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09-30-2008, 09:15 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
You work around it (Pentax should have added a flash option though) by turning on wireless flash, then going into setup and setting the built-in flash as "controller" instead of "master". You'll still see a bit of flash contribution from the popup flash, so just go into the shooting menu and set the popup flash to -2ev comp.
That's how I do it on my K10D...
Thanks for the tip. However, I don't think that will work for me very often. One reason is that SR doesn't seem to be functional when the flash is set to Wireless mode. That might not matter when the flash is the main illumination since the short flash duration would usually eliminate any effect of camera shake as well as subject motion but it is an issue when I am trying to include some ambient light or shooting available light at low shutter speeds. However, I only use the pop-up flash either for fill outdoors or indoors to trigger one or two Vivitar 283 flashes. Works fine in conjunction with a Wein Digital "peanut" slave sensor which ignores the Pentax's pre-flash but the 283 is not triggered when the Pentax is in Wireless mode. So if the existing light is too low for AF to function, I usually resort to manual focus.

Still, thanks for the info. I seem to recall someone here (or on the "other" forum) mentioning something about an LED light you could slip into the hotshoe. Might look into that for AF assist.

Richard

09-30-2008, 11:06 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
So I currently have the K100D Super and have a DA* 50-135mm ordered and on the way... I was told to spend money on the glass and not on the body unless my skills developed to a point in which I needed more. I like this advice since there will be more and more technology every year, but good glass will remain good glass.

Having said that, I'm strongly considering upgrading to the K20 as I'm tired of going through the menus for everything and can't take the autofocus speed of the K100DS in low light which is my top gripe.

All of those out there with the K20 (and maybe even experience with Nikons), please help. Am I missing anything?

K20 Pros
- I have my budding Pentax lens collection (2) soon to be 3, including the 50-135.
- weathersealing and build construction, including metal mounts on all but the cheapest new lenses
- high MP sensor, although I honestly think 10 or 12 MP is fine. I guess CMOS is good though, the D90 also has this.

K20 Cons
- no WB button, Auto WB on Pentax is not so good indoors, thus this is even more critical. If I had to pick my #2 gripe about my K100DS, it's WB.
- no low light AF assist, I'm surprised more DSLRs don't have this, even my $100 P&S has this
- slower shutter speed

Nikon D90 pros
- I just tried this out. The feature set is impressive, especially the 920k-dot (VGA) screen and interesting movie mode.
- IQ is tested to be equal to the D300
- focus speed is very fast, 4.5 fps is nice
- lens based IS seems to perform better than sensor based - is this true?
- it has the low light focusing light assist

Nikon D90 cons
- Feels cheaper, a bit more plasticy
- Lenses are more expensive and when similarly priced have plastic mounts, even for mid priced ones (e.g. the DA* 50-135 was $750 vs. plastic Nikon 18-200 mm VR at $640)
- selling for list price, but competitive at $999 base only.

Overall, I guess, my limited experience tells me that the pentax has great, fairly priced glass, even for the enthusiast like me. Nikon has some very nice technology in their cameras but offer cheap glass for the consumer at high prices.

Every single camera salesperson I run into says, "forget Pentax, get a Canon or Nikon". It's quite amazing.

Finally, the Pentax message board and community is incredible, and the level on knowledge on the Nikonians board doesn't come close. it may be in that board, I just can't find it!

I have not gone through all the other replies. I come with my subjective opinions owning K100D first , followed by K10D and now with interest in the Nikon D90, D200, and D300. I even wrote about owning two systems.

If you like your lens, especially with the DA* zoom and the prime lens offer from Pentax, I see little reason to doubt K20D or even K10D. The beauty in Pentax is on its SR in body versus the Nikon approach in sucking you in with VR (vibration reduction) in every lens. It is an expensive approach if you want the best in Nikon.

In Pentax world, the hobbyist like you and I have the luxury of using old lens in the past as well as the latest in the present time frame. You can choose up to your own budget and your owning timing. You have more leeway in choosing your lens with mix of old and new. And all lens come equipped with SR as we have the SLR bodies that rock with SR.

The things that fall short in Pentax are in the slower AF system. Though accurate, it is slower than others, noticeably much louder. Noise control is quite good but not outstanding like the Nikon. About the WB issues, my K100D really did bad in AWB for indoor with orange and yellow cast. And the K10D has done a better job with in-camera control and I am sure K20D is more improved on that area.

I pride Pentax for the following:
  • Best in backward compatibility with past and current lens
  • Best in primes with pancakes and prime lens lineup
  • Minimalist approach in DA* zooms
  • Best in in-body SR -- the best thing we are all proud up

With D90, I see that I may like the JPG performance, better noise control, faster burst rate, better AF speed and quiet AF speed, the added plus on movie if you are inclined to merge picture & movies in one dSLR. But all the good things come at the expense of buying VR feature in most lens you buy.

My blog posts:
One thing about D90 is that it is not the best Nikon body for backward compatibility as compared to D200/D300 and you can see in these resource links:

Last edited by hinman; 09-30-2008 at 12:38 PM.
09-30-2008, 11:27 AM   #33
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D90 - No Brainer (You've already known yourself, I think)

I think you've already answered your question - just looking (back) at the pros and cons you listed out.

The main reason you don't want to switch is about the lenses you already invested, but for that limited size of collection, I think switching is not difficult for you. Actually, this is not a pro for the K20D, but just a concern in money terms.

What the sales persons are speaking do have the point. When we choose, we choose a *system*. Body is important and so do the lenses. But in the digital era, the body is more important for the image quality but the system will let you better equipped and let you grow.

My humble opinion is as far as system is concerned, there is no reason to choose Pentax now. In your case, I have to say Nikon have better technologies as well as it is a system that will let you grow: Say, you can replace your D90 by D300 or even by D700 and use the old Nikkor lenses you invested - as long as you don't buy more DX lenses but just the kit lens(es). The same case cannot be applied to Pentax and neither will there be any upgraded path after the K20D, but just a replacement model not until next Summer, as officially be told by Pentax high ranked official in the Photokina.


QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
So I currently have the K100D Super and have a DA* 50-135mm ordered and on the way... I was told to spend money on the glass and not on the body unless my skills developed to a point in which I needed more. I like this advice since there will be more and more technology every year, but good glass will remain good glass.

Having said that, I'm strongly considering upgrading to the K20 as I'm tired of going through the menus for everything and can't take the autofocus speed of the K100DS in low light which is my top gripe.

All of those out there with the K20 (and maybe even experience with Nikons), please help. Am I missing anything?

K20 Pros
- I have my budding Pentax lens collection (2) soon to be 3, including the 50-135.
- weathersealing and build construction, including metal mounts on all but the cheapest new lenses
- high MP sensor, although I honestly think 10 or 12 MP is fine. I guess CMOS is good though, the D90 also has this.

K20 Cons
- no WB button, Auto WB on Pentax is not so good indoors, thus this is even more critical. If I had to pick my #2 gripe about my K100DS, it's WB.
- no low light AF assist, I'm surprised more DSLRs don't have this, even my $100 P&S has this
- slower shutter speed

Nikon D90 pros
- I just tried this out. The feature set is impressive, especially the 920k-dot (VGA) screen and interesting movie mode.
- IQ is tested to be equal to the D300
- focus speed is very fast, 4.5 fps is nice
- lens based IS seems to perform better than sensor based - is this true?
- it has the low light focusing light assist

Nikon D90 cons
- Feels cheaper, a bit more plasticy
- Lenses are more expensive and when similarly priced have plastic mounts, even for mid priced ones (e.g. the DA* 50-135 was $750 vs. plastic Nikon 18-200 mm VR at $640)
- selling for list price, but competitive at $999 base only.

Overall, I guess, my limited experience tells me that the pentax has great, fairly priced glass, even for the enthusiast like me. Nikon has some very nice technology in their cameras but offer cheap glass for the consumer at high prices.

Every single camera salesperson I run into says, "forget Pentax, get a Canon or Nikon". It's quite amazing.

Finally, the Pentax message board and community is incredible, and the level on knowledge on the Nikonians board doesn't come close. it may be in that board, I just can't find it!
09-30-2008, 02:31 PM   #34
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K20D - Nobrainer, RiceHigh no brain

Sorry for the rant in my first post here.

But i see an occasion where Pentax pros and cons can be discussed for a real case:

The K20D with the 50-135 is a dream combo in my humble opinion. I for one am a wide to normal shooter, but found myself using the 50-135 on many occasions, especially when I strive through wider areas. This lens is unbelievably good, it is sharp, but more important is the rendering in general. The pictures just look good. It is light for such a lens and even compact compared to similar lenses from other manufacturers. And it is sealed along with a K20D body.

What are your intentions with Nikon to replace such a combo? Either you go 3rd party like Tamron, then without VR and without sealing, or you go Nikon, almost 2000,-, the "wrong" focal length for APS-C and still no sealing!

Not to mention other Pentax strength like the 31 1.8 ltd. or the 16-50*, a 2.8 standard zoom with sealing again for a third the price of a similar Nikon offer.

Don't listen to forum jerks like RiceHigh. As Ben somewhere said, he is NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER. Nuf said.

And a last word: I upgraded from the K10D to K20D because I smashed a button on the K10D and needed a replacement soon. The K20D is a different world, not an incremental upgrade, believe me dude.

best always and have fun using you oh so inferior gear (as some tend to repeat relentlessly).

Andreas

09-30-2008, 04:28 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Old Timer 56 Quote
One reason is that SR doesn't seem to be functional when the flash is set to Wireless mode.
Wha? Are you sure about that? That wouldn't make sense for Pentax to disable SR while the flash is in wireless mode...


ken
09-30-2008, 04:57 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
The answer was that some of these bodies DO have something that is more or less the same thing (functionally) as TAv. It's not a special mode on the mode dial, but it's auto-ISO in M mode, which is exactly what TAv is.

Based on my reading of the user's manual for the D90 (downloadable from Nikon's site), it appears that the D90 does indeed support auto-ISO in M mode. See p. 78 of that manual. It does seem that using auto-ISO in M mode on the D90 is not as convenient as having a TAv mode right there on the dial. But that's not a huge deal.

Will
Thanks Will, as a TAv user for sport I was wondering about that.
09-30-2008, 05:26 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Wha? Are you sure about that? That wouldn't make sense for Pentax to disable SR while the flash is in wireless mode...ken
It might not make sense but that seems to be the case regardless of whether Wireless is set as the Master or as the Controller. However, Wireless is only relevant with a Pentax flash. As I mentioned earlier I use the pop-up flash to trigger one or two Vivitar 283 flashes which are NOT dedicated to the Pentax camera. Therefore, I set the flash mode to Flash On and in that mode SR is quite functional. And the Wein Digital "peanut" slave sensor eliminates the issue of pre-flash. Works fine. This setup would presumably work with the Vivitar 285 too which is still available.

By the way, I use Energizer Lithium AA's with my 283's. These batteries last a long time and are lighter than alkaline or NiMH though they are not rechargeable.

Richard
09-30-2008, 05:36 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ratjadi Quote
Sorry for the rant in my first post here.

What are your intentions with Nikon to replace such a combo? Either you go 3rd party like Tamron, then without VR and without sealing, or you go Nikon, almost 2000,-, the "wrong" focal length for APS-C and still no sealing!

Andreas
It's not stabilised or sealed but just get the Tokina 50-135 or the Sigma 50-150 which is very well regarded.

09-30-2008, 08:55 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by ratjadi Quote

The K20D with the 50-135 is a dream combo in my humble opinion.

Andreas

I think this one statement just did it for me. I'm sticking with my original gut feel and sticking with Pentax. I had some time in the shop with the D90 and while impressive:

- the D90 feels like a nice electronic device, whereas the K20D feels like a solid INSTRUMENT. I don't like the rubberized surfaces that C/N use.... feels cheap to me.

- I took a look at the prices of f/2.8 primes and zooms for Nikon, especially if you want their VR feature. Considering I'm a bokeh fan, forget it - they cost a fortune.

- There's no way the body is going to last more than 5 years... the tech feature set is going to be vastly different by then. However, some nice lenses will still be optically, nice lenses, as I'm learning from the rest of you. I don't like the idea of VR/IS being lens based even if it performs better (which I don't know).

So the unopened 50-135 box is going to be opened!
09-30-2008, 09:15 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
I think this one statement just did it for me. I'm sticking with my original gut feel and sticking with Pentax. I had some time in the shop with the D90 and while impressive:

- the D90 feels like a nice electronic device, whereas the K20D feels like a solid INSTRUMENT. I don't like the rubberized surfaces that C/N use.... feels cheap to me.

- I took a look at the prices of f/2.8 primes and zooms for Nikon, especially if you want their VR feature. Considering I'm a bokeh fan, forget it - they cost a fortune.

- There's no way the body is going to last more than 5 years... the tech feature set is going to be vastly different by then. However, some nice lenses will still be optically, nice lenses, as I'm learning from the rest of you. I don't like the idea of VR/IS being lens based even if it performs better (which I don't know).

So the unopened 50-135 box is going to be opened!
Alright, my friend. Very logical thinking. Stay strong from the dark forces and remember the SR in body that works for both a 60 year old M42 lens as well as the latest prime and zoom as in your DA* 50-135 and no gimmicks attached. It is all in the body.

Hin
09-30-2008, 09:25 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote

My humble opinion is as far as system is concerned, there is no reason to choose Pentax now. In your case, I have to say Nikon have better technologies as well as it is a system that will let you grow: Say, you can replace your D90 by D300 or even by D700 and use the old Nikkor lenses you invested - as long as you don't buy more DX lenses but just the kit lens(es). The same case cannot be applied to Pentax and neither will there be any upgraded path after the K20D, but just a replacement model not until next Summer, as officially be told by Pentax high ranked official in the Photokina.

RH, don't start up again, I told you before, "Be Nice Please".
Your opinion is definitely not humble
09-30-2008, 09:31 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
I think this one statement just did it for me. I'm sticking with my original gut feel and sticking with Pentax. I had some time in the shop with the D90 and while impressive:

- the D90 feels like a nice electronic device, whereas the K20D feels like a solid INSTRUMENT. I don't like the rubberized surfaces that C/N use.... feels cheap to me.

- I took a look at the prices of f/2.8 primes and zooms for Nikon, especially if you want their VR feature. Considering I'm a bokeh fan, forget it - they cost a fortune.

- There's no way the body is going to last more than 5 years... the tech feature set is going to be vastly different by then. However, some nice lenses will still be optically, nice lenses, as I'm learning from the rest of you. I don't like the idea of VR/IS being lens based even if it performs better (which I don't know).

So the unopened 50-135 box is going to be opened!
Despite what other people say about lens based stablizer works better than sensor based - may be only in longer focal length. I don't really agree with that. A friend of mine uses the C brand camera with the 85mm f1.8 (without IS. but rated very high) he is limited to set the shutter speed of at least 1/FL (often 1/125) for all his pictures unless he uses a tripod. And yet, there is no way you can get as sharp and crisp image as I can get with my 77mm at 1/60 or 1/40; when you drag the shutter to catch the ambient light in flash mode or else you get the "deer in the headlight" pictures every time.
09-30-2008, 10:10 PM   #43
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In my opinion, the K20D replacement will surely crush the D90 next summer (let's call it the K30D for now). Just as the K20D would crush the D80. The D100 (let's assume the d90 replacement will be called this one day lol), might match the K30D, but then the K40D will crush that... it's the usual market leap-frogging going on.

Let's look for a longer trend, which system has grown (relative to itself), more strongly over the last 4 yrs?

It's a hard choice to choose a camera, let alone a system, good luck with your choice I'm sure either system is good.

I think it comes down to what you want the camera for, and how much money you have.
09-30-2008, 10:40 PM   #44
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Hinman,

with your constant mention of you wanting to buy the D90 it's obvious what you want to do. Go ahead and try it.

I just really don't see the advantage of the D90 over a K20d

Do you have any test that it is faster in AF and more accurate? Also the movie mode is all but useless unless you are shooting something close to stationary because of the jello effect and limited to 5 minute movies. Again I am in the I'm happy movie modes are coming to SLR's camp but at the D90's capability I don't see much use for it. (SD MK II on the other hand).

Also make sure you try out the D90's high iso settings before crowing it over the K20D.

Again if you were deciding between the camera and D700 it would be a totally different story. But I don't consider the D90 worth buying over a K20d or in your case even keeping the k10d until the k20d comes down more.

And Rice High, stop talking about cameras you know nothing about. Give me a break .
10-01-2008, 12:16 AM   #45
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Pardon?

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
RH, don't start up again, I told you before, "Be Nice Please".
Your opinion is definitely not humble
There is no upgrade path after the K20D in the Pentax *system*, what do you want to point out (but actually you have not shown your argument but just went it personal)?
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