Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More K-m Sample Pics by Users

At the flickr, you can find this K-m sample photos gallery as uploaded by a Japanese new K-m user:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/h4ck/sets/72157608417034275/

The EXIF data are partially retained but these can be inspected only if the "original" size is viewed (those "original" photos are downssized anyway, they are not really un-retouched).

The lens used cannot be seen as in the EXIF under the latest version of Pentax Photo Browser (version 3.51) as the EXIF field has already been dropped, but I guess the lens used should be the DA 40/2.8 prime, by reading other EXIF data fields.

I notice that the photos are with better colour reproduction this time than what it could usually be seen for what produced by previous Pentax DSLRs even with the same lens. Well, as for the exposure, it can be seen that the exposure compensation now is within a reasonable limit of +/-0.3EV and the frequency of requiring exposure compensation is not as high as before for all other Pentax DSLRs. Btw, by considering the number of shots made and posted, I regard the exposure of the sample photos are proper, at least for this set of photos (as seen from the EXIF, in-camera Jpegs were shot).

Indeed, a more accurate and fool-proof metering and exposure system could be even more crucial for a DSLR targeted for beginners, as they are used to shoot with P&S DCs which are even more fool-proof. If Pentax really make it this time, it would mean that their upcoming DSLRs can be better as they finally have been able to get rid of their most persistent and the evilest devil which has been with them for more than half decade, IF it is really the case! Nonetheless, it is still subject to verification as I am really still very suspicious if Pentax could really nail it this time..

Yet, there is another latest new K-m user from Hong Kong who has written a short user report again with some direct-out-of-the-camera but downsized Jpeg photos here:-

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=592410&extra=page%3D1
(Text in Traditional Chinese)

Full K-m album of the user here: http://s289.photobucket.com/albums/ll215/yobboy0213/

Unfortunately, the EXIF data are all removed during the course of resizing but I do like much the image quality of the pictures which his K-m reproduced, particularly the first food shot which is of great 3d feel, nice WB and high fidelity, even it was most likely taken under artificial lighting.

Besides, I summarise his initial impression and comments in his above post as follows:
- Lighter than both K200D and K20D, not very light actually but the balance is good and the camera felt stable;
- Camera felt rigid and solid, especially compared against other entry level DSLRs (as Pentax entry level DSLRs all used to be :));
- Auto Focus is far better, lower light response is better than the K20D, so far AF is accurate (with the 18-55L and DA 21/40/70);
- But unfortunately there is no focus point indication (those red lit rectangles in the past);
- Auto White Balance seems to be improved, better than the K20D;
- LCD display too bright and yellowish by default but fortunately can be adjusted, Brightness: -1, Tone: M7, B7 are now set;
- Tend to overexpose by +0.3 to 1EV, but to be verified and confirmed;
- No test on noise control, but feel good so far, to be advised later;
- Image style and taste more like K10D than others (maybe owing to the same Sony CCD sensor used);
- Has never used an entry level DSLR with so many available settings, the "Help" button can be customised/turned into the "RAW" button, K20D type custom WB, highly customisable ISO settings, wireless flash trigger by the camera (by the built-in RTF?), dynamic range expansion and etc.
- Final comment: the new K-m with his DA pancake lenses is a set of great travelling gear with good mobility - a joy to use.

So far I am quite interested to acquire a K-m (if I really get it, I shall tell all you folks if it really performs, be better/debugged/improve, or whatever you like to say, or those reported better stuff are just myths created by the honeymoon period effect). However, I am still with some serious concerns and thus hesitation to get the K-m, on the other hand, as the K-m lacks a remote cable switch jack and also less importantly for the lack of focus point indication of any kind for the AF point it selects. The inability to use a cable switch just makes the Bulb mode, which is a must for shooting fireworks and longer time exposure, virtually useless.

( More official reference links for the lack of those features:-

K-m FAQ: http://www.pentax.jp/english/imaging/digital/slr/k-m/faq.html

The claim of SR don't comsume energy and battery power in one of the FAQ is really a joke, though. If so, the Physics of the whole Universe will have been changed and not be the same!

K2000 Owner's Manual: http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/K2000_IB.pdf )

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I see that the km does support an infra red remote control. On that basis I don't think that the lack of a jack for a wired remote control is important. I am disappointed by the lack of focus point indicators, and the (missing)ability to select a focus point. Also , did you notice that the digital preview feature is no longer supported? I find this feature very convenient in conjunction with the histogram for tricky shots on my K100D.
Having said that, there are gains to balance the losses. I like the new control layout, and the ability to use the in built flash to control a remote one. If I had to replace my K100D, for instance if it was stolen, I think that this km would be first on my list for its small size and light weight. I think that the most useful camera is the one that's light enough that you don't mind carrying it around with you.

RiceHigh said...

I don't think practically an IR remote controller can replace the function and role of a cable switch as it won't do AF and more worse is that the user *must* point directly to the IR receiver all the time until exposure is completed nor the release can be locked (unlike cable switch, which is again an essential feature for real long time exposure). But yet, even for shooting fireworks which is in short time exposure but however fast, it is again not so practical when the exposure timing is critical and thus good control is crucial.

I think Pentax should not delete this very important but standard feature that cost them very little. The only reason to explain the omission is that they want some of the K-m users who actually need this *basic* feature to "upgrade" later (but on the other hand for those users who need this feature but have been aware of this omission would not buy the K-m).

Matthew Miller said...

RiceHigh — actually, the cameras can be set to autofocus or not when using the IR remote. (Same thing at least as far back as the K10D.) I agree, though, that it's annoying to have to hold the button whole time — seems like click-to-start, click-to-stop would be a good option to have.

(And on another topic, as anonymous says above, having the built-in flash be a wireless P-TTL controller is awesome in an entry-level camera.)

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