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06-19-2019, 07:12 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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What's the draw for other cameras?

This may be a bit of a long post, and none of it ought to be misconstrued to me bashing or hating on other camera companies. Here we go:

Today, I stopped at my local BestBuy for a couple of MicroSD cards, and decided to mess around with their DSLR/Mirrorless selection. Naturally, I was drawn to the Sony A7III. Frankly, if I wasn't saving for a K-1 and invested in Pentax lenses, I'd probably flip to Sony, but that's a different discussion for a different day. Honestly, I was very impressed with both the A7III and even the A7II. It felt like a Pentax. The dials were a little sunken in for my taste, but I could reach everything I could want fairly easily. Then I moved to Canon and Nikon...

I feel because this is the Pentax forum and not the Canon or Nikon forum this is safe to say, but, what the hell is the draw?! Their FF-cameras have extremely impressive technical specs, but Holy *bleep* do the ergonomics suck! I played with the EOS 5D MkIV, and I couldn't put that fat beast down fast enough. Then I played with the new EOS mirrorless camera. It was better, but still lacked any modicum of comfortability. Now, I have pretty big hands, but my K7 or K3 with the grip felt a million times better in my hand. I've also played with a K1 and it feels like an extension of my hand. Sometimes I'll be sitting around and grab my camera and just hold it (no, for real, I do this. The lens cap doesn't even come off. I just hold it) because it just fits.

Please keep this discussion as civil as possible(?)

06-19-2019, 07:30 PM   #2

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That's how I bought a K3ii, I was mostly set on getting a m43 camera (with the Pentax being the alternative I was considering) but in the store I realized I had to get the k3ii Now, this was a store I visited on a trip, where I lived at the time there was no physical camera store that sold pentax

Last edited by aaacb; 06-19-2019 at 07:37 PM.
06-19-2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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I have my Pentax, *ist D and KP.
But I also have my m4/3. I ended up there while looking for a replacement for an Optio A40. Wanted something a bit more than the P&S. It kinda grew from there.
I'm also using a Sigma SD Quattro. Got it cause I always wanted to try Foveon. Limited to operate, a bit uglier than my KP, but with Images that Blow You Away.
Haven't found a need for FF, so I'm gonna pass on those.
06-19-2019, 08:28 PM   #4

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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
...I feel because this is the Pentax forum and not the Canon or Nikon forum this is safe to say, but, what the hell is the draw?! ...
You mean the draw to only the 2 big brands, Nikon and Canon, right?
I had talked with many Canon and Nikon users, they got their own points drawing them to the system and they are not bad system in any account.
As for me, I a kind of like Canon’s color. But the buttons layout, the interface, the workflow are super confusing to me. Beside that I can change color and saturation in post.
Nikon; to me, it is very uncomfortable in hand. For some reason, big or small body doesn’t matter, the DSLR grip doesn't fell right in my hand. Their mirrorless body doesn't feel that bad, by the way.

Last edited by tokyoscape; 06-19-2019 at 08:35 PM.
06-19-2019, 08:34 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Honestly, I was very impressed with both the A7III and even the A7II. It felt like a Pentax.
Funnily enough, the Sony A7II has frequently been panned for poor ergonomics, and yet to you it feels "like a Pentax", a brand that has long been cited for providing excellent ergonomics.

Taste is a strange thing.
06-19-2019, 08:45 PM   #6
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Lenses, video features, AF (electronics). Advertising probably helps too.

If I didn't use Pentax - likely Sony or Canon (even though I like the ergonomics on my mom's Nikons, I can't use my m42 lenses with Nikon), and I did just pick up a used Canon 24-105 L Canon or Sony w/adapter it is. But I probably won't be picking up a body until closer to Black Friday, or if new models are released though.

Pentax has some really good features, but they don't promote the brand. They could go market it as the landscapist's camera (pixel shift, WR, SR, dual dials, Limiteds), but they don't advertise. But they really do need to boost their AF/focus points, I know that Pentax isn't about fast action, but on the same hand, they have to remain competitive, otherwise they'll get pushed to the wayside, as competitors aren't resting.
06-19-2019, 09:41 PM   #7

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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Taste is a strange thing.
A former Pentaxian I know switched to Nikon because the Nikon have more AF points but he is only using the center point.

QuoteOriginally posted by guinnessman Quote
They could go market it as the landscapist's camera (pixel shift
Pixel shift doesn't suit well landscape photography. Most of the time, landscapes scenes contain moving elements. Pixel shift is great for product photography, reproduction of art, architecture, old cars etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Honestly, I was very impressed with both the A7III and even the A7II.
I wasn't impressed by Sony. I have big hands, that fit well with DSLR such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax and doesn't fit well with Sony. I was impressed by Fuji, except they should be shameful for fitting the same $10 tilt display on their GFX100 that they also use on their entry level / $400 cameras. Sometimes I feel like some camera companies really fool customers.

---------- Post added 20-06-19 at 06:45 ----------

ILC cameras = expensive toys for many.
06-19-2019, 10:01 PM   #8
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Canon make good cameras, but so do several other companies, including Ricoh/Pentax. Market share is way out of proportion with quality. When I see all those people at popular tourist spots sporting Canon cameras, am I to think that their choice was deliberate and well-informed? Based on what?

I better-understand the growing number of Sony shooters I see. MILC have their attractions (e.g., novelty). Maybe as I get older and more frail in body and mind they will appeal to me too.

Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 06-19-2019 at 11:07 PM.
06-20-2019, 01:11 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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Well, without being able to conduct a scientific examination of the "draw" the OP is referring to, I can only rely on my informal experience and perceptions. And the latter both suggest that
  • conformity, given the omnipresence of CanNikon gear already out there in people's hands, and also "what the pros shoot", will likely exert a strong pull towards those brands
  • especially photography newbies are likely to buy what shop assistants set on the counter in front of them, which, again, will likely be CanNikon
  • the button-sniffers and measurebators will be drawn towards what tests well in arbitrary laboratory reviews and/or features prominently in the ads they encounter in the "photography" magazines and websites they devour
  • the (would-be) hipsters will feel a strong pull towards the big players in the mirrorless game, notably Sony and Fujifilm
  • for existing Pentax users, as with so many other things in life, the grass may look greener on the other side of the fence (oh, the irony, since arguably one of the best Pentax colours happens to be green!)
Don't get me wrong: All of the non-Pentax systems, have a lot to offer for actual photography, I'm sure of that. But I have also observed that the more I focus on practical photography and come to enjoy the wonderful combination of ergonomics, build, user experience, and output quality that is so typical of my Pentax gear, I simply don't feel it, that draw.
06-20-2019, 01:45 AM   #10
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All systems from all of the different brands have the same large subset of common functionality - it's just that it may be implemented and controlled differently.

I think we get used to what we shoot. So, if someone cuts their photographic teeth with Canon, they get used to Canon's way of doing things. And assuming the equipment does what they need, they're likely to stay with the brand. Same with Nikon and the other brands. Sure, some folks will switch over time, but when they do, they'll encounter (sometimes very) different design and ergonomics that can seem daunting and quite illogical due to a lack of familiarity.

I remember when I first got my Sony-A99-based Hasselblad HV - after years of shooting nothing but Pentax - I was surprised (not in a good way) by the menus and general user interface. It took me a while to figure it all out, and for things to become embedded in my memory. But over a relatively short space of time I got used to it. These days, I can use my K-3 and my HV in the same afternoon and not think about the differences.
06-20-2019, 05:39 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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I don't trust Sony anymore, their products don't seem to be very robustly built. Their lens ecosystem is really expensive, too.

Advertising works. Name recognition works. Design works. The Fuji cameras look great, and are reviewed well enough but again - expensive.
The basic Nikon and Canon offerings feel really cheap, though. I'm sure they wouldn't put up with my lifestyle.

People will ask about my gear when I do presentations. I don't badmouth any systems - if they want to get out there and start getting photos, I'm here to help. I lead with lenses. There are plenty of options for 100mm range macro lenses and they're all good. Manual flash is cheap enough, even a speedlight is perfectly usable. I'll mention mine is weathersealed, though the lens and Sunpak flash are not. They don't need to use the same system I have, though I will mention other things like good ergonomics for manual operation and the lack of AA filter for maximum sharpness.
06-20-2019, 05:58 AM   #12
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I've never heard anyone ever say a Sony felt like a Pentax before, usually the Sony is too small and feels like a toy and the Pentax is too big and feels like a tank.

The draw for me to Canon was lenses, AF, AF points, megapixels, frame rate, buffer and lenses.

When I switched it took some time to get used to the big wheel on the back for aperture control, I think the Pentax design is better having the wheel in the top right. The thumb stick on the Canons I prefer to the Pentax design and also the battery grip for Canon. I find it more convenient to just pull the tray out and replace the two batteries on the Canon 5dsr than having to take the grip off to get the battery in the body of the Pentax.

The feeling in the hand was the same for me, K1, K3 with grips compared to 5dsr with grip and 1DX2. I guess my hands are big because the Pentax bodies and 5dsr without battery grips feel to small and the 1DX2 feels perfect.

I loved the K1 especially with the DA*300 and I wish I could've kept it but after a while it just didn't make sense because I just wasn't using it.
06-20-2019, 06:43 AM   #13
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For members like Kenspo it had nothing to do with ergonomics but with things like frame rate a buffer clearing. Try 10 shots with your K1 and then see how long it takes to clear the buffer He was missing shots and that is how he makes his living. Canon and Nikon and others offer a more complete photographic system and do not rely on 20, 30 and 40 year old optics to complete their lens portfolio.

Pentax does not seem to want to compete at that level. I am waiting to see what the next generation of Pentax DSLR's brings. That and a set of full frame teleconverters. While all of this may be due to the excuse of limited resources at Ricoh, that is not the photographer's problem. They need a set of tools to get the job done and need to purchase whatever helps them in that regard.

My biggest temptation now is the Olympus MFT line of cameras. They have just released a massive software upgrade for their OM-D E-M1 Mark II that ups it's features and performance level to almost as good as their OM-D E-M1X in many areas. Plus they released a big upgrade to their computer interface software too. I'm 68 and facing certain health related realities that may force me to move to a smaller and lighter system. MFT may be it and Olympus certainly has some appeal to me. If only they had an optical viewfinder.

For now sticking to Pentax, but not spending anymore money over what I already have. Next move up to Ricoh.
06-20-2019, 07:06 AM - 4 Likes   #14
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I just go out and shoot, as long as I'm getting images I'm fine.

I don't care how old the lenses are, if I like the rendering, I use them, and I can, because of IBIS.

It is interesting to see how many people seem to have problems I don't have. But honestly, not one of the "why I have to have something other than Pentax" makes a lot of sense to me. Kenspo's criticisms, I totally agree with, but I'm not a pro and I don't shoot concerts. I'm not going to humour most of these observations with even a response beyond "pfffft".

The draw of other cameras, Canon 1Dx and Nikon D4 and Sony A9 for action.
Nikon D850, best "one camera does all camera" and possibly the only choice for hi res wildlife.

Beyond those, IMHO, people who look at change are nit picking. I you have the money, get yourself another toy if that's what pleases you. If you think there are things you have to have, I'm sceptical. Why people throw out these superfluous half imagined reasons for buying one camera or another, I have nod idea.

I won't go 4/3 because I value dynamic range and low light performance. APS-c is barely adequate.
I won't go for better AF because of cost.
I'm looking for image quality... end of discussion.
Look at DxO. Pentax IQ is up there with the best. That's all I really care about.

Most of these types of discussions are full of "I'm so good Pentax isn't good enough for me" and other airhead opinions.
I have heard so many tell me why I can't do what I do, it gets a little tiring.
I just yawn, go out and do what is "impossible" post my pictures, and block it all out. I'd love to spend more time helping folks get the results they want, but part of the problem for many is, they are blaming the camera instead of asking "How do I do this." Then they defend their criticism of the camera.... there's only so much time in day.

And it's really pointless arguing with "what's good enough for you isn't good enough for me."

Last edited by normhead; 06-20-2019 at 08:46 AM.
06-20-2019, 07:29 AM - 7 Likes   #15
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There are other cameras?

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