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6mp camera vs 14mp camera
Posted By: little laker, 01-25-2008, 11:00 PM

With the introduction of the new 14mp Pentax coming out I think that it's about the best time to post a comparison with my 6mp Pentax K100D and my 14mp Sigma SD14.

I modified a Pentax M-Mount 50mm f2 lens to fit both cameras, by removing the aperture leaver and the plastic ring around it.
Here's the before picture

after

This mod also allows you to use AV with the K, and M mount lenses on a Pentax camera.
Which is what I did with this test.

Everything was shot on the same tripod, without moving it, ISO 200, F8, and pop-up flash. In AV making my life a little easier.

The raw files were saved as JPG, without any processing, and then re-sized to 800 pixels (posted size), or 2500 pixels, pixel peering size.

K100

for the pixel peepers

SD14

for the pixel peepers

K100

for the pixel peepers

SD14

for the peepers

I don't think that I can possibly make the test more fair, at this time.

I'll be watching my band width, and might remove the large images some time next month if it looks like I might exceed it.

Just a quick edit, the Sigma has a crop factor of 1.7, vs the Pentax 1.5
This is why they appear a little larger

Last edited by little laker; 01-25-2008 at 11:09 PM.
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01-25-2008, 11:09 PM   #2
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Hi Stu,
Wow! very different colours. Which is the more realistic? The Pentax has over exposed, was the flash strength the same?
Cheers
Grant
01-25-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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Thats strange your photos disapeared while I was viewing them..Other than the sigma being darker theres not a whole lot of difference in my eye...Bob
01-25-2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
Hi Stu,
Wow! very different colours. Which is the more realistic? The Pentax has over exposed, was the flash strength the same?
Cheers
Grant
The true colours are somewhere in between with the house lighting at the moment.

The flash strength was set to 0.0.

A little post processing would take care of that, with either picture, so I wouldn't worry about that.
Like everyone says it's the final IQ that counts, and in my personal opinion there isn't a big difference.

Try again Bob, the pic's should be there.

01-26-2008, 12:12 AM   #5
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I hope there's just something wrong with my ability to comprehend the advantages of 14mp over 6mp. Otherwise, you just cured my ***** envy.
01-26-2008, 01:05 AM   #6
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I think that it just proves that the glass makes more of a difference than the camera.

I could have cheated using a premium lens on one camera.

If the weather is decent tomorrow I'll shoot some landscapes, with both the 50mm f2 lens, and then go all out.
Vivitar 28mm f2.8 vs Sigma 24 - 70 f2.8.
No holds barred, full processing allowed.
01-26-2008, 01:29 AM   #7
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I thought the Sigma wasn't a true 14 MP. It has some kind of sub-pixels to broaden the DR, which shows in your examples, but the actual file is only 7 or something like that. I looked into that camera when it came out but can't remember where I read the specs from. Since you have one please correct me if I'm wrong.

Found a great article on Wikipedia. Very enlightening. Foveon X3 sensor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Last edited by davemdsn; 01-26-2008 at 01:40 AM. Reason: new research
01-26-2008, 02:02 AM   #8
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That depends upon how you look at it Dave,
The Sigma basically layers three different 4.66 pixel colour sensors together, instead of the traditional 14mp sensor. Which has 1 sensor, but all three colors have to share it.


Sigma claimes it to be 14mp, so that's good enough for me.

The JPG size on high resolution is 4608 pixels x 3072 pixels, compared to the Pentax K100D's 3008 pixels x 2000 pixels.
01-26-2008, 02:06 AM   #9
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Interesting comparison Stu. Doesn't seem much difference in the IQ; main difference seems to be the way the cameras have handled brightness/exposure. I found similar IQ between my K10D and the K100D Super that I recently purchased for my daughter. From what I've read elsewhere the only time you're likely to notice any significant difference in IQ is if you print bigger than A4.

I don't fully understand the process of making panos yet but as your recent excellent pano was a stitch of many photos what would you say the equivalent print size of each separate contributing photo was when you printed? Not sure if you can see what I'm geting at here; it's difficult to put into words. I'm interested to know what print size you feel you've been able to go up to with a 6MP shot and preserve IQ?

Paul
01-26-2008, 02:24 AM   #10
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I often print 10" x 15" pic's from my K100, and they appear the same quality as an 8x12.
However I do notice a slight drop in 12 x 18.

This could be due to the printer. The 10" printer is 300 dpi, vs 180 dpi of the other printer.

From what I can tell pano's really depend upon the finished size.
That large pano I printed off was 3000 pixels high, so we were pushing the quality by making it 20" high.
There was a little manipulation involved, stretching the image size and sharpening it to ensure the final results.
01-26-2008, 03:47 AM   #11
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I enlarged both of the 'pixel peeper' pictures to 500% in Photoshop and the 14 MP image definitely has better detail. However, barring the necessity of making huge posters, the 6 MP would make fine images.

My decision to buy a K10D last fall was for features on the new camera first. The need for 10 MP pictures was down the list. I don't produce posters of my images.

I overheard two guys at work recently. One asked the other, "What do I need to look for when I buy a digital camera?" The other replied, "The more mega-pixels - the better. That's all you need to know!" I sighed (to myself) and since I was not part of the conversation decided not to interfere.
01-26-2008, 04:27 AM   #12
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There are some slight differences to 10 and 14 MP but those differences are only in print. I doubt you will ever see any major differences on the computer screen unless of course the difference is in the monitor. Since not many of us print poster size prints I doubt anyone would notice. I have done comparisons on 10 and 6 mp from prints and with many variables thought out (difference of paper used, type of ink, and the printer, and a few others) the 10 mp K10D is definitely the winner at 300dpi of prints above 14x20. But for regular prints of 4x6 You can't really tell. the truth be told It is more the photographer and the pressmen that notice, not the customer or ordinary person looking at the print will be able to Tell. Whens the last time you heard someone standing in front of a print saying I think if he would have used a 14mp camera the picture would have been better?

Each person needs to figure out what they need in a camera. You all know as well as I do that the guy saying get as many MIPS as you can is not a photographer but some guy who gives advice and speaks from the lower posterior. Not a person who knows anything about photography. Good case in point Most people are driven by what is the most (most mp, most money, and most people buying nameplates not cameras.) for all that matters to these gentlemen a 2 or 3 mp camera could be sold to them and they would never know the difference.
01-26-2008, 07:30 AM   #13
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Sorry to be a bit of a downer, but there is no way to compare image quality between two shots with such different exposures. Colour, noise, highlight/shadow detail...almost every part of image rendering is defined by the exposure. Pixel peeping will only help you count the number of pixels in these images :P

I'd be interested in the comparison but I think it needs to be done under more controlled conditions, probably without a flash.
01-26-2008, 07:38 AM   #14
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Hey Little Laker - How do you like the Bogen 3047 tilt/pan head?
01-26-2008, 07:58 AM   #15
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In my mind the real advantage of a sensor > 6 megapixels is the ability to crop part of the frame and still print a decent enlargement from it. I'm not talking poster size, I'm talking blowing up 25-35% of the frame to 8x12 without it looking like a paint-by-number painting.
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