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03-17-2010, 04:14 PM   #1
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Thinking about selling K20D and buying D300s

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

03-17-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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My own experience is that the D300s runs circles around the K7. If a high performace, highly responsive body is what you need, then Pentax is not the best choice.
03-17-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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Agreed....
03-17-2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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If you are going to switch systems, now would be the time to do it given your relatively small commitment to glass at this point.

As to whether or not to you should switch, it's really hard to say one way or the other without personally observing your shooting habits and applications. The complaint of missed shots due to AF shots is also kind of vague. Do you find your lenses hunting under low light? Does the lens take too long to lock in general? Are your shots just out of focus?

Also, you don't mention what steps you've taken to try and get more shots in focus. Are you using the AF360 for the AF assist light? Are you focusing via the AF button, thereby allowing you to actuate the shutter even if the camera doesn't think it has a 100% lock? Have you calibrated your lenses through the AF adjustment? If you are shooting under low light, it also may just be faster to shoot manual. For example, my friend who shoots nightlife with a D700 is thinking about selling his Tamron 90mm because he can focus faster with a manual focus Samyang 85. Just some food for thought.

If you have already explored these options and the camera body is the limiting factor in your photography, then yes, I would switch to a D300s. There just isn't anything in the Pentax lineup that is as robust as the D300s's AF tracking.

03-17-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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I think you should seriously considering renting a K-7 for a week or two and see if you still miss those shots. If yes, maybe it IS time to move on
03-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #6
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Another vote for the Nikon. It really is the best action camera short of spending super bucks for top of the line Nikons or Canons. Getty Images issued the 300s to it's photographers for the Vancouver Olympics. IQ is about the same as the K20D, so you won't lose anything in that regard. Be prepared to pay some body parts for top Nikon lenses, though, which are important to fast focusing.

Also, with the recent price hikes in Pentax glass you should get pretty good resale value for your lenses. Unless you want to sell it all real cheap and give me a call.

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03-17-2010, 11:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by foots:
I mainly shoot street, portraits and indoor candids.
I chose between the K-7 and moving to the D300S too. After handling a D300S I stayed with Pentax. Don't get me wrong - D300S is an extremely capable body. It's just big and loud. I don't believe there is a significant difference in single autofocus performance, perhaps the Nikon has a slight edge. K-7 is pretty snappy though, quiet, small and gives you the option of ultra-compact primes. Even most Pentax zooms are much smaller than Nikon ones, although overall not as great optically I think.
In my opinion, K-7 is probably the best street DSLR available.

Last edited by CWyatt; 03-17-2010 at 11:11 PM.
03-18-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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I agree 100% with everything what was said about D300s.... but, i'm actually having some thoughts about switching back... despite all the bells and whistles, Nikon bodies and Nikon glass (though same applies to Canon) is huge in comparison to Pentax... So every time I realize how much stuff I'm hauling with me, I madly want a K7 + some Pentax primes... but once I pick up the D300s, shoot and process files i'm like "WTF am thinking about???!!! This thing rocks!!!"

Problem is, if I was to switch back, a comparable kit of Pentax lenses that I have now for Nikon will run almost double the price... (ex: Tokina 12-24 300-350$ used vs Pentax 12-24 600-800$ used.... or 77lim 700-850$ used vs Nikon 85/1.8 that I just picked up brand new for 350$CAN and same goes for flashes)... I'd actually be shooting my-self in a foot... buck for buck, running Nikon is actually way cheaper and considering camera performances... perhaps worth the hauling effort...... who would've thought...


Last edited by alexeyga; 03-18-2010 at 09:50 AM.
03-18-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
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Yes it really depends on your requirements with the gear. There's no doubt the D300S with top Nikon glass would have very fast AF (K7 close in AF-S) and very high quality images (K7 close or on par).

The issue is that I'd find if I was using a D300S and Nikon glass I'd have less good street images on my memory card before I worried about anything else. It's a great camera, but it's not a great street camera. If you don't need small and quiet for the street I don't think Nikon would certainly not disappoint you. If you did need small and quiet, the K-7 wins hands down.
03-18-2010, 12:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
There's no doubt the D300S with top Nikon glass would have very fast AF (K7 close in AF-S) and very high quality images (K7 close or on par).
That actually applies to any Nikon glass (not only the top one)... on the exception of some really slow beasts... 80-400 for instance... or the old 70-210/4... For the rest it's just another dimension...

K10: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z-z-BEEP
K7: zzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z-z-BEEP
D300s: zzzzzz-BEEP

As far as quietness goes... that's a tough call... I've got the D300s at the same day when i've returned the K7... and, IMHO, they are really close... different pitch perhaps, K7's shutter sounds plastic-y... as oppose to D300's which sounds a bit more metalic... but both are light years away from any other Pentax body... Besides, D300s has the nifty Q-mode...

Last edited by alexeyga; 03-18-2010 at 12:32 PM.
03-18-2010, 12:44 PM   #11
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My experience with Nikon was that the top motor-drive lenses were a lot faster than the other lenses I used.

Having used D300S and K-7 as well, I really don't think there's much of a difference in AF-S. I think the D300S probably has a slight advantage, I'd say the only difference is the K-7 sometimes does a quick second adjustment just before locking. AF-C maybe a bigger difference, but I never use it for my own shooting so I'm not sure.

I'm also certain there's a very noticeable difference in noise. K-7 is the quiestest DSLR I've heard. D300S has a big CLACK noise. Without having either here, I'd say the D300S was significantly louder than my old K10D. Not an issue for most people, but an issue for street stuff. I don't see how K-7 and D300S are even close in the noise stakes to be honest.
03-18-2010, 12:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by alexeyga Quote
That actually applies to any Nikon glass (not only the top one)... on the exception of some really slow beasts... 80-400 for instance... or the old 70-210/4... For the rest it's just another dimension...

K10: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z-z-BEEP
K7: zzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z-z-BEEP
D300s: zzzzzz-BEEP

As far as quietness goes... that's a tough call... I've got the D300s at the same day when i've returned the K7... and, IMHO, they are really close... different pitch perhaps, K7's shutter sounds plastic-y... as oppose to D300's which sounds a bit more metalic... but both are light years away from any other Pentax body... Besides, D300s has the nifty Q-mode...
You've obviously never held a K-7... Cwyatt is right, the K-7 AF much faster than the K10D with the new screw-drive. If I were to compare the K-7 it would be..

K10: zzzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z pop-pop
K7: zzzzz-z snap-snap
D300s: zzzzzzz boom-boom
03-18-2010, 01:23 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
K10: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z-z-BEEP
K7: zzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z-z-BEEP
D300s: zzzzzz-BEEP

As far as quietness goes...
If you want quiet, consider first disabling that annoying beep... There's a green spot in the viewfinder which confirms focus :P

For my part, every single time I have heard someone complain about camera features, it has been a case of user knowledge or experience. Let's be honest, people shot sports with MF lenses. I still do. I can shoot sports (and did, often) with compact P&S. Knowing your equipment, how it works, its limits and possibilities will get you a long way. The Nikon might very well be faster, I've never used it. but there's never been a case in my two years with the K20D when I could honestly look at my camera and say "frigging gizmo, YOU are slowing me down"... It's always been the reverse.

I will also say that, apart from the 50 and 70, the lenses listed are not the best choices for sports. A faster lens will give more light to the AF sensor, and increase the speed. Consumer lenses will not deliver miracles.

changing systems is always done with a huge loss, so as for me, before changing I'd consider practicing and learning.

(for the record, there ARE things certain cameras can and can't do. built-in SR, servo-AF, are actual features that might be there or not. But we're not talking about this here).
03-18-2010, 01:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
You've obviously never held a K-7... Cwyatt is right, the K-7 AF much faster than the K10D with the new screw-drive. If I were to compare the K-7 it would be..

K10: zzzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z pop-pop
K7: zzzzz-z snap-snap
D300s: zzzzzzz boom-boom


If you say so.... I'm so-so sorry about saying bad thing about your beloved K7...

Damn... And I though people on Nikon and Canon-specific forums were narrow-minded...
03-18-2010, 01:39 PM   #15
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I think it's more an issue of getting accurate information.
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