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12-15-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
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Considering switching over to nikon

In 2010, I picked up my first camera, an IstDS. Not a breathtaking camera by any standards, but it was what got me into photography and made eventually switch my major to photography. Since then, ive gone from the K10 to the K20. The nikon D3200 (an entry level camera) has much better image quality, better maximum iso, not to mention noise performance than then my K20 (considered to be a midrange camera) Just a little while back, I was at the lake trying to take some shots of a group of birds. I was trying to catch them in mid-flight/mid take-off but the autofocus on the camera was miles too slow. By the time it had locked on, my subjects were long gone. Pentax seems like it takes a lot of adjustments and tweaking to get the results you want, whereas nikon just helps you focus on getting the shot you want.

User friendliness seems like its always been an issue with pentax cameras. A good example of this is the "custom image" and the image filters which are in completely different places. I've come a long way as a photographer since picking up my first camera and i feel like i need something that just helps me focus on my creative process rather than having to wade through difficult menus. I messed around with my friends nikon a few times in class and i was amazed at how intuitive and easy it was to use.

I think this quote from The Verge sums up pentax's issues with user interface pretty well.
QuoteQuote:
The other problem is a more systemic one, of which Pentax is but one of a number of guilty parties: it just takes too long to find and access settings. For instance, changing the LCD color scheme takes 16 taps, and you'll have to read about 100 menu items before you figure out that LCD Display is in the first page of the section with a wrench icon. How the hell are you supposed to figure that out? A few cameras, like Sony's NEX lineup, are starting to come up with smarter and simpler ways to organize and surface settings and options Pentax needs to get on board.

I feel like the only significant thing I would really be giving up is the weather sealing. Given that I do a lot of outdoor model photography, I dont think most of my models would want to shoot when it was raining and to be honest, neither would I. Ironically, im watching a review for the Nikon 7100 and the reviewer is walking around in the rain, umbrella in one hand and camera in the other.

12-15-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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Couldn't Agree More!

Yes, Neostyles, you're absolutely right; a Nikon 3200, released in 2012, with 24 MP, is a better camera than the K20, released in 2008, with 14.6 MP.
Most electronic devices do improve somewhat over 4-5 years. Since then, Pentax has introduced the K-R, K-X, K-7, K-5, K-5II and K-5IIs and the K-3.
As for the interface, you seem to be one of the few who don't like the Pentax version, in fact many independent reviews have cited this as a strong point of the camera line. Very few have said the same for Nikon.
But I still believe you would be much better off switching to Nikon.
Thank you for posting.
Ron
12-15-2013, 08:59 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Find a Camera you like, Not a brand you like.

Personally I am a Photography Enthusiast, Not a Brand Enthusiast.

Good luck with whatever you choose, You are young and Will no doubt figure out a whole lot about photography on your way
12-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #4
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I really don't find myself in the menu that often, and wouldn't consider that a reason enough for moving to another brand. I personally would pick the KIIs over the D7100, as the Pentax has better dynamic range and costs less.

12-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by neostyles Quote
IThe nikon D3200 (an entry level camera) has much better image quality, better maximum iso, not to mention noise performance than then my K20 (considered to be a midrange camera) Just a little while back, I was at the lake trying to take some shots of a group of birds. I was trying to catch them in mid-flight/mid take-off but the autofocus on the camera was miles too slow.
I'm on a K20D as well...still waiting for the K-3 prices to drop
The K20D was Pentax's top of the line at the time, so I'm not sure why you think it's a midrange camera. Compared to today's cameras, yes it is.

But at any rate, many of today's cameras have far beaten it in AF performance. You're basically comparing an Xbox (the original PC based one) w/ a PS4. You're multiple generations behind. The sensors are also a lot better now. And the UIs have gotten fancier (check out the rear LCD menus on the K-30/K-50/K-3 to see what I mean).

And Pentax's UI (the buttons, layout, etc.) are better than other brands. Try using the others w/ gloves on to see what I mean.
I've shot models quite a bit w/ the K20D as well...they don't move like birds so it's not an issue, so nice lenses and learning how to light properly are farrrrrrrr more important when you're just showing the images at screen resolution
12-15-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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You have already made up your mind and found enough justifications, just switch to Nikon and be happy. You don't need our opinion or approval, just have fun and buy whatever you can afford that works for you and makes you happy.
12-15-2013, 09:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by neostyles Quote
In 2010, I picked up my first camera, an IstDS. Not a breathtaking camera by any standards, but it was what got me into photography and made eventually switch my major to photography. Since then, ive gone from the K10 to the K20. The nikon D3200 (an entry level camera) has much better image quality, better maximum iso, not to mention noise performance than then my K20 (considered to be a midrange camera) Just a little while back, I was at the lake trying to take some shots of a group of birds. I was trying to catch them in mid-flight/mid take-off but the autofocus on the camera was miles too slow. By the time it had locked on, my subjects were long gone. Pentax seems like it takes a lot of adjustments and tweaking to get the results you want, whereas nikon just helps you focus on getting the shot you want.

User friendliness seems like its always been an issue with pentax cameras. A good example of this is the "custom image" and the image filters which are in completely different places. I've come a long way as a photographer since picking up my first camera and i feel like i need something that just helps me focus on my creative process rather than having to wade through difficult menus. I messed around with my friends nikon a few times in class and i was amazed at how intuitive and easy it was to use.

I think this quote from The Verge sums up pentax's issues with user interface pretty well.



I feel like the only significant thing I would really be giving up is the weather sealing. Given that I do a lot of outdoor model photography, I dont think most of my models would want to shoot when it was raining and to be honest, neither would I. Ironically, im watching a review for the Nikon 7100 and the reviewer is walking around in the rain, umbrella in one hand and camera in the other.
Why not consider upgrading to a K-5ii or K-3? As someone else mentioned, you're comparing a camera released in 2008 (K20) to one that came out in 2012 (D3200) so why not compare a newer Pentax to the Nikons.

Sounds to me like a K-5ii would do the trick here, and for a lot less money than a D7100.
12-15-2013, 09:15 PM - 1 Like   #8
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All modern cameras are good. Find the one that suits you, be happy.

12-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Enjoy the trip. Lots of people work with Nikon and seem to enjoy it just fine. You will likely be one of those.

However, as you head on over, consider this. With the K5, K5ii, K5iiS and now the K3, Pentax has really set the bar pretty high for APS-C sensor cameras. In addition, though weather resistance is not very important to you, I have read a lot of complaint threads from Nikon and Canon forums where their cameras needed expensive repairs because they accidentally got a bit damp.

However, Nikon is a great camera brand and has produced some classic cameras over the years. And the focus is typically a bit faster and more accurate...in the upper tier of cameras...and with the right, and quite expensive, lenses. Enjoy.
12-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #10
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You quoted one paragraph in your reference to the Verge's review. I wonder why you felt the very next paragraph wasn't as important?

"Fortunately, as with the smaller K-01 you won't have to access the K-30's full menu very often. In addition to the buttons and wheels, there's a really useful guide that pops up when you hit the Info button while shooting. It gives you quick access to metering, filters, HDR settings, drive mode, and much more, all in a simple and somewhat graphical interface. "Info" may not be the most obvious button for this menu, but it's a smart and handy system that makes tweaking most settings a one- or two-click affair."
12-15-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
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Find the lens you want, then get the camera to match.

As for camera menus I've use Sony, Nikon and Pentax. Once you get used to where things are, they are all equally good.

But, I would never say the NEX menu is "great"...
12-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #12
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Manuals are useful. And practice helps.
12-15-2013, 10:12 PM   #13
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I have to agree with you. High ISO image quality has improved over the past five years. You could potentially benefit from modernizing your kit.

The "user friendliness" issue doesn't make sense to me. I believe most Canon and Nikon users would agree that the Pentax interface is superior to others. (I came from Canon and have used Nikon extensively).
Going from a K20 to a D3200 would be an exercise in frustration. One dial, no top LCD, few direct access buttons...
That said, the D7100 is a very nice camera with plenty of positives. Does it offer more than the K3 or the K5ii? Not in my opinion. The only reason I would choose the D7100 over the K3 or K5ii is if there are particular lenses that I want that aren't available in Pentax mount.

No offense, but it doesn't sound like you fully understand how to use your camera. I would first master your current camera so you can figure out what camera would better suit your needs in the future.
Luckily, all current interchangeable lens cameras, from m4/3rd's to Canikons, are pretty much excellent and would serve 99% of people just fine. You can't go wrong no matter your decision.

In the end, if you want to change systems, you should make the change. For us amateurs, photography is about having fun. Use the tool that brings you the most joy.
If you are after improved image quality/low light capabilities, changing systems will not give you what you want. I would suggest a modern Pentax dSLR or investing in better lenses, flashes, etc.
12-16-2013, 12:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Yes, Neostyles, you're absolutely right; a Nikon 3200, released in 2012, with 24 MP, is a better camera than the K20, released in 2008, with 14.6 MP.
Most electronic devices do improve somewhat over 4-5 years. Since then, Pentax has introduced the K-R, K-X, K-7, K-5, K-5II and K-5IIs and the K-3.
As for the interface, you seem to be one of the few who don't like the Pentax version, in fact many independent reviews have cited this as a strong point of the camera line. Very few have said the same for Nikon.
But I still believe you would be much better off switching to Nikon.
Thank you for posting.
Ron
I havent seen two many reviewers citing the interface as a plus. In fact, if anything usability has been one of the most common weaknesses of pentax cameras. Im not exactly a big fan of the switchtes than pentax has in alot of their cameras. They only seen to have stopped using them with the k30/k50. The menu for custom white balance on my K20 is anything but user friendly btw. I dont think that there is any question that they do look dated compared to the competition



Another example.. Looking at the back of the D7100, its immediately clear how to do common things like change the white balance or iso.

Ok, so the K20 might be a bit old. Lets take their newest camera, the K3. The D3200 gives you comparable image quality for less than half the price. Problem is that the pentax K3 is really their first camera that has up to date features, and it costs quite a bit more than other cameras in a similar class. Pentax has been playing catch up with cannon/nikon for the last decade and they are starting to get up to date with modern standards. Heck, in 2008, according to wikipedia, nikon had the D3s which packed 24 megapixels, 51 af points, and over twice the continuous shooting rate of the K20.

The D7100 and the K5ii are somewhat in the same price point and the D7100 still pulls ahead in some areas

Here is a fairly large image comparing the D7100 (on the left) vs the K5ii (on the right)
http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/GOyLXv6e3Q4/maxresdefault.jpg

I dont want to turn this into pentex vs nikon, its just at the moment it seems like nikon offers more performance

Last edited by neostyles; 12-16-2013 at 12:26 AM.
12-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by neostyles Quote
I havent seen two many reviewers citing the interface as a plus. In fact, if anything usability has been one of the most common weaknesses of pentax cameras.

Another example.. Looking at the back of the D7100, its immediately clear how to do common things like change the white balance or iso.
I own both Nikon and Pentax. I'd suggest you try both and then buy what you like. The grass is always greener.....
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