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04-11-2021, 06:35 PM   #1
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Point and shoot vs superzoom

Hi,

I have K5 and K3 and some great lenses, like Tamron 17-50, 90, FA 35, FA 77, 60-250 etc.

I am thinking about a walkaround lens so I do not need to change lenses when biking. Pentax 18-135 or 28-105 should work well, but I was wondering how do they compare optically to cameras like Canon G7x II or Sony RX100 III, which are almost the same price as the two Pentax lenses. I am just concerned about image quality, not the weight, size, view finder, etc. Canon and Sony have much brighter lenses, and also much smaller sensors. Glass quality is another factor, so being in the same price range, any recommendations?

Thanks,
Kamran

04-11-2021, 06:48 PM   #2
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I would suggest you to consider the DA 18-250mm (an oldie but goodie) and DA18-270mm as all around superzoom. I have both. While DA18-270mm has two nice additional featrures (longer reach, silent AF), the DA18-250mm is probably a better value for money.
I also have a Sony RX100va.
So which one is better?

I prefer the Sony for its pocket size.
Otherwise, I prefer to use my dSLR with a all-around zoom. I prefer the controls of the K3/K7/L01 over those of the Sony, and overall I feel that have more controls with dSLR. And (more importantly) i can change lens if required, for example for a DA Limited pancake lens that fit nicely in my pocket. I would add that the main limitation of the all-around zoom is the low light.
I hope that the comment may help.
04-11-2021, 08:09 PM   #3
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The image quality of your dslr will mostly be better at some focal lengths. The 18-135 is softer in the corners than the Sony RX100 mk iii from what I have seen. The 28-105 lacks wide angle but offers better iq. A 16-85 might be the best aligned to the task; even better when paired with the 60-250.
04-11-2021, 08:11 PM   #4
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I have a Sony RX100 and in good light and good conditions it produces images that are acceptable compared to K-3. But in lower light it quickly shows the limits of the smaller sensor. It is handy and great for snapshots and I often (precovid) took it along shopping or strolling where a big camera would be awkward. But for serious shooting I think the APS-C sensor clearly has an edge.

If you are staying with APS-C I would suggest the 18-135 rather than the 28-105. My wife uses it almost exclusively and gets great results.

04-12-2021, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I have not been disappointed in the results obtained from my DA 18-250. It has been a great performer in situations where lens changes are next to impossible. It is a lens that only comes out in those situations though.
04-12-2021, 02:23 AM   #6
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If size and weight of camera plus superzoom is no issue for you while biking, I would support the 18-250 mm. Which is a quite good performer over all. The 18-135 has strengths and it has flaws, that make it impossible to recommend it as a universal lens.


If size and weight matters a point and shoot is a capable solution. But why don't you use your smartphone?
04-12-2021, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote

If size and weight matters a point and shoot is a capable solution. But why don't you use your smartphone?
I can answer for myself but not for anyone else that a cell is a poor ergonomic experience. Additionally some very fine lenses have been on some nicer point and shoot gear which is a real benefit. I took a Panasonic lx-7 to London and Paris and the images crushed those taken by a cellphone at that time (2016). Even now that same camera outperforms my iPhone 11 in most situations other than those the iPhone excels at. But even when the iPhone is competitive or better, the shooting ergonomics are pretty awful.
04-12-2021, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I can answer for myself but not for anyone else that a cell is a poor ergonomic experience. Additionally some very fine lenses have been on some nicer point and shoot gear which is a real benefit. I took a Panasonic lx-7 to London and Paris and the images crushed those taken by a cellphone at that time (2016). Even now that same camera outperforms my iPhone 11 in most situations other than those the iPhone excels at. But even when the iPhone is competitive or better, the shooting ergonomics are pretty awful.
Thank your for the explanation UncleVanya! I'am sorry for the misunderstanding . I am fully aware of the limitations a smartphone has. I just wanted to know what features the OP misses on a cellphone, or the other way round, which features his superzoom or compact should have. I feel myself completely lost, when I get so small an information about what the camera should be capable or what for which subjects it is to be used.

Perhaps I should have written: There are sure superzooms or compacts that are able to deliver excellent image quality (under certain restrictions), but we can not recommend any without further information.

By the way - my Galaxy S5 has way better ergonomics then my Nikon S1 . Pentax engineers would have created a better interface within 15 minutes.

Just looked up the Panasonic lx-7. Nice camera!


Last edited by Papa_Joe; 04-12-2021 at 07:34 AM.
04-12-2021, 08:08 AM   #9
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I asked myself this question recently, what would be a good setup to take on a casual biking/hiking trip.

One of the strongest options I considered was to just add a prime (a DA 21mm) to my K-S1 or K-50 and be done with it.

A 2nd option I considered was a cheaper RX100 or one of the equivalent Canon cameras, if I could find it. Of course their advantage is the pocketability. The only one that I *might* be able to consider price-wise would be the RX100 mark I or II with its f/1.8-4.9 lens. That lens wouldn't be much better than a f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom when you consider aperture, and it would be quite worse at the long end. But portability is good, except that it also means cramped controls, so I gave up on that option rather quickly - there are DSLR setups that aren't very heavy so I decided to go just for that - and my decision came down to two options, a DA 21mm or a light zoom (so something like the DA 16-85mm, DA 18-135mm or DA 18-250/270mm was out, too heavy).

The option I ended up choosing was the light, retractable HD DA 18-50mm f/4-5.6 lens on my K-S1 or K-50, and I was able to find a used copy for a good price. The range isn't that different from an RX100 (28-75mm instead of 28-100mm in the case of the RX100 mk I and II, 24-70mm in the case of Mk III and newer). The images are sharp from wide open and have beautiful color and detail (the HD version of the 18-50 design, I feel, finally gets the best of the original 18-55 design, which I suspect was under-coated, and the HD DA I suspect has coatings in more elements, hence the "higher resolution" claims in the Ricoh website).

With the K-S1 the setup looks like a bridge camera - I was able to sneak this into a wedding a couple of weeks ago and nobody cared. I wasn't going to take pictures of the wedding itself, I just wanted to take some pictures of our family in that beautiful farm setting, while we were all dressed up But with the K-S1 there's an issue with shutter shake, so I might take the lens on a K-50 sometimes instead - not quite as light but still quite lighter than the K-3, K200D or K10D. Or I'll just take the K-S1 anyway and watch my shutter speed.

I'm quite happy with this purchase... in case you're interested in the thread where I discussed this, it's here: Crazy?? DA 21 (SMC) vs HD 18-50mm for very small walk-around lens - PentaxForums.com
04-12-2021, 08:13 AM   #10
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What sort of light conditions will you be biking in: will you usually have daylight with just light shade, or will you be mountain biking through heavy forest, or road biking at night? How large will you be printing or viewing?

In good light, small-sensor (compared to APS-C) compacts like the RX100 can give good results comparable to a DSLR. Image quality quickly decreases in low light. (Note that it's been ~4 years since I evaluated an RX100, but I assume newer models haven't gotten worse.)
04-12-2021, 09:14 AM   #11
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Thanks all for lots of great information.

I have Samsung S10, which has an ok camera, I was hoping a 1" sensor camera yields MUCH better results, more zoom, etc.

Since I have Tamron 17-50, I do not think 16-85 will be much different.

DA 18-50 is nice lens, but I think larger reach can be useful for a walkaround lens.

I will not be biking at night or through heavy forests, mostly in the streets/trails around the city in the afternoon and early evening.

Continuing reading reviews, it looks like 18-135 is a good option, and it looks like Sigma 18-300 has almost same IQ (better than Pentax/Tamron 18-250 ?), but larger and heavier. I found this comparison which you might find interesting: Pentax 18-135 vs. Sigma 18-300 - PewPewF I prefer 18-135 pics but they are not much different.

Best,
Kamran

Last edited by kamisu; 04-12-2021 at 09:19 AM.
04-12-2021, 09:25 AM   #12
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For reach and portability with very good image quality in real world use cases, on a Pentax camera, the DA 18-135mm probably just can't be beat.
My suggestion for the 18-50 was basically for minimal size/weight, since you were considering point and shoots with a similar reach range.
04-12-2021, 12:01 PM   #13
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In the dslr zoom lens category...

The da 18-135 and Da 16-85 are often compared with the 18-135 the losing lens in many ways but not all. Up to around 70mm the IQ is similar with the widest angles 18-20mm being a bit better on the 16-85 from what I have seen. (I donít own the 16-85 btw). Additionally the 16-17 range is much better than the 18-135 can manage there (WINK). at the other end the edges start to break down at 70mm on the 18-135 but the center remains good. The 16-85 is better at 70-85 than the 18-135 if performance outside the center is important in the shots taken at that focal length. Past 85 the 18-135 of course beats the 16-85 (another Wink). More importantly if you crop the 85mm image from a 16-85 to match a 135mm image from the 18-135 the 18-135 beats the 16-85.

So my take is this:

IF you can live without 16-17mm AND...

IF reach and weight are bug factors in your decision AND...

You need a simple one lens solution.

Then pick the 18-135 over the 16-85. If you can suffer through lens changes add the 55-300 PLM (assuming compatible body) and you have both ends covered. For a bit less weight the 18-135 plus DA 15 is another option.
04-12-2021, 12:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
In the dslr zoom lens category...

The da 18-135 and Da 16-85 are often compared with the 18-135 the losing lens in many ways but not all. Up to around 70mm the IQ is similar with the widest angles 18-20mm being a bit better on the 16-85 from what I have seen. (I donít own the 16-85 btw). Additionally the 16-17 range is much better than the 18-135 can manage there (WINK). at the other end the edges start to break down at 70mm on the 18-135 but the center remains good. The 16-85 is better at 70-85 than the 18-135 if performance outside the center is important in the shots taken at that focal length. Past 85 the 18-135 of course beats the 16-85 (another Wink). More importantly if you crop the 85mm image from a 16-85 to match a 135mm image from the 18-135 the 18-135 beats the 16-85.

So my take is this:

IF you can live without 16-17mm AND...

IF reach and weight are bug factors in your decision AND...

You need a simple one lens solution.

Then pick the 18-135 over the 16-85. If you can suffer through lens changes add the 55-300 PLM (assuming compatible body) and you have both ends covered. For a bit less weight the 18-135 plus DA 15 is another option.
Thanks for the comparison, I just googled to find out how 16-85-cropped compares to 18-135, and could not find any answers.

I already have 15 mm, and I like it a lot.

As you said, 18-135 is a good one lens solution, as lens changing is annoying to me and most importantly sometimes causes missing a shot.
04-12-2021, 12:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kamisu Quote
Thanks for the comparison, I just googled to find out how 16-85-cropped compares to 18-135, and could not find any answers.

I already have 15 mm, and I like it a lot.

As you said, 18-135 is a good one lens solution, as lens changing is annoying to me and most importantly sometimes causes missing a shot.
I think the early review of the 16-85 on Pentaxforums tackled the cropping vs 135 issue. On mobile it is hard to search.
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