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Thread: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

  1. #1

    Default Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    hi

    Am new to dslr and hv more or less decided on the Pentax K-X after quite a bit of reading. I would like to seek advice from seasoned owners here. I am mainly taking photos of my kids and so far my PnS can't seem to keep up as kids are always moving (<3 yrs old) and photos are blurred, unless I use flash. I take pictures both outdoors but mainly indoors and would NOT like to use flash.. also like to take natural shots vs posed shots... well kids that age don't really sit still long enough anyway.

    Any suggestions whether:

    1) Pentax K-X would suit my needs (vs those with better LView? eg. Canon 550D, Nikon 5000D but more exp$)
    2) Wld a prime lens 50mm F1.4 be useful for close up? Read abt Sigma/Tamron/Pentax.
    3) Also thinking of an all-in-one lens for general use.. I've limited hands with 2 kids. Any recommendations as sometimes I would like to zoom in from further say at an event. Also sometimes take random shots when outdoors. Read abt Sigma 18-200mm?

    I likely will not be investing lots on lenses even in long run. I would not like to spend too much on all the equipment too but seems like it'll slowly add up.

    I dun need super duper IQ but PnS is actually blurred so all I need is sharp, in focus pictures would be a huge step forward. I did read another site which stated flash is a must for kids indoors so not much of improvement even if I go the dslr route. However others state that this will be much better than PnS. Super confusing.

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by molecule; 18th July 2010 at 01:49 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    basically, kx is famous for ISO performance within the entry and midrange DSLR across all brands.
    so yes, kx helps a lot for low light photography

    on top of that, a fast lens like 50mm f/1.4 helps a lot in low light environment as well

    an all-rounder lens would be the famous 18-250 by tamron/pentax. this is one of the better superzooms

    finally, i'd say due to the low price of pentax setup for ur main aim, which is to take photos of ur kids, other brands just cant match the performance at pentax's price point..

    but of course there're always better options, it all depends on how deep ur pocket is....

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    thanks, yeah i'm not thinking of spending too much on the setup.

    I came across this article recommending Nikon D5000 with a few points of consideration.
    http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/bes...portraits.html

    How does the K-X match up? obviously the liveview option is a plus for D5000, but apart from that, I sort of understand that the K-X is faster and better low light than D5000, does that mean it will do better for the purposes I indicated? Naturally I'd prefer not to spend extra $ if the pentax is better in this respect. Sorry if these are basic questions but the specifics of this dslr is tough to understand before I jump into a purchase then try to master the photo taking.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Any dSLR camera is more than enough to take good kid photos, indoor or outdoor, as long as you know your gear well enough. If someone say Pentax isn't good enough for kids photos, I'd say they don't know how to take kid photos at all.

    For a start, I'd suggest you to get the Kx kit (well, the camera is only sold as a kit here anyway), plus a FA 35/2 (not easy to find though) or FA50/1.4, mabe a faster middle range zoom lens like the Tamron 28-70/2.8 or Pentax DA50-135/2.8. I don't really suggest you to get a mega zoom lens like 18-200 or 18-250 for kids photos, one reason is that you probably won't use the longer end as ofter as you hoped, the other reason is that they are pretty slow lenses. When I bring my kids out nowadays, I seldome use zoom lense, and there was a certain time I only use 50mm lens to take all my kids photos. Your kids are with you everyday, you don't need to take every step they move, just try to capture the fun moment.

    AF is never an issue for taking kid photos, indoor or outdoor. But I do prefer taking kid photos outdoor 'cause the light is more natural, and our cameras do take better photos when the light condition is better.

    Hope you'd get your first dSLR soon, be it a Pentax of Nikon

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    I don't want to come across as rude, but seriously any dslr is able to take pictures of children.
    Most times, its a usage problem and not a camera problem.

    I started a thread on this a while ago.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=698116
    hope it will help.
    Typically I prefer to use indirect flash when ISO needs to be higher than 800. To me the quality of the shots are better at lower ISO with flash than trying to 'make do' w/o.

    The Kx is a good camera and the high ISO capability will be good if you still prefer not to use flash indoors.

    For lenses, I would advise against a super zoom like a 18-200. IMO, it has the very properties that would go against what you want. A slow max aperture will give slower shutter speeds indoors making it hard to stop movement without a flash or well lit conditions. The zoom itself becomes an additional parameter to handle (you mentioned your hands are full). I often find that it slows response as I fiddle with the zooming.

    My recommendation is to get a budget but really good performing lens like the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or 28-75/2.8 or the Sigma equivalents. Get a flash as well.
    If you are determined to use ambient lighting, then you can't go wrong with a FA50/1.4

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by molecule View Post
    hi

    I dun need super duper IQ but PnS is actually blurred so all I need is sharp, in focus pictures would be a huge step forward. I did read another site which stated flash is a must for kids indoors so not much of improvement even if I go the dslr route. However others state that this will be much better than PnS. Super confusing.

    Thanks for your help!
    honestly. PNS also can produce sharp, in focus pix... i managed to take quite a lot of decent pix of moving subjects using PNS sports mode

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    actually I think that is a valid question. It is very tough to me to get the focus spot on a running kid if you are using thin DOF.

    from the kid thread, out of the many photos, I only see ONE set that is with kid running and thin DOF.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=30

    I am actually curious how kx will handle such a situation. Do you guys set it to all AF points and CAF like the previous poster did?

    Is the success rate high? I have a D700 and I struggle a lot getting the AF spot on using a wide tele prime with running kids. I am thinking of getting something lighter.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I must admit that partially it's my photo taking skills which I'm experimenting to get the best result but I sure need all the help fr equipment. Honestly I've also tried sports mode in PnS, generally outdoors in sunlight photos are good. At home, evening or in shopping malls usually blur when kids move. ISO at 800 pictures turn out not so nice and still blur eg hand/head movement.
    Last edited by molecule; 18th July 2010 at 11:06 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by alantkh View Post
    actually I think that is a valid question. It is very tough to me to get the focus spot on a running kid if you are using thin DOF.

    from the kid thread, out of the many photos, I only see ONE set that is with kid running and thin DOF.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=30

    I am actually curious how kx will handle such a situation. Do you guys set it to all AF points and CAF like the previous poster did?

    Is the success rate high? I have a D700 and I struggle a lot getting the AF spot on using a wide tele prime with running kids. I am thinking of getting something lighter.
    if I am not wrong , tabako is using a canon . So that pic is not by pentax

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    yea thats a 50D

    btw, as TS mentioned, he would like to take with natural light instead of flash, but of course, i guess he doesnt know about some good results that can be obtained by using good flash properly.
    this is also something i'd like to learn~

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by molecule View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I must admit that partially it's my photo taking skills which I'm experimenting to get the best result but I sure need all the help fr equipment. Honestly I've also tried sports mode in PnS, generally outdoors in sunlight photos are good. At home, evening or in shopping malls usually blur when kids move. ISO at 800 pictures turn out not so nice and still blur eg hand/head movement.
    hmmm ... me thinks good equipment enhances good technique... its not so good at masking poor photo taking skills. good equipment + poor technique = lousy / so-so photos...

    its really hard to talk in general and assume. do u have any sample pix? more meaningful discussion that way.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supersimon27 View Post
    if I am not wrong , tabako is using a canon . So that pic is not by pentax
    oh... I am thinking of getting kx and the pancake 70mm prime. I am wondering how easy it is to shoot a moving kid at f2.4...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by molecule View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I must admit that partially it's my photo taking skills which I'm experimenting to get the best result but I sure need all the help fr equipment. Honestly I've also tried sports mode in PnS, generally outdoors in sunlight photos are good. At home, evening or in shopping malls usually blur when kids move. ISO at 800 pictures turn out not so nice and still blur eg hand/head movement.
    actually if you want to freeze motion I think the Kx is great as it seems to have very good ISO3200. with wide angle lens at f2.8, I think it is very simple to freeze motion.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by alantkh View Post
    actually if you want to freeze motion I think the Kx is great as it seems to have very good ISO3200. with wide angle lens at f2.8, I think it is very simple to freeze motion.
    That's what I hope for! Kinda hoping dun hv to go so high ISO pic get grainy?
    Last edited by molecule; 18th July 2010 at 02:51 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    I
    I started a thread on this a while ago.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=698116
    hope it will help.
    Interesting read, thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    For lenses, I would advise against a super zoom like a 18-200. IMO, it has the very properties that would go against what you want. A slow max aperture will give slower shutter speeds indoors making it hard to stop movement without a flash or well lit conditions. The zoom itself becomes an additional parameter to handle (you mentioned your hands are full). I often find that it slows response as I fiddle with the zooming.
    Yep, I considered this and u clarified my hesitation on using this approach.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post

    My recommendation is to get a budget but really good performing lens like the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or 28-75/2.8 or the Sigma equivalents. Get a flash as well.
    If you are determined to use ambient lighting, then you can't go wrong with a FA50/1.4
    seems like a good skill to have is when to use flash and what type eg. bounce off wall/ceiling. My PnS all shoot straight and front subject alway bright, background very dark

  17. #17

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    My recommendation is to get a budget but really good performing lens like the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or 28-75/2.8 or the Sigma equivalents.
    This is the most bang for the buck suggestion (for your aim of taking pictures of your kid). Get this first, then work on your skills. You should be able to get very good pictures with this combi with the proper technique.

    Learning curve for flash is a bit steeper I find, and you don't always need it, like when you are outdoors. But good use of flash makes a large difference for indoor or night shots.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by molecule View Post
    That's what I hope for! Kinda hoping dun hv to go so high ISO pic get grainy?
    depending on what PNS you have, kx iso3200 may be better than your PNS ISO800.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by alantkh View Post
    actually I think that is a valid question. It is very tough to me to get the focus spot on a running kid if you are using thin DOF.

    from the kid thread, out of the many photos, I only see ONE set that is with kid running and thin DOF.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=30

    I am actually curious how kx will handle such a situation. Do you guys set it to all AF points and CAF like the previous poster did?

    Is the success rate high? I have a D700 and I struggle a lot getting the AF spot on using a wide tele prime with running kids. I am thinking of getting something lighter.
    Tabako was using a Canon
    Nonetheless it has very little to do with the equipment.
    This was actually shot with the guy moving towards me (and he's fast and erratic ) .
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...98&postcount=3

    boy in the centre


    Tabako was using AF-C (AF continuous).
    I typically use :
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=21

    IMHO, as parents we are excited and anxious for our children so we'd want to 'capture the moment' but does a running kid in itself make a meaningful/good picture?
    What/Where is he running TO/FROM/FOR ??
    Therefore, many 'action shots' to me are often not as impactful or meaningful.
    Let the action lull down a bit:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...0&postcount=33

    You already have a top of the line D700. It has a class leading Nikon AF (which is good enough for pro sports) and a good low noise FF sensor. It should be able to give you good shots. Perhaps usage of the long tele at wide apertures is your cause of grief.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 18th July 2010 at 04:22 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pentax K-X for fast moving kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by molecule View Post
    seems like a good skill to have is when to use flash and what type eg. bounce off wall/ceiling. My PnS all shoot straight and front subject alway bright, background very dark
    Just get a Kx and a flash lah!

    Even comes with free 'Strobist'tm monthly course for Pentaxians

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