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04-01-2010, 10:35 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
For me, the biggest differences between Pentax and other brands are (1) weather sealing -- this is the real deal. I have lost a camera in a thunderstorm. I have comfortably shot with the K10/20 without any concern or problem in heavy weather. (2) size -- I personally like the smaller size the Pentax espouses better than the behemoth's that the other brands bring out for their top of the line cameras. (3)SR -- arguing about lens/body is SR is fairly futile. The only thing I will say is that I do use SR on a regular basis when shooting with fast primes. It really helps a lot in the right situation. (4) Nikon lens prices aren't exactly cheap when looking at the upper end glass. I don't think I can afford a 70-200 f2.8 VR I or VR II. I can afford a DA * 50-135. (5) Nikon does have definite advantage in shooting flash, but this is generally in settings where multiple flashes are in play. The K7 actually does quite well with my Metz 58 -- quite a bit better than the K20 did.
I strongly second/support Rondec' comments (1), (2) and (3). The WR, small camera size and SR are some huge assets of the Pentax dSLRS over the competition incl. Canikons. (I have no experience on the Nikkon lenses to discuss the last 2 points.)

I would however add one more argument in favor of Pentax cameras versus the other brands: (6) continuous shooting capabilities; the K-x and possibly better the K-7 are leading the dSLRs within their price ranges, with 4.7 fps and 5.2 fps. The buffer size of the K-7 is excellent and can yield some superb continuous shooting with a fast SD card.

I use often continous shooting (Hi) and I am very impressed by the K-7. The continuous shooting specs (frame rate per second as well as buffer size) were a strong argument that added to convince me to buy the K-7 over the D90 and 500D.

04-02-2010, 04:40 AM   #17
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I shot Nikon and the D90 and 105VR is a terrific combo for an excellent price. You would be happy with the Nikon

The primes are not VR, so that's the knock. Then again, we were shooting without VR/SR/IS for decades. Switching brings you into Nikon's extensive glass market, new and used, plus extensive third party options not available for Pentax (Tokina 11-16, for example).

You make an excellent point about the price of lenses. This used to be a Pentax selling point, and now that is an advantage Hoya gave up. You really see this on the DA*55.

Will it make you a better photographer? No. You will travel lighter with the 105VR as your do it all lens. Elsewhere I have advocated Pentax mimic this lens at a lower cost than Nikon due to the in-body SR advantage. That lens alone has given legs to the D90 body in sales volume.

Your cheapest alternative to get near-identical IQ is the KX. This keeps your decent lens set at the lowest opportunity cost.

QuoteOriginally posted by lavascript Quote
After reading in another thread that a used Nikon D90 w/ 18-105VR could be had for under $1000, it got me thinking about jumping ship. Especially after reading in a different thread about Nikon's cheap primes (85, 50, and 30-35ish). [I'm way out of the loop on things like availability of Nikon glass.]

So I currently have a K10D with 20K actuations, the kit lens, FA50, Sigma 17-70, Vivitar A 70-200 f/4.5 MF non-Series1, Lensbaby 1.0, and a Travor grip.

Question 1, do you think I could get enough from the sale of that stuff to get a D90/18-105 and 50/1.8? Or nearly?

Question 2, would I be happy with the Nikon?

I shoot mostly candids of my kids, with a decent amount of f/1.4 and ISO1600. I shoot a lot of random stuff too, but it accounts for less than half of my shots. I also do product-type stuff Strobist style, which I love the dual dials for.

When I bought the K10, it was a really tough decision between it and the D80. I chose Pentax for the SR, weather-sealing, and cheaper lenses. Plus I usually root for the underdog. =) I also like the feeling of not having scene modes, and I love the X mode, but those are little things.

But the recent price hikes are really disconcerting. I feel I'll never be able to afford Pentax glass again, so if I'm just using Sigma/Tamron, why stick with Pentax? When Nikon has a much larger user/support base, and a much larger lens/accessory market, it looks pretty attractive.

My issues with the K10 that I'm hoping the D90 would improve/fix include low-light AF (granted, D90 has an AF-assist light) and wonky AE (I find I'm always bumping EV one way or the other).

I'm sorry... I have a feeling this is real rambly, but I'm tired and don't want to go re-read and edit. =)

Thanks in advance for the advice.
04-02-2010, 10:14 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanjo Quote
Some will say that the in-body SR is a great deal - it's not IMHO. It saves you an f-stop
In my experience, it's more than one stop, to the extent that this is a meaningful way of measuring. But even if you call it one stop, one free f-stop that costs nothing in terms of DOF and works with every lens you will own - think about that. Upgrading every lens you own to a version one stop faster - that could costs *thousands* of dollars. Even if we accepted the claim that it's only on f-stop, that's still *hugely* valuable.

QuoteQuote:
SR mostly helps for shooting static subjects with long lens.
And static subjects with shorter lenses. And of course "static" doesn't mean inanimate - people are often "static" enough for SR to be an advantage. The ability to reliably handhold a candid taken at a "normal" or short telephoto focal length using a shutter speed of, say, 1/20" - 1/30" - that's *huge* advantage, as that is fast enough to get sharp pictures of most living subjects who are not actively running around. Sure, it won't stop people who *are* actively running around. But neither will actually going with a stop faster lens with that much less DOF. If you want to stop action, you need more light, true. But there are a *ton* of situations where just getting rid of the camera shake at 1/20"- 1/30" makes all the difference in the world.

I've shot *tends of thousands* of these kind of pictures, and I can absolutely assure you it is *incredibly* useful.

QuoteQuote:
you don't need all your lenses to be VR, you can certainly do without for short and medium lenses.
Of course you *can* do without - as long as you don't mind many of your low light pictures being worse than they need to be (using higher ISO to avoid camera shake, or just living with the shake). But it *does* make a difference - and a pretty big one.

QuoteQuote:
I'm afraid the Pentax system is becoming less compelling for the average consumer (such as me).
Only the average consumer who doesn't understand just how valuable SR really is. Your other points don't really make sense, either - the "average consumer" won;t see the K-x body as crippled since it's more functional than anything else in the price range, nor will he see the K-7 sensor as "subpar" since it's one of the best ever produced *exact* at very high ISO, nor does the "average consumer" tend to worry about how many options he has for external flash, etc. And as for AF, have you actually *used* a K-x? have you seen people complaining in any of these forums about it not being fast enough? It's a common enough complaint about older bodies, and mostly among pros with higher expectation, but saying that the K-x's AF going to be issue for the "average consumer" is *way* off base.
04-02-2010, 10:33 AM   #19
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I'm not sure what prices people are looking at but Pentax glass, even after the recent increases is very competitive with Nikon and Canon, and in most cases is still less. Are Nikon's "cheap" primes on a par with Pentax Limiteds? I don't think so. If you aren't happy with your Pentax system then change, by all means. I'm sure there are plenty of members who will be happy to purchase your used gear in the marketplace. They may also be happy to sell it back to you in a couple of years, at a profit of course.

04-02-2010, 11:20 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
In my experience, it's more than one stop, to the extent that this is a meaningful way of measuring. But even if you call it one stop, one free f-stop that costs nothing in terms of DOF and works with every lens you will own - think about that. Upgrading every lens you own to a version one stop faster - that could costs *thousands* of dollars. Even if we accepted the claim that it's only on f-stop, that's still *hugely* valuable.



And static subjects with shorter lenses. And of course "static" doesn't mean inanimate - people are often "static" enough for SR to be an advantage. The ability to reliably handhold a candid taken at a "normal" or short telephoto focal length using a shutter speed of, say, 1/20" - 1/30" - that's *huge* advantage, as that is fast enough to get sharp pictures of most living subjects who are not actively running around. Sure, it won't stop people who *are* actively running around. But neither will actually going with a stop faster lens with that much less DOF. If you want to stop action, you need more light, true. But there are a *ton* of situations where just getting rid of the camera shake at 1/20"- 1/30" makes all the difference in the world.

I've shot *tends of thousands* of these kind of pictures, and I can absolutely assure you it is *incredibly* useful.



Of course you *can* do without - as long as you don't mind many of your low light pictures being worse than they need to be (using higher ISO to avoid camera shake, or just living with the shake). But it *does* make a difference - and a pretty big one.



Only the average consumer who doesn't understand just how valuable SR really is. Your other points don't really make sense, either - the "average consumer" won;t see the K-x body as crippled since it's more functional than anything else in the price range, nor will he see the K-7 sensor as "subpar" since it's one of the best ever produced *exact* at very high ISO, nor does the "average consumer" tend to worry about how many options he has for external flash, etc. And as for AF, have you actually *used* a K-x? have you seen people complaining in any of these forums about it not being fast enough? It's a common enough complaint about older bodies, and mostly among pros with higher expectation, but saying that the K-x's AF going to be issue for the "average consumer" is *way* off base.
Marc, I agree with everything you've written here.

When I got my K100D, I did some tests with the Tamron 70-300. @ 300mm, I could get 52.5% (21/40) "sharp" shots with a shutter of 1/60s with SR on. With SR off, I needed 1/250s to get over 50% (24/40).

Bracing myself against a solid object (tree trunk, deck railing) I've gotten sharp results at 1/15s.

I shoot a lot of the local wildlife and have a bunch of BIF shots. Yeah, I've missed some due to focus speed, particularly with the K100D. But with my K2000 I've had very few misses (except for the buffer filling up) and even most of those could have been better if I, the photographer, had done a better job of paying attention to things like anticipation of movement and paying attention to the animal's behavior.

I'm not saying that faster AF wouldn't be great, but I won't ask the hardware to compensate for the fleshpod.

QuoteOriginally posted by stanjo Quote
Product selection:
The K-7 is a great body with a sub-par sensor. The K-X is a great sensor in a crippled body. Auto-focus sucks in both (not as much as in the previous Pentax generation, but still sucks compared to any Nikon).

Target consumer:
The K-X is targeted to first-time dSLR users, who most likely just want better pictures of their kids. The Pentax auto-focus will leave them disappointed.

K-7 is targeted to pros, but the Pentax ecosystem is not good enough for those whose livelihood depends on it, AF sucks for action, lack of tethering sucks for studio.
The K-x has, arguably, the best body in the entry-level market. How is that crippled?

The DR of the K-7 might be a tad lacking, but that doesn't seem to preclude great photos. I thought the K-7 was targeted to "enthusiasts".

There are a gazillion action shots that refute the ridiculous "AF sucks for action" statement.
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Last edited by flippedgazelle; 04-02-2010 at 11:29 AM.
04-02-2010, 12:01 PM   #21
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marc, I've wondered about SR. I've read the online stuff, looked at the graphs that compare SR to non SR images on percentage of "acceptable" images, etc etc. And I've read comments from folks who minimize the value of SR based pre-SR film days experience.

But as far as I can see, the differentiator is in the photographer's intention for the image.
Example: both shots with the K20 + DA-35, f6.7 @ 1/10, RAW with no sharpening, auto WB etc etc. The first is with SR, the second without:
SR on

SR off

On screen @ 100% crop, the SR image is sharper, but reduced to fit on an 8x10" print at a reasonable viewing distance it's virtually impossible to see the difference. My point being, SR works of course, and it does give flexibility to shoot under a wider range of conditions, but it becomes much less important when the image moves out of the digital world into the more common reality. No right or wrong way, just different, but it does lend support to folks who are looking at the M4/3 systems (as I am) and considering non-SR lenses like the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7,
Brian
04-02-2010, 02:56 PM   #22
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In regards to SR please read this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/92000-whats-your-l...erspeed-6.html

and if your to lazy to here are my results:

DA 55-300mm indoors at 300mm. These are the results I got handheld at 1/10 than 1/4 sec.


300mm wideopen at 1/10 sec shutter speed


crop:

300mm wideopen at 1/4 sec. shutter speed


300mm wideopen at 1/4 sec. shutter speed


crop:

300mm wideopen at 1/4 sec. shutter speed

So SR is a life saver, and IMO all of the above are usable

It also shows how some shots are sharper than others.... at 300mm wideopen and 1/4 sec shutter speed its all about consistent technique which I do not have.
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