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View Poll Results: Do you think the K-x has better image quality than the dSLR it replaces.
Yes. Clearly better than my old camera. 6289.86%
No. I feel my old camera took nicer/better images. 710.14%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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12-28-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
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Are you satisfied with the K-x image quality?

I'm rather curious to learn if those of you upgrading to the K-x from older dSLR are, after the dust settled, happy with your investment.

For the record I bailed and have no regrets about selling the K-x and going back to my K10D. I suspect that I'm in a minority. I was just interested to know how minor a minority that might be.


Last edited by rjm; 12-28-2009 at 01:45 PM. Reason: grammar hotfix
12-28-2009, 01:54 AM   #2
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Hmm, I made the same move, K10D --> K-x, and for me, there is no looking back.
I take a lot of indoor, available light pictures. Before, on the K10D, I was forced to shoot with low shutter speeds and wide open to not go above ISO 800. And even ISO 800, when pushed, looked pretty bad.
Since then, a large quantity of my shots has been done at ISO 1600 to ISO 6400. I can use ISO 6400 like ISO 800 on the K10D. And that means a lot to me. It means stopping down the lenses a little bit, and having 1/60 to 1/80 shutter speeds.

D.

PS: Regarding sharpness and 3d pop. I had some issues in the beginning with center focus / recompose, because I was not using AF-S all the time. But when I took pictures with the FA35/2 in focus, it was as sharp as ever. Color-wise, I like the raw output, indoor auto white balance only needs slight adjustment.
The camera does take a few shots getting used to and adjusting all the settings.

Last edited by Diffusion; 12-28-2009 at 03:03 AM. Reason: To add some information
12-28-2009, 05:06 AM   #3
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I purchased a K-x two weeks ago. Have had a K100d for a few years.
Same as Diffusion, I was immediately impressed with existing light photos.
Shot the 1st test group in my shop and of my grandkids, indoors, Auto Mode out of the box just to see what it would do.
AWB was far superior. Auto focus much faster. ISO set at 400-1600, photos without flash were acceptable.
Would be considered snapshots and were a bit soft.
Then tested outside. Again AWB did great. Lots of snow here in MN. Not much difference between Auto and Snow setting. Snow was white not grey.
Then the "Well But" kicked in. Photos seemed soft, not crisp details. Remember, this is all in Auto mode.
Did some test shots in AV and Program Mode. Moved to Spot focus. Settings I used with my K100 most of the time.
Focus was now very good. Much better detail. Used 3 lenses, Pentax 18-55, 18-250 and a Sigma 70-300. switched between the K-x and K100. Kept the settings at F10-11 range for all shots. All seemed to provide similar results.
I'm not completely satisfied with the shots being a bit soft yet(when magnified 400%) compared to test shots I made with the K100 when I first got it. But I couldn't duplicate that with the K100 yesterday either so still trying.
No doubt I will be keeping the K-x. ISO performance, fast Auto Focus and many functions I've not gotten to yet.
Just need to get myself dialed into the right settings for me.
12-28-2009, 06:05 AM   #4
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Here's an interesting thread concerning K-x image quality

Here's an interesting thread concerning K-x image quality:


Nasty K-x mirror slap problem... - Photo.net Pentax Forum

12-28-2009, 06:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Here's an interesting thread concerning K-x image quality:


Nasty K-x mirror slap problem... - Photo.net Pentax Forum
I just reviewed dozens of my recently shot K-x hand held images that fall within the shutter range mentioned in the photo.net thread and can detect no such issue.
12-28-2009, 07:16 AM   #6
rjm
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Original Poster
Okay, there are a lot of positive improvements over the K10D:

White balance, focus speed, high iso noise, general responsiveness, as well as the extra features like live view and video. It's also smaller and lighter.

Apart from the image quality, the only negative I can pin on the camera is the mirror slap: really feels like the camera is going to tear itself apart sometimes.
12-28-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
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I suspect if his tripod and tripod head are stable enough for this test. It would have made more sense to do the test with remote control....

QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Here's an interesting thread concerning K-x image quality:


Nasty K-x mirror slap problem... - Photo.net Pentax Forum
12-28-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
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I voted yes, but I can't necessarily say that the image quality is better than that my K10D. My K10D died and I only had one "test" image that I could duplicate - a detailed, colored wall map of the world (posted here: Flickr: Bobrad's Photostream ). At low ISO, which is where I do most of my photography, the K-x and K10D produced images from RAW that are virtually identical IMHO in terms of sharpness, color, contrast. I was very satisfied with the image quality of the K10D at low ISO, so the K-x makes me a happy camper.

12-28-2009, 12:52 PM   #9
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I moved from the excellent K100D -
for my usage this would be a very demanding move -
since the K100D was really good up to ISO1600 and acceptable at ISO3200.

The K-x IQ definitely is superior at ISO1600 and above -
probably as much as 1 stop better and it has native ISO6400, as well as an expanded ISO12800.

Even at the base ISO200 the K-x IQ is every bit as good as the K100D - and that is saying something.

100% actual pixel crops from Imaging-Resource test samples
for the K-x from: Pentax K-x Digital Camera Samples - Hands-On Preview - The Imaging Resource!
- for interest I also include the K-x images downsized to 6Mp so one can compare directly size-for-size with the 6mp K100D.
all at ISO200 (EXIF still attached) -








It is TRUE that the new K-x default color setting of "Bright" is a lot more muted than the earlier traditional Pentax color of over-saturation and a tendency toward warm/yellow -

The K-x is now much more in line with other competing dSLRs -
which to me is a good thing.....

from: Pentax K-x Review: 18. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
" The K-x produces an almost identical color response to its bigger brother, the K-7. As we've seen in other reviews the standard hues are also very similar to most other SLRs in this class, with minor saturation and brightness differences but essentially the same color response. "

compared to the K100D -
from: Pentax K100D Review: 16. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
" The K100D's color response was quite similar to that of previous Pentax digital SLR's, that is quite highly saturated (vivid) in the default 'Bright' image tone, as can also be seen earlier in this review, it can lead to color clipping in certain situations (such as red flowers in direct sunlight). Switching to the Natural tone calms color saturation to more typical levels (compared to other digital SLRs). "

I would say that the K-x has IQ that's every bit as good as the K100D at any ISO including the base ISO200 (possibly superior) -

Overall I am very happy to have upgraded to the K-x and so far my results speak for themselves (at least to me )

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-28-2009 at 12:55 PM. Reason: added comparison images
12-28-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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To those who answered No, did you try tweaking the picture controls? Try adding contrast and sharpness. When I did my K-X pictures now match what I used to get with my K200D at low ISO outdoor shots.
12-29-2009, 06:11 AM   #11
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I am absolutely satisfied with the data coming off the K-x sensor. Clearly better than my 40D in every way, and better than my K20D in most (but not all).
12-29-2009, 06:13 AM   #12
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The K-x is a great buy! My images have never looked so good.
12-29-2009, 07:12 AM   #13
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I voted yes, not because it's clearly better than my old camera - a K20d. I voted yes because it's definitely a keeper and will complement my K20d quite nicely. Plus, it's my wife's camera now and there's no way she'd let me sell it

My rule of thumb for any new lens or body is that it takes at least 1,000 shots before you are comfortable with it and understand its strengths and weaknesses. For those out there scratching their heads at the K-x, I say give it some time. Set it up the way you set up your other cameras and then shoot a thousand shots. For me that meant:
  • AF.S on the center point. I think it came with AF.A, but I like making that decision, thank you very much.
  • AF on the AF button, not half-press of the shutter
  • RAW
  • Center-weighted metering, with AF and AE linked
  • Auto ISO, 200-6400
  • Aperture priority

That last point - Aperture priority - is interesting on the K-x, because I've had to modify my shooting style a little. On the K20d, I'd often find myself leaning on wide-open apertures in low light in an attempt to keep the ISO in check.

On the K-x, I find myself shooting in low light one or two stops down from wide open (i.e., F3.2 or F4.0 on the DA Limiteds) and more willing to let the ISO float up to 3200 and even 6400. The benefit is increased DOF - useful for moving subjects - and slightly sharper results - because the apertures are closer to the lens' sweet spot.

So get out there and shoot, chimp, adjust, and shoot some more. It's a fine camera, but like any camera has it's strengths and weaknesses....
12-29-2009, 08:56 AM   #14
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I voted yes because I wanted to add my very positive support for the k-x, not because I think it is better than my "old" k-20d, but because it is a different camera with different capabilities. I love my k-20d.....it takes beautiful pictures, has more functions than I'll probably ever learn to use, and is built like a tank. It also started to feel like one too, after carrying it around my neck all day on a recent trip. So, after some research, I bought the k-x as an addition, not a replacement, to my k-20d set-up. I've only had the k-x for a short time, but I can say I really like this camera too, and have no issues with its performance, image quality or construction. There is nothing about the camera that I did not expect, and it will certainly be a lot easier to tote around on my next walking trip!
12-30-2009, 12:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I voted yes, not because it's clearly better than my old camera - a K20d. I voted yes because it's definitely a keeper and will complement my K20d quite nicely. Plus, it's my wife's camera now and there's no way she'd let me sell it

My rule of thumb for any new lens or body is that it takes at least 1,000 shots before you are comfortable with it and understand its strengths and weaknesses. For those out there scratching their heads at the K-x, I say give it some time. Set it up the way you set up your other cameras and then shoot a thousand shots. For me that meant:
  • AF.S on the center point. I think it came with AF.A, but I like making that decision, thank you very much.
  • AF on the AF button, not half-press of the shutter
  • RAW
  • Center-weighted metering, with AF and AE linked
  • Auto ISO, 200-6400
  • Aperture priority

That last point - Aperture priority - is interesting on the K-x, because I've had to modify my shooting style a little. On the K20d, I'd often find myself leaning on wide-open apertures in low light in an attempt to keep the ISO in check.

On the K-x, I find myself shooting in low light one or two stops down from wide open (i.e., F3.2 or F4.0 on the DA Limiteds) and more willing to let the ISO float up to 3200 and even 6400. The benefit is increased DOF - useful for moving subjects - and slightly sharper results - because the apertures are closer to the lens' sweet spot.

So get out there and shoot, chimp, adjust, and shoot some more. It's a fine camera, but like any camera has it's strengths and weaknesses....
Your setting is quite similar to mine. Although sometimes I would use AF.C when I try to capture moving targets like animals. Also I put the green button as resetting the focus point to center so that I can always use OK button to select and reset it whenever I want to.

However, I don't use raw, the JPEG quality seems to be good enough, and i am very satisfied with it.

Can you explain why you use the AF button instead of half pressing the shutter? Any advantage or consideration on it?
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