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Old Aug 7, 2010, 3:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by John.Pattullo View Post
the sensor is not the same at all - and the k-x does have significantly less noise and a full extra stop up from iso 6400 (extended on d5000 base on kx) to 12800 (extended on kx - d500 cant go this high) - so for low light photography or any time you might need a faster shutter speed the k-x would be better
You might be right, but I'm not convinced. Independent tests
and reviews puts the K-x very close to the D5000 for high
ISO noise performance. Both cameras do a little better
than the Canon T1i. Developing a large chip like the
12MP Sony CMOS sensor is hideously expensive. I doubt
the Sony make a good CMOS sensor for Pentax and a
(relatively) bad CMOS sensor of the exact same size
and resolution for the Nikon D5000, D90, D300. The
higher maximum ISO of the Pentax could be due to
different processing hardware or firmware. The only
way to find out for sure is to open up a couple of
cameras to have a look. Any volunteers?
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 3:34 PM   #12
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Between the nikon d5000 and pentax, you are pretty close on the lens selection down the road. The d5000 has about 130 lenses that will operate fully on the d5000 and the pentax has about a 100 lenses. This includes the 3rd party lenses also.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 4:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Well then ...
  1. All OEM and third party macro lenses are stabilized on the Pentax. Nikon only has two stabilized macro lenses, and they're both comparatively very expensive.
  2. Nikon has a good selection of large aperture lenses, but the D5000 doesn't have a built-in AF motor, and neither do most of those large aperture lenses, including the least expensive ones. And none of them are stabilized. All large aperture lenses for the Pentax will AF and are stabilized.
Based on those two things, even though the bodies are similarly priced, for the lenses you'll want, a Nikon system will be more expensive and less capable.
I seen a Tamron lens for about £169 and it had a macro function built into it. It wasn't a dedicated lens but was nice to see something like that. I think really the Pentax seems to answer all my needs I'm just taken by the Nikon perhaps.

How do users find the lack of auto focusing points? in the viewfinder? I think that's what is putting me off buying it.

I've also found the twin lens kit for £450 but I'm told the 50-200mm lens is useless so am I better looking elsewhere?

Thanks guys.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 4:47 PM   #14
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I shoot with a Nikon D90. I shoot in Continuous Drive mode. Nikon doesn't illuminate the AF points when in Continuous Drive and using AF-C. I could get it if I wanted it, but I don't miss it.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 4:49 PM   #15
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... but I'm told the 50-200mm lens is useless so am I better looking elsewhere?
It's not useless, but there are better choices, the Pentax 55-300 and Tamron 55-200 Di II LD and 70-300 Di LD among them.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 6:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by corkpix View Post
You might be right, but I'm not convinced. Independent tests
and reviews puts the K-x very close to the D5000 for high ISO noise performance.
On most tests I've seen, the D5000 has slightly lower noise levels at higher ISO speed settings, but the K-x has slightly more retained detail with a bit more luminous noise when shooting JPEG. Shooting RAW, they're very close to each other, and both appear to use slightly different tuning for Noise Reduction at the RAW level.

From what reputable reviewers have noted, both cameras appear to use the same Sony sensor, only Pentax appears to use a slightly weaker AA filter (hence tests on resolution charts show a bit more Moiré from the K-x when closer to extinction resolution). There are pros and cons to using a weaker AA filter (usually slightly better per pixel sharpness and slightly better sensitivity, at the cost of slightly higher moiré).

In real world conditions, I doubt you'd see much difference between them.

For controlled conditions tests, try the comparometer at imaging-resource.com and look at the ISO 6400 still life images.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

They're very close, with the Nikon handling some areas better (for example, better detail in some of the red fabric patterns), and the Pentax handling some of the other areas a bit better. But, I doubt you'd see much difference in real world conditions once you tuned Noise Reduction settings as closely as possible (as the comparometer is using their default settings and both have more settings available).

What does bug me about the Pentax is the way it's handling noise at ISO 6400 and up, where it appears to be using very aggressive, selective desaturation in order to hide color noise.

For example, look at the ISO 6400 Still Life Image using the comparometer. Then, look at the Samuel Smith lager bottle and pay close attention to the text under the green label that says "Samuel Smith's is a small, independent British Brewery".

It's desaturated (looks black) in ISO 6400 and higher images from the K-x. In contrast, it's still a redish color from other non-Pentax camera models.

I have seen other camera brands showing smeared red fabric detail before in those samples, depending on Noise Reduction settings, as in higher ISO Speed images from the K-x using default NR settings. That's a common side effect of some types of Noise Reduction (as Pentax isn't the only manufacturer using a similar technique). But, the very aggressive desaturation of some colors (again, look at the text on the Samuel Smith lager bottle) at ISO 6400 is bit odd. It looks like Pentax takes the same approach with some of it's other models, too (for example, the K7 exhibits this behavior).

If you look at the thumbnails, you can see the same still life photos using a variety of different Noise Reduction settings, and the K-x appears to use this type of approach to NR at anything other than the off setting (NR0 in the samples there) at ISO 6400 or higher.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/KX/KXTHMB.HTM

My take on it is that the K-x is just using a different approach to Noise Reduction accounting for most differences, with a slightly weaker AA filter that may account for some of the other differences you see; and slightly different tone curves (as from tests I've seen, the K-x has better DR in the shadows given a properly exposed mid gray, but tends to clip highlights earlier than models like the D5000).

You're going to see image processing differences between cameras, even when they're using the same or similar sensor. The Sony 12MP CMOS Sensors also appear to be highly tunable at the raw level, with NR available at the raw level during the A/D conversion process (so, different manufacturers take different approaches to how they tune the output). So, I'd let your own eyes be the judge of how they compare. But, at similar print and viewing sizes, given the same exposure, you'd probably be hard pressed to tell which camera took the photo after tuning the cameras to give a similar output (saturation, contrast, sharpness, NR settings, etc.), unless you're really pixel peeping at very specific samples that may put one camera in a better light compared to the other.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 6:20 PM   #17
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Well what would you recommend?
I can get the Pentax & 18-55 for £380, Pentax 18-55 & 50-200 for £450 anddd Nikon D5000 18-55 for £460.

Would you recommend just getting one lens atm and then picking up another or taking advantage of the £450 deal. I am absolutely stuck between which camera to get.

Nikon has a nice feel, weight, and brand name on it's side.

Pentax has nice features, cheaper, and a lot of good things said about it.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 6:23 PM   #18
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pentax 18-55 and add the 55-300 later on. If you need more reach get the 50-200mm, it may not be the best lens out there, but it is still horrible. I will be good to start out with.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 7:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ConorKennedy View Post
Well what would you recommend? ...
Since large aperture lenses won't be stabilized, nor will they autofocus, on the Nikon, and stabilized macro lenses for the Nikon are expensive, I recommend you get the Pentax.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 7:49 PM   #20
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I really appreciate your input guys it's been good to hear some non biased opinions.
After much debating I think I am going to stump for the Pentax. Now I'm just trying to decide if I should get the extra lens or not, or just save for a slightly better one or the Tamron 70-300 I think it is. ( I don't know an awful lot about lenses).

I recently found out that I can get a remote for taking time lapse photos which makes me quite happy as It's a style of photography I've always been interested in.

I'll think it out in work and order it tomorrow night. I appreciate all your help and some continued advice wouldn't be discarded

Conor.
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