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07-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #31
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You are right. Maybe I fall then and when for the brain-washing of the industry's marketing and their fanboys' echoing.

If a fairy would offer "I let you shoot like Henri Cartier-Bresson IF you only use his camera for that", then I would say "yes please", even though this would be quite a technical down-grade.

There's nothing wrong with our K-7 / K20D, unless you have true special interests benefitting from an upgrade, say, if you were keen on astrophotography (where the K-7 / K20D simply lack some fitness for purpose), or if you wanted to upgrade the autofocus for e.g. passionate animals shooting, or if you even would have to change the system alltogether if you were going "pro" and start doing studio photography, heavy-duty weddings, or heavy-duty sports, become a paparrazi, or need a special blend of lenses, which would be available only from another brand's lens portfolio/strategy.

But for us average general-purpose shooters, for the typical Pentax customers (including me), and for doing predominantly still objects in good light (e.g. landscapes or some 'arty' photography), I dont' feel we would miss out anything.

What I do find annoying with ALL DSLR, both ours as well as the newest, is that I feel I still have to spend a good portion of my attention on working around technical problems in the pictures, e.g. avoiding wrong exposure estimations of the body, wrong focussing estimations of its AF system, or blur because the "shake reduction" wasn't ready yet.

Especially the elderly Pentaxes (such as my K20D) have a reputation, that you need to know them very well, including their technical quirks and pitfalls, and to be very conscious about them when doing your photography, all the time.

So today, it is in principle the very same as in old Ansel Adam's times. He was also technically constrained, so had to be very technology conscious in his working all the time. And I'm sure he upgraded, as soon as this helped mitigating technical constraints of that time.

Should future bodys (and be it in a few years time) allow us to depart from this way of working alltogether, I would perceive this as a huge personal upgrade, in terms of freedom on what I can concentrate on when doing photography.

What I DON'T mean with upgrade is the usual stuff dictated from the industry's limited imaginations, such as a few more megapixels, or some more signal-to-noise ratio.


Last edited by Frater; 07-14-2013 at 06:15 PM.
07-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #32
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One reason for a possible upgrade to a new camera I see for those who really intend to print photographs large scale. Or, upgrade current print sizes. New 24MP camera with same overall sensor performance as the K5IIs, would be amazing for such prints. With 24MP, one could go A2 size, super high quality. That's 60 cm x 42 cm (roughly 24 x 17 inches).
Even if scaled down to conventional 16MP, the image from such a camera could better hide original imperfections.
But if one doesn't print large scale, and is content with smaller prints and screen previews, I see no reason to embark on the boat of megapixel craze.
07-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #33
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It's not unusual to upgrade and take steps back in image quality for a while, until you figure out the new stuff.
07-15-2013, 10:25 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
My K-7 gets used all the time but my k-01 trumps it for image quality.

I've used high ISO before with black and white to create a grainy look I did that with this video


Like someone else mentioned though I am ready to upgrade when the next DSLR after the K-5ii comes out.
The Bellingham Reflections Video is very gritty and thought provoking, Outstanding is about all I can say. Thank You for taking the time to prepare and post!!! Cliff

07-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #35
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I see Uluru's point- I did a replacement of my DSLR body, not an upgrade in the sense that it will not make me a better photographer. What I have found though is that the features of the replacement camera have simplified certain aspects of the technical aspects of photography (which is such an attractive medium to me since it requires both right and left brain activity in it's practice) that the previous camera did not address as well as the K-7. Of course there are trade-offs as other technical limitations may arise as I continue to use the camera and the "new car smell" in the brain of a new piece of tech will wear off.

Tools are tools. Limitations are constantly a part of any artistic process. I very much envy my wife who is a writer- at least her art goes straight from her imagination to the printed word, with no intervening process. But I'm a bit of a sucker for the process as well!
07-18-2013, 08:36 PM   #36
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@Painter I very much enjoyed your Bellingham Reflections montage. My mother grew up in Bellingham and though I have been there multiple times (and lived 15 minutes away for a year), it was cool to see a more impressionistic look at the city. Shared it with my mom--thank you!

@virgilr I very much agree on the point about enjoying photography for its right brain/left brain nexus. My parents are pretty much 100% left and right brained, and I like to think I've split the difference.

Anyway, to the OP, I've found the K-7 to be very capable and flexible, but not technologically up to par with today's models (high ISO and no focus peaking mainly, for me), which forces me to think laterally. So yes, I'm still using the K-7!
07-20-2013, 02:06 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonto Quote
Forgot to mention I call my one KZ7, Kiwis will get the name
Not to much "plastic fantastic" in the body though!
07-20-2013, 02:16 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
...yes, and that would be similar to the reason, why many artistry photographers still go for analog film cameras, using their limitations as a creative tool, as well.

I would have liked to experiment more with graininess, but unfortunately, in my experience, digital noise can be somewhat ugly, even after color is removed. This depends highly on how the RAW processor renders digital noise. That in turn depends on how it turns the sensor color mosaic into a fully RGB colored bitmap. Most methods assume (and try to work out) the existence of edges, but because noise doesn't have any edges, these methods come to mis-conclusions and assume more or less arbitrarily phantom edges, and that's why we end up with these ugly kind-of-wormy structures in digital noise.

Uluru, which RAW converter are you using, to get pretty digital noise in your B&Ws?



Another hardware thing I always mistrusted is any in-camera noise reduction. I believe this starts from ISO=3200 for the K-7 (according to the DXO labs test?); for the identically-sensored K20D I even saw a competent user's claim of NR kicking in already from ISO=1600.
I believe that any simple noise reduction methods (such as those quick ones implemented in bodys) rather just smear noise, instead of really reducing it in a more pretty way. Which would contribute to noise ugliness. If noise connosseurs want to avoid this, it is probably better to stay below ISO=3200, and rather underexpose on really low light if needed (and brighten up later in post-processing of course). But one shouldn't overdo this strategy (in particular not with our Samsung sensor), because this may then promote banding noise in dark areas. And I'm not sure about any well-known noise reduction software, which would tackle banding noise explicitly? (that would require to be done at the RAW converter level, to evaluate these always-dark pixels outside the light-exposed sensor area, provided for the very purpose of banding noise identification. But I wonder, which software actually would know about these, and make use of them, and whether the DNG file Format would provide metadata to tell RAW converters about such non-exposed sensor areas)
For exposures below 30 seconds, if you turn noise reduction off (Custom menu option #18, 19), it really is off.
If you are paranoid, you can set also option #20 (for start level) to ISO 1600.

07-20-2013, 04:41 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
One reason for a possible upgrade to a new camera I see for those who really intend to print photographs large scale. Or, upgrade current print sizes. New 24MP camera with same overall sensor performance as the K5IIs, would be amazing for such prints. With 24MP, one could go A2 size, super high quality. That's 60 cm x 42 cm (roughly 24 x 17 inches).
Even if scaled down to conventional 16MP, the image from such a camera could better hide original imperfections.
But if one doesn't print large scale, and is content with smaller prints and screen previews, I see no reason to embark on the boat of megapixel craze.

That is precisely the reason I haven't upgraded. I print letter size, and don't see much difference between 14.6 mp, and 16.1mp.
The only reasons I am considering upgrading are dynamic range, faster AF and 999 frames for timelapse. The gapless LCD and an even quieter shutter are icing.

4 years of use next month, and apart from a service and meter adjust I have had no issues.
07-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
For exposures below 30 seconds, if you turn noise reduction off (Custom menu option #18, 19), it really is off.
If you are paranoid, you can set also option #20 (for start level) to ISO 1600.
Maybe this is a misunderstanding?

The long exposure noise reduction refers to the so-called dark frame subtraction (DFS), i.e., if you expose 30 seconds (or 5 minutes), then the body is knocked out for further 30 seconds (or 5 minutes), because it is busy internally with "exposing" a dark frame (with the shutter staying closed). This dark frame shows nothing but hot pixels (or hot bands), which are assumed to be very similar to the ones in the main exposure, so they can be subtracted to be reduced somewhat.
Even switching off the body doesn't terminate this DFS delay. Did you manage to get rid of that via the menu?

The other setting #20 must be for JPEG NR adjustment (which probably comes on top of RAW NR), whereas I had only RAW shooting in mind. RAW NR is compulsory from ISO 3200 and higher (unless this has been changed in the past via a Firmware upgrade). I first read about this annoyance in www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3107501 "K20D vs. K7 in High-ISO RAW Noise" from GordonBGood.

There's a tweak though to get rid of this, which involves creating two control files and placing them onto the SD card, see e.g. http://pentaxda.deviantart.com/journal/Turning-DFS-Off-224124268. I did that by now, that works, so I feel relieved being able to use any ISO or exposure time I want again, without being penalized.

Last edited by Frater; 07-21-2013 at 03:57 PM.
07-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
Maybe this is a misunderstanding?

The long exposure noise reduction refers to the so-called dark frame subtraction (DFS), i.e., if you expose 30 seconds (or 5 minutes), then the body is knocked out for further 30 seconds (or 5 minutes), because it is busy internally with "exposing" a dark frame (with the shutter staying closed). This dark frame shows nothing but hot pixels (or hot bands), which are assumed to be very simular to the ones in the main exposure, so they can be subtracted to be reduced somewhat.
Even switching off the body doesn't terminate this DFS delay. Did you manage to get rid of that via the menu?

The other setting #20 must be for JPEG NR adjustment (which probably comes on top of RAW NR), whereas I had only RAW shooting in mind. RAW NR is compulsory from ISO 3200 and higher (unless this has been changed in the past via a Firmware upgrade). I first read about this annoyance in www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3107501 "K20D vs. K7 in High-ISO RAW Noise" from GordonBGood.

There's a tweak though to get rid of this, which involves creating two control files and placing them onto the SD card, see e.g. Turning DFS Off by #pentaxda on deviantART. I did that by now, that works, so I feel relieved being able to use any ISO or exposure time I want again, without being penalized.
Hi there - i'll have to find the thread again. My understanding that the DFS is switched off using the custom setting, then it is not applied to exposures of less than 30 seconds. Over 30 seconds my understanding is that it works as you describe.

In terms of the second point - yes, misunderstanding. Thank you for the link. I learned something today.
07-22-2013, 03:56 AM   #42
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One more taken with K7. I have made into an art print. Called it "Towards the light".
I loved the abstract yet tumultuous quality of it, which very much reminded me how small we are in the perilous storm of life.
07-22-2013, 04:02 AM   #43
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Another one with K7. Called it "A doorway between then and now". I like the almost surreal and painterly feeling to it.
I've made it into an art print too.
07-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Another one with K7. Called it "A doorway between then and now". I like the almost surreal and painterly feeling to it.
I've made it into an art print too.
Oh lord that is an amazing image! Love your PP to give it a painterly feel- would you mind posting something a little higher res? At this resolution I swore it was a painting!
07-22-2013, 10:07 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
Not to much "plastic fantastic" in the body though!
No, not at all But it is a gritty underdog! Taking on the big guns!
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