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10-30-2009, 07:00 AM   #1
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Image Quality of K10D versus K-x

I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but my search did not find anything. Most or all of the K-x comparisons I have seen to date are against the K20D and the K7.

I purchased my K10D when it was introduced and have since tried the K20D and K7 as possible upgrades. I was not sufficiently impressed with the improvement in image quality or features to retire my K10D. Now my K10D is out of commission and will likely cost several hundred dollars to repair. I take primarily landscape/cityscape photos at ISO 100-400 and was very satisfied with the image quality of the K10D, including for large prints (up to 20"x30"). I don't need weather/dust seals or the other features the K-7 provides over the K-x.

My query is for K10D owners who now own the K-x and it may be a silly question, but is the image quality of the K-x in your opinion as good as or better than that of the K10D? I've read the reviews and raves about the high ISO capabilities of the K-x, but for good-light photography, how do the IQs of these two cameras compare?

Thanks,
Bob

10-30-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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I can't speak about the image quality comparison, but have you considered looking for a K20D? There are some great prices on refurbs

If you are happy with the IQ of the K10D compared to the K7 for your types of shots, I think the K20D might be an easier transition since all the controls and button layouts are the same, plus you get the two dials unlike the Kx.

Personally I don't like the new Pentax trend of going to smaller bodies and if my K10D died I would be looking for a K20D.
10-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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When I upgraded from the k10 to k20, it felt great - alot of small enhancements in an otherwise familiar package! At the moment there aren't any refurbs on bestbuy USAs website, however they have been appearing randomly at $499 for body only - which is a great deal. Having just received the Kx, it is also a great camera - I think you can gather that is doing favorably as far as IQ compared to the K7; I also think it is generally accepted both the K20 and K7 were improvements over their predecessors. I'm sure there are some full size samples from the Kx out there for you to mull over. On the other hand, a used/refurb (or even new if you can find them) K20 will feel at home from day 1, and you aren't giving up any external functionality or accessibility (I think the Kx is great, nice and small and an amazing compliment to my k20d). I do think you would miss alot of the tactile control the higher end models offer though. My 2 cents!
10-30-2009, 03:17 PM   #4
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Well I don't have the K-x but Falk's (falconeye) review of the K-x's dynamic range compared with the K-7 is some indication of how good this little cam really is in attaining quality images. Given that the K20D/K7 and K10D have similar DR profiles across most of the lower-end ISO range, the K-x would seem to stack up very nicely against the K10D.

But as nicely summarised by pxpaulx, IQ is not the only consideration...

10-30-2009, 05:59 PM   #5
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Thank you, thank you, thank you for asking this question.

I am also in the same boat as you with a K10D, never really convinced that an upgrade to the K20/K7 was necessary. My only gripe was the dynamic range and poor >ISO800 performance of the K10 and of course the price was not justified to upgrade to the K20/K7 with their modest improvements.

But the new price of the K-x and its performance almost makes it too tempting. In fact, I can probably sell the K10 and spend only a few bills more to get a camera that has better all out performance with minor compromises. I will miss the battery, and the top lcd, and the front dial ... but those do not affect my ability to take pictures.

If the image quality is as good as the K10D, is the K-x the right camera for me?
10-30-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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I thought that DXO said the K10D had a wider dynamic range than the K20D or K7.
10-30-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
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I have the Pentax K10D Grand Prix model and wouldnt part with it. I thought of Upgrading and decided to spent the money on a good lens instead. I went from a Kodak P880 point and shoot with live view and video as well as 8mp and raw format. I didnt like the live view and video then so I cant see myself going to the K7.
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10-31-2009, 07:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the great input

When my K10D failed, I originally planned to get a K20D as the replacement, but then the K-x was introduced and I gave a lot of thought to how much I would use or need the features offered by the K20D and K-7 and decided the K-x features would be adequate so long as the IQ was comparable. One thing I do not like about the K-7 is the body grip. The K10D/K20D have a much larger radius of curvature on their grips and it feels much better in my large hand. Since I generally hand-carry my K10D (I use a wrist strap, not a neck strap), that's important to me. I haven't held the K-x yet but the grip looks to be a lot like that of the K-7.

I plan to try the K-x when the price drops a bit and then decide whether to get the K10D repaired. But since my K10D only takes green and/or purple photos now, it will be impossible to do side by side comparisons - thus the reason for my original post.

My advice to innershell is to consider keeping the K10D even if you buy the K-x. I learned the hard way that a backup camera can be extremely important. We were one week into a month-long holiday in England with my K10D started failing. Luckily I had a very good P&S as backup, but of course the picture quality just doesn't compare.

Thanks again,
Bob

10-31-2009, 11:48 AM   #9
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I just returned from the camera store after a hands-on with the K-x and my K10D. I am also a hand-carrier with the neck strap around my wrists (just in case). While man-handling the K-x, I almost dropped it a few times because of the smaller grip. Caution is definitely needed for these smaller bodies.

I took shots with both the K-x and K10D in the store, but sad to say that the photos from the K-x were garbled when I downloaded the pics. However, I was EXTREMELY impressed by the K-x. The continuous shooting was very fast and the auto-focus is almost immediate. My K10D did the typical autofocus in 90% and spend the next 2 years refining the remaining 10%.

Sadly, I cannot afford to keep both cameras, so one has to go to fund the other. It would have been nice to have a backup camera, but I wouldn't have taken both cameras on a vacation anyway. We have a good P&S and an older 2MP digital camera that can be taken in a pinch.

One problem I have is that the PEF files will not open in Photoshop CS4. Not sure how to update the Photoshop codec for it. I think this might be the reason my images are garbled while looking through Picasa as well. Can anybody help so that I can post the K10D vs K-x pictures up?

Thanks, Melvin
10-31-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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Hi Melvin. Until the PS codec is updated to include the K-x, you may have to resort to processing the RAW images in camera, which is tedious if you like tweaking each one. Otherwise you can batch process them, saving time, or simply shoot JPEG until you get the RAW converter update.

Do you not want to use Pentax Photo Lab?
10-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Hi Melvin. Until the PS codec is updated to include the K-x, you may have to resort to processing the RAW images in camera, which is tedious if you like tweaking each one. Otherwise you can batch process them, saving time, or simply shoot JPEG until you get the RAW converter update.

Do you not want to use Pentax Photo Lab?
According to JCPentax, the latest ACR includes support for both the K7 and Kx. They gave Adobe the specs for both at the same time. The K-x support is undocumented though since that edition of ACR came out before the K-x was publicly released.

But the K-x, like the K200D and K7, can output DNG RAW, which PS can suck in directly. Can the K10 save RAW as DNG directly as well? If it can, have both cameras output DNG, not PEF.

I can also report Lightroom and Picasa have no probs with K-x DNG's.
10-31-2009, 12:37 PM   #12
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Adobe DNG converter should work with K-x:

Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter 5.5 update
Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Macintosh : Adobe DNG Converter 5.5 update

Edit:
I just tried it with K-x PEF. It successfully converter it to DNG.
10-31-2009, 12:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerrymouse Quote
BINGO!!! That worked. I will post the comparison pictures up in 2 hours after I pick my GF up from college. Thanks MightyMouse!!!
10-31-2009, 01:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
But the K-x, like the K200D and K7, can output DNG RAW, which PS can suck in directly. Can the K10 save RAW as DNG directly as well? If it can, have both cameras output DNG, not PEF.

I can also report Lightroom and Picasa have no probs with K-x DNG's.
I totally forgot about DNG.
The OP's already discovered it - great.
10-31-2009, 03:58 PM   #15
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Okay here are the pictures of K-x versus the K10D. All shots were taken with autofocus allowing the camera to take the photo when it thinks it got it on the first attempt (Sorry, no cheating with do-overs).

K-x: AWB, ISO6400, /F8, 18-55mm kit lens
K-10D: AWB, ISO1600, F/8, Tamron 15-50mm f/2.8 lens (my best arsenal).

Photo #1: Light Stands & Studio Equipment.
You can tell which camera had trouble getting focus in low light.
K-x vs K10D

Photo #2: Tripods for Sale
Again, you can see which one had trouble getting focus. The K10D took its time getting autofocus nailed down.
K-x vs K10D

Photo #3: Videos
K-x vs K10D

Non-Scientific Conclusion
I think the K10D has nicer colors, but I think the K-x colors were more accurate capturing what I saw at the scene. The fact that the K10D did not nail autofocus in most of the shots is a real disappointment. In everyday use, I have to redo AF almost 50% of the time or give up and go to manual. Not to mention the speed at which the K-x AF got focus was just insane.

I am not fussy about ISO noise. But when you have an upper limit of IS1600 and that is still not enough, you are now introducing motion blur due to longer shutter speeds. This ruins the picture completely. I will take high ISO noise over no picture any day ... especially for special events.

The last thing to add is that the AF screw drive on the K-x was silent; dead silent. The K10D ... well it has character let's just say that.

PS My K10D is now on sale on my local classifieds. Convincing enough?
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