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01-19-2014, 04:06 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Comparison Q/Q7 with 01/02/03/04/05/06/07 at base ISO

Decided to do a little pixel peeping today, and so did a comparison between my new Q7, my trusted Q and all lenses I own - 01 through 07.
I just wanted to know how differently they performed on my bodies.

Please take the results with a grain of salt - the comparison was made to satisfy my curiosity, not to do a absolutely perfect study.

First of all: I won't rule out focusing errors, even if I tried to be as precise as possible.
I used AF with the AF lenses on a well lit spot with ample contrast (both cameras focused very quickly on that manually selected spot).
MF was used on the others with focus peaking and maximum focus assist. But I may have made errors especially in the MF department.

Second important thing to know: I tried to capture my little comparison setup - this one, BTW:



- as full in the frame as possible.
That meant moving the tripod between each shot, even if I used the same lenses on the Q/Q7 - because the same lenses give a different FOV on the two bodies.
And that of course means that I shot more or less the same frame with each lens and each body, but each time from a different POV.

For the shots with the 03 I moved the tripod right up to the setup table - it wasn't close enough for the whole scene shot with the Q, and even less so with the Q7.
So the slightly smaller size of the Q7 samples of the 03 has to be considered.

Shots were taken with IR remote, SR off, Av mode.

For the lenses without fixed aperture and variable focal length these settings were used
  • the 01 was set to f2.8
  • the 02 to f4.0 and at its widest setting (5mm).
  • the 06 at f4.0 and at around 24 mm (couldn't get the lens further away for a longer focal length - room was to small).

I focused all lenses - save the 07, which can't be focused - on the center of the DVD box visible at the right of the setup (the patch in violet with white letters and a brown frame).

PP:
  • RAWs were imported in Lightroom 5.3.
  • WB was set for each sample on the same white patch in the lower right of the setup.
  • Lens correction profiles were applied for 01, 02 and 06 lenses.
  • CA correction was applied to all lenses. Nothing else was done.
  • Finally screenshots were taken within LR showing 1:1 crops.

For this first comparison at base ISO (100 for Q7, 125 for Q) I chose two different 1:1 crops:
  1. First shows some 2D-objects located just below the focus point on the right and should be in perfect focus - check out the small print at the lower right corner.
  2. The second one shows some 3D-objects of the center part of the setup. Both crops are taken from the lower third of the setup and aim to show some "center to edge" sharpness.

To be a bit fairer to the 07 lens (that is sharp at the center only) I did extra shots with it somewhat nearer to the whole setup and chose additional different 1:1 crops for those.

Let's have a look (I'd recommend that you view this comparison pic at 100%):



My conclusions (feel free to draw your own):
  • The Q7 renders sharper pictures with decidedly more contrast with most lenses.
  • It's a close call with the 03 (left crop looks sharper on the Q7, right crop on the Q IMO), but remember that rendering size is a bit different here.
  • It's a draw IMO with the 05 - but I think this one suffers the most from diffraction with it's f8.0 fixed lens.
  • The clarity of the Q7 with the 01 and 02 compared to the Q is quite astounding. Almost as if the Q7 has no AA filter, and the Q has one.
    And sure enough you'll find moiré at the 01/02 pics taken with the Q7 - look at the white apron of the granny on the right.
    There is a hint of moiré also in the Q/01 sample though, if you look closely.
  • The 06 also exhibits excellent sharpness if you look at the left crop (again look at the fine print at the lower right of this crop);
    at the right crop it did not perform as sharp as the 01/02 - probably a result of the smaller DOF you get at 24mm.
  • The 03, 04, 05 perform not stellar, but good enough - especially the 04 shows some nice detail.
    For the 03 also the left crop is the better one for comparison of sharpness.
  • For the 07 don't concentrate on the last pair of crops (edge performance is not the main goal of that lens design ...),
    but go the extra pair at the end of the pic - this is a nice comparison showing that there indeed is some center sharpness to be gotten from the cap lens!
As I said: Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

If I find the time I'll also do a high ISO comparison in the coming days.

Phil

01-19-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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Thanks for the post great info, I find that I have to add more contrast to my Q shots than my other cameras. Looks like adding a little contrast to your Q shots would help it compete with the Q7, I am still on the fence upgrading as I have a new K30 to play with. But I find myself carrying my Q more than the K30, still waiting for that price drop.
01-19-2014, 04:55 PM   #3
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dedicated!

thanks for taking the time to go through this and post it up for us to share

unfortunately it makes me realise I do "NEED" to upgrade to a Q7, now all i need is some spare $$$
01-19-2014, 08:28 PM   #4
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You do need? That test tells me that for quick image snaps, the original q is a total bargain. I dont see how that slight edge in quality is going to make anyone's photos look any better.

01-19-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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Any increase is IQ is a need for me :P
01-19-2014, 11:03 PM   #6
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Shoot film then :P
01-20-2014, 01:26 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
You do need? That test tells me that for quick image snaps, the original q is a total bargain. I dont see how that slight edge in quality is going to make anyone's photos look any better.
Yes and no. For quick snaps and small prints or web publishing I completely agree.
And to be honest that's what a lot Q's will be used for.

But for larger prints or crops I'm pretty sure that the difference will show. The output of the Q7 is simply cleaner.

Here another, larger comparison between Q7/01 (on the left this time) and Q/01 at base ISO which illustrates what I mean:



Next thing is that base ISO often isn't an option for everyday shooting, even or especially for quick snaps.
Better high ISO was the main reason I bought the Q7, not better quality at base ISO. And at higher ISOs the Q7 is an improvement as expected IMO.

As I said I'll see if I can do a more comprehensive comparison in the coming days, but here a sneak preview of that - a comparison of Q7 (on the left again) and Q with 01 at ISO 1600.
This time the 1:1 crop is taken from the left half of the setup - the dry flowers in the blue vase:



You can see that detail is much better with the dry flowers. Again I think this will show in larger prints or crops.

The Q7 doesn't trash the Q at all, but it might have just the tiny amount of better quality that makes it the more versatile one in some situations.

Phil
02-25-2014, 03:44 AM   #8
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:P Lovely poses by the way

02-25-2014, 06:25 AM   #9
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Great comparisons Phil. You put in a lot of hard work on this. Love all the info these tests provide. Now I want a Q7 to pair with the Q. By the time I get one, the Q7 replacement will probably be out. Sigh.
thanks for all the hard work
barondla
03-04-2014, 12:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Great comparisons Phil. You put in a lot of hard work on this. Love all the info these tests provide. Now I want a Q7 to pair with the Q. By the time I get one, the Q7 replacement will probably be out. Sigh.
thanks for all the hard work
barondla
Thanks for your comment I noticed only just now. If you & others found it useful than the time for this was well spent! :-)

Phil
03-04-2014, 09:37 AM   #11
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there is definitely a difference. Thanks for the comparison! The question is, is it enough to pay hundreds of dollars for an upgrade? The q7 is quite expensive.
03-04-2014, 01:16 PM   #12
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I agree with the results as I find the Q7 sensor output is much more to my liking. For me the main comparisons are with the 01, 02 and 06 lenses (don't have 08) as the are the sharpest.

Dale
03-04-2014, 03:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flinn Quote
there is definitely a difference. Thanks for the comparison! The question is, is it enough to pay hundreds of dollars for an upgrade? The q7 is quite expensive.
Well, that question is hard to answer. Since I didn't have the 02 and it came with my Q7, the body wasn't that expensive after all. And one thing I personally like is the wider angle the 02 and 01 have on the Q7. But YMMV here, of course.

At base ISO the sharpness of the Q can be brought to almost the same level as the Q7 with some capture sharpening (we're talking RAW capture here). At higher ISOs the noise makes this more difficult - here the Q7 has real advantages. Here some samples to illustrate that:


That said I particularly like the ease of PP with the Q7 RAWs at lower ISOs, since they are tack sharp to begin with - no need to do any capture sharpening with them.

---------- Post added 03-04-2014 at 11:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DDoram Quote
I agree with the results as I find the Q7 sensor output is much more to my liking. For me the main comparisons are with the 01, 02 and 06 lenses (don't have 08) as the are the sharpest.

Dale
Second that!
03-11-2014, 08:27 AM   #14
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Thanks for this! Very helpful!
03-11-2014, 10:36 AM   #15
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Thank you for this very interesting and extensive test. I guess it took you several hours !

Your test confirms my feelings when using Q and Q7. The Q pictures are nice and can be improved in post-processing. But Q7 directly creates sharp and contrasty pictures with moderate noise, even at 1600 ISO.

I remember a time when my K10D at 1600 ISO could not even dream of such a performance !
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