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01-18-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
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K-x versus Oly e620?

Hi all,

Noob here.

I bought my wife an Oly E620 for her b-day. It came with the kit lens 14-42 and I added a 300mm zoom (600mm with the Olys 2x crop factor)

I really wasn't that interested in DSLRs but really got into it by "borrowing" hers all the time.
Good fun.

NE how, my b-day is close and I decided that a camera for ME would be a good idea.
After much research, I settled on the K-x kit with the 18-55 & 55-300 lenses.

There are a number of obvious differences between the two cameras, articulated screen on one , video on the other, 1.5X vs 2x crop etc etc I guess the reason I went with the k-x is the superior low light performance, and, well, the price! <also it reminds me of my ol' KX250 kawasaki mx bike >

So, in the few weeks I wait for my Amazon "deal" to come through, any opinions on the maybe less obvious pros and cons of the e620 vs the k-x?

Cheers!
ken

01-18-2010, 05:32 PM   #2
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Well, the viewfinder of the K-x is certainly more satisfying. On the other hand, while the K-x is a small DSLR, the E-620 is markedly smaller in terms of actual practical size when handling. This is, of course, due to the smaller grip, which may be seen as a pro or a con depending on your priorities. More importantly, the Oly Kit lens is significantly smaller than the Pentax kit lens, which has a much bigger impact on compactness of the total package. Performance-wise the 14-42 is honestly a bit better than the 18-55 L (the II version is better in my experience but that may have just been sample variation as they're supposed to be identical) but they're both on the better end of the kit lens scale, and you can get equal quality by stopping the Pentax kit lens down a stop or two and using an ISO a stop or two higher; the E-620's noise performance honestly isn't at all bad but the K-x's is fantastic.

Honestly, the K-x and E-620 have a lot in common in regards to the overall user experience; they are both very well-featured low-cost DSLRs that are capable of excellent results when used well.
01-18-2010, 06:00 PM   #3
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The OVF on the Olympus is not to my taste, although the articulated screen is quite nice. (Actually, I like the articulated screen and the EVF on the Panasonic G1 better than either of these cameras, but that is not what you asked.) The low-light capabilities of the Pentax are better, and it turned out that the Pentax JPEG performance seems best to my eyes. When it came down to it, I would not have lived very well with the Olympus viewfinder, and the Pentax has a nice array of lenses available (as does the Olympus).

I was most surprised at the heft of the Olympus' larger lens, the 70-300mm is 5" long x 3.1" in diameter and weighs in at 21.8 ounces while the Pentax 55-300mm is 4.4" long x 2.8" in diameter and a trim 15.5 ounces, which is 6.3 ounces lighter. Admittedly, the 18-55mm Pentax is an inch longer, and .3" larger in diameter as well as 2.5 ounces heavier than the 14-42mm Olympus.

Last edited by Elliot; 01-18-2010 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Corrected 'OVC' to 'OVF'
01-18-2010, 07:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kpevav Quote

I was most surprised at the heft of the Olympus' larger lens, the 70-300mm is 5" long x 3.1" in diameter and weighs in at 21.8 ounces while the Pentax 55-300mm is 4.4" long x 2.8" in diameter and a trim 15.5 ounces, which is 6.3 ounces lighter.
Note: it's also a macro. ;-). But the real issue for the 70-300 size is that it's really just an updated film design and still carries the original size of the lens elements. Not one of Oly's best efforts (their best efforts are probably the best modern DSLR lenses available, period). It's more of an inexpensive "good enough" lens. Whereas Pentax went to the sort of special effort with the 55-300 that Oly did with the 9-18.

01-18-2010, 07:13 PM   #5
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Without wishing to deter you from Pentax. If you are both happy with the Olympus, it would make sense to get another one and a couple of different lenses that you can share.
01-19-2010, 12:59 AM   #6
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Can't say i've shot with the E620 but I have held one and I find the ergonomics are poor in comparison to other DSLR.

Personally I don't like the 4/3's format and I don't like that fact that is gives such a greater crop factor and more DOF than APS-C or FF.
01-19-2010, 06:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by C.W Tsorotes Quote
Can't say i've shot with the E620 but I have held one and I find the ergonomics are poor in comparison to other DSLR.

Personally I don't like the 4/3's format and I don't like that fact that is gives such a greater crop factor and more DOF than APS-C or FF.
As a counterpoint, I really like the E-620's ergos, am a fan of 4/3, and appreciate the greater crop/dof for some applications. I really wouldn't put personal preferences in someone else's pro vs. con list, y'know?
01-19-2010, 07:06 AM   #8
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gary makes an excellent point, and these days, virtually any DSLR will yeild excellent images so, regardless of all the posts to the contrary, the discussion should not focus on the cameras but the lenses.

While Oly makes good lenses, when you consider the 4/3 sensor and the 2x crop factor, if you want to shoot really wide (i.e. 10mm) you have a huge hit.

A few years ago, a friend was looking at my *istD and commented he liked it because it was small. He was looking at Oly at the same time for the same reason. At the time, my *istD had my sigma 10-20 on it, which he also loved.

Then it came time for the math.

At the time, there was only one Oly compatible lens, equivelent in Field of view, to the 10-20, at a cost of $1500. You could purchase a pentax DSLR, and the sigma 10-20 and have money left over, just for that one lens.

Look at the lens costs, as well as the cameras, but if you already have one Oly camera, a second does seem to have some advantages.

01-19-2010, 09:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for the inputs!

While it would be SMART to buy more Oly lenses rather than another camera, it wouldn't be as much FUN! So the k-x is on the way.

Actually looking forward to comparing shots with my wife who fancies herself as a bit of a photographer in a small way. Will be fun going to our boy's soccer games and comparing the results.

The wide angle issue is one we've already come across with the e620. The kit lens gives similar results to the other guy's kit lenses, (14mm@2.0 vs 18mm@1.5) but beyond that it is massively expensive to buy every mm.
Sure is nice for zoom (at least under good light) though!
01-19-2010, 12:06 PM   #10
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You should be able to get an adapter for the Oly to use Pentax lenses so you and your wife can still share (if you want to).
01-19-2010, 12:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kace Quote
Thanks for the inputs!

While it would be SMART to buy more Oly lenses rather than another camera, it wouldn't be as much FUN! So the k-x is on the way.

Actually looking forward to comparing shots with my wife who fancies herself as a bit of a photographer in a small way. Will be fun going to our boy's soccer games and comparing the results.

The wide angle issue is one we've already come across with the e620. The kit lens gives similar results to the other guy's kit lenses, (14mm@2.0 vs 18mm@1.5) but beyond that it is massively expensive to buy every mm.
Sure is nice for zoom (at least under good light) though!
They both have some good points. Auto exposure bracketing is a really useful feature for High Dynamic Range series of images. Kx can take up to 3EV steps for 3 images which is a range of 6 EV over a std 1 image dynamic range. The spec sheet from dpreview says that while the 620 also does 3 images for bracketing, its limited to 1 EV steps max. So Kx wins that one.

On the other hand, the 620 has a fine focus adjust with up to 20 lens registrations, like my K20 i presume, and like the k7. The kx does not have this feature so the 620 wins this feature. I have to admit that i have yet to use that feature on my K20, but checked it out one time.

The ISO capabilities of the Kx are a big feature, and i've always thought that the best OVF was important, e.g. can make good compositions without seeing it well.

Always pros or cons, you can't make a mistake going either way in my opinion.
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