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11-09-2010, 09:24 AM   #1
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How good is the K5 image quality vs a 5D MKII

I shoot with a Canon 5D MKII and have been considering the Pentax K5 since it came out. I take only landscape photographs, always at base ISO and print up to 16x24".

My first DSLR was a Pentax IstDs, which was great for it's simplicity. I'm hoping Pentax have retained that simplicity in their newer models. Another factor I love, since I walk a lot with equipment, is the small size and light weight.

What I really want to know is what people think about the image quality difference. Since DXO posted their sensor score results we can see that the K5 has a greater dynamic range than the 5D MKII. How would overall image quality compare though?

Do you think the K5 would be as good as the 5D MKII at 16x24" prints?

11-09-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
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I too love landscape(main incentive), and I can't wait to try a K-5 with super resolution this spring. 30MP, a few extra stops of DR. It just has to turn-up something good right?

Otherwise, I might dedicated the new SIgma for the task.
Which isn't all bad, since landscape photography seems so simplistic in terms of requirements in contrast to what a K-5 can do!
11-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
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Simplistic for sure. Ultimately I want a Leica, that's about as simple as it gets. Every time I mention "Leica" I think I can gear my piggy bank go running though.
11-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Wouldn't the 5D Mark IIs extra resolution still give it an advantage with landscapes?

11-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
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I'm not sure about that. Maybe up very close, but the Pentax K5 will have 205 dpi on a 16x24" print and the Canon 5D MKII 234 dpi at that size.

I would have thought this would be impossible to tell the difference?
11-09-2010, 10:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjtn Quote
I'm not sure about that. Maybe up very close, but the Pentax K5 will have 205 dpi on a 16x24" print and the Canon 5D MKII 234 dpi at that size.

I would have thought this would be impossible to tell the difference?
I think you are right about that, only upon close inspection a difference might be discernable. If you are going to shoot at the lowest feasable ISO range, garnering the large dynamic range that the K5's sensor is offering up, it might be a worthwhile upgrade (since it doesn't sound as though shallow DOF is one of your main factors for using a FF dslr).
11-09-2010, 10:10 AM   #7
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I think resolution, will be only a slight factor. And from everything I've experienced (I have two friends that have 5DmkII's, and are also pro shooters), the files that comes out of the K-5 are far sharper with better detail. The mkII will have a slight high ISO advantage, but with what you're doing, it sounds like that doesn't matter. Then there is the fact that the K-5 practically face-stomps the mkII in terms of DR, which is pretty important for landscape photography. The K-5 hold extraordinary amounts of detail in the nether-regions of the histogram, allowing you to expose for very bright highlights, and hold them in, then pull the dark stuff out in post. Then there's the fact that the K-5 is significantly smaller, lighter, and better sealed. I think it's a no-brainer win for the K-5. I'm an outdoor/adventure sports photographer, and I wouldn't take anything over the Pentax system.
11-09-2010, 10:16 AM   #8
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Thanks pxpaulx and FullertonImages.

The weather sealing sounds great on the K5. I only recently paid $900 to repair my 5D MKII from water damage. It was only a slight drizzle too, Canon wouldn't warrant it though.

However I think I would use it with the little Limited primes which aren't sealed. But on the other hand that's not where the water even got in on the Canon.

It's sounding good so far. I just find it hard to believe this camera can give as good results at a much cheaper price. Not to mention it's a smaller sensor.

11-09-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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The K5 is a really good camera. I am sure that Canon is going to be coming out with a 5D Mk III before terribly long and that will raise the bar again -- for a price. I think the big thing that the 5D would hold over the K5 is high iso capabilities. The K5 is really good for APS-C, but it still trails full frame by about a stop. Then again, if you are into landscapes, then that isn't probably that big a factor.

For an out doors person, it is a no brainer. I would far rather hike with any Pentax and a couple of limiteds than any Canon camera that I can think of.
11-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #10
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The only weakness 5D II has is the amount of DR in the shadows.
It's pretty poor and K-5 is a big improvement in this area.
The resolution will be similar. 16x24 - you won't see any difference in sharpness etc
if both cameras were used with good glass.
At this level your lens will be more important than anything else.
My main system is 5D II + best Zeiss glass and I'm basically switching to K-5
right now until Canon introduces something much better.

Image quality is not everything, 5D II is not as well protected outdoor,
the moisture is not your friend and I was tired by constantly paying attention to that
when shooting with 5D II. K-5 is simply a better camera (even K-7 is).

It's also much lighter and a set of good primes limited is much, much smaller.
11-09-2010, 10:20 AM   #11
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Sounds like you're all thinking along the same lines. I also consider a 5D MKII with Carl Zeiss primes. I'm disappointed Carl Zeiss is stopping support for Pentax.

How good are the wider angle limited lenses such as the 15mm and 21mm? How do this little lenses hold up against something like a Canon 17-40mm f4?
11-09-2010, 10:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
I think resolution, will be only a slight factor. And from everything I've experienced (I have two friends that have 5DmkII's, and are also pro shooters), the files that comes out of the K-5 are far sharper with better detail. The mkII will have a slight high ISO advantage, but with what you're doing, it sounds like that doesn't matter. Then there is the fact that the K-5 practically face-stomps the mkII in terms of DR, which is pretty important for landscape photography. The K-5 hold extraordinary amounts of detail in the nether-regions of the histogram, allowing you to expose for very bright highlights, and hold them in, then pull the dark stuff out in post. Then there's the fact that the K-5 is significantly smaller, lighter, and better sealed. I think it's a no-brainer win for the K-5. I'm an outdoor/adventure sports photographer, and I wouldn't take anything over the Pentax system.
If the sharpness thing is true, I think it would be more evidence that the K-5 has a weak AA filter. Incidentally, this is part of why some photogs are using the Leica M9 for landscape shooting now.
11-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjtn Quote
Thanks pxpaulx and FullertonImages.

The weather sealing sounds great on the K5. I only recently paid $900 to repair my 5D MKII from water damage. It was only a slight drizzle too, Canon wouldn't warrant it though.

However I think I would use it with the little Limited primes which aren't sealed. But on the other hand that's not where the water even got in on the Canon.

It's sounding good so far. I just find it hard to believe this camera can give as good results at a much cheaper price. Not to mention it's a smaller sensor.
You've picked up on an achilles in the limited system - no sealing. Personally, while I am (certainly) no pro, I have challenged the K-7 and 21/40mm to rain and snow (with associated very cold temperatures) in travel and hiking, and can report no issues. This may be due to the very tight build tolerances and metal construction of the limited series. There is also not a lot of lens protruding out for the water to hit (especially with the 40mm).
I have heard others here, who have used rubber bands around the lens mount to further prevent water incursion, with good success.

You do have the option of using the DA* 55mm, which is sealed. Depends on your FL requirements.

I too had a DS first up. The K-5/K-7 is a bit bigger than that, but still very portable with a couple of limiteds along for the ride.
11-09-2010, 10:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
If the sharpness thing is true, I think it would be more evidence that the K-5 has a weak AA filter. Incidentally, this is part of why some photogs are using the Leica M9 for landscape shooting now.
I'm all about weak AA filters. My guess would be that the AA filter is a touch stronger than the K-7. I find the low ISO results from the K-7 to be slightly sharper.
11-09-2010, 10:39 AM   #15
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I would think the canon 5d would be ideal for landscape not just for its extra resolution but because its wider angle of view. 20mm is 20mm and not 30mm like with a cropped aps-c sensor...

I would love to see comparison shots but i wouldnt be trading a 5d mark ii for a K5 unless weather sealing was critical.
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