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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:02 PM   #111
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But the pentax k-x is a 500 camera with lens, the A55 is a 900 dollar camera, not in the same league. But if you shot action in jpeg you do get 16 shots before buffer lag, that is not to far off form my canon with 18 in jpeg with a class 6 card. And my canon is 200 bucks more. On raw I get about 6 with the pentax, and about 7 with the canon. Pretty close.

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FWIW, I'd also consider things like buffer depth when comparing models, if sports type shooting is important.

Pentax has usually lagged way behind in that area (photos in a row before the internal faster buffer memory is full, write speeds to memory cards, etc.)

The K-x is better in that area than most earlier Pentax models. But, it still lags behind many of the Nikon, Canon, and Sony models in it's price bracket.

For example, when shooting raw (which is the way I shoot more often), you only get approx. 5 photos before it's internal buffer fills up and the camera slows down).

In contrast, you'll get several times the number of photos shooting raw with a Sony A55 (or most other Sony models) before you see a decrease in frame rate. Ditto for most dSLR type cameras from other manufacturers (they're going to do much better in that area compared to the Pentax K-x).

So, for action shooting, as much as I like the way the Pentax entry models handle getting the most out of the Sony sensor they use in the area of noise, they're just too lacking in other areas for me (personally) to consider using one (buffer depth, active AF point display, etc.). Again, I'm sure others will disagree, and your perception of the differences would probably depend on what you're used to in a camera.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:07 PM   #112
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So the bottom line is I use a camera that show AF point with LED normally. But because I choose to control my shots. And use manual selected point. The conversion back and forth is not a problem.
Sure, if you don't mind going into the menus to select the focus point (versus simply selecting it via the main control pad and seeing your active AF point selection in your viewfinder, changing it easily as conditions require), and you don't mind not being able to see what you're focusing on (relying on your memory of what you selected via the menus ahead of time instead), that might work.

Not me. There are far better solutions. In the Pentax lineup, I would look at higher end models instead if I wanted a more usable camera for shooting action.

Bottom line, it's design is nowhere near as good as most other dSLR models in it's price range in that area. If you want to live with that level (or lack thereof) of feedback when shooting action, more power to you. Not me.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:12 PM   #113
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But if you shot action in jpeg you do get 16 shots before buffer lag, that is not to far off form my canon with 18 in jpeg with a class 6 card.
You'll get 32 jpeg fine images with a Sandisk Extreme III SDHC card in the A55, shooting at 10fps before the buffer fills up (more than twice the fps the Pentax gives you). At slower frame rates, you'll get a lot more photos in a burst (because the camera is writing to the memory card while you're shooting, hence the buffer takes longer to fill up. There's really no contest (Sony has a larger buffer and is much faster, even with the same card type).

Using a much faster MS Pro HG Duo card (versus using slower SDHC cards), I'd expect a lot more photos in a burst before the camera slows down. I haven't personally timed the A55 that way yet (using a much faster MS Pro HG duo Card), but I expect to do so soon. ;-)
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:13 PM   #114
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The op has move up form a 500 dollar system to a 900 dollar system. Now you are asking to move to a 1400 dollar system.

Lets try to keep a perspective on this now. If you compare the camera in the pentax k-x's price range. Like the sony A390 just as and example. Which one is better, and lets be honest here.

I have said it between the A550 and the k-x the A550 is a better camera, but it is also a much more expensive camera. And even with the A500 discounted, it is still a much more expensive system once you add equivalent lenses to the system.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:27 PM   #115
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My sony a200 has selectable focus points just using the directional pad, and it was originally cheaper than the kx. This isn't comparing cameras, since the kx is better otherwise, but it isnt necessarily feature that you an only get with a $900 camera. Obviously some may not care, but I hate letting the camera decide where to focus or just using center point. So for me that's a deal breaker; I am actually very picky about that to the point that I dislike certain focus confirmation (such as my a200, which just lights up the icon vs newer models, which show a box around it- much more noticable) . When using a small depth of field, it is IMO much better to select a point rather than focus with center and recompose, since there is no risk of moving camera position while recomposing.
But as I said obviously others (like you) enjoy it, so it really depends on what you care about.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:30 PM   #116
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Again the A55 is a 900 dollar camera, the k-x is a 500 camera. So it should be a better camera. I think the A55 is a good camera, I just believe it is not as hype on the high burst rates it boost as being as great as sony and sony fans make it out to be. I do not think it would be a good camera to catch a BIF. You will keep losing it waiting for the refresh.

But for me the 10fps could have a potentially of being very useful, as my indoor dancing. The subjects do not move around to much and re-framing is not as critical. But I would not take it to a hockey game or to shoot BIF's.

Also I like what sony has done for AF in HD video. It is a vast improvement over all dslr in this department. And that new sensor is really nice. I look forward to seeing it in the pentax dslr, like the k-5 and see what else it can do.

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You'll get 32 jpeg fine images with a Sandisk Extreme III SDHC card in the A55, shooting at 10fps before the buffer fills up (more than twice the fps the Pentax gives you). At slower frame rates, you'll get a lot more photos in a burst (because the camera is writing to the memory card while you're shooting, hence the buffer takes longer to fill up. There's really no contest (Sony has a larger buffer and is much faster, even with the same card type).

Using a much faster MS Pro HG Duo card (versus using slower SDHC cards), I'd expect a lot more photos in a burst before the camera slows down. I haven't personally timed the A55 that way yet (using a much faster MS Pro HG duo Card), but I expect to do so soon. ;-)
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:35 PM   #117
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A feature I would be interested in with the a55: enlarging the center for precise manual focusing. Most aspc viewfinders are small enough that it is hard to get more precise results than the AF. But there are times where AF is too slow (like birds flying) and it could be useful.

The other thing I like about the evf is using the FN button while keeping your eye up to the viewfinder. It would make it much faster than moving the camera down to see the LCD.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:47 PM   #118
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Now shooting bird in flight, you really do not have the time to change. On the bif shots I post, I just chose center point, and a recompose from there. Really did not have the time to push the AF point bottom and toggle through the points with the dial. It sound nice in principle, but in reality it is a completely different then. Slow move stuff and static shot yeah, not problem with doing it that way.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:53 PM   #119
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Lets try to keep a perspective on this now. If you compare the camera in the pentax k-x's price range. Like the sony A390 just as and example. Which one is better, and lets be honest here.
Let's try the Sony A500 instead, since like the Pentax K-x, it uses a Sony 12MP CMOS sensor. The A500 can shoot a virtually unlimited number of JPEG images (>50 with a fast card) without a slowdown, versus the Pentax model slowing down at around 16 JPEG fine images.

Unlike the Pentax, you can also select the active focus point "on the fly" while shooting and see those changes in the viewfinder (versus using menus to change it). ;-)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...0_12_3_MP.html

As for lenses, you can buy a Sony 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8 or 85mm f/2.8 for around $200 each. Where are the Pentax lenses at similar focal lengths if you want Autofocus (not to mention that the Sony dSLR models can use any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made, and the used market is full of them, unlike Pentax lenses that have Autofocus available, although Pentax manual focus are more plentiful).

The Pentax has it's advantages (e.g., lower noise levels at a given ISO speed, probably thanks to a weaker AA filter, which increases Moire from tests I've seen). But, I would not venture to compare it to some of the other dSLR models in it's price range.

Frankly, having used one, I'd be more likely to go with the Nikon D5000 the OP was looking at to begin with over the Pentax. I've seen your posts claiming the Pentax did better at capturing BIFs. Frankly, I don't buy it's AF system is better for capturing most "real world" action, as the Nikon AF system has 3D tracking taking color into consideration, and it works quite well *if* you set it up properly (which I suspect your friend with one did not do).

No offense, and the Pentax represents a great bargain at it's price point. But, for a higher percentage of keepers in demanding conditions (action, etc.), as well a better feedback of what the camera is doing, I'd be more inclined to look a models from Canon, Nikon or Sony instead.

That's just my personal opinion ( based on using a variety of camera models in a variety of conditions), not necessarily that of Steve's. So, take it with a "grain of salt".
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 12:57 PM   #120
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sub 500 dollar with the k-x, and a 540 for the a500. and if we add the lenses with the 300mm reach, sub 700 for the k-x, A500 with the 70-300 and not the low end tamron or sigma, let said the mid level 70-300. Add 450 dollars. making the A500 a 950 dollarish system vs a sub 700 dollar system.

So lets put things into prospective.
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