Pentax and Sony DSLR Face-Off

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K-x Pentax undoubtedly produce a remarkable/clear picture up to its boundary , say:ISO 2500 and using RAW can give fairly printable at 3200-6400 ISO, While most photographers on their right mind mostly uses up to the limit of ASA/ISO 100-400 by using a powerful flashgun leaving high iso stupidly silent. To be Fair by no means, Enthusiast have different perspective on taking a picture and that where K-x pentax come along specially for a budgetarian. ((Wealthy idividual just hire photographer thru phone, and sleep, no worry ))So its always the money that talks and often an object in buying a DSLR.
And for the video thing, you need to know your gadget well and you objectives to be able to produce a good video out of K-x, If you're just a push button user ? why not call photographer/videographer who knows what to do ? IMHO

..Trakertec
 
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One of the little mentioned facts about the built in HDR function of the A500 and A550 is that, if you set the camera to 1 stop HDR, feel free to shoot at 3200 and 6400 all day: the HDR mode acts as a quick image stack, allowing much cleaner, sharper High ISO imaging simply due to the HDR processing. A little added DR, a lot less noise = killer images in low light.

Also, don't forget you can do the HDR mode in black and white... allowing zones of gray to be visible in rich tones across the image that would also be otherwise unheard of. The HDR in black and white is one of THE reasons to own this camera, IMO.

Also I note that you undersold the fact that the Steadyshot Inside on the A500/A550 is far more accomplished than any other internal IS system to date and is easily as good as any optical system in the market, no matter the competition.

We are currently showing 30x40 images from the A550 HDR that are simply stunning. The great thing is that the HDR is a jpeg file, so no one can accuse us of mucking with RAW in order to get a better looking image. No, the A500 and A550 are simply capable of direct to print images that are impossible for other brands to shoot. HDR makes this so.

The K-x is a nice camera, I wholeheartedly agree, but it's not exactly cutting edge, save for the video which, as you mentioned, is still in its first phases. The progressive CMOS in the A550 alone allows for speed unheard of in this class of camera, let alone 5 fps with af live view on, with a proper HD screen, no less. The A550 also adds wireless ttl flash to the mix, along with a proper spot meter to boot, sharing these features with the A500.

Sony's getting serious. People will have some eyebrows raised, I suspect, come later this coming year.
 
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Thanks for the reviews! I didn't know Tom's did more than computer stuff (basically my homepage years ago when I was building computers).

The A550 is nice, but leaves some more important (to me) things that the K-x has while costing twice as much...

dim viewfinder, build quality, no mirror lockup. Also, this is the first I've heard that the IS system is better than Pentax or Olympus. Do you have any links?

Not all pro's will never use high ISO - many times it is impossible to have an external flash stand in the right spot or a ceiling to bounce off of.

Btw, dyna, your point of HDR being a jpeg and not mucking around in RAW is the opposite of what I've typically seen. When images are saved in JPEG, being much smaller, the camera's processing includes only what it wants (I see this as mucking around with data), while RAW is supposed to include everything untouched.

Your point about HDR (or RAW works pretty well too) is spot on - B&W should always be shot in RAW (greyscale mix capability, simply more luminosity levels stored 65,536 vs 256...) or HDR.

Anyways, the A550's 7-fps no-automation feature is a great one that I wish more cameras had.

As for the K-x, I wouldn't advise only to use center-AF point. Select AF point works just as well (and is actually my favorite mode on cameras with LED indicators when shooting anything, including sports), and you can have a button set to center-AF and easily change the AF point to a known location without removing your eye from the VF. 11-point and 5-point AF is what is much less useful on the K-x - agreed there.

As for MJPEG, it is indeed much bigger, but that data allows more post-processing abilities and quality than other more compressed codecs - a fair compromise for me.

I am not sure what this part is for:
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You turn the camcorder on by pressing the Power button, which automatically opens the lens shutter, which covers a 10x optical zoom that starts at a focal length of 43mm – a bit narrow. We would have hoped for a slightly wider angle, even if the Sony HDR-CX520 does no better.
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You can choose whatever focal length that the lens offers with video - the kit lens lets you choose 18-55mm or 28-82.5mm 35mm equivalent. The coolest part is the macro video capabilities you can create, allowing videos like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc2O1cfShzQ

I agree about LiveView being slow focusing on the K-x - exactly why I use phase-detect AF in Live View - downside is you don't get to see the image while its focusing (not a big deal), but also you get the mirror slaps (can be bad). With the new firmware 1.01, I find contrast-detect AF is faster as it doesn't hunt to the extremes nearly as much.
 

juu

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The Sony is 1.5 times more expensive!!! How can you rate them both equally?

I think the Pentax K-x wins hands down.
 
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The video review doesn't seem very fair at all. First off, the only other DSLRs that shoot video in the price range of the k-x is the Rebel T1i and the D90 (both of them being fairly more expensive than the k-x), and neither of them have auto focus while shooting. In fact, there are no DSLR's that can auto focus while shooting video at the moment.

The tone of the review makes it sound like these HDSLR's need to operate like a camcorder. That's like comparing a point and shoot with a DSLR. It's exactly what they're NOT suppose to be, for they serve completely different purposes.
 

oneguy

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Sony A500 is closer to Kx price ($699 right now on amazon). A500 has everything that is in A550 (except 7fps, 920K LCD, and A550 has larger buffer).

A550 is a little behind than Kx/D90/D5000 in high ISO performance but that’s probably due to jpeg output. Perhaps Sony will issue a firmware update for jpegs. On Dxomark, A550 sensor scores over 800 points in low-light ISO category (higher than D300s/A700), so the new 14 MP sensor has more potential than the current jpeg output shows.

By the way, Nikon D5000 also has video, and is cheaper than D90 (close to Kx price).
 
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