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02-17-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
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Upgrade from K20d to K-7/K-r to shoot video of upcoming baby?

My wife and I will be having a baby relatively soon - and I would like to acquire the ability to shoot decent video. Additionally, I would rather not get a dedicated video camera and lug two things everywhere (I prefer stills anyways).

First, would the Kr/K7 be decent enough at this task? I am not a big video guy, but my only other option is a very old P&S that takes terrible video. 720p is just fine. I was thinking perhaps the lack of autofocus while filming could be alleviated by selecting a f-stop with large DOF, like f/8 - f/16. Would this work decently indoors? Also, I would think it would be cool to get interesting perspectives from the DA 15 and closeup video from the DA 35. Finally, creating shallow DOF with a bigger sensor also sounds cool.

Second, I need to decide between the K-r and K-7. So far I cannot tell any major differences between video modes (I would likely shoot in 720p, so the strange higher resolution version on the K-7 is essentially moot). Anything I am missing?

Assuming there is little difference in video, then the rest of the decision comes down to stills. I have read many threads but was hoping for additional insight based on my particular situation:

- I shoot handheld almost exclusively (so higher iso would be appreciated).
- I like the sealing on my K20d (but own no WR lenses) as well as the "solid" build quality as I use it for travel, hiking, and camping frequently.
- I am mostly fine with iso 800 and under on the K20d, will occasionally use 1600 (although I am generally not a fan) and hate the noise over 1600.
- I shoot exclusively with limited primes and love packing light, so the smaller the better (I wish the K20d was smaller and lighter).
- I don't really like PP. I try to just do occasional cropping and color adjustment and do not know how to effectively reduce noise in PP (although I am trying to get into Lightroom more).

I am leaning K-7. I think the lack of visible autofocus points on the K-x would drive me crazy, and I can't seem to find a good price on the K-x (K-r typically $100 more), so I think the K-x is out.

Please tell me your thoughts. Thanks in advance...

02-17-2011, 01:55 AM   #2
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Looks like you've thought this through OK and from your preferences you could make up your mind between the two. With either you can't go wrong but you'll be trading off high ISO performance (K-r) with solid WR body and more customisable features at your fingertips (K-7).

Don't worry about video, they're both basically going to do the same job. But given the sensor size even f/16 may not be enough DoF to be able to leave the focus ring at infinity and get sharp subjects close up. Then you also have the problem of noise under any lighting conditions darker than an overcast outdoor setting.
02-17-2011, 02:26 AM   #3
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The DA15 and FA31 both work nice for video on the K-x (which I used to have) or K-5. I think part of the reason is greater DOF, so focus is not as critical. I imagine a DA35 would be similar to the FA31. The DA15 worked especially well when, for example, filming the kids in a bounce-house. When you don't know which direction they're going to head next, it tends to keep then in the frame and in focus, plus you still get the DA15's nice, saturated color.

Video-wise I think both DSLRs will be fine. I actually decided on the K-x over the K-7 because of the high ISO, so I think the K-r would be good choice as long as you don't have some feature(s) you know you will miss from the K20D or K-7. I personally like the output straight from the K-x, and the K-r seemed similar when I tried it. The K-5 output seems to want to be tweaked, at least to my eyes. Of course, some others feel differently regarding these DSLR's images, so you should decide what you like. Many love the K-7 output, but I didn't (although I like it more than I used to).

Last edited by DSims; 02-17-2011 at 02:31 AM.
02-17-2011, 09:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

Yeah, as far as stills, I guess I am in the classic spot between the two DSLRS. Noise vs WR/build/ease of controls. I am just going to have to choose. I will keep reading other threads. But could anyone who was relatively happy with K20d iso output chime in? I guess I am curious if my "keepers" will increase considerably in low light with better high iso performance. E.g., indoor shots of people in artificial light. I am particularly unhappy with the noise performance of the K20d at iso 800/1600 in these conditions. Also, night shots of lit building/bridges seem too noisy for my taste at these isos (in both cases I have adjusted the white balance and shot in RAW+ and compared the jpegs with the RAW).

Also, I have looked at pictures of the two cameras, but could anyone address the size difference between the K-r and K-7? So far, I have not been able to find either to look at in person. My understanding is that the K-r is a little smaller, but it does seem to be a big size advantage (like the K-x). Would the K-r be killer with a set of limiteds (15/35/70)? Or about the same as the K-7?

Finally, I very much enjoy the color and "pop" I get with limiteds, such as the DA 40, on the K20d. Would there be any difference with either the K-r or K-7? I have heard some claim the color and "Pentax" look is different on the various cameras.

It sounds like the video is essentially the same -- which is good news and makes that part of the decision null...

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