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Old May 24, 2010, 8:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
This is exactly what I was trying to say, John. One's interest today may not be the same tomorrow. So, one may be interested in wild life photography today, buy the Canon and then tomorrow start doing indoor photography and fall short on the flash range (which would not be a problem if one had bought the Nikon, for instance). So, IMO, we should look at the overall qualities of the cameras within our price range rather then fine tune to our immediate needs because tomorrow our needs might be very different.
Or, they could invest hundreds of dollars in something that does poorly at their immediate needs and they get frustrated and give up. Educating yourself prior to a purchase is never a bad idea.
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Old May 24, 2010, 8:35 PM   #12
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Not to discourage you... But, given your past history of disliking blown highlights, one thing to consider is that even your Olympus EP-1 with it's smaller sensor has better highlight range compared to the K-x, given a properly exposed jpeg image...

Again, total DR is very good from it (better than most in the shadow areas). But, if you're concerned about blown highlights given properly exposed mid tones (which has been one thing I've seen you complain about from cameras you've used in the past), the K-x is trailing some of it's competitors in that area.
Humm, that's not very encouraging. It appears that the K-x deals better with shades than highlights, which is too bad because it is a lot more difficult to recover blown highlights than shades. Interestingly enough, a co-worker has a D5000 and today he was showing a RAW image that looked over exposed (clouds primarily) but he was able to recover most of the details in PS. Now, considering that the D5000 has the best DR (according to the dpreview chart) between the Oly 620, Canon Ti1 and the Pentax K-x in terms of highlights, I can only image how bad that same exact image would look like coming from the Pentax.
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Old May 24, 2010, 8:47 PM   #13
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Every camera has it's strengths and weakness. If you go with nikon, I would go with the d90 over the d5000 without a second thought. The weakness of the d5000 has been documented also.
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Old May 25, 2010, 7:26 AM   #14
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Humm, that's not very encouraging. It appears that the K-x deals better with shades than highlights, which is too bad because it is a lot more difficult to recover blown highlights than shades. .
Of course - what difference does it make? Why on earth would you make a decision based on what your actual needs are? In a year you might not care about highlights. So why factor that into your buying decision now?
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Old May 25, 2010, 8:20 AM   #15
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Humm, that's not very encouraging. It appears that the K-x deals better with shades than highlights, which is too bad because it is a lot more difficult to recover blown highlights than shades.
Well... This is only speculation. But, I'm guessing that they're doing something similar to "pulling" the exposure (i.e., equivalent to overexposing an image slightly then reducing the values, like you'd do when exposing to the right to increase DR in the shadows).

We know that the Sony 12MP CMOS Sensors are relatively tunable via firmware in how their onboard A/D converter and noise reduction algorithms work; since some Sony models like the A700 can enable or disable NR at the raw level; and there is also evidence to suggest that some Nikon models using a Sony 12MP CMOS sensor are also applying some amount of NR at the raw level. Ditto for the K-x (there is evidence to suggest it's applying NR at the raw level, regardless of NR settings).

Given that the K-x does seem to squeeze a bit more out of a Sony 12MP CMOS sensor than most from a noise level perspective, I've got a feeling they've tuned the sensor's response curve so that you're getting the equivalent of an overexposed and then pulled exposure to reduce noise levels (which would have the side effect of increasing DR in the shadows, while reducing DR in the highlights). They're probably using a weaker AA filter that's been designed to help out with that type of response curve, too (as the K-x does seem to have a tad more moiré compared to some of it's competitors on resolution charts when approaching extinction resolution). That way (weaker AA filter with a specific response curve), they're not adversely impacting ISO sensitivity using that kind of technique, like you'd get when deliberately overexposing then pulling the exposure in PP (which would normally require slower shutter speeds).

Again, that's just speculation. But, the DR charts seem to imply they're doing something like that (tuning the sensor response curve so that it's producing values that are equivalent to overexposing and pulling the exposure to reduce noise levels compared to it's competition). But, you could probably get around that issue by underexposing slightly if highlight range is a big concern (reducing shadow range to increase highlight range), then using curves to pull the mid tones back up, or just use a custom curve with a raw converter instead.
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Old May 25, 2010, 4:10 PM   #16
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Of course - what difference does it make? Why on earth would you make a decision based on what your actual needs are? In a year you might not care about highlights. So why factor that into your buying decision now?
John, I just love your sarcasm. You did not ask the OP whether he/she liked blown highlights or blurred images due to say lack of image stabilization. You asked what the OP liked to photograph, which is very different. If a camera has a limited DR, highlight clipping will occur whether I shoot macro, landscape, architecture, night shots, indoor shots, with flash, w/o flash, you name it. Basically, if there is highlight, there is a potential problem. That's different than a camera that may perform a bit better shooting wild life or offers face recognition, which is good for shooting portraits. Now, if you say such and such camera produces noisy images at any ISO, now there is a problem, independent of what type of photography one is into. So, if you want to correlate your question with my DR issue, then you should ask people questions like: "do you like noisy or clean images?" or "do you care for blown highlights" or "is live view important to you?" or "do you care for image stabilization?". Those questions are comparable to my DR issue. They are applicable to any type of photography.
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Old May 25, 2010, 4:36 PM   #17
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To OP: Go with a Kx (or whatever) and be done with it. You'll find that you can tune the camera to deliver pretty much what you want, as you spend a year or two learning its subtleties. And you can move on to the immensely rewarding realm of LBA, lusting after glass, blowing whatever budget you thought might constrain you, trying to eke-out a bit more performance with different optics. A boat is a hole in the water, into which you pour cash. A lens system is the same, but dry, hopefully.
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Old May 25, 2010, 4:43 PM   #18
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Actually Tullio, high ISO and image stabilization are directly related to the type of photography. That's the difference between photography and gadget freak. Understanding what the situation is and what TOOLS will be helpful. That's part of the education process. For example - a person says "I need great high ISO performance" but when you ask what they want to shoot they say "portraits, landscape". Guess what, the two don't give very well. That's often because there's a lot of bad information on the web. Someone tells a person: "You must have feature A" and they believe it. A camera, lens, etc. are tools. If you understand the job you want to do you buy a tool better suited for it. Or, let's take "image stabilization" - again a person may have been told by someone they must have it all the time and as such they're better off getting it in-body. Unfortunately that's not true. Whether your photography benefits from it depends on a lot of different factors. So, if a camera produces noisy images at ISO 1600, but the types of photography the person will be doing can all be done at ISO 100-400, whether or not a camera is good at high ISO is irrelevant. Other features are more relevant to THAT shooter. Otherwise everyone would have to buy a Nikon D3s because all other cameras are noisy in comparison at high ISO. That's the type of silly rationale that leads people to buy the wrong camera. Did you ever think if you actually spent more time mapping tools to requirements you wouldn't have bought the wrong camera so many times? Really, you've gone all over the place on cameras and are still unhappy. Whereas I've been very happy with every camera purchase I've made because the camera was chosen to best fit my requirements.
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Old May 25, 2010, 6:15 PM   #19
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I bought Canon D40 and very satisfied with it.
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Old May 25, 2010, 6:21 PM   #20
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It looks to me like the OP has never returned to this thread.

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