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05-04-2015, 08:04 AM   #1
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Anti Pentax bias

I joined a site called Stunning Digital Photography Community you need to have bought one of Tony Northrup's books to get full access and I searched through the forum using the word Pentax. I came across a year old thread where a guy can't decide between a Pentax K5IIs or a Nikon D5200. A moderator responded "For landscapes I would go with Nikon due to their amazing Dynamic Range capabilities ( the higher the dynamic range, the better a camera handles and captures a scene with high contrast, i.e. seascape with the sun in front of you, bright sky, dark ground ). "

What a load of rubbish........ not correct the K5IIs has the better dynamic range.

I bet the guy went out and bought Nikon


05-04-2015, 08:12 AM   #2
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You can find that on pretty much any "general" photography board and even in brick and mortar stores.
But I agree, it is kind of annoying when you see someone was told a K-5IIs, an amazing camera, cannot compete with the Nikon D5200, which feels like a toy in your hands, has fewer features and lower image quality. Ugh. When I was buying my first Pentax DSLR the store wanted to convince me to get Nikon D3100, but once I held it I knew I wouldn't be happy with it
05-04-2015, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #3
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It's most likely a passive bias, but I agree. It's something that exist in nearly every industry and hobby. I see it all the time in my other hobby - cycling.

You see lots of Trek and Specialized cycles out there. They're the bigger names and the bike shops sign semi-exclusive deals with them to feature a certain percentage of their product. When new riders are in the stores looking at stuff, guess what's going to be recommended to them? The more green a rider is, the more likely the riders is to end up with one of just a few brands. That's not to say that only new riders ride these brands and that experienced riders only ride other brands, but the new riders are more likely to take the recommendations from the salesperson - who works in a shop that has exclusivity deal with certain manufacturers. The newer a rider is, the less likely they've investigated boutique brands and such. Experienced riders are more likely to have been riding long term, and are actively investigating other brands because they offer specific options, frame geometries and other such things that a new rider doesn't even have on their radar beyond "it's got two wheels and a seat".

With cameras it's a little different. Bikes have lots of compatibility overlap, so its easier to jump ship and and strip your old frame. Not so with camers, where you might be heavily invested in a system/format and it makes it cost prohibitive to start all over, so you get sorta tied to a system and it's easier to stay with that system for life. I say this moderator dishing out recommendations probably has a passive bias because they probably haven't had to venture outside of the brand they've been with for their entire lifetime and so know little of the specifics of other brands and their capabilities. I wouldn't doubt that he actually believes what he's saying.

That's life. It's always tougher to get a straight answer when you're just starting out, especially when you know little and you're basing your decisions on metrics that are highly subjective to begin with.
05-04-2015, 08:49 AM   #4

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There's also the pro Pentax bias: the ones who say you don't gain anything with a full frame when there was not Pentax FF , and when there will be a Pentax FF then they'll buy one. As far as I am concerned, I am not biased, when I'm outdoor shooting , I don't think of the difference between brand a,b,c,d,e, I'm so busy thinking of everyhthing else.

05-04-2015, 09:24 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Its not Anti-Pentax. Its just Pro-Nikon. I doubt the author spends any time at all thinking about Pentax.
05-04-2015, 09:44 AM   #6
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One of the things to remember is that the Internet is a free speech forum. People can say what they want, as opinion, and it becomes fact. While free speech is a good thing, it has its limits, and unfortunately companies would not look good if they step on the little opinionated guys even when wrong.

Best to just do nothing , if it's an old thread, because it has already died a peaceful death. If you find statements like that in a current thread, refute them politely. After all, both Pentax and Nikon purchase their sensors from others, and I know at one time, both flagship APS-C bodies had the same sensor (from Sony)

The point of my later comment is that really you are purchasing a system, because otherwise we would all own Sony , wouldn't we?
05-04-2015, 11:00 AM   #7

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But others may be looking up the thread and believe it.

These kind of biases exist everywhere. Personally I prefer boutique brands. The less common, the better. For me that is audio... been using Nubert speakers for 11 years... probably will be going for them again as soon as I can afford it/have the space... mine are with my mother now. Better than the common brands... B&W for example, or worse yet BOSE.
05-04-2015, 12:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by screwdriver222 Quote
you need to have bought one of Tony Northrup's books to get full access
That would be a red flag for me, if only because there's an inbuilt subtext that thou art being admitted into a closed society and thou shalt follow the wisdom of the guru. I'm not speaking of Northrup specifically here - I'm sure he knows his art as a photographer, and he's got a right to his equipment preferences - but ANY forum that you have to have bought your way into in this fashion has this potential problem, regardless of whether it's photography or something else. I've seen quite a bit of his stuff on YouTube and his bias towards NIkon is clearly apparent, but it's not the strongest I've seen by any means, and what I've said about a photographer's right to their own equipment bias stands, so long as they're not going out of their way to trash someone else's.

That being said, there's a YouTube video of his in which he pits what appears to be a top-of-the-line Nikon DSLR against what is clearly Yesterday's Pentax and shows how you can make up the performance gap in post-processing - useful to know if you don't have the latest and greatest, but not exactly an apples to apples comparison and possibly carries the risk of leaving a wrong impression in some people's minds as to the relative merits of the two brands.

05-04-2015, 02:56 PM   #9
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When I'm asked why I use pentax I respond by saying "because I have class."

These other people who won't consider pentax have no class
05-05-2015, 01:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
he point of my later comment is that really you are purchasing a system, because otherwise we would all own Sony , wouldn't we?
and what is wrong with a Sony?
05-05-2015, 03:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
and what is wrong with a Sony?
Nothing at all, there is, today no bad DSLR. I merely am pointing out that if the sensor made the camera, we would all shoot Sony because they make the majority of sensors.

But a camera is so much more than just a sensor
05-05-2015, 07:43 AM   #12

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I think that you need to own a book of his to be part of the community because it is an added benefit of the book. You buy it, as a bonus you get access to a forum where you can discuss with others and the author. Nothing evil.
05-05-2015, 12:36 PM   #13
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Sorry; I never wanted to imply there was anything evil about it - just that in buying into a forum in that way, you risk buying into an environment of confirmation bias. It's something to be aware of, as opposed to overtly distrustful. I could have worded that a little better.
05-05-2015, 06:37 PM   #14
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I think Pentax's compactness works against it in public eye. People notice *big* cameras. I was out taking photos with my FA31 and no one made a comment about the camera; I had my flash, softbox, and grip on there, but the lens is still small. When I had the beastly Sigma 18-35 on there...several comments. That thing just *looks* like it cost a fortune.

If you're walking around with a limited lens, no flash, no grip, you have a very compact system in your hands. People think compact means inexpensive. This is not true, but that's how it goes. On the other hand, I think relative obscurity helps among non-camera folks. If a brand were cheap, people would have seen it in Walmart or the like and would know it. If they don't know a camera brand, they're likely to think it's some high-end boutique brand and be more interested in it, simply because they won't think there's an el cheapo DSLR maker out there.

The photos the FA31 took are getting mad praise, though. People love them. No one cares about the lens or camera once they see the photos. The Sigma, while a fun lens I have enjoyed, has never gotten acclaim like that for me. Of course, part of the big difference is that I used a flash with the FA31, but whatever.
05-06-2015, 06:04 AM   #15
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It's amusing, since enthusiasts and more knowledgeable photographers love to see the unusual lenses like pancakes, UWAs, macros out in the "wild." I get puzzled looks when using the DA21 pancake, except from fellow enthusiasts who usually "geek out" over the pancake. That it makes nice contrasty images doesn't hurt at all!

You're right though, the uneducated public equate size with quality. For those huge fast zooms, yeah there is correlation with cost for sure. They are perplexed by anything which looks strange, like the Sigma 8-16 or a pancake. They can't quite seem to comprehend why the lens on my big DLSR body looks like the one on a P&S... If they want to engage in conversation, I can usually educate them a bit, and let them try the combination. That never hurts.

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