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03-22-2010, 01:17 AM   #31
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I agree totally with this

QuoteOriginally posted by Tim_R Quote
Might I add one more requirement to your list? THE PHOTOGRAPHER!

Doesn't matter one whit how good the light, the subject, the lens or the camera; the most important aspect is the nut behind the steering wheel. A true Photographer can make a stunning, artistic pic using a Brownie box camera. A hack will not make good pics no matter what equipment he has (except by pure dumb luck, shooting at a 500-1000:1 ratio). Work hardest at improving the Photographer. The rest can come as it's needed.

Tim
There have been some very good arguments in this thread. Some for and against Pentax. I am blessed enough to actually own several of the Nikon and Pentax cameras mentioned here. The comment above makes the most sense of them all. Some say that the D300s runs circles around the K7. Although I do not own a K7 I cannot agree with comments like this at all. (Wheatfield, if I have taken your comment out of context I apologize in advance). My D300s and D80 seem to only come out of the gun safe when I know I am only going to shoot low light events that have some action. My go to gear is almost always my K10D or K20D. If the Nikon ran circles around my Pentax gear I would have sold the Pentax along time ago. Each has it's strenghts and weaknesses. The photographer just has to think and reason to themselves what they are going to spend most of their time shooting. If low light action shots are at the top of the list and you do not have very much invested in Pentax then yes, go with the D300s. Since that type of photography is only about 15% of mine I stick with my Pentax gear. In body IS and weather resistant bodies with affordable WR lenses mean more to me. Even the autofocus issues debated here become moot if you do not require autofocus tracking to the 100th degree. My keeper rate between my Pentax and Nikon gear is not that different. Knowing your camera and knowing your subject means as much as the ability to track it. I have found occasions when my Nikons would not even focus, yet my K10D focused in less that 1 sec. But, sadly, the reverse is true too. My recommendation to the OP is to try the K7 and if still not happy sell it all and get the D300s. Please weigh all of the facts before listening to the posters who constantly harp on Pentax's weaknesses (though I agree that complaints do lead to progress they can be taken too far). I frequently spend time reading DPR forums for other DSLR cameras and notice that no matter what brand there will be people complaining about their equipment. Purchase a camera system that you will actually use no matter who makes it. Accept that decsion and work within the limitations of the system. Don't waist time second guessing your self. That only leads to waisted money and time spent not taking photographs. Believe me, I am the world worst at second guessing my self. Why do you think I shoot two systems?

03-22-2010, 01:56 AM   #32
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I have to give the edge to Nikon, but being in Pentax knowing that you are picking a less popular line has a nice ring to it.

K-7 has a pretty sturdy build feel to it compared to K-x, but I would recommend the K-x if you just want to dabble in Pentax.

As a plus, I really like the much friendlier atmosphere of the Pentaxians.
03-22-2010, 02:45 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'm going to put a different spin on this, and introduce my new mantra: The Camera Doesn't Matter!

IMHO successful photography requires 4 (four) factors, which I'll list in descending order of importance:

#1: LIGHT
#2: SUBJECT
#3: LENS
#4: CAMERA

The most important factor: LIGHT. If you don't have good light, you can only hope to compensate by maximizing your efforts on the other three factors.

The next most important: SUBJECT. If you don't have anything worth shooting, and it isn't lit so you can adequately photograph it, you might as well quit.

The third most important: LENS. Decide what you want to photograph and how, then use a lens that will do that. Pick your lens(es) first; THEN buy a camera.

The least important: CAMERA. The camera is just a box in which to hang lenses. If the light, subject and lens all suck, the world's "best" camera won't save you.

So, buy whatever camera supports the lenses you want. Buy lenses that adequately capture your subject. Pick a subject worth looking at. And PAY ATTENTION TO THE LIGHT!
Thats a pretty interesting discussion. I see that the list has changed since you first posted it.

I think beauty is really in the eyes of the beholders.... what is of beauty to them, may not be to you... the photographer becomes less relevant.

you can take the worst possible nude photo of britney spears, but i bet that is going to be one mighty interesting picture to alteast half the american population.
03-22-2010, 04:47 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'm going to put a different spin on this, and introduce my new mantra: The Camera Doesn't Matter!

IMHO successful photography requires 4 (four) factors, which I'll list in descending order of importance:

#1: LIGHT
#2: SUBJECT
#3: LENS
#4: CAMERA

The most important factor: LIGHT. If you don't have good light, you can only hope to compensate by maximizing your efforts on the other three factors.

The next most important: SUBJECT. If you don't have anything worth shooting, and it isn't lit so you can adequately photograph it, you might as well quit.

The third most important: LENS. Decide what you want to photograph and how, then use a lens that will do that. Pick your lens(es) first; THEN buy a camera.

The least important: CAMERA. The camera is just a box in which to hang lenses. If the light, subject and lens all suck, the world's "best" camera won't save you.

So, buy whatever camera supports the lenses you want. Buy lenses that adequately capture your subject. Pick a subject worth looking at. And PAY ATTENTION TO THE LIGHT!
The list is spot on. What is implied but left unsaid is ...

#5: Photographer's skill and ability to combine items 1 through 4.

03-22-2010, 05:48 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'm going to put a different spin on this, and introduce my new mantra: The Camera Doesn't Matter!

IMHO successful photography requires 4 (four) factors, which I'll list in descending order of importance:

#1: LIGHT
#2: SUBJECT
#3: LENS
#4: CAMERA

The most important factor: LIGHT. If you don't have good light, you can only hope to compensate by maximizing your efforts on the other three factors.

The next most important: SUBJECT. If you don't have anything worth shooting, and it isn't lit so you can adequately photograph it, you might as well quit.

The third most important: LENS. Decide what you want to photograph and how, then use a lens that will do that. Pick your lens(es) first; THEN buy a camera.

The least important: CAMERA. The camera is just a box in which to hang lenses. If the light, subject and lens all suck, the world's "best" camera won't save you.

So, buy whatever camera supports the lenses you want. Buy lenses that adequately capture your subject. Pick a subject worth looking at. And PAY ATTENTION TO THE LIGHT!
Nice list, but as others have suggested, Photog needs to be there, prolly as #1. And I'd put Subject before Light.
03-22-2010, 06:48 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by foots Quote
Hello all, first let me state that I don't mean to make this a this vs that post or flame war. I just would like to post what I'm thinking about doing and why. Thanks

I now have a Pentax K20D plus and some pentax lens. The lens are...
1. Pentax FA-50mm 1.4,
The Pentax DA 70mm F2.4 Limited,
The Pentax DA 50-200mm,
The Pentax DA-18-55mm,
Pentax-A 70-210 4.0 zoom,
Pentax-M 1:4 100mm Macro,
Tamron AF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 in Pentax mount,
Sears 1:20 50mm and Sears 1:2.8 135mm both with A settings.

I also have the Pentax AF-360 flash gun and remote F alone with the BG-2 battery grip for the K20D.

Ok, now I'm thinking about going with the Nikon D300S because of everything I've read about it's AF ability. I find myself missing more shots with the K20D than I believe I should. Now when it's on, it delivers beautiful shots. I just can't seem to get it "on" most of the time. So to me auto focus performance is of great importance to me. I mainly shoot street, portraits and indoor candids.

Now from what I've read, even the K7 is not as good in the Auto Focus department as the D300S is, but I don't know this for sure. This is just a thought and I'd like to get some feedback on what I'm thinking about doing.

And just so you know I have a Nikon SB-800 flashgun that was giving to me awhile back, so no extra cost there. And I can get a really good price on the Nikon D300s too. And I figure getting maybe 2 decent lens to go with this setup. Thanks Foots
Buy the NIkon and see, whether you make better images. Then, buy a Canon, because it may offer even better AF performance, go full frame finally.

What you write about your desired objects should not fall prey to a slow AF, but to a lack of adequate lenses and to a lack of experience. perhaps. The DA 70 may be a fine lens, a fast lens for candid indoor shots, it isn't. All your zooms are slow and very budget-oriented - do you seriously expect top-performance from that?

With these lenses, you need to employ good manual focusing skills. If you buy a D300 with pro-grade lenses, you can just as easily buy pro-grade lenses for your existing kit. If you use the D300 with these budget lenses, you will get similar results. If you are serious about low light shooting, you should also consider buaing a K-x as a second body, which seems to offer by far(!) the best low light performance of all APS-C cameras.

Ben
03-22-2010, 09:27 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Nice list, but as others have suggested, Photog needs to be there, prolly as #1. And I'd put Subject before Light.
Thanks. I've already (in other threads) restated this with PHOTOGRAPHER as number one. But I still put LIGHT ahead of SUBJECT... I think. Photography IS "drawing with light" and the greatest subject, badly lit, will suck. Then again, I just read this interview [ Don't Be Afraid to Shoot in Low Light Without a Flash - Digital Photography - Lifehacker ] with the photog who, among other stuff, shot the famous photos of Robert Kennedy's assassination, all glare and shadow -- which we could say was EXACTLY the right light for the terrible situation. So maybe you're right.
03-22-2010, 12:29 PM   #38
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I fully understand that I must do my part and believe me I'm trying everything. As far the low light shooting, it's not what I would call low light shooting most of the time. I shoot portraits with 1 to 2 Alien Bee 800 strobes and still have trouble with some of my shots being sharp. My FA 50mm 1.4 is a fast lens, I mean come on! and the 70mm is also pretty fast. But a lot of my shoots are when used with strobes too. so the low light theory goes out the window. I will try to improve on my technical shooting and let you all know what I come up with. I'm trying the fine tune AF feature on the K20D now. Thanks again everyone. And I know I can improve, and that is for sure.

03-22-2010, 12:47 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by foots Quote
I fully understand that I must do my part and believe me I'm trying everything. As far the low light shooting, it's not what I would call low light shooting most of the time. I shoot portraits with 1 to 2 Alien Bee 800 strobes and still have trouble with some of my shots being sharp. My FA 50mm 1.4 is a fast lens, I mean come on! and the 70mm is also pretty fast. But a lot of my shoots are when used with strobes too. so the low light theory goes out the window. I will try to improve on my technical shooting and let you all know what I come up with. I'm trying the fine tune AF feature on the K20D now. Thanks again everyone. And I know I can improve, and that is for sure.
So, show us some examples of shots, that you consider poor and those you consider to be good. That is the only way then, to give any valid comment on possible problems with your equipment. I use the FA 50/1.4 a lot and I also get out of focus shots, if I do not work carefully at its widest aperture. That is completely normal, because the shallow depth of field will render an image useless, if it is even only slightly misfocused.

But that does not necessarily have something to do with AF speed, but with accuracy at placing the focus. Because Pentax DSLR are usually very exacting when it comes to AF, which is one of the reasons, why their AF system performs slowlyer.

Ben
03-22-2010, 01:24 PM   #40
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A vote for the K7

Hi:

I had a k20d for about 1 year and have gotten more serious with my portrait work—so I wanted to have a back-up or upgrade and use my k20d as a backup. Since I only have Pentax lenses, the K7 or Kx were the only choices—unless I was to get another k20d.

I find the k20d to be a great camera in terms of IQ, and it keeps up with my friend’s Nikons and Nikon and Canon images on the web—even the top end Cannons and Nikons, at ISO 100, which is where I always shoot in our home studio.

I found the k20d AF to be slow, however, and I often would miss shots, even in a studio environment. The K7 is a significant improvement. It is close to night and day when shooting under “dimmish” studio conditions.

I have not used a D300s, but did have a friend’s D300 for almost a month—he lent it to me to compare to the k20d. The new D300s is basically a slightly upgraded d300 with video.

The D300 is a great camera, as is the Canon 7d, and I have no doubt the D300s is great, too.

I find I really like the K7. Noise is not an issue for me as I stay at ISO 100, and all of the bells and whistles, of which I am still learning, make the K7 fun.

I must confess that I was disappointed with the k20d and its AF performance and the 7 weeks it took Pentax to fix my DA* 16-50 lens, but all is well now. The lens is fixed, the K7 really is a great camera, and the k20 does back-up duty.

I find for fashion/glamour/portrait studio work and location work where I can control the lighting the K7 gives me just as much quality as virtually anything else—when looking at real world finished results—not brick walls or test charts. Even comparing extremely well to the D3s at ISO 100. Now, if I was a sports, wedding, event shooter, I think I would go to D700 for the AF, build, and noise performance, but for my needs the K7 seems great.

Gregg
03-22-2010, 02:03 PM   #41
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To this I'd add....

QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote

K10: zzzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z pop-pop
K7: zzzzz-z snap-snap
D300s: zzzz boom-boom
D700: znap.
.



Seriously, though, in my experience, the K7 is snappier than my K20D, although I have not used one extensively.



.
03-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Thanks. I've already (in other threads) restated this with PHOTOGRAPHER as number one. But I still put LIGHT ahead of SUBJECT... I think. Photography IS "drawing with light" and the greatest subject, badly lit, will suck. Then again, I just read this interview [ Don't Be Afraid to Shoot in Low Light Without a Flash - Digital Photography - Lifehacker ] with the photog who, among other stuff, shot the famous photos of Robert Kennedy's assassination, all glare and shadow -- which we could say was EXACTLY the right light for the terrible situation. So maybe you're right.
How about this as a compromise:

For photojournalist type work, Subject is often more important than even the photographer. That's how people with cell phones can capture decisive moments, quality be damned, or the photo of the execution of Ruth Snyder.

For artistic type work, the light itself is often the subject.
03-22-2010, 06:01 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Thanks. I've already (in other threads) restated this with PHOTOGRAPHER as number one. But I still put LIGHT ahead of SUBJECT... I think. Photography IS "drawing with light" and the greatest subject, badly lit, will suck. Then again, I just read this interview [ Don't Be Afraid to Shoot in Low Light Without a Flash - Digital Photography - Lifehacker ] with the photog who, among other stuff, shot the famous photos of Robert Kennedy's assassination, all glare and shadow -- which we could say was EXACTLY the right light for the terrible situation. So maybe you're right.
the question remains whether you're capturing your great photos for...

your own eyes?
family viewing?
the artistic indoctrination of an editor in chief?
your photog peers (some may no be your real friends)?
or simply people who are willing to pay $10 for a print?
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