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Thread: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Iím trying to decide weather to get the Pentax KX + a CanonS90 or just get a GF1. Right now I'm testing the Pentax KX and even though I haven't had time to test it on day light I have found out this camera is an incredible low light performance (I've posted usable iso 12800!). I havenít had enough time to test the camera, but straight out thereís a couple of minor things that bother me. The live view is useless (AF is SUPER slow and it really doesnít show what actually comes out at the end), it takes 4 AA bats (they drain super fast), the iso steps are too apart (it goes from 1600 straight to 3200, and then to 6400). Of course you also have to think if you are really going to use iso 12800. I donít shoot much low light, so itís not really a huge advantage. Iím looking forward to Saturday to take the Pentax to the streets. Next week I will be testing the GF1. Oh, I have some cool pentax lenses that I can use on both cameras (I still have the adapter pentax to micro 4/3). Any thoughts?

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Rawfa

    have ya tried using NiMH AA batteries rather than Alkakine?

    I get 40 or so shots on my Nikon with Alkakine and over 300 with NiMH

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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quite different beasts. Analog slr and digital P+S versus digital pretty allround camera.
    Make sure to compare RAW from the GF1, it's quite a lot better than just the straight jpegs.
    I can't imagine going back to analog SLR since I got to the GF1 via rangefinders. Size matters to me. Besides, I can hardly get properly developed slides anymore. Scratching is complementary service nowadays. :-(
    "You live and learn; at any rate you live" (Douglas Adams)

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by laptoprob View Post
    Quite different beasts. Analog slr and digital P+S versus digital pretty allround camera.
    Make sure to compare RAW from the GF1, it's quite a lot better than just the straight jpegs.
    I can't imagine going back to analog SLR since I got to the GF1 via rangefinders. Size matters to me. Besides, I can hardly get properly developed slides anymore. Scratching is complementary service nowadays. :-(

    I'm talking about the DIGITAL Pentax KX. The one that just hit the market.

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    Member laptoprob's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    OK, that leaves DLR + P+S vs. m4/3. Multiple system and bigger vs. smaller allround. How would your Pentax lenses do with the 2x crop factor?
    "You live and learn; at any rate you live" (Douglas Adams)

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Rawfa

    its the classic dilemma if you ask me (which you sort of indirectly did...)

    might be better than a GF (which I know you didn't like much) but I don't think the s90 is so good ... I think I'd prefer my wife's A540 Canon ... both use AA batteries and the A540 is quite a competent snapshotter ... and really, do you want more than 5MP for snapshots?

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Pellicle, I didn't actually like the E-P1 (I didn't try the GF1 yet)...and it wasn't that I didn't like it was that I thought it should deliver more than it did in some aspects. I'm testing the GF1 next week, so I guess I'll have my answer soon enough. So far the Pentax really pleases me in many aspect. AWESOME dynamic range and high iso...but I love the E-P1/GF1's compact size so much!

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    how's the focus screen compared to something like a G1? I found the regular 4/3 screens to be quite a joke after being used to 35mm

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    Super Duper
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Rafa, in my experience live view with a mirror (DSLR) is very clunky but that is to be expected because of the mirror.

    On the G1 there is a menu setting to select in-between ISO, maybe there is such an option on the KX?

    IMHO, using AA batteries is a HUGE advantage. Alkalines will of course work in a pinch and they are easy to find, but NiMH are also cheap and rechargeable, much cheaper than proprietary batteries like on the G1 or GF1.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Iím trying to decide weather to get the Pentax KX + a CanonS90 or just get a GF1. Right now I'm testing the Pentax KX and even though I haven't had time to test it on day light I have found out this camera is an incredible low light performance (I've posted usable iso 12800!). I havenít had enough time to test the camera, but straight out thereís a couple of minor things that bother me. The live view is useless (AF is SUPER slow and it really doesnít show what actually comes out at the end), it takes 4 AA bats (they drain super fast), the iso steps are too apart (it goes from 1600 straight to 3200, and then to 6400). Of course you also have to think if you are really going to use iso 12800. I donít shoot much low light, so itís not really a huge advantage. Iím looking forward to Saturday to take the Pentax to the streets. Next week I will be testing the GF1. Oh, I have some cool pentax lenses that I can use on both cameras (I still have the adapter pentax to micro 4/3). Any thoughts?

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Don't worry, Robert. You from all people will be the first one to find out about whatever I decide ;-)

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Put a DA ltd prime on the Kx. Compare in size to the GF1. I don't think it'll be that different, and it likely will be easier to hold. The Iso steps shouldn't be a deal killer imho, especially given how good it looks up high. If you are liking the file quality from the Kx I think you'll be disappointed with equivalent shots from the GF1 (especially given your E-P1 experiences). And no way you're going to get a good 6400 or 12800 shot from a current u4/3. Physics is physics.

    GF1 will beat the live view implementation - but you have a real VF with the Kx. You can use legacy Pentax glass with the Kx, but you can use M glass and tons of other with the GF1. Always tradeoffs...

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Put a DA ltd prime on the Kx. Compare in size to the GF1. I don't think it'll be that different, and it likely will be easier to hold. The Iso steps shouldn't be a deal killer imho, especially given how good it looks up high. If you are liking the file quality from the Kx I think you'll be disappointed with equivalent shots from the GF1 (especially given your E-P1 experiences). And no way you're going to get a good 6400 or 12800 shot from a current u4/3. Physics is physics.
    Quite agree here.
    I've travelled quite happily with a Pentax K10 and just two pancakes: the 21mm and 70mm - that's 32 and 105mm equivalent in 35mm speak. The KX I'm sure comes with a better sensor and even less high ISO grain. Talking of ISO I'm pretty sure that when the specs say 1EV, 1/2EV or 1/3EV steps means that you've missed something somewhere Do remember also that these Pentax bodies have in-built sensor stabilization, something that you'll get on an EP-1 but not on the Panasonics unfortunately.
    The Canon S90 is definitely on my Christmas shopping list.

  13. #13
    Abbazz
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Iím trying to decide weather to get the Pentax KX + a CanonS90 or just get a GF1. Right now I'm testing the Pentax KX and even though I haven't had time to test it on day light I have found out this camera is an incredible low light performance (I've posted usable iso 12800!). I havenít had enough time to test the camera, but straight out thereís a couple of minor things that bother me. The live view is useless (AF is SUPER slow and it really doesnít show what actually comes out at the end)
    I wouldn't bother with live view on a DSLR. People are never satisfied: when they have a DSLR, they want to focus and frame using the rear LCD and complain about the bad quality of live view, while when they have a mirrorless E-P1, they complain about the lack of vewfinder?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    it takes 4 AA bats (they drain super fast)
    Just get a pack of Eneloop or equivalent low discharge batteries, you'll be amazed by the number of pictures you'll be able to make with a set of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Oh, I have some cool pentax lenses that I can use on both cameras (I still have the adapter pentax to micro 4/3). Any thoughts?
    Yes, keep the good Pentax glass and use it either with a KX (I have never tried it but I love my K20D) or with a GF1. Pentax lenses deliver great results on Micro 4/3rds too! Personally, I would choose the KX, because I need on-board stabilization.

    Cheers!

    Abbazz

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Does pentax have anything with a 40mm equivalent (or lower) with at least f1.8?

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Does pentax have anything with a 40mm equivalent (or lower) with at least f1.8?
    No but close. FA ltd 31/1.8 is 46mm equivalent and is a legendary lens. It'll cost you about $1K new these days. I sold mine for about $700 used awhile back.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    No but close. FA ltd 31/1.8 is 46mm equivalent and is a legendary lens. It'll cost you about $1K new these days. I sold mine for about $700 used awhile back.
    all of this keeps gradually circling me around to feeling like I want a 5D or other full frame camera ... for somethings its just the cheapest option

    mean time I keep pressing my EOS 630 into service with negative film and Olympus OM lenses on it (and my G1 for everything else .... well everything I don't use the 4x5 for :-)

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    I'm not a professional photographer and I have a very solid perspective of cost/benefit when it comes to buying "hoby toys"...I will never pay that kind of money for a lens.
    I shoot most of my stuff with wide angles, so the 20mm f1.7 that comes with the GF1 really scores BIG points there.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    I'm not a professional photographer and I have a very solid perspective of cost/benefit when it comes to buying "hobby toys"...I will never pay that kind of money for a lens.
    me too ... mostly ;-)

    I shoot most of my stuff with wide angles, so the 20mm f1.7 that comes with the GF1 really scores BIG points there.
    although the 20mm on the GF is hardly wide ... its within "normal" on the 4/3 I've understood that 50mm is "slightly tele" to be the perfect normal for 35mm and that 44mm would be the best ... so perhaps 20mm is closer to that

    I'd call a 12mm wide ... I'd love something like my Computar 12.5mm f1.3 with that wee bit more coverage (eg the whole sensor ;-)

    PS ... quick search yielded an interesting result. It is simply amazing what is on Google Books now ... please excuse the title, there is no hidden meaning in that.

  19. #19
    13ud1
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    I'm not a professional photographer and I have a very solid perspective of cost/benefit when it comes to buying "hoby toys"...I will never pay that kind of money for a lens.
    I shoot most of my stuff with wide angles, so the 20mm f1.7 that comes with the GF1 really scores BIG points there.
    20mm on GF1 is 40MM (35mm equivalent), so its anything but wide.

  20. #20
    Abbazz
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Yes, a 20mm lens on a 4/3rds camera is almost a normal lens. The 17/2.8 Olympus is more like a moderate wide lens (34mm equivalent on full frame cameras, similar to Leica's Summicron). On a Pentax, the Sigma 24/1.8, although bigger, is a good 36mm equivalent lens (I have it), and you should be able to find it used for less money than the Pana 20/1.7 new. The Sigma 20/1.8 should also make a great reportage lens if you like a wider field of view, but it's far from being as good optically speaking in my opinion.

    So, either go for the more compact GF1 with its good compact lens but no built-in stabilization and so-so low light performance, or go with the stabilized Pentax with its better high ISO results but also with its lack of fast compact wides. To me, a 28mm F/2.8 lens (small and very easy to get for cheap) on a stabilized APS-C camera is at least as useful as a 20mm F/1.7 on a 4/3rds camera without stabilization, while offering roughly the same field of view.

    Compromises, compromises, it's all a matter of compromises...

    Cheers!

    Abbazz

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    I'm not a professional photographer and I have a very solid perspective of cost/benefit when it comes to buying "hoby toys"...I will never pay that kind of money for a lens.
    I shoot most of my stuff with wide angles, so the 20mm f1.7 that comes with the GF1 really scores BIG points there.
    The Pentax 31/1.8 is a sublime lens. But actually my favorite was the 77/1.8. That this was magic. I gladly paid for it. I'd rather have a few really good lenses than a bunch of stuff just to have...a bunch of stuff.

    Plus I bought those lenses before the prices jumped. And sold them afterwards...so that worked out ok.

    My theory is to buy what I really want the first time and be done with it. Invariably if I try to cheap out on something that I really like, will use, and am serious about (even if it is a hobby), I will end up being dissatisfied, selling at a loss and buying what I wanted down the road anyway.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    The 20mm f1.7 may not be a wide angle but it's wider than anything out there with a f1.7 aperture that is either too bulky or too expensive (or both).

    So if you guys want to know what I've chosen here it is....The E-P1 with the 20mm Hahaha. No one saw that one coming! I know, I know I'm probably the guy who complained the most about this camera in the forum, but after having tried the rest I've found it to be the "best" compromise between both worlds (compact and DSLR)...even though it has lost of flaws IMO.

    So here are the actual results.

    - GF1: I've found the results at iso 1600 to be visibly inferior to the E-P1's, and I had no idea the in-camera image stabilization would have such an impact on my shooting. I used to shoot 1/6 with the E-P1...you can only do that with the GF1 with a tripod.

    - Pentax KX- this camera is just amazing, I mean REALLY amazing. Hear my words that next year it will be taking MANY "camera of the year awards". The dynamic range, the high iso, the speed, I can just keep going...BUT...no matter how much I try I just cannot get used to a larger camera...and I keep trying, because I've never managed to get the same results with smaller sensor cameras. But whenever I buy a larger camera I just don't take it everywhere like I would take a smaller camera (it also makes people very self conscious and I love taking candid photos). Also, Pentax KX + Canon S90 would be more expensive. specially because I know I would buy lots of addons and more pentax glass. I've kept the E-P1's collapsible kit lens and the pentax to m4/3 adapter so there will be no more expenses other than the camera it self (which I've bough second hand for a fair price with an additional battery, the leatherette cover, the flash, the viewfinder and the 17mm). All I will need is the 20mm now.

    So, until something like a Sigma DP3 with swappable lenses, or a Fujifilm m4/3 with an EXR sensor, or the Samsung NX, or something small with a larger sensor comes along it's the E-P1 for me.

  23. #23
    Abbazz
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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    So if you guys want to know what I've chosen here it is....The E-P1 with the 20mm
    Can't blame you. To me the E-P1 is also the best compromise, although not perfect. I use it more than my Pentaxes.

    Cheers!

    Abbazz

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    Re: GF1 or Pentax KX + Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    So here are the actual results.

    - GF1: I've found the results at iso 1600 to be visibly inferior to the E-P1's, and I had no idea the in-camera image stabilization would have such an impact on my shooting. I used to shoot 1/6 with the E-P1...you can only do that with the GF1 with a tripod.
    I just read on dpreview that the actual iso values for the GF1 are higher than the indicated values. It said that iso 1600 was actually 2100. Could this explain the inferior results at iso 1600 for the GF1? I'm really struggling with which camera to get my wife for Christmas and I've pretty much narrowed it down to the GF1 or the S90.

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