Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..

Started Jul 31, 2013 | Discussions
Devendra
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Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
Jul 31, 2013

I often think that Sony/Pentax's are ahead of the curve in terms of innovative features - not denying that Nikon isn't. I just believe that Nikon is more balanced and practical, while other camera manufacturers features often may not be practical, or may be impractically implemented. Yet, there is a potential in the features (big or small) that would be nice to have in your Nikon's, or could be improved up.

So my questions are pretty straight forward:

1. Which feature(s) is missing in Nikon - and how it was potentially helpful to you as an experienced photographer

2. Which feature(s) is better/creatively implemented in Sony/Pentax?

Note: You can cover features that are already implemented or going to be implemented after your migration.

For example nikon had features like intervalotimer, onboard flash, ondemand grid lines, gps connectivity.. etc since 2005.. or even earlier. Spot metering tied to AF points is in every model Group metering is something that Nikon does not have. Fuji S series has great skin tones while maintaining vibrant colors on non-skin areas.

Feel free to add as much as possible, since I am interested in reading and understanding your perspective.

Thanks!

PS: if possible include feature words in subject line for easier identification

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BasiliskPhoto
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Fuller video implementation.
In reply to Devendra, Jul 31, 2013

No question that Sony have implemented more video friendly features. Some of these are paradigm shift things that would affect all uses of the camera like EVF.

Maybe not surprising that the A99 is nearly double the price of D600, but some of these would be nice to have: Better live view features: focus peaking, live histogram, fast AF in all modes, swivel screen, sensor level VR for legacy glass.

None of these reduce still shooting functionality - though the arguments over EVF vs OVF still go on.

Even my tiny NEX 5N can manage focus peaking and histograms.

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simonkit1
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Jul 31, 2013

Hi,

I don't own a Nikon as yet, just planning my purchases for the D800. I'm a Pentax K5 owner and find it excellent, infact I'll be keeping it for travel rather than taking the D800 which will be purely for landscapes.

Pentax build very good quality bodies and ergonomics/usability is definitely a strongpoint, everything just seems to be in the perfect place especially on the higher end bodies. However I certainly wouldn't call them innovative, infact they're actually quite slow in bringing new products to market and generally follow the crowd, it's one of the reasons I'm going to Nikon .. Pentax don't even have a FF body yet

Simon

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Colorado CJ
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to simonkit1, Jul 31, 2013

I was a long time Pentax shooter before buying the D600 when it first came out.

The only things I miss about Pentax are not being able to use my excellent Takumar M42 lenses, and not having the excellent in-body stabilization.

Other than that, there really is no comparison.  Especially with autofocus.

One other thing I'd like is sony's focus peaking, for use with my manual lenses.

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SanMat
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Jul 31, 2013

Not sure how directly this answers your question(s) but here goes:

As for features, the most important one for me is catch-in-focus (or "trap focus").  This can be accomplished on the D300s/D700, though more complicated than K5.  K5 makes it very easy.  For high speed nature work, some street work, and even some sports work this is a lesser-known but important feature.  In terms of color/saturation, I prefer the look of the Pentax files.

I was a long time Pentax user (ZX-5n (film), K10D, K20D, K7, K5), and switched to Nikon two years ago.  Went from K5 to D300s and D700.  The primary reason was for work (website) - since I was doing a variety of portrait work I wanted a more complete lighting system.  And if there was something in my system/setup that I needed in short order (while on location), most local camera stores carry Canon/Nikon items.  Any Pentax items that are out of the ordinary can be hard to find, and you just don't see a lot of support in local stores (though that is improving).  For nature work (longer shots), I also wanted a better AF system as well as a more complete system (Nikon teleconverters are very good, and work seamlessly with the Nikon lenses - Pentax is far behind in that category).

Particular cameras (in comparison to K5):

D300s:  less features like filters, but very versatile and setup allows for wide customization.  Much quicker autofocus, and can shoot up to 8 fps (though keep in mind it can only do that when shooting 12-bit files).  If you want to shoot the full 14-bit files it drops to 2.5 fps.  Shooting in it's "sweet spot" range (ISO 100 - ISO 800), is extremely sharp/clear and can easily be used for studio work, and printing decent size prints.  If your biggest concern is high ISO, the K5 (and K5 II, and K5 IIs) will blow it out of the water after ISO 800.  That's the primary limitation.  Otherwise the D300s is a near flawless APS-C camera.  If I could literally take the K5 II sensor and put it in my D300s I'd be VERY happy.

D700:  same menu system as D300s (and same battery grip/batteries) - so easy to use as a pair.  Same fast AF as D300s, but is full frame, so MUCH cleaner files.  I've been able to print acceptable prints with shots at ISO 5000 and even above - I wouldn't say that's recommended - but can be done.  Main point is that you get so much more flexibility with high ISO (probably a stop or two better than K5).  For nature/sports work, the special battery you can add will also get you up to 8 fps, though unlike the D300s, you can shoot 8 fps when shooting 14-bit files (though the buffer will fill up quicker).  I don't use DSLRs for much video work, so that's not a limitation for me (D300s has video (but outdated - only shoots up to 720p), D700 does not have video).  The newer Nikons have certainly moved WAY ahead in the video category. The primary reason for getting the D700 was having the ability to shoot in low light situations where flash was not allowed.  My guess is that the D600/D800 are now at a new level with the low-light capability, though I haven't used them.  I'm currently looking at D7100 as possible replacement for D300s, but waiting for Nikon's fall announcements before doing anything.

Hope that helps,

Pete

Devendra wrote:

I often think that Sony/Pentax's are ahead of the curve in terms of innovative features - not denying that Nikon isn't. I just believe that Nikon is more balanced and practical, while other camera manufacturers features often may not be practical, or may be impractically implemented. Yet, there is a potential in the features (big or small) that would be nice to have in your Nikon's, or could be improved up.

So my questions are pretty straight forward:

1. Which feature(s) is missing in Nikon - and how it was potentially helpful to you as an experienced photographer

2. Which feature(s) is better/creatively implemented in Sony/Pentax?

Note: You can cover features that are already implemented or going to be implemented after your migration.

For example nikon had features like intervalotimer, onboard flash, ondemand grid lines, gps connectivity.. etc since 2005.. or even earlier. Spot metering tied to AF points is in every model Group metering is something that Nikon does not have. Fuji S series has great skin tones while maintaining vibrant colors on non-skin areas.

Feel free to add as much as possible, since I am interested in reading and understanding your perspective.

Thanks!

PS: if possible include feature words in subject line for easier identification

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SpaceDoc
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Jul 31, 2013

[moved from Pentax K10D/K20D - later adding K5 - to Nikon D700, then D800]

Missing???
=> Pentax FA (and DA) Limited lenses!!!
also menu structure of Pentax is usually great.

Not missing:

- Pentax AF

- Pentax Flash System

Loving with Nikon:

- fast accurate AF

- easy flash system

- not sure about SDM (with a 2.8/70-200 VR2 in repair just out of warranty for 655 Euro, as Nikon grants no coulance) - screwdriver usualy always works.
SpaceDoc

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StephaneB
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Jul 31, 2013

I switched from a Pentax K5 to a D800. I cannot say I miss anything. maybe the compactness, if that. I have more lenses for the D800 but I still use the same backpack, a Tamrack Adventure 75.

The AF is so much better it is not even funny. Needless to say, the lens availability is a big benefit of the switch.

I do not miss the Limited lenses. The Nikkor 1.8 trilogy (28,50 and 85) gives an amazing value and is more than on par with the Ltd.

I think in-body IS is a better idea but I cannot say I have blurry pictures. Besides, I have the 16-35 VR and 70-300 VR.

Availability of the PC-E lenses is a big plus too. I have the PC-E 24mm and it is a joy to use.

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Devendra
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thanks for the input so far..
In reply to Devendra, Aug 1, 2013

great feedback so far! I am going to summarize it as we get more inputs.

so lets hear what else we are missing in the nikon's that will be great to have based on what sony's and pentax's have covered (read my op). even though nikon has the knack to make things more balanced and workable.

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Tbirdas
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Re: thanks for the input so far..
In reply to Devendra, Aug 1, 2013

Maybe it has been mentioned....but Pentax cameras allow you to save the RAW file immediately after you shoot a JPEG (meaning if you dont want to shoot everything in RAW, but there is a shot you wish you had, you can push the exp comp button and keep the RAW!)

Also, catch in focus for MF lenses - and even beep confirmation when MF is used (so you dont need to look for the dot...)

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HobbiesAreFun
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Colors, Focus limiter, Ergonomics, IBIS, No-movement lock on in low light
In reply to Devendra, Aug 1, 2013

Devendra wrote:

I often think that Sony/Pentax's are ahead of the curve in terms of innovative features - not denying that Nikon isn't. I just believe that Nikon is more balanced and practical, while other camera manufacturers features often may not be practical, or may be impractically implemented. Yet, there is a potential in the features (big or small) that would be nice to have in your Nikon's, or could be improved up.

So my questions are pretty straight forward:

1. Which feature(s) is missing in Nikon - and how it was potentially helpful to you as an experienced photographer

Sony's main features are centered around the EVF and the use of it. I think the one feature that Sony added with the A99 that I've always wanted is an AF limiter built into the camera. I actually wouldn't mind being able to access the Nikon AF system in groups (left, center, right) as done in the A99 now).

Colors. I simply preferred Sony colors over Nikon colors, but I'm able to mostly correct for that in PP anyway.

2. Which feature(s) is better/creatively implemented in Sony/Pentax?

I miss in body stabilization I had with my Sony A850. Hard to beat fast primes that are all stabilized by the camera.

Ergonomics were better on my A850 than on my D700. Not by a whole lot, but you feel it sometimes.

My A850 did a better job of locking on to a non-moving target in very low light (in a room at night with no lights on, minimal moon light coming through closed blinds), partially because of the grid-line style AF assist light (which trumps Nikon's implementation of a simple light, easily).

The design for the A850's vertical battery grip made more sense, as the trigger finger is then in the same line as the viewfinder. I really do miss that, as I used a grip on my A850 and use a grip now on my D700.

Note: You can cover features that are already implemented or going to be implemented after your migration.

For example nikon had features like intervalotimer, onboard flash, ondemand grid lines, gps connectivity.. etc since 2005.. or even earlier. Spot metering tied to AF points is in every model Group metering is something that Nikon does not have. Fuji S series has great skin tones while maintaining vibrant colors on non-skin areas.

Feel free to add as much as possible, since I am interested in reading and understanding your perspective.

Thanks!

However, Nikon gives me better options for high-quality, cheap lenses. Better High ISO performance, significantly better AF performance (especially with a wider spread). I prefer Nikon's flash system, that's for sure, as Sony's is finicky, and at a strange point in their transition from minolta iISO hot shoes.

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Lucky Sky
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K-5 + FA31mm Is My D600 Backup
In reply to Devendra, Aug 1, 2013

I still like that combo.

A lot. I miss the Pentax Green Button that resets EV to zero and removes all exposure adjustments. I shoot that camera in a semi-manual mode as I do the D600 and miss that very handy Green Button for a one push reset.

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Tord S Eriksson
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Aug 29, 2013

First, what I miss:

The TaV setting (the system where the camera compensates your choice of aperture and speed by adjusting ISO), the Pentax menu system, size, weight (my D600 is a bit heavier, and bigger, than the K-5). The FA43 and the FA77, the latter for its creamy bokeh. Maybe the DA15 - nothing quite like it available for my D600. The compact Pentax primes form factor!

What I got with the D600:

An AF system that misses maybe 10% of my wildlife shots, with the K-5 I missed all but 10%, not least when shooting BIF (birds-in-flight).

A better, wider, selection of fast lenses (f1.8 or faster).

A nice long zoom, like the AF-S VR 80-400, that doesn't cost a fortune. Nothing like it available from Pentax! The AF-S VR 70-300 is a nice lens, too, but not quite as good as the DA55-300. On my V1 it shines, as it is only very sharp in the center, thus not as useful on my D600.

A superb 85/1.8G that is sharp from edge to edge (closest competitor is the DA70, but that is not in the same league).

A cheap functional remote.

Bigger sensor, with more pixels!

A huge selection of lenses to choose from, had I had the inclination to buy some more!

Most lenses cheaper than the equivalent Pentax lens - a shame!

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JJ1983
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Aug 29, 2013

I have made the step from KM D5D > Sony a700 > Pentax K7D > Nikon D90 > Nikon D600

The feature Pentax and Sony have that I really missed in Nikon, was the internal vibration reduction. I only noticed when switching to the D90, that I very often made use of the feature. Further more Sony and Pentax have, in their own right, more appealing lenses. (in this I mean the Minolta 85/1.4 G RS, MinO 28/2, cz 135/1.8, pentax DA 31/1.8, 77/1.8 and so on)

Nikon however has wowed me with very reliable autofocus, availability of lenses and accessories and a constant renewal of technology.

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Lance B
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Tord S Eriksson, Aug 29, 2013

Tord S Eriksson wrote:

First, what I miss:

The TaV setting (the system where the camera compensates your choice of aperture and speed by adjusting ISO)

This can be achieved in Auto ISO.

, the Pentax menu system, size, weight (my D600 is a bit heavier, and bigger, than the K-5). The FA43 and the FA77, the latter for its creamy bokeh. Maybe the DA15 - nothing quite like it available for my D600. The compact Pentax primes form factor!

What I got with the D600:

An AF system that misses maybe 10% of my wildlife shots, with the K-5 I missed all but 10%, not least when shooting BIF (birds-in-flight).

A better, wider, selection of fast lenses (f1.8 or faster).

A nice long zoom, like the AF-S VR 80-400, that doesn't cost a fortune. Nothing like it available from Pentax! The AF-S VR 70-300 is a nice lens, too, but not quite as good as the DA55-300. On my V1 it shines, as it is only very sharp in the center, thus not as useful on my D600.

A superb 85/1.8G that is sharp from edge to edge (closest competitor is the DA70, but that is not in the same league).

A cheap functional remote.

Bigger sensor, with more pixels!

A huge selection of lenses to choose from, had I had the inclination to buy some more!

Most lenses cheaper than the equivalent Pentax lens - a shame!

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Lance B
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Devendra, Aug 29, 2013

Came from Pentax 3.5 years ago from a long line of DSLR's. *ist D, K10D, K20D and finally the K7. I was an avid Pentax user and still have a high regard for their cameras and glass, loved the FA* lenses and the Limiteds as well as their range of A manual focus lenses.

I jumped to Nikon for the following reasons:

* Pro lens and camera system. There was no upgrade for Pentax other than their prosumer level cameras and lenses, but Nikon has pro lenses and cameras with the associated quality that comes with it.

* I wanted a FF camera.

* AF is better with Nikon.

Pentax DSLR's have some of the best ergonomics of any camera, they are small robust and well built.

As much as I was a fan of Pentax, I do not miss the move at all.

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frank-in-toronto
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Re: PDAF in Live View
In reply to Lance B, Aug 29, 2013

sony still has the best implementation of Live View.  The LCD responds realistically to changes in the aperture, ss or iso.  pdaf has been available for years.  af-on controlled by an eye sensor was great.

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Tord S Eriksson
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to JJ1983, Sep 7, 2013

JJ1983 wrote:

I have made the step from KM D5D > Sony a700 > Pentax K7D > Nikon D90 > Nikon D600

The feature Pentax and Sony have that I really missed in Nikon, was the internal vibration reduction. I only noticed when switching to the D90, that I very often made use of the feature. Further more Sony and Pentax have, in their own right, more appealing lenses. (in this I mean the Minolta 85/1.4 G RS, MinO 28/2, cz 135/1.8,Pentax DA 31/1.8, 77/1.8 and so on)

My copy of FA31 was really bad!

But the internal vibration reduction system would be nice to have on my D600!

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Benjamin Kanarek
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Re: Questions for Experienced Sony/Pentax (recent) migrants to Nikon..
In reply to Tord S Eriksson, Sep 7, 2013

Love the ergonomics of the K5's. Amazingly compact and solid. Would love to see that kind of design in Nikon. I also really appreciated the TAV mode in Pentax. Other than that, I really appreciate the auto focus accuracy of my D800 and amazing output and dynamic range. However as an apsc camera, the Pentax had amazingly clean output. In fact some of the best I have ever seen.

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It's not just the features, it's the implementation
In reply to Devendra, Sep 7, 2013

People used to holler about Apple that they never invent anything. That may or may not be true, but among their talents are implementation and integration.

All camera manufactures have AF, exposure meters, this, that and the other thing. It's how they choose to build those things that matter. Of course, part of this is product differentiation; they put the best AF in the top of the line D3s and D4s because that's what the sports photojournalists will pay for. Moreover, the top end bodies like the D800 and D4s allow you to export and therefore re-import your settings. This is a great enterprise feature that's great to zero the camera to favourite settings when leaving for work but probably not a lot of use for consumers.

I'm no expert on Sony or Pentax bodies but were I to make two recommendations for migrants:

  • Get the Thom Hogan book.
  • Don't get married to your settings. Use the two button reset a lot the first week or two that you've got the camera.

Your mileage may vary, but I'd consider simplifying your choices the first week or two just so you can learn the rest of the camera's settings. It will take some time as the menus are very deep and naturally some of the language will be different For example, consider turning off Auto ISO so you don't have to learn how the exposure compensation is controlled; or just leave the AF on C/single point for a few days before getting into how 3D differs from D51. That being said, the AF is  psychic but give it some study before trusting it on a shoot.

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SOUTH-ED
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Re: K-5 + FA31mm Is My D600 Backup
In reply to Lucky Sky, Sep 7, 2013

D600´s  owner manual (page 225): b3: Easy Exposure Compensation: On (Auto reset option) "Exposure compensation is set by rotating one of the command dials.  The setting selected using the command dial is reset when the camera turns off or the standby timer expires (exposure compensation setting selected using the +/- button are not reset)".   It may help. Regards.

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