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03-27-2012, 04:30 AM   #1
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Q v K100D ?

I've been looking at the Q for some time now and find little to disappoint. My idea is that the Q could cover the vast majority of my digital (everyday walkaround/travel) needs, and I have my film cameras for ultimate quality (medium and large format, tripod based landscape/architectural stuff).

At the moment I use a K100D, which whilst ageing is still very capable when used carefully. Does anyone here have experience of both Q and K100D to compare performance in photographic terms (especially 18-55 v 5-15)?

I'm not interested in DxO or MTF technical arguments - just real world use.

Thanks.

03-27-2012, 04:59 AM   #2
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For me the small sensor size of Q makes it no-go. The DOF of Q is practically infinite while DOF of K100D with its way larger sensor is a valuable tool.
03-27-2012, 05:00 AM   #3
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I don't have a real answer for you, but I would suspect the K100D would be better just because of sensor size. It's an older camera, but still a very good one. I would love to have a Q, though. :-)
03-27-2012, 05:12 AM   #4
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I have the older Ist* DS. Think it is the same Sony 6mp sensor. The Q 8.5 #01 kit lens is sharper than the 18-55 kit lens- by a lot. The Q zoom is very good too. These are not your normal medium quality kit lenses. The Q wins here.

The Q matches or slightly beats the 10 mp K10D at high ISO. Always felt the 6mp cameras had a nicer look at high ISO. The Q is one of the best cameras I have used at keeping the colors at high ISO. It beats the 6mp camera at this. The Q also has more even sized and shaped grain- which I like. Calls less attention to it self.

At low ISO the Q will pretty much hold it's own. It will look better right out of camera- K100 will probably need a little bit of custom settings in menu and\or more adjustment in post processing. Older cameras look flat and gray compared to newer ones.

In most situations the Q kit will match or beat the image quality of the K100D. There are times when the bigger sensor adds a slightly better/ different look. Very hard to explain. Think the bigger sensor sometimes does a better job with subtle shifts in dynamic range. The small shifts in contrast can be a little more fluid. This is very subtle and hard to explain. Of course the Q will not be able to throw the background out of focus quickly like the big camera. The Q shoots a native 4/3 aspect ratio image vs the longer 100D image.

Don't think the Q will disapoint you. It is a wonderful camera. Hope this helps.
thanks
barondla

03-27-2012, 05:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
In most situations the Q kit will match or beat the image quality of the K100D.
OK... Now I really want a Q!
03-27-2012, 06:04 AM   #6
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I have a K200D and the Q

Havent shot much with the Q yet, but its mostly comparable to the K200D in IQ. DR is the only area I feel its not quite as good. Noise wise its about the same, except that the old K200D only goes upto ISO 1600, where the Q goes to 6400.

The DOF is bigger, but you can still get OOF happening, especially with the 01 prime, which as said is super sharp. Havent used the zoom much yet, but will post some results over the next few weeks.
03-27-2012, 07:30 AM   #7
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Some of you are letting your heart run away with your head. If you look at DXOMark, you will see that the K10D, K200D and K100D (not tested, substitute Nikon D40, same sensor) all have about 1.5 stops superior performance at high ISO. Dynamic range is within .5 Ev at base ISO, at higher ISO's the larger cameras do better. Colour sensitivity and tonal range are considerably better for the larger sensored cameras.

I used a K100D Super for a couple of years and passed it on to my wife. It takes amazing looking photos, but resolution is limited for cropping and very large prints. I only used a Q in a store but I've looked at many samples, and they often remind me that the Q is a compact. I am seriously attracted by the cute little Q too, but let's keep it real. A sensor that small does entail compromises in IQ.

Zou, whether you are interested in DXO results or not, it's a fact that they objectively measure certain parameters that make up IQ. Owners of gear add useful info, but when their views on DR, colour reproduction and ISO performance differ markedly from DXO, you have to question objectivity.

Last edited by audiobomber; 03-27-2012 at 07:41 AM.
03-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
Zou
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
I have the older Ist* DS. Think it is the same Sony 6mp sensor. The Q 8.5 #01 kit lens is sharper than the 18-55 kit lens- by a lot. The Q zoom is very good too. These are not your normal medium quality kit lenses. The Q wins here.

The Q matches or slightly beats the 10 mp K10D at high ISO. Always felt the 6mp cameras had a nicer look at high ISO. The Q is one of the best cameras I have used at keeping the colors at high ISO. It beats the 6mp camera at this. The Q also has more even sized and shaped grain- which I like. Calls less attention to it self.

At low ISO the Q will pretty much hold it's own. It will look better right out of camera- K100 will probably need a little bit of custom settings in menu and\or more adjustment in post processing. Older cameras look flat and gray compared to newer ones.

In most situations the Q kit will match or beat the image quality of the K100D. There are times when the bigger sensor adds a slightly better/ different look. Very hard to explain. Think the bigger sensor sometimes does a better job with subtle shifts in dynamic range. The small shifts in contrast can be a little more fluid. This is very subtle and hard to explain. Of course the Q will not be able to throw the background out of focus quickly like the big camera. The Q shoots a native 4/3 aspect ratio image vs the longer 100D image.

Don't think the Q will disapoint you. It is a wonderful camera. Hope this helps.
thanks
barondla
That's a very very helpful response, thank you.

I'm fully aware of the effect on DoF that a smaller sensor gives. I will be keeping the K100D (and my 35mm SLRs) for narrow DoF work. Again I know I can't expect such a small sensor to reproduce slight colour and contrast differences, but it is good to hear in your reply as it shows you are being objective and not just gushing about the Q . As regards sensor aspect ratio, I much prefer 4:3 to 3:2 so that's not a problem for me at all.

I have often thought that my Nikon Coolpix is mostly sufficient (in terms of IQ) for my digital needs - pictures here to illustrate the type of images I would be shooting. I know how to get the best out of it but even so would appreciate the manual controls available with the Q. Where it lacks is in the lens and noise, both areas where the Q is streets ahead. I would typically shoot between ISO100 and 400, going up to 800 in extreme circumstances with the Coolpix or 1600 on the K100D. I don't expect the Q to beat K100D at 1600, but I would expect it to be usable. The high ISO test shots I took in a store before Christmas seem to indicate ISO2500 is nearly usable for me. I went back yesterday to try side by side through the full ISO range but they no longer stock the Q .

Good to hear about the kit lens quality. As a concept I'd prefer a Q with tiny primes but I think the twin lens kit (supplemented with a fisheye and the forthcoming tele-zoom) would be ideal for my purposes. I thoroughly enjoyed the Q when I tried it in-store; it is probably the most fun digital camera I have ever used. You can't put a price on that really.

03-27-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Zou, whether you are interested in DXO results or not, it's a fact that they objectively measure certain parameters that make up IQ. Owners of gear add useful info, but when their views on DR, colour reproduction and ISO performance differ markedly from DXO, you have to question objectivity.
I appreciate your intention, but in a visual media such as photography numerical data is moot. Consider film - film 'a' may have higher resolution and smaller grain than film 'b', but that doesn't mean pictures taken with 'b' are 'worse' than 'a'.

Fact is, you can take decent pictures with any camera. What matters is how they make you feel.

I don't expect the Q to be 'better' than the K100D, but I'd like a good idea of how and where it differs in the way it renders an image. That's the kind of info I need from first hand users, not lab testers.
03-27-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Zou, the film mention brings up a few points. Remember how the mags would always compare film grain between Fuji and Koak? Even if both films were judged to have the same amount of grain they didn't look the same. Testing has some subjective areas. In lines per millimeter resolution tests, someone has to decide when lines are resolved.

The Q also has some features that can sometimes push performance further. The highlight shadow control can extend dynamic range. Going even further the Q has a builtin HDR mode that takes three shots, aligns them, and merges into one image. It also allows multiple exposures. With Q on tripod, shooting still subject, it can take 9 images and combine to one. This reduces noise considerably since noise is random in each shot and the subject is the same. Famous photographer Ctein shots an Olympus Pen in Raw + jpeg. He lets the camera do its noise reduction on the jpeg and uses different noise reduction for the Raw. Then combines them in post. I now shoot the Q that way in high ISO. Can't wait to try it.

At times the Q will be slower to shoot to get the same results as a DSLR. The contols are much faster to use than any point & shoot camera I have tried. It is defietly one of the most fun cameras to use. Can't imagine being without mine. The only camera that has more shots on it since the Q,'s arrival is the K-7.


Still think you will love the Q!
barondla
03-27-2012, 01:17 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Hi Zou,

I pretty much specialize in birds and small critter macro, like to shoot casual events and candids, and have been shooting digital for over 10 years. I've been shooting Pentax DSLRs since the DS was new. I've shot the DS, K100D, K10D, K20D, K-7, and K-5, and was an early adopter of the Q. I am a confirmed amateur, and have never sold a pic, though I've had many requests. I have a number of prints that I donated to a local public nature center for display in their birding exhibits.

I shoot jpegs almost exclusively and post process the images, sometimes extensively. If you look at my posts, there are quite a few examples of what I like to shoot.

I am one who thinks that expecting image equivalence between vastly disparate format sizes is not very realistic, and I think from your original post, that you are not expecting this either. That being said, here are some "real life" observations:

With the excellent 6MP sensor in the DS and K100D, I usually limited my everyday shooting to ISO 800. With the K10, it was ISO 400, With the K20 and K-7, it was ISO 1000, and with the K-5 it's an astounding ISO 10000. With the Q it's 3200. It should be noted that NR software (I now use Topaz DeNoise) has improved dramatically, but I've found that going back and re applying PP to past images probably would not have changed my ISO ceiling much -- but I now get better final results from the old originals. I now primarily display on a 10.5" tablet instead of 8x10 prints, but PP the images and downsize to get reasonable resolution (more than 160 DPI) for 8x10 prints to display on the tablet.

The lower res sensors, (6MP especially, and even the 10MP K10) were much less forgiving in PP, but noticeably more detailed at the very finest level (feather barb level --less than 1mm) than the Q at low ISO at similar magnifications. At higher ISO, the Q retains colors to a significantly higher setting as the chroma noise is considerably better controlled. High ISO edge integrity is retained better with the Q as the noise is less destructive, but this can be misleading as high ISO noise reduction cannot be turned off completely with the Q (I'd prefer the option of turning it off completely). Personally, I'd rather shoot the Q in very low light (EV under +4 or so) than any of my DSLRs other than the K-5. The almost vibrationless (and quiet) leaf shutter in the Quality line lenses makes a significant difference at slower shutter speeds for me.

With the 5.5x "crop factor, the Q with my K mount lenses allows me to shoot in ways that are not possible with my DSLRs, so IQ equivalence is not possible. For example, with the Q and a 300mm lens, I can shoot a 4" bird from 20 feet and pretty much fill the frame. I can get the same 4" FOV with an APS-C DSLR, but I'd need to be @ 3.6x closer (the math might not be correct, but that's not the point). At 20 feet, the birds consider me irrelevant, at 6 feet, I would be much more than a significant threat. I could get a noticeably better image with the DSLR, but it would not really be a realistic shot to try for from a real-life standpoint. For macros, a 1:1 dedicated macro fills the frame with a 24mm subject at MFD, with the Q a 6mm subject fills the frame, at the same MFD, so there's essentially about a 4x difference in magnification at the same working distance. Increased working distance allows for more lighting options and less subject intimidation. Also, given the same lenses for both tele and macro, the Q reduces camera/lens weight by about 20 oz., which for handheld macro especially, is a significant benefit. Bottom line, the Q with a K to Q adapter expands my potential to get shots that I want dramatically with the gear that I already have. A significant plus is that I can shoot the Q the way I want to, and not have to work around control limitations imposed by the body or lens. It's a real camera. . .

If I want the very best IQ I can get for a given situation, I'll pick up one of my DSLRs. I've got a great DSLR in the K-5 and over 20 premium quality lenses for it. I'm used to carrying a DSLR and an assortment of lenses on a daily basis. Since getting the Q, I'm hard pressed to justify grabbing the K-5 bag, and much more likely to carry the Q, 01 prime, 02 zoom, 03 Fisheye, FA50/1.4, and the DA55-300 or D FA 100/2.8 Macro. I picked up a 3.3lb CF travel tripod and lightweight ballhead to go with it, along with a Leica Brightline 50 OVF to use with the 01 prime and also added a compact Metz 24 AF1 P-TTL bounceable flash. This really more than suffices for at least 50% of my shooting, and the whole kit is ridiculously easy to carry, even on an everyday basis, for a physically limited 62 YO.

In IQ, it's completely subjective as to whether the Q will work for you. The fact that it's close enough to consider is a significant positive for the BSI CMOS 12 MP sensor since it's 1/13 the size of APS-C. I think that you are evaluating this from a realistic standpoint, and with that in mind, I think that you'd be happy with the Q.

Scott
03-29-2012, 03:32 AM   #12
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Never used a Q (i just lurk these forums to convince myself to buy one) but the K100D is an excellent camera. It's image quality is very close to my K-r, when using the same lenses. But as I said never used a Q, don't know quite how sharp their lenses are, but I don't see how the Q could stand up to the K100D in image quality (except when it comes to high ISO which the k100d is not great at).
03-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cinders Quote
Never used a Q (i just lurk these forums to convince myself to buy one) but the K100D is an excellent camera. It's image quality is very close to my K-r, when using the same lenses. But as I said never used a Q, don't know quite how sharp their lenses are, but I don't see how the Q could stand up to the K100D in image quality (except when it comes to high ISO which the k100d is not great at).
I think its has something to do with technology, like it's getting better or something, I remember back in the day I used to carry these pancake music players that take these compact discs, now I can just use my cell phone to listen to music on the go... technology...
03-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cinders Quote
Never used a Q (i just lurk these forums to convince myself to buy one) but the K100D is an excellent camera. It's image quality is very close to my K-r, when using the same lenses. But as I said never used a Q, don't know quite how sharp their lenses are, but I don't see how the Q could stand up to the K100D in image quality (except when it comes to high ISO which the k100d is not great at).
I think the first 4 words of the above post needs to be remembered to keep the last sentence in context.
03-30-2012, 03:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
The lower res sensors, (6MP especially, and even the 10MP K10) were much less forgiving in PP, but noticeably more detailed at the very finest level (feather barb level --less than 1mm) than the Q at low ISO at similar magnifications. At higher ISO, the Q retains colors to a significantly higher setting as the chroma noise is considerably better controlled. High ISO edge integrity is retained better with the Q as the noise is less destructive, but this can be misleading as high ISO noise reduction cannot be turned off completely with the Q (I'd prefer the option of turning it off completely). Personally, I'd rather shoot the Q in very low light (EV under +4 or so) than any of my DSLRs other than the K-5. The almost vibrationless (and quiet) leaf shutter in the Quality line lenses makes a significant difference at slower shutter speeds for me.
Thanks for a very informative reply. When you say you limit the Q to ISO 3200 is that in good light to enable a faster shutter speed for birds/macro or is that in lower light?

Whilst I didn't initially mention it low-light performance is important to me in some ways. My Coolpix did well for me inTuscany except for inside churches/museums where colour, noise and shake all became issues even at ISO 800. I certainly see practical benefits to using the Q for this type of indoor shot. I don't see the Q as a silver bullet solution for this but the depth of field and lens quality even wide open suggests usable results may be achieved. An extra stop of light plus a stop or two of ISO performance could be very helpful. Also the K100D's shutter isn't the quietest!

Thanks again.
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