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08-14-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
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K-5 vs. Nikon D4 and Canon Mark III

Is it just me or are the low ISO images from the K-5 at the bottom of the following test page significantly sharper than those from the D4 and Mark III? For example, I can read the smallest line of print from the test page for the K-5 at ISO 200 (magnified image): "Cheshire cat, she began, rather timidly ..." whereas the same line of text is blurred to the point at which I have to guess at words in the images from the two top-of-the-line full frame DSLRs. The K-5 clearly loses at high ISOs but I would have expected it to underperform the IQ from the big boys at all levels. Maybe I'm missing something.

Sample Photos - Nikon D4 Digital Camera Review

Russ

08-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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Let me get this straight - a $6000, yes $6k, body only FF camera plus what was described as a $2k lens beat the K-5 with an unspecified lens (I couldn't find it listed)? That's some sort of groundbreaking investigative journalism there I agree, the K-5 won the low ISO shots from my review of them - now THAT'S news.

Oh, and any time a multiple dimension review results in a perfect 10.0 score, all I have to say is "Fanboy!". No camera is perfect. As a matter of fact this one underexposed several of the example photos IMHO.
08-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Remember that the other bodies are also full frame, so it could be that the text is slightly less in focus due to the difference in depth of field. Also note that sharpness is primarily to do with the lens as well. with that being said, i wouldn't doubt that the k5 would provide better iq at low iso
08-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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I don't know about sharpness but the D4 ISO performance looks like a beast!
Going down the line it doesn't seem to flinch until ISO 12800

08-14-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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What.....The test sample looks ridiculous.....
08-14-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Nikon D4 shot - AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Shot at 50 mm (Pro lens.. but I guess older version)
Focus: AF-S, at 1.0m, with a depth of field of about 18cm, (from about 8.4cm before the focus point to about 10cm after) AF Area Mode: Single Area
Exposure: :Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/6 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Canon 5D Mk3 Shot - EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Shot at 55mm lens (I like this lens)
Focus info: Not available
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/8 sec, f/10, ISO 200

Pentax k-5 shot - smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR, Shot at 30.6 mm (Seriously, they couldn't use a better lens?
Focus info: Not available
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/6 sec, f/10, ISO 200

Sony A77 shot - Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM (SAL1650) Shot at 35 mm (Come on now, give the k-5 a better lens if everyone else is using a semipro or pro..)
Focus info: Not available
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/13 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Nikon D3x shot - AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Shot at 36 mm (well at least they're consistent with using the same lens here)
Focus info: AF-S, at 71cm, with a depth of field of about 23cm, (from about 10cm before the focus point to about 13cm after) AF Area Mode: Single Area (Nikon is nice to include this info in their exif)
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/15 sec, f/10, ISO 200

So since all these shots were taken at F8 for APS-C, and F10 for FF, I doubt it's that much of a focus error.. as you can see the Nikons had a DOF of about 18cm/23cm.

Only thing is probably the diffraction maybe..

That D4's 12,800 ISO is freaking amazing though. The Mk3 is in my opinion the same as the k-5 (wuhhhhhh?)
08-14-2012, 10:00 PM   #7
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K-5 definitely won the low ISO title but the high belongs to the D4. It's hard to believe that diffraction may have lowered the quality of the canikons at these lower ISO's & f-stops considering the larger pixel sizes though.
08-14-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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I dunno - it'd seem weird to be AF issues considering how large of a zone it is. But that could be the reason.

Lenses - well.. it's the kit lens for the k-5, and practically pro lenses for everything else. Seems super weird.

08-14-2012, 10:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I dunno - it'd seem weird to be AF issues considering how large of a zone it is. But that could be the reason.

Lenses - well.. it's the kit lens for the k-5, and practically pro lenses for everything else. Seems super weird.
The way they like it no doubt. Like saying you're average family car is crap compared to an F-1 machine and using weighted tests to prove it.
08-14-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Nikon D4 shot - AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Shot at 50 mm (Pro lens.. but I guess older version)
Focus: AF-S, at 1.0m, with a depth of field of about 18cm, (from about 8.4cm before the focus point to about 10cm after) AF Area Mode: Single Area
Exposure: :Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/6 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Canon 5D Mk3 Shot - EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Shot at 55mm lens (I like this lens)
Focus info: Not available
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/8 sec, f/10, ISO 200

Pentax k-5 shot - smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR, Shot at 30.6 mm (Seriously, they couldn't use a better lens?
Focus info: Not available
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/6 sec, f/10, ISO 200

Sony A77 shot - Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM (SAL1650) Shot at 35 mm (Come on now, give the k-5 a better lens if everyone else is using a semipro or pro..)
Focus info: Not available
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/13 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Nikon D3x shot - AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Shot at 36 mm (well at least they're consistent with using the same lens here)
Focus info: AF-S, at 71cm, with a depth of field of about 23cm, (from about 10cm before the focus point to about 13cm after) AF Area Mode: Single Area (Nikon is nice to include this info in their exif)
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/15 sec, f/10, ISO 200

So since all these shots were taken at F8 for APS-C, and F10 for FF, I doubt it's that much of a focus error.. as you can see the Nikons had a DOF of about 18cm/23cm.

Only thing is probably the diffraction maybe..

That D4's 12,800 ISO is freaking amazing though. The Mk3 is in my opinion the same as the k-5 (wuhhhhhh?)
Thanks. K-5 with a $150 kit lens vs. FF cameras with pro lenses in the $1k - $2.5k range. Yeah, that's a fair head-to-head!
08-15-2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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Well yes, it's not a fair comparison, but it's still quite weird that the k-5 test picture is resolving the words more (and looks so much sharper).
08-15-2012, 07:52 AM   #12
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I actually just switched from Canon to Pentax (k-5). I've used a bunch of different Canon crop cameras and none of them really wowed me. As for the Canon FF, the 5d2 gives really nice IQ, but lacked in other areas. When the 5d3 came out, it was the camera for me. Really nice IQ, great AF system, high ISO capabilities. But a $3,400 price tag was just too much. So I started saving for it. While in the process of saving, I figured I'd see what was going on in the Pentax world (my first 35mm was a Pentax). I really love what I see with the k-5. It's closer to the 5d3 than any other Canon camera (not including the 1 series), and at $900?? Yeah I'm liking that! IQ and DR is better on the k-5, AF better on the 5d3, high ISO better on the 5d3, but the k-5 is no slouch and is better than the Canon crops. So for the price of 1 5d3 body only, I can have a complete setup with the k-5 and all the lenses I need, with money left over.

I'm looking forward to using the k-5, and hopefully they continue to improve on it in the years to come.
08-16-2012, 08:06 AM   #13
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I doubt it's either diffraction or AF. Mostly likely images were jpegs drawn straight from the respective cameras using default settings. The k-5 default settings lead to sharper jpegs. Hardly a big surprise. Anyone using a D4 for jpeg shooting is probably going to do his own extensive tweeking in any case, so the defaults aren't all that important in a pro camera.

A good illustration, nonetheless, of why I'm grown increasingly skeptical of all these measurebating and pixel-peeping review sites. These sites are full of strange anomalies and cannot be fully trusted, particularly when differences between various cameras or lenses being tested are miniscule. Every APS-C, FF or even m43 camera currently offered can produce spectacular results at low ISO, particularly for mid-range aperture shooting.
08-17-2012, 03:40 AM   #14
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at f/8 or even f/10 its not defraction.
at these apertures its not soft focus either, it has to be waaaay out of focus...
i'm going to agree with northcoastgreg, probably jpegs with default settings which lack sharpening...
but man, tests like this make k-5 owners proud... even the defaults should produce images sharp enough to be able to read the small letters...
also about the iso... a 2 year old aps-c vs a current generation full frame at 4x the price (5dmkiii im looking at you) i expected the noise difference to be enormous... ok the d4's iso performance is stunning, but canon's... well... its not...
08-17-2012, 06:20 AM   #15
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How long did it take you to find a source on the internet that maybe shows that the K5 looks better in some regard than the D4? It will be very easy on the other hand to show you many reputable sources clearly indicating that the K5 does not outresolve the D4. Get real.
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