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02-26-2013, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K-5 II vs. K-5 IIs Sharpness Comparison

Hey guys,

Just thought I'd link to this comparison we just ran at digitalcamerainfo.com. We took the K-5 II and K-5 IIs out and shot the same scenes with the same lenses and shooting parameters, then compared 100% crops (JPEG and RAW). A few other sites have done this, and it's not a super-technical comparison, but more data is always nice, right? Anyway, enjoy:

The S Is for Subtle: The Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs, Head to Head - DigitalCamerainfo.com

02-26-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
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I like the title- very clever!

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02-26-2013, 01:04 PM - 3 Likes   #3
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The review does a nice job of comparing and then takes a decided left turn at the conclusion. The data support that the IIs is sharper in real world situations in meaningful ways. Great. But then the conclusion is that it's not worth as little as $100 more??!? Seriously? Wow, we should all go out and pay more than $100 for high end post processing software and use it instead of capturing an image as sharply as possible in the first place. Nonsense, period.

I do not like post processing. Also, the time savings alone (even at minimum wage) by not having to PP for sharpness will easily make up the $100 difference between the II and the IIs over the life of the camera.

Data = Yes
Conclusion = No
That's just crazy.
02-26-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Data = It's sharper, but not that much sharper
Conclusion = Not worth it for the kind of buyer who's interested in ultimate sharpness (i.e., probably post-processes anyway)

Obviously not everyone post-processes (and I totally understand why... it's a time-consuming process), but if you're not post-processing K-5 RAWs you're getting seriously bland photos, and if you're shooting JPEG you're not getting ultimate image quality anyway. It could be that my perspective is skewed and more K-5 II owners than I thought don't post-process, but I kinda doubt it—particularly among the forum-dwelling crowd who'd be interested in the K-5 IIs already.

Anyhow, the conclusion is obviously subjective. Glad you liked the image comparisons.

02-26-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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I have the K-5 IIs (and a K-5). I am post processing. And I think the difference in IQ is worth even more than $100! Software sharpening inevitably reuslts in artifacts. The "native" sharpness does not, that's a bonus!
02-26-2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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As our samples show, the native sharpness can indeed cause artifacts. They're not very noticeable at reasonable viewing sizes, but then neither are the sort of artifacts you get from software sharpening.
02-26-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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I'd pay an extra $250 for that extra sharpness.
02-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by halfspin Quote
I'd pay an extra $250 for that extra sharpness.
Can I get $275?!

02-26-2013, 03:01 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The review does a nice job of comparing and then takes a decided left turn at the conclusion. The data support that the IIs is sharper in real world situations in meaningful ways. Great. But then the conclusion is that it's not worth as little as $100 more??!? Seriously? Wow, we should all go out and pay more than $100 for high end post processing software and use it instead of capturing an image as sharply as possible in the first place. Nonsense, period.

I do not like post processing. Also, the time savings alone (even at minimum wage) by not having to PP for sharpness will easily make up the $100 difference between the II and the IIs over the life of the camera.

Data = Yes
Conclusion = No
That's just crazy.
I kinda agree with what Doc said here. I do post processing, but mostly is to adjust white balance, exposure, level and sometimes colors. Never really do (well, still don't know how this thing works) sharpening on full sized photos. I only sharpen the photos after resize when needed, and with K5IIs I don't need to do as much sharpening as with K5 after resize.

The sharpness improvement with K5IIs is pretty obvious to me, and this is also verified in the sample photos from the 1st post. To say it's not worth the $100 extra is just too 'personal' opinion, a review like this should avoid giving clear conclusion especially considering the price difference isn't huge. It's up to the readers to decide.

To me (and many others) it's well worth the $100 extra, and there is no reason to buy the K5II at all IMO since I can buy the K5IIs for just $100 more.
02-26-2013, 03:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I have the K-5 IIs (and a K-5). I am post processing. And I think the difference in IQ is worth even more than $100! Software sharpening inevitably reuslts in artifacts. The "native" sharpness does not, that's a bonus!
Excellent additional point, thanks.

Oh, and 9% is a LOT - more than some completely new models from Canikon actually.
02-26-2013, 03:29 PM - 4 Likes   #11
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The K5IIs is a significant upgrade in real use

Hello, however well meant, I believe your test should not be taken into consideration by those pondering whether to upgrade to the K5IIs from the K5.
I waited fairly long myself, so read about everything there was written about the pros and cons of the filterless design of the k5IIs, and many (who did not own the camera or use it from day to day) had a lot to say about the danger of false color detail, as well as about the possibility to get the K5IIs output with merely some deblurring/ deconvolution/ capture sharpening of the K5 output. I even read elaborate (pseudo) scientific posts, on basis of which people (again without having used the camera themselves) claimed that the enhanced detail of the K5IIs was not real, but a result of false (contrast enhancing) detail and color.

You díd use and test the camera alongside the regular k5, but I can only state, that in real use, with four Zeiss primes in pentax mount, the difference in IQ is nothing short of impressive. I had to add 720,- euros to what I got for my k5, to buy the K5IIs, and I think the upgrade was worth it, and even more.
Perhaps it takes really good lenses to get a jump in IQ like I got, but the fine detail, also color wise, I get from the K5IIs (without any capture sharpening whatsoever) I was never able to get with the K5, even after a year of photoshop and plugin use.
On top of that, the sharpness from the K5IIs is in its rendering of real detail, and that is quite different from the sharpness you get through sharpening routines. I read at least one official review, that mentioned that in the exact same words.
A better camera needs better lenses, but also a proper (high quality) calibrated screen, and proper (high quality) calibrated printing. I use an 700,- euros Eizo screen and a HP B9180 printer, both properly calibrated. In everyday use, getting to know the K5IIs by viewing many different images from different lenses, I can not conclude other than that Pentax with the K5IIs, delivered a masterpiece IQ wise, significantly better than the K5.

Chris
02-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
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Seriously, what a dumb conclusion...
There is little reason to buy the K-5II considering the very small price difference compared to the superior sharpness of the K-5IIs.
02-26-2013, 04:45 PM   #13
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Agree with Doc... Odd conclusion from the stated facts.

I bought the IIs and found its improved sharpness more than worth it for making 20x30 prints. Once information is gone -- smudged away by a low-pass filter -- it's gone. The filterless sensor captures more in the first place, and keeps it.

Yes, the difference is small -- but so are the differences between lenses whose cost varies by hundreds or thousands of dollars.
02-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I kinda agree with what Doc said here. I do post processing, but mostly is to adjust white balance, exposure, level and sometimes colors. Never really do (well, still don't know how this thing works) sharpening on full sized photos. I only sharpen the photos after resize when needed, and with K5IIs I don't need to do as much sharpening as with K5 after resize.

The sharpness improvement with K5IIs is pretty obvious to me, and this is also verified in the sample photos from the 1st post. To say it's not worth the $100 extra is just too 'personal' opinion, a review like this should avoid giving clear conclusion especially considering the price difference isn't huge. It's up to the readers to decide.

To me (and many others) it's well worth the $100 extra, and there is no reason to buy the K5II at all IMO since I can buy the K5IIs for just $100 more.
Hi Frank,

Let me start off by saying that you're one of the forum members that I respect most, and I really appreciate you putting your opinion out there on this one.

However, I have to counter-argue that it's certainly not out of bounds for a publication to state an opinion in a feature article (or even a review, which this article is not). We clearly state that it's an opinion ("We think not"), rather than a fact, and we give our arguments as to why. Everyone (as this thread clearly shows ) is welcome to disagree, and maintain their own opinions. Hopefully the images in the article speak for themselves, and everyone can draw his or her own conclusions.

(It is true, though, that when it comes to money, decisions and opinions do get very personal.)
02-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #15
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Oops. It was suppose to boost the sale of k5ii and it backed fire.
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