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03-01-2008, 09:13 AM   #1
racinsince55
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Auto-Focus, FPS, ISO and general ramblings

Much has been said about Pentax lack of focus speed. "I can't get shots of my two year old." I've seen some post.

What ever happened to understanding your camera. I believe that, at least, 50% of the people who own DSLRs today would be just as well off with a quality P&S. For over 100 years, Photographers made shot after astounding shot of children, sports, animals & etc. without the aid of AF. Why? Because they understood their cameras and what they would, and wouldn't do. Now, if focus doesn't shift in a nano second, it's too slow.

FPS? How many amateur photographers really need 5 - 6 FPS? For most, you could probably give them a 5 - 6 FPS camera and they still would miss the important shots. Knowing something about the sport/event you are trying to shoot would be far more important that FPS. Some of the greatest sports shot ever were taken using Film cameras with simple a lever advance.

High ISO? The need for, IMO, is simply an excuse to not be willing to get the equipment required to get the job done. I don't know how many photos I've seen that were taken with a slow telephoto lens, high ISO and so much post processing that they looked like a cartoon and little like a photo.

"Ducking and Dodging"

Finis

03-01-2008, 10:33 AM   #2
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You make a good point, but I think the argument here is that the competition has better features in this department and Pentax ought to make an effort to compete.

And also, many people have SLR cameras for their hobby and arent professionals. Many are still learning photography. Theres no reason why they cant be cut a little slack with the help of techonology such as a better AF system.
03-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #3
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If the auto-focus becomes such a reliable tool, I doubt many would take time to learn to do manual focus properly. Personally, I think one get more comfortable with manual focus first before they use AF. It gives you more flexibility. It's also fun to learn new thing from time to time.

I understand the incompetency of Pentax's AF system compared to others, but I pick Pentax because of the tremendous price/performance ratio it offers. However, if I am a professional photographer, and Pentax becomes too inadequate to my task, then I would switch in a heart beat.

At the end of the day, it's you who work the tool, not the other way around.
03-01-2008, 11:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeedub Quote
You make a good point, but I think the argument here is that the competition has better features in this department and Pentax ought to make an effort to compete.

And also, many people have SLR cameras for their hobby and arent professionals. Many are still learning photography. Theres no reason why they cant be cut a little slack with the help of techonology such as a better AF system.
Neither Nikon nor Canon have internal anti-shake or weather sealing at this price point. Would you give up either of these?
The 40D is only 10MP. Would you like to give up 5MP of resolution?
The Nikon D300 is $600 more expensive. Do you want to spend an extra $600?
If the answer to any of the above questions is NO then what you really want is for Pentax to be better than any other camera but cost less.

03-01-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
SouthShoreRob
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Neither Nikon nor Canon have internal anti-shake or weather sealing at this price point. Would you give up either of these?
The 40D is only 10MP. Would you like to give up 5MP of resolution?
The Nikon D300 is $600 more expensive. Do you want to spend an extra $600?
Good response, however, for those of us shooting sports, with high shutter speeds, yeah anti-shake isn't really that big of a deal. Nice to have but...Oh and since the majority of the world prints at 8X10 or less the majority of the time, having the additional 5 MP really doesn't mean that much either...I would suppose.

QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
If the answer to any of the above questions is NO then what you really want is for Pentax to be better than any other camera but cost less.
Maybe some feel that way, but not I. I was simply hoping the Pentax k20D would be as good (in terms of a new AF system) as either of the C or N, but cost less...in keeping with Pentax tradition. Now, given all the K20Ds improvements centred around it's sensor, perhaps the next generation body (K30 or K1 or whatever) will have the R&D $ spent on AF instead.

Then, we'll be talking!
03-01-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
SouthShoreRob
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QuoteOriginally posted by racinsince55 Quote
Much has been said about Pentax lack of focus speed. "I can't get shots of my two year old." I've seen some post.

What ever happened to understanding your camera. I believe that, at least, 50% of the people who own DSLRs today would be just as well off with a quality P&S. For over 100 years, Photographers made shot after astounding shot of children, sports, animals & etc. without the aid of AF. Why? Because they understood their cameras and what they would, and wouldn't do. Now, if focus doesn't shift in a nano second, it's too slow.

FPS? How many amateur photographers really need 5 - 6 FPS? For most, you could probably give them a 5 - 6 FPS camera and they still would miss the important shots. Knowing something about the sport/event you are trying to shoot would be far more important that FPS. Some of the greatest sports shot ever were taken using Film cameras with simple a lever advance.

High ISO? The need for, IMO, is simply an excuse to not be willing to get the equipment required to get the job done. I don't know how many photos I've seen that were taken with a slow telephoto lens, high ISO and so much post processing that they looked like a cartoon and little like a photo.

"Ducking and Dodging"

Finis
Though much of what you say here, has at least some basis of truth, it's also fairly argumentative, if not down-right pejorative. True, people have made great shots for years and years without the aid of AF. But, the turn-around-is-fair-play argument to that is how many have they "missed" because there was no auto focus?

If I go into the local car dealership, and complain the my power brakes are acting up, is the salesperson going to suggest I buy a 60s Falcon with manual brakes and learn how to drive? I think not. I think they'll look at it, fix it and give it back. And, if enough of their customers world-wide complain, they'll probably revamp the system before releasing the next model year edition.

And as far as your last argument about not being "willing" to get the necessary equipment...well that's pretty bold considering the right equipment, regardless of brand, is pretty much a grand a pop whether that be for the body or the lens(es)...per item...I mean cripes, my camera bag has but two lenses and one body and that's practically 3K all told. Not everyone can walk that walk, my friend...

Rob
03-01-2008, 01:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by racinsince55 Quote
High ISO? The need for, IMO, is simply an excuse to not be willing to get the equipment required to get the job done. I don't know how many photos I've seen that were taken with a slow telephoto lens, high ISO and so much post processing that they looked like a cartoon and little like a photo.
I spend most of my photography-forum time over on a Disney theme park message board in the photography section. There are many things at Disney parks that simply cannot be taken except at high ISO levels, even with a 50mm F1.4 lens. (Forget even trying to use an F2.8 zoom!) Hence, I am really looking forward to making more use of 3200 ISO on my next trip and even 6400 sometimes.

Just because you don't have a need for high ISO performance doesn't mean that everyone else is like you.
03-01-2008, 04:53 PM   #8
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AF should be renamed to Focus Assist. Anyone who bets their income (wedding photographers, sports photographers etc.) on the built in / default capabilities of any camera is just begging to starve.

Not knowing how to make the camera focus - when you want it too - instead of re-focusing for each shot, means you do not know what you are doing. A little "old school" technique could go a long way to helping your success.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

03-01-2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SouthShoreRob Quote
Good response, however, for those of us shooting sports, with high shutter speeds, yeah anti-shake isn't really that big of a deal. Nice to have but...Oh and since the majority of the world prints at 8X10 or less the majority of the time, having the additional 5 MP really doesn't mean that much either...I would suppose.

Maybe some feel that way, but not I. I was simply hoping the Pentax k20D would be as good (in terms of a new AF system) as either of the C or N, but cost less...in keeping with Pentax tradition. Now, given all the K20Ds improvements centred around it's sensor, perhaps the next generation body (K30 or K1 or whatever) will have the R&D $ spent on AF instead.

Then, we'll be talking!
I dont understand, since Canon make the right camera for you why not buy one? And what it the point in Pentax making a canon clone? They want to go after 10% of the market, and that niche includes people who print big.

The K20D is the only APSC camera that can print a double page magazine spread with a bit of cropping space. The only other cameras (of any kind) that can do this are the 1DS series. Do I want to give up those extra pixels? Hell no, I cant afford a $8000 camera body.

And yes I do print big, A2 and A1 size, and thats why I love the K20D. They made it for art photographers, fashion photographers, portrait photographers but not sports photographers. Why bother when there is so much competent competition?
03-01-2008, 06:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
I dont understand, since Canon make the right camera for you why not buy one? And what it the point in Pentax making a canon clone? They want to go after 10% of the market, and that niche includes people who print big.

The K20D is the only APSC camera that can print a double page magazine spread with a bit of cropping space. The only other cameras (of any kind) that can do this are the 1DS series. Do I want to give up those extra pixels? Hell no, I cant afford a $8000 camera body.

And yes I do print big, A2 and A1 size, and thats why I love the K20D. They made it for art photographers, fashion photographers, portrait photographers but not sports photographers. Why bother when there is so much competent competition?
So basically you're saying that I'm "too big for my britches"....

(I often print at 16x20 or larger)

Sorry, had to poke some fun into the thread...

Cheers,
Marc
03-01-2008, 06:31 PM   #11
SouthShoreRob
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
I dont understand, since Canon make the right camera for you why not buy one? And what it the point in Pentax making a canon clone?
A very valid question my friend, but the "hey go get a Canon or Nikon" answer is getting a little tired. As I've said numerous times, I love my Pentax. I've never used a SLR other than my K1000, my *ist DS, and now my K10D; well except for when pressed into duty b/c "hey you look like you know what you're doing", lol. I'm not asking Pentax to make a Canon clone - far from it. What I'm asking - as are the rest of the posters like me, I think - is why would Pentax release two flagship cameras the K10 and now K20 in successive years without re-doing the AF system? (Actually didn't somebody post the fact this is basically the same AF - with tweaks - as the original *ist D?)

In the meantime, I make do with my purchase choice. The solution is simple. Hockey is a 60 minute game. I shoot 200 or 300 shots a game, deleting roughly half of them as I go. In the end, I generally have one "quality" shot per player to post.
03-02-2008, 01:06 AM   #12
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I'm with yor racin until you complain/deny the benefit of good clean high ISO... one or two stops more usable ISO yields the ability to use one or two stops faster shutter... often the key to taking a sharp pic of a moving subject; or pic taken by a shaky taker.
03-02-2008, 01:41 AM   #13
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horses for courses

Some people buy things because of the features and pixel peeping. Others buy for status. Others need a tool that does something specific. Others need something that does everything well. None of these are inherently better or worse than the others...they are valid for the individual.

I'm always amazed that people will complain that "x" doesn't do something as well as "y". Well, if that something is critical, then buy "y". Or they want everything faster, better, cheaper, oh and it has to make coffee for them as well.

In this era of "one size fits all" and "newer is better," I'm wishing for companies that will pick and chose what they want to do well...and execute. Maybe there is no place for niche products any more, but I think there is. I've never set foot in a Walmart, but that is another rant...

Cars are a good analogy. I club race a '79 Porsche 911SC. 172 hp on a good day, rear weight bias, trailing throttle oversteer (ie it likes to go backend first if you lift in a corner), no power steering, no ABS, no traction control, etc. I had to learn to *drive* the car. I had to learn how to throttle steer around a corner (ie you turn the car using the throttle, not the steering wheel). I had to learn how to modulate the brakes and feel every inch of the car to judge traction.

Could I turn faster lap times in a Subaru STI or Mitsu EVO? Probably. But it wouldn't be the same *for me*. I want to feel what is going on, and I don't want electronic gegaws getting in the way of my experience and my performance. If I make a mistake, *I* make a mistake...and learn from it.

Same thing with a camera. I'm constantly learning to shoot manually. I prefer to focus manually because I can *feel* what is going on. It's just a tad more analog. Now, does that mean I don't use AF? Of course not...sometimes I just want to shoot and not really think. Just like in my daily driver, I want ABS so I don't have to worry about flatspotting a tire or skidding. Horses for courses. Ymmv.
03-02-2008, 10:19 AM   #14
racinsince55
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QuoteOriginally posted by SouthShoreRob Quote
-around-is-fair-play argument to that is how many have they "missed" because there was no auto focus?

Rob
It's fairly easy to quantify how many great one have been taken. Impossible to quantify how many were missed.

However, I'll maintain that the ones missed by photographers who understood, and knew how to use, thier tools is an infinitesimal number when compared to the great ones that were captured.
03-02-2008, 11:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Neither Nikon nor Canon have internal anti-shake or weather sealing at this price point. Would you give up either of these?
The 40D is only 10MP. Would you like to give up 5MP of resolution?
The Nikon D300 is $600 more expensive. Do you want to spend an extra $600?
If the answer to any of the above questions is NO then what you really want is for Pentax to be better than any other camera but cost less.
Indeed, SR is a big plus.

I am so used to it that I basically HAD to fork the 400 supplement Canon is charging for IS in their lens when I bought my 30D + 70-200f4. That said, the IS in this particular lens works wonders but it gets a 600 lens ove the 1000 barrier and you have to pay extra for each lens you want stabilized. :-(

The 10MP vs 14,6, well, from me buying a 8MP camera, you'd probably guess I don't need more MPs.

I really think the D300 is worth around 500 more than K20 though but the extra cost for a Nikon system doesn't stop at the body, lenses are really expensive... too much for me anyway.

Of course, a K1D with improved AF and fps, better VF and other goodies would be very attractive since the K20D proved that the sensor is sound but to tell you the truth, I am also waiting to see what Canon will make of the 5D's successor and at what price.... competition is fierce nowadays...
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