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08-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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Canon Shooter Thinking of Converting... Convince Me Please...

Hello all, this is my first post here at Pentax Forums. I am currently a Canon shooter, but I have been thinking of converting. I've spent some time looking at Pentax at a local camera store, and one of the sales guys I'm sorta buddies with shoots Pentax himself.

Currently I shoot with the following equipment:
- Canon 40D
- Canon XTi
- Canon Rebel G
- Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
- Canon EF 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 (hardly use)
- Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 OS DC
- Sigma 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Macro (mainly use for the film body and for macro 1:2)
- Canon 430EX flash

I am thinking of selling all and replacing with the following lineup:
- Pentax K20D
- Pentax K200D
- Some variation of cheap Pentax film camera or stick w/ the Canon
- Pentax DA 16-50 f/2.8
- Pentax DA 50-135 f/2.8
- Pentax FA? 50mm f/1.8
- Pentax flash variant (equiv to Canon 430EX)

If I did the trade at the local camera store, I'd have to shell out an extra $1,700, so I'd probably do better parsing my gear out on eBay and buying new stuff online.

Currently, I shoot landscapes, portraits, and street photography. I am working on transitioning into a part time wedding and portraits business on the side.

Here's my thoughts:
- With the Pentax bodies and lenses, I gain weather sealant (don't like having to concern myself with that on Canon), dedicated RAW button, a few extra mega pixels (not a big concern but nice), and the lack of Canon's magenta cast when shooting portraits with flash. Also, a huge history of Pentax glass, which unfortunately I know nothing about.

I'd be giving up
-6.5fps - which I don't use all the time, but I've been grateful for having it when I did (air show, dive show, etc.)
- Juicy, albeit uber expensive, Canon glass.
- Compatability with what most of the rest of the industry is using
- Dedicated ISO, WB, Flash compensation, AF Drive, and metering buttons on top
- ability to see ISO AND remaining shots on the top lcd.
- My well researched knowledge of Canon glass and products - I'd have to start all over with Pentax
- Why do very few pros use Pentax?

So, I need some convincing. I'm thinking of dropping another $1,000 for gear on my Canon stuff for a wedding I'm shooting mid September. After that, maybe another $1,500. Just to try and get some lenses I'd want that would be somewhat equivalent to the Pentax lenses listed above. If I traded gear, I might be a little nervous too about not "knowing" my gear as well when walking into the wedding.

Thoughts? Convince me... Or not...

08-16-2008, 11:18 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by psykon99 Quote
Currently, I shoot landscapes, portraits, and street photography. I am working on transitioning into a part time wedding and portraits business on the side.
The former works fine with Pentax. You can even get an inexpensive 50/1.4 lens while on Canon you could only get an inexpensive 50/1.8.

For weddings, how often do you have low-light weddings? The reason I ask is a few Pentax folks moved from Pentax to Nikon's new CMOS dSLRs for better low-light AF performance. It might be worth renting/trying your buddy's Pentax system in the wedding conditions you think you'll shoot in. You probably already know your current Canon lenses are too slow (except for the 1.8 and 2.8) and flash is slightly weak to use in weddings (I'm guessing that's where your upgrades will be spent); it's fairly easy/inexpensive to rent Canon gear to you might want to check that route as well.

Interesting comment about the magenta cast w/ Canon flashes. That's the first time I've heard of it. Any examples?
08-16-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The former works fine with Pentax. You can even get an inexpensive 50/1.4 lens while on Canon you could only get an inexpensive 50/1.8.

For weddings, how often do you have low-light weddings? The reason I ask is a few Pentax folks moved from Pentax to Nikon's new CMOS dSLRs for better low-light AF performance. It might be worth renting/trying your buddy's Pentax system in the wedding conditions you think you'll shoot in. You probably already know your current Canon lenses are too slow (except for the 1.8 and 2.8) and flash is slightly weak to use in weddings (I'm guessing that's where your upgrades will be spent); it's fairly easy/inexpensive to rent Canon gear to you might want to check that route as well.

Interesting comment about the magenta cast w/ Canon flashes. That's the first time I've heard of it. Any examples?
I'm not sure about the low light weddings. Next months wedding will be my first - and it's outside. That's another concern of mine is noise performance at hi ISO.

As far as the magenta cast, I've never personally done a comparison, but I've heard that Canon's portray skin tones with a bit of magenta to them v. Pentax - which I have found myself toning down in images I've taken under flash lighting.

As far as borrowing equipment, I'm not sure we're at that point yet...
08-16-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by psykon99 Quote
Here's my thoughts:
- With the Pentax bodies and lenses, I gain weather sealant (don't like having to concern myself with that on Canon), dedicated RAW button, a few extra mega pixels (not a big concern but nice), and the lack of Canon's magenta cast when shooting portraits with flash. Also, a huge history of Pentax glass, which unfortunately I know nothing about.
Not only Pentax glass, but also from many other high quality M42 lenses produced by various manufacturers (ie. Carl Zeiss, Schneider-Kreznauch, Voigtländer...). Of course, they are all manual, but that's not problem with Pentax great viewfinders


QuoteQuote:
I'd be giving up:
- Dedicated ISO, WB, Flash compensation, AF Drive, and metering buttons on top
- ability to see ISO AND remaining shots on the top lcd.
Not true... K20D has all of that.
ISO is easy accessible via one button and jog rotation, WB via two button press with direct showing on last taken picture (camera stores it in memory even after deletion!), metering buttons are actually one dial under program mode dial, and all informations you have inside viewfinder as well on top LCD (except WB, even that's not so important if you shoot RAW

08-16-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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Other Pentax advantages:
1. In-camera shake reduction--an extremely valuable feature, IMO.
2. An unmatched variety of fine prime lenses, if you are so inclined. (I am excluding Zeiss and Leica for the purpose of this discussion.)
3. Class leading IQ from the K20D, and I am including the 40D and the D300.

Rob

Last edited by robgo2; 08-16-2008 at 03:31 PM.
08-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #6
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hey psykon,

here is my gallery. all but three or four shots were shot on pentax.

Flickr: mitchel109's Photostream

RE: lowlight wedding photography, I have two 540fgz flahes which are probably the equivalent of the canon 580ex and at the reception, I always have one in use as an optical slave. When I shoot in [almost] pitch black receptions, I am NEVER having any problems focusing, because the flash has the AF assist beam, and I dont usually have to raise my ISO. Sometimes I find myself at ISO 100 in the dark...shooting fine. (edit: because I employ two lights for each shot)

Inside the church is a totally different story. You definately need skill there. But I think if you are going to get the K20d, you wont have any problems. I did a test of the K20D at the camera shop, and I was loving the results way up at ISO 2,000. For comparison, on the K10D, I try to maintain ISO 320 and employ the skill I have worked so hard to have.

I've got the 16-50 and the 50-135
I like the 16-50 more than I like the canon 16-35L. The 50-135 is probably my favorite lens. The canon 70-200 IS 2.8 L can really hold it's own when paired off with the pentax lens, but the pentax system is so lightweight...and weather sealed.....

Good Luck

p.s. It's the photog not the camera 8) I just had to say that.

Mitch
08-16-2008, 12:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by psykon99 Quote

I'd be giving up

- ability to see ISO AND remaining shots on the top lcd.

No you dont loose this, even my K100D super dose that.....
(if setup correctly)

Most definatly change to pentax!
My brother gets better shots on his K100D super than his friends do on their Nikkon and Canon!!!

image stabilization...
he takes shots of barn owls by the way....
08-16-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
When I shoot in [almost] pitch black receptions, I am NEVER having any problems focusing, because the flash has the AF assist beam
I think that has a lot to do w/ the complaints. Some folks are trying to use the K10D/K20D w/o using an external flash or using the popup flash assist (other competitors like the D300 have a blindingly white AF assist LED on the body so they don't have to use the popup flash).
The two folks I'm thinking of who switched are experienced enough to know this though, so I'm a bit puzzled at their switch if you can AF in near pitch darkness w/ a Pentax flash mounted...

Nice photo stream

08-16-2008, 01:58 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
I'd be giving up

- ability to see ISO AND remaining shots on the top lcd.
You can actually have ISO set to display all the time in place of the amount of shots left in the top LCD. The amount of shots left then display for a short period after each photo taken.


I have the Samsung GX20 so I assume you can do the same with the K20.


MJB DIGITAL... nice photos all of them... thanks for the link.

Neil
08-16-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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I wouldn't switch if you have that much gear already unless you're "highly" dis-satisfied with what you have.
08-16-2008, 05:45 PM   #11
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psykon99,

What exactly are you looking for (other than getting rid of the Canon magenta cast in flash shots) that you expect to improve with Pentax?

I used to shoot with Pentax 35mm film bodies and switched to Nikon/Fuji just before the first Pentax DSLR came out because I couldn't wait any longer to switch to digital for my work. After several years with Nikon and Fuji cameras and Nikon lenses I switched to Canon because I thought I would be better off with cleaner high ISO and the available f/1.2 lenses. That lasted less than a year and then I switched to Pentax DSLR gear.

The only thing I learned after all that switching was that brand choice is a matter of personal preference more than anything else. Yes, one brand might offer one or two things that another brand doesn't, but it has almost ZERO impact on the photographer's final product in a "practical" sense.

Also, each and every time I switched camera systems I ended up LOSING money. There really needs to be a practical, concrete list of reasons why you want to switch systems, otherwise you might be switching for no real reason at all.

Your photography won't become magically different if you switch from one brand to another.

As for why more working photographers don't use Pentax ... well, that's a lengthy discussion. In part, Pentax lost a huge number of working photographers (such as myself) in the early part of this decade because Pentax was slow to the market with a DSLR. Also, Pentax (and, to a lesser extent, Nikon) failed to recognize how dangerous Canon was in the 1980s and 1990s when Canon started a marketing strategy where they gave huge numbers of FREE camera bodies to newspapers and magazines across the country.

Canon realized that if publications had an existing inventory of Canon cameras they would buy Canon lenses and accessories ... and then buy replacement bodies when the free bodies broke because then they would have an existing inventory of Canon lenses and accessories. Canon also realized that entry-level/ freelance shooters would see the staff photographers shooting with Canon gear and then buy Canon gear as well so they look like they belong and will be taken seriously by the staff. Likewise, amateur photographers would see "professional photographers" using Canon gear and then buy Canon gear because they're stupid enough to think that the camera brand is what matters.

It's sort of like how Gillette became the number one razor brand by giving away free razors and making you pay for the replacement blades.

There are other reasons that you don't see more working photographers using Pentax gear ... but the reasons above (Pentax's late entry into DSLRs and Canon's smart marketing in the 80s and 90s) are the biggest reasons ... in my opinion.
08-16-2008, 07:48 PM   #12
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I am not sure why you think you needed to switch. You have a nice system which can be consolidated for wedding. Just trade

- Canon Rebel G
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
- Canon EF 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 (hardly use)
- Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 OS DC
- Sigma 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Macro

for EF70-200/2.8L IS or 4L IS. The 40D can AF infinitely better than any Pentax DSLR as the lighter drops further. To get rip of the magenta cast, just buy yourself a X-rite colour checker and do some calibration.
08-16-2008, 08:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JJJPhoto Quote
psykon99,



As for why more working photographers don't use Pentax ... well, that's a lengthy discussion. In part, Pentax lost a huge number of working photographers (such as myself) in the early part of this decade because Pentax was slow to the market with a DSLR. Also, Pentax (and, to a lesser extent, Nikon) failed to recognize how dangerous Canon was in the 1980s and 1990s when Canon started a marketing strategy where they gave huge numbers of FREE camera bodies to newspapers and magazines across the country.

Canon realized that if publications had an existing inventory of Canon cameras they would buy Canon lenses and accessories ... and then buy replacement bodies when the free bodies broke because then they would have an existing inventory of Canon lenses and accessories. Canon also realized that entry-level/ freelance shooters would see the staff photographers shooting with Canon gear and then buy Canon gear as well so they look like they belong and will be taken seriously by the staff. Likewise, amateur photographers would see "professional photographers" using Canon gear and then buy Canon gear because they're stupid enough to think that the camera brand is what matters.

It's sort of like how Gillette became the number one razor brand by giving away free razors and making you pay for the replacement blades.

There are other reasons that you don't see more working photographers using Pentax gear ... but the reasons above (Pentax's late entry into DSLRs and Canon's smart marketing in the 80s and 90s) are the biggest reasons ... in my opinion.
Funny you should bring that up. In the 1950s, when the Korean war was being waged, a little company called Nippon Kogaku was handing out lenses to war photographers to put onto their Leica rangefinders.
The lenses were of superb quality, and when the war ended and these photographers went home, they remembered how good those lenses were. When Nikon cameras started washing ashore, they had a market, willing and waiting to purchase their cameras, photographers who had either used their lenses, or who knew someone who had.
Pentax has never tried to buy off the pro market.
OTOH, I believe they have had more firsts in the marketplace than any other company.
They have been a very inventive company.
08-17-2008, 05:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Other Pentax advantages:
1. In-camera shake reduction--an extremely valuable feature, IMO.
2. An unmatched variety of fine prime lenses, if you are so inclined. (I am excluding Zeiss and Leica for the purpose of this discussion.)
3. Class leading IQ from the K20D, and I am including the 40D and the D300.

Rob

Hello Rob and all,

Now it is possible to use almost all Leica and several Zeiss/Contax primes too, you can find the replacement bayonet in ebay.

David
08-17-2008, 06:15 AM   #15
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I was Sponsored by Canon France for over two years and switched to Pentax in January of 2007. I was officially sponsored by Pentax up till a few months ago. You can use Pentax products and specifically the K20D for most applications and it compares favorably with the last generation Top of the Line 16.7 mega pixel Canon 1Ds Mkll which I used extensively before my switch. All of my published work since January of 2007 have been shot with Pentax products.

I would Highly Recommend the K20D...

Ben
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