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09-07-2008, 05:27 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by letomuaddib Quote
For whatever it's worth, the newbe me also agrees with the spirit of
RiceHigh's comments, if not the form (his website is a pure bash of
Pentax with almost nothing positive to say about a brand that has many
positives.)

I think we're not doing ourselves much of a service by ignoring problems
such as AF and exposure and keep blaming the user (in the exposure case
at the very least that's the usual response I see.)
...

PS: Much of this is based on me not having heard of a good reason to
underexpose pictures pretty badly (sometimes my histograms are all
cramped in the left half.) If, for some photographic reason this is
a good thing I would like to know (though I still think it caused
more than one user to return his Pentax for a refund because of "dark
pictures and it's not smart to push users into seeing noise problems
even at pretty low ISO speeds because of underexposure.)
There are many good points in your post. But we should note:
1. all AF systems, even by CaNi suffer under adverse conditions (low light). The degree of reliability seems to be directly proportionial to the price of the camera. Thus a D700/900/3/EOS 1D... seem to offer much better AF performance than a K20. They cost several times as much as the K20.

If you compare within the K20's price range, you will find as much complaints about AF performance as with most other cameras.

2. FPS is surely a topic, that was with Pentax forever. People complaint about the low FPS of the PZ-1/PZ-1P or the MZ-S (I did complain myself, but there are other merits, which warranted to invest in Pentax). The only Pentax cameras that ever reached the "magical" 5 FPS rate, considered by many to be the sign of professional performance, were the MX and LX bodies with their motor drives.

So my simple guess is: Pentax engineers and marketing people simply have another view on the performance parameters of their cameras and NEVER consider FPS to be an important parameter for a Pentax. We could all know that. If somebody really needs a higher frame rate, he should buy different.

3. Exposure: That is something I cannot quite understand myself. Over all my K20 is quite reliable, especially when I take care of the situation and apply the necessary exposure correction. But what really annoys me is the exposure fluctation that is evident, when taking several shots in a row of the exact same scene. I often do that to make sure I get a sharp shot, when I use longer exposure times. I then find single expsoures within a series that are between -1/2 and -1 EV darker, than the rest of the series.
I have no explanation for that, but a certain unreliability of the exposure system. The PZ-1P or all of the old analog cameras with center weighed expsoure measuring where more reliable, in my experience, but ofcourse needed more exposure compensation in many situations. - But at the end of the day, less than 10 % of my shots are affected and in many cases can easily be corrected.

4. Most of the examples of badly underexposed images in different forums, often accompanied by bitter complaints, I have seen so far where indeed not the results of the above described erratic expsoure system, but the result of shooting into the light with bright skies, even the sun, right in the picture. That this leads to heavy underexposure, which cannot be fully recoverted should be self-evident to any photog, except the point-and-shoot-users. So I won't chime in, into the bashing of the Pentax expsoure system, even if it needs some improvement.

Ben

09-07-2008, 06:55 AM   #137
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When the K10D came out, all the cameras in the same price range had 3 fps or slower. The increase fps came with the next iteration. The Nikon D80, which was a direct competitor of the K10D shoots at a maximum of 3 fps. At the time, everybody thought it was sufficient. Then, some cameras came out with more than 3 fps, and all of a sudden 3 fps is not good anymore. Next shutterbox design from Pentax will have more than 3 fps, but you need time and money to develop those things. In the meantime, when I bought my K10D, 3 fps was enough and it is still enough for me. I shoot sport the old fashioned way: be ready and anticipate the action. It works for me.
09-07-2008, 08:18 AM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
4. Most of the examples of badly underexposed images in different forums, often accompanied by bitter complaints, I have seen so far where indeed not the results of the above described erratic expsoure system, but the result of shooting into the light with bright skies, even the sun, right in the picture. That this leads to heavy underexposure, which cannot be fully recoverted should be self-evident to any photog, except the point-and-shoot-users. So I won't chime in, into the bashing of the Pentax expsoure system, even if it needs some improvement.
You make good points Ben, and having read through 10 pages of this thread it becomes apparent that, well, for all the "discussion" going on about specs, performance etc., there are exactly 2 images in the whole thread. I don't see anyone arguing about the quality of those images either. I don't see any images from the OP, or RH (but that's a given isn't it?)

For reference here they are (I hope jsherman999 and wildman don't mind?):





wildman's crop (2nd) makes me definitely see the advantage of an extra 4mp over my K10, and I can say with certainty that I would purchase a K20 in a heartbeat to use with my Takumars even though I already adore the IQ with them on my K10 -- I think jsherman999's photo (1st) shows why.
09-07-2008, 09:34 AM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamonation Quote
wildman's crop (2nd) makes me definitely see the advantage of an extra 4mp over my K10, and I can say with certainty that I would purchase a K20 in a heartbeat to use with my Takumars even though I already adore the IQ with them on my K10 -- I think jsherman999's photo (1st) shows why.
What I'd like to know:

Those pictures were taken with what lenses? That glass cost how much?

Whatcha gotta spend on glass with another brand to get those results?

Gotta love legacy glass! GO PENTAX!!

09-07-2008, 11:28 AM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by TourDeForce Quote
What I'd like to know:

Those pictures were taken with what lenses? That glass cost how much?

Whatcha gotta spend on glass with another brand to get those results?

Gotta love legacy glass! GO PENTAX!!
Taken with an Astro-Tech 80mm 560mm FL APO Triplet scope, not a conventional telephoto, cost $750.

Another example. Of course these have been severely down-sized and compressed, I just wish they could be seen at their original size. Full frame and crop:

Last edited by wildman; 12-26-2008 at 01:00 PM.
09-07-2008, 11:39 AM   #141
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Lucky you to have both cameras! In another issue of Popular Photogragpy they state they did the test with the noise reduction turned off. On the K10D it is on by default; on the K20D it is not. That explains why your statement might be true. In addition to the fact the K20D has a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD gives it an edge on noise since CCD are more noisier because of the A/D converter which picks up noise along the way. CMOS sensors have the converter built in according to PC PHOTO which did a comparison on the various types of sensors.

Last edited by res3567; 09-07-2008 at 11:49 AM.
09-07-2008, 10:16 PM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
There are many good points in your post. But we should note:
1. all AF systems, even by CaNi suffer under adverse conditions (low light). [...]

2. FPS is surely a topic, that was with Pentax forever. [...]
Thanks for the considerate reply, I agree with your points about AF and FPS. While I would obviously like to see improvement there, I can understand that these might be hard problems to solve, especially to solve cheaply.
QuoteQuote:
3. Exposure: That is something I cannot quite understand myself. Over all my K20 is quite reliable, especially when I take care of the situation and apply the necessary exposure correction. [...]
Yeah, this is a bit of what I'm talking about, in particular the part about "when I take care of the situation." As I said, I have pictures on which the whole histogram is playing in the lower half. This can't be an attempt to have "middle gray" at the middle of the histogram as there is nothing at the middle of the diagram.
QuoteQuote:
4. Most of the examples of badly underexposed images in different forums, often accompanied by bitter complaints, I have seen so far where indeed not the results of the above described erratic expsoure system, but the result of shooting into the light with bright skies, even the sun, right in the picture. That this leads to heavy underexposure, which cannot be fully recoverted should be self-evident to any photog, except the point-and-shoot-users. So I won't chime in, into the bashing of the Pentax expsoure system, even if it needs some improvement.
Ben
I tried to reason with myself on saying all this is because there's some highlight in the picture that would get blown by higher exposure. However I have deliberately tried pretty hard to eliminate all highlights from some pictures while retaining some dynamic range in the picture and I came up with those "lower half" histograms I previously wrote about. Of course it is possible there are some combinations of dynamic range and lack of highlights that would prove the K20d default exposure right but how hard do I have to work to prove it right? +0.5 or +0.7 seems to work well most of the time but then why isn't it the factory default?

Anyway if what I wrote came across as bashing I apologize. I was trying just to say "if there's a problem let's (reasonably, no bashing needed) accept it and make it obvious to Pentax we care about it and would like to see it fixed/improved."

Best regards,

letomuaddib
09-08-2008, 02:34 AM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by letomuaddib Quote

Anyway if what I wrote came across as bashing I apologize. I was trying just to say "if there's a problem let's (reasonably, no bashing needed) accept it and make it obvious to Pentax we care about it and would like to see it fixed/improved."

Best regards,

letomuaddib
letomuaddib, my notion was in no way aimed at you and I did not read you post as "bashing". I really think, your post, to which I replied, was well founded and yes, the K20 (and the K10 also) have some erratic expsoure problems, which I cannot really understand. I can easily see your point. My "remedy" in this situation is, to make just one or two more shots. Sometimes the second or third shot will be exposed correctly or I use the exposure correction.

Despite I am satisfied with 90 % of my shots expsoure-wise, the remaining error of app. 10 % is too high (not counting user error, but really only these strange erratic expsoures) and considerably worse, than what Pentax film cameras delivered.

Ben

09-08-2008, 04:41 AM   #144
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I wonder if the undexposure problems being discussed here are related to lenses rather than cameras. My 18-55mm underexposes compared to my 18-250mm, and a 16-50mm I tried in a store underexposed compared to the three primes I sampled. Note that I used the 16-50mm and the primes on two different cameras, a K20D and a K100DS, so this was not camera-related.
09-08-2008, 05:44 AM   #145
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What's wrong with taking a photograph properly

I don't understand why some one who wishes to take decent photographs with a camera is a 'picky photographer' more like a proper photographer. Yes we all have PS or its equivalent, but some like to take the photo correctly in camera.

This is a pentax forum not a photoshop forum. I suggest you save your money and buy postcards instead.

Sandra
09-08-2008, 06:05 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by cornishk100duser Quote
I don't understand why some one who wishes to take decent photographs with a camera is a 'picky photographer' more like a proper photographer. Yes we all have PS or its equivalent, but some like to take the photo correctly in camera.

This is a pentax forum not a photoshop forum. I suggest you save your money and buy postcards instead.

Sandra
I don't quite grasp your post, but that's probably just me. If you don't want to invest more into picture taking than a bit of money, you are probably better off with a good point and shoot camera. Any DSLR of any brand will afford some knowledge about exposure etc. to lead to good results. May be if you use the Green position of the mode whell on a Pentax you find what you look for, I don't know, as I never used that setting.
Ben
09-08-2008, 01:27 PM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by letomuaddib Quote
As I said, I have pictures on which the whole histogram is playing in the lower half. This can't be an attempt to have "middle gray" at the middle of the histogram as there is nothing at the middle of the diagram.
stupid newbe question here: is the histogram based on the raw file or is it generated from the embedded jpg that is used for the LCD display?

Because if it is only the build-in jpg conversion that is crappy, it is annoying but not really fatal. (and compensating on camera could actually be a bad idea)

[edit: added]

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben Edict:
3. Exposure: That is something I cannot quite understand myself. Over all my K20 is quite reliable, especially when I take care of the situation and apply the necessary exposure correction. But what really annoys me is the exposure fluctation that is evident, when taking several shots in a row of the exact same scene. I often do that to make sure I get a sharp shot, when I use longer exposure times. I then find single expsoures within a series that are between -1/2 and -1 EV darker, than the rest of the series..
Is that while processing in raw with the white balance on "Camera" or on a fixed value? I just wonder if it is not the white balance detection in the camera that is fluctuating, which should not affect the raw file. I remember reading some reviews of the k200d saying the white balance auto detect was not very good. That would influence the histogram if the white balance was taken from the exif data.

Last edited by roelof; 09-08-2008 at 01:43 PM.
09-08-2008, 09:35 PM   #148
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"OK I give up. I hanged to my K10D as long as I could. Now I'm getting a K20D. Hopefully I should get it by tomorrow."


"I broke down as well.. My K20D arrived today "

I ordered a K20 this past weekend as the K100 is starting to develop "issues". Figured repair money should go into a new body. Was never impressed with the K10 performance comments, and thought I would wait for the "next great thing" after the K20D, but..oh,well.
09-08-2008, 10:48 PM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by roelof Quote
stupid newbe question here: is the histogram based on the raw file or is it generated from the embedded jpg that is used for the LCD display?

Because if it is only the build-in jpg conversion that is crappy, it is annoying but not really fatal. (and compensating on camera could actually be a bad idea)
I think I've seen the histogram similar on both the body and Lightroom. Of course it being Raw you can salvage something, but obviously from a pretty seriously underexposed picture the noise levels will be quite high.

I'll keep an eye on this next time I feel like experimenting, for now I am using the +0.5/+1.0 exposure compensation.
09-08-2008, 11:31 PM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by cornishk100duser Quote
I don't understand why some one who wishes to take decent photographs with a camera is a 'picky photographer' more like a proper photographer. Yes we all have PS or its equivalent, but some like to take the photo correctly in camera.

This is a pentax forum not a photoshop forum. I suggest you save your money and buy postcards instead.

Sandra
Hi Sandra,
A very reasonable comment/question....however...please define a 'decent or proper photo' for me.
There in lies your answer, because photography is still an art form we will all have a preference, no matter the hardware used or indeed the software.

And thats what makes it what it is.
Cheers
Grant
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