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02-29-2008, 08:52 PM   #1
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K20D for wedding photography vs K10D or....

To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

As a wedding camera, the K10D has two serious shortcomings.

One is, that P-TTL just doesn't seem to be a very good flash system. The other shortcoming is that the K10D's performance inside the church, where the light is low and the ISOs are high, is disappointing. Or perhaps that's not it. Perhaps it's not disappointing. Perhaps it's that I know other cameras can do better. The full-frame Canon 5D is very popular with wedding photographers precisely because it does quite well in the church, in low light.

Now I'm stuck on this difficult issue of whether the K10D's performance in the church is disappointing or is not. I'm enclosing two crops of a photo I took at a Mass recently in mediocre light--by mediocre, I mean it wasn't good, but it wasn't night time, either. The enlarged crop shows the noise clearly. But the other crop--which is still not the full original photo--looks much better, and the photo prints out quite nicely. This was taken with a K10D and the Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8, at ISO 1600.

I imagine that the K20D would do better. But I'm struggling with the question, would it do ENOUGH better to justify the expense? My clients do NOT view photos zoomed to 100%.

Has anybody shot a wedding yet with a K20D, or not something similar to a church service? I've seen a whole bunch of test shots of cans of soup or books on the shelf and so on, often from close up. These are interesting but they don't really tell me what I'd like to know. My experience of the K10D is that its low-light performance is really quite variable, and it seems to depend on the quality of the light, not just the amount of light. If the K20D really were in the same league as, say, the Nikon D300--if it's low-light performance were dramatically better than the K10D's--well, it might be worth the money to me now. But if the improvement isn't that dramatic, I might pass for the time being.

Any thoughts? Any other wedding photographers out there wondering the same thing?

Will

P.S. It's not a question of wanting the K20D. I want it. It's a question of whether it's best to spend this money on the camera, or on something else.

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02-29-2008, 09:35 PM   #2
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I myself wonder the same as well though K20D is still not available here in this little isle.
Been getting more requests for wedding shoots and do have plans to go into it commercially so i do look into the possible enhancements which benefit me in shooting.

Good to know someone is using Pentax to shoot wedding. I'm am just the oddest person in my country to use Pentax in a wedding actually.
02-29-2008, 10:45 PM   #3
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You have the lens, makes sense to reinvest in a lower noise camera if that's important to you.

I can live with the 1600 pictures, although I wouldn't object to lower noise levels of course.



Yes it's noisy, but worth it to freeze moments.

Last edited by AVANT; 02-29-2008 at 10:51 PM.
02-29-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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Will, this graph might give you a good idea how they compared. Browing through the PopPhoto reviews also indicate 5D is miles ahead of Pentax for low EV AF, and 40D is even better. I think it is safe to assume the 5D replacement would benefit from the 40D nine cross point AF module too.



03-01-2008, 06:29 AM   #5
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I thought we were talking noise here not AF speed, sounds like you have a bit of an agenda Wlachan.

I can't comment on the K10D as I am still a humble DS user (soon to be K20D) and I was initially concerned when I took high ISO shots for events or functions etc and you look at it on screen and blow it up etc etc. But seriously when the shots were printed viola noise wasn't the main point on the photo in fact I had to go looking for it and in all honestly couldn't see it.


I love that statement about clients not wanting to view a 100% crop - I think wedding photogs (good ones) know it is all about capturing the feeling of the day, bringing the emotions out - I don't think many brides will be interested in hearing a photog proudly claiming their canon is far superior etc etc they want to hear what you will bring to their special day.

The OP photos look fine to me and as stated "the photo prints out quite nicely" - this has always been my experience also.
03-01-2008, 07:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Will, this graph might give you a good idea how they compared.
Thanks for the trouble Alan but, if I read your graph correctly, it compares the Pentax K10D to other brand cameras in terms of auto-focus speed. Not what I'm concerned about here. I'm asking for a comparison of the K10D to the K20D in terms of noise, particularly in the context of shooting inside churches (or at least in wedding event-type locations).

Will
03-01-2008, 07:10 AM   #7
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Have a friend that shoots K10Ds for weddings. Also has a K20D on the way. Will know more when it arrives. Friend is happy with K10Ds (uses 16-50 2.8 and 50-135 2.8 SDM lenses). Sometimes uses noise reduction on high iso shots. Customers love the images. Total income is from weddings and portraits.
thanks
barondla
03-01-2008, 08:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Have a friend that shoots K10Ds for weddings. Also has a K20D on the way. Will know more when it arrives. Friend is happy with K10Ds (uses 16-50 2.8 and 50-135 2.8 SDM lenses). Sometimes uses noise reduction on high iso shots. Customers love the images. Total income is from weddings and portraits.
Thanks, Barondla. I'd really like to hear your friend's take, why he ordered the K20D.

Back when I thought the K20D wasn't going to be out until May, I had made the easy decision to get one, because I didn't have to pay for it any time soon. But now the K20D is available and in stock, and I have a wedding to shoot in two weeks, so I'm actually giving some hard thought to whether I should spend the money.

Will

03-01-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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Hi, Will. I also don't care for the K10D's performance above ISO 800 and that's the main reason why I took the plunge and bought a K20D yesterday. I haven't been able to do much testing yet but the couple of low light shots seem to suggest the K20D is a good bit better than the K10D.

BTW, if you have a few minutes, I'd like your opinion/critique of my wedding work. Just follow the link in my signature. Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

As a wedding camera, the K10D has two serious shortcomings.

One is, that P-TTL just doesn't seem to be a very good flash system. The other shortcoming is that the K10D's performance inside the church, where the light is low and the ISOs are high, is disappointing. Or perhaps that's not it. Perhaps it's not disappointing. Perhaps it's that I know other cameras can do better. The full-frame Canon 5D is very popular with wedding photographers precisely because it does quite well in the church, in low light.

Now I'm stuck on this difficult issue of whether the K10D's performance in the church is disappointing or is not. I'm enclosing two crops of a photo I took at a Mass recently in mediocre light--by mediocre, I mean it wasn't good, but it wasn't night time, either. The enlarged crop shows the noise clearly. But the other crop--which is still not the full original photo--looks much better, and the photo prints out quite nicely. This was taken with a K10D and the Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8, at ISO 1600.

I imagine that the K20D would do better. But I'm struggling with the question, would it do ENOUGH better to justify the expense? My clients do NOT view photos zoomed to 100%.

Has anybody shot a wedding yet with a K20D, or not something similar to a church service? I've seen a whole bunch of test shots of cans of soup or books on the shelf and so on, often from close up. These are interesting but they don't really tell me what I'd like to know. My experience of the K10D is that its low-light performance is really quite variable, and it seems to depend on the quality of the light, not just the amount of light. If the K20D really were in the same league as, say, the Nikon D300--if it's low-light performance were dramatically better than the K10D's--well, it might be worth the money to me now. But if the improvement isn't that dramatic, I might pass for the time being.

Any thoughts? Any other wedding photographers out there wondering the same thing?

Will

P.S. It's not a question of wanting the K20D. I want it. It's a question of whether it's best to spend this money on the camera, or on something else.
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