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Old May 22, 2008, 12:21 AM   #11
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Promised posting from track meet. Unfortunately, for puposes of this discussion, the meet finished with only one event being run under the lights. This was shot at ISO 3200 and I purposedly did not apply any noise reduction.



When you go in tight to 100%, but, all in all, there's a lot less noise at ISO 3200 than the K10 at ISO 1600.

Paul


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Old May 22, 2008, 8:58 AM   #12
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mtngal: Interesting comparison. Question: I noticed the K20D image was shot at ISO 200 while there is no EXIF info on the one from K10D. Was the K20D one shot using the extended dynamic range option? From what I read when using HDR with K20D it limits ISO range from 200 to 3200. Was this the case?
Aside from PF difference, I see more dynamic range yet more noise.

From what I am seeing (mtngal and trojansoc's shots) the high ISO performance of K20D seems closer to what my K100D used to have. That is great news since I find K10D really weak in this regard.

My need for high ISO comes from the many kids related activities which happen indoors for a good part of the year (this is Minnesota where spring has just began - it will be done in a week).
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Old May 22, 2008, 11:06 AM   #13
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The K10 was shot at 100 ISO and (interestingly enough) at the same shutter speed (1/250) - a bit slow for me with a 300mm lens. The K20 was shot with the extended dynamic range selected, and it does start at ISO 200. I haven't been using it much since up until yesterday, I didn't see much difference in range, and it does add extra noise. That noise gets a bit distracting to me in OOF areas, especially if you add any USM later on. However, these two pictures convince me that it does make a difference, and it could be quite useful in some conditions (that's what I was trying to say yesterday, but too often I leave out thought process steps when faced with an "ah-HA!" moment).

I'm going to use it more often in future because the noise it adds isn't all that much and can easily managed.
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Old Jul 27, 2008, 2:35 PM   #14
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I just love my new K20D,,, there is a few small things that I noticed right away, like the Format is 10 times faster than my K100D. The K100D feels better built. But I love the green button and the metering switch on the K20, And the Battery life is better than the AA's in the K100D. The pictures seam to have a little better color also in the K20D.




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Old Sep 1, 2008, 11:28 AM   #15
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First off, I am a newcomer to the forums - Hello Everyone!

I had the opportunity to test drive a K20D (plus a Canon 40D+Sigma 500/4.5). This was sponsorship equipment for a wildlife photo competition in deep south Texas that ran over 3 months. The biggest improvement has been the improvement in higher ISO noise levels with the K20D, and a little more leeway with cropping. It allowed me to take images that would have certainly been noisier with the K10D.

This higher ISO performance is critical with wildlife photography, since I'm often shooting into shaded areas in the early AM or late in the day, often at dusk. Coupled with heavily overcast skies, shooting into the ISO 800-1250 range was not uncommon! The K10D I left for landscape and macro duties, which is where it's Sony CCD excels, especially at ISO 100. That sensor is phenomenal at ISO 100-200.

Here is a sample of a Greater Roadrunner - it's a female that got very close. So close I was unable to fit all of her into the frame! I was using the FA* 300/2.8 lens. I cropped a bit off the top for better composition:


EXIF:
Date Modified 2008-08-24 14:29:30
Date Taken 2008-06-08 16:41:36
Camera PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K20D
Exposure Time 0.001s (1/1000)
Aperture f/7.1
ISO 1250
Focal Length 300mm (450mm 35mm)
Photo Dimensions 3104 x 4139
File Name _IMG3994.jpg
File Size 6.44 MB

My apologies for the watermark, but any of my larger images will have this.

Cheers,
Marc

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Old Sep 1, 2008, 6:49 PM   #16
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Hi, Marc! That's quite a picture for your first post. Since you used both the K20 and the 40D - what did you think about the auto focus between the two? Is the 40D that much better than the Pentax - I keep hearing how that's one of Canon's advantages.
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Old Sep 2, 2008, 8:27 PM   #17
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Hello and thank you!

Unfortunately it's not a simple answer: I am shooting with a much faster/brighter lens in the Pentax setup in low light and into shaded areas. The Canon's AF struggled often in the 20-30 minutes prior to sunset. That's when the shaded areas are much more prominent into the open areas. That makes sense, given the Sigma is max. aperture of 4.5 vs. the Pentax max. aperture of 2.8. It's much easier and brighter to view things in low light with the FA* 300/2.8, but sometimes the reach was not there. It's a series of compromises on both sides.

My 40D struggled with accurate AF more than a few times. Sure it was faster, but not always accurate. Again, I am pitting the camera's AF system function(s) against a very difficult set of conditions. I suspect only the MK II and MK III bodies could do it more reliably. Apparently the 50D's AF hasn't changed or been improved from the 40D, so it's quite a price jump to get the AF I'd want for my needs with the Canon system.

However, the Pentax was generally more accurate due to the double check (which can be disabled). So there is often a potential sacrifice of AF speed, but the keeper rate seemed to be higher with Pentax in dim lighting. Neither system was the best in all conditions. I didn't get the Sigma lens until the day I left. Using a flash extender wasn't a real option (since I hadn't done any bird photography prior to the contest), and didn't want to learn on the fly, since I had to travel back and forth. Besides, if you didn't get it right, no red-eye removal was allowed (contest rules). Neither was any cropping allowed. That's just a few of the rules... I think that next time I'll be using a flash extender (aka Better Beamer), and things will improve.

NOTE: again, this is under a very specific set of conditions I am shooting in - heavily overcast, shaded areas are quite dark, especially in the early AM or late PM. No camera system in that price point (40D or K20D) was capable across the board.

Regards,
Marc
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Old Sep 10, 2008, 10:30 PM   #18
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Hi Marc,

Just noticed your post.

Welcome to the forum! I've been following your experience in the competition in the other forum, and have always been impressed with your work. Hopefully you'll decide to hang out here a bit and show us all what's possible with Pentax DSLRs in some very skilled hands.

Scott
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Old Sep 11, 2008, 9:53 AM   #19
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hello everyone

i was thinking of buying nikon D300 but i downloaded the manual and got scared lol, so i was looking around for another camera to buy, i wanted one with all the pro features but that was a bit more amatuer freindly, i read all your comments here with interest, downloaded the manual, and ordereda k20d yesterday, it came this afternoon. well ive only fired off a few test shots to make sure everything works buti gotta say im very impressed, i went for a twin lense bundle, a 15-55 mk II pentax and the 55-300 pentax. and it was still half the price of the nikon with one lense

so i just wanted to say thx for helping me decide
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Old Sep 11, 2008, 2:43 PM   #20
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Start a thread and post some pictures! I'm interested in what you get with the 55-300, been thinking about getting one. Also, don't hesitate to ask questions if there's something you don't understand - lots of friendly people here who can answer questions.
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