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02-21-2011, 11:15 PM   #1
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Thinking about changing systems

I have a Pentax K10d and have been very happy with it so far, that is up until I needed to take pictures of a play in a gym. The camera just cannot handle low lighting situations. For the most part I don't take pictures at night, or in low light so it didn't matter to me. But then I was trying to make a calendar for my family with some pictures I took in JPEG, and the company I was trying to have make the calendars gave me a error message that the pictures would be blurry because of the pixels. I went kind of ballistic, the pictures are fine on my computer screen. I haven't printed any though so I am not sure what they look like as 8x10's.
So at this point I have lost confidence in my pictures. I fear that I'm not getting good enough pictures to even do a 5x7 print! I'm frustrated and pissed off.
I was thinking of upgrading my camera, then I saw that Pentax had a new camera but comparing it to the new Nikon - number wise, it's not even close to the quality.
I'm not sure what to do-I'm not a pro photographer. I don't plan to make money off this but I would really like to have nice pictures that I can use for whatever I want whether it be a calendar or a print.

02-21-2011, 11:21 PM   #2
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Can you copy/paste exactly what the company sent to you into a post?
02-21-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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"Because of the pixels"? Did you send the company tight crops of your original photos? The issue might be the image resolution, not your camera's low light performance.

I think a lot of people here will take offense at the notion of the K-5 being "not even close to the quality" of Nikon's similarly tiered cameras. No offense to you, but "number wise" is not really a good comparison unless you know what those numbers mean and how they would affect your photography.

In any event, I would not recommend jumping ship with the hope that another brand will solve your woes until you can diagnose what the actual issue is with the images you took. It could be that you're making too tight of a crop to get detailed reproduction at high print sizes; it could be you're using lenses that are too slow for low-light indoor settings; it could be that you're missing focus on your target. It could be that your K10 is to blame and that Pentax sucks and nothing in its lineup would solve your problems and only by going to Canon/Nikon/insertbrandhere would you get acceptable photos. But I kinda doubt that last one.
02-21-2011, 11:45 PM   #4
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I assume you are comparing the K-5 to the D7000. These are almost IDENTICAL camera's in terms of their sensor and low light capabilities. DXO even ranked the Pentax a smidge higher, but in reality the score is too close to be a meaningful win for Pentax.

As far as features and handling go, I tried out the Nikon, but it felt clumsy and awkward to my hands, there is just something 'right' to the Pentax ergonomics that make holding and using the camera a pleasure. And the Nikon Lenses are monsters when you are used to petite Pentax Primes.

The features are a list of things, you give them a personal score dependent on your own preferences.

Nikon is mooted to have better Auto Focusing. tick!

but the Pentax has in body Stabilisation. For me an even bigger tick!

I don't know where you get the impression that 'number wise, it's not even close to the quality'. (I'm not even sure what this statement means) Its a personal and subjective choice but as far as this little black duck is concerned the K-5 wins out hands down.

Last edited by wizofoz; 02-22-2011 at 01:27 AM.
02-22-2011, 12:49 AM   #5
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Have you checked the camera is set to take the biggest possible images at the best possible quality? You need far fewer pixels to display on a monitor than to print 8x10, and if you start cropping them you are losing pixels.

See page 118 (120 if you use goto) for the details.
02-22-2011, 12:53 AM   #6
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The K10 is 3 generations old, just buy a new model; K-5, K-r whatever, either will be a massive leap forward in low light over your K10. A fast lens will help to, I'm guess you were using a kit lens which is very dark no matter if you shoot Nikon or Pentax.
02-22-2011, 01:15 AM   #7
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How big of a gym? I used my K10d to do A ton of low light events. Fashion shows, Nightlife and parties. these were all events were flash was permitted. and I could get a tad closer to my subjects. I have a few fast lenses which helped alot also. I never went above 400 iso anything higher than that on my K10D I might as well throw away images.
02-22-2011, 01:45 AM   #8
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The K10D has enough resolution to make prints at least 11x16 (i did them). Look at this:
Pentax K10D Digital Camera Exposure - Full Review - The Imaging Resource!

Print Quality - Excellent print quality, great color, good 16x20 inch prints. ISO 1,600 images are soft but usable at 11x14.

If you are not happy with camera operation speed, you can get a lot better with more recent Pentax cameras - K-7, K-5 and even K-r will get you there.

02-22-2011, 03:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mahukey Quote
1) I have a Pentax K10d and have been very happy with it so far, that is up until I needed to take pictures of a play in a gym. The camera just cannot handle low lighting situations.

2) But then I was trying to make a calendar for my family with some pictures I took in JPEG, and the company I was trying to have make the calendars gave me a error message that the pictures would be blurry because of the pixels.
*1) The newer generation camera's (K-5, D7000, 60D) are all capable of making photo's in much darker situations than a K10D.
I have both a K10D and a K-5, there is a *world* of difference here.
You will be surprised...

*2) The calendar software is buggy, or the pictures you are trying to upload were edited resulting is less resolution.
The K10D resolution is ample for 8x11 inches.
I've made plenty A4 prints on my high res printer.
The Canon printing software is very picky about resolution. It is *no* problem at all!

**2) More so, buying a new camera will hardly change this.
Let me explain:
What is the difference (pixel wisse) between a K10D and a latest greatest camera like the K-5 or D7000 for that matter?

The K10D is 10Mpixels, vs the K-5 / Nikon D7000 which are 16 Mpixels.

Size the pixels are placed in a rectangle, the resolution (pixels / cm2 or inch2) will only improve as the root of the number of pixels.
Since all these sensors have a higth / width ratio of 2/3, the resolution of a 10 mega pixel camera is not all that better of a 16 mega pixel camera.

Facts from the datasheets:
K10D resolution = 3872 x 2592 pixels = 352 dots per inch (most printshops can only do 300dpi max!)
K-5 resolution = 4928 x 3264 pixels = 448 dots per inch
D7000 resolution = 4928 x 3264 pixels (same as K-5)

This means that a K10D only has (4928 - 3872) / 4928 = 21.2% less resolution that a 3 generations newer K-5!

There is something wrong with the program of your calendar supplier. Really.
Or you made an user error.

Cheers, Bert

Last edited by bymy141; 02-22-2011 at 04:00 AM.
02-22-2011, 03:54 AM   #10
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The k10d is a great camera at low iso and 10 MP is plenty. It seems all my favorite cameras have been 10MP k10d, 40d and the new used 1D mark iii I got.
02-22-2011, 04:00 AM   #11
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The K10D hasn't suddenly become a bad/useless camera with all these newer cameras being developed. It's more to do with increasing expectations, but anyone who says 10Mp isn't enough either is a Stock Photo junkie or doesn't appreciate what can be produced from a 10Mp image.
02-22-2011, 04:22 AM   #12
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Maybe you should go and print one or two in a shop at 8x10 or 5x7 (inch I assume) and see what the quality is.

After that you can decide if you need another camera and if so, investigate in the different offerings of the different brands.

I assume that you did not resize the images before you send them to the print house and that your email software does not automatically resize them either (if you used email).
02-22-2011, 04:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mahukey Quote
But then I was trying to make a calendar for my family with some pictures I took in JPEG, and the company I was trying to have make the calendars gave me a error message that the pictures would be blurry because of the pixels. I went kind of ballistic, the pictures are fine on my computer screen. I haven't printed any though so I am not sure what they look like as 8x10's.
Oh, I so feel your pain. I just recently had a similar experience--I was using a 12mg P&S--hence the new DLSR. I got pictures from a friend using a 'nice' Nikon--same problem. I suspect it has little to do with the camera and a LOT to do with how you are taking pictures. If you aren't using high resolution you cannot crop those photos. That pricey Nikon wasn't doing much better than my P&S because the photographer was doing the same thing I was--saving space on a memory card. BAH! How short-sighted of both of us. It's painful, but this is probably user error, not camera error. I'm not making the same mistake 2x though. From now on, high resolution and Raw. I want to be able to crop photos until I learn to make better compositions.

You might indeed want a new camera, but you'll get the same results if you do the same thing. Investigate the problem before you investigate a new camera.
02-22-2011, 07:48 AM   #14
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Original Poster

I wish you all wouldn't take offense. I'm frustrated because of two problems 1. When I have tried to use the k10d in a low lighting situation, setting it at 1600 ISO, wide open, and pushing it three stops I still didn't get good pictures one of the problems was I couldn't use a flash during the performance. And that was the only time I could take the pictures. I tried using the camera in several other situation and felt like the results just were not the same as my film camera.
I'm using my Sigma 70-300mm lens so not it is not a kit lens, my Pentax 55 mm is a kit lens from the K70(back in the day) it is a pretty good lens despite coming from a kit.
2. I was using Shutterfly to create a calendar, I hadn't cropped the pictures and they were a JPEG. I'm thinking about trying again but taking new pictures in RAW and seeing what happens.
02-22-2011, 08:06 AM   #15
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Hello mahukey! I'm new to both, this forum as well as photography. My husband, however, has been using Pentax since he was a child. I'm going to show him this thread and later today, he will add his post.

He owns a K10D. He wanted a camera that excelled at low light situations. He researched his options for a couple months, so alot of study went into it. He decided to purchase a K-x because of excellent write ups on how it produced images in low light. He has NOT been disappointed!!

It's not very scientific, but, he set up a low light setting to compare images side by side for the K10D and K-x. He used the same settings and shot the images in RAW. He showed me the results. It was just STUNNING!!!!! I always thought the K10 did wonderful everytime, but, the K-x knocks my socks off!! There was much "noise" in the low light K10 picture as well as loss of sharpness and color when compared to the same picture done with the K-x.

I will have him work up a post in this thread so that you can see what I'm talking about. Don't give up on Pentax! I know that there is a combination that will accomplish what you are seeking.

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