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10-07-2011, 10:41 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K-x Versus Q Versus Lumix TS3

The full comparison shots aren't put together yet, but here is another sample between these 3 cameras in normal light. The full comparison will be between the K-x, Q, Lumix TS3, Canon SD780IS, and Canon SD200. I have all the photos cropped, just need to put them together this weekend.

Here is a re-sized version of the Q shot of the original photo.

Attachment 105494


K-x:
Aperture: 7.1
Focal Length: 31-32mm focal length
ISO: 200

Note: Using 18*55mm kit lens. I used my FA 50/1.4 but couldn't get the FOV close enough. The sharpness of the pictures didn't change between the lens so I used the kit lens perspective. Aperture of 7.1 was used because using my calculations that should be the equivalent depth of field for the Q's 1.9 aperture and focal length.

Q:
Aperture: 1.9
Focal Length: 8.5mm focal length
ISO: 125
NOTE: Please ignore the color quality, I adjusted the balance in PP to match the other photos color a bit. The shot was originally shot in AWB mode.

TS3:
Aperture: 4.3
Focal Length: 7.8mm focal length
ISO: 100

Note: Had to zoom in a bit hence the longer focal length to get correct perspective.



HERE IS THE FULL SIZED Comparison shot
( From Camera's JPEG ) : Focal point was the Bears Nose for all shots

http://theeccentricapprentice.com/download/PQTComparison.jpg



Here is the Q image pulled from RAW with some adjustments I made. I think this version looks the best. I have the RAW from the K-x and Q only available. Comparing RAW to RAW form both cameras, they seem to be about equal with maybe a slight edge to the Q.


Pentax Q From RAW Crop
Attachment 105505

Pentax K-X From RAW Crop
Attachment 105506


Last edited by knightzerox; 09-10-2014 at 08:48 PM.
10-07-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. I can barely see any differences to say which one is better. Was the f4.3 the widest aperture on that focal length on TS3?

How about some high ISO comparisons?

Last edited by waqas; 10-07-2011 at 09:21 PM. Reason: typo
10-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing!
What do you think about the AWB in Q compares to K-x's?
10-07-2011, 10:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by waqas Quote
Thanks for sharing. I can barely see any differences to say which one is better. Was the f4.3 the widest aperture on that focal length on TS3?

How about some high ISO comparisons?
Hi, sure no problem. Hope the images help. The widest is actually 3.2 for the TS3. I had to slightly zoom in from the tripod to get the same perspective or close to it. Doing so made the TS3 depth of field larger which should make the image slightly sharper. The Q would have had to have been at f/4.6 to match the same depth of field while K-x would have been at f/17. In essence the TS3 had a slight advantage to creating a sharper image but I don't think it was that much.

I have the higher ISO shots but just haven't compiled them yet. Maybe by tomorrow or Sunday and then I will post them.

10-07-2011, 10:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by suncrimson Quote
Thanks for sharing!
What do you think about the AWB in Q compares to K-x's?
Sure you're welcome! I'm not sure yet, I find that the AWB is better then the K-x except in indoor lighting? I'm kind of split halfway but in general the AWB on the Q has been very good. I'd like to do more test on the AWB on both to be sure but my K-x usually did ok , but I would generally have to either manually set the WB or specify a type for it to be correct. For the Q, i've barely every touched the WB button the entire time using it if that's worth anything.
10-08-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
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Comparison put together and my thoughts

Ok finally here is the comparison photos of the camera's compared.

https://rapidshare.com/files/2915428195/FinalComparisonMerged.jpg

***I've included a Q version of photos with a -2/3 EV value because i realized the K-x was reading about -2/3 lower then the other cameras.

First, the result show that in low-light conditions, the K-x has better detail and IQ. The Q's IQ is good but not comparable in JPEG. In RAW the Q gets closer but is still behind the K-x.


K-x vs. Q in good lighting

I've been playing with the Q and comparing it with the K-x a lot over the last few days and a few things came up. One, the K-x and Q in good lighting both produce very good IQ but the Q tends to produce sharper images. In day to day use, the Q has clearer and sharper images even with the K-x aperture adjusted to give same depth of field. I thought there might be a focus issue with the K-x but it is focusing correctly as far as I can tell. Manual focusing didn't make a difference either.


Obviously the K-x is the better camera and the other P&S are just as good as the Q right?

Nope not really. I knew for a few days that there was something I was missing that was accounting for the difference and I finally remembered what it was. Shutter speed and getting a correct exposure. All camera's were matched to produce the same exposure throughout all ISO's. the K-x was set to 7.1 aperture to match depth of field while the other 3 compacts were set to their lowest aperture, which gave them a slight advantage.

The Panasonic at ISO 100 needed a shutter speed of 1/3 to produce it's best image. The K-x at ISO 200 needed 1/3 as well. The only needed 1/15 at ISO 125. That's about 2 1/4 EV stop difference I think! This pattern continues down for all the cameras with each stop increase in ISO the shutter time halves. By ISO 6400 the K-x needs a shutter time of 1/100 of a second and the Q can shoot as fast as 1/800. The key is that in low-light and any light really, the Q is much more sensitive then the other cameras. This is a huge advantage and I think it's because of the backlit CMOS sensor.

The K-x can produce wonderful and great shots IF you can hold the camera steady enough or use a tripod due to longer shutter times needed at low ISO's. The Q can STAY at lower ISO's in the same amount of light which helps make the image quality much better. I can keep the Q at ISO200 where the K-x or other cameras may need to be at ISO400 or 800 to keep the same shutter speed. This makes the Q great for low-light photography when the camera is hand-held which is most often the case. I just used the Q last night at a bar and was able to get a shot at ISO3200 handheld that I never would have gotten with any of the other cameras in the low light without motion blur.

Here is the photo: ISO800 at 1/13 ( the lowest speed I thought I could go handheld ). Exported from Raw from aperture 3 so ignore the big extra line of data, that's because it came from a RAW file. If you open the RAW in a a RAW editor you don't get that obviously.

Attachment 105588


Conclusion

Overall I'm very happy with the Q. It's designed very well, made well, and is geared toward photographers and having all the capabilities of an SLR in usability and function in a small package. It won't compete with with current generation DSLR's but it's very good for what it is and close enough to be a full replacement for my K-x in most situations. I'll still be using my K-x ( or the K-3 when it comes out ) when I need the highest IQ or shallow depth of field. Otherwise, the Q wins as it seems to be taking consistently sharper images and because of the back-lit sensor which is keeping the Q at a lower ISO and allowing me to get handheld shots in low-light I would not have been able to get.
If anyone wants to see the originals of any of the photos let me know. Thanks.

Last edited by knightzerox; 09-10-2014 at 08:48 PM.
10-08-2011, 08:23 PM   #7
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Interesting results! Thank you for your effort in compiling it all! So the sensor is more like ISO 166 when it says its ISO 100. Initially I had rejected the Q when they released the specs (1/2.33" sensor) with no high ISO samples but I'm glad to see the real world shots!
10-08-2011, 09:19 PM   #8
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Thanks for doing this comparison.

Here are my observations:

Bear images

- The Q seems to have the least noise if we look in the background, in the upper left corner. TS3 has the most noise in that area.
- The Q seems to have some faint PF - it is most evident on the underside of the bear's arm. The TS3 looks cleaner.
- The K-x seems to have the better color rendition - the nose is brown as I expect it is in reality. The Q and TS3 seem to have some white balance problem and have a bluish tint
- Differences are otherwise not great. I expect the TS3 and Q have stronger sharpening by default than the K-x.
- I'd rank K-x > TS3 > Q for this test.

Flower images

- The Q JPG output seems better than the RAW. In the RAW version I see a bit of CA/blooming on the white flowers which doesn't show in the JPG. I assume this is due to some default correction that you did not apply to the RAW.
- The noise difference between RAW and JPG is also very interesting - it looks like the Pentax NR algorithm does a really good job at removing the noise. The 6400 RAW looks horrible, but the JPG counterpart is nicely cleaned up.
- WB is off on the TS3 in this test. There are also some focusing differences that need to be kept in mind when comparing sharpness and detail. The TS3 shots are focused behind where the Q shots are focused. With these in mind, I cannot say I see big differences between the Q and the TS3 until 1600 when the Q looks clearly better. At 3200 and especially 6400, there is heavy detail loss on the Q due to the noise.
- Looking at Q vs K-x, I'd say the Q looks good up to ISO 800 when the Q starts losing detail. At 6400, the detail retained by the K-x is still pretty good. Even at lower ISO, the K-x captures more texture detail, but that won't be noticeable at full size.
- Overall, K-x > Q > TS3, but the TS3 holds its own very well against the Q up to ISO 800

The Q is good, but it looks to me like most of the high ISO performance comes from smart NR algorithms - the differences between JPG and RAW are very interesting. I was surprised how close the output of the TS3 and Q are up to ISO 800 - I expected to see a big difference earlier than 1600. And both cameras are looking decent against the K-x at low ISO.

10-09-2011, 08:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Thanks for doing this comparison.


- The Q seems to have some faint PF - it is most evident on the underside of the bear's arm. The TS3 looks cleaner.

Flower images

- The Q JPG output seems better than the RAW. In the RAW version I see a bit of CA/blooming on the white flowers which doesn't show in the JPG. I assume this is due to some default correction that you did not apply to the RAW.
Hi, I see the PF you mentioned in the bear images and went back this morning to try and replicate the effect. I wasn't able to get the PF effect that you saw again. Not sure if my adjustments in Photoshop with the color may have created that effect. I don't have the RAW of that file to compare back too but I didn't see it again in newer images that I took.

None of the RAW files from the crop were modified in anyway and I don't have the lens correction/etc. file for the Pentax Q yet to adjust those. It's possible that this is why it showed up in the RAW.


I went back and did some tests again. This time the same flowers but in daylight. My tests showed something interesting with the Q doing very well. I'll compose the comparison shots later this week but here is what I found:

TS3 vs Q:

At ISO 100 for the TS3 and ISO 125 for the Q, the TS3 clearly wins due to a sharper picture and a bit more detail showing. At ISO 200 they both look the same. From there, the Q retains the detail and IQ throughout the rest of the ISO ranges very clearly beating the TS3.

One thing to note is that if you compare the RAW version of the ISO125 Q shot, it is very clearly superior to the TS3 shot. Not sure why but the JPEG engine ends up losing a lot of detail in that image for some reason.

K-x vs Q:

When comparing JPEG's, the K-x wins every time. However, when comparing Q RAW's to K-x JPEG's the Q is equal to or a hair better then the K-x in IQ. That's pretty good and shows if you keep the Q in RAW you can get very good IQ from the camera. Of course once you compare the K-x's RAW the Q is behind again a bit.

I'm happy with the results as it shows the Q can provide very good quality in RAW mode and good JPEG's. Plus with the Q being 2-3 stops more sensitive it adds to more real world IQ results. This is my personal opinion only, but I would tend to find more useful the higher light sensitivity then the IQ detail. If I can't take the shot because of long shutter speeds, then it won't matter that HAD I got the shot, it would be really good quality.

All in all I'm finding the Q to be a really good backup camera to the K-x or as a replacement when I don't want to carry a large SLR and many lenses. Thanks.
10-09-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote
However, when comparing Q RAW's to K-x JPEG's the Q is equal to or a hair better then the K-x in IQ.
That may have something to do with how you process the RAW files. My impression is that the K-x may seem to lack some punch but it does capture better detail and texture than the Q.

I find the TS3 to be quite good up to ISO 400 and that is good enough for most of my uses:

TS3@ISO 400:


I expect the Q will look significantly better in out of focus areas, where noise usually shows up first. The bear shot showed a bit of that.

Will wait to see your latest comparison.
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