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K10D vs. K20D vs.??

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by oliver28, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member

    Right. I've been researching digital cameras for 5 years and still haven't got a DSLR, I think it's time I said enough is enough and got one! I had reservations concerning the K10D's soft jpegs and noise levels, and maybe AF, but it seems to me that, without switching brands and ditching my Pentax film kit, I would have to pay a lot more to get anything better, and the current price of £360 is almost irresistible, me being on a student budget as well... I'm not sure the K20D is worth the extra.

    I would be very interested to hear anything which you knowledgeable people are NOT happy with on your K10D's, and is it anything which waiting for the K20D would solve?

    Just out of curiosity I had a play with a D300 today while I was waiting for Jessops to exchange a faulty printer :mad:, and while the IQ and AF may be the standard by which others are (currently) judged, it's just too big and fat, and from the test A3 prints I have made from both, the difference is very hard to spot. [Besides, it's a dreaded Nikon!] I take mainly landscapes and people, but aspire to wildlife so quality is the most important thing.

    I wonder if you could clarify my mind - is this the time to jump?

    Many thanks!
  2. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    The K10D will probably not be available for much longer, so if you want a new one, now is the time to buy. There will probably be some good s/h ones available from those few who upgrade, but to be honest there is actually nothing I dislike about mine.

    If you print to A3 and crop your images first, then the higher resolution will help and there may well be less noise at higher ISO settings, but for what you are taking, this may not matter. I have yet to see problems with images up to ISO 400 and rarely exceed this of necessity.

    The handling is great, I find the autofocus works well except for the 100mm f2.8 macro lens, which will hunt a lot when in really close. Otherwise it is fine.

    I take only raw images, so cannot comment on 'soft jpegs' but this is the first I have heard of this as a problem. Who told you that?

    Have you handled a K10D, because if not, you should. They are very heavy, a function of the high build quality. A worthwhile price to pay in my mind and it helps to keep the camera still when shooting handheld.

    In short, I think you would have a great camera capable of producing great images.
  3. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have handled one a while ago and found it reassuringly solid but not too bulky like the Nikon equivalent. I tend not to crop, preferring to get it right first time if I can, but do often find myself taking shots in low light. (But then we put up with grainy film don't we?)

    If it weren't for the jpeg issue I would have bought one long ago, it's ust that the high (current) price of the K20 made me rethink.

    Here's what worries me about the jpegs, the relevant section is about halfway down the page:


    Of course jpegs are going to a little softer than raw, but this does seem a bit more than just a little, and apparently sharpening doesn't help much either.

    Do you find it a bother to shoot raw all the time?

    Thankyou for your comments, very sound advice like most on here - I don't contribute much but I do find it very useful!
  4. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I am a Pentax film user but also have a Canon 20D.

    The only occasions when I use jpgs are:-

    1) When I am out with friends and maybe have a wee drop too much to drink; I put the camera on auto ;)

    2) When I have to take a stack of boring work related photos and don't want the hassle of doing the raw conversions.

    For 95% of my digital photography I use raw, so, from my perspective, "soft" jpgs would not be an issue. Once you have experienced the versatility and flexibility of raw processing you won't want to use jpgs for anything of any importance. If I used the camera for routine tasks where quality was not of paramount importance, for example taking numerous photos of the outside of houses for an estate agent, then I guess good jpg performance would be a deal breaker.

    The real problem, for me, with crop factor DSLR cameras is this pesky magnification factor that makes your most useful wide angle lenses appear to have a boring standard focal length (Pentax K fit and M42 lenses will work, via an adapter, on a Canon 20D). I would therefore recommend buying the 18-55 kit lens in order to be able to access that 18mm (27mm equivalent on the K10D) wide angle. Then save up and buy a Sigma 10-20 or similar.

    Come on Samtax - get your act together and bring out a FF DSLR!
  5. johnriley1uk

    johnriley1uk Well-Known Member

    The JPEGs out of the K10D are perefect for handling in Photoshop. They are not unsharp, just not overly sharpened in camera, which is a very good thing.

    If you apply moderate Unsharp Mask as the final step in your image manipulation the you will be able to get wonderful A3 prints. There's nothing at all to worry about.

    Grab one while you still can.
  6. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    I've got a Samsung GX-10 twin lens kit and have been absolutely delighted with it. I too shoot in RAW all the time and don't see any drawback to it. I don't ever come home from a day out with hundreds of images to process but, even if I did, it would be possible to do a batch RAW conversion. But, for any serious photo, I've found that I can work all sorts of magic with the RAW converter, especially recovering shadow detail where, at first glance, there didn't seem to be any.

    The camera handles superbly and offers features that I don't think are available anywhere else at the same sort of price. The image stabilisation is very useful and, if you've handled one and it feels 'right', then I'd say go for it. Put it this way; even if I had the money, I'd not trade up to a K20D because I can't imagine the results, in real, practical terms, would look any better. I'd rather put the money towards an extreme wide-angle zoom.
  7. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    To answer your question about raw conversion, you will get with the camera the Pentax software, which Angela (AP Staff) reported was excellent but different to Adobe Photoshop. If you have A-PS then you may possibly not need to use the Pentax offering. Raw conversion is easy peezy, so don't get concerned that it is 'too technical' and you will get good results from it. (Convert your raw file to a 16 bit tiff for serious editing.)

    However, these will need to be sharpened just the same as jpegs, perhaps even a little bit more because the jpeg will have had some added in camera. The sharpening settings in the K10D are level adjustable, so you can rack it up if you wish!

    When you have bought your camera, come back to us for help with the sharpening routines. These can be run in A-PS as actions (script files) thus automating the process whilst retaining full control.

    Get on your bike and buy one - now, before they are all gone!! :D :D
  8. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Full frame is not a panacea for all ills. It will not give such good results with older pentax lenses as the light path fom these is not near teleconcentric, so some fall off of image brightness would occur toward the edges. A function of the sensor design. :(

    We would all have to go and buy new lenses that were teleconcentric to get the best from it. That would be very, very costly.
  9. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member

    Many thanks everyone for your sound advice, I think I am sold. I use CS3 all the time and have tried camera raw with some test shots I took, so that side should be fine. I would definitely like the Sigma 10-20 as I'm studying architecture, but might see how I get on with my Tokina 19-35/3.5-4.5 first as the fringing on the 18-55 DA is worse. Or is it worth the £40 extra to see if I can get more for it on Ebay? Unlikely I suppose...

    Just one more question: with the K10D, is there any advantage in getting Sandisk ultra II/extreme III over the standard blue ones?

    Many thanks for all your replies!

  10. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    The faster cards transfer to the PC quicker. I use the Sandisk Extreme lll 2gbt.

    Rather than the 18-55, you could buy the body only and get the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5, this is a worthy lens and well liked by others here.
  11. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member

    So there's no significant speed advantage in camera with the 'faster' card??

    I actually handled the 17-70mm yesterday, and it did seem to be a very well made lens, AF was quiet too! I'll probably get the body and see how my 19-35mm goes, it's excellent on film. Then what, who knows...but the 10-20mm would be great!

    Thanks Phantom!
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    FF seems OK with a 50mm Super Takumar, though. I suspect only a few lenses would really give a problem - I've not found many that do from any manufacturer in all honesty.
  13. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    On which camera is this :D? Not a Pentax, obviously.
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    No, EOS 5D. I have M42, Contax/Yashica, Rollei QBM and Leica R adaptors, and use a selection of lenses from time to time - mostly Zeiss lenses for QBM and C/Y, and Carl Zeiss Jena lenses in M42, but I've tried all sorts. The Super Takumars perform pretty well*, as do just about all the lenses I've used - the only one that's really poor on FF digital is the Voigtlander-branded Mamiya-made Rollei-fit 14mm Fisheye, which suffers badly from fall-off and poor edge definition and colour fringing (to say nothing of flare!), yet is OK on film.

    * In fact I've revised my opinion of them upwards (50mm f1.8 and 55mm f2) as I previously thought them a little second-rate - they're not. They might not be the very best, but they're up there with the competition.
  15. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I've seen many a fine image taken using a Canon 5D and old manual focus lenses from a range of manufacturers. The results are generally superior to those produced by crop frame cameras of the same vintage.

    OK you are asking quite a bit of the lens, but these lenses were designed for full frame coverage, albeit using a medium that did not require the light to fall at right angles onto its surface. The proof of the pudding is in the eating however and I suspect that rather too much is made of this need for teleconcentric optics.
  16. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member

    I have jumped and ordered a K10D body with an extreme III 2gb card! Many thanks again for your thoughts over the loooong period it has taken me to get to this point, bit of a funny feeling now that I have finally taken the plunge and got myself a 'proper' digital camera! Maybe I'll put up some shots for some creative advice as well...

    All the best


  17. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Congrats Oliver and look forward to seeing some pics :)


  18. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    I am sure you will not be dissappointed with your choice.

    Next, the lenses, ..then the filters, ....then a flashgun and a tripod............and a monopod..............larger computer................bigger printer...........bigger house to hold it all.

    What have you done.... :D :D ;) ;)
  19. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member

    Done it already, that's what! :D I have six lenses from 19-320mm, extension tubes, a good tripod, a couple of filters, a good laptop and A3 printer (which I need for my studies) what more could I want?

    [well, sigma 10-20mm, 16-50/2.8, 50-500 for the wildlife, radio trigger, personal slave to carry it all - there's another grand-and-a-half at least :eek: ;)]
  20. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Sigma 10-20 is on my list also. I have got the rest of it now.

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