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12-06-2009, 04:43 AM   #1
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K-X 11-point Auto Focus issue

The following is from the preview of the K-X at Imaging Resource, online, posted 09/17/09:

Though the camera includes Pentax's 11-point SAFOX VIII AF system, it is hampered inexplicably by the lack of an AF-point overlay in the optical viewfinder, which means there's no visual confirmation of which points are in focus.

And...from the review, by Shawn Barnett and Mike Tomkins, posted in the same space:

The only potential downfall is the lack of an AF-point display overlay, something also missing from the K2000, which means that no LEDs will light up in the viewfinder when you half-press the shutter button to focus. Its omission leaves me scratching my head, and threatens to color the tone of my preview. Since almost every other camera on the market gives some kind of indication of what areas are in focus before I commit to a shot, this just feels like I'm using a broken camera.

Anybody care to comment? It is one issue that might have me looking elsewhere for my first DSLR.

Thanks,
MB

12-06-2009, 05:00 AM   #2
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This is one of the reasons we've skipped a K-x this round.
Though I have to say the high ISO performance really has us begging for a new body. The downside was that implimenting a K-x in any of our uses would of resulted in a step backwards in all but the sensitivity dept.
12-06-2009, 05:03 AM   #3
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this has been discussed to death since the kx first came out.


for most folks who have bought the kx, including me, this is NOT a problem.

i have the km/k2000 as well and i don't miss the AF point display at all.

if the reviewers are going to take 1 point off their review for this missing feature, so be it.

if you absolutely need to see which af point the kx has chosen on the viewfinder (kx displays it on the rear lcd), buy another camera.

YMMV
12-06-2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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Opiedog,

I'm a new member....just joined today. I've been considering the K-X based on a number of favourable reviews, price point, plethora of features, style, menu simplicity, and ease of use. I'm an old K1000 SLR user (from the late 70s, early 80s) and there was a huge gap from my early 20s until now where I didn't shoot much at all, and then a period of time where I allowed myself to get lost in point and shoot "say cheese" laziness, casual but reasonably well done vacation pics, and now I am preparing myself for a new kind of learning curve, having never owned a DSLR.

Anyway....I didn't know that it was missing just from the viewfinder. I don't see that as a major hassle either. Thanks for clearing it up. Hope to get my hands on it when I get back to Canada in a week or so (not yet released in Korea).

Cheers.

12-06-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
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I'm a new member too
new in slr/dslr photography too

but there is a green light as focus confirmation in the viewfinder, and that's enough for me.
I never use "auto" 11 AF point.

here is my flickr, shooting without focus point light
Flickr: julehajapan's Photostream
12-06-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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total non issue, you can clearly see what is and isn't in focus. Its like missing training wheels when you know how to ride.
12-06-2009, 10:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
total non issue, you can clearly see what is and isn't in focus. Its like missing training wheels when you know how to ride.
I have the Kx and K100D (which has those red-flash AF selection points).

I mostly do not miss them.

But then again I use only the central focusing point -
and on the K100D, despite knowing the green hex is the focus confirmation -
I am sometimes still fooled into thinking the (center) red-flash AF selection point is a focus confirmation - I have to conscientiously look down for the green hex confirmation.

All this may sound like I think the red-flash AF selection points are a distraction....
BUT not quite, there are times in lower light levels it is hard to see the AF markings/brackets in the viewfinder -
so I had to develop my trick of estimating the intersection of imaginary diagonals from corner to corner to "guess" the central position -
this may seem pedantic - but even in low light I need to know where my AF point is.
This is when those red-flash AF selection points would be a boon, even if it is only for the central position for my case.

Ideally it would be great to have an option to switch those on or off -
and for my shooting it probably would be mostly On -
but I can see for anyone who shoots mainly in daylight -
those red-flash AF selection points could actually be a distraction.
12-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #8
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If you:
  • Do off center composition
  • At large apertures or relatively close distances
  • And don't like to center focus then recompose
...then it may be an issue. I do the above a lot, so I wasn't sure about the K-x. But I wanted the high ISO performance and a more modern backup body, so I took a flyer. It is a pain to not have the overlay. Not a deal breaker, but sometimes a pain. If none of the above apply, then it's a non-issue.

12-06-2009, 01:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matte Black Quote
Opiedog,

I'm a new member....just joined today. I've been considering the K-X based on a number of favourable reviews, price point, plethora of features, style, menu simplicity, and ease of use. I'm an old K1000 SLR user (from the late 70s, early 80s) and there was a huge gap from my early 20s until now where I didn't shoot much at all, and then a period of time where I allowed myself to get lost in point and shoot "say cheese" laziness, casual but reasonably well done vacation pics, and now I am preparing myself for a new kind of learning curve, having never owned a DSLR.

Anyway....I didn't know that it was missing just from the viewfinder. I don't see that as a major hassle either. Thanks for clearing it up. Hope to get my hands on it when I get back to Canada in a week or so (not yet released in Korea).

Cheers.
welcome to the club. as someone has mentioned, there is a difference between the AF confirmation which the Kx has (a green hexagon) and AF point selection.

it's the latter that the Kx doesn't have.

i came from a *ist DL which doesn't have it, moved to the K10 which had it, move to a k2000 then kx both of which do not have it.

again, it depends on style. i usually use only the center point. as another posted has mentioned, in auto AF point selection mode, it becomes obvious which part of the picture is in focus although it might help if there was an indicator.

i thought i would miss it coming from the k10 to the km, but guess what? i didn't. in fact at one point, i turned it off in the K10 and didn't miss it at all.

HTH
12-06-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
If you:
  • Do off center composition
  • At large apertures or relatively close distances
  • And don't like to center focus then recompose
...then it may be an issue. I do the above a lot, so I wasn't sure about the K-x. But I wanted the high ISO performance and a more modern backup body, so I took a flyer. It is a pain to not have the overlay. Not a deal breaker, but sometimes a pain. If none of the above apply, then it's a non-issue.
With objects that are very close obviously using the centre focus point and recomposing isn't ideal such as macro shots. Wouldn't it be better too use live view in those situations anyway. Also with tripod work I was thinking its much more practical to use live view. In both cases all the auto focus indicators are available on the LCD.
12-06-2009, 05:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by schufosi777 Quote
With objects that are very close obviously using the centre focus point and recomposing isn't ideal such as macro shots. Wouldn't it be better too use live view in those situations anyway. Also with tripod work I was thinking its much more practical to use live view. In both cases all the auto focus indicators are available on the LCD.
If the the objects are static, probably. If the objects are dynamic, LV focusing tends to be too slow to track.

Also, center point focus recompose is kind of a crappy practice anyway.
12-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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I''ve gotten used to not seeing AF indicators on my first DSLR, the K-m so much that I don't even pay attention to them on my K-7. Shows that it's not really necessarily, sure you won't be able to see the indicator but even on my K-7 I use center point and recompose because I have total control.
12-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #13
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I cut my teeth in photography using an SLR with a split-image viewfinder in the early 70's. It's what a Katzeye is today. All I learned was to find where I wanted the focus point to be on the subject and then place the split-image over that point and align it with a turn of the focus ring. I do that today and always have even though I've had DSLR's with multiple illuminated focus marks in the viewfinder.

I suppose I'd maybe lose something if I was focusing on close moving subject. But I'd also pay attention to what f-stop I or the camera selected so I'd have the depth of field I needed. I typically don't shoot those subjects so it's a non-issue for me.

I do know others who compose and then select the focus point with the control knob or d-pad and match a point with where they want their subject in focus. Their way seems foreign to me just as my method would seem foreign to them. If focusing with the center cross-sensor and recomposing isn't your preferred way, then the K-X may not be your ideal camera.
12-06-2009, 07:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
If you:
  • Do off center composition
  • At large apertures or relatively close distances
  • And don't like to center focus then recompose
...then it may be an issue. I do the above a lot, so I wasn't sure about the K-x. But I wanted the high ISO performance and a more modern backup body, so I took a flyer. It is a pain to not have the overlay. Not a deal breaker, but sometimes a pain. If none of the above apply, then it's a non-issue.
QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
If the the objects are static, probably. If the objects are dynamic, LV focusing tends to be too slow to track.

Also, center point focus recompose is kind of a crappy practice anyway.
i'm a newbie in dslr, a K-x user.

do you mean center point focus recompose when using MF lens only???
for me, it is strange recompose from center-point on AF lens while you can select another focus point on LCD

on K-x, I only recompose on MF lens because green focus confirmation only work for center focus point. I own one Pentax-A and 99% my shots taken from Pentax-A using center point.
for a newbie (k-x user) without MF lens, no need to recompose!!!
12-06-2009, 08:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by julia Quote
i'm a newbie in dslr, a K-x user.

do you mean center point focus recompose when using MF lens only???
for me, it is strange recompose from center-point on AF lens while you can select another focus point on LCD

on K-x, I only recompose on MF lens because green focus confirmation only work for center focus point. I own one Pentax-A and 99% my shots taken from Pentax-A using center point.
for a newbie (k-x user) without MF lens, no need to recompose!!!
Nope. You'll find that a lot of shooters use center focus recompose even with AF lenses.

Sometimes the center point is faster to lock and/or more sensitive, and some are more comfortable with it since they have it as their old habit from MF days when center focus recompose via the split image/micro prism was the preferred method to achieve sharp focus, and some just never learned different.
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