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05-09-2012, 07:30 AM   #1
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K-01 vs K-5 14bit vs 12bit

I recently upgraded to a K-5 from a k20D and K-x, there is a noticeable increase in colour depth using the K-5 when compared to images from those bodies. As well, I've found very few blown highlights that can't be recovered on the K-5. It's created reduction in the number of pictures deleted for technical reasons, and allowed us to focus more on image content. I noticed on the K-01 specs that they've gone back to a 12 bit colour depth. I also read an article stating (though without presenting any photo evidence to back up the point), that going to 14 bits theoretically provided no technical advantage, according to his untested hypothesis anyway. I'm wondering if anyone has any observations re the 14 bit images from a k-5 vs. the 12 bit images from a K-01. Did Pentax improve colour rendition ( or maintain it) while moving back to 12 bit, or is 14 bit colour depth still the way to go for maximizing colour rendition?

I ask because we already need a second k-5. Now that she can get her hands on the K-5 the wife's K-x is being judged as not quite as good. I'm wondering if the K-01 would hold it's own as a second camera? Basicly for us, IQ is everything. We shoot with our best body, other bodies are back ups, or second shooter, there's no point in us getting a K-01 if the IQ isn't as good. Especially since there isn't that much difference in price.

Thanks for any input.


Last edited by normhead; 05-09-2012 at 07:36 AM.
05-09-2012, 07:47 AM   #2
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If I'm not mistaken I believe DxO tested the K-01's DR to be slightly less than that of the K-5.
05-09-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
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where the K-01 lost to the K5 was landscape DR and high iso. it measured the same on portrait(colour depth)

DxOMark - Compare cameras side by side

This says to me those extra 2 bits are worth more than a quarter

given the low price on the K5 right now norm i'd just grab a second (2 wr bodies is ideal for you in any case - the k-01 would save 180 grams though and i know that is also important to you)

Compare camera dimensions side by side
05-09-2012, 08:06 AM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
This says to me those extra 2 bits are worth more than a quarter
You ask for advice, you get a bunch of comedians....
Anyway, thanks for those bits of information you two, but still hoping for a comment from someone using both. To the two of us, there is a noticeable difference in colour rendition, the K-5 colours are richer, which we assume is the 14 bit thing. But the K-01 is a different and newer image processing engine. ANother thing we've noticed with the K-5 is we don't often use the whole DR available, our histogram often shows empty space at both ends, meaning a camera with less DR could do just as well in some situations if the colour rendition was equal.


Last edited by normhead; 05-09-2012 at 11:43 AM.
05-09-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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I think IQ is very similar between the two cameras -- not significant with regard to high iso or dynamic range. The differences in handling will be huge -- contrast versus phase detection auto focus, live view versus optical viewfinder, body style. I am not sure that I would be OK with the K-01 personally, not from an image quality standpoint, but more from a handling standpoint.
05-09-2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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Looking at those DxO scores (and remembering that they are not the whole story), I'd also echo the other commenters that what you really need is another K-5. The differences in IQ are probably slight, but the differences in focus speed, WR, and control layout (2 dials!) are enough to make the K-01 an also-ran.

The K-01 would make sense if you intend to do pro-level video or use a lot of MF glass (focus peaking), but otherwise go get a Silver K-5 so you can tell yours from hers.
05-09-2012, 08:35 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I hate the subject matter they use but imaging resource has fuill size samples up on both for comparison purposes

Imaging Resource "Comparometer"

It's a useful tool for apples to apples comparison (not sure how ell they relate to real life though. Real life I'm with panoguy in that the k5 has much better ergonomics and faster focus

Edit after looking at the house shot i think they missed focus with the K5 though it is soft across the frame
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