Friday, October 29, 2010

Ten thousand clicks

Just recently I've hit 10K clicks mark on my K-7. It took me approximately one year and two months. It turns out that many (gear head) ideas crossed my mind, and it would seem interesting to step back and have a bit of an introspect.


Here are some interesting data pieces that my LightRoom is telling me:

I have kept 7400 shots. This is too many. I have shot 1400 frames for family album. I have traveled several times, mostly on business and shot 900 frames during my travels. I still have 900 shots that I need to keyword. Finally, I shot 740 frames for Galia's school which is my ongoing project ever since she started going there.

I have shot 2000 frames with A 50/1.2, which is by far my most used and favorite lens. Second most used lens is FA 43/1.9 Limited with 1100 frames. Next is Pentax FA 20/2.8 with 750 frames. In zoom department the title goes to Tamron 28-75/2.8 with 660 frames with recently acquired Sigma 24-60/2.8 not far behind with 500 frames.

Most of my shots are made at ISO 100 and ISO 200 with 2250 and 3100 frames respectively. Exactly 81 frames are shot at ISO above 1600, only one of which is at ISO 6400.


K-7 introduced a number of new features over K10D. Here is the brief shopping list based on K-7 review that I wrote last year in this blog.
  • 100% Viewfinder This is by far the most useful improvement offered by K-7. Indeed, I cannot take a shot without looking into viewfinder, so I effectively use it all time :-). Yet, I am aware of the offered coverage and take advantage of this over and over.
  • Quiet shutter It is really nice to have. Originally I thought of it as a big plus, but now I don't hold this particular feature in such high an esteem. It is useful, but only just.
  • 77 segment matrix metering Another pretty valuable improvement. I cannot say that it is spot on. It is good enough that I can hardly recall times when I had to issue exposure correction. Since K-7 RAW files excel in shadows headroom, I take it from there. It is good though that I don't have to worry about the metering like I used to do on K10D.
  • Autofocus It is pretty much the same as it was withK10D. I don't feel any significant boost of confidence or the opposite. It is just there and I just use it just like I used it on my previous cameras. Notably the little AF point selection switch is extremely awkward. Nine times out of ten, if I flick it with my thumb without taking the camera away from my eye, it switches to live view mode.
  • Electronic level This is second most useful addition to K-7. Most valuable is the fact that the level is shown in the viewfinder and it benefits my (lack of) style of shooting greatly.
  • Live view I used it only once for prolonged period of time. It wasn't too successful. For fine precision focusing I still use Katz Eye split focusing screen. Recent firmware upgrade made CDAF speed barely tolerable but I still don't use it, likely due to its previous abysmal performance.
  • Video mode I shot about a dozen short clips for my family album and another half dozen clips for the heck of it. Initially I thought it would be a useful feature. Well, it is, but I just don't use as often as I thought I would.
  • High speed shutter This is third most useful feature of my K-7. I often shoot at very large apertures (f 1.2, f 1.4) in rather bright light, so it comes in handy.
This is it, folks. Whatever else K-7 has to offer I don't use it. Be it fancy sensor movement control system, in camera HDR or fancy cross process filter. In all seriousness, I feel like I paid for a number of development efforts that have no benefit for me whatsoever. I much rather Pentax invested in bettering their P-TTL flash system or dealing with infamous SDM problems than developing yet another art filter in camera firmware.

So, to summarize this section - I actively use 2.5 features out of so many K-7 has to offer. Both are improvements over K10D but they are not deal makers or deal breakers - they are more of a convenience features. Realization of this was a bit of a revelation for me. More on that later.


fRANK d said...

Perhaps you can expand on you photography style to incorporate many of the camera's new features. Kind of like having a porchea in the garage but only there to look at.
I have the kx...and every time i use it I am learning something new from it after coming from and ist DS. As for SDM issues I'm not sure there is a real problem anymore as many of the issues seemed to be with older lenses that had quality control issues. They also just came out with a 18-135 with a DC motor which may be an answer to teh SDM issues. Who knows...

GC said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. However, there is no way the K10D's AF is even close to that of the K-7. You don't seem to demand a lot from AF. Otherwise you would have noticed the big improvements (speed and accuracy in incandescent light).

BTW, you have a wrong angle on paying for features you don't need. These features help to sell the camera to more people and that brings the price down for everyone. The stripped-down, pure basics camera some people ask for would be quite expensive because there aren't that many customers for it.

Boris said...

Frank, you're right. I could expand my photography style. However I much rather do so on my own and not because I am "forced" into it by yet another bell or whistle of my new camera.

GC, you're right too. I don't demand too much from my AF. I also shoot very rarely in incandescent light, thus I don't get a chance to notice the improvements. In fact, I noticed certain improvements, but it did not make me go "wow" like K10D did when I moved to it from *istD.

I think you got me wrong, however. I am not implying that Pentax should produce stripped-down digital LX or digital MX kind of camera. I am merely observing the fact that I (just I, no generalization) use very little portion of what camera has to offer. So far I made no implications whatsoever out of this observation. I'm thinking of a separate post on this matter.