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Old May 16, 2010, 8:12 PM   #11
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Even if the Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED was as good as the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS, Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR or Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G, which it's not, it doesn't focus as fast.
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Old May 16, 2010, 8:14 PM   #12
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my photos proves otherwise. I do really punish camera equipment and put them into very hard shooting condition. And if I can keep the Bif in focus for those shots. It will focus fast enough to catch human action. As the gull can fly beyond 60mph and turn very rapidly. Look at the exif data, it was at 300mm most of the time.
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Old May 16, 2010, 8:43 PM   #13
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From what I can see from some of the tests around, the K-x AF speed isn't bad (tests as fast or faster than the Nikon D3000 and Canon XS in good light from what popphoto.com says about it). They're the only site I'm aware of that tests AF speed at various lighting levels. Below EV 6, then the Canon and Nikon models are faster.

Nobody I'm aware of tests tracking ability. So, that's mostly based on opinions (which may not be very accurate, especially since much of what you see is based strictly on assumptions and hearsay -- not to mention that camera settings can play a big role with some models, as do lenses being used, familiarity with a given camera model's behavior, skill level of the user, and more).

Any current dSLR model is probably going to do relatively well in the AF department anymore in all but relatively dim lighting. AF algorithms have tended to improve from all of the major manufacturers with each new generation of camera.

But, even if the OP was shooting indoor sports, as for detail using a zoom versus prime, there are many considerations besides ISO speed.

For example, from what I can see from blur charts at sites like slrgear.com, a lens like the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 is sharper at f/2.8 compared to the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM at f/2 when the Sigma is zoomed into 88mm (the closest focal length they have on their chart); and is still a tad sharper in the corners when both are at f/2.8

If you are shooting action, you may find that f/2 can be a bit shallow for DOF purposes anyway (running into issues like the body in focus but the face softer if you're filling the frame much). So, using f/2.8 can be easier to get what you want in focus. Also, you don't always have the opportunity for perfect framing, and with a zoom at further distances, you could put a lot more pixels on your subject compared to trying to crop an image from an 85mm prime. So, even if it's not as good on charts at longer focal lengths, that may not be the primary concern if you'd have to crop a shot from a shorter prime, due to having far fewer pixels on your subject compared to the zoom. ;-) Focus accuracy can also be negatively impacted if you're not filling the frame enough.

Given the performance of newer dSLR models at higher ISO speeds with newer generations of cameras, and the framing flexibility you get from a zoom, I think we'll see less and less need to use primes for low light sports shooting as time passes, with users preferring the framing flexibility you get with a zoom, although some of the primes have the benefit of lower cost (with lower size and weight).

But, I doubt most of that is of any concern to the OP anyway, as it sounds like the camera is going to used mostly for family photos and photos of a 5 Month Old Baby, not indoor sports, BIFs, etc. I'd probably spend a bit of extra cash on an external flash for the Nikon and stick with it, versus switching systems for no good reason that I can see from the OP's post.

IOW, it sounds like the only reason the OP is considering switching is if a different camera may be easier to use from what I can tell from the post (and the OP will probably correct me if I'm reading too much into that).

Given a bit of time learning to use these models and becoming familiar with them, I doubt one would be easier to use compared to another for most purposes. Personally, I would probably find that not having visible AF points might be a bit irritating with the K-x, since I'm accustomed to seeing and selecting them. But, I could probably learn to live without that ability (as I have in the past using cameras without multiple AF points). If you're not used to them, you probably wouldn't miss them.

There are pros and cons to any of them.
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Old May 16, 2010, 8:51 PM   #14
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Jim,

The OP does not have any system yet, this will be the first dslr. So that is where the decision of which would be a good system started.

So the OP seem to have the d5000 and the Pentax k-x as the top 2 choices. Between the 2, I would go with the pentax. I do not know the k-x as well my friend standing next to me who has a d5000 with the af-s 70-300mm. And I was able to catch more in focus shots when the plane of the bird change flying toward us. So it does seem the pentax is a bit better in the AF department right now. But when the d5000's replacement shows up. It will most likely improve like you pointed out.
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Old May 16, 2010, 8:54 PM   #15
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It sounds like the OP already has the D5000 and would need to return it to get something else:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmm View Post
...I am debating between these three cameras - I have re*****hed them and currently have the D5000 (with 15 days to try it and return it if I change my mind) and have started taking test shots....
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Old May 16, 2010, 8:58 PM   #16
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Nope, camera under consideration is the d3000, d5000, and k-x. Form my playing around with the k-x, think it is a bit better as it is a newer generation camera. And for a new users it has a very easy to use menu system with many scene modes and art filters to choose. So it will allow for progression at the op's own pace. And you are not loosing anything against the nikon, and you are actually gaining a easier to use interface, better iso performance and a AF system to seem to be a bit ahead of the nikon. It is returnable, so no system yet, IMO

PS

Right out the box if the op gets the 2 lens kit, you get a very good long 300mm zoom for tracking action. The nikon you get a 200mm.
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Old May 17, 2010, 3:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
The OP does not have any system yet, this will be the first dslr.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmm View Post
I am debating between these three cameras - I have re*****hed them and currently have the D5000 (with 15 days to try it and return it if I change my mind) ... (Emphasis mine. -TCav)
So, no.
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Old May 17, 2010, 6:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
my photos proves otherwise. ...
The images you posted all show the bird flying across the frame, so the focus doesn't change much. The challenge comes when the subject is quickly moving toward or away from you, and that's where the other lenses shine.

No one is arguing that the K-x isn't better than the D5000. My point is that the Pentax System doesn't do as well when compared to Canon's and Nikon's Systems for what cmm might like to do. If cmm wants to photograph her child participating in sports, yes, the K-x is better than the D5000, but there are better options than the K-x as well. And one of them will let her keep the lenses and accessories she may accumulate over the years when it is time to upgrade.
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Old May 17, 2010, 7:54 AM   #19
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There are 2 flying at me,
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Old May 17, 2010, 8:00 AM   #20
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Let's drop the BIF discussion. It's not relevant to this thread. Take it to PM discussion or open another thread if you want to discuss it.

For what the OP wants to do, I don't see a big advantage in switching systems. I think the Nikon flash system outweighs the slight gain in high ISO performance of the K-X. For family photography - especially involving little children, external flash use is very important. NOW, having said that - the one area which is purely personal and subjective is ergonomics. If the menu and control design on the d5000 is confusing it might be worth a trip to the store to check out the K-X to see if the controls are easier for the OP. Ergonomics are important. So if the K-X controls and menus are better suited to the OP then that alone is a good reason to switch. But don't expect colors/sharpness etc to dramatically improve. You're just not going to see much difference among most of the entry level DSLRs in that regard.
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