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10-17-2010, 05:44 AM   #1
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K-5 vs K-7 noise comparison

EDIT: New comparison photos have been put up in a later post ( https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/118608-k-5-vs-k-7-...ml#post1225719 ). It was brought to my attention that the Pentax software had applied both NR and sharpening, so i have run them through a different raw converter and re-posted them.

Just got the K-5 and felt like doing a little comparison. This is by no means meant to be taken as a professional or scientific comparison. I'm certain that there will be at least a few who will quickly pick this apart and find every last flaw. Constructive criticism is welcome. All of these were taken with the DA* 50-135 @ 70mm f8 manually focused in live view. For reference, the focus point is the 645 on the front of the camera. NR was turned off in both cameras, and the only PP applied is jpeg conversion using PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4.

In all sets below the K-5 image will be on top, followed immediately by its K-7 counterpart


Higher ISOs to follow in upcoming post


Last edited by MAC; 10-17-2010 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Error in comparison
10-17-2010, 05:49 AM   #2
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Very useful, thanks.
Hoping to get mine tomorrow, or at least during the week.
10-17-2010, 05:55 AM   #3
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Looks good up to ISO 6400 I must say.

Looks like your focus on the K5 is a little off - while looking at the films. But that might be because the human behind the manual focusing.

The K-5 will be a huge upgrade when it comes to ISO-performance compared to my K10D. Finally I'll be able to shot sports and dancing at high ISO without getting overly noisy photos.
10-17-2010, 06:04 AM   #4
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Last edited by MAC; 10-17-2010 at 12:02 PM. Reason: Error in comparison
10-17-2010, 06:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by peteng Quote
Looks good up to ISO 6400 I must say.

Looks like your focus on the K5 is a little off - while looking at the films. But that might be because the human behind the manual focusing.

The K-5 will be a huge upgrade when it comes to ISO-performance compared to my K10D. Finally I'll be able to shot sports and dancing at high ISO without getting overly noisy photos.
You might be correct about that, it does look to me as if the focus on the K-5 might be a little farther back.

Also of note, upon looking through the camera settings again, while both are set to the "bright" profile, the K-5 is at default settings whereas the K-7 is set to Fine sharpness +3. Do those settings have any effect on the raw file?
10-17-2010, 06:19 AM   #6
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Wow! Thanks Michael!

Looks like 6400 is definitely usable (and from a man who doesn't like to push his K100D beyond 400)

CBA coming on - about time too

Couple of points
1) Different exposures or does the K5 render less to the dark side?
2) Very nice camera (and the K5!)
10-17-2010, 06:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by climbertrev Quote
Wow! Thanks Michael!

Looks like 6400 is definitely usable (and from a man who doesn't like to push his K100D beyond 400)

CBA coming on - about time too

Couple of points
1) Different exposures or does the K5 render less to the dark side?
2) Very nice camera (and the K5!)
Looking back through, all shutter speeds are identical:

6 sec. @ ISO 100
3 sec. @ ISO 200
1.6 sec. @ ISO 400
0.8 sec. @ ISO 800
0.4 sec. @ ISO 1600
1/5 sec. @ ISO 3200
1/10 sec @ISO 6400

And thanks the 645 is another recent addition, and a considerably greater challenge
10-17-2010, 06:33 AM   #8
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thanks for the quick review good job

10-17-2010, 06:37 AM   #9
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Less to the dark side then, and I dreamed about Mamiya 645s many years ago
10-17-2010, 06:43 AM   #10
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Thanks Michael - this really makes me want the K-5!
10-17-2010, 06:49 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MAC Quote
You might be correct about that, it does look to me as if the focus on the K-5 might be a little farther back.

Also of note, upon looking through the camera settings again, while both are set to the "bright" profile, the K-5 is at default settings whereas the K-7 is set to Fine sharpness +3. Do those settings have any effect on the raw file?
Thanks for the set. Direct comparisons with crops are what I've been looking for.

I tend to trust AF more than my focussing abilities, as long as there's a clear target, so I would have gone that way. At f8 however focus shouldn't be too critical. I doubt that focus caused the difference in sharpness. The camera's sharpness setting doesn't affect the raw file, but when you convert to jpeg with Pentax software, it does apply the selected sharpness setting. I never use Fine Sharpness because it sharpens noise and because I prefer the look of the regular sharpness control.

Love your subject.
10-17-2010, 06:49 AM   #12
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Looks like the K-5 has about a two stop high ISO advantage over the K-7, maybe even a little bit more.
10-17-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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Thanks for such a good comparison. Since one of the things I'm interested in is dynamic range, I also noticed the slightly different exposure. Here it looks like the K7 is a hair underexposed compared to the K5, which I find very interesting. In any case, it does look like K5 shows more detail in the shadows without blowing out any of the highlights but is this a case of the slightly different exposures or does it really have better dynamic range? The noise is significantly better.

I do wonder about the fine sharpness setting being different but only because you used the Pentax software. I haven't used it in a very long time (like since I got my DS), but if I remember correctly, originally it would interpret the raw file by the jpg settings first, and you could go from there. If you had used ACR or a different raw converter, it wouldn't have the same effect. And they may have changed that in the years since I played with it.
10-17-2010, 06:54 AM   #14
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Very nice test actually, thanks for posting. The test sort of transitions from long exposure noise at low ISO to high ISO noise.

I would be interested seeing a comparison of the same series taken in raw, and the raw editor not having NR and sharpening on. That gives a little more information on how much sensor noise there is.

Eric
10-17-2010, 06:57 AM   #15
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I really expected the K7 to looke a worse at 3200. I was a bit surprised. These were all raw correct?
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