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04-30-2010, 08:43 PM   #16
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The A640 - like many P&S cameras - has a focus assist beam, which helps a lot with AF in less than ideal light. The K10- like many DSLR's - does not, although if you pop the flash up, it will serve that purpose. A hot shoe flash may also support this function.

05-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by hut234 Quote
What irks me though is that now that I've used it for three years, my K10D strikes me as one of the weaker autofocus performing DSLRs I've used, and it's usually not a case of directly focusing on a low contrast subject. It's mostly when needing to get shots off in before the chance is lost, especially in compromised conditions. And not even sports or fast action racing by, just normal shoots where the lighting is low and I have to constantly set focus on something other than what I'll be attempting to focus on first. I've been hoping that a firmware update over the years would put it closer to other more responsive cameras in its range that I've used and noticed the difference with. Still like the results of the Pentax when it can handle the conditions, though : )

I was really hoping that the A640 would be just as fooled by the subject but it wasn't.

Part of my frustration with this is that I've been willing, and expecting, for years to move up to an upgraded Pentax, and the K20D just didn't entice me enough. I was assuming that by now a $1,800 "K30D" would appear between that and the 645D, but no such luck : )
The K20 has already an improved AF, though still not blindingly fast. but your "in between camera" does exist: K7. And it is a lot cheaper than 1800USD.

Ben
05-02-2010, 09:40 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The K20 has already an improved AF, though still not blindingly fast. but your "in between camera" does exist: K7. And it is a lot cheaper than 1800USD.

Ben
There's a lot I do like about the K-7, but when viewing comparisons of challenged light shots I won't say the noise scared my off, or that I thought it was too bad, but since that's such a big part of what I shoot I'm fairly set on my next camera doing better in that department. I mulled it over for a while and opted to not pull the trigger for the $1,100. Any other thing not being great about it (menus, ergonomics, auto-white balance, etc) I would have upgraded. But the noise was just enough to make me hold off for a while longer. : ) If I had a lesser camera than the K10D I probably would have gone for it.
05-02-2010, 10:53 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by hut234 Quote
There's a lot I do like about the K-7, but when viewing comparisons of challenged light shots I won't say the noise scared my off, or that I thought it was too bad, but since that's such a big part of what I shoot I'm fairly set on my next camera doing better in that department. I mulled it over for a while and opted to not pull the trigger for the $1,100. Any other thing not being great about it (menus, ergonomics, auto-white balance, etc) I would have upgraded. But the noise was just enough to make me hold off for a while longer. : ) If I had a lesser camera than the K10D I probably would have gone for it.
I think you are smart to pick a camera that meets your needs. I've been doing low-light amateur playhouse photos as a volunteer service for the organization. Its been an eye-opener. A guy I shoot with has a new D300s and "cleaned my clocks" with its ability to shoot 3200 iso during the current Chekhov Seagull play which had 2 dark scenes. I looked at all his photos and he shot at 4000 ISO at one point. He was able to shoot at apertures 3.5 and above while i was trying to focus at f2.8 with minimal DOF and 1600 iso. Seems crazy to say, but his camera's high ISO ability really benefited IQ.

Since that happened a week ago, my first thought was to buy the Kx for theatre shooting. However, in the last few days, I downloaded the new Lightroom 3 Beta 2. It has a really excellent noise removal feature thats fast and does a better quality job than the specialized software i had before. As a result, i no longer will hesitate to use 3200 iso from my K20 for theatre shooting. (PS - the LR 2 noise feature is lame compared to what the new feature offers)

ISO seems to be the new battlefield between camera mfrs and pp software. Right now i've got a situation that meets my needs, especially once the final LR3 is issued. Think i will wait till the fall to see what Pentax produces. Hopefully its a K7 with Kx's high iso capability, with or without the video :-)

05-02-2010, 02:54 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by hut234 Quote
There's a lot I do like about the K-7, but when viewing comparisons of challenged light shots I won't say the noise scared my off, or that I thought it was too bad, but since that's such a big part of what I shoot I'm fairly set on my next camera doing better in that department. I mulled it over for a while and opted to not pull the trigger for the $1,100. Any other thing not being great about it (menus, ergonomics, auto-white balance, etc) I would have upgraded. But the noise was just enough to make me hold off for a while longer. : ) If I had a lesser camera than the K10D I probably would have gone for it.
Since I do not know, what you shoot mainly, where high ISO is required it is hard to recommend any camera at all. The Kx might be a better proposition at the time being and is so cheap, that it is almost a no-brainer to buy it just for the high ISO.

One thing you should remember is, that Pentax DSLRs show more noise and at the same time preserve more detail than most other DSLRs in its respective price range. So, you are free to apply more NR in post processing, which is a semi automated process and does not cost too much time.

I personally prefer more detail and accept the noise, but I confess, that I also prefer to use the K20 below 1250ISO and the K10 below 800ISO.

But if you really need the cleaner look at high ISO, some DSLRs produce, now and a faster AF in dim light, I would buy into Nikon.

Ben
05-04-2010, 11:11 PM   #21
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pentax and low light

I have to echo what Ben Edict says - Nikon is the low light, high IQ , better auto focus king of the hill at present.

There is a bitter reality to camera brands - Pentax is for enthusiastic amateurs or the so-called semi pros (which sounds a lot like being half pregnant). Nikon is for real pros or for others who think that a pro grade camera will turn them into better picture takers.

So when it comes to taking theater pictures in low light, Pentax didn't used to cut the mustard but with the KX has upped the ante - trouble is the KX is entry level and lacks the bells and whistles that can be really useful at specific times.

Equally, if you are into sports, it looks like Canon has cornered that market.

(Gosh knows who Sony aims at and where Panasonic is going to with the mirrorless range. Olympus is a real niche brand - pity they got into 4/3s, APS-C is the better format).

We Pentax users hope that one day Pentax will grow up into a professional level brand - in the meantime, if you buy a Pentax, you buy some limitations and some cool features (think TAv, green button and two IR sensors).

But as always, buy for what you will use. The K7 has been outplayed for low light and IQ by the KX so one has to wait for the next dog camera produced by Pentax - that's no insult, want to bet they call it the K9?
05-05-2010, 11:32 PM   #22
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Just discovered.......

Auto focus???? I don't even use it any more. I was getting SO frustrated with my K10D not focusing when I tried to take certain shots it was nuts!! THEN I was schooled in the art of manual focus..... WOW!! No more missed shots!!! I'm doing most of my shooting on all the manual settings and I love it.
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