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10-22-2009, 07:52 AM   #1
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New K-x owner impressions and sample images

Bought a K-x this afternoon (black) with the kit SMC PENTAX-DA L 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL. Price was AUD $799 from Officeworks.

Loaded the batteries, and went out to test it.

Impressions of the body are positive - quite solid and sturdy, even though it is noticeably lighter than my K200D. However the grip feels very different from my K200D, and the battery cover feels rather flimsy/wiggly, but it seems to hold together OK. The DA L lens also has just a plastic mount.

In use however the K-x has killed off completely my Nikon D90 envy. It really works well at high ISO's and standard ISO too, and the video (which I was prepared to ignore as unimportant) is actually really cool, especially if you are into live music like I am.

Anyway, I didn't read the manual at all but just went straight out shooting to the first day of the Lismore North Coast National agricultural show.

The following photos are the result. All were taken with the kit lens, which actually performed extremely impressively for a $50 lens.

The K-x has the goods all the way up to 6400 ISO. All the photos below were taken using available light only and with the K-x kit lens. All are just resized JPG's straight out of camera. I think some in-camera NR was applied to photos > 1600 ISO, but it is very subtle.

First stop was Tommy's pub (3200 ISO):



Then onto the Show. Here is a 6400 ISO chicken. (The light in the poulty hall was really dim):



Fun on the rides at 200 ISO



More fun on the rides at 200 ISO



Bumper cars at 200 ISO. (The kit lens is really doing quite well).



Then check out some paintings at 3200 ISO.



Time for a coffee at 6400 ISO.



Then catch the gig by Melbourne band The Junes (at 6400 ISO):



The Junes know how to have a great time on stage (at 6400 ISO):



In short, the K-x is a very commendable little cam. The sensor is exceptional and the kit lens isn't a slouch either. In terms of price/performance, I think it's a bargain.

FYI.

(PS: Let us know if the images don't display OK).

10-22-2009, 08:07 AM   #2
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great quality at high ISOs.

what is your experience with the battery?
10-22-2009, 08:10 AM   #3
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Wow. Great pictures which demonstrate the ISO capabilities of K-X. I hope you took some video from the theme park. Would like to see some, ahem.
10-22-2009, 08:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing rawr. Hows the sharpness compared to the k200D at lowest iso? Can you post more shots at iso 200

10-22-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
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I had no problems with the supplied lithium batteries.

I recorded about 3GB of video (3 videos I think) as well as about 300 RAW+ JPG images and it didn't make a dent on the battery meter.

I did however turn off the stupid 'power on' LED, and I also turned off the 'instant review' image display. If someone could tell me how to turn off the status display screen, I'd do that too.
10-22-2009, 08:18 AM   #6
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Should be in the custom settings to disable it unless you push the info screen, as in the K2000.

If you get a chance, try them out with NiMH LSD/pre-charged/Hybrids. Some users report problems with eneloops in particular.
10-22-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by shittii Quote
Wow. Great pictures which demonstrate the ISO capabilities of K-X. I hope you took some video from the theme park. Would like to see some, ahem.
The video worked very well, although the audio was somewhat lame.

When I was videoing the live music, the in-built mike captured some unwelcome background noise (stupid teens behind me) but the performer audio was still audible. I now know that I should keep my hands away from the in-built mike

But despite the audio problems I captured some classic footage of the performers (even though it was just handheld too, no SR, no tripod).

I don't think I'll be uploading the 1GB AVI's anywhere soon though. Sorry.
10-22-2009, 08:25 AM   #8
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Hence the reason why most HD videos online are re-encoded and compressed

10-22-2009, 08:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info. Please just upload a short sample of the video if you can, you'll have the honor of being first as I can't find uncompressed samples anywhere!
10-22-2009, 08:27 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
Thanks for sharing rawr. Hows the sharpness compared to the k200D at lowest iso? Can you post more shots at iso 200
The sharpness is better than the K200D at comparable ISO using equivalent kit lens. Maybe due to the higher K-x resolution/megapickles.

K-x ISO 800 is great:



An ISO 200 flower in someones front garden on the way to the Show:

10-22-2009, 08:38 AM   #11
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how has the k-x dampened your lust for the D90? i've been thinking the same thing
10-22-2009, 08:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
how has the k-x dampened your lust for the D90? i've been thinking the same thing
(1) I think the K-x has a newer Sony sensor than the one in the D90. The K-x must have the newer Exmor sensor, I think.
(2) The K-x is half the price of the D90. Literally (at least in Australia).
(3) When I picked up a D90 in the store, the viewfinder was real dim compared even to my K200D.
(4) I already have a few decent K-mount lenses ready to rock on the K-x. Going with the D90 would mean a tedious glass transition / eBay sale.
10-22-2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
(1) I think the K-x has a newer Sony sensor than the one in the D90. The K-x must have the newer Exmor sensor, I think.
(2) The K-x is half the price of the D90. Literally (at least in Australia).
(3) When I picked up a D90 in the store, the viewfinder was real dim compared even to my K200D.
(4) I already have a few decent K-mount lenses ready to rock on the K-x. Going with the D90 would mean a tedious glass transition / eBay sale.
thanks for your inputs.

did you by chance power on the d90? i've heard that some nikons and canons have an LCD overlay on the VF and will be dim if not powered.

anyways, your reasons are reasons enough to stay "K".

jordan

btw, how is the AF of the k-x ? i have a k2000 and the AF is much faster than my wife's k200. how does it compare w/ your k200?
10-22-2009, 09:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
thanks for your inputs.
btw, how is the AF of the k-x ? i have a k2000 and the AF is much faster than my wife's k200. how does it compare w/ your k200?
It was very snappy compared to me K200D - much more positive and zippy in fact. And it seemed quite accurate.

I set it to spot mode for stuff like the live music, but everywhere else it was the the default ' AUTO 5' mode which made use of just the 5 central focus zones, rather than all 11 focus zones. It seems to work fine, even in low light. I was surprised. Only in just about pitch dark did it have trouble.

I killed the flash by the way in all my shooting. In doing it's autofocus the K-x had to rely on what it could see through the lens, without any annoying flash strobe AF assist etc. I hate flash strobe assist.
10-22-2009, 09:03 AM   #15
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This is great stuff to see.

What makes this high ISO performance so exciting to someone like me who doesn't have a huge camera budget is the way it expands the versatility of the good consumer level lenses like my Pentax DA 55-300. I take a lot of candid and action shots and often have to reach into well shaded areas. With good high ISO performance I won't have to always try and squeak by with a F4 max aperture but might be able to actually use the lens' sweet spot of F8-F11. A small trade-off in IQ is OK when you're shooting rapidly shifting targets of opportunity. You can't fix in PP the picture you didn't take. And an effective image doesn't always need to be pixel perfect. (But I certainly admire those that are)
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