K-5 / K-30 / or a Nikon. advice for born again amateur


tree101

Link Posted 01/01/2013 - 23:19
It's been many a long year since I did any real photography, but something I would like to explore more this year. I have spent the last few weeks trawling the net and have eventually come down to 3 camera's that stand out within the realms of my budget. Pentax K-30 / K-5 and the Nikon D7000. The Nikon and the K-5 look very similar on paper and the sample photo's I have seen look very good with fairly standard lenses.

Most of the photography will be landscape and street scene rather than portrait. I do like the heavily processed HDR type photographs which have that surreal quality about them and appeals to my creative side.

What attracts me to all three cameras is the fact that they are all weather sealed, which is handy for walking and muddy field in the uk, which I often find myself, and will no doubt be taking pictures. I plan on getting a 18-50 ish lens kit initially and then a 35/40 or 50 prime in a couple of months once I get a good feel for the camera.

The area that I am stuck with is with the K-30. Although many of the sample photos that I have seen have been very good, there has always been something lacking compared to K-5 and the D7000. TO me there appears to be less dynamic range / contrast with the K-30. It's just a general observation with looking at flickr and such, and so is not very scientific. However the images were using a wide variety on lenses. I can only think the it is due to the bit depth of the raw data files, as the K-30 is 12-bit compared to 14 bit of the K-5 / D7000.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts / experience with the K-5 / K-30. Or if someone can point to a good side by side comparison, as most side by side ones I have seen have been artificial / indoor, then that would be useful. Perhaps someone who has both has already done this with an outdoor scene, using the same lens.

Any other thoughts or opinions gratefully received

Amy

johnriley

Link Posted 01/01/2013 - 23:48
I doubt very much that we would see any difference in a web image between a 12-bit and 14-bit image. The variations between images and between different photographers would be vastly more important.

Why not pop down to a suitable store, depending on your location, and try to handle the options? Although it can be possible to return items ordered by mail order, it's much more convenient to view side by side.
Best regards, John

tree101

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 00:46
Many thanks for the reply. You are probably correct in that the biggest difference lies with the photographer. Although, all I have had to go with, have been sample images on flickr and other photo sites, which do showcase images in large formats, and I have looked at 100's of pictures. Perhaps, the difference has been down to better photographers using K5 rather than the K30.

I do not know how the cameras use the bits in the image, but the geek in me does know that the maximum value of 12 bits is around 4000 where as 14 bits is around 16,000, so potentially the difference in image quality is huge (4 times). It was the only thing that crossed my mind when viewing the samples, and which may explain the overall difference I have seen.

My next step is to visit Jessops, as its the only shop that local to where I am staying. Though, I doubt I will be able the see much difference in image quality on a 3 inch lcd screen under fluoro lights. Besides I forgot to mention I have an allergy with sales people trying to extract monies from me, which often leaves me feeling grumpy for the rest of the day.

Amy
Last Edited by tree101 on 02/01/2013 - 00:47

Smeggypants

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 02:53
johnriley wrote:
I doubt very much that we would see any difference in a web image between a 12-bit and 14-bit image. The variations between images and between different photographers would be vastly more important.

Why not pop down to a suitable store, depending on your location, and try to handle the options? Although it can be possible to return items ordered by mail order, it's much more convenient to view side by side.

No you won't, but the extra 12dB of dynamic Range ( two stops ) means that there's more scope for post processing without destroying Image Quality.


Having that extra 2 stops is very valuable IMO. If you're shooting high contrast scenes with a 14bit K-5 you can dial in -2ev exposure ( or more ) compensation to avoid blowing out those sporadic highlights and boost the midtones and shadows without worrying about noise in lower ISO ranges. marvellous.

While even 8bits per channel is probably fine for viewing, the more bits the better is desirable for processing. And it's not just for boosting shadows or recovering vast underexposures, the more bit depth you have the less the digital rounding errors are introduced when doing any processing
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

Helpful

szgabor

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 06:54
You can compare the cameras on the Snapsnort:

http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon_D7000-vs-Pentax_K-5
http://snapsort.com/compare/Pentax-K-30-vs-Pentax_K-5
http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon_D7000-vs-Pentax-K-30
Regards,
Gábor
My website
My PPG site
Last Edited by szgabor on 02/01/2013 - 06:55

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giofi

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 07:28
tree101 wrote:
My next step is to visit Jessops, as its the only shop that local to where I am staying. Though, I doubt I will be able the see much difference in image quality on a 3 inch lcd screen under fluoro lights. Besides I forgot to mention I have an allergy with sales people trying to extract monies from me, which often leaves me feeling grumpy for the rest of the day.

Amy

Hi Amy,
and welcome to the Forum!
I agree that it will be difficult to see much difference in image quality, but you will be able to handle the cameras, which is a very important part of the equation. You will be able to see which you are more comfortable with in terms of size, ergonomics, controls, shutter noise.
As you said the Pentax k-5 and the Nikon D7000 have similar specs, but quite different size and ergonomics.

As to the K-30 vs K-5 comparison, I guess it is down to what is important to you and what is your budget.... But I would consider this: if you are coming back to photography as I did some 3 - 4 years ago, there is a lot to catch up with and camera technology moves quickly. The K-30 is very reasonably priced (as is the "original" K-5), and if you find you want more in the future, you will be able to upgrade to the then latest body available without having invested a lot..... And you could rather invest some more money in lenses.
Giorgio

Pentax Photo Gallery
Last Edited by giofi on 02/01/2013 - 07:29

Helpful

tree101

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 12:09
Smeggypants wrote:

No you won't, but the extra 12dB of dynamic Range ( two stops ) means that there's more scope for post processing without destroying Image Quality.

Having that extra 2 stops is very valuable IMO. If you're shooting high contrast scenes with a 14bit K-5 you can dial in -2ev exposure ( or more ) compensation to avoid blowing out those sporadic highlights and boost the midtones and shadows without worrying about noise in lower ISO ranges. marvellous.

While even 8bits per channel is probably fine for viewing, the more bits the better is desirable for processing. And it's not just for boosting shadows or recovering vast underexposures, the more bit depth you have the less the digital rounding errors are introduced when doing any processing

Thanks smeggypants, post processing is very important to me, I do like to mess around with images, so having the most amount of raw information is important as its easier to remove than add something. I find it funny to see the decibel scale used in image processing, I can see what is meant by it, but it just feels so wrong on many levels!

dB aside, what you mention about high contrast scenes, does make sense. It is probably those situations that I have seen the difference between 12 and 14 bit. As they also often coincide with the type of scene I am likely to photograph, it is something I need to get right with the camera choice.

I had a browse of your photos and think they are very nice, the festivals pics remind me of the summer

szgabor wrote:
You can compare the cameras on the Snapsnort:

Thanks Gábor, I have already seen this site and shows that they are all very similar overall.

giofi wrote:

Hi Amy,
and welcome to the Forum!
I agree that it will be difficult to see much difference in image quality, but you will be able to handle the cameras, which is a very important part of the equation. You will be able to see which you are more comfortable with in terms of size, ergonomics, controls, shutter noise.
As you said the Pentax k-5 and the Nikon D7000 have similar specs, but quite different size and ergonomics.

As to the K-30 vs K-5 comparison, I guess it is down to what is important to you and what is your budget.... But I would consider this: if you are coming back to photography as I did some 3 - 4 years ago, there is a lot to catch up with and camera technology moves quickly. The K-30 is very reasonably priced (as is the "original" K-5), and if you find you want more in the future, you will be able to upgrade to the then latest body available without having invested a lot..... And you could rather invest some more money in lenses.

Thank you for the welcome Giorgio.

The K-30 is definitely more within my budget, and I appreciate the fact that I can use the extra for nicer / prime lenses. The lenses are one of the main reasons I am looking at the Pentax cameras, mainly as they have had a consistent mount so I could pick up some old ones, even at the expense of auto focus.

The feel of the cameras will be the next step, the K5 and D7000 are similarly priced too. I always like to have a good sense before I enter a shop then I can safely ignore what they try to push on me and ask important question like... " Does this also come in Pink?"

Not being a very good consumer, I think a little more spent on the body now will be a better than wanting to replace it within 2 years. Hopefully the 2nd body I buy will be a cheap full frame

You have some lovely photographs too Giorgio

Froggy

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 12:21
Just a thought. I understand that the K30 does not have an HDMI output whereas the K5 does. I often view my pics on a HDMI TV an find it very useful.

Mike-P

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 12:31
If weather sealing is a big factor I believe Pentaxs build quality (esp the K-5) and resistance to wet conditions is quite a bit better than Nikons D7000.

Saying that Nikons AF speed is superior to Pentax's , as are the amount of AF points ... although I doubt that would be so much of a problem with the photography you are looking to do.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

tobybarker

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 12:58
good luck with the trip to jessops. in my experience they don't seem to stock pentax. they seem to close on odd days too... rant over!
Trevor Smith

Pentax K30
My Flickr
My web page

AndrewA

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 12:59
The above issues aside, feel in the hand is really important too.

I found Pentax felt more like a camera than the Nikon, plus I recently the had chance to play with a K30 and it felt slightly less substantial than my K5.

Hope this helps, but finally Choose Pentax!!!
Andrew

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

PPG link
Flickr link
Last Edited by AndrewA on 02/01/2013 - 13:01

Pheo

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 13:24
Also, ask yourself what glass you can afford to put on it. Some of the Nikon pro glass is extremely expensive. I found Pentax better value over all, when I traded off features (e.g. Shake Reduction).

Mike-P

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 15:10
Also, go and ask the same question on a Nikon forum ... they will give you a good few reasons to go for the D7000 rather than the K-5.

Nature of the beast ... (or should that be forum).
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 02/01/2013 - 17:08
I would personally get a K30 and spend the balance on nice lenses. The loss of 2 bits doesn't actually seem to lose you anything, except bragging rights. The US forum has a comparative review where you can look at K5/K30 images which have been grossly underexposed and then corrected in PP, and I can't really tell the difference. Both camera can pull back an extraordinary amount of detail from what's apparently a completely BLACK image!

I think it probably comes more down to which camera you like the feel of... the K5 does feel a bit more high end than the K30 (and maybe even the D7000)...
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 02/01/2013 - 17:11

pentax

Link Posted 03/01/2013 - 15:32
Don't forget that the K5 uses the same sensor as the D7000.
Derek
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