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Pentax K5 - Wow!

Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
30 Nov 2010 4:47PM
Ever since I went on an indoor shoot with Tony Dudley who was using a Nikon D300 I've been frustrated with the Pentax for its noise. He was shooting hand held at high ISO and getting great shots. I'd got my K20D on a tripod because anything above ISO400 was dreadful. Well thankfully that's now changed. Pentax have delivered an incredible performance with their latest K5. John Riley looked at it before me for the Pentax K5 ePHOTOzine review and enthused about the ISO. SO I couldn't wait to get my hands on one.

And here's one of my first test shots at ISO6400.



and here's the same shot taken with the Nikon D700 at the same ISO



And here's one taken today in poor conditions at ISO51200, Yes fifty one thousand!


This is a close up of book spines taken at ISO 51200 with the Pentax K5

And the Nikon D700 at the H2 setting (ISO25600)

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JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2010 5:47PM
Its those High ISO opportunities that open up a whole new are of dark photography with a stopped down lens, as an amateur lots of my shots are in the evening after work and setting up the studio lights is typically impractible for many situations. Thanks for sharing the trees at ISO51200, it has a decent DOF and i guess was quite dark.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
30 Nov 2010 6:42PM
Very interesting Pete.

Has Pentax just raised the 'Noise' bar I wonder?

I used to love Pentax as a film tool (had two LX's for a long time) but when I ventured into digital, any solution they offered just didn't 'cut it' for me. I hope this pans out because we will all 'win'.


Looking at the review high ISO samples the answer to my question appears to 'Yes'. Quite incredible results.
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
30 Nov 2010 6:51PM
Great stuff. Soon we will be able to use the shutter speed and aperture suited to the subject without having to worry overmuch about the amount of available light.

I personally do not like using flash, so anything which raises the noise bar is music to my ears. Smile
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
30 Nov 2010 6:53PM
In total agreement CB. Natural light wherever possible does it for me also.
lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
30 Nov 2010 7:03PM
It certainly seems to be exceptional Iso Performance from Pentax compared to the Nikon D700 which itself is rated highly at high Iso.

If Pentax can get decent system with a good range of glass they should be on to a winnerWink
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2010 7:06PM
Amazing! Currently saving my pennies for the K5!

cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
30 Nov 2010 9:43PM
For sure Pentax have made huge steps in getting the noise thing under control, Kudos to them, Its good to see a name like Pentax back in the frame.....Smile

But don't forget that the Nikon D700 is over 2 years old, Something of a dinosaur in this crazy digital age....Grin

Whatever, The whole issue of noise at higher ISO's has been a pain, At last it seems that Pentax and Nikon are overcoming the problem, The others will have to catch up....!!!

lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2010 9:47PM
When I read the thread title I wondered what "crack noise" was - I assume its what you get from wearing tight leather Pentax pants.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2010 11:36PM

Quote:When I read the thread title I wondered what "crack noise" was - I assume its what you get from wearing tight leather Pentax pants.
I was thinking a similar thought. Its good to see in images a demonstration of where things are heading. That you can take a photo that is not a mess of noise at ISO6400 amazes me, let alone the higher ISO results.
Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
1 Dec 2010 1:44PM
I've changed the title it was a bit odd...also wanted to add a few more shots as I go along and become seriously more impressed. I took this, this morning. Straight into the sun using auto metering. I used +1exp compensation for all the shots to keep the snow clean. The sun is in frame. I cannot recall having used any camera in auto and got a shot as accurate as this before when pointing at the sun. This camera is good!

strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2010 1:49PM
Bad news Pete, looks like you are going to have to buy one Wink
Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
1 Dec 2010 2:02PM

Quote:Bad news Pete, looks like you are going to have to buy one

It seems that way! The first SLR camera I ever used was a Pentax Spotmatic S1a, so I do have a soft spot for the brand and over the last few years it seemed like they were slipping further away, but this puts them truly back on the map.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2010 2:57PM
I know what you mean about soft spots, my first SLR was an aged Minolta SRT101 and despite the fact it weighed a lot and made a lot of clockwork type clicking and clunking noises there is something nice about using one of those match needle metering cameras with the lovely well oiled feel of the focusing ring. How did I ever manage with 3 lenses, 28mm, 50mm, 135mm all primes and no zooms in sight.

But back on topic the closeness of the results between the K5 and the D700 is amazing in your pictures.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2010 3:05PM
Hi Pete,

Can i ask a demo favour, Could you try a 2 shot compare image to show the extra light available.
e.g. on manual, at ISO51200 quite wide say f4, then whatever shutter speed is required to expose properally.
Then (a much darker shot) dial in ISO1600, use the same settign as above BUT under expose by using the same shutter speed as in shot 1.
Then you will have 2 shot, one at the new ISO51200 and a dark one at ISO1600 - for me this will help show what extra light i can get into a scene from the top end of my current ISO.

The RHS image might be what i get from a darkish evening party shot, but the LHS image would be what the Pentax could give me with the extra ISO.

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