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02-22-2008, 07:20 AM   #1
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Convince me to stay...

So, I just jumped from Canon (5D and 20D) to Pentax. The lenses looked good, especially the SDM ones, and the temptation of in body SR was too much to pass up. And the IQ is great.

BUT....

There are a couple issues I don't know if I can live with. The main one is the AF. I probably should have done a little more research before I jumped, but I thought it would be decent, especially after I played w/ a K10D at a local store before I bought one. However, I find that in anything approaching lower light, its very hit and miss, or constantly trying to refocus. This is very disheartening.

My 5D wasn't exactly amazing in this area, but it felt more sure footed for sure. I really like the Pentax system, and I want to stay, but I don't know if I want to deal with it or not.

I shoot weddings, so there is a lot of low light/ambient light shooting to be done. MF is fine sometimes, but sometimes you just need the quickness of AF.

The other issues I have are much eaisier dealt with. The exposure is a little hit and miss, and the WB definitely is erratic. Neither of those are deal breakers as I shoot in Raw anyhow.

So, convince me from going back! I hate some of the stuff that Canikon does, especially in regards to IS/VR/SR, but on the other hand.... They work very well. Just so d@%^ expensive!

BTW- I have 2 K10D's, both with updated firmware, and the 16-50 and 50-135 lenses...

Chris

02-22-2008, 07:29 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxkman Quote
So, I just jumped from Canon (5D and 20D) to Pentax. The lenses looked good, especially the SDM ones, and the temptation of in body SR was too much to pass up. And the IQ is great.

BUT....

There are a couple issues I don't know if I can live with. The main one is the AF. I probably should have done a little more research before I jumped, but I thought it would be decent, especially after I played w/ a K10D at a local store before I bought one. However, I find that in anything approaching lower light, its very hit and miss, or constantly trying to refocus. This is very disheartening.

My 5D wasn't exactly amazing in this area, but it felt more sure footed for sure. I really like the Pentax system, and I want to stay, but I don't know if I want to deal with it or not.

I shoot weddings, so there is a lot of low light/ambient light shooting to be done. MF is fine sometimes, but sometimes you just need the quickness of AF.

The other issues I have are much eaisier dealt with. The exposure is a little hit and miss, and the WB definitely is erratic. Neither of those are deal breakers as I shoot in Raw anyhow.

So, convince me from going back! I hate some of the stuff that Canikon does, especially in regards to IS/VR/SR, but on the other hand.... They work very well. Just so d@%^ expensive!

BTW- I have 2 K10D's, both with updated firmware, and the 16-50 and 50-135 lenses...

Chris
I have both K10D and *istD, and have done a lot of very low light shots, 1/200 at F2.8 with ISO 1600 or 3200

These have been stage performances, using only stage lighting and no flash (no AF Assist).

You would NEVER use an ISO 3200 shot in a wedding portfolio, because although I find them acceptable, i doubt the wedding party will. The point is, if I can focus in lighting conditions that are otherwise totally unacceptable so can you
02-22-2008, 07:44 AM   #3
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Well I'm not going to convince you because I don't have to live with the choice you make. I shoot weddings sometimes as well and that will increase this year and next. I don't have much issue with the AF but it is a little fussy in low light situations without question. But you learn to work around that Spot focus and aim at a high contrast part of the scene, lock that focus and fire. Take a split second to do and the results are fine. For me at least.

WB and exposures have not been an issue either but I've shot Pentax's for 25+ years and you get used to a systems way of working. But I rarely use the multi point exposure modes either. WB is mostly left in Auto unless the shooting is indoors and under strange lighting. I'd rather correct in software afterwards to get a more accurate image.
02-22-2008, 08:11 AM   #4
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I am using the K100D super and the auto focus and WB are not perfect but I must say they do not give me any problems. I use similar methods as Peter has mentioned and it has become automatic for me and I don't think too much about it.

I shoot mostly in raw and do a quick manual WB for indoors but I find auto near perfect outdoors.... I would not call it eratic on the K100D but it is not capable of dealing with the full spectum of indoor light temps.

cheers
Keith

02-22-2008, 08:13 AM   #5
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AF's going to be troublesome regardless of camera in low light. But AF360/540FGZ's AF assist light may help when getting AF right is crucial every time...

Is 'exposure-offness' much better dealt with in the 20D/30D/40D/5D in your opinion?

Yep, even Pentax would admit its AWB esp. for tungsten light is not the best, but setting manual WB can fix that (and the K10D's manual WB is very customisable).

You probably don't need convincing, though. You just need to find the system that suits your needs best - and your setup seems quite nice to me!
02-22-2008, 08:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxkman Quote
So, I just jumped from Canon (5D and 20D) to Pentax. The lenses looked good, especially the SDM ones, and the temptation of in body SR was too much to pass up. And the IQ is great.

BUT....

There are a couple issues I don't know if I can live with. The main one is the AF. I probably should have done a little more research before I jumped, but I thought it would be decent, especially after I played w/ a K10D at a local store before I bought one. However, I find that in anything approaching lower light, its very hit and miss, or constantly trying to refocus. This is very disheartening.

My 5D wasn't exactly amazing in this area, but it felt more sure footed for sure. I really like the Pentax system, and I want to stay, but I don't know if I want to deal with it or not.

I shoot weddings, so there is a lot of low light/ambient light shooting to be done. MF is fine sometimes, but sometimes you just need the quickness of AF.

The other issues I have are much eaisier dealt with. The exposure is a little hit and miss, and the WB definitely is erratic. Neither of those are deal breakers as I shoot in Raw anyhow.

So, convince me from going back! I hate some of the stuff that Canikon does, especially in regards to IS/VR/SR, but on the other hand.... They work very well. Just so d@%^ expensive!

BTW- I have 2 K10D's, both with updated firmware, and the 16-50 and 50-135 lenses...

Chris
I think you have answered your own question already, and you probably have more experience with both Canon and Pentax than most people here. Being with Pentax AF SLR/DSLR for a decade, I like pretty much everything Pentax except AF performance. As a hobby, it is fine. But if you shoot wedding for a living, especially w/o enough light, and you need it in focus for THAT moment, a second delay due to AF is simply not acceptable. I can understand the frustration as I have been through similar situations for countless times, though I am no wedding shooter.
02-22-2008, 08:38 AM   #7
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I think you've known the answer yourself

As Alan has said, you've told the differences by yourself already. So the case is very simple: If reliable/fast AF and accurate exposure are essential to you (alone??), then just go back to Canon.

But anyway, what're the most basic and important functions for a *camera*?? It is just a light box which can adjust the focus and make the proper exposure (of course it requires also an accurate light meter here)! So, just think about: If the basic functions of a camera are inferior comparatively.. then? (What else do you want to think further actually? :-))

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxkman Quote
So, I just jumped from Canon (5D and 20D) to Pentax. The lenses looked good, especially the SDM ones, and the temptation of in body SR was too much to pass up. And the IQ is great.

BUT....

There are a couple issues I don't know if I can live with. The main one is the AF. I probably should have done a little more research before I jumped, but I thought it would be decent, especially after I played w/ a K10D at a local store before I bought one. However, I find that in anything approaching lower light, its very hit and miss, or constantly trying to refocus. This is very disheartening.

My 5D wasn't exactly amazing in this area, but it felt more sure footed for sure. I really like the Pentax system, and I want to stay, but I don't know if I want to deal with it or not.

I shoot weddings, so there is a lot of low light/ambient light shooting to be done. MF is fine sometimes, but sometimes you just need the quickness of AF.

The other issues I have are much eaisier dealt with. The exposure is a little hit and miss, and the WB definitely is erratic. Neither of those are deal breakers as I shoot in Raw anyhow.

So, convince me from going back! I hate some of the stuff that Canikon does, especially in regards to IS/VR/SR, but on the other hand.... They work very well. Just so d@%^ expensive!

BTW- I have 2 K10D's, both with updated firmware, and the 16-50 and 50-135 lenses...

Chris
02-22-2008, 08:41 AM   #8
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You've probably already made your decision, but the reason I chose Pentax when I went digital was mainly for the in-camera SR which, for me, makes more of an improvement than troublesome AF. Really, the only problem I've had with AF is with wide-angle lenses, and I think that's because they have a hard time picking the focus spot, and finding a light/dark line to focus on.

I will admit, though, if I shot weddings professionally (I've shot quite a few, but don't make a living at it), I would probably switch to Nikon and get a D3 and a couple of nice lenses. I could write them off on my income tax. I think Nikon's flash system is more consistent and right now, I think they've got the upper hand. For what I do, though, my Pentax gear is wonderful, and for thousands less.

Cheers

02-22-2008, 08:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by afs760bf Quote
You've probably already made your decision, but the reason I chose Pentax when I went digital was mainly for the in-camera SR which, for me, makes more of an improvement than troublesome AF. Really, the only problem I've had with AF is with wide-angle lenses, and I think that's because they have a hard time picking the focus spot, and finding a light/dark line to focus on.

I will admit, though, if I shot weddings professionally (I've shot quite a few, but don't make a living at it), I would probably switch to Nikon and get a D3 and a couple of nice lenses. I could write them off on my income tax. I think Nikon's flash system is more consistent and right now, I think they've got the upper hand. For what I do, though, my Pentax gear is wonderful, and for thousands less.

Cheers
one question I have, and I have not shot a wedding since 1986, is the following.

How much has changed since I shot a wedding with Manual focus? people took photos for years with out AF at all.
02-22-2008, 09:01 AM   #10
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Yes, and people can still take photos without AF at all. And for formals it doesn't make much difference. I can still use my Koni-Omega and Omegaflex medium format stuff and blow the doors off most anything else for sharpness. But if you are going to compete with the wedding crowd nowadays, or shoot PJ style, or get images with just the right amount of blur on the dress during the dance, while keeping the eyes in focus, it doesn't hurt to have the tools. Casual shots are much easier and look much more natural if the AF is working because you can grab them quicker. And where the bride used to expect maybe 50 to 75 nice photos, they now want about 300, at least - and for a "reasonable" price, of course. "And since it's digital, you can take that zit off my nose, right?"
02-22-2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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I agree with Lowell. We're not talking about a fast moving sporting event here, so focusing should not be all that difficult. Every wedding I've done (only when coerced by friends or family) was handled by a manual-focus medium format Mamiya film camera and not a single client has ever complained about the results (and these clients were friends & family not at all hesitant to complain). Try offering quality instead of quantity. It's amazing how many people actually appreciate that.

stewart
02-22-2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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Is this a hobby or a business? If shooting weddings is mostly just a way for you to earn extra money, then stick with the gear you have. On the other hand, if it's your sole business and you feel that the limitations of your Pentax gear may be costing you jobs, then you really can't afford to be brand loyal. I know pros who had used Pentax gear for years, but once they came up against a true wall where Pentax could no longer compete, they simply sighed and switched.
02-22-2008, 09:31 AM   #13
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Please don't take offense at this.. but jumping from a 5D to a K20D? Pentax's lenses are amazing (better than Canon's and Nikons in my opinion) as is the color rendition of a Pentax body + a pentax lens.. but the 5D is pretty much an epic tool of awesomeness. I guess I just can't relate.. the Pentax system is cheaper, though, even at the per lens cost level, and you get built in SR that really works too...
As for AF, you really have to learn how it works. Keep in mind that the entire center area marked for the spot metering section is a cross AF area for the middle sensor. Once you know that, it makes locking focus the way you want it pretty easy (for example, make sure you don't catch the edge of something in the center area, or it will focus between that object and the object you intended to be in focus).
It's also slow in low light, not much you can do about that, though I daresay it's decently accurate (though I've had horrible results in using AF in low light, but that was before a calibration I just did). Everything else about these cameras is great, awesome build (weather sealing), fast operation, unique exposure modes (hyper program is great) and, of course, the great image quality. Vs a 5D though... that's some serious competition, but you may be satisfied.
02-22-2008, 09:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Is this a hobby or a business? If shooting weddings is mostly just a way for you to earn extra money, then stick with the gear you have. On the other hand, if it's your sole business and you feel that the limitations of your Pentax gear may be costing you jobs, then you really can't afford to be brand loyal. I know pros who had used Pentax gear for years, but once they came up against a true wall where Pentax could no longer compete, they simply sighed and switched.
I don't disagree, BUT let's not build imaginary walls either. As I said earlier, and as stewart has also said, the bride and wedding party are not exactly moving at 200 miles per hour
02-22-2008, 09:56 AM   #15
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I, too, switched from Canon 5D to Pentax. I much prefer Pentax. The image quality & lens rendition is much better, imo, than anything I got from Canon. Bigger lens choice and cheaper too. I don't use auto focus much though, never have. If I counted on auto focus all the time, especially in low light, I might not have made the switch. You should ride it out until you can try the K20D. It might surprise you.
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