

Also since you are in a studio the extra control the K20D will give is worth it, not like you need high ISO there, speaking of ISO, many think the K20D handles higher ISO better then the K7 among other things. I would not wanna be stuck in a studio with a KX honestly...it would be a little crippling IMO.
02-02-2011, 02:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Danny Delcambre Quote
K-x is not semi-pro.
K-7 is yes.
What is semi-pro?
02-02-2011, 02:42 AM   #12
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the k-x whilst good does not compare to a k20d, have had both & just didnt like the skin tones out of the k-x.

also dont underestimate the use of front & rear dials & oh that bigger viewfinder...
02-02-2011, 04:45 AM   #13
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Thanks all for your comments.

For a studio, I don't need hi ISO, WR, fps etc. That's why a dedicated studio camera can be pretty much anything.

QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
, it sounds like you may want the camera to allow you to expand into other markets
Glenn is right. For example, I was recently hired to photograph a school dance performance. Dark theater, no flash allowed and fast moving dancers. I thought my tripod and 50mm f1.4 would save me, only to find out that anything below f2.8 had useless DOF and anything below 1/80s too much motion blur. Hi ISO is the only way here. I managed some good shots at ISO800, so I think 1 or 2 more stops (3200) would be good, keeping in mind parents are ordering prints, sometimes up to 11x14. (I offer up to 20x30 for studio shots). I'm also finding myself doing more exterior shots. WR is more than just rain. The beach is very popular here for exterior portraits and apart from the business side, my passion has always been motorsports.
From what I'm seeing, hearing and reading, (and this is mind boggling) it seems to me that while the Kx has the hi ISO advantage, the K20 makes up for that difference in additional features. Can the K20 produce decent results at 3200? My biggest problem is not been able to try them. Not a single dealer or even pentaxians nearby where I can try them. The closest is a pentaxian friend with a K20 and K7 about a 90 minute drive. It would be a leap of faith, just like I did with my K100D Super a few yeard ago.
Of course is a crazy parent orders $1,000 worth of prints, I'd order a K5 in a hurry
Thanks all for your responses! Keep them coming!

Regards,
02-02-2011, 05:40 AM   #14
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Solve the high-ISO problem by purchasing the K-x.
Solve the weather resistance problem with a plastic bag over the camera. Not as good as the K20 I know, but it gives you some level of rain and spray resistance.

Regards,
--Anders.
02-02-2011, 10:46 AM   #15
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I have the K20d and love it. The weather sealing is useful and certainly gives peace of mind. I took this picture on a recent safari. It was raining pretty hard.


There was another photographer in our trip with a Canon T2i. He was taking pictures in the rain and got a "Card error." Even when he tried a backup SD card, he still got the same error. He couldn't take pics for the rest of that game drive! Haha, that's one for team Pentax!!

The k20d is pretty unusable at ISO 3200. Even ISO 1600 is pushing it (black and white looks okay). I even have noise reduction set to high. I shoot a lot of music photography so I'm pretty well experienced with the K20d in low light situations. That being said, a little "grit" never killed anyone. This is ISO 6400

If you're rocking a f1.4 at 1/90th and ISO 800 and still not getting satisfying results with a monopod... ....You might want to ask the person controlling lights if they can brighten up the stage a bit for you! Seriously.

My only 2 complaints of the k20d are lack of video and mediocre high ISO performance. Have you looked into the Kr? That could be a really good option for you.
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