Originally posted by creampuff isaacc7, sorry but I can't for the life of me understand what the bezeesus you're talking about? Especially when you go on and on about supposed issues about noise. Theoretical ramblings don't add clarity especially when not backed up by evidence.

Agree there. It's just pure speculation. The argument that the lowest 2 bits on 14 bit cameras are just noise doesn't really hold water also, IMO. Who is to say the lowest 2 bits on 12 bit cameras aren't also mostly noise that should be cut off ? I think we can look at available test data on existing cameras such as DXomark

To refer just to the 2 cameras I own currently :

The K-r, a 12-bit camera, has 22.9 of effective color depth, vs the theoretical 36 bits (3x12).

DxOMark - Pentax K-r
The T3i, a 14-bit camera, has 22.1 bits of effective color depth, vs the theoretical 42 bits (3x14).

DxOMark - Canon EOS Rebel T3i, EOS 600D
So here we have a 12-bit camera with more effective dynamic range than a 14-bit camera.

For good measure, here are the K-5 results :

DxOMark - Pentax K-5
Effective color depth is 23.7 bits for the K-5 vs the theoretical 42 (3x14) bits .

DxOMark - Pentax K 01
Surprise - the "12-bit" K-01 comes in at 23.7 bits effective color depth, vs the theoretical 36 (3x12) bits.

Sure, I will look at the K-30 results when it comes out, but I don't think it will matter that much.

I'm much more interested in the ISO performance for one thing.