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11-24-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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How does the K-x compare with the D90?

If you've seen my other recent posts, you'll know that I am getting ready to jump back into photography after a one year hiatus. I currently own no gear at all. In the past I shot with a K10D & Pentax glass, and then later a 5D and Canon/Sigma glass.

After reading the K-x reviews I thought that would be perfect for me. However, I've since become aware of the HUGE price increases in Pentax lenses and this has given me pause. What I need more than anything else is a fast, normal prime. I will use this 90% of the time. Pentax doesn't seem to offer anything in this category under $500.

Nikon has the 35/1.8 for $200, and it gets very good reviews. So I've started to consider the D90 or D5000, but I'm not sure how they compare to the K-x. I know the K-x has SR, whereas the Nikons do not. That's not super important to me, because the main reason I'm getting a camera this time is to take pictures of my kid and my dog (moving subjects). [Update: it just occurred to me that shake reduction could be very useful for video, no?]

Is the high ISO performance of the D90 and K-x about on par, or does the K-x win there too? How about video? Any other considerations?

Thanks.

11-24-2009, 10:07 AM   #2
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You're comparing different tiers of cameras. The D90 is a more refined camera, as it should be in the price range. The viewfinder is better, the LCD is better. The AF will be quieter on that 35mm. It's a fair bit bigger than the Kx. Nikon's flash system is superior. The battery of the D90 is far better than AA's and their issues.

The noise and actual picture quality is pretty much on par comparing raw files IMO. The Kx may have a very slight advantage.
11-24-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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Actually, they're not that far off in price. K-xs seem to be going for about $600 with Bing cash back, and Adorama has the D90 for $720. Seems like a fair comparison to me.
11-24-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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Well, that Adorama one is a refurb with no lens. And I paid $560 for my K-x with lens. Still, not a massive price difference. Figure out what lenses you want and compare the price of the whole system and Nikon could very well be your best option. It's a great camera!

11-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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Right. I was searching quickly and didn't notice the huge price difference b/t Adorama and other stores. Should have tipped me off that it was a refurb.

So that changes things a bit. BTW, where did you get your K-x + 18-55 for $560?
11-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
However, I've since become aware of the HUGE price increases in Pentax lenses and this has given me pause.
20% on average is not HUGE, especially when one considers that this is also about the amount by which the US dollar has slid against the yen - almost certainly the cause of the increase.

QuoteQuote:
What I need more than anything else is a fast, normal prime.
It is true that this is one specific where Pentax doesn't have anything current to compare. Although you should be able to find an FA35/2 for under $500.

QuoteQuote:
I know the K-x has SR, whereas the Nikons do not. That's not super important to me, because the main reason I'm getting a camera this time is to take pictures of my kid and my dog (moving subjects).
And you're sure you want a normal prime for this? Seems you'd be better off with something a bit longer unless you are quite close to them while they are moving, and for the most part, apertures beyond f/2.8 would yield such a shallow DOF that you'd have a lot of trouble getting an in-focus shot of a moving subject. I think most people would probably be looking at something like the Tamron 28-75/2.8 for this kind of task, and even assuming you are one of those who (like me) just has a preference for primes, something like the FA50/1.4 could make more sense (and not using it much at f/1.4, but keeping it to f/2.8). Actually, the lens I'm mentally reaching for as I think about this is the DA40/2.8 - a very nice focal length in general, and in the cases where it is too short, one case always crop. But just as importantly, it's about the fastest-focusing lens Pentx has ever made, which will help a lot with moving subjects, and its small enough (especially when combined with the K-x) to really stand in contrast to a zoom.

Anyhow, while the Nikon 35/1.8 is by all accounts a very nice lens, I'd think hard about whether that's really the right spec to be looking for. If you're sure it is, the FA35 is your answer, and unfortunately, it does cost a bit more since it is in short supply after having apparently been discontinued (and used prices have gone up in response). But I'd really thinking DA40.
11-24-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
Right. I was searching quickly and didn't notice the huge price difference b/t Adorama and other stores. Should have tipped me off that it was a refurb.

So that changes things a bit. BTW, where did you get your K-x + 18-55 for $560?
Newegg had a dslr coupon for a few days that brought it down to that. Actually a little less with cashback. It's expired now, unfortunately. But the Bing cashback is supposed to go up for black Friday, so I'm sure some nice deals on either the Pentax or Nikon could be had soon.
11-24-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Anyhow, while the Nikon 35/1.8 is by all accounts a very nice lens, I'd think hard about whether that's really the right spec to be looking for. If you're sure it is, the FA35 is your answer, and unfortunately, it does cost a bit more since it is in short supply after having apparently been discontinued (and used prices have gone up in response). But I'd really thinking DA40.
The 40/2.8 is definitely under consideration, but I wish it was a bit faster. I've photographed kids a lot with f/1.4 and I enjoy the artistic freedom that permits. I agree that f/2.8 is safer if you want the entire head/shoulders in focus, for example, but I like the option of more shallow DOF. Also, I shoot a lot indoors in low light. I know I could use a flash but I just don't like to (I got into the Strobist stuff for a while, but too much gear for me).

The 43/1.9 is ideal for me, but too expensive.

11-24-2009, 11:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
I like the option of more shallow DOF.
So get a $20 manual focus 50 to satisfy that urge.

QuoteQuote:
Also, I shoot a lot indoors in low light.
Me too. f/2.8 and ISO 1600 works almost every time, and you'll find the quality of the K-x at ISO 1600 outstanding. Plus, SR *does* help, quite a lot.
11-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #10
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Good point. Although I got spoiled when I had a 5D I and 50/1.4. That was some low light, shallow DOF shooting!

I wonder how the K-x compares at 1600 to the 5D I. I know the 5D is FF, in a completely different class, etc. but it would be helpful for me to know for comparison sake.
11-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #11
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P.S. I did consider the 50/1.4, but heard the AF is pretty slow. That put me off. As you said, the fast AF of the 40/2.8 is appealing with moving subjects.
11-24-2009, 11:29 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JasonA Quote
Newegg had a dslr coupon for a few days that brought it down to that. Actually a little less with cashback. It's expired now, unfortunately. But the Bing cashback is supposed to go up for black Friday, so I'm sure some nice deals on either the Pentax or Nikon could be had soon.
jason,

how is your kx? any battery issues? what's your starting serial # ?

have fun!

jordan
11-24-2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
P.S. I did consider the 50/1.4, but heard the AF is pretty slow. That put me off. As you said, the fast AF of the 40/2.8 is appealing with moving subjects.
Slow AF? Rubbish...
I've used the FA 50mm f/1.4 with the K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K20D and K-7 and I would seriously question whether anyone who makes such claims have actually owned the lens.
11-24-2009, 03:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Slow AF? Rubbish...
I've used the FA 50mm f/1.4 with the K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K20D and K-7 and I would seriously question whether anyone who makes such claims have actually owned the lens.
i have fa 50mm f1.4 and k100d too. Yes AF on this combo is slow. I did not use AF with k100d because of this reason. with k-x same lense focuses much much faster and pretty much usable.
11-24-2009, 03:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
P.S. I did consider the 50/1.4, but heard the AF is pretty slow. That put me off. As you said, the fast AF of the 40/2.8 is appealing with moving subjects.
k-x AF is very fast and responsive, if you are using it with k-x do not worry a bit about AF.
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