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09-07-2011, 03:59 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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In Praise of the X90

Now that I'm not traveling as much my latest shoots have been on a bay at a yacht club that has many damaged piers due to hurricanes. Lee just beat them up some more. With no walking decks but plenty of pilings in the basin the birds perch by hundreds on what is left of the piers. Unless you are in a boat you cannot get close to them so I am using the super zoom feature of my X90 to get close ups of birds in interesting positions as they dry off, preen, and rest. I am even using the very very strong zoom of digital mode which in the past with other cameras has resulted in much less than acceptable results. I am very glad to report that the little X90 is a super camera. Even holding the camera by hand on full digital/optical zoom I can get clear detailed shots thanks to the anti shake feature. At this high zoom the subject is shaking like crazy in my view finder but at least one out of every five shots in good sunset light will come out with clear detail. I never thought it would happen and have always told others to not bother to use their digital zoom capability. Not any more.

This camera allows for hundreds of shots at any size, up to 12 mp each, has long battery life, and is a breeze to operate in manual giving it the feel and technique of a DSLR. To buy a lens that powerful for a DSLR I can only imagine may cost very much. For all the features (most I don't use) and light portability it is truly worth its relatively small price.

I bought the camera not knowing much at all about it but being an old hat and big fan of the champ Pentax K1000, I just wanted to see PENTAX on my camera again. It has been a very good surprise to find it out shoots my previous hybrids, super zooms, whatever you want to call this class of camera and gives a run especially for the money to my huge DSLR's. Until camera fever strikes again, the Pentax X90 is my camera.


09-07-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
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+1 on that post. The X90 is sort of off the radar screen but it's good to read this kind of remark.
09-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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Yup, it's definitely a nice camera. Too bad they discontinued it!

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09-07-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
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Got some sample shots for us with and w/o digital zoom of some the birds on pilings?

09-30-2011, 10:39 PM   #5
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I searched for no zoom and nope..all are zoom at varying degrees. Got to take my word for it. With no zoom this photo would have been a mass of torn up pilings at a hurricane ravaged yacht club with tiny little birds as specks in the background. I was able to zoom in...even used digi zoom and capture what I think is called an oyster catcher. (they don't eat oysters) Even with a heartbeat shaking this camera, you can keep hitting the shutter release and one will turn out. Zero in your quarry, hold your breath like shooting a gun, and fire off repeated shots...at least one will be clear, the rest blurred by the zoom. Finally...I have a zoom that works. My old Pentax K1000 never did with a huge, long telephoto lens on it. Always the photos, no matter what the settings were fuzzy...yes, cheap stuff but this camera is also cheap stuff that cost less than one lens in 1974..add inflation..omg...we are talking so little money.

If you know if the statement is true above that this cam has been discontinued please let me know. the x90. I am baffled. I thought I found a jewel of a camera beyond anything I've owned since childhood, yet Pentax has dumped it? (first cam was a dual lens reflex) for all you young folks, that is one you look down on a box with its lid open and your shutter release was directly attach to the shutter. 110mm film. Things are much better now. Those things were difficult.
jb
10-01-2011, 02:14 AM   #6
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Optical & Digital Zoom with X90

I also use an X90 and am delighted with most of the results I have achieved with it. Its a great camera at a reasonable price.

QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Got some sample shots for us with and w/o digital zoom of some the birds on pilings?
Here is a shot of a hoopoe bird taken at full optical zoom of 119.6mm (676mm equiv) with no digital zoom.
F/5 at 1/200 sec ISO 80 auto exposure, pattern metering and auto-focus.


Another shot, from the same distance, taken with full optical zoom 119.6mm (676mm equiv) plus 6.3x digital giving a whopping 4258.8mm equivalent!
F/5 at 1/400 sec ISO 80 pattern metering and auto-focus.


Second shot was hand-held, braced against a wall with anti-shake on, but its really tough to aim the camera at these sort of zoom settings.

Both shots taken with auto-focus and auto-exposure in auto mode. The second, high digital zoom, shot is not the greatest IQ in the world but these little birds
are so shy and skittish I would never have got physically close enough to get the picture any other way. On reflection, and if there had been time, I would have tried
a higher ISO and a higher, manual set, shutter speed which may well have resulted in a sharper image as the birds don't keep still for a second!

Photos have only been resized for posting while the second one was cropped a little in height.

Nevertheless I don't think they are bad shots for a camera of this type, size and price.

Last edited by Anton Magus; 10-01-2011 at 02:41 AM.
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