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Old Nov 30, 2009, 8:46 AM   #1
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Default Canon G11 vs. Pentax K-X

i am debating between the KX and the G11. A friend has just given up his DSLR for the more compact G11, claiming it will perform just as well as a DSLR (i say low continuous shooting mode and shutter lag notwithstanding, if at all), and that IQ will not suffer, especially in low light situations. Is it all about lenses with DSLRs, as he claims? What about sensor size? Can the G11 (with no additional lens kit) match the KX with the standard 18-55mm lens? Same DOF, HDR, options....etc etc?
For me, the minor price difference in favour of the G11 wouldn't mean much if there was an appreciable upside to the K-X.
Thanks.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 9:29 AM   #2
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It's all about lenses with the G11 too.

And the K-x has a larger image sensor, which will give you a shallower depth of field than the G11 can.

HDR is a post-processing technique which applies equally to the G11 and the K-x.

The advantage to a dSLR over a P&S (even a very good one) is that the dSLR can be customized to do what you want. If all you want is snapshots, you can customize it for that, but you'd save money by going with the G11 instead. But if you want to do anything else, a dSLR can run rings around a P&S, if you learn how and you let it.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 9:53 AM   #3
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Matte Black

Welcome to the Forum. We're glad you dropped by.

As TCac has already pointed out. The true difference between point and shoot cameras such as the Canon G-11, and an entry level DSLR camera like the Canon XS/1000D camera lies in lenses and the imager.

A DSLR camera has the abiulity to change lenses to meet the varying photo environments. The G-11 has a single lens that must do all the chores. The imager, the electronic assembly that records the image projected by the lens, and replaces traditional film, differs a great deal between a point and shoot camera and a DSLR camera. The imager on the Canon XS is approximately 15 times larger the the minuscule CCD imager used on the G-11 camera.

Everyone it seems wants a smaller and smaller kit, but the laws of physics still prevail. By its design, a DSLR camera can adapt itself/customize itself to many more and different photo environments than can any point and shoot camera.

A final issue I want to touch on is ISO capability. The G-11 tops out at ISO 800 before electronic noise becomes a substantial problem. The Pentax Kx easily goes to ISO 6400 without substantial electronic noise. That is a huge difference. How do I know because I have owned and used both the Canon G-11 and the Pentax Kx cameras.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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Default Canon G11 vs. Pentax K-X

Thank you, TCav, and mtclimber!

So, (as I gradually reacquaint myself with the art and terminology of photography; never beyond eager enthusiast), am I correct in assuming that, in low light conditions, the G11 and the KX would be similar performers? And that, despite the fact that lens options ARE available for the G11, should one wish to go down that road (to me, defeats the purpose of having a compact P and S), the glass on the K-X (even in the standard kit included) would render it a superior performer than the G11?

As for snapshots, well sure, but not at the expense of money shots! If I really just needed a "say cheese" pic, I could probably use my camera phone and be happy with the results.

I appreciate your quick replies.....most useful, as the analysis paralysis wanes, and light is shed on the subject (an unintentional photography pun...I swear!)
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Am I correct in assuming that, in low light conditions, the G11 and the KX would be similar performers? And that, despite the fact that lens options ARE available for the G11, should one wish to go down that road (to me, defeats the purpose of having a compact P and S), the glass on the K-X (even in the standard kit included) would render it a superior performer than the G11?
The K-X will perform better in low light. It's high ISO perfromance is much better than the G11.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Default Canon G11 vs. Pentax K-X

Thanks, John G.

That leads me to ask, other than the size (and it's not really a compact now, is it?), and the 150 dollar difference, why would anyone wanting to take nice, crisp, high-quality pics opt for the G11 (ok, the articulating screen is not just a gimmick) over the K-X?

I know there are some issues with the HD, as with almost all DSLRs, so the K-X can't really be chosen for that alone, and I've read some issues over AF, live view, and battery drain, but unless you're spending a huge bundle of cash and going for the top-of-the-line, I suppose the key thing here is value for the buck. Since I want to ease my way up the learning curve, rather than throwing myself into it head on, the K-X (the burden of added size, weight, and lens management taken into account) seems to be a better choice. From the reviews that I've read, it seems to have a very intuitive menu, easily laid out, and a snap to navigate.

Sure, I'll miss the convenience of a smaller cam, but I suppose if I'm viewing my handiwork side by side, and the results are that much crisper, I guess I'd be happier with the K-X.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matte Black View Post
So, (as I gradually reacquaint myself with the art and terminology of photography; never beyond eager enthusiast), am I correct in assuming that, in low light conditions, the G11 and the KX would be similar performers? And that, despite the fact that lens options ARE available for the G11, should one wish to go down that road (to me, defeats the purpose of having a compact P and S), the glass on the K-X (even in the standard kit included) would render it a superior performer than the G11?
The lens on the G11 has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the equivalent focal length of 28mm. The kit lens on the K-x has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at the same equivalent focal length. So, all other things being equal, the G11 would be better in low light. But all other things aren't equal. The G11 can only go to ISO 800 while the K-x can go up to 12800, which makes the K-x better in low light, and by more than just a little.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Matte Black View Post
That leads me to ask, other than the size (and it's not really a compact now, is it?), and the 150 dollar difference, why would anyone wanting to take nice, crisp, high-quality pics opt for the G11 (ok, the articulating screen is not just a gimmick) over the K-X? ... Sure, I'll miss the convenience of a smaller cam, but I suppose if I'm viewing my handiwork side by side, and the results are that much crisper, I guess I'd be happier with the K-X.
Don't expect magic from a dSLR. Using a dSLR, and especially, using it well, requires knowledge and experience. There's a learning curve associated with any camera, and the learning curve for a dSLR is longer and steeper than for a P&S. But it's also a lot higher. That is, because a dSLR is capable of doing more, and doing it better, there's more to learn. ... provided you choose to go in that direction. If all you'll do is take snapshots, a P&S, or even a camera-phone might serve you well. But if you want to take your photography further, a dSLR is a much better tool.
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Last edited by TCav; Nov 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 11:08 AM   #9
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From the sounds of your last post, you probably would be happier in the long run with the K-x. The biggest disadvantages to a dSLR is size, weight, expense and somewhat longer learning curve (you can start taking good pictures quickly but it takes more learning to get the most out of the camera). If you start using add-on lenses with a fixed lens camera like the G11, you might as well go for the dSLR - it negates one of its biggest advantages. At least that was my conclusion when I finally gave in and bought a Pentax DS several years ago.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 11:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Matte Black View Post
That leads me to ask, other than the size (and it's not really a compact now, is it?), and the 150 dollar difference, why would anyone wanting to take nice, crisp, high-quality pics opt for the G11 (ok, the articulating screen is not just a gimmick) over the K-X?
EVERY decision regarding camera purchase is about compromise. There is no single best camera for everyone. In general, people will choose a digicam over DSLR for convenience / cost. Digicams are usually smaller and cost less. That is true here as well. The G11 does have a nice feature set for digital cameras allowing for more creative control than various other digicams. And, it does have very good picture quality - assuming the light levels are good.

Here's a real-world example - a friend of mine bought a DSLR a couple years ago - he was excited about it and liked the results he got very much. BUT, he and his wife almost never use it because it's so bulky. They invariably use his wife's pocket sized camera for 90% of their shooting needs. A camera can't do it's job if it's sitting at home on a shelf.

As TCAV pointed out, a DSLR gives you more options, but YOU the photographer have learn and develop skillset in order to achieve those results.

For example, you asked about low light shooting. What type of low light shooting are you talking about doing? A DSLR isn't a miracle worker. Sometimes you need an additional lens, sometimes you need to use a flash - and to get the best results out of flash photography you need to use external flash.
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