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10-07-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
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K30 vs K-5 vs D300

Hello,

Currently I have a K-x which is a great camera but there are two things that drive me crazy.

Auto focus - accuracy and speed.

exposure - it's a nightmare to get it right without post processing


So I'm split between K30, usd k-5 and used d300.


High ISO is second issue to me. I rarely shoot above iso 1600, max 3200 but the AF is more important as an OOF image is a lot less usable than a grainy one.

What I like from the pentaxes are:

Great ISO performance, compact and light. I like the k30 over the k-5 because of the AF improvements but I'd be loosing the possibility to mount a grip.

The d300 seems like a nice camera with fast accurate AF and reliable exposure. It's going to be larger and heavier which is a minus for long trips.

I am also thinking into entering the wedding photography industry and I think the d300 would be a lot more reliable for that use with accurate af and metering and great flashes.

I am looking for a constructive discussion here.

It would be great to have the opinions of people who have used both the d300 and or k-30/k-5.

Thanks

Deni

10-07-2012, 01:47 AM   #2
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i use the k5 and the D7000 (better high iso performance than the D300!).

the only difference for me is the AF-speed. the Nikon AF is a bit better (AF tracking with fast objects). I don't use flashes, so i can't say anything about that.

if you don't want to post-process your pics, you have to choose Olympus (best jpg-engine on the market at the moment)! with Nikon you have to spend the same time in pp (optmize lightning) as you have to do with Pentax (optimize sharpness), if you know, what to do (and what you want), there is only one reason for your choice: handling.
10-07-2012, 01:58 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Wasn't the D300 updated to the D300s, with the same sensor (roughly) as the D90 and K-x? That's the one you'd want to get if you go down that path.

The original D300 is still a nice body with very reputable AF performance but a bit of an old clunker (August 2007) with not quite the same image quality as the D300s (July 2009) or the D90 (or K-x). Plus the D300s can do video, whereas the D300 can't.

The reliability of the D300 would have been OK when it was new, but if you do get an original D300, that body could be 5 years old now. The reliability of a body that old and perhaps heavily used too is something you probably shouldn't count on.

My preference order if I was getting into wedding photography would probably be D300s > K-5 > K-30 > D-300, because while the D300s has poorer image quality in low light than the K-5 or K-30, which can sometimes be critical in weddings, the AF is probably more robust for that kind of shooting. But then again, the K-5's shutter is much much quieter than the D300's, also sometimes critical for wedding services in church etc.

Best of luck with your decision. There are always trade-offs and compromises, especially if you are working on a budget. I guess you just have to prioritise your needs and match that with your budget.
10-07-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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I had the D300 and now have a K5. D300 have better ergonomics if u have large hands, and slightly better controls as a semi pro camera. Great camera. The K5 is smarter in terms of in camera effects, and definitely has a much better iso. The D300 struggles even as "low" as 1600. D300 AF wins hands down.

If speed and AF matters, go for the D300. For flexibility in terms of picture controls go for the K5. Can't really go wrong.

10-07-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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I hated the Kx's AF performance. The K30 is much more decisive and fast. If you can wait for the K5II, it should improve on the K30. The K5 is a funny one. It doesn't seem as responsive after playing with the K30 but it may have more to do with using different lenses on both the K30 and K5 that made the difference.
10-07-2012, 04:25 AM   #6
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I'm a K-x user and don't have too many problems with AF or exposure. You don't indicate what sort of shooting environment you experience these troubles, so I can only make some broad comments.

I have some lenses that might need a consistent 0.5EV or so exposure compensation, but once I dial that in, away I go. I do shoot almost always in Aperture Priority, so can't comment if other settings such as Program are less reliable. Bear in mind that any camera will need some exposure over-ride in difficult lighting situations, so changing cameras will not cure auto-exposure problems in such cases (eg back lit subjects, very high contrast scenes). I use the histogram on camera's photo playback mode as a matter of course to check if I am getting broadly what I want in exposure outcomes, and then use exposure compensation to take another photo(s) then and there if needed. This limits the need for any extreme PP corrections back at home.

As for AF speed, I tend to pre-focus on a point that I expect will be roughly the same distance as the subject. Then when I am ready to shoot and recompose to the subject, the camera has only a minor (and quick) focus adjustment to make. There is, of course, a level of low lighting where I start to push the ability of the camera to auto-focus at all - in which event, yes it can hunt around. If you are using the kit lens at a longer focal length, you could be arriving at this point sooner than you think.

People comment on accuracy a lot, but bear in mind a camera using AF is merely trying to optimise contrast at its AF points - it can't see the scene as you see it and may just be focusing on something that wasn't what you had in mind. Shifting to a single focus point could help on some occasions. The other factor could be that you camera/lens combo needs some focus adjustment which is by no means uncommon. This can be done on the K-x. It's not in the standard menus but can be accessed by loading a small debug program to your SD card - Googling should explain how, and there are endless articles and threads how to go about focus adjustment. For example, my Tamron 17-50 needs +50um correction and then it is darn sharp.

The downside to the K-x is that focus adjustment is universal - it cannot be defined on a lens by lens basis. This will eventually drive me to move up from the K-x to a K-30 or a K-5 II at some point rather than the K-x's overall AF ability.

Last edited by southlander; 10-07-2012 at 04:41 AM. Reason: Additional comments added
10-07-2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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Like any tool, the choice of camera system must be based solely on what it's to be used for.

I keep reading this sort of thread, but invariably get the feeling that they're often written and driven by photographers who really haven't taken the time to learn and understand photography, seem to believe in the 'grass is always greener...', and often don't know their current kit well enough. Many also seem to have no understanding of manufacturing processes and tolerances, often espousing the 'fact' that 'since my version of whatever doesn't work, therefore no version of whatever will work'.

Cameras and lenses are made to tolerances. Get a body and lens each at their opposite tolerance extreme and you have problems. The opposite is therefore true.

The K-x, like the K30, is /was an 'entry level' product. Being Pentax, however, a very good one. Other than being a Pentax it can't really be compared with the K-5, which was always aimed at serious photographers and built/specified accordingly.

Sit down, define what you need from your system, research what's on the market within your budget, go feel/try the kit, buy what feels right!

I'd also say, lastly, that if you are serious about getting into wedding photography, your first duty is to your customers. Buy new, buy two identical bodies, buy the best.
10-07-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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I would recommend the K-30, since it will deliver more on every ground that you currently have.

10-07-2012, 09:09 AM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for the input.

Regarding PP. In 99% of the cases I shoot RAW. PP doesn't daunt me but when I say unreliable metering I mean that very often I have to add over 1 - 2+ exp in lightroom which does bring a lot of noise.

"i use the k5 and the D7000 (better high iso performance than the D300!).

the only difference for me is the AF-speed. the Nikon AF is a bit better (AF tracking with fast objects). I don't use flashes, so i can't say anything about that."

Does the D7000 have a more advanced AF sensor over the D300, the same or inferior?

"Wasn't the D300 updated to the D300s, with the same sensor (roughly) as the D90 and K-x? That's the one you'd want to get if you go down that path. "

As far as I've read the the D300s ads "minor" improvements to the D300. It's not that I really care about those improvements, like video shooting. Sensor is identical to D300, D90, k-x, k-r and D5000 (think D5100 ass well).

"I had the D300 and now have a K5. "

This is what I was looking for. In terms of AF-speed AF-accuracy and metering, is there noticeable difference between the two of them?

"I hated the Kx's AF performance. The K30 is much more decisive and fast. If you can wait for the K5II, it should improve on the K30. The K5 is a funny one. It doesn't seem as responsive after playing with the K30 but it may have more to do with using different lenses on both the K30 and K5 that made the difference."

This is what I'm scared of. The k-5 is a great camera but it does lack behind in some areas that I consider important. The k30 is IMO the best in it's bracket, hands down. But the lack of a grip really doesn't give me confidence.

"I keep reading this sort of thread, but invariably get the feeling that they're often written and driven by photographers who really haven't taken the time to learn and understand photography"

I agree with you, I'll learn as long as I'll live. So will you.

"seem to believe in the 'grass is always greener..."

No it is NOT. I'd be missing a lot of Pentax stuff, like compact and light bodies, in body stabilization and great ergonomics.

But I think that on the AF and metering side, the Nikon grass might be a tad greener. This is why I'm writing here, to really understand if it is true or not.

"I'd also say, lastly, that if you are serious about getting into wedding photography, your first duty is to your customers. Buy new, buy two identical bodies, buy the best."

We are in different countries and very different economic situations. You might afford to buy two of the best identical bodies, I don't.

I've seen the sort of equipment and output the photographers have here, not everyone. Low end body, kit lens with built in flash. In one hand the video camera, in the other the photographic camera. This is what I will target first. People with small budgets that want to capture the moments of their life. Then if successful move on.
10-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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D300 = af. K-30/k-5 = iso
10-14-2012, 12:33 AM   #11
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D300s would be a great little camera, I have two friends who shoot with them. They have much better AF than the K-5, as I would suspect the D7000 would... I still prefer the Pentax menu system to Nikon's.. but it's not as atrocious as Canon's. I loved my K-5, but I do remember being frustrated more with it's AF hunting a lot. Personally I think a D7000 might be your better option if you don't want to get what's about to come down the pipe (K-5II/K-5IIs or D7200/D400). Ohh and for flash systems.. you simply can't beat Nikon's "Creative Lighting System" setup.. it's pretty slick, I'm just learning it now.
10-15-2012, 10:08 PM   #12
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but it's not as atrocious as Canon's.

thumbs up
10-16-2012, 12:09 AM   #13
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I agree

QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I would recommend the K-30, since it will deliver more on every ground that you currently have.
+1 on what he says.
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