Nikon D90 vs. Pentax K7

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cassandra_eye, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. I broke my Nikon D60 in a tragic tripod accident :( lol Long story short I am shopping for a new camera.
    I really like the Pentax K7 however, all my friends(photographers) are telling me to go with the Nikon brand over the Pentax brand! There reasons range from the Nikon brand being better, Nikon making better lenses and sensors on the camera, and Nikon lasting longer! I love my Nikon and have had good experiences with Nikons...The pentax brand is less bought than Nikon but because of that they can offer comparable camera to Nikon/Canon for cheaper!
    My problem with Nikon is that the D90 package is nearly $1200, while the Pentax k7 is $1100 on ebay(with better specs then the d90 by far!!!)
    So what are you guys opinions? .....Is Pentax as good as Nikon?(if so give me reasons?) Are the two comparable to each other? Are the lenses as good as Nikon?
     
  2. Never shot, nor do I know anyone that shoots Pentax. I took a quick look at the K7 and I don't see where it's specs are far better than the D90, but that's me. The Pentax does have in camera stabilization (although some say having it in the lens is better). But I would say to look at the system, you aren't buying just a camera. Nikon certainly has more lenses. This may or may not be a factor provided Pentax has the lenses you need. I don't know about the Pentax flash system, but I know I prefer Nikon's flash system over Canon's (the only other system I have used). What is it about the D60 you are now trying to upgrade? In other words, what's prompting the you to consider Pentax?
     
  3. I think the main thing is there are many more lens choices for Nikon than there are for Pentax, as well as other accessories. If it's made, it's made for Nikon & Canon for sure.
    Kent in SD
     
  4. Yes, there are many more Nikon (or Canon) than Pentax shooters.
    However, Pentax makes excellent cameras that give exceptional value-for-money. Compared to the D90, it is smaller, lighter, and is sealed against the elements. Having shake reduction in the body means that any Pentax or M42 screw mount lens (with an adapter) ever made can be used with shake reduction. Pentax lenses are second-to-none, especially their primes.
    Surf on over to the (very friendly) Pentax forum, snoop around a bit, and ask your question there.
    Rick
     
  5. Think whether you intend to buy a CAMERA, or a SYSTEM. As others have pointed out, Nikon (or Canon, for that matter) as a system, allows you tremendous options in terms of lens selection and availability of accessories that is unmatched by others. For most consumers who just buy a camera with the standard 18-55 kit lens and never take it off, I am sure any of the offerings would satisfy you in terms of features to price ratio, depending on what's more important to you.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Nikon (and Canon) is a huge camera system with millioins of users. It is very easy to buy and sell used Nikon equipment, which keep its value very well (although DSLR bodies do depreciate fairly quickly; that is universal).
    Pentax has a tiny share of the DSLR market. I hate to say this, but there is always the question whether they will survive in the longer run, and they don't have the economy of scale to compete at the highest level. I frequently emphasis this point because I was badly burned when Contax got out of the camera market. I thought about it very carefully and for a long time (over 2 years, from 1999 to 2001) and even rented a small system to try it out before I finally bought my Contax 645. The camera and lenses are very well designed, but Contax did not make it and once they exited the camera market, my small system immediately has no future. I still own my Contax, but there will never be any new lenses, new flashes ....
     
  7. I used a Pentax K200D for a while and switched to a D90.
    Regarding the image stabilization, I find having it in the lens much more satisfying. You can see it work: you're looking through the viewfinder watching the world wiggle around, and then when you push the shutter release halfway and the stabilization activates, bang! it's suddenly rock solid. It's viscerally satisfying, and the sensor-shift stabilization in Pentax cameras simply can't provide this (because the corrective elements aren't in the viewfinder's optical path).
    Compared to Nikon and Canon, there's much less third-party interest in the system, so there's many fewer gadgets and accessories.
    One other thing that may be of interest if you're into superzooms: The Nikkor 18-200 is far nicer than the Pentax 18-250, particularly when vignetting is a concern; I have a blog post on that.
    Good luck,
    Reid
     
  8. the pentax DSLR's main advantage is in-camera stabilization. this is perhaps more important to the entry-level user than the long-term hobbyist, enthusiast, semi-pro or pro. it effectively makes every lens you buy a VR/VC/OS/IS lens.
    the downside to this is that you'll pay for that somewhere down the line if you want better glass. and what it comes down to isn't the bodies, but the glass.
    for example, the tokina-made, pentax-branded 12-24, 16-50 and 50-135 cost considerably more than their equivalents in canon and nikon mount. and the other pro-spec pentax lenses are pretty pricey, too. on the plus side, pentax has some nice pancake lenses, a good line of f/4 zooms and primes, and there are plentiful legacy lenses available used which will fit a Pentax DSLR.
    so, if you're either an entry-level person who doesnt fancy going too far past kit lenses, a shooter who likes primes exclusively, or someone willing to comb through ebay for used glass, the pentax system could work. the bodies are well-spec'd for the price, that's for sure. but specs are on thing on paper and another thing in the field. overall, canon and nikon have much more lenses. and nikon has the best flash metering system, period, as well as better ergonomics.
    while the specs might seem similar, the d90 is clearly superior in one critical area: low-light performance. it also has better dynamic range and AF performance. in fact, the cheaper Pentax k-x is better at high-ISOs than the k-7 (according to dpreview).
    that may or may not matter, however, depending on your style of shooting. if you do a lot of landscapes and posed portraits, the K-7 will be pretty good at base ISO in terms of resolution. but for sports, action or low-light, the K-7 might lag behind similarly-priced Canon or Nikon models.
    for $100 difference, i'd probably get a d90, and if i really wanted to save money, i'd get a pentax k-x, but that's just me. if you're seriously considering pentax, i'd really look into the pentax lenses and really think about whether their selection/pricing appeals to you. it's a big decision, because you're not just buying a camera, you're buying into a system.
    if you're familiar with nikon already, that's a point in their favor. if you only have one or two lenses, though, switching wont be that painful. in any event, you should take a hands-on test drive of the K-7 to see if you like their controls and feel. ditto with the d90.
     
  9. Pentax also makes some really sweet "oddball" primes. For me, that's their chief appeal, lens-wise, and their base kit lens is exceptionally well built. It's much better than the awfully cheap-feeling (but still well-performing) Canon and Sony and Nikon 18-55s.
    I went with Nikon years ago when I was going on a trip instead of Pentax (I used to have a lot of Pentax stuff in my film days, I still miss my MX) I ended up with Nikon because they were that much better. Today it'd be an easier decision, because Pentax's future is uncertain as Shun says.
    Why are you not considering a D5000? If you don't already have Nikon lenses, it performs like a D90 at a much lower price, and to take it even lower, there are great refurb deals out there, too.
     
  10. Is there a Pentax camera with an FX-size sensor? If not, do we expect one soon?
     
  11. Cassandra - be sure to go over to the Pentax thread and ask the same question. They are very aware of both their system's limits and good points; especially look at the post called "K-X now has DxO mark" where you see the K-X is one of the top four rated APC-S cameras along with the D90, D5000, and D300s. The testing site they're referring to, DxOmark, gives sensors an overall score along with evaluations of dynamic range, high-ISO sensitivity and quality, etc. (The K-X came in just below the D90 and the D5000, and above the D300s, which it slightly outscored. As I recall, the K 7 scored lower than any of these, and was outscored by the K10D and the K20D.

    I mainly use Nikon D90 and Fuji S3, but had a K100D for a while and liked it. The underlying logic of the controls felt similar to Nikon's in many ways, unlike for instance Canon's, which feels awkward and rather alien to my taste.

    The Pentax people seem to feel shorted in the availability of really long telephotos, though the third-party lensmakers make some excellent glass for Pentax. Some of these brands were the exact same price for the different camera makers' mounts (Tamron, Zeiss, Sigma, all the same price whether Nikon, Canon, or Pentax.)
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Currently Pentax has no 24x36mm-sensor DSLR, but the medium-format digital Pentax is finally out. The problem is that it was originally announced back in 2005:
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0503/05031502pentax645digital.asp
    And it looks like it'll finally be available later this year, in 2010, although it'll only be available in Japan initially:
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1003/10031002pentax645d.asp
    And of course a lot of the details have changed in the 5 years in between. Needless to say, that type of track record is simply not going to give people a lot of confidence.
    Otherwise, if you are getting a consumer-grade DSLR similar to the D60, D5000, and D90 with a couple of kit lenses, it is not going to make any huge difference whether it is a Canon, Sony, Pentax or Nikon. Every brand has the basic lenses that are similar. It is the long-term future of the company, the ability to upgrade to high-end DSLRs, the size of the used market that you can sell to and buy from that make a difference among systems.
    Pentax was purchased by Tokina a few year ago. Tokina also makes Hoya filters and is a company that makes fine optics, but that transition was anything but smooth and Pentax's CEO resigned abruptly. In the longer run, perhaps a partnership with Samsung will be Pentax's future.
     
  13. The D90 is a great camera with terrific ergonomics, I still love mine after about 18 months.
    A good friend, a D40 lover, had a chance to play with the K7 for a couple of weeks and returned it. He's buying another D40, because he preferred the image quality, size and price.
     
  14. for example, the tokina-made, pentax-branded 12-24, 16-50 and 50-135

    Look, this is just a lie. Pentax and Tokina have shared some lenses' optical designs between each other. Tokina designed the 12-24, Pentax designed the 16-50, 50-135, and 11-16.
    Each company makes their own lens to the same optical design. They do it on separate manufacturing lines in separate factories. It's pretty obvious really, since the Pentax lenses are sealed and the Tokina ones aren't. It's common sense that a sealed lens will cost more than an unsealed one.
    I don't really see how you can say that Pentax's future as a company is uncertain, either. Pentax is now owned by Hoya, which is a gigantic company with absolutely no chance of going out of business. When Hoya bought Pentax, they did quite a bit of consolidation. At the time it did look like there was a chance that Hoya was looking to clean up the company and resell it, even though Japanese companies don't do that as much as American companies.
    However, at this point Pentax has been putting a ton of money in R&D, and is releasing a digital medium format camera. These are not the types of things you have a subsidiary do if you plan to sell them off. You want the subsidiary to appear as a low risk buy. I don't know of anyone who has said the Pentax 645D is a low risk maneuver.
    There are many reasons to choose a camera other than a Pentax. It just bugs me when people invent imaginary reasons.
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Ira, Contax/Yashica was owned by Kyocera, a large Japanese cooperation. It was not Canon, Kodak and certainly not Nikon that produced the first DSLR with a so called "full frame" 24x36mm sensor; Contax was the first. But the only way to described that camera was a commerical failure because it was very expensive, just like everything else Contax used to make, and it too had a lot of delays. Contax simply wasn't able to make any money from cameras and Kyocera finally decided to cut their losses.
    Those who are interested can do a little search on the Pentax Forum here. The topic about whether Pentax can survive is often discussed (and of course debated) there.
    My first two SLRs were Minoltas and of course I still own a Contax; both of those are history. I am glad that I now mainly use a brand that I don't need to worry about its future.
     
  16. Pentax was developing a camera with the same full frame sensor made by Phillips. The sensor sucked, and Pentax pulled the plug on the project. Contax didn't. This failure put Pentax way behind on the digital camera front. It put Contax out of business.
     
  17. Look, this is just a lie. Pentax and Tokina have shared some lenses' optical designs between each other. Tokina designed the 12-24, Pentax designed the 16-50, 50-135, and 11-16.
    Each company makes their own lens to the same optical design. They do it on separate manufacturing lines in separate factories. It's pretty obvious really, since the Pentax lenses are sealed and the Tokina ones aren't. It's common sense that a sealed lens will cost more than an unsealed one.
    There are many reasons to choose a camera other than a Pentax. It just bugs me when people invent imaginary reasons.​
    hmmm, same optical design, different build. sure sounds like technically the same lenses, unless you're saying the pentax models have better IQ. i should note, too, that the Pentax 16-50 and 50-135 have an SDM motor, which Tokina doesnt use in its Nikon and Canon-branded lenses (unfortunately). but the point remains the same: the pentax 50-135 currently sells for $1,129 at B&H (though it's on sale now on closeout at adorama for $839), and the Tokina Nikon-mount version (which has been discontinued) was going for under $600. similarly, the pentax-badged 16-50 is $1,029 at B&H; the tokina version in nikon mount is $549.
    Ira, you can get a d90 body for $800 and the 16-50 for $549 ($1349 total); the k-7 ($899, body only) + the 16-50 ($1029) will set you back almost $2,000. so, unless you are purchasing camera equipment with imaginary money , i hardly think those are "imaginary reasons" to consider one manufacturer over the other.
    regardless, i was weighing the relative pros and cons of both systems, not trying to "invent" anything. not sure why an objective look at the plusses and minuses bugs you, Ira. perhaps you have your own reasons for that, but whatever.
    paraphrasing my earlier comments, if you like primes, have legacy lenses, or want in-camera stabilization, pentax has that. if you want the security of knowing a company will be around for a while, as shun notes, that might not be the way to go.
    Pentax was purchased by Tokina a few year ago. Tokina also makes Hoya filters and is a company that makes fine optics, but that transition was anything but smooth and Pentax's CEO resigned abruptly. In the longer run, perhaps a partnership with Samsung will be Pentax's future.​
    shun, in the DPReview review of the K-x, they note that "With its decision not to use a Samsung sensor and that Korean company's apparent unwillingness to re-badge the most recent Pentax DSLRs, it's hard not to see the K-x as another question mark over the closeness of the relationship between the two companies and what that might mean for Pentax's future direction."
    Combined with the discontinuation of the 50-135 and the extremely limited availability of the pentax 11-16 (i couldnt find a single store online which had one for sale), it doesnt take Nostradamus to see that Pentax' future is indeed cloudy. too bad, because the k-x's low-light capabilities apparently exceed the d90, the k-7, the d300 and the d5000--which would be a good reason to invest in Pentax for anyone who wants a compact, entry-level camera with a good feature set. however, if you cant find good lenses new, and new lenses stop being made, you could be stuck with a system which is destined to be dinosaured. not to alarm the OP or anything. :)
     
  18. Some thoughts from a Pentax owner and occasional Nikon user:
    One upside to Pentax -- and I mean this for users in general, not necessarily the OP -- is that Pentax lenses tend to appreciate strongly in value. This relates both to their scarcity -- yes, they can be hard to find sometimes -- and their quality.
    The wonderful, small, sharp FA* 300/4.5, which I bought in about 1990 used for $525, now routinely sells for about $1,000. (Wish I hadn't gotten rid of it...)
    What that could mean for the OP is that buying into Pentax is less of a financial risk if she changes her mind down the line. And, if Pentax should, for some reason, go out of business -- which I see no indications of whatever -- her glass would be even more valuable.
    Back to the original question. Comparative quality between the brands is essentially a non-issue. The K7 is, in fact, better built than the D90. A better comparison model would be the D300.
    The biggest difference in real life use is going to be that Pentax autofocus is simply not up to the level of Canon and Nikon. This most affects bird-in-flight and sports photographers and soccer moms. It's a non issue for landscape photography.
    Advantages of Pentax: Smaller, tighter, well built bodies for less money; superb weather sealing (I live in Oregon); built-in image stablization (yes, it makes a difference and works on all lenses); and the jewel-like, tiny Limited prime lenses, which have absolutely no equivalent from Canon or Nikon.
    Advantages of Nikon: Much better autofocus. Much larger availability of new and used lenses. Far fewer people making fun of you because you didn't buy a Nikon or Canon.
    Non-issues: "Nikon brand being better.... Nikon making better lenses and sensors... Nikon lasting longer." These are imaginary concerns.
    Finally, and this is much harder to define, Pentax is a very likeable camera. The OP wrote "I really like the Pentax K7."
    She gets it.
    Finally, check this K7 review from a well known Leica user.
     
  19. Look, you stated that the Pentax lenses were rebadged Tokinas. That is wrong.
    Pentax has never made an 11-16. They just designed it and licensed it to Tokina.Pentax has never made an 11-16. They just designed it and licensed it to Tokina.
    You are now saying that the Pentax DA*50-135 is being discontinued. That is also wrong. Where did you get this information?
    I am not saying that all of the comparisons being made are imaginary. Only the specific ones I addressed. And I guess the new one that new lenses are not going to be made anymore.
     
  20. ira, just to clarify, the 50-135 has been discontinued in Canon/Nikon mounts: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&thread=33531733
    ...also, the deep discount at Adorama on the Pentax version--$300 off--usually means closeout.
    it's possible tokina will make a version II for their two best-selling mounts. and if Tokina owns Pentax, i guess it's possible we might see an updated version in this mount. i dont know why Tokina doesnt come out with a high-speed motor for its non-pentax glass, that would certainly make their lenses more attractive for the Canon/Nikon crowd.
    you stated that the Pentax lenses were rebadged Tokinas. That is wrong.​
    the 12-24 is a rebadged Tokina. so is the 100mm macro. the 11-16 is based on the 12-24 design. i'm not sure about the 35mm macro, but i do know Tokina has been making lenses since 1952. If the 16-50 and 50-135 were jointly-developed lenses with the same optical formula, and otherwise-unaltered innards, except for SDM, then you are arguing over semantics. whatever, Ira. doesnt change the fact Pentax charges significantly more for essentially the same lenses.
    also doesnt change the fact that the Pentax deathwatch is gaining momentum, as they continue to lag behind the rest of the DSLR field.
    I am not saying that all of the comparisons being made are imaginary. Only the specific ones I addressed.
    It just bugs me when people invent imaginary reasons.​
    Hmm, i dont see too many specifics there, Ira. You did say "Pentax has been putting a ton of money in R&D, and is releasing a digital medium format camera" -- without the context that that camera was first announced Five years ago and still hasn't made it to market (which shun pointed out). you also said "I don't really see how you can say that Pentax's future as a company is uncertain, either," so i guess you know something that the folks at DPReview and the Pentax forums don't.
    look Ira, i dont want to get in a flame war with you. and i'm not trying to hijack the Op's thread. but she asked for reasons why she should consider Nikon over Pentax and vice versa. to me, the long-term viability of a company and the availability of lenses--both OEM and 3rd party--and accessories are compelling, non-imaginary reasons, as is the bottom line in terms of price. if i cans pend $1350 and get a mid-level body with a 2.8 zoom, why would i want to spend $2000 for essentially the same thing, with a couple extra bells and whistles? especially if two of the most critical areas for photography--low-light performance and AF--will be worse in the more expensive outfit? imagine that.
     
  21. I'll just say this one more time, and leave the thread.
    The Pentax DA* 50-135 and Tokina 50-135 are separate lenses, made on separate assembly lines, in separate countries. The Tokina is made in Japan, the Pentax is made in Vietnam. The cancellation of the Tokina lens has no impact on the Pentax lens.
    I really don't care what camera anyone buys. In this thread, I have not suggested any reason for buying a Pentax. It just bugs me when people say things that aren't true.
     
  22. so, when you dispute that some tokina and pentax lenses are optically-interchangable, or argue that Pentax is healthier than industry observers seem to think, do you bug yourself, ira?
    does a lens design begin on the manufacturing assembly line or in an R&D lab? are we talking about entirely different optical formulas, or just differences in build? i don't think it can be disputed that the Pentax and Tokina versions of the same lenses have the same glass--but the Pentax versions cost more.
    i dont mean to drag this on, but you accused me of "inventing imaginary reasons" and lying not once but twice. pretty strong statement, Ira, considering that you are basically twisting the definition of "truth" to fit your argument. guess it all comes down to the eye of the beholder.
     
  23. This is the first I've seen it suggested that Pentax is responsible for designing Tokina's 11-16/2.8--I'm fairly certain the poster who claimed this can't back that statement up at all. I don't think the details of the various agreements & responsibilities in the Pentax and Tokina partnership (never mind potential ownership) have ever been made clear.Depending on point of view, some like to claim one thing or the other but I've seen very little solid info on this. Just about the only thing that is clear is that there's some degree of design sharing (though in which direction isn't certain, and it may be a two-way street) and that there's probably a non-compete clause where Tokina doesn't release K-mount versions of these lenses. The differences between the lenses are more than cosmetic rebadging--the physical designs vary more than that, and while both usually offer better-than-average builds, the materials used are different, and there can often be significant feature differences, like quick-shift (always available manual touch-up) focusing, AF (in-lens motor vs. screw-drive), weather-sealing (in the case of Pentax DA* editions). Anyway, seems like people like to make assumptions one way or the other because they have some sort of axe to grind, but I've never seen anything definitive in public that makes it very clear.
    As for the original poster, the K-7 and D90 are both great cameras; I have always said that if I wasn't shooting Pentax, it would be a D80 or D90 for me. They're just "right-sized" (not too big, not too small) and full-featured for the advanced amateur, with good viewfinders, lots of physical buttons/knobs/wheels so we don't have to dive into menus, etc.
    Both companies make good, competitive products. I don't think you can easily generalize that one company makes better lenses than the other. They are different and offer somewhat different strengths and weaknesses. In both cases I feel fairly safe to say that in most real-world circumstances other variables come into play that mask small optical differences.
    I'm seeing better prices for these cameras too--K-7 body is close to $900 now, and I'm sure better D90 prices are available too, though you're probably comparing kits with lenses so I don't know whether they are really equivalent. In addition to in-body stabilization, the Pentax advantages are weather sealing, and probably a somewhat better video and live view implementation. 100% viewfinder is another plus. Pentax P-TTL is OK but Nikon is probably the industry leader in TTL flash at this time, so that would be a Nikon strength. D90 is also a little less noisy at high ISO.
    The differences are subtle enough that I would suggest you look beyond the body and think about what sorts of lenses & accessories you'll be wanting. Note that buying Pentax usually means buying online, and it may be harder to evaluate equipment before buying. Depending on what you're buying both brands offer some values better than others. Yes, in many cases, Nikon lenses have what many would consider high prices, but we've been going through a lot of staggered industry-wide price hikes recently, and several Pentax lenses have had their prices raised. You can also make the argument that long-term, a lot of Nikon gear holds its value a bit better than Pentax.
    For example, if you're wanting a high-quality mid-range zoom, Nikon offers the 16-85/3.5-5.6 VR ($609), and Pentax the DA 17-70/4 SDM ($479). Both are excellent performers and can perform similar functions as long as you don't need f/2.8 speed. Small philosophy difference in offering a slightly extended reach vs. constant f/4. Pentax offers a price advantage at time of purchase in this case, though the Nikkor will likely hold its higher price if resold. For portrait primes, Nikon offers a 85/1.8 that is a good bit cheaper than a Pentax FA77/1.8 or DA70/2.4. Nikon also still has relatively inexpensive 35/1.8 and 50/1.8, Pentax no longer offers more budget-oriented primes like these--they specialize in more upmarket, nicer-built, but still compact primes (all stabilized). If you want ultra-fast glass like 24/1.4, 85/1.4, etc. Pentax doesn't offer it. But if you want super-compact but-still-high-quality primes like DA15/4 or DA21/3.2, etc. Nikon doesn't really offer this. And as others noted, if you want to shoot > 300mm, Pentax doesn't offer it at this time so you're probably looking at Sigma for K-mount.
    These accessories will likely outlast the body to be used on your next body, and added up, the differences can also dwarf one or two-hundred dollars spent on the body.
    "The wonderful, small, sharp FA* 300/4.5, which I bought in about 1990 used for $525, now routinely sells for about $1,000. (Wish I hadn't gotten rid of it...)"
    Unfortunately this ship has sailed.
    I think the original poster's photographer friends' opinions are not particularly informed--how aware are any of them about how good Pentax's equipment is or isn't? I guess the "brand" may be better, that's part of the reason Nikon can often charge a premium for similar equipment, and few people have Nikon on deathwatch. Not to say anything negative about Nikon's excellent equipment but I don't think there's much basis to assume that it lasts any longer, most of Pentax's equipment seems very well put together. Both are vulnerable to tragic tripod incidents. And the sensor? Neither company is making sensors--they're buying them from Samsung or Sony. For these two models in question, it looks like the newer 12mp Sony in the Nikon is a little stronger at high ISO than the 14.6mp Samsung implementation in the K-7 (though the K20D seemed to do a little better with a similar Samsung sensor), though the less expensive Pentax K-x seems to have a very good implementation of the Sony 12mp sensor.
    In the end: Do what makes you happy.
     
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I am afraid that the OP's prices are off. Attached is the B&H prices. You need to place them onto the shopping cart to see those prices:
    • Pentax K7 with the 18-55 is $1018.
    • Nikon D90 with the 18-105 is $1030.
    The price difference is negligible but that particular Nikon kit lens is better.
    Nikon has a much fuller system and a lot more users. In particular, if you have friends that also use Nikon, it is a big advantage that you can share accessories with them, such as lenses, flash, etc. A potential downside is that they can also use your lenses; if you don't want to share them.
    I have been using Nikon cameras for 33 years because I like them. If Nikon does not meet your need, I would still recommend sticking with other major brands such as Canon. If you move to a minor brand, there are some fairly important disadvantages.
    00W5VO-232119584.jpg
     
  25. "also doesnt change the fact that the Pentax deathwatch is gaining momentum, as they continue to lag behind the rest of the DSLR field"
    .....ignorance is bliss.....
     
  26. Wow, I am amazed at the objectivity of most of the posters, especially Andrew Gilchrist. His last post was the most balanced posting I have read in a long time. The only advise I can add is to really consider what lenses you need for the type of photography that you do and then go to a site like B&H photo and see what that lens set will eventually cost. If you like landscape photography, a weather-sealed K7 would provide a great benefit over the D90. On the other hand, if you like bird photography which uses very expensive long glass, the Nikon system may be a better fit for you. The Nikon will probably be better if you shoot a lot of action photography since the D90's AF algorithms are a bit more sophisticated and faster than that of the K7. Either way, they are both great cameras!
     
  27. If you like landscape photography, a weather-sealed K7 would provide a great benefit over the D90. On the other hand, if you like bird photography which uses very expensive long glass, the Nikon system may be a better fit for you. The Nikon will probably be better if you shoot a lot of action photography since the D90's AF algorithms are a bit more sophisticated and faster than that of the K7.​
    that's pretty much what i said earlier in the thread, before Ira jumped in with his .02:
    depending on your style of shooting. if you do a lot of landscapes and posed portraits, the K-7 will be pretty good at base ISO in terms of resolution. but for sports, action or low-light, the K-7 might lag behind similarly-priced Canon or Nikon models.​
     
  28. Andrew's email at first appeared well balanced, which then proceeded to let the wolf into the hen house. I'm suspicious.
    Either way, Pentax not only has a 85 f/1.4 (FA and A Star lens - remember?) that's widely regarded as the best ever made, but Sigma is releasing an autofocus 85 1.4 for Pentax this year.
    You should also note the Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower manual focus 85 f/1.4 that has a cult following as well.
    For me, the biggest disadvantage to using Pentax is the d-bags who always ask "why aren't you using a CaNikon?" to be frank. The main thing that truly pains me is low light autofocus, which the K-7 remedies much of for me, from the K20D. But ultimately, nothing that hinders me at this time in terms of reaching my creative potential yet by far.
    Frankly, the rest of the stuff (Frames per second, five digit ISO, etc) are part of what I see as just a war of escalation / CaNikon pissing contest, that people with no artistic eye banter about. Of course, If Pentax had similar specs, perhaps we'd be pissing on people too, but until it happens, well... :)
    Maybe now that we have a nice Medium Forma Digi cam out we can start picking on full frames? ;)
     
  29. I'm not a pro. I'm not a semi-pro. And I don't even consider myself an amateur. I'm a 4-year dSLR novice. I got tired of Point'n Shoots. So then I looked around.
    Let's get some things straight, Canon and Nikon have:
    • Extensive lens line-up, available at countless stores, lenses available for rental, etc...
    • Great semi-pro and pro bodies (framerate, solid AF, etc...), full frame options, etc...
    • In-lens Image Stabilization (that is better than In-Body Shake Reduction)
    I don't think any Pentax owner will deny these.
    Now let's look at Pentax:
    • Buy a Pentax (or K-mount) lens, it works forever, on any current or future body, including AF, period, no exceptions
    • Offers Shake Reduction and metering for any lens, including adapted lenses, no exceptions
    • Focuses only on APS-C, re-iterated and dedicated to the format, no ambiguity (with Medium Format is the "alternative pro" option)
    • Caters to two buyers: Inexpensive, featured $500 (street price) entry level and $1K (street price) expert-amateur controls with full weather sealing (2009 comparison article, and I've done 5 hours in an on-off Florida monsoon-like session)
    • Standard build quality on everything, even on the cheap stuff, let alone the seals for weather resistant units
    Let's get one thing straight, Pentax was late to the dSLR party. It took Pentax 3 years to flush out the first, solid designs, the K100D and K10D circa 2006-2007. That's when I came around.
    At the time, I was really disappointed with the Nikon D40 (and, later, equally poor featured D40x and D60), clearly a crippled body designed to get people to upgrade. I'm not just talking about lens compatibility, but AF points, braketing, etc... In fact, it's actually humorous that Pentax was known for its "no-frills" K1000 for decades, only to start offering award winning bodies like the K100D and K10D who were known for their entry-level features and expert-amateur controls, respectively.
    And the final straw for myself was the cost for IS/VR lenses. Thanx to competition from Pentax, and Sony (who picked up Minolta's mount) with in-body SR, Canon and Nikon had to become more reasonable with pricing. In fact, the features at the entry-level have also forced both to stop crippling entry-level bodies as well. Competition is good in this regard.
    Of course, I live in Florida. So after a year of the K100D, I started looking again at something weather sealed. I considered a Nikon D300 and a nice, fast 180 f/2.8. I love the D300, very fast, excellent feature set -- some of which are only now available from Pentax in the K7, but is still not as fast and the AF is still not as good as the D300s. And Nikon offers more than the aging D300 now. Pentax does not.
    But back in 2008, I finally decided on the K20D with DA* lenses, eventually popping for the DA* 200 f/2.8 (PopPhoto review) because it's barely 5" long. I'm not a pro, but a spectator, and with 5"/hand-length lens rules at stadiums, I don't have problems. I just recently bought the D-FA 100 f/2.8 Macro WR (PopPhoto review) as well. Not the greatest system, but some great performers.
    Optically, Tokina and Pentax share designs, not all, but many. Many of the optics are built at Hoya's Vietnam unit. The build and other aspects of the lenses are different, and not built on the same assembly either (sometimes not in the same country). But if you like a Tokina AT-X Pro lens, then if it's available as a Pentax DA*, it's almost always a better build, and is weather sealed too.
    And on the final point for expert-amateurs and wannabe amateurs like myself, let's talk about putting money into a Pentax system. The bodies are cheap, so put that aside. Let's talk glass. What happens when you buy Pentax glass?
    • Again, they work forever, on all current and future Pentax bodies, period, no exceptions
    • The stay the same price, are replaced and/or appreciate in value
    No one is "losing money" on Pentax glass. They can be sold. Samsung has also adopted the mount as well. Someone will adopt the mount because of the glass that already exists. No, Pentax doesn't make new, long teles beyond the 200 f/2.8 or 300 f/4 today -- go directly to Canon or Nikon if you want to buy or, more often, rent those. But Pentax loves to make constant aperture zooms and pancake primes, among other goodies that many people like. And they make small, dedicated APS-C sized ones to boot (and often no bigger than the even smaller 4/3rds bodies and lenses, while still twice the sensor area at APS-C).
    As far as entry-level, today Pentax also offers the K-x, which is really more of a D90 competitor. The K-x, with the DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6, is $499 (street) with from reputable, licensed USA dealers (full USA warranty, not gray market). Don't let the price fool you, it's a great, entry-level camera. It also runs on AAs. Again, Pentax really up's the ante at entry-level. If you're like me, starting as a novice, the K-x is a solid offering to consider. In fact, instead of buying a K-7 body to replace my K20D, I stuck with the K20D for myself, and bought the K-x as a backup -- both for my non-weather sealed DA lenses, but also so my wife can use it when she wants to shoot. At $499 shipped, it's hard not to for the price.
    Coming from a D60, unless you have a heavy investment in Nikon glass, and you like the Pentax system, look at the K-x for $499 (w/kit lens), or the K-7 for $899 (body-only). Yes, those are the real prices from official dealers (B&H, BuyDig, etc...). Don't pay list. You can't go wrong trying Pentax, even if you go Canon or Nikon later. You can recoup your investments, other than the bodies, which are cheap for the features anyway.
     
  30. Body and Design
    The size of the two cameras are quite similar. Nikon D90 5.2×4.1×3.0in (132×103x77mm) and Pentax K7 5.1×3.8×2.9in (130×97x74mm). The weight is also almost identical d (D90: 700g vs K7: 750g). But in term of built-quality, K7 is superior with weather/water proof magnesium alloy and stainless steel chassis.
    Control and Handling
    K7 might be more comfortable to handle because it has textured rubber, but many would probably say that D90 fits in the hand better
    K7 advantages
    • Image resolution: 2 extra megapixel
    • Continuous shooting speed: 5.2 fps vs 4.5 fps
    • Slightly better movie mode with external mic/audio input
    • 100% viewfinder coverage compare to 95%
    • Magnesium alloy + Stainless steel body that is weather/water proof
    • Come with WR (weather sealed) lens
    • Post processing: Auto HDR (High image resolution), digital filters, auto corrections.
    • Shake Reduction / built-in image stabilization that potentially save you money in the long run
    Nikon D90 advantages
    • Nikon lens selection and accessories are wider.Cleaner image throughout ISO level, however 1600 is still a limit of acceptable images
    Similarities
    • Share almost the same size and weight
    • 3″ LCD screen
    • 12 bit image processing
    • Anti dust sensor mechanism
    • Live view with movie mode
    From this quick comparison, we know that K7 is a better camera in many aspects but not many improvement are significant.
    For example, extra 2 megapixel does not mean that the camera produce better quality picture. The continuous shooting speed differences are also very small, less than 1 frame per second. Auto HDR, digital filters and auto correction might be great for practicality and time saving, but many post-processing software already have those features with greater customization and control.
    However, Pentax K7’s built quality is significantly better, and it is weather sealed as well. The movie mode is also better because it provide external audio input, a feature that only offered by high-end dslr camera, Canon 5D mark II.
     

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