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04-29-2010, 12:13 PM   #31
Ash
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Yes, the photog is the biggest factor in creating excellent work, though it doesn't diminish the importance of a swift and accurate AF system when it comes to fast action photography.

Even the most skilled photog wouldn't be able to nail every manually-focused large-aperture fast-action portrait, so in that application the camera's AF performance is a considerable limiting factor in getting desirable results.

04-29-2010, 12:46 PM   #32
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I shoot in churches all the time (services, plays, special services, all similar conditions to weddings) and I shoot in nightclubs (similar to a reception). The K7 works just as good as my D700 did without killing my shoulders and lower back. Infact I'm now using a FA24 F2 and a DA55 F1.4 with two bodies, and it still handles better then my D700 and 24-70 AFS.
04-29-2010, 11:16 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Most of the modern day DSLRs are capable of delivering great photos for wedding events... the real question is the person behind it.
It's amazing how that tired old horse gets trotted out of the stable whenever photographers have the temerity to ask for better camera performance.
04-30-2010, 02:58 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMI Quote
I shoot in churches all the time (services, plays, special services, all similar conditions to weddings) and I shoot in nightclubs (similar to a reception). The K7 works just as good as my D700 did without killing my shoulders and lower back. Infact I'm now using a FA24 F2 and a DA55 F1.4 with two bodies, and it still handles better then my D700 and 24-70 AFS.
If you can't handle 1.5kg then you must be pretty old & frail and I can understand you moving to a smaller cam based on weight alone.

But to say the K7 bests the D700 in AF performance & IQ in all areas then I must disagree.

The D700 has easily one of the best proven af/flash systems in the world & will trounce ANY aps-c in IQ from ISO 400 upwards

Regards

04-30-2010, 03:36 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
If you can't handle 1.5kg then you must be pretty old & frail
Most narrow minded comment.
04-30-2010, 04:04 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It's amazing how that tired old horse gets trotted out of the stable whenever photographers have the temerity to ask for better camera performance.
Of course, it doesn't give an excuse for Pentax not to give good camera performance, but the reason why a photographer gets photos that are good is not because of his camera's performance. You can see this all the time. There are photographers who occasionally "luck" into a great a photo and then there are those who are consistently good to great.

As they say in medicine, it isn't the stethoscope, it is what is between the ear pieces that makes the difference.
04-30-2010, 06:34 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
If you can't handle 1.5kg then you must be pretty old & frail and I can understand you moving to a smaller cam based on weight alone.

But to say the K7 bests the D700 in AF performance & IQ in all areas then I must disagree.

The D700 has easily one of the best proven af/flash systems in the world & will trounce ANY aps-c in IQ from ISO 400 upwards

Regards

I'm not sure why your trying to attack what I said because I never said any of the things above.

You should carefully re-read what I said.
04-30-2010, 06:37 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Most narrow minded comment.
I couldn't agree more.

In fact I herniated my L5 disk several years ago, so yeah a bag with 2 gripped D700's, 16-35vr, 24-70afs, 70-200, 50 1.4, SB-900, and Canon HV-20 camcorder does get to me at the end of the day.

05-05-2010, 08:22 AM   #39
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so I had a chance to try the camera out in very dim lighting (similar to a wedding dinner).

For my type of photographic approach, there is a double sided problem. The first is that in really low light, the K-7 still kind of struggles like my K20D. That's with the AF assist lamp off and I'm shooting in low contrast situations.

The second is that with the AF Assist lamp on, in darkness it's very distracting if I'm trying to take a candid and my Pentax goes all "Predator" on my subject with it's green AF assist lamp. I notice and people notice. Aiyah!

Otherwise, as long as there's some contrast and some light, the Pentax K-7 is a great camera. I can't tell how wonderful it is to have a super silent SDM lens (DA*55) and a super super quiet camera. I could be two feet from a person and they won't be able to hear my take a pic!!! And with enough light (and maybe this goes with every camera), the K-7 can quickly grab focus and "bam bam bam" fire off a few sharp and well detailed shots.

Now, just have to figure out the whole low-light thing... (and yes, I go flash-less most of the time)
05-05-2010, 08:48 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nubi Quote
Think about what they did with the K-7 sensor; more film like quality (although I think they seemed to have made some adjustments after some people complained about excessive noise). Perhaps Pentax is a company who strive for photographers who thoughtfully compose one shot at a time, instead of picking one or two out of thousands.
I think you are right and that is why I like them. I get a much better sense of being a photographer with Pentax than with Canikony. And manual focus plus good technique is part of that.

People who complain about manual focus being too slow are often, in truth, complaining about their own technique being too slow. It is easier to improve your technique than to improve the AF in your camera. All it takes is for your lens to hunt once during a critical sequence and you've lost the shot.

I don't do weddings but I do other events, where even the sound of AF or the shutter is disagreeable. That's why I am looking forward to a K-7.
05-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #41
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I have now picked up a 50-135mm f2.8 for 600 from Campkins in Cambridge. The K7 will have to hold.

SPECTRAL PHOTOGRAPHY
05-05-2010, 06:38 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
If you can't handle 1.5kg then you must be pretty old & frail and I can understand you moving to a smaller cam based on weight alone.

But to say the K7 bests the D700 in AF performance & IQ in all areas then I must disagree.

The D700 has easily one of the best proven af/flash systems in the world & will trounce ANY aps-c in IQ from ISO 400 upwards

Regards
I'm not a wedding photographer, but I'm also not "old and timid." Still, I do not enjoy carrying a heavy load around my neck and on my shoulder for hours on end. It takes the pleasure out of photography. Some guys like big cameras, just as they like fancy sports cars. It shows how "manly" they are. How pathetic.

I do not disagree, however, that the D700 is a superior tool for wedding and event photography. If I were in that line of work, I would strongly consider it. But for the sort of photography that I do (landscape, street, people,) it offers no advantage to the much smaller and lighter K-7 in terms of IQ--none whatsoever.

Rob
05-05-2010, 08:02 PM   #43
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To respond to the questions about focus assist on flashes, I don't know about the Pentax Flash, but the Metz 48 and Metz 58, Pentax version, have a great focus flash assist. I've taken my K10 with the Metz 48 and fried into a black bathroom on full auto mode, no lights and got a nicely focused picture of the pattern on the opposite wall.

I suspect that having a flash on one's camera to assist in focusing is not such a bad practice. There are candid situations where the subjects are backlit and a flash photograph is going to be necessary to catch the moment. natural light is great where you can stage it or provide additional lighting, but not a cureall for all situations. Having only done one wedding, i'll defer to others experience on this :-)

Last comment, from the few tests i've done with my K20, I think one can use the K20 and K7 at 3200 ISO if one applies Lightroom's V3 noise reduction to the prints in PP, its that good. But do your own tests.

Last edited by philbaum; 05-05-2010 at 08:09 PM.
05-06-2010, 05:19 AM   #44
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And also the built-in flash will do AF assist, at least on my K20D.
05-06-2010, 08:26 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by gostwick Quote
Are there any pro photographers using the K7 successfully for wedding photography? I'm considering purchacing a K7 body to force my K10D to be my backup/alternate camera.

I shoot weddings and other similar events (have a Confirmation tonight) with a K20D and a K10D, and an *ist DS as my third, in-reserve body.

My impression is that the advanced Pentax bodies are ideal for serious landscape photography: weather-sealing, smaller bodies (lighter to carry when hiking into the field), outstanding prime lenses, all these are features that landscape (and possibly architectural) photographers would really benefit from. But you can use the Pentax cameras for anything you like, including wedding photography. Ash (whose posts I always respect and learn from) says he uses similar bodies and they are "more than adequate." I would agree, although I would prefer to say simply "adequate." I sometimes feel like I'm working at the edge of the camera's capabilities.

Actually, it's important to understand that shooting a wedding really calls for at least two, perhaps three, different types of photography.

1. The wedding ceremony in the church usually requires that you shoot in mediocre-to-bad light, without flash. So you're shooting at high ISOs. Here, the ideal camera would be one that does well at high ISO and also auto-focuses well in low-light. A Nikon D3 that can shoot comfortably and cleanly at ISO 12800 would be nice, aside from the $5K price tag. If you stick with Pentax, it seems to me from what I've read that the K-x would be better than the K-7 for this part of the job. I've given serious thought to buying a K-x just for this purpose. I have improved my in-church photos by moving entirely to faster prime lenses. As for auto-focus, this is indeed a problem for me. My solution is to use the custom settings to disconnect autofocus from the shutter button and assign it to the AF button. I take up a position, get the focus right, and then don't change it until I need to. I recently tried shooting an event in a church using manual focus. I was excited about the idea and may even try it again, but the results were not encouraging. The problem is, if the light is low enough to make autofocus difficult, it's going to be low enough to make manual focus difficult. Just like the camera's autofocus sensor, your eye needs to find an area with some contrast in it. If it's dark you just can't see the contrast well.

2. The formal group photos. Here you get to use flash in a fairly controlled setting. Just about any Pentax DSLR will do okay here, if you know what you're doing. The problem is with the flash system and the flash units. The Pentax AF 540FGZ isn't as powerful as some other flashes (like the Metz 58AF), so if you have Pentax flash, you may find it difficult to overcome strong backlighting OR to bounce the flash off the church ceiling. If you use radio triggers, you can't use P-TTL. (You CAN USE P-TTL if you use optical triggering, although I personally have found optical triggering to be less reliable than I'd like.) Anyway, the K-7 will be fine here.

3. The reception. At the reception, you need a camera that focuses fast and has good ergonomics. Here, I think the K-7 would shine. My K20D does very well, too. You also need a good flash and a good flash system for shooting the reception.


Let me return to flash. It's really important for weddings. I can't speak from real knowledge, as I've never actually used the Nikon or Canon systems, but from everything I've read and from talking with other more experienced wedding photographers, I have concluded that the Pentax flash system is the weakest part of their product line. By "flash system," I mean everything related to flash: the physical flash units themselves (Pentax's aren't very powerful, have a slow sync speed, and aren't very durable either) and the features they support (complicated subject). When I fantasize about switching to Nikon these days, it's not because the cameras I could afford would be any better than the K20D or K-7 (they wouldn't) but because of the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS).

Nevertheless, it's quite possible to do an excellent job at the reception with Pentax bodies. You just need to learn how to handle the various challenges. That's probably true of any camera.

So, bottom line: Yes, you can definitely use a Pentax K-7 for wedding and event photography. And at least as long as Pentax's prices stay as competitive as they have been, Pentax users may find they have more money to spend on lenses and accessories.

Will
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