I am not leaving Pentax, neither am I getting the K-x.

Started Jan 2, 2010 | Discussions thread
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pcarfan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,917
I am not leaving Pentax, neither am I getting the K-x.

I am a happy owner of the K-7, but I know it's limitations and prowess. Prior to purchasing the K-7 I thoroughly examined the offerings (Both APS-C and FF) from Canon, Nikon and Sony and at the end purchased the K-7 as it suited my needs better. The main deciding factors in favor of Pentax was having SR for every lens and the size of their lenses and the feature laden camera. I could not put together a package covering my lenses and certainly not below 10k (my Pentax lenses are 21/3.2, 24/2, 28/2.8, 35/2, 43/1.9, 77/1.8, 135/2.8), and certainly not at the sizes most of my lenses are...

In recent days high iso performance has been the craze, and more specifically jpeg high iso performance. I shoot RAW and I have been quite happy with the K-7 shooting up to iso 1600 without any problems. Then I started seeing these wonderful high iso jpeg images takn with the K-x, and even some iso 6400 images looked promising. I've been critically evaluating as many K-x images as I can to evaluate it's performance and I would give it a 1 to 1.5 stop advantage over the K-7.

Then for the New Years party I took my K-7 and my F24/2 to shoot at iso 1600 indoors (I can usually get 1/60th shutter with this, if not I can boost up to iso 3200, as I have used iso3200 in a pinch in the past). But, each image I took looked painfully noisy even at iso 1600 in the LCD. I took a few at iso3200 and obviously looked even worse. Then it dawned on me that even iso 1600 was not usable with my K-7, exactly like I've been reading lately, and I put my camera away. I need iso 1600 with my f2 lenses for available indoor lights, and even iso 3200 at times, and obviously the K-7 wasn't giving this to me. So, even though available light shoots are only 10% of my shooting, it is equally important, so I either have to get the k-x and carry two cameras or get a different system. I don't yearn for everything new nor for what is better in pixel peeping, but base my decisions on what is best for my needs, and the K-7 wasn't cutting it.

Came home late last night and tried to put systems together in Sony, Nikon and Canon and again I could not put together anything even closely resembling my kit for speed, size, SR and price, not even close. But, then I thought I could sacrifice the size for better high iso and better AF with other systems, or get the K-x. Leaning more towards the K-x, and went to bed.

Then I woke up this morning and uploaded those few shots that I took into LR, and then went into the develop module and clicked on an iso 1600 image. I saw the 'loading...' sign., and the image looked exactly like how it was in my LCD, and then it finished loading, and whola! the image transformed into an absolutely stunning image with no discernible nosie, and I could not believe my eyes. I did not even need any NR as it looked fantastic at iso 1600. Just the default NR protocol in LR applied to the RAW file was sufficient. Then I remembered taking an available light shot at 1600 and then a flash shot of the same scene to show my brother how much better the flash shot was....now, in LR the non-flash shot looked much much better. Then I opened an iso 3200 image, and that showed some noise but looked much better than on the LCD, so I ran it through Noiseware and whola! a clean image with lots and lots of detail. Fully usable. So, my iso 1600's were usable with just the default LR NR, and even iso 3200 images with NR. Yes, the dark noise is there and is disturbing when dark areas are brightened, and that can be an issue if underexposed and recovered. But, iso 1600 and iso3200 very fully usable with little NR and thanks to detail that was left, the image still looked non-plasticy.

Then it became clear to me, that I also, very briefly fell into this irrational exuberance that is plaguing these forums recently.

Comparing the K-7 to the competition.....Yes, the K-x is better in high iso...Yes, the Nikons and Canon's still have better AF,...Yes, the Nikon flash system is much better refined...but, none of these will give me the system that I currently have. The k-x will give me better high iso, but for what ? and at what cost ?, no thank you, I can use iso 1600 with the K-7 and iso 3200 in a pinch, why carry another camera and give up on other features, or why buy a different system and give up on size, SR, money etc that I hold dear, especially when the K-7 delivers everything I need.

I am one of those very few who are happy with Pentax, and that too with the k-7, and that too for high iso shots (oh! the abomination) , so I am staying put. I don't know how I am going to spend the $1k that is coming to me soon, but I know it's not in changing systems, and I am fairly certain it will not be for the K-x, and that DA15/4 is calling my name.......

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K10D, K-7
Pentax Primes: DA21/3.2, FA*24/2, F28/2.8, FA35/2, FA43/1.9, FA77/1.8, F135/2.8
Sigma Zooms: Sigma 10-20, Sigma 100-300 F4

'Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... 'Wow! What a ride!'

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