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05-06-2011, 09:03 AM   #1
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Canon vs. Pentax which to buy

I am an old K1000 owner and always proud of my simple rugged no auto anything camera. I had others but my K1000 was my favorite camera.

Fast forward 30 years. I now have a new x90 and very pleased with it but my main DSLR is an old Canon Rebel XT. Would buying a Pentax K7, (if available) and if not what is its current equivalent?...be a move with any improvement over the Canon XT? The only feature I want to improve is clarity of shots either electronically or from better glass. I'm still in the downside of what I can afford...less than $1,000 for cam and lens.

So boiled down question...Would I be changing much of anything in quality to buy a current Pentax model similar to the Canon Rebel DSLR or do they produce about the same clarity for no more than an 8x10 photo?

I don't want to lay out the cash just to have the name Pentax on it. There will never be another K1000 but I'm kinda looking for a DSLR that would be my K1000 SLR in modern format but that probably does not apply...whole different photo world now.

05-06-2011, 09:42 AM   #2
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There will never be another K1000. The new cameras have so many moving parts.. and electronic components that sooner or later will fail. Wouldn't it be great though to have a K1000 with an CCD sensor in it though. Something simple, yet always functional with some heavy grade fail proof electronics? What a concept.

I started with a *ist in 2003, traded it in for a K100D which got traded for a K-x, and I picked up a second hand K-20D along the way. As the resolution of the sensors has gotten better, we've wanted upgrades. Each upgrade has meant a new computer with more processing power and a larger hard drive.. so, it's not just the camera.

That being said, if you're not doing over 8x10 a K-r would be the way to go. Actually, the resolution on the K-r is fine right up to 20x30 in my experience so, you're in overkill land with any current model.

As for the difference between Canon and Pentax.. do you have any old lenses for your K-x you might be able to use on a K-r. I have to say.. in my case, the new lenses were so much lighter than my old lenses I never actually ended up using the old ones, even though I planned to when I bought the camera. But, it's still a consideration. Especially if you have that old K mount 50 or 55 mm manual lens.

I really don't compare anything I shot with my K20D or K-x to my old film images.. it's just not fair. I doubt, you're going to find much difference in IQ unless you invest in some of that special Pentax glass ( or already have some). At 8x10, they're both going to be way more than you really need, so how does one quantify?
05-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #3
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If you have some lenses for the old k1000 still then the Pentax KR is an excellent choice. In comparison to the older rebel it's a far better machine (in comparison to the new higher end rebel there is far less difference) You don't mention how many lenses you have for the rebel xt and what grade they are. If they are rebel kit lens zooms then it's not worth worrying about. For my money the pentax line is far more photographer friendly. I've shot some of the canon digitals and they all drove me nuts functionally.
If you don't mind second hand you should be able to get a K7 with a WR kit lens for $6-700 leaving $300 for a better lens to go with it
05-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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If your budget is tight, I would be looking at the Pentax K-r rather then the K7. It has most of the features that the K-7 would have and allow the use of any Pentaxs lens you have from the K-1000. If you more money tied up in Canon optics, I would be looking at getting a newer Canon D-slr body. Others can comment the print size quality but 8 x 10 should be no problem between the cameras mentioned.

It all depends on what you are looking for. Some people like myself have had a rather large amount of money invested in Pentax lenses so going to the Pentax D-slr's was a good way to go. Otherwise you are open to whatever system will feel the best working with.

You mentioned having the X90 bridge camera. What do you find its limitations are when doing pictures that you take now?

05-06-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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I would look at the Pentax K-x if you're on a budget.
05-06-2011, 11:42 AM   #6
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To be honest I think anything over 6mp will make excellent, clear 8x10's. Better lenses would make a bigger difference. I have just spent the morning playing with my old Pentax *ist D, at 6.1mp is even older than your XT. With my FA 50mm and ISO 200 the pictures frankly look excellent, even examined closely.

A more modern body in the Pentax or Canon line would get you more features, faster speed, higher resolution, low noise at high ISO etc... but none of that will affect the quality of an 8x10 if you know what you're doing. It will only affect how many keepers you get in more difficult conditions.

Of course, it's always fun to have a new toy too so nobody would blame you for getting a new one
05-06-2011, 11:51 AM   #7
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"Clarity of shots" is too vague to be meaningful. You need to figure out if you are currently limited by the resolution of the camera (XT was, I believe, 8 MP), or if it's the quality of the lenses, if your expectations are simply unreasonable (viewing digital images on screen at 100% is like making a wall sized poster enlargement from 35mm film - how often did you subject your K1000 images to that kind of scrutiny?), if you re simply running into high ISO noise issues, etc. Depending on the *specific* issues you are having, different camera models *might* be an improvement. Without seeing *specific* examples you are not happy with and explanations of why, I'm guessing it's mostly a combination of lens (are you using the zoom lens that came with the camera?) and unreasonable expectations - too much "pixel peeping". In which case, no camera upgrade would really make the difference. Although a higher resolution camera *will* stand up to more "pixel peeping"; still, unless you are regularly making wall posters, that wouldn't really affect normal viewing of the images (eg, prints up to 8x10, web viewing). The only advantage in buying a Pentax camera in particular would be if you already have better lenses for your K1000 than you do for your Canon; you'd be able to take advantage of those.
05-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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Per pixel sharpness, when viewing 1:1, will be higher on a smaller megapixel sensor even though there's more resolution and detail to be found on the higher resolution sensor due to the pixel size getting smaller and smaller as resolution goes up.

That's what I found when I compare my 6MP Fuji F11 to my K10D to my K-5.

I agree that a 6MP sensor is all you need for an 8 x 10. I've even had great results printing out my 4MP images at 16 x 20 for framing on a wall.

05-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #9
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Keep your Rebel and buy some nice EF primes for it.
05-06-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
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I don't think you're going to see a significant difference in "clarity" between DSLRs, or even lenses, in an 8x10" print. I chose a Pentax over Canon when I started with DSLRs, but realistically all DSLRs from a similar period and at a similar price range are going to produce pretty similar pictures.

Paul
05-06-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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canon if you want to go with the 5dmark2, i think it's probably the best value for a FF camera I've seen.

Pentax best camera (bang for the buck) is probably the k-r, I feel the K-5 is a bit over price producing similar IQ as the D5100 and the A58 (both are about 400 bucks cheaper).

not sure what you're looking for, in fact most DSLR will produce nearly the same IQ from ISO 100-400 (yes even my 200 dollars sony A330 toy body). The rest is dependent on lens quality and light control.
05-06-2011, 08:46 PM   #12
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A used Canon 5D classic is easily within budget. That's a full frame dSLR, roughly equivalent in IQ to 35mm film camera such as K1000.

In general, prime lenses provide sharper IQ than zoom lenses...
05-06-2011, 10:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Keep your Rebel and buy some nice EF primes for it.
+1

You can change the body later, but good glasses will accompany you for years. i.e. a EF 50 1.4, or the 85 1.8 are superb lenses.

In addition you will find much more used equipment for Canon than for Pentax.
05-08-2011, 12:26 AM   #14
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Ahhh, all good advice. Two things stand out for me....sensor size and lens quality. Big sensor and high grade lens. I will review these replies and figure out maybe the last camera I will ever buy.

Thanks....now to another forum or something. This laptop just got hit by something claiming to be Vista virus protection. Totally locked up the computer. I'm running off a restore point right now but not working well at all.

May have to swipe this thing clean and reload with disc. Oh lord I guess that means all day updates.

Hope you folks out there did not get this very nasty virus I just got today. It is bad news.

Back to matter at hand...I have no expensive lenses, so whatever the camera all i get is midocre reulat.

Thanx again. (my lil x90 is looking better every day)..
jb
05-09-2011, 06:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ejbpesca Quote
Ahhh, all good advice. Two things stand out for me....sensor size and lens quality. Big sensor and high grade lens. I will review these replies and figure out maybe the last camera I will ever buy.

Thanks....now to another forum or something. This laptop just got hit by something claiming to be Vista virus protection. Totally locked up the computer. I'm running off a restore point right now but not working well at all.

May have to swipe this thing clean and reload with disc. Oh lord I guess that means all day updates.

Hope you folks out there did not get this very nasty virus I just got today. It is bad news.

Back to matter at hand...I have no expensive lenses, so whatever the camera all i get is midocre reulat.

Thanx again. (my lil x90 is looking better every day)..
jb
Sorry to here about your computer. My girlfriends had to be saved after some problem. The restore program helped save all the documents but all the programs had to put back on.

As to the camera, I have a little S1500 bridge camera I use a either a backup or secondary camera when shooting and I what multiple cameras with me. It is about the same as you X90 but only with a 12x zoom. I get some good result with it as long as the ISO setting is set in the lower settings. If I put two prints side by side, one one could really tell the difference if it was my Pentax K-m or Fuji in a 5 by 7 or 8 by 10 print sizes. Only the small differences in the colour remindering will be the telling difference. Todays cameras all give fairly good overall picture quality. Unless you are looking at doing giant sized poster prints, the cameras you have will do the jobs you want.

At some point they will break down though. The newer digital cameras will never have the live span of the older film cameras. I owned a Fuji S5000 and after only 5 years the ccd senser died.

The one item never mentioned was the difference in the DOF. The X90 will have a relativity larger DOF when compared to larger senser sized D-slr due to the smaller focal length used in the design. I find this helps in some macro picture taking conditions. The other limiting factor on the X90 is the limited range of aperture. I have no idea of what the X90's aperture range is but my Fuji S1500 only has a f stop range of 4 stops. This is about half of a D-slr camera. Since the focal length on the bridge cameras is so small the need for small apertures is not really needed.
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