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Pentax K5 - Wow!

Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
1 Dec 2010 3:32PM
If I understand you correctly...take two pictures both at the same shutter speed aperture settings. One for correct exposure at ISO51200 and the other with the ISO set at 1600, thus underexposing by five stops?


K5 at ISO51200


K5 at ISO1600

These are straight out of camera no correction of any kind. I'm still astounded that a picture can be taken at ISO51200 and look ok!

Here's the ISO51200 cropped

I'm happy to do other comparisons or test shots...please fire away your requests

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JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2010 5:52PM
Wow, thanks Pete, that's exactly it and absolutly amazing. What I hate about my 400d is those evening shots with friends where I end up with that dark image. But you have shown me a great example of what's possible. I sooooo want high ISO like this.
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2010 6:27PM
If it helps, in my experience the new crop of cameras all brands should offer 2 to 3 stops of noise performance over the 400D. So ISO6400 at about the same as ISO1600 (Possibly even 800) on your current camera. One tip in your camera to reduce noise is to skip the middle ISO values and set it for 100, 200, 400, 800 etc as the in between values have more noise.

when I got my first DSLR using images @ ISO800 was a shock to me. The images Pete have put up are a big step on from that. Heck I remember avoiding ISO400 film to keep the grain down Smile

Pete are those shots with in-camera noise reduction or from RAW. Either way its still impressive, just curious.
Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
1 Dec 2010 7:12PM

Quote:Pete are those shots with in-camera noise reduction or from RAW. Either way its still impressive, just curious.

They are RAW files.
sarras 14 1 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2010 12:07AM
Wow, I too prefer to take natural light shots and the K5 looks like the camera to do it with. I started with a K1000 decades ago and still prefer Pentax - I still like my K20 knowing its limitations but .....
BobEH 12 14 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2010 10:44PM
I do feel that the two images taken by the Pentax are underexposed. There is also more grain in the "E" of the book spine shot by the K5 the Nikon "E" is straight. So not too convincing so far. What is JackAllToq on about. I dont think Pete knows either looking at the reply above. Im still not sure that theses comparisons prove anything except that the Pentax looks worse (pictorially) than the Nikon. The D700 is an awesome camera capable of real results that are generally tons better than most other cameras. Have a look a June Cook FRPS images on Gloucester Camera Club All taken with a D70 or D700:
Having said that the DxOMark review says the following about the K5
"The best APS-C in all tested fields
No need for suspense: this new 16.3 MP sensor is simply the best APS-C we have tested so far, sometimes able to compete even with very high-end full-frame cameras. The overall score of the K5 puts it in the lead with 82 points more than 9 points better than the D90 or the Alpha 55, and 16 points ahead of the Canon 7D or 60D. The K5 is literally the best APS-C performer for each segment, even in low ISO. "
I shall wait for a year and see what transpires. Incidentally I have been using my old manual prime lenses on my K7. The resluts are exceptional, but I have refined my technique to. 1 stop each way bracket on continuous drive, Jpeg, srgb, A properly exposed jpeg gives me less grain than RAW from adobe or Pentax raw converter software. Try it, for lovely smooth pictorial images with great colour.
See also Ken Rockwell (google it)
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2010 11:06PM
Hi Bob, I did find it hard to explain didn't I.

I'll try again, I'm making the case to myself for an upgraded body. My current camera is a canon400D and is limited at ISO 1600. the noise at 800 or 1600 is terrible in my opinion.
Some of the shots i like taking are at dinner parties etc in the evening, But i'm always trapped by the shutter speed being too slow for any movement - mine or the subjects. (I use a f1.8 lens for this)
What i could not imagine without Pete's example was the amount of extra light i would have to play with with the extra ISO of the Pentax.
The dark image is about what i might get at iso 800 on my camera to get an un (movement) blurred image. But the iso 51200 image shows just how much more light i have available to actually get a well lit shot as well as unblurred (without flash).

WHats also amazing is the ISO 51200 noise on the pentax is what i would say i get at ISO800 on my Canon 400D.
So now i can show the 2 images to my better half and show her why i'm considering spending over a grand to get a camera that can properally record the events we go to.
Hope the explaination was a bit better this time Smile
BobEH 12 14 United Kingdom
9 Dec 2010 6:08PM
Jack:Sorry I was so rude in my post. Yes, I now think I know what you were getting at. However it could have been easy to work out by extrapolating the number of stops from 1600 ISO to whatever you want. Each doubling of the ISO is equal to 1 stop. so, 3200 gives one extra stop. 6400 two extra stops and so on. However I still contend that the Nikon (d7000 say) plus the new flashgun will get you better exposed pics with no effort compared with the Pentax. I dont now how it does it but the Nikon balances the exposure so that dark backgrounds are minimised. I have struggled to get the same nice looking pics with my K7 (and flash)
Perhaps Pete could shoot two dinner party scenes with flash and without, using the D700 (or D7000) and K5
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
9 Dec 2010 6:38PM
Perhaps of better value is a large group test for those contemplating an upgrade as there is a lot of confusion out there. So here is my thoughts for resolving some issues and letting people get an idea of what the relative offering bring. Stage 1 image quality only.

Group 1, the up graders current camera. Lets have cameras like Nikon D80, canon 450D, Sony A100 etc.

Group 2 the upgrade targets, K5D, D7000, 7D (or 550D or 60D)

Group 3 the perceived stretch upgrade, D700, 5D MKII, A900 (or 850)

For the moment lets make image quality the comparison ground. And for a level playing field could we set out target a top notch A3 print. This includes post processing as the RAW image etc is not the final output, you do not judge cakes from the pre-baked mixture after all. And to make it easier all cameras to use a 50mm prime stopped down to F8 all cameras on tripods with mirror lock up or self timer release etc..

Shot 1 taken at base ISO of the camera (i.e 100 or 200) of a scene without a normal range of shades that is easy to get a decent photo, like a winters day outdoor scene with the sun muted through clouds/behind or in a studio.

Shot 2 (getting more interesting) the sunny day challenge. A shot with a bright sky and some foreground interest. Again low ISO, expose the shot for the sky so you can see cloud detail. Now process the image to see if you can bring back the foreground detail with acceptable nose levels. This would be dynamic range test

Shot 3 taken in overcast rainy condition. Crank ISO up to 3200 or so hopefully with shutter speed @ 1/100 expose normally, compare noise.

Shot 4 taken after sunset, low ISO tripod mounted 30 seconds exposure. Test noise for long exposure.

My expectation is that for shot 1 there will be nothing in it. For shot 2 it is interesting to see if there is any difference between any group 2 cameras and is there a gap group 2 to 3 (DXO indicates you should see the new Canons do worse than the others in group 2 is this correct in the real world?). Shot 3 should show big differences in the results between groups. But I expect the group 2 cameras to turn in very similar results.
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
9 Dec 2010 11:06PM
Hi Bob, Smile its good to have different views, no offence taken, actually the D7000 is the 2nd on my realistic list of upgrade's Nikon does seem to have some quite neat features that 've not heard of in others such as the multi exposure mode. But i'll leave the flash gun for now as the dinner parties are better for me with out it; the one stop two stop thing does make sense, but i also like to visualise the effects. Good news the better half is on board with an upgrade and now gets me on the light reason.
@ Strawman, I agree with you that there is virtualy nothing in it in most shots, though shot 3 may start to show some deviations. I think most camera improvements in the current arena do have diminishing returns on the improvements photographers can realise in the majority of their shots despite the effort put in by the manufactures.
alfpics Plus
15 361 1 England
11 Dec 2010 11:37PM

Quote:Nikon does seem to have some quite neat features that 've not heard of in others such as the multi exposure mode

Hi JackAllTog - if I have understood you correctly, the Pentax's have had that from the *istD onward - it is just limited to 9 shots
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
21 Dec 2010 11:20AM
The main thing I notice on my K5 compared to my GX20 is the increased dynamic range which puts quite contrasty scenes within the unclipped region.
Very impressive.

It's a Sony sensor, I believe. I must say also that the jpg images the K5 produces do not do full justice to the capabilities of the sensor. You really need to PP a raw file from this sensor to see what it can do.

I don't suppose many people pay this money for a camera to shoot jpgs, though.

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