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06-27-2008, 02:45 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by christinelandon Quote
Marc, thanks for your OP and responses in this thread. Sorry to come in late, but mid-June was very busy and I missed seeing this somehow.

Might I ask about your perceptions regarding the color rendering of these two cameras in low and early morning light?
Hi Christine!

I understand and no apologies please - things can get busy this time of the year for everyone...

Regarding your question: How about some examples of color rendering in broad daylight? I believe the CPL on the FA* does help quite a bit though... I'll be quite involved this weekend and next prepping my portfolio for submission, so I'll try to dig through some low light or early morning images and put them up.

I have a sample from the 40D of a Nilgai taken in full light (the setting sun was behind me, lighting all of it) that looks quite good, but for it's ISO setting, it's unusually noisy in the darker areas. I am also testing another RAW converter: SilkyPix. It seems to be more accurate than ACR, but learning the ropes of SilkyPix is the key here. I still do all other work in CS3.

Regards,
Marc


Last edited by Marc Langille; 06-27-2008 at 03:04 PM. Reason: clarification
06-27-2008, 02:54 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by kent vinyard Quote
Marc,
I think that you did a wonderful job of graciously correcting the poster on dp review. I gave up shooting a canon eos1d and a eos1dII to switch back to Pentax. I must say that I feel the image quality is better on the Pentax cameras and I don't even have a K20, just an istD and a K10. I have always loved the quality of the Pentax glass. Like you, the only thing I miss about the canons is the frame rate and the focus tracking. Maybe i'm the only one here that hasn't had a particular problems with Pentax focusing except in focus tracking of sports action.

I bought an old used nikon d2h several months ago and I can use that until Pentax comes out with faster frame rate and better af tracking. It would be awfully hard to get me to give up Pentax glass at this time.

Besides the improved frame rate and focus tracking we also need a quality af converter that works with the DA* lenses and a quality extension tube set. How would you like that?
Thanks Ken - sometimes being polite requires stepping back and remembering that it's their issue, not mine... and I didn't take his personal attack personally...

Focus tracking can be a mixed bag with Pentax, I agree. It's not always correct with the Canon I used either. I also agree that a replacement for the 1.7x AF TC or even a 1.5x TC would be most welcome. Same for the extension tube set!

Regards,
Marc
06-29-2008, 06:54 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilm_user Quote
Hi Everyone,

After around 10K of images put through the Canon 40D, and 4K through the K20D... it's my hope that I can put forward an honest opinion for both cameras. All images for the Valley Land Fund Wildlife Photo Competition must be shot in RAW, so I really get to see what the native sensor image captures each camera is capable of.

Disclaimer: I am using older, excellent FA* glass for Pentax, but the image technical excellence, clarity and capturing the moment is the bottom line - nothing else. These are my personal observations after going through over 140GB of RAW image shooting, much of it with the Canon system. I hope that would give some validity to my observations. However, they are being used under VERY demanding conditions, and I learned the weaknesses of both systems.


The K20D is a great camera, and generally I prefer it's image quality to Canon's IQ. To be honest, the Canon 40D is NOT in the same league as the Pentax K20D in terms of it's handling of underexposed images (intentionally done quite often to ensure a higher shutter speed in low light conditions or shooting shaded subjects). Therefore keep in mind my observations under the conditions I would often have to deal with - they are not across the board in all lighting conditions!

The K20D handles the underexposures much better in terms of detail retention and with less noise - that has been a consistent factor.

Canon 40D... Pros
1) 5 FPS - sometimes a big deal for capturing the action
2) Fast longer lens availability - like the Sigma 500/4.5 (but no image stabilization)
3) Very, very good ISO performance up to ISO 800, reasonable ISO 1000 and ISO 1250.
4) VERY quiet AF (HSM lens)

Canon 40D... Cons
1) AF hunting in low light
2) OOF images - sometimes 50% or more (especially in low light or small subjects)
3) ISO 1250 and above (when underexposed) is almost always noisier than the K20D
4) No weather sealing - I was always concerned about it's care in the very sandy/dusty conditions. (rocket bottle blower was always at hand to even blow away dust on the body)
5) Disable AF on the Sigma 1.4x APO TC - only the most expensive bodies (MKII and MKIII) can AF this TC. Not very useful when shooting wildlife if it's moving!
6) A personal grip: the diopter adjustment is completely and utterly unlike Pentax or Nikon - it's not a slider switch built in above the viewfinder. It's a dial on the upper corner of the viewfinder, and you cannot easily have a visual cue if it's moved from your originally desired setting...
7) NO image stabilization - therefore shutter speeds must be in the 1/1000 to 1/1250 sec. range - below that was a roll of the dice.

Pentax K20D... Pros
1) 3 FPS at 14.6 MP is quite a feat
2) RAW images are better quality, for the reasons aforementioned.
3) OOF images - usually less than 25% - due to double check AF
4) ISO 1000 --> ISO 1600 is excellent - utmost confidence in shooting at these ranges.
5) Incredible image IQ with the FA* series lenses
6) WEATHER SEALING - a huge deal in dry, dusty conditions. A LensCoat helped give some protection to the FA* 300/2.8.
6) Wonderful image quality with TC's: the Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 and Pentax 1.7x AF TC. However, they were not employed in low light situations (due to AF hunting), so focal length options were reduced. That situation is common to any camera system.
8) Built in SR - a huge deal! I could, in certain situations, shoot as low as 1/125 sec. with the FA* 300/2.8 (with no TC) and have a razor sharp image.

Pentax K20D... Cons
1) Higher FPS would be a real boon for wildlife work
2) Double check AF meant some lost image opportunities, since it slows AF speed.

#2 is a compromise I was willing to work with, given the OOF frequency with the 40D. I'd rather have assurance of 1 sharp image than 3-5 potentially OOF images.
Some NR with Noise Ninja gives all the necessary NR, but there is minimal detail loss for the K20D. This is more pronounced with the 40D (and NR at higher ISO's was enabled and disable to ensure I could see both results). I wish the screw-driven AF of the FA* was quieter, but in a blind or in the SUV, it was more a moot point. The wide aperture of the FA* 300/2.8 was a very big deal in the dusk/dawn shooting conditions - fast glass is very critical.


Bottom line: I have no desire to go to Canon, but I'd be curious to try the IS capable lenses. Perhaps that is the missing thing I needed. The Canon is superb under certain conditions with the setup I had, and best for the extra reach.

The Pentax camera system is my choice for lower light conditions - hands down. It's my choice for the finest in image quality and accurate AF. Sometimes the event unfolding in front of me only happens once, and I preferred the assurance of a higher probability of a sharp photo with Pentax, even though I missed some shots because of the double check AF. That is a compromise I was willing to deal with, given the image quality standards for the competition.

Regards,
Marc

PS: sometimes the K10D was preferred for certain landscape or macro work... surprised?


I refuse to believe your claims because:

#1

"...Canon design engineers made the EOS 40D SLR's magnesium alloy exterior even more ruggedly dependable than its predecessors with upgraded dust- and weather-resistant construction, particularly around the camera's connection ports, battery compartment, and single-slot compact flash (CF) memory card door..."

#2

40D shoots 6.5 frames/second, or, as dissaproved by DPReview, only 6 in a real-life test

#3

you have 6 Pentax bodies, 18 Pentax lenses&converters, and 1 Canon body with one !!! lens.

Last edited by nicolaie; 06-29-2008 at 07:05 AM.
06-29-2008, 07:33 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
I refuse to believe your claims because:
[...]
you have 6 Pentax bodies, 18 Pentax lenses&converters, and 1 Canon body with one !!! lens.
Why not? You don't need to share the opinion, but why not believe those are sincere claims?

#1
Still, not weather-proof by Canon. Only dust- and water-protected accu and memory card slots.

#2
5 or 6 fps... It doesn't matter and I don't think he used a stop watch when shooting wild life

#3
He uses Pentax a lot. But was given a Canon 40D as the long tele given to him wasn't available quickly enough in K mount. But the long tele was the major tool and he must have used Canon a lot during his appointment to now come at a fair, unbiased conclusion (for this type of appointment).

06-29-2008, 07:42 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Why not? You don't need to share the opinion, but why not believe those are sincere claims?

#1
Still, not weather-proof by Canon. Only dust- and water-protected accu and memory card slots.

the 40D has some sort of protection and the man didn't mention it.


#2
5 or 6 fps... It doesn't matter and I don't think he used a stop watch when shooting wild life

5 is not 6. if 5 to 6 is not a big deal then 3 to 5 should also be nothing to mention

#3
He uses Pentax a lot. But was given a Canon 40D as the long tele given to him wasn't available quickly enough in K mount. But the long tele was the major tool and he must have used Canon a lot during his appointment to now come at a fair, unbiased conclusion (for this type of appointment).

i think it's really hard for someone to shoot 2 different systems, you must have some sort of prefference for one over the other. in this case, i just see an old Pentax user who got his hands on a 40D, not an experienced canon-pentaxian.
06-29-2008, 07:55 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
i think it's really hard for someone to shoot 2 different systems, you must have some sort of prefference for one over the other. in this case, i just see an old Pentax user who got his hands on a 40D, not an experienced canon-pentaxian.
That comment just shows you don't know Marc. I think everybody at PF can rely on Marc to give an unbiased evaluation of the cameras he used. I would trust his expertise a lot more than so called "professional magazines" having the camera in studio for 5 days and shooting target and then telling you this one is no good because of... Marc's assessment comes after REAL everyday use in a lot of varied situation. According to me, this is where you see the true value of a camera.
06-29-2008, 08:02 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
i just see an old Pentax user who got his hands on a 40D, not an experienced canon-pentaxian.

All I see is an old Canon user who's mad at Marc.
06-29-2008, 10:13 AM   #23
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Old Canon User . . .

QuoteOriginally posted by reknelb Quote
All I see is an old Canon user who's mad at Marc.
Ken: Before we pass judgment on our new member, What say we wait to see whether he reviews Marc's entire portfolio, re-reads this and many of Marc's other even-handed, fair and informative posts and maybe communicates with him off-line a bit, to find what a true gentleman he is.

Then, if nicolaie is still convinced that he disagrees with Marc's assessment, perhaps he will post up a reasoned response, with academic and thoughtfully constructed points - and perhaps some images to back them up.

06-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by reknelb Quote
All I see is an old Canon user who's mad at Marc.
i am a former pentaxian mate, i've taken alot of great shots with my MZ-5n with SMC F 28-80/3.5-4.5, SMC M 50/2, SMC Takumar 50/4 macro, *istDL with DA 18-55, FAJ 75-300, AF360FGZ.

i'm doing alot of studying lately, i want to upgrade, i've only used a D80 and D300 from nikon and a 20D (briefly) from canon, at the moment i have no camera. i read alot of revies, saw tons of sample shots, the 40D just seems so much better when it comes to high ISO. i shot some high iso samples myself with a 20D and it blew me away, almost inexistent noise levels at 800 and good noise level at 1600. i'm sorry, i don't know the author of the topic, but what he's saying is unnacurate (5 fps, no sealing ) and the noise levels comparison seems just wrong.

i've taken into consideration an upgrade to the K20 but the feedback i got (including on this forum) dissapointed me. it seems that only one wedding photographer on this forum shoots a K20, and the high ISO shots i've seen from him (800-1600, i didn't need to see more) were plain bad.

sorry if i offended someone, i thought the comparisson was unfair and i took a stand bringing my own arguments.

ciao.
06-29-2008, 03:59 PM   #25
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Samples for you Nicolaie

Canon 40D at ISO 800... F/4.5, 1/14000 sec., EV comp -0.67...



Head crop:


K20D, F/5.6, 1/125 sec., EV comp -0.67 - taken after sunset...


Head crop:

06-29-2008, 04:44 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
sorry if i offended someone, i thought the comparisson was unfair and i took a stand bringing my own arguments.
Hi nicolaie,

I can see your point. However, it has a flaw. You judge in third person, not having hands-on experience on both, K20D and 40D, yourself. Or Nikon D300.

Therefore, take the report of users who actually did as what it is: a most valuable source of information, esp. from such an experienced and unbiased photographer as Marc. And you are privileged to have received a direct response from him.

Don't blame a professional photographer for not caring about a 20% difference in burst speed or if an SD card slot is water-protected (actually with foam only...) while the rest of the body isn't. Rather, enjoy to learn about things which do really matter in every day pratctice.

On another topic: You seem to care a lot about ISO 1600 performance. Maybe, now that the DPReview test is out, you may find it interesting that, with NR set to strong, K20D JPEG images at ISO1600 have no more noise (or less) than the 40D at still retaining more detail.

Most here at pentaxforums prefer the choice taken by Pentax to preserve as much detail as possible and put noise reduction where it belongs: into the post production workflow. Personally, I find the removal of texture detail as done by the 40D at higher ISO not tolerable. Nikon D300 or Pentax K20D are much better in this respect.

On a final note: Whether its a Nikon D300, Pentax K20D, or Canon 40D, it won't matter much when it comes to the quality of your wedding photography: You will be the decisive factor. And if you feel better going Canon, do so. This feeling does matter as well.
06-29-2008, 04:50 PM   #27
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nicolaie, I can't help feeling you are too much of an armchair critic.
If you have already tried out the D300 as you've mentioned, or if the specifications of the 40D look good to you, then by all means make the switch, these are great cameras in their own right. If you are convinced that they are the best for your needs, put your money where your mouth is and invest in them.

Negative feedback on whichever forum is one thing, but claiming that high ISO is bad because of some pictures you've seen from some wedding photographer and without even personally trying it out the K20D is absurd. Any wedding photographer who goes about shooting weddings at ISO 800-1600 should seriously consider doing something else.

Frankly the K20D is probably not for you. The lenses that you've listed will disappoint because they aren't particularly good optical quality wise and the sensor will show up their limitations quickly enough. Yes, the sensor is that good.
06-30-2008, 03:24 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
nicolaie, I can't help feeling you are too much of an armchair critic.
If you have already tried out the D300 as you've mentioned, or if the specifications of the 40D look good to you, then by all means make the switch, these are great cameras in their own right. If you are convinced that they are the best for your needs, put your money where your mouth is and invest in them.

Negative feedback on whichever forum is one thing, but claiming that high ISO is bad because of some pictures you've seen from some wedding photographer and without even personally trying it out the K20D is absurd. Any wedding photographer who goes about shooting weddings at ISO 800-1600 should seriously consider doing something else.

Frankly the K20D is probably not for you. The lenses that you've listed will disappoint because they aren't particularly good optical quality wise and the sensor will show up their limitations quickly enough. Yes, the sensor is that good.

1. ISO 800 is essential in a wedding if you want to properly expose the background at the restaurant or in an orthodox church while keeping the aperture in reasonable limits (i.e. keeping the DOF reasonable so that the other participants can recognise themselves in the pictures, when the situation requres it), ISO1600 would be a real treat. wedding photographers know what i'm talking about


2. i have used various lens designed by pentax or third party, but not for long (16-45, revue 70-210 2.8-4 etc. ), i don't currently own any lens or camera for that matter, and i would not use the K20 with a cheap lens.

finally, please check out the exif information for this picture and please tell me how i could properly expose the background while lowering the iso speed.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
NIKON D80  Photo 
06-30-2008, 04:32 AM   #29
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Admittedly the interior as shown in your photo is very dark. Most of wedding pros I know would plan to shoot using portable strobes during the wedding rehearsal to get it right before the actual wedding day shoot.

Don't know what lens you were using on the D80 and whether the on camera flash was used or an external flash gun like the SB-800 was triggered, but if it was shot with a Pentax, the Shake Reduction could have given you at least a 1-2 stop advantage considering the short focal length used. A combination of "dragging the shutter" and balancing flash/ambient exposure would be acceptable. Even then, ISO 800 images from the K20D look OK to me.
06-30-2008, 05:12 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
1. ISO 800 is essential in a wedding if you want to properly expose the background at the restaurant or in an orthodox church while keeping the aperture in reasonable limits (i.e. keeping the DOF reasonable so that the other participants can recognise themselves in the pictures, when the situation requres it), ISO1600 would be a real treat. wedding photographers know what i'm talking about

I have taken the entire wedding dinner pictures using ISO320 with the K10D - first one with 77mm ltd and the 2nd one with Sigma 18-50mm and of course AF540 PTTL flash in TAv mode. The 2nd one is in low light situation when the dance party begin. In that picture my buddy (on the right) took the shot (3rd picture) with his C***n 5D and 24-105mm L glass; unfortunately I don't know the EXIF on that picture. I must say I am very pleased with the results of both Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 especially the 77mm ltd - almost every shot is sharp and clean.

Last edited by aleonx3; 08-03-2008 at 06:24 AM.
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