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04-06-2010, 01:56 AM   #1
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K-X opinions

Hello,
I realize this may be a biased forum, but I am having trouble getting serious opinions in general photography forums.
I have recently began to take interest in photography (after 15 years break).
I am looking into buying my first dSLR camera, and it seems to me that a Pentax K-X kit with 18-55 and 50-200 or 50-300 may be the best deal there is for various reasons.
I can count as a major advantage the 1/6000 fastest shutter speed, high ISO performance, fast continuous shooting and good kit lenses. I think this camera offers more than the competition in this price range.
However, there is one issue that bothers me and that's the lack of selected focus point indication in the viewfinder.
How much an issue is this? I would seem to me that not knowing where the camera focused while taking pictures in the viewfinder may be a serious issue.
What do you think?

04-06-2010, 02:59 AM   #2
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If you set the camera to center focus, it will not be an issue. You place the subject in the center and focus on it, move the camera around to get the composition that you want and shoot.

Just like the split prism years ago.

If you use the mode where you select a focus point, it might be an issue if you don't remember which AF point you chose.

And when you let the camera decide, you indeed don't know.

I don't have a Kx, but I never let the camera decide where to focus. I generally use 'center' and sometimes 'select'.
04-06-2010, 03:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
If you set the camera to center focus, it will not be an issue. You place the subject in the center and focus on it, move the camera around to get the composition that you want and shoot.

Just like the split prism years ago.

If you use the mode where you select a focus point, it might be an issue if you don't remember which AF point you chose.

And when you let the camera decide, you indeed don't know.

I don't have a Kx, but I never let the camera decide where to focus. I generally use 'center' and sometimes 'select'.
As a new K-X user, I think that is very good advice. Thanks. I seemed to have problems with auto-focus as the camera and me never agree about what should be the object to focus on.

Doh, why didn't I think of this.
04-06-2010, 03:34 AM   #4
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It seems I will be able to live with that. After all, it's not that much different than what happens with my current point and shoot camera.
It does nullify the point of 11 AF points though...

04-06-2010, 05:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogeva Quote
It seems I will be able to live with that. After all, it's not that much different than what happens with my current point and shoot camera.
It does nullify the point of 11 AF points though...
A good eye nullifies the point for auto focus as well.

I never really understand the point of having all of those options, but of course, different people work differently.

For me, I don't see when or how I would go back and forth to the menu to change focus points for individual shots.
04-06-2010, 06:24 AM   #6
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Well, I use focus point selection quite a lot when doing portraits, as I don't have to focus/recompose each time... I usually select one of the 4 "corners", and point it at the nearest eye. Everything else usually nicely fits in the pic then.
But this is not a one-shot process, I usually do several pics, so, I'm not really missing the focus points on my Kx. A quick glance to the rear LCD does not take that much time.

Moreover, this is real nice for manual lenses, as the little red square is really annoying when manual focusing (removing them for focus confirm also removes them for focus point selection on my k7, which is dumb!).
04-06-2010, 07:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogeva Quote
Hello,
How much an issue is this? I would seem to me that not knowing where the camera focused while taking pictures in the viewfinder may be a serious issue.
What do you think?
I thought I would miss them, but honestly I don't. I often change my focus point (all of them for racing children, center for portraits or exacting focus on a still object) and the reference on the view screen is always visible in case I forget which points I'm using. When I'm using the center point it's always clear to me where my point of focus is (I tend to focus-recompose rather than choosing another single point). My pics are in perfect focus with this method (unless I forgot to adjust for needed shutter speed :P).

These are focus with centerpoint/recompose shots taken fairly quickly without missed focus:

Focus on crest of the neck, recompose to get the water


Focus on top of the head, recompose to give him background


Focus is on a leaf in the water, recompose to capture depth


Focus just below the big pouring rim around the top, recompose to center
04-06-2010, 07:31 AM   #8
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I got my K-x three weeks ago, and I got a refurb K100D a week ago. Unlike the K-x, the K100D has focus points. I can't say that I miss them on the K-x at all. Here's the thing:

1) Say I'm taking shots of a bunch of flowers. With the K100D, it'll report which of the flowers I'm focused on, but it isn't as if I don't know which one I want to have in focus. So in a situation like this, it really doesn't matter.

2) Say I'm taking shots of a bunch of kids playing soccer. In a case like this, I'd probably set the camera to 11-point AF and just take as many shots as I can to get a few good ones of the kids I want in focus. In a situation like this, it also doesn't matter.

So when do AF points matter? I'm not sure they do at all. And with manual focus lenses, they don't factor in at all since they only work with AF lenses.

As someone who's just recently gotten into photography, I'm surprised at how much I'm using manual focus, even with my AF lenses. Don't let the lack of AF points be a dealbreaker for the K-x. It's an incredible value for what you get.

- Sung

04-06-2010, 07:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwoo Quote

As someone who's just recently gotten into photography, I'm surprised at how much I'm using manual focus, even with my AF lenses.
I love the QUIET, and my batteries thank me.
04-06-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwoo Quote
. .
2) Say I'm taking shots of a bunch of kids playing soccer. In a case like this, I'd probably set the camera to 11-point AF and just take as many shots as I can to get a few good ones of the kids I want in focus. In a situation like this, it also doesn't matter.

So when do AF points matter? I'm not sure they do at all. And with manual focus lenses, they don't factor in at all since they only work with AF lenses.
- Sung
I do miss Focus Point confirmation sometimes - i.e. taking shots of the soccer game (14 years old boys) with >200mm lens.

11 points AF completely useless here. Boys are too big to fit many of them into one shot and then make a bunch of pictures hoping you'll get one that you need in focus

Game is very fast so using AF.C is kind of essential, but if your object is of center, you miss focus at this point, and don't even know about that.

But anyway,
I have my K-x for few months now, switched from K200D, and don't regret about that. Good ISO performance helps to get very decent shots for indoor gymnastics (no flash) or indoor soccer.

Edited
One more negative thing - no battery grip for K-x.


P.S. One can find much better camera, but none in this price range, IMHO.

Last edited by borysr; 04-06-2010 at 11:36 AM.
04-06-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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autofocus points

Like the folk above, I also cant see the value of 11 auto focus points, randomly deciding which one will focus on a contrast ridden piece of the scene.

But I have found the 5 auto focus points (which cluster around the center portion of the VF, to enable faster focusing than just the single point in the dead center, depending on the subject.

For any shots in the distance or at least 10 meters away, 5 auto focus points will generally cover the part of the scene you want in focus.

For anything closer, the single AF point is the correct option.

I've been told that if one is shooting a flock of birds flying by that the 11 point AF setting is the one to use - one of those 11 points is going to lock onto something.
04-06-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlaubza Quote
Like the folk above, I also cant see the value of 11 auto focus points, randomly deciding which one will focus on a contrast ridden piece of the scene.
I use it, for example, when I'm photographing 2 running children on a playground, using a deep DOF, using continuous focus. A forgiving set up, but central focus would inevitably give me a bar of a playground structure rather than the 2 moving boys I'd been tracking :P
04-06-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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Thanks,
I think I'm convinced!
Will get mine in a month. It's a bit difficult to get them in Israel - the small enthusiasts and pro photographers all use nikon and canon here.
But there are a few shops holding Pentax, and service is by the same company that imports Nikon, so I think it's safe enough.
04-06-2010, 11:41 AM   #14
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I've had my K-x for a month or so, and I generally just stuck with the 5 pt focus option it allows. Rarely do I feel the need to have 11 pt focus in my opinion. And when i'm photographing only one subject, such as a flower or an object, i switch over to center focus.

Haven't really had any issue with focus, and when it does happen, it's usually my fault.
04-07-2010, 08:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogeva Quote
Thanks,
I think I'm convinced!
Will get mine in a month. It's a bit difficult to get them in Israel - the small enthusiasts and pro photographers all use nikon and canon here.
But there are a few shops holding Pentax, and service is by the same company that imports Nikon, so I think it's safe enough.
You have made a very good choice. The Kx for the $ is definitely above the competition and you will very soon realize that the AF point feedback is good for beginners, (I had the same thoughts you did, I really wanted those AF points to light up) but this was my first ever DSLR and after about a week of non-stop shooting I leave my camera on center spot focus or just go full manual focus and now could care less about the AF feedback.
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