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12-10-2019, 04:35 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
However, from a technical standpoint, will more megapixels give sharper photos if I need to crop heavily for nature shots?
As noted above, more megapickles will provide greater challenge to your technique than anything else. You might gain some advantage for cropping (not really a sound strategy), but only after you have learned how to nail focus and subdue all sources of camera movement. FWIW, I seldom plan on a 1/3 crop to make up for distance or lack of long enough lenses. All the crop does is magnify error.

My advice echos those above in that the target is 24 Mpx and that there are some amazing deals at present on both the KP and K-70. That said, a low mileage K-3II might also fit the bill.


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12-10-2019, 04:36 PM - 1 Like   #17
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in my humble opinion, good photography is a formula:

knowledge + experience + equipment

and looking at what some posters here obtain with what some might think is " obsolete " equipment supports that opinion
12-10-2019, 05:01 PM - 2 Likes   #18
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@stevebrot 's use of the word "target" triggered a thought: when shooting wildlife, I have a "target" image resolution of 2560 pixels on the longest side. This gives me room for cropping and also increase picture quality by downsizing. The reason for the 2560 pixel size is because up until last year I had an Android tablet with a resolution of 2560x1600, and that was the device most commonly used to view my photos (other than me at my PC).

Of course I want the quality of my photos to be as good as possible, but I keep my target resolution in mind when determining what gear to use and how close I need to be to my subject before I commit to pressing the shutter button. I also consider what kind of composition might be pleasing.


Example: a junco enduring a snowstorm, shot from a distance of 25 feet. K-5 II + Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 200-500mm F5.6 (31A) @ 500mm

12-10-2019, 05:03 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
Hi Slyfox, your point is well taken. However, from a technical standpoint, will more megapixels give sharper photos if I need to crop heavily for nature shots? If so, I'll seriously consider an upgrade from my K50. I often drool when I see the pin sharp photos that my sister-in-law takes of distant images with her $2000 CanonEOS.
If this is your goal -- comparison with a much more expensive Canon -- then either the KP -new- for about $750 or a used K-1 for roughly $1000. The full-frame K-1 will give you so much more, however, it will also reduce the apparent focal length of your lenses (being full-frame and not an ASPC camera).

As others mentioned, the selection of lenses is also a question? What is your sister using on her expensive Canon (which model is it?)? She may be using high grade lenses and your photography could take a step up by spending money on lenses rather than camera body.

The lenses can always be used with whatever future camera body you decide to buy. So, they're "longer lasting" than a body.

Meanwhile, one more consideration: The replacement for the Pentax K-3II is about to arrive in 2020. It will undoubtedly be a nice step up. Maybe look into the level of lenses your sister uses, see what the Pentax equivalents might be (we'd be glad to help there!), and wait for the new K-3II replacement model to come out. Pricing will likely be $1400-1500 or so. But, that also means that used K-3IIs will be on the market used as people rush to get the latest thing.

I know ... not much help, right? So much to consider!
If I were you, I'd learn a bit more about your sisters camera model and the lenses. Then let us know! Cheers!


Last edited by yucatanPentax; 12-10-2019 at 05:10 PM.
12-10-2019, 05:23 PM   #20
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Your sister probably also has expensive Canon L lenses to go with that 2,000 dollar camera... not sure you can compete with that

BUT

You might get great results on one specific area of photography if you invest it all in that.

Example 1... if you up your budget just a little bit to around 1,300 you could buy a used DFA 150-450mm lens that would give you really good results for birding even with your K-50. It's a big beast though, better save up for a tripod as well

The K-3 and DA*300mm f4 would also get you there in quality I think, but not have as much reach.

Example 2... getting your budget up to about 1,200 dollars would allow you to buy a really nice landscape lens that would give you great sharp results even on your K-50 - the DA*11-18mm f/2.8.
12-10-2019, 05:24 PM   #21
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What about... lenses you use?

Prior to upgrade your camera, you may specify us which lens you have/use.

A camera upgrade is always nice (and fun), but if you still use the (good) kit lens, you will also notice a better IQ with better glass. One thing to consider is if you already have good quality lens or buy some, they will remain with you forever... while you will upgrade your camera every 2 to 5 years.

As for my situation, I bought the Sigma 17-70mm (C) to upgrade the kit lens (paired with K-5ii).
Now that I have a K-3, I still benefit from my “better than kit” lens.
12-10-2019, 06:19 PM   #22
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I had a K-50 for years; I loved that camera and used it a lot. However, after the KP had been out for a while, I got one of those, too. Found I loved the KP a lot more and never picked up the K-50 anymore. Gave the K-50 to one of my sons with a few APS-C lenses. I think from time to time that I ought to get a "backup" KP.
12-10-2019, 06:23 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
My primary camera is a K50 which is capable of taking sharp pictures. I've owned it for several years and I am generally satisfied with the quality of the photos but I'm always trying to get sharper images by improving my techniques. I have been looking at the reviews of Pentax DSLR cameras in this Forum and I find that for about $1000 the K-5iis should get better sharpness. My K50 is rated 9.4 in image quality compared to 9.8 for the K5iis. Both cameras have 16 Megapixels and the same resolution (3264x6016). Is the difference between 9.4 and 9.6 meaningful or will both cameras give the same image quality if I use the same lens on both? The KP camera is in current production and is rated 9.9 and has 24.32 Megapixels. I often need to crop my images a lot for distant shots such as for bird photography and I am wondering if the larger number of megapixels on the KP will make it outperform the K-5iis and K50 for this type of photography? The KP is also offered at about $1000 which is about what I want pay. What say ye learned Pentaxians.
FWIW, I agree with Adam. I have the K-5, K5iis and K3ii and if image quality is what you are after the KP would be the better option. Mind you I find that using the k-5iis, the image quality is very good but if I spread a little more time on technique and setting up the shot, the K-3ii does a fabulous job. I can only imagine how much better the KP would be (yes I have KP envy but waiting for the new APSC). Also price wise the KP is now a good buy at $746 at Adorama and B&H. Being a New Yorker like you, I find myself shopping at Adorama too often but in a good way.

12-10-2019, 06:28 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
The K5ii goes for closer to $300, not $1000 (the average prices on the user review page are skewed towards MSRP).
It should be barely different from the K-5p as both have the same sensor. The KP would have much better IQ, however, and has been selling for around $700 this last Black Friday.

What do you mean by "sharp" here? Since you mention cropping for birds, I assume you talk about the detail captured by the sensor. If that's the case, then the KP will definitely give you more cropping margin -although 16 to 24 MP is less of a jump than it would seem.

Lastly, pay no mind to the numerical scores of the cameras/lenses. Those metrics are quite flawed as they depend on the users' opinion and criteria; what is an "8" for me might be a "10" for someone else, or a "5" for another one.
Hi Serkevan, I indeed mean better fine detail in enlarged images. Before cropping, the photos often look sharp but the detail is often fuzzy upon cropping. You are right when reviewers rate sharpness of images. You sometimes see three people giving a 10 rating but if one other gives a 7 it drops the average significantly.

---------- Post added 12-10-19 at 08:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
You will definitely get better images upgrading your K50. Like others have said $1000 is way to high for a K5, you can get a K3II at KEH for $599 or a K3 for $439.

You didn't mention what lens you are using but if you had a budget of $1000 I would pick up a K3 or K3II and a DA*300 F4. It's slow focusing but the images are great from it.
Hi Kilo, I use a DA 18-135, a DA12-24, and a Tamron 18-300. All are pretty good lenses I think. I recently bought a used Pentax M300mm, f/4, for birding because of the excellent reviews in this Forum. A few shots showed that it is excellent in the sharpness department even though it's old. The lower than expected prices for alternate Pentax bodies that you and others have noted is encouraging me to upgrade. Thanks.

---------- Post added 12-10-19 at 08:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mhoule418 Quote
Prior to upgrade your camera, you may specify us which lens you have/use.

A camera upgrade is always nice (and fun), but if you still use the (good) kit lens, you will also notice a better IQ with better glass. One thing to consider is if you already have good quality lens or buy some, they will remain with you forever... while you will upgrade your camera every 2 to 5 years.

As for my situation, I bought the Sigma 17-70mm (C) to upgrade the kit lens (paired with K-5ii).
Now that I have a K-3, I still benefit from my “better than kit” lens.
Hi mhoule, thanks for your advice. I own and use a DA12-24, a DA 18-135, a Tamron 28-300, and a recently bought Pentax M300mm f/4. I believe these lenses are as excellent as I need for my long-term use. I hope that by upgrading from the K50, any extra megapixels will give me "sharper images when I severely crop my images.

---------- Post added 12-10-19 at 08:58 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Your sister probably also has expensive Canon L lenses to go with that 2,000 dollar camera... not sure you can compete with that

BUT

You might get great results on one specific area of photography if you invest it all in that.

Example 1... if you up your budget just a little bit to around 1,300 you could buy a used DFA 150-450mm lens that would give you really good results for birding even with your K-50. It's a big beast though, better save up for a tripod as well

The K-3 and DA*300mm f4 would also get you there in quality I think, but not have as much reach.

Example 2... getting your budget up to about 1,200 dollars would allow you to buy a really nice landscape lens that would give you great sharp results even on your K-50 - the DA*11-18mm f/2.8.
Hi Christian, I'd love to get a long zoom lenses but would rather spend money on a better body. I have a lot of good modern Pentax lenses and many old legacy lenses (Pentax and others) that are excellent. I just bought a used Pentax M300mm f/4 lenses for nature shots ($400) because of the great reviews in this Forum. It's not very long physically and preliminary shots on the K50 are better than my Tamron 28-300mm lens.
12-11-2019, 12:31 AM   #25
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In terms of detail and the ability to crop, the KP is stellar but I would go and hold one first as its ergonomics are a little different. The K3 is a stunning camera and you should be able to get a good body for £500 then spend on good glass. Have you considered vintage MF glass? Much cheaper. The KP works for me because I love small lenses but consider the K3ii as a serious alternative because it is a pro build tested up to 200k actuations
12-11-2019, 01:46 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Yes, but the caveat is you need to use good technique to ensure you are getting maximum sharpness. For example, with my K-5 II, I could usually be not careful about my technique and get sharp photos @ 400mm with a shutter speed of 1/500s. But when I upgraded to my K-3 II, I found I needed either increase my shutter to 1/750s, or be more mindful and deliberate when shooting at a slower speed.

For me, I found going from the K-5 II's 16MP w/AA filter to the K-3 II's filterless 24MP a bit of a revelation in resolving power.
And good lenses, if you plan to crop heavily you more or less have to use better glass than a superzoom.
12-11-2019, 01:51 AM   #27
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A few months ago I upgraded from a K-50 to a K-70, and found it to be quite a significant upgrade. A KP would be a good option too, but in my case there was enough of a price difference to make the K-70 a bit more attractive, and my K-50 is still in good order with a relatively low shutter count, so I figured the extra durability of the KP probably wasn't worth the extra cost, and I could put the difference towards better lenses.
12-11-2019, 01:55 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
Hi Serkevan, I indeed mean better fine detail in enlarged images. Before cropping, the photos often look sharp but the detail is often fuzzy upon cropping. You are right when reviewers rate sharpness of images. You sometimes see three people giving a 10 rating but if one other gives a 7 it drops the average significantly.
That sounds like you are not getting perfect focus or have some motion blur. It would be great if you could upload some pictures that show this fuzziness so that we can give an extra hand


QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
Hi Kilo, I use a DA 18-135, a DA12-24, and a Tamron 18-300. All are pretty good lenses I think. I recently bought a used Pentax M300mm, f/4, for birding because of the excellent reviews in this Forum. A few shots showed that it is excellent in the sharpness department even though it's old. The lower than expected prices for alternate Pentax bodies that you and others have noted is encouraging me to upgrade. Thanks.
Hi Christian, I'd love to get a long zoom lenses but would rather spend money on a better body. I have a lot of good modern Pentax lenses and many old legacy lenses (Pentax and others) that are excellent. I just bought a used Pentax M300mm f/4 lenses for nature shots ($400) because of the great reviews in this Forum. It's not very long physically and preliminary shots on the K50 are better than my Tamron 28-300mm lens.
The Tamron is not going to give you stellar results since it's a superzoom; they are made for ultimate convenience, not to have the absolute best image quality.
Which lenses do you have apart from those? The 18-135 is great for travel but I'm not sure about the IQ once you get down to cropping, and I have no experience with the 12-24.
Still, I cannot stress this enough: the lenses are more important than the body. Good lenses do not have to be super expensive if you're willing to look past some inconveniences (no silent AF -or AF at all! , probably more chromatic aberrations, worse corners and this and that). Older Pentax (or other reputable 3rd parties) prime lenses are typically fantastic, although zooms are more hit and miss until the models from, say, the 1990s where their quality really took off.
12-11-2019, 06:13 AM   #29
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I've got very little to add to the above (as a very happy K-50 user), but buying a newer and/or more 'pro' camera gets you benefits far beyond the extra megapixels. The ergonomics, reliability and IQ at higher isos are probably just as important. If you seek a comparison with the canon camera, compare the entire system. Camera, lens and ability of the photographer. Yes, I admit to lusting after some new camera, but the K-50 still isn't the limiting factor in my photography.

all the best,
Hans
12-11-2019, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoutHans Quote
I've got very little to add to the above (as a very happy K-50 user), but buying a newer and/or more 'pro' camera gets you benefits far beyond the extra megapixels. The ergonomics, reliability and IQ at higher isos are probably just as important. If you seek a comparison with the canon camera, compare the entire system. Camera, lens and ability of the photographer. Yes, I admit to lusting after some new camera, but the K-50 still isn't the limiting factor in my photography.

all the best,
Hans
Wise words. I've been taking photos for decades and still realize that I have lots to learn about technique. My lenses are among the best around and I can't blame them for lack of image quality. Many of you say that more megapixels than my K50 has will improve my shots if I develop the extra skills needed to use them. That's good advice.

---------- Post added 12-11-19 at 09:08 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
In terms of detail and the ability to crop, the KP is stellar but I would go and hold one first as its ergonomics are a little different. The K3 is a stunning camera and you should be able to get a good body for £500 then spend on good glass. Have you considered vintage MF glass? Much cheaper. The KP works for me because I love small lenses but consider the K3ii as a serious alternative because it is a pro build tested up to 200k actuations
Hi Cerebrum, I recently bought a Pentax M300mm, f/4, lens for about $400. It was, of course used, but in great condition. I wanted a sharp lens, at a moderate price, for nature shots. I see many photographers hauling around telephoto lenses that are huge and inconvenient for travel. The Pentax lens is a nice size and preliminary hand-held shots show it to have excellent IQ as the reviews in this Forum indicate.
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