Nikon D90 vs. the new Pentax K-7

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jvw2941, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. jvw2941

    jvw2941 TPF Noob!

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    For the longest time I've been saving up for the groundbreaking Nikon D90 with it's D movie function and many other good things to it, but now Pentax has come out with the K-7 and I can't decide between the two! The Pentax K-7 is more expensive but why, the audio input for the video mode? I just don't get it, so if anyone has used these or you just know about them could you please enlighten me with a few pros and cons??

    Thanks!!
    -jwilliams
     
  2. brianne5499

    brianne5499 TPF Noob!

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    I always turn to cnet.com when I want an honest review on a camera.
     
  3. daveren

    daveren TPF Noob!

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    I have an Olympus E-1 and was looking at upgrading. I tried the K-7 because of its size, durability and weather resistance. It is a really nice camera to handle – just the right number of buttons and some really unique useful features……. But…. I wasn’t happy with the photos. I found the overall look to be cold and there seems to be a bluish/grey cast in most the shots. (Probably some related to using a Sigma Polarizer.) There were contrast and exposure concerns as well. I ended up with a D90 that I am extremely happy with (just need to keep it out of the rain and dust.)

    Here is a comparison shot. The settings on the cameras were different so it probably isn't completely fair, but it does illustrate what I saw.
    K-7 = "portrait" sRGB color, AWB, matrix metering, 0 EV Comp
    D90 = "vivid" AdobeRGB color, AWB, matrix metering, 0 EV Comp

    [​IMG]


    I have posted "untouched JPG" photos with comments from both cameras here:
    Pentax K-7 & Nikon D90

    Please don’t consider these a fair technical comparison however. I was all over the place with the K-7 settings trying to get the “look” I wanted. I pretty well got that “look” right out of the box with D90. AF, AWB, Exposure and handling of contrast has been excellent with the D90. To this point I have done very little RAW processing from any camera (or adjusting of JPG pre-sets.) I prefer a camera that produces good JPG images with the occasional addition of RAW for special shots.

    I would suggest that you take a careful look at the many example shots on the internet to check the difference in the “look”. Flickr has both a K-7 group and a D90 group. There are also many shots on pbase.com. In my opinion the Pentax shots, though sharp and interesting have an overall "vail" ...... hard to describe .... and the colors don't really pop like I like. I am tempted to change levels in Photoshop for all the Pentax shots (including those on the web.)

    Here is the flickr K-7 group:
    Flickr: Pentax K-7
    the flickr D90 group:
    Flickr: Nikon D90 Users

    Here is the Image Resources K-7 review where you use their "Compariometer" to set up test photos side-by-side.
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/K7/K7A7.HTM

    I also started a K-7 / D90 thread at DigitalGrin here:
    Oly E1 --> Pentax K7 --> Nikon D90 - Digital Grin Photography Forum
    DigitalGrin is a great place to connect to lots of other photographers’ images.

    Bottom line –it is a personal preference thing – I am disappointed that the K-7 did not work for me. It would be great if you could find a store (like London Drugs in BC) that will let you use and return them, no questions asked. I think you would be blown away handling a K-7.....some tough little camera!

    Good Luck, …….Dave

    PS - Unfortunately NEITHER camera will FOCUS automatically for video. So I am not sure how useful that will be for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  4. dangergoinoff

    dangergoinoff TPF Noob!

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  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I have 4 D90's that are used for a regional sports photography business I own, and I thought I knew about everything a D90 could do.

    WTF is the D movie function?
     
  6. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    That's what Nikon calls the movie feature, D-Movie.

    Thread is from August of 09 though, so the OP probably moved on by now. :D
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Probably not fair? Absolutely it's not fair.

    1. The Pentax image is underexposed (compare the sreet signs) and underexposure gives more saturation of colors, which is why the sky in the Pentax image is a deeper blue, not because the Pentax is a better camera.
    2. As you note, since the images are JPEGs both have been edited in the cameras in different ways.
    3. Even if the in camera settings were the same it doesn't hold that Pentax engineers and Nikon engineers would agree on the same values for the various automatic edit functions any camera performs to produce a JPEG image.
    If someone wanted an independent, unbiased comparison of image quality, based on RAW images (not post processed JPEGs) between the Pentax K-7 and the Nikon D90 they would go to the following link:
    Compare cameras
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    What's interesting is how much better the new, lower-cost Pentax KX is in the image quality department...according to dPreview's use and review of the Pentax KX, it sort of sets the new standard for out of camera JPEG image quality, as well as higher-ISO JPEG image quality.

    dPrview's conclusion on the Pentax KX says, "Its High ISO JPEGs are possibly the best of all current DLSRs with an APS-C sized sensor," and they say that the camera shows a good balance between noise reduction and is, "no doubt one of the best performing APS-C Cameras in low light." This is a 4.7 frames per second camera, with ISO 12,800 maximum, and priced at $599. dPreview's review says the KX has better image quality than their much more-expensive K7 model. it also shoots video clips.

    Pentax K-x Review: 29. Conclusion: Digital Photography Review

    I only mention this because I happened to stop at Fry's today,and I picked up and examined the Pentax KX, and thought it felt like a nice, small camera. It has an 11-point AF system, but the AF points are not visible--the screen is bright and clear, and pretty uncluttered. The praise dPreview heaped on the new Pentax KX is actually QUITE HIGH, especially since HIGH ISO and Low-light performance are the areas they are practically gushing about; calling a $599 camera+kit one of the best performing APS-C cameras in low light is really quite high praise, given just how many APS-C models there are now.
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Well, Amazon owns them now so I don't put much stake in their reviews anymore.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, if one looks at the image comparisons, the Pentax KX does an excellent job compared to the Nikon D5000, Canon 500D, and dPreview writes that it performs noticeably better than the Pentax K7, with the comment , "the K-x is miles ahead of the K-7 in low light."

    Not too surprising, since the Nikon D5000 and the Pentax K-x are using the same 12.4 megapixel Sony sensor Nikon is using in the D5000; the image processing is as important as the sensor itself. The multiple pages of image comparisons show how good this little Pentax is. The comments at the bottom of this page are quite strong statements Pentax K-x Review: 26. Compared to (Higher ISO): Digital Photography Review

    My take is that Pentax FINALLY, finally,finally listened to the critics, who kept saying that their in-camera JPEG engine just was not cutting the mustard; Pentax has long been known as the company that gives huge value for dollar spent, but which required users to shoot RAW and convert, because their in-camera JPEG processing was, well, bad. The K-x is their very newest camera model, and it seems like Pentax finally put some R&D and engineering money where it really counts for most hobbyists: the in-camera JPEG engine and the in-camera noise reduction system. I figure that since so few people ever talk about Pentax, that I might spend a few moments here in an actual Pentax vs Nikon thread to give Pentax some props for producing a camera with superb OOC JPEGs, and especially low-light and High-ISO JPEGs, since so many amateurs value those two qualities.
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Comparing JPG output is kind of worthless to many folks, me included.

    I want to see RAW output. That's the true test of a camera's ISO performance, color performance, sharpness performance, etc.

    I can over saturate, over sharpen and over do noise reduction on my own... I don't need a JPG engine to do it for me. :)

    I want more out of my images than any camera can give me in JPG format. But I realize there are hobbyists out there that never use Photoshop or don't care about tweaking their images to create "art"... they just want a picture... they shoot in auto mode and print from the memory card. Why they don't just buy a P&S is beyond me, but hey... we all do this photography thing for different reasons.

    To the OP's point, I would get the D90. You're not buying a camera, you're buying a system for the future. Bodies come and go but it's the lenses and accessories that stick around for a while. Buy a system you know will grow with you. If you decide at some point you want a pro level body, what will Pentax offer you? They don't have anything to compete with the D700 or D3. That means when you're ready to step up, you have to sell your kit and buy and learn a new system.
     
  12. DCAlbrecht

    DCAlbrecht TPF Noob!

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    From this post, I am surprised others did not pick up the discrepancies between the two image set ups. They are as follows:

    Picture mode
    Pentax K7- Portrait
    Nikon D90- Vivid

    This right off the back will cause much of the differences. Vivid is just that, VIVID! It accentuates contrasts and favors saturated colors. Portrait on the other hand will subdue saturated colors and color contrasts.

    Color space
    K7- sRBG
    D90- Adobe RGB

    Adobe RGB is a wider color gamut. sRGB is a far more compressed color gamut.

    Get these settings compatible and try redoing the comparison. We would be happy to see the results!


    Regards,

    DA

     

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