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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:19 am 
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Would the AF on the k20d be any faster, in general, than the k200d?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:54 am 
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Bonjour jaxzwolf,

jaxzwolf wrote:
Anyway, the camera was very well-balanced in my hands. A little weighty, perhaps, but even mounted with the DA* 50-135mm it wasn't overwhelming.

The 50-135mm lens is rather heavy and the center of gravity is on the lens. So you need to sustain the lens with your left hand while your right hand operates the camera.

Now, let's have a look on the three problems you reported.
jaxzwolf wrote:
I changed up a bunch of the settings, and found that the front dial on the camera was a bit of a reach for my index finger, based on the way I was holding it. Trying to change the ISO using the "ok + front dial" method wasn't nearly as fluid as I would have liked.

Whatever camera, especially a sophisticated dSLR, needs a learning curve. The more you use it, the better you use it.
About the ISO setting, the K10D / K20D feature two unique modes
  • TAV mode: you set the aperture speed and the aperture and the camera selects the ISO value (page 91)
  • SV mode: you set the ISO value and the camera selects the right combiantion of shutter speed and aperture (page 85)
jaxzwolf wrote:
The second problem was the grip. When I initially picked the camera up it felt okay, but the longer I played with it in the store the less certain about it I became. It wasn't uncomfortable, necessarily... it just wasn't perfect. :(

As said before, the 50-135mm lens is rather heavy and the center of gravity is on the lens. So you need to sustain the lens with your left hand while your right hand operates the camera. Have you realised you were holding 28.2 + 27.0 = 55.2 oz :!:
jaxzwolf wrote:
The biggest issue, however, was with the AF. I didn't think it very dark in the store, but it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time for the camera to AF, especially after zooming in or out. Even the DA* lens wasn't particularly fast. I'm not sure if it was something I was doing, or perhaps that whatever SD card they had in there was really slow to write, or the camera itself. But it unnerved me, because I envision myself taking a lot of photos of birds in flight, and fast AF would definitely help things along.

Auto-focus is slow in poor light conditions. The K10D uses the flash (if opened) as an assist lamp. Back to birds, from my own experience,
  • Manual focus: I use the auto-focus to get a correct value then I switch focus on manual, then start to shoot (obviously, in continuous shooting).
  • Continuous focus: the auto-focus constantly monitors the picture is on focus. Since the adjustments are small, they are very fast. That's very handy for catching birds when they fly (see page 104). Obviously, the focusing area should set on center (see page 107).
jaxzwolf wrote:
Of course, they were out of stock for the D90, so I couldn't compare them side-by-side. Figures...

I can't help you about the D90. But I do know the perfect camera doesn't exist.

Ok, I know the more information you get, the more difficult the choice will be :wink: Take a rest, make your choice and then go and have fun :)

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Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:42 am 
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Posts: 361
rei_vilo, thank you so much for your patience and continued advice.

Quote:
...the 50-135mm lens is rather heavy and the center of gravity is on the lens. So you need to sustain the lens with your left hand while your right hand operates the camera.


I'm not sure I could have held the camera without the support of my left hand under the lens! :wink: Even stabilizing the camera at its center of gravity, the grip was still a bit uncomfortable for my right hand. This, more than anything, turned me off the k20d.

After my last post on this thread, I had a bit of a revelation. I thought long and hard about what I really wanted from a camera. More importantly, I thought about what it was that I really needed from a camera.

Although I appreciated the improved ergonomics of a mid-range body, I am still as green as they come in photography. And although I'm sure I could best the learning curve quickly, I'm not 100% certain that photography is something I'll really get into. So in the end, I really couldn't justify (to myself) spending the extra money on a higher-tier camera body, even with the nice discounts on the k20d.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the k200d was the right choice for me. It still has the weathersealing that I will probably need, the build quality that I will definitely need, and it is small enough to make it easier to pack into the field. From what I've heard/read, it is a good camera to grow with. I hope that is true. If only it had a penta-prism viewfinder... :roll:

With the money I saved by not getting the k20d or D90, I was able to get the kit and the 55-300mm lens as well, so I can start shooting birds right away.

So the new camera should be here by the end of the week, and then we'll see what happens. Hopefully it works out!

Thanks again, rei_vilo, for your advice. It really helped me think through the last hurdle in my DSLR decision. I will be anxiously awaiting your review on The Never Coming Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM. I imagine that my first upgrade will be the purchase of this lens- for a completely weathersealed, quick and quiet focusing kit!

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Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
Pentax K200D / DA 18-55mm / DA 55-300mm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:49 am 
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Location: France
Bonjour jaxzwolf,

The K200D is an excellent camera, since it shares the same 10 M pixels sensor as the K10D.

When I started with dSLR, I went for a *ist DL. After a couple of year of use and discovery, I upgraded for a K10D keeping my lenses. The I bought better lenses.

That's the real charm of dSLR: you could change the camera and improve the lenses independently at your own pace.

Most important of all, have fun shooting birds and share your pictures :)

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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