seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Started Sep 23, 2012 | Discussions
Unexpresivecanvas Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Just go out and order the damn thing! If you ask 100 people here probably you will get 400 recommendations.... even myself I ended up recommending the k-30+18-135mm WR but when you mentioned the budget then I recommended a yellow K-01.

But listen carefully to this: as much as some point&shoot cams may look nice at the beginning you will get stuck withjust a simple P&S, even if they have those ultrazooms.

The law of physics can not be rejected or ignored: larger sensors will be always better than smaller sensors. They can kill me but I will never buy the idea of a P&S being better tahn a DSLR, specially a Pentax one. A P&S can be lighter, a little less bulby but is just a plain P&S.

I have some conspiracy theories: people post here as salesmen pushing some products they get commission on. Other people may be jealous you will be buying one of the best tools available (k-30) as at the same time thy are stuck with a simple P&S. Other people are just arrogant fanboys.

My recommendation is get the flexibility that goes with a DSLR, even if you consider other brands (Nikon D7000 is also an excellent camera). Also from my expeience, it happens that I have used Nikon, Canon, Olympus and for APS-C sensors, nobody can beat Pentax at the moment. Plus you have more than 20,000,000 K-mount lenses to choose from

As for me, I am just warming my wife to the idea that I am going to treat myself with a FF Nikon D600 for Xmas. I will match the Nikon with the 24-70mm and maybe a couple of Samyang/Rikenon lenses

antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
High ISO, low light, and DR

High ISO, low light, and DR - are typically where I notice real big difference sometimes when comparing images from my Nikon D7K and one of my super zooms.

At higher ISOs I typically find that my super zooms have a lot of noise reduction which smudges fine details (though I do have large enlargements of very sharp photos made with super zooms at low ISOs in floodlight).
Ditto for low light.

DR (dynamic range) is another situation where I find my Nikon D7k tends to do better - but of course I also have great shots of difficult DR situations from my super zooms, I just had to be a little more careful to spot meter on the brightest spots and yes, there is more noise in the shadows than a DSLR would have produced.

If we now turn the tables: I find that my superzooms typically have better AF precision, which occasionally shows in portraits or macro, and shows the most routinely in landscapes where my D7k will routinely do a poor job (and I have done AD fine tune). Sure I can use my D7k in live view but it's screen is nasty in strong light so imagine yourself in a situation that doesn't allow for tripod, where you are not perfectly stable, attempting to view something on the screen and waiting a couple seconds to obtain focus (and sometimes not obtaining focus!) when a super zoom will have things perfectly in focus and with an AF time of 0.2s or less).

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

You observations are at odds with the science

Contrast detect because it relies on contrast fails rapidly under low light, Phase detect will continue focusing in considerebly lower light than contrats can manage.

This is due tot eh technology so doesn't matter whose implentation your talking about.

If your finding PD failing earlier then I suspect your using cheap slow glass which pushes the ev rating up so that PD will stop in hi light level ev2+ where the CD will still operate.

If you used and appropriate lens then PD would function below ev0 at light levels that CD has not a hope in hxxl of working.

That is a case of use the right tool for the job and slow zoom is not the right tool.

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Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 15,425
... except ...

Unexpresivecanvas wrote:

The law of physics can not be rejected or ignored: larger sensors will be always better than smaller sensors. They can kill me but I will never buy the idea of a P&S being better tahn a DSLR, specially a Pentax one. A P&S can be lighter, a little less bulby but is just a plain P&S.

Other things being equal, Image Quality from a DSLR will always be better than from a superzoom, except ...
... in the real worls things aren't always equal.

A superzoom can give a very long reach - 1000mm equivalent - hand held in good-to-moderate ligh, in a package that's easy to get to the scene you want. A DSLR with that reach is big, very expensive and awkward to carry. It really needs a tripod too, adding to all three drawbacks. It will, of course, get a shot in light that's too dark for the superzoom.

No DSLR can offer the FL range of a superzoom without changing lenses. For many the trade between speed and convenience on the one hand and top IQ on the other is worth making.

In other words, taken altogether as a photographic tool the superzoom can be better for some users, just as a DSLR is a better tool for some and MF is better for yet others. Reading the OP's first and subsequent posts I believe that for him the DSLR is the best choice but that isn't necessarily true for everyone.

I have some conspiracy theories: people post here as salesmen pushing some products they get commission on. Other people may be jealous you will be buying one of the best tools available (k-30) as at the same time thy are stuck with a simple P&S. Other people are just arrogant fanboys.

This may be true but I see no evidence of it in this threrad. Two contributors here have suggested the superzoom option; both also own and use DSLRs, which rather defeats your idea of jealousy ...

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Gerry

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Wich "science" please? ;-)

let's talk science then: you are probably aware than on a DSLR:

  • the AF chip receives ONLY light that goes through a narrow semi transparent area in the main mirror, and then needs to be reflected by a secondary tiny mirror

  • as a result the incoming light goes through an f8 aperture - it makes no difference for the AF whether you're using a lens with a large aperture (such as my superb Nikkor 85mm f1.4) or a cheap lens with a small aperture

  • the AF chip itself is tiny, no larger than then tiny imaging sensors in compact cameras

  • finally for the AF to work, you need for two DIFFERENT optical paths (the one from lens to semi-transparent area of mirror, to 2nd smaller mirror, to AF chip - and the one from lens to imaging sensor) to be made to coincide exactly

on the other hand on a mirrorless system, whether compact or interchangeable lens:

  • the AF is done with the main imaging sensor, which in the cheapest compacts is about the size of the AF chips on DSLRs, and in more expensive compacts or mirrorless systems, is MUCH larger than the AF chips on DSLRs

  • the AF is done using ALL the incoming light vs. just whatever part manages to get it via a tiny semi-transparent are

  • there is no need to make two different optical paths coincide

If you want to be scientific and care to read reviews, you'll find that many DSLRs, apart from the most expensive ones, will cease to be able to AF in light levels where compacts still AF fine.

In the case of my Nikon D7k:

  • its Live View AF will cease to function in still decent light levels, where any of my compacts still does great

  • its PDAF will fail in low light levels, unless the very strong AF-assist light is on

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,015
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

antoineb wrote:

If we now turn the tables: I find that my superzooms typically have better AF precision, which occasionally shows in portraits or macro, and shows the most routinely in landscapes where my D7k will routinely do a poor job (and I have done AD fine tune). Sure I can use my D7k in live view but it's screen is nasty in strong light so imagine yourself in a situation that doesn't allow for tripod, where you are not perfectly stable, attempting to view something on the screen and waiting a couple seconds to obtain focus (and sometimes not obtaining focus!) when a super zoom will have things perfectly in focus and with an AF time of 0.2s or less).

This i have to agree with. macro on my fz150 + cannon 500d blows my slr away for focusing . not in my wildest dream have i ever taken a sharp handheld macro without a flash with my k7 you just cant get dof and as fast a shutter speed with a slr you have to stop down to f16 f22 up goes the noise down goes the shutter to unusable speeds with out a tripod. full lenght portraits for image quality for my work goes to the fz150 just sold 2 4ft posters with it. the pics a razer sharp and found sharpening the k7 pics added bad artifacts to the girls i was quite supprised.

cheers don

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,015
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

had a good laugh the other night. i was looking at my $1000 tripod and manfrotto geared macro head sitting their with studio lighting attached to the top of it. Because the last couple of weeks shooting macro with the fz havnt needed it and have taken the best macros ive ever taken. cracks me up. the geared head is good for precise positioning of lights.

cheers don

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: Wich "science" please? ;-)

antoineb wrote:

let's talk science then: you are probably aware than on a DSLR:

You are not talking science but your view of the world.
Your stated facts are basically wrong.
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/User-Guide/5700/AUTO-FOCUS/Auto-Focus.html

  • the AF chip receives ONLY light that goes through a narrow semi transparent area in the main mirror, and then needs to be reflected by a secondary tiny mirror

  • as a result the incoming light goes through an f8 aperture - it makes no difference for the AF whether you're using a lens with a large aperture (such as my superb Nikkor 85mm f1.4) or a cheap lens with a small aperture

This is not true at all, your confusing the reflecting mirror and baseline aperture willy nilly here.
This very simplified explanation may help you differentiate the two

http://graphics.stanford.edu/courses/cs178/applets/autofocusPD.html

  • the AF chip itself is tiny, no larger than then tiny imaging sensors in compact cameras

What does sensor size have todo with anything.

  • finally for the AF to work, you need for two DIFFERENT optical paths (the one from lens to semi-transparent area of mirror, to 2nd smaller mirror, to AF chip - and the one from lens to imaging sensor) to be made to coincide exactly

on the other hand on a mirrorless system, whether compact or interchangeable lens:

  • the AF is done with the main imaging sensor, which in the cheapest compacts is about the size of the AF chips on DSLRs, and in more expensive compacts or mirrorless systems, is MUCH larger than the AF chips on DSLRs

Again your point? (even though your statement is not true )

  • the AF is done using ALL the incoming light vs. just whatever part manages to get it via a tiny semi-transparent are

Again your very confused as to how either system works seeing inconsequential as weakness and missing the obvious advantages of either system.
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/07/how-autofocus-often-works

  • there is no need to make two different optical paths coincide

At last a true statement but again missing the massive issues in CD in that it does not know which way to turn (literally) cannot detect camera shake, has no inkling of DoF and cannot implement trap in focus.

If you want to be scientific and care to read reviews, you'll find that many DSLRs, apart from the most expensive ones, will cease to be able to AF in light levels where compacts still AF fine.

In the case of my Nikon D7k:

  • its Live View AF will cease to function in still decent light levels, where any of my compacts still does great

  • its PDAF will fail in low light levels, unless the very strong AF-assist light is on

Your camera is faulty

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

Nice images
Though I'm not sure why you can't focus your K7 for close/macro shooting

I would point out most of your images are suffering DR blow out and/or diffraction limit.

i.e the dragon fly shot on the bench the bench should be wood not white laminate.

I think your confusing low DR and large DoF as resolution look for fine texture detail and subtle colour variations on your proposed images and you find they're not present..

Here as an example that your panny would massacre highly coloured target , white dish on white plate on white table , The shade of purple staining on the green Olives etc.

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
OK I get it - you just like to insult people, sorry for you

(1) the links you refer are in error. You should inform yourself

(2) sensor size HAS a lot to do with anything: it means more light comes in for AF purposes

Go insult someone else

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,015
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

when you go out and collect drift wood what colour is it ? and with midday sun on it i dare to say any other camera would have done a better job. it was what i saw with my eyes its why i took the photo with the contrasting colours even the fluro red dragon fly the k5 would have made a mess of it with poor red channel blowout. this shot was taken single handered leaning over a 2 foot drop off with the swivel screen facing up towards me and holding onto a branch with the other hand, a shot imposible to take with a slr not to mention the 400 mm working distance and the silent shutter. and lightning fast af as they were flying back and forward.
not to rub it in LOL.

cheers don

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: OK I get it - you just like to insult people, sorry for you

Antoine wrote:

(1) the links you refer are in error. You should inform yourself

Right thinks that end anyone sane conversation

Michigan Technology University , Stanford University and Roger Cicala all very well respected experts in the field of photography don't know shxt.

But Antoine sorry I missed your credentials ?? knows the truth

(2) sensor size HAS a lot to do with anything: it means more light comes in for AF purposes

No it doesn't , AF sensor behavior depends on its sensitivity to light which is only not directly related to size.

The -3EV capability sensors in the new k5ii are likely the same size or smaller than the sensor in the current K5, so twice the light sensitivity and same size sorta blows you flat earth theory out the window.

Go insult someone else

I'm not insulting you , Your making incorrect statements as fact you have to expect to be called out for it.

You then follow it by insisting experts in the industry are wrong !! I'm sorry but your beginning to make a fool of yourself.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,015
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

just brought your pic up on ps and looked at the histagram the whites are mostly blown if i printed it i would see white paper because their is no detail also a bit confused. theirs a blue tinge on the inside of the plate and a red one on the out side.
but it could just be my monitor.
cheers don

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

Donald B wrote:

when you go out and collect drift wood what colour is it ? and with midday sun on it i dare to say any other camera would have done a better job. it was what i saw with my eyes its why i took the photo with the contrasting colours even the fluro red dragon fly the k5 would have made a mess of it with poor red channel blowout. this shot was taken single handered leaning over a 2 foot drop off with the swivel screen facing up towards me and holding onto a branch with the other hand, a shot imposible to take with a slr not to mention the 400 mm working distance and the silent shutter. and lightning fast af as they were flying back and forward.

I'll agree a P+S is considerably easier to use than a SLR and will deliver superior results for poor technique " shot was taken single handered leaning over a 2 foot drop off with the swivel screen facing up towards me and holding onto a branch with the other hand"

not to rub it in LOL.

I'm not offended you find a p+S better than a d-slr , Though I disagree with your conclusions on the IQ they deliver and believe your images show just that fact.

But who knows maybe I'm kidding myself because I want a DSLR to be better.

P+S channel split yellow channel used and reconstructed to BW

cheers don

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

Donald B wrote:

just brought your pic up on ps and looked at the histagram the whites are mostly blown if i printed it i would see white paper because their is no detail

Your monitor or program is also confused no channel is blown and luminance is also not blown these are peak figures so nothing at all is blown in that image .

If you mean the histogram is pushed to the right then that is as expected it a mostly white image .?

also a bit confused. theirs a blue tinge on the inside of the plate and a red one on the out side.
but it could just be my monitor.

I'm confused what you mean?

Fluorescent WB showing blue where windows reflects and reds where Olives reflect. ?

Surely that's to be expected for as you seem insistence on hand held grab shots.?

cheers don

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,015
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

ive always throught these sites mess up your pics when i looked at your pic on photoshop and flicked up the histagram the whites where up the side by a mile.

where i like to just scrape the side. im on holidays and only have my lap top the kids are asleep so here i am chatting away with every one, just love it.

just downloaded mine from this site and looked and its the same as original histagram is perfect . beats me.

cheers don

Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 15,425
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

Donald B wrote:

even the fluoro red dragon fly the k5 would have made a mess of it with poor red channel blowout.

I'm not getting into the whole DSLR v superzoom debate, Don - as I've said elsewhere in this thread they both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, I can assure you that my K-5 doesn't blow reds as long as I expose it properly by using the RGB histogram to warn of channel clipping. That would make the base file look dark but the low-noise sensor on the K-5 makes bringing things up dead simple.

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: High ISO, low light, and DR

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

Donald B wrote:

even the fluoro red dragon fly the k5 would have made a mess of it with poor red channel blowout.

I'm not getting into the whole DSLR v superzoom debate, Don - as I've said elsewhere in this thread they both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, I can assure you that my K-5 doesn't blow reds as long as I expose it properly by using the RGB histogram to warn of channel clipping. That would make the base file look dark but the low-noise sensor on the K-5 makes bringing things up dead simple.

Can't help myself

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OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: ... except ...

To be honest, if I was interested in images of bugs and birds, I prob would get the fz200. Getting that length at 2.8 is impressive. And the convenience and price can't be matched at all by a dslr.

Perhaps I will want to try that type of photography in the future and then I may get a super zoom (it's the cost of a lens after all). However, even though I love looking at those images on the forums, I don't see myself shooting that.

So I am still comfortable with the k-30. Maybe I will get the wife an fz200 and I can use it for video and other! Ha...when hell freezes over (will take 3 months before she forgives me for dropping 1200 on the Pentax)!
--
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waynelr
waynelr Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Switched from Canon in 2007 and haven't looked back. I keep a 55-300 on my K7 and a Tamron 17-50 on the K5. Both were under $500 ea.

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