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Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 11-30-2014, 09:11 AM  
Need new camera for better low light video...
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 41
Views: 3,053
I'm about to buy an a7s for low light video as well, for many of the same reasons. Low light sensitivity is so important for true video because of the shutter speed limit.

Even with high end clients and budgets, anything that allows you to downsize the lighting package is valuable. I've never had a project where the budget was so large that the overall quality of work wouldn't have benefited if I could use resources more wisely.

That being said, The Sony lens selection and price is very bothersome to me. If Pentax had something with similar performance in video modes I would be over the top for it. As is is, I don't have a lot of confidence as I am pretty sure a lot of the a7s low light magic is probably taking place in the image processor as much as the sensor itself. I'm guessing some kind of multi-frame temporal based noise reduction?

Even with large budgets, If I can eliminate the need for that third grip and 2nd light truck, doesn't take long for a tool like this to pay for itself - assuming I can get decent results without having to change my entire lens collection.

As far as real estate demo videos are concerned, photo stitching and high resolution pan-and-scan can do wonders! Can't duplicate steadycam or gyro supported walk-throughs that way though, but if you are producing on that level - an a7s will pay off in short order. I too am curious what the lens solution will be however? That is the only thing holding me back as well!
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-10-2011, 10:01 PM  
K-5 Firmware v1.03 on Pentax Japan site
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 292
Views: 51,374
Hahaha. I just got a K5 after years without focus assist on my K100D.

I forgot all about the assist light until today. Attending a School play with the family. Wonderfully attractive parent standing about 20 ft in front of us. Quite the "figure".

I should say I am a very good aim at shooting from the hip.

When I did the half press I was horrified when her posterior lit up in the dark theater like a green christmas tree. A couple guys around me snickered and knew exactly what I was up to. :D

At the end of the play we were walking out and I subconsciously did it again. My wife is going to start wondering what the strange green light is that keeps illuminating wonderful posteriors is. :o

Its like a visual Freudian slip!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-27-2011, 10:08 AM  
Anyone else miss the K200D?
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 835
Views: 131,868
I will absolutely agree that there is something magic about the CCD Pentax bodies. I used to shoot a LOT of high end events with my K100D as a hobby. (I was attending them as a Pro Video shooter)

More than a few pro photogs were seriously impressed with the images the K100D made. And many of them were aware that the CCD imager had something to do with it.

I just recently bought a K-5 and while it absolutely blows the K100D away in high ISO and can make great images in situations where the K100D would completely fail I can't help but to wonder how nice a CCD would be along with the other K-5 advancements.

This is a big debate in the video world as most of the high end video cameras are still CCD and the up and comers are CMOS.

CMOS video is great for "film" style but you can't touch the CCD for fast motion/action/sports.

Seems like technology is always a 2 step forward, one step back affair!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-26-2011, 04:21 AM  
Pentax k-5 worth it? vs Nikon / Canon?
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 22
Views: 9,043
If you told me you were immediately doing paying jobs in certain sports or weddings I would suggest leaning towards the other brands.

But IMHO Landscape, architecture, fashion - no problem whatsoever especially if you don't have an ad agency looking over your shoulder at a tethering setup.

The cost/performance of the K-5 and some well picked glass will be hard to beat.

I was strongly considering switching brands recently until I priced the lenses.

For those rare sporting/nature events when I need 300mm/ f2.8 it is much more cost effective for me to rent - lens AND body.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-26-2011, 03:56 AM  
Upgrade from *ist DL
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 9
Views: 2,615
Oh yeah,

I did hours of macro shooting yesterday with a sigma 50mm macro and found the autofocus STELLAR.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-26-2011, 03:54 AM  
Upgrade from *ist DL
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 9
Views: 2,615
I just got a K-5 to add to my K100D.

I have the APO version of your Sigma zoom.

It is OK on the K-5. Definitely focuses better than the K100D. The cam does have significantly more resolution than the lens at larger apertures.

However, the added light sensitivity of the K-5 allows me to use the lens where before I could get NOTHING usable.

Think school plays, indoor sporting events, etc.

I recently shot an indoor basketball game at ISO 6400 and was able to get a keeper rate of about 90%. (ignoring composition) The shots on the longer end of the lens weren't as sharp as I hoped but considering it was a $250 lens I was happy.

With my K100 in the same lighting I would have got around a 10% "keeper" rate.

The only catch with the K-5 is that I REALLY want a $1000K long zoom lens now. The body is that good - it begs for it.

Get that K-5 - I doubt you will regret it.

Is it perfect- no. But to hear some of the complaints around here you would miss that its orders of magnitude better in low light than past generations.

If you expect perfect autofocus in all conditions YMMV but if you have been happy with your istD all this time you will be thrilled with the K5.
Forum: Pentax K-5 02-25-2011, 06:49 PM  
Pulling the trigger -- purchase the k-5 now or wait?
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 127
Views: 14,474
3 hours of shooting and I am back to the forum.

Coming from the K100D here are my first observations.

The autofocus is MAD faster. I assumed I had the latest firmware. I didn't. An update and it got even better.

Is it perfect? No. I can make it FF in certain circumstances. I quickly learned what those are and will avoid it. It makes the focusing system on my K100D seem worthless in comparison.

Having spent some time with the competitions sub $1500 offerings I don't think the K-5 has any apologies to make as far as the focus is concerned.

I am finding that I need to shoot at higher apertures with many of my lenses to get the sharpness out of them the K-5 is capable of. However, I can now crop so much more then my K100D that I can also shoot with some of my sharper, shorter lenses where before I HAD to have all the optical zoom possible.

I thought the onboard flash on the K-5 wasn't performing as well as my K100D until I realized that the superior high ISO performance was making me lazy about paying attention to that setting. High ISO and onboard flash cause the foreground/background light levels to differ too much. I brought the ISO down on the K-5 and then got a lighting "look" from the onboard closer to what my K100d achieved.

I am about 1000 images into it and feel like another 5000 or so and I will have it mastered.

I am already trolling for some better autofocus lenses. Up until now I was all about my A series Manual focus lenses but the K-5 autofocuses so well I see a few new DA's coming soon.

The video mode is much better than I expected. I make my living on $30-80K Video rigs so I didn't expect to be at all impressed. I found the video quality surprisingly good. With all the complaining here you wouldn't know that. Although I would LOVE a 720/60p and a 1080/24&30P mode.

My K100D kept me happy a LONG time. The K-5 promises to do the same.
Forum: Pentax K-5 02-25-2011, 01:55 PM  
Pulling the trigger -- purchase the k-5 now or wait?
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 127
Views: 14,474
I just upgraded to a K-5 from a K-100D.

I spent the last few winters agonizing over whether to upgrade or not. Then spring would roll around and I would make GREAT pics with my k-100 and forget all about it.

Well, now that I have a K-5 I am making great pictures BEFORE summer arrives.

I have never made a big purchase without buyers remorse........ Until now.

Have I already found the limits of the K-5 - Yes.
Can I find situations to make it fail - Yes.
Does it start to show the weaknesses of my lesser glass - Yes.

Does it allow me creative opportunities and give me great pics that I would have had great difficulty in achieving with my K100D - ABSOLUTELY.

I have wasted too much time with this post already....
When I have a k-5 laying here waiting to make magic.

Goodbye!
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-15-2011, 01:26 PM  
K5 and 135 f or a for some sports
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 16
Views: 4,458
I have used a K100D and 135M f3.5 for fast moving motorsports type photography and some youth soccer and as long as you adjust to the limitations I am sure you will get some decent photos with a K5. Focus is the biggest challenge. In some ways, I prefer manual focus. But my day job is in pro video and its exclusively manual focus in that domain.

With the benefit of the K5 resolution allowing some decent cropping, I think the camera/lens are well up to it.

Then again I used to do this with a K1000 so my expectations and technique may be different than many.

Here is an amateur sampling of some model car racing I took a few years back - many with the 135m. Keep in mind these are traveling at up to 50mph - much quicker than an athlete.







RC Pro Series Omaha Qualifying - a set on Flickr
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-24-2010, 08:59 AM  
K-5: does autofocus work with video?
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 35
Views: 11,581
I really get a kick out of the autofocus video DSLR debate.

Pro level video work has almost always been fully manual focus. Some manufacturers have tried on some 6 figure equipment.

Everyone always comes back to manual for pro apps. And we are talking 2/3" Sensors.

The whole DSLR video point (and stills to some extent) is all about large sensor size right? Which also means shallow DOF.

I always laugh when clients tell me my $20k video rig must be old fashioned because their little palmcorder has autofocus.

Some of the DSLR autofocus examples make me laugh. A pro lit scene with a competent DP is not a test of an autofocus system.

Show me an autofocus/auto WB that works doing concert IMAG at stage edge or the long CU shot at 300mm on a sporting event and I will be impressed.

And how is it going to know which player I intend to stay in focus?

I bet it really frustrates the engineers that design these cameras when everyone seems to want conflicting goals that the law of physics dictates can't simultaneously exist?

Would a somewhat functional autofocus system be nice on a DSLR? Sure! But then you would have every online "expert" posting video after video featuring IMPOSSIBLE focusing situations declaring the Pentax focusing system an epic fail.
And then posting the competition examples that are entirely different types of shots.

Seems like they can't win with some of the critics around here!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-06-2010, 11:07 AM  
Pentax K-7 at B&H is $763 this morning
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 95
Views: 18,136
Yeah, If B&H still had the body only in the $750 range I would be buying it today. But as it is I would hate to see the super out in two months for a couple hundred more with better video features.

I'll be playing wait and see now and making do with my K100D until the price drops again or the new model hits the streets.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-13-2010, 11:36 PM  
Maybe HD camcorder from pentax?
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 28
Views: 5,283
I don't know what kind of volume they would sell, but with the advent of Youtube , Ustream, and places like that - this kind of products continues to get a larger audience.

As the much sought after thin DOF is what drives certain producers to the DSLR market, why not capitalize on that?
Because physics dictates that larger sensors and glass get you there. And with Hoya being an optics company, that should make sense to them.

Get me something like what the Red "scarlett" was originally supposed to be with a Pentax mount and XLR audio jack for under 3k and I'll miss mortgage payments to get one. And lots of other video people will too.

And there are lots of benefits to designing for the pro market, because its mainly about pure image quality and good glass.
No need to deal with auto focus or auto exposure.
Because the kind of person that uses this kind of camera actually prefers NO AUTO.
I'm cool with the MJPEG codec they already use.
Make it simple - manual controls , but impeccable image quality - and you will have the modern film school equivalent of what the K1000 still camera was to my generation.

Red has been trying hard to get there and has made inroads into the cost is no object level of the video market. I would love to see a Pentax equivalent in the midrange where Red hasn't gotten too yet.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-25-2010, 08:39 AM  
Pentax K-5 (?) - new camera this year
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 359
Views: 131,037
I'll add my current "buying decisions" to the list in case Pentax is listening:

As far as the rumors of a mid model - K-x upgrade with focus points and top LCD - I would buy one today. I am darn close to buying a K-X regardless. If the price comes down just a little I may.

A K-7 with K-x sensor performance coupled with 1080@30fps and 720@ 60fps video would make my wallet cry. I am a video professional. If it had a 1080@30fps mode I would own a K-7.

The Canon 7D has been quite interesting to me. I just can't justify the investment in glass HOWEVER I can rent just about whatever I would want very reasonably around here.
If the 7D was closer to $1200 in price I would probably be selling off all my Pentax glass to get one - and rent lenses for a while. I'm sure the ergonomics would drive me nuts, but having rented Canons many times before for pro gigs with extreme Autofocus needs I've always been able to get work done with them.

I am still shooting my personal projects with K100D - that's how cheap I am. I'm really in need of something desirable to open my wallet back up.

If I could demo a K-X here I'd probably buy one already. :rolleyes:

My employer wants to buy a few sub $1000 bodies too, and It's killing me that we can't rent Pentax lenses around here on short notice. I might have to use T2i at work now.

Pentax has done a very good job of keeping me loyal to the brand in anticipation of that next model. Unfortunate for both of us- I haven't bought anything since my K100D. If the K-X doesn't break that cycle I sure hope the next model does. :lol:

One of the things keeping me brand loyal is my collection of M glass. Do any of the current models support full functionality with M glass?
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 05-09-2009, 08:13 AM  
Quality of K-7 video
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 997
Views: 137,669
I'm not worried about focusing noise at all. Auto-focus is of very little value in high quality video.
The whole point in the DSLR video thing is to limit DOF. No way any kind of auto-focus algorithm can know what YOU want to be in focus.
I've always got a kick out of how people complain about a $500 DSLR not auto-focusing correctly at F1.4 on a large chip when video cam manufacturers don't even attempt auto-focus on $80,000 video cameras with smaller chips.

If Pentax is able to offer something like a Red that uses affordable Pentax glass I would be beyond myself with joy. But I'm expecting to see something just minimally better than what Canikon is currently offering. I hope I'm wrong.

If they are able to pull off sampling the whole chip and have the processing power to downsample with a good NR applied - well then color me extremely interested.
I'm sure moore's law will make this happen sometime. Will we see it now?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-26-2008, 06:59 PM  
favorite / Best places for used lenses
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 4
Views: 1,713
Well, ebay used to be OK before the K10D and K100D started selling so well. Many of the prices of used lenses on ebay have doubled in just the last year, and some had doubled in the year before that too. You can still find OK deals, but new lenses are starting to get competitive price wise.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-26-2008, 08:44 AM  
My Pentax Sponsorship Over...
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 156
Views: 23,538
That sure brings back memories! My group of friends "rebelled" against "preppies wearing Izod" by going punk.....
Nah, no fashion in that... :o
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-23-2008, 07:06 AM  
shake reduction + "panning"
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 38
Views: 6,001
My experience with SR and panning is hit and miss. As I practice more, I'm having better luck with it off. However, in light challenged situations I'll still play with it. Practice is key, as is knowing the limitations of SR.
I've been practicing my motorsports shooting at the local model car track. Some of the weekly meets draw over 100 entries and they run all day, so you can get as much "practice" as you care. If you can follow these and nail over 20% of your shots you are doing well:


You'd be surprised how many will pay for good shots of their model cars.

RC Pro Series Omaha Qualifying - a set on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-15-2008, 05:37 AM  
Forever Keeper Lenses
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 61
Views: 7,289
Not that its rare, but my m135 3.5 isn't going anywhere. Why sell something that does so well for so cheap?
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 04-15-2008, 05:18 AM  
Accidental delete! Help!
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 7
Views: 2,264
And the winner is!

ThankYOU! Recovered all of my photos. Some of them were keepers. I'm very happy to have them.
I was getting pretty worried after 3 different commercial products failed. But the FREE open source one worked. Amazing how often thats the case. :D
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 04-13-2008, 04:55 AM  
Accidental delete! Help!
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 7
Views: 2,264
While trying to navigate some menus in the dark, I looked down and saw a delete in progress. Turns out I accidentally did a delete all.
I flipped the protect switch on the card immediately after the error.
I've tried undelete plus and Zero Assumption with no luck. Camera was a K100D with latest firmware.
Am I S.O.L?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-05-2008, 08:59 PM  
Kit lens photos
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 60
Views: 8,897
I love my kit lens too:
Def has some vignetting, but for the money its the only wide I have. I'm considering something like the Sigma 10-20mm to fill my lust for wide angle.



Forum: Post Your Photos! 02-07-2008, 08:03 AM  
Fat Tuesday Party! Nightclub Paid work...
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 10
Views: 1,460
I've found this is the best method for small children at play as well. Makes sense - adults at a bar behave about the same. :D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-26-2008, 08:07 AM  
Keep the K10D/K20D or go to D300 - A hands on test.
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 59
Views: 20,095
Cool!
I work as a video professional. I was recently booked to cover a rally for a presidential candidate. The client was from outside the area and requested that I secure a still photographer for them as well. I booked a wedding guy that did some photojournalism on the side. The shoot was the typical speaker at a podium gig with preset press risers. He showed up with his D200 sporting the 70-210 VR 2.8 lens. I brought my lowly K100D along for fun.
With some pre-event time to kill, we did the normal "shoot off". I was stunned at the AF speed of the Nikon. However, he was very impressed with the low light performance of my lowly K100d, and that was with the kit lens! I showed him the SunPak 433d flash setup (ebay-$8.12 shipped!) with the poor man piece of velum diffusion. He was surprised how well the flash setup worked in the old fashioned manual setup. (with the flash doing the exposure) Even did reasonably well in bounce mode!

About then the client dropped a bombshell on my photographer. They wanted groups shots after the main event with about 40 people. My photographer had shown up with just his camera and the one lens! Ouch.
Guess what rig he shot his group shots with?
After the event, he brought his memory card over to my shop so I could ship his photo's to Washington with my tapes.
Guess what? Only about a third of his D200 shots had totally hit focus........ OK, I get it. They substitite speed for accuracy.

He was stunned at how well my little K100d worked, considering how much less $ it was compared to his almost $4000 rig. Then I showed him my kit bag... Under $1000 and includes 7 great lens, 4 flashes, and wireless rig.....

Next time a client wants still photography, I'LL be doing the shooting with a new K20D!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-25-2008, 03:31 PM  
things are getting ugly around here...
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 48
Views: 7,453
It amazes me how many people are absolutely convinced the AF speed will not be up to par. My experience with the other brands has shown that they may focus quicker, but have a higher miss rate. Granted, with some of the higher end canikon flashes and IR focus help, this improves. But when I throw the flash on my pentax and stop down a bit the dof makes it much easier to get hits anyway. The Pentax can be frustrating in low light when it gets lost, indeed. I'd hazard a guess that the "one shot" or whatever focusing mode that is talked about with the K20 will make it behave much more like what I've experienced with the other brands sub $2000 cameras. (note-haven't tried the D300 yet)

I'm a video pro, so I'm pretty used to manual focus. And we have to have near a 100% hit rate AT 30fps! So all this whining about autofocus kinda cracks me up. We have some really long glass too, and at F 1.2 as well.
If a $100,000 video camera with an $80,000 lens can't be made with pro auto-focus at 30fps, I don't really expect still camera's at $1200 with $800 lens to do it at 3fps. :D Especially when you consider how much BETTER you have to hit focus at huge megapixels.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-22-2008, 06:09 PM  
Don't Forget
Posted By JasonS
Replies: 17
Views: 4,388
Some say that material things have feelings too. To ease the massive suffering that is soon to follow the release of the K20D, I've decided to help.
I'm setting up a home for abandoned K10D's. I'll give them a kind and caring home.

I understand another tragedy will soon follow the K20D realease. The new zoom lineup will rival primes for quality. This will leave many lonely prime lenses abandoned to the forgotten recesses of the camera bag. DON'T LET THEM SUFFER!
I'll gladly take in those lonely abandoned primes as well. -M, -A, *A , -FA, -DA, Limited ..... They all have feelings too. PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME!

Do it for the Pentax Children!
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