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04-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #16
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if not go to Welcome to dxomark.com (beta), a free resource dedicated to RAW-based camera image quality and select the D700 and the k20d for comparison, then look at the DR numbers and the low light sensitivity mark, "light years" and "glaring weakness" are of course both subjective measures, and what they mean to me may be different than what they mean to you... but those dxo marks for me are significant.

whether digital is significantly better than film in low light performance is irrelevant to the OPs question, as is the relative value of one camera system over another, my comments were simply a somewhat tongue in cheek response on how to get better performance in a concert setting. They were base largely on my friends experience from when he switched to a d700 from a k20d.. He was the first to use "light years" and "significant difference" when discussing the usefulness of the two cameras in the exact same situation as the OP. He shoots almost exclusively in concert settings.

Anytime anyone suggests that another system might be a way to go all the pentaxians, of which I am one, start rambling on about relative cost of the two bodies, the cost of IS lenses, the stellar performance of Pentax primes,,, all great arguments, but irrelevant to the OPs theme.


Last edited by mrt10x; 04-23-2009 at 01:01 PM.
04-23-2009, 04:08 PM   #17
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When judging IQ, pictures means more to me than numbers. And the ones I've seen show a "noticeable" (not earthshattering) improvement viewed at 100%, but much less so viewed at web or typical print size.

Anyhow, I don't have enough experience with the D700 to say much more, but the term "glaring weakness" implies Pentax is actually worse than the competition's similarly-priced cameras. That is definitely *not* the case. Again, with similar levels of NR applied, Pentax does well or better. on;y if you go out of your way to comapre an APS-C camera with a FF one is there an unequivocable difference. And since Canon & Nikon make APS-C cameras too, I guess they must also have "glaring weaknesses". A "weakness" shared by every single manufacturer can hardly be called "glaring".
04-23-2009, 04:34 PM   #18
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Have you had any luck using the Spot-Beam focus assist available on the AF-540FGZ? I am planning to shoot some similar venues this summer would be interested in your experience here.
04-23-2009, 09:57 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrt10x Quote
Now there is a smiley.. but I was pretty serious. I have been shooting Pentax for 35 years, so dont go all postal on me.. but if I was shooting in low light all the time I would do whatever it took to get into a Nikon D700, Its high ISO performance is light years better than Pentax's. I love my K20 and my K10, but high ISO is their glaring weakness. IMHO
I could agree with what you are trying to say. Pentax D-SLRs do have a problem with focusing in low light. It is frustating to say the least. But photography is all about compromises and compensation to some extent and the OP was asking about his K20D on a Pentax forum.

I have used a relative's C****n 30D, and it did perform better. But I OWN a Pentax K10D and I will do whatever it takes to get the pics in ANY situation.

Sure Pentax could and should do a better job of keeping up with the competition, but they have not thus far.

When you buy a D-SLR, you are buying into a system and this is were Pentax rules. (As far as legacy glass is concerned).

You have acsess to a lot of old, used, but good (alot of times ecxellent) lenses at reasonable prices. The new glass is also excellent IMHO(some better than others).

The bodies are also a bargain if you look and wait long enough.

I am not trying to say you did an evil deed by bringing up N***n; you were giving an opinion and trying to be helpful to the OP.

Lets talk about what we can do to make the best of what we have Pentax wise, and give advice about OUR equipment; not the competition.

04-24-2009, 12:23 AM   #20
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QuoteQuote:
Mrt10x: I love my K20 and my K10, but high ISO is their glaring weakness. IMHO

There is nothing subjective about your above comment. And it is completely without substantiation. The fact is the K20d performs at least as well as its competition with respect to high ISO. To say the ISO performance of the K20 is a "glaring weakness" is to ignore the facts.

The D700 is a full-frame camera. You can not compare a full-frame camera to a APS-c, and then say the APS-c has glaring weaknesses when placed along side of the full frame.

QuoteQuote:
Mrt10x: They were base largely on my friends experience from when he switched to a d700 from a k20d..
Try basing your comments on your own experience and you are less likely to run into these kinds of problems again.
04-24-2009, 01:00 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by quenched Quote
I only tried using the 1ds in the club once and it was a nightmare
Sorry to double back, but since this is a pretty serious camera i'd actually like to know why it was such a 'nightmare' as said..
04-24-2009, 02:10 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
There is nothing subjective about your above comment. And it is completely without substantiation. The fact is the K20d performs at least as well as its competition with respect to high ISO. To say the ISO performance of the K20 is a "glaring weakness" is to ignore the facts.

The D700 is a full-frame camera. You can not compare a full-frame camera to a APS-c, and then say the APS-c has glaring weaknesses when placed along side of the full frame.



Try basing your comments on your own experience and you are less likely to run into these kinds of problems again.
Just because you dont know the definition of subjective doesn't make it not subjective. Whether it is a fair comparison, $700 vs $2600, APS vs FF ,,, again all irrelevant, if you want to shoot available light in a concert situation, and make prints bigger than 8x10, the k20d is the wrong tool. If the OP asked what is the best $700 DSLR out there, the k20d wins hands down, not even a close second from canikon, but if I was serious about shooting available light at high ISO in a concert setting, I would not be shooting Pentax at this time. Dont get your feathers all ruffled, every camera cant do everything well, canikon does not make a camera at the K20d's price point that can hold a candle to it, but the D700 blows the k20d away in low light, I have made the prints on my 3800 that show it clear as day.. that is my personal experience.

Last edited by mrt10x; 04-24-2009 at 02:50 AM.
04-24-2009, 04:19 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrt10x Quote
If the OP asked what is the best $700 DSLR out there, the k20d wins hands down, not even a close second from canikon
The OP did not ask what was the best DSLR for $700, but actually about his/her K20D. So lets focus on that. mrt10x you were the one that bought the D700 into the thread. Lets keep in mind that quenched has a 1Ds MKii and is talking about two cameras here.

04-24-2009, 10:01 AM   #24
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Fractal, I really dont get into internet arguments often, but the OP asked for advice or getting better results in the area he was going to be doing a lot of photography, low light concerts with no flash. He asked for advice, in fact the title of the thread implies he is unhappy with the performance of his k20d, so I feel my OP was in keeping with his request for "advice?" not "advice on my k20d" It was you and Marc who turned this into a "dare not say anything negative about the almighty church of pentax," not me. I continue to stay with Pentax, and will for the foreseeable future, despite having the resources to jump to a 5dmkii or d700 if I wished,,,, back to my points all along, if I was going to be doing the majority of my shooting in low light, high ISO areas, I would be looking at a D700.... still valid "advice" in keeping with the OP's request. IMHO, YMMV
04-24-2009, 09:55 PM   #25
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Mrt10x, giving advice to the OP to use the D700 is fine--I do not believe anyone here has a problem with that. I think you are missing what so many are trying to convey. No arguments--just discussion, respectfully.

I will repeat: the K20 performs at least as well, if not better, as other cameras in its class at high ISO--that is all we are trying to tell you.

No one is debating the fact that the D700 performs better at high ISO than does the K20d-it costs 4 times as much! For 4 times the cost, I, and many others, think it should do even better at high ISO than it does, The D700 only has about a stop and a half high ISO advantage over the K20--it has usable high ISO up to 12,800.

This below comment of yours is the source of much of the debate here:

QuoteQuote:
Mrt10x: I love my K20 and my K10, but high ISO is their glaring weakness. IMHO
I think everyone in this thread is realistic about the limitations of cameras in general, and Pentax in specific. Would you say the D300, the Sony A700 and the Canon 40d all have glaring weaknesses with respect to their high ISO performance? Think about this for a second. I think this other comment below is as offbase as the first one I quoted.

QuoteQuote:
Mrt10x: It was you and Marc who turned this into a "dare not say anything negative about the almighty church of pentax," not me.
04-24-2009, 10:57 PM   #26
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Hey, Btw, OP, have you tried the firmware update? Does seem to help the SR, and some of us feel the AF improves. ( I'm one of them.
04-27-2009, 12:37 PM   #27
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I've had quick and reliable autofocus (with NO assist-light) shooting with my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and Canon 85mm f/1.8 wide open, ISO3200, 1/30s (metered in Av mode), not sure what EV that is (oh, using the center point, outer points become hit or miss at light levels that low)

I've had quick and reliable autofocus WITH the 580EXII assist-lamp with f/1.8-5.6 lenses in MUCH lower level light (not sure what EV I would have been at as I was using the flash)

I do know that you CAN setup the 580EXII so that it fires the assist-lamp, but NOT the flash, so that could help (and would probably help if I needed to use an outer focus point in the first situation with the primes)

So, yeah, the 40D would handle a dark night club without any problems.

QuoteOriginally posted by quenched Quote
Cant help but think i would get a better auto result out of a 40d though... thoughts anybody?
04-28-2009, 07:05 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by fractal Quote
Sorry to double back, but since this is a pretty serious camera i'd actually like to know why it was such a 'nightmare' as said..
The 1Ds2 doesn't have an AF assist light built in (nor a built in flash), so that might be a disadvantage compared to some?

HOWEVER, that said, I've never had a problem focusing with mine under just about any conditions. But I've found the lens to greatly influence how well it works; curiously my 24-105/4 locks focus with authority in damn near complete darkness while in the same situation the 50/1.4 would be a little sluggish. Yeah, don't ask me why, because it doesn't make much sense to me either! (For comparisons sake, I shot a party they threw for my little girl this month with the 1Ds2 and I got back with 200 shots where not _a single one_ was out of focus or poorly exposed, both with flash and without -- last year I shot her birthday party with the K20D and had to throw away 75% of the shots because the focus was hit and miss on all the activity. Both times the light was pretty iffy (indoors, mixed light sources) and far from ideal.)
04-28-2009, 08:46 PM   #29
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wow...i went to eat dinner, and another page was added...
I will attest to the d700's low light abilities...it is astonishing...
having said that, someone in here also mentioned that it's an FF camera, and it is a bad comparison (and I agree)
...but getting usable iso 4000 and 6400 shots is just great...

BUT it will also hunt and miss at times..it's not perfect, but I've been able to get more usable shots in lower light conditions than I have w/ the k20/10.

(and just to add, I have the af assist beam turned off on the d700, it doesnt help that much anyway, and it's just annoying, i dont use the pop up flash on the k20 either..thats even more annoying)

also someone mentioned about using a 540 fgz in sb mode....yes..that is a very good option or route to go....but still not quite as fast as the d700.

thing is, u just cant expect miracles...all these camera's regardless of make...has limitations...
it really is up to the user to make it all work together...
05-01-2009, 11:17 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by fractal Quote
Sorry to double back, but since this is a pretty serious camera i'd actually like to know why it was such a 'nightmare' as said..
it was hunting forever from memory, very low light. Maybe need to play with the metering, havent had it for long.
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