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02-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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Is it really worth upgrading *Ist DS to K-r in term of Image Quality

It sounds stange to you? I don't mean speed of continous shooting, LCD size and pixels, easy availability of menus, the lack of Raw+ or other techonological improvements. The really important thing for me is image quality . Of course DS is 6 MP CCD and K-r 12 MP CMOS, but the sensor size is approximately the same. Other than large prints (greater than A3), is there really a difference? Also DS has a advantage: the pentamirror 0.95X viewfinder. I am happy with my DS shooting RAW yielding very sharp images and I think is it necessary to upgrade to K-r.
I'll appreciate all comments.
Thank you

02-28-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgpinarli Quote
It sounds stange to you? I don't mean speed of continous shooting, LCD size and pixels, easy availability of menus, the lack of Raw+ or other techonological improvements. The really important thing for me is image quality . Of course DS is 6 MP CCD and K-r 12 MP CMOS, but the sensor size is approximately the same. Other than large prints (greater than A3), is there really a difference? Also DS has a advantage: the pentamirror 0.95X viewfinder. I am happy with my DS shooting RAW yielding very sharp images and I think is it necessary to upgrade to K-r.
I'll appreciate all comments.
Thank you
Every time I start thinking I want to upgrade my DS, I ask myself "How many shots have I missed in the last month because of equipment?" Upgrading from film to the DS was easy, as the cost of getting film developed easily paid for the DS. Getting an additional 1 or 2 keepers per month isn't worth the cost of upgrading to me.

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02-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #3
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If you are happy like you say there is likely no need to upgrade. The k-r is excellent though especially at high-iso likely much better there than your current camera.

Overall IQ is likely better but im not sure
02-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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I have upgraded from Ds to K-m but never been truly happy with image quality or overall impression. SR is a plus but not as effective as I hope for. Eventually you will upgrade but I suggest you keep your Ds.

02-28-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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i kept my ds when i went to my k 10, but rarely used it. the k 10 easily outshone it in all but size (the ds is a nice compact well built little tank)
At this point i thnk you can expect better iq, if you use high ISO there will be a huge improvement there (even my k7 at 6400 is better than my ds at 1600 and the kr is better yet again at high iso)
if you shoot mainly for 8x10 and smaller and use iso 200-400 max then there will be limited advantages to an upgrade and as you mentioned the ds has a better VF than the KR (the reason i bought the K10 and the K7 is in part due to the good VF)
you can probably score a K& for around the same price as a KR now so it may be the more logical upgrade (or go K5)
I've printed from my KR at 13x19 but it is soft compared to the K10 and the K7 at this size, not unreasonably but noticeably
02-28-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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i own the K-x, the body just before the K-r, and i have to tell that Yeah ! the image quality is really nice.
i've read that the K-r did a little better.

But i'm not sure to get the point : if you are happy, there is no need to change your *ist DS.
02-28-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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Well, in fact I "downgraded" by selling my K20D and bought the DS. Why? Because it was too big and heavy, the SR was not efficient, high ISO was disappointing and was not "as sharp as I expected". So I sold it to buy a K-r (K-5 is expensive for me) because it is light, compact and with good IQ. However, I don't shoot at high ISO (prefer 200, max. 400), anxious about FF or any other problem, and finally poorer viewfinder really cares as I use manual lenses. May be I should wait a K-?
02-28-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
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....and I just forgot to mention the advantage of using my AF400FTZ and AF140C with DS. If I buy a K-r, it will be hard to replace these with AF360FGZ and AF160C!
However, if you can say that the IQ of K-r is far better than DS, I know that I'll buy it soon or later

02-28-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgpinarli Quote
Well, in fact I "downgraded" by selling my K20D and bought the DS. Why? Because it was too big and heavy, the SR was not efficient, high ISO was disappointing and was not "as sharp as I expected". So I sold it to buy a K-r (K-5 is expensive for me) because it is light, compact and with good IQ. However, I don't shoot at high ISO (prefer 200, max. 400), anxious about FF or any other problem, and finally poorer viewfinder really cares as I use manual lenses. May be I should wait a K-?
I went from the DS to the K-7 last May. IMO, the IQ advantages are:
  • more cropping flexibility with more pixels
  • SR helps out
  • ISO, 100-800 is very useful
The extra features might just be enough to get one shot in a thousand that you couldn't without them, or maybe one shot better than it would have been. I think they count a little bit towards IQ too. AF is a lot better. For those who are more AF-reliant, that would definitely help IQ, but I use a lot of MF lenses too.

The DS was more IR-sensitive, about the only thing I miss. The TTL flash is an advantage for older lenses but I never used that. More of a feature than an IQ-thing again.

If you don't need high ISO, the K-7 looks pretty good for you. Some future camera will probably be introduced at $1300 to $1500, and therefore still too expensive. Rule that out, rule out the K-5 for at least a few months more on the same basis. You've tried the K20D and that's out, so the K10D is out too because it's about the same size. The only pentaprism viewfinders left (in Pentax DSLRs) are the D, DS, DS2 and the K-7.
02-28-2011, 01:41 PM   #10
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I upgraded from DS to K-r. In terms of IQ alone, the DS can hold its own. Maybe it's the familiarity of using the DS for 3 years, but I seem to like its color rendition better.

However, if your not a full manual junkie, everything else is better on a K-r. Faster AF, read/write, better AWB. It's a better shooting experience overall.

As for the prism, I got over it. And the pentamirror is not as dark(er) as you might think. Side by side, you may not notice any difference at all.

You may want to read about the Tungsten FF issue, if that could affect your decision.
02-28-2011, 01:46 PM   #11
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I forgot to mention the ISO. 1600 in the DS is ok. 3200 in the K-r is better
02-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GrinMode Quote
I forgot to mention the ISO. 1600 in the DS is ok. 3200 in the K-r is better
the kr at 3200 is probably not far off the ds at 800 in reality. my k7 is probably close to that in my experience. the ds is nearly unusable at 3200
02-28-2011, 03:38 PM   #13
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I see that K-7 and K-r are the best altenatives if their prices go down further in a few months. Anyway, I think I'll keep the DS even I buy a new camera
02-28-2011, 05:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgpinarli Quote
...Anyway, I think I'll keep the DS even I buy a new camera
I kept mine for a few reasons. I sometimes set it up for my wife to shoot with. She takes a lot of pictures of me - revenge, she says.
02-28-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
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ok after eons without shooting the DS i pulled it out today. as much as i liked it at one point compared to my K7 it is really quite primitive. it felt like a slicker digital version of my MZ5n. it would be a no brainer for me. image wise though still more than acceptable (maybe not at 20 x 24 though where i would have no issues printing the K7)
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