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Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo?
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pico23


Dec 13, 2008, 4:56 PM
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Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo?
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[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/17089104@N03/3103366867/]

Well while there are not many mountains or climbs at 98000ft, this should reassure a few people that the sealing on the Pentax DSLRs are legit.

There isn't a lot of moisture at 100,000ft. but the -60F ambient temps and the forces of a 22mph crash landing protected only by a styrofoam box are something your typical Consumer Reports test doesn't usually factor in!

Keeping in mind the K20D is selling for $700 right now, and the K10D sold for $500 after rebate when it was discontinued, I'm fairly certain you cannot find a more rrugged camera for the price!

Add in the DXO test of the RAW data (#10 until the 5DMII is tested I'm sure) on the sensor, and your not just getting a tank of a camera, but it takes a decent photo too!

I've noted a few times if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to live in an environment without rain, snow, dust or humidity sealing is probably useless. In my part of the country we get more days of rain than most places in the US (including Seattle) and more inches of precip than just about anywhere. We also rank in tops in snow, average minimum temps, and a few other dubious weather conditions! Having a sealed body offers incredible peace of mind.

Here is some info on the test and the photos can be found on

http://www.flickr.com/...611198154954/detail/

In reply to:
Thanks for the comments. I chose the k10d for the photographic payload system on an experiment by Oklahoma State University to measure cosmic radiation with a new sensor.

The payloads are attached to a sounding balloon which climbs to over 100,000 ft. The balloon is tracked with GPS telemetry systems. When the balloon is launched, it is about 12 ft. in diameter. At peak altitude it is between 40-50 ft. in diameter before burst (or commanded cut-down).

The results are a testament to the quality and ruggedness of the Pentax gear. The camera was exposed to the harshness of the space environment (essentially a vacuum, and below -60F temperatures) and it never missed a beat. The only protection for the camera was a foam box which really doesn't protect it from the pressure changes or cold (there were no heaters on board) The box primarily protects the camera on impact since the payloads hit the ground at about 22mph.

As I mentioned, the camera took well over 300 pictures. In fact, I went back and counted and the actual number is 563. All in PEF RAW format. The only ones that are unuseable are the ones after the camera landed. Since the camera and lens were so cold from the extreme altitude, condensation started forming on the lens shortly before landing. (It was a very humid day here since it rained the day before) The camera and lens were soaked with condensation, but kept happily fireing away with no problems other than you couldnt see through the water on the lens. By that point, there was nothing left to see.

Now as to exposure; the camera performed better than my wildest dreams. We put it in Tv mode at 1/3000 to freeze motion (since the ride is quite violent at times). Auto ISO, and multi-segment metering. Out of those hundreds of photos, there are maybe 5 or 6 that were overexposed when the camera was facing the sun. The biggest "problem" is that we have too many good photos!


USnavy


Dec 14, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Re: [pico23] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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Well thatís great if you are shooting pictures in space. But for my "on Earth" shots I will stick with my Canon 40D.


pico23


Dec 16, 2008, 3:31 PM
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USnavy wrote:
Well thatís great if you are shooting pictures in space. But for my "on Earth" shots I will stick with my Canon 40D.

Well, no, just an extreme test of the K10D sealing.

I'm sure you noticed where he mentioned the camera was soaked and covered in ice but kept on shooting (see second to last paragraph).

Since I live in a place where my camera often is soaked and covered in ice, earth and space are more alike than different.

So you'll be packing your 40D into the protective case and not shooting (just as had happened on my AMR trip last spring when I came away with some nice shots and my Canon shooting partner packed the camera) while I'm still shooting.

No worries though the 40D does have a gasket around the CF door, so at least you know water isn't getting in there!Tongue


USnavy


Dec 16, 2008, 9:06 PM
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Re: [pico23] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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pico23 wrote:
USnavy wrote:
Well thatís great if you are shooting pictures in space. But for my "on Earth" shots I will stick with my Canon 40D.

Well, no, just an extreme test of the K10D sealing.

I'm sure you noticed where he mentioned the camera was soaked and covered in ice but kept on shooting (see second to last paragraph).

Since I live in a place where my camera often is soaked and covered in ice, earth and space are more alike than different.

So you'll be packing your 40D into the protective case and not shooting (just as had happened on my AMR trip last spring when I came away with some nice shots and my Canon shooting partner packed the camera) while I'm still shooting.

No worries though the 40D does have a gasket around the CF door, so at least you know water isn't getting in there!Tongue

And well your k10d is producing images that look like they were shot at ISO 26,400, my 40D will be producing crisp, clean 10MP pics. :) ;P


pico23


Dec 23, 2008, 12:12 AM
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Re: [USnavy] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
pico23 wrote:
USnavy wrote:
Well thatís great if you are shooting pictures in space. But for my "on Earth" shots I will stick with my Canon 40D.

Well, no, just an extreme test of the K10D sealing.

I'm sure you noticed where he mentioned the camera was soaked and covered in ice but kept on shooting (see second to last paragraph).

Since I live in a place where my camera often is soaked and covered in ice, earth and space are more alike than different.

So you'll be packing your 40D into the protective case and not shooting (just as had happened on my AMR trip last spring when I came away with some nice shots and my Canon shooting partner packed the camera) while I'm still shooting.

No worries though the 40D does have a gasket around the CF door, so at least you know water isn't getting in there!Tongue

And well your k10d is producing images that look like they were shot at ISO 26,400, my 40D will be producing crisp, clean 10MP pics. :) ;P

The 40D is a good camera, no doubt! Not sure it's the best camera ever, but then I'm not really sure what is the best camera ever.

You might want to check your facts though, also take a look at my K10D hockey shots at 1600..seems a lot of Canon folk ask me for advice (both publicly in the comments, and through PMs) on getting cleaner shots.

Then take a look at the DXO stats, Pentax just does a better job working with the sensors. Just like Nikon did a better job with Sony's 24MP Full frame at high ISO (but Sony has better low ISO color fidelity). The hardware downstream of the sensor does play a huge role!

It was purely a Canon propagated myth that Canon cameras have some sort of 2-3 stop advantage over the competition. Just like the full page ads they took out in PopPhoto about 18 months ago claiming in camera IS/SR was not as good. Yeah, not as good for Canon losing market share!!!

Of course that is why I dislike Canon, the marketing machine, not the cameras!

Actually if anything the 40D and K10D are dead even, but I'll be generous, and give you a 1/3 stop so you can feel happy! So when we are shooting at 1600 your camera looks like 1250, I can live with that!

I actually have the PopPhoto test where they tested both noise levels and detail levels head to head. At default setting the K20D was noisier, but it had significantly more detail. Canon was less noisy but had less detail.

Pentax allows the photographer a lot of leeway in the final product, including setting higher in camera reduction, or using your reduction method of choice. For me it's Nik Dfine 2.0, with very selective levels of NR. But then Pentax did a great job with the noise control on the 6MP Sony sensor vs. Nikon which used the same sensor as did the Sony A100. Pentax went with a film grain type moire which was more pleasing than digital noise typically is.

Like I've always said, you should be happy and loyal shooting your brand of choice, but spewing unfounded nonsense is where I have a problem! Wink


USnavy


Dec 23, 2008, 12:41 AM
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Re: [pico23] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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lol I was just giving you shit. All I know is Cannon's image stabilizer in the lens is bad ass for shooting in max ISO at 1/10s shutter hand held at night with no flash..


pico23


Dec 24, 2008, 7:37 PM
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Re: [USnavy] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
lol I was just giving you shit. All I know is Cannon's image stabilizer in the lens is bad ass for shooting in max ISO at 1/10s shutter hand held at night with no flash..

Ah, no problem...I suppose it's only fair you f'k with me!!

Like I said, nothing wrong with any of the brands, even the ones that are gone made some nice gear.

Merry Christmas!!!


pico23


Dec 27, 2008, 2:58 AM
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Re: [USnavy] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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Here is one back at you:

Rangefinder Magazine


photo_trev


Dec 27, 2008, 7:17 AM
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Re: [pico23] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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pico23 wrote:
Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo?

My Nikon D3 can.

Nasa has been using Nikon camera's for all of their space missions since Apollo 15 in 1971. I believe the camera's they use now (D2Xs) are pretty much stock the only thing they change are some of the lubricants.


pico23


Dec 27, 2008, 3:26 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Can your STOCK camera go to 98000ft and come home with a photo? [In reply to]
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To be fair...

Nikon D3=$5000 at initial offering

Pentax K10D = $900 at initial offering

Also, the cameras NASA takes up are in sealed environments free from vacuums moisture and freezing cold (assuming they aren't using them on space walks).

That said, yes, I do like the sealing on my Nikons as well, although I'm not convinced anymore it's as high as the Pentax, largely because on various forums I have seen Nikon users questioning the DX and DXXX series proofing. You never see these grumbles on the K10/K20/K200 forums (that is not to say you don't see other grumble issues, nothing is perfect!!!).

I'm pretty sure ONLY the F6 is as well sealed as the Pentax DSLRs.


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