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09-03-2012, 07:19 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
It could be - but my understanding of the extra two bits was to store color information (which is why the k-5 is so fantastic when recovering shadow details, as the color reproduction is good when doing so).

But my other understanding was also that the extra two bits aren't always used, and that the k-30 performed practically similar in some of the DR tests (PF's own review, for one).

Not being an engineer I can't argue 12 vs 14. I read that it's possible with the right algorithms that a 12 could match a 14. Maybe that's why PF feels the K30 runs step in step with the K5.

Some info,
Now we are ready to consider how changing the values recorded in a raw file from having 12 bits to 14 bits might affect things. They can't provide for recording a wider range of colors or a greater dynamic range since these are a consequence of physical properties of the sensor itself. Rather, the extra bits provide for greater precision with which each photosite value turns into a recorded number in the raw file.
A binary number with 12 bits of precision can record a number with 4096 different possible values (2 to the 12th power). Jumping to 14 bits gives us 16,384 possible values, or four times as many as with 12 bits. Successively dividing these maximum values in half gives us this many values for each stop:
More info can be read here.
Are 14-bit Raw Images Really Any Better Than 12-bit Raw? - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light

Last edited by Riv; 09-03-2012 at 07:48 AM.
09-03-2012, 07:39 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Are there even people that have both cameras?
Hey, I resemble that remark! And the thing is, because I was in a hurry going into this Labor Day weekend, I grabbed my K200D when headed to the Lime Rock Historic Races weekend in Connecticut (vintage race cars from the 1930s through early 80s - I got to meet Stirling Moss!). The camera had fresh batteries and the 18-250 already attached. Image qualiy was fine but I ran up against the limits of the camera's auto-focus abilities and low-light performance. I love my K200D but I think my niece is about to get it very soon. I could get another K-5 to go with the one I have. Or I could order a K-30 body-only for $719 from I don't think I'm in the market for the K-5 replacement anytime soon due to expected price.
09-03-2012, 08:24 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Riv Quote
Not being an engineer I can't argue 12 vs 14. I read that it's possible with the right algorithms that a 12 could match a 14. Maybe that's why PF feels the K30 runs step in step with the K5.

Some info,

More info can be read here.
Are 14-bit Raw Images Really Any Better Than 12-bit Raw? - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light
Thanks for the clarification.
09-03-2012, 09:24 AM   #19
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Even with a 5 year old sensor you see the differnce, the one inside the K5 and K30 has a couple of stops more dynamic range so more benefit.

09-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #20
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I have both and, generally speaking, haven't seen much of a difference between the two in general use.

Here's what I wrote in the PF K-30 review (samples included):

Versus the K-5, the K-30 stands up well. The two produce virtually identical results throughout the ISO 100-25600 range when shooting RAW, with the K-30 maybe producing slightly less noise at the extreme far end. When shooting JPEG, the K-30's images look much better at high-ISO; we definitely prefer the K-30's output from ISO 6400 onward.
09-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
For the most part, neither is going to be terribly usable at 25,600 and above.
I was actually surprised at how much image quality is retained at 25,600 on the K-30. It requires some serious noise reduction and down-sampling, but you can actually end up with a nice looking image that's perfectly usable for the web or for a 4x6 print. Here's a shot I made at 25,600 and processed in Adobe Camera Raw 6.7 & Photoshop CS5 (click on image for a larger version):

And ISO 25,600 is even more useful if you process your shots into B&W, since the sensor noise does a decent job of resembling film grain. You can see my full K-30 ISO series at the following thread, including more examples of high-ISO post-processing results:
09-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #22

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For now, I'm more afraid to go past ISO 10,000. Partly due to my aversion to using heavy noise reduction and partly other reasons, but I agree that noise with the K-5, like the 30, is a more pleasing type to deal with. Check my signature for a concert I photographed the other day, under some of the worst conditions (red lights, darkness, smoke, motion). I did ok, but could have done better.
09-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #23

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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I did ok, but could have done better.
You seem to have done well enough.

Part of the problem with a lot of venues is not the lack of light, but the quality of light - especially the use of LED lighting. UnknownVT has a whole useful thread on it. I recently shot a lot of stage shots at 8000 ISO, 12800 ISO etc and fixing up the horrible looking colour in post was a bigger problem for me than any high ISO noise. On this issue the K-5 and K-30 will probably be on equal ground.

09-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #24

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Perhaps I should not have such an aversion to ISO12,800 with the K-5, though the noise does change in character around there and becomes tougher to manage in post.

The lighting is a nightmare. Red lighting makes me hate Bayer sensors.

The main problem I have is balancing out the shutter speeds for the fast moving musicians. Black metal is not easy because they're all moving so fast.

Not that it is really, truly usable, but I'm interested in seeing a K-30 pushed in post to 51,200 to compare against the K-5.
09-05-2012, 02:56 PM   #25
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Wow, Stirling Moss! Any photos?

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