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08-16-2009, 03:14 PM   #16
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The question in my mind is not one of whether there are differences in cameras, but if there are meaningful differences in cameras. These days, there such an emphasis on the technical differences in cameras that fairly small, trivial differences get magnified.

If a 200 kilogram man loses half a kilogram, that may be a big deal to him, but I certainly can be forgiven if I don't notice it right off. If you can drop your cholesterol level by 2 points, you may be really excited, but your doctor probably will tell you to keep working on it. There are real differences that are not meaningful differences.

The biggest differences in modern DSLRs (not comparing full frame to APS-C) have to do with ergonomics, ease of use, build quality. Sure you can take bad photos with any one of them, but its hard not to take good photos if you use them correctly.

All of which comes back to the point, that I would have a hard time reviewing a camera too hard for small technical differences if I felt like the over all camera package pushed me to use my camera more and get better photos in the process.


Last edited by Rondec; 08-16-2009 at 04:44 PM.
08-16-2009, 06:12 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Using same sigma across the board is interesting concept however sigma has inconsistent quality control. Canon makes dozens of lenses, Nikon makes dozens of lenses.

I'd rather see reviews of cameras using Canon and Nikon's better glass, & best glass instead of the crappy kit lens. I never shoot jpg yet jpg is often used in camera tests.

Pentax makes better glass thesedays, why stick a sigma on the camera when you can sample some of pentax better glass with it and include that brand specific info in the article? Part of buying a camera for me is having access to the manufacturers better and best glass. And testing Nikon and Canon dslrs with Sigma lenses may get the reviewer no free cameras in the future to chat about.

I'll assume you know Sigma reverse engineers their mounts, Sigma are not an authorized manufacturer of Canon or Nikon lenses. I think of Sigma lenses as bootleg products.
I simply mean using a third party (sigma was just an example) lens so that you can use an identical lens on all bodies in a test, regardless of make and mount. Otherwise you're testing the lens as much as the body.
08-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #18
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Sigma doesn't have any worse QC than Pentax as far as I know...

Well, at least in later years. 10 years ago that might have been the case, maybe that's where these rumors of bad QC are coming from.
08-16-2009, 07:34 PM   #19
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I have three digital Sigma lens and they are all fantastic. The 10-20, the 28, and the 50 Macro. I'm about to purchase the 70mm macro at the end of the month. I really wanted to get the DA 70, but given that the Sigma 70 has a very good macro and is about $75 cheaper, I can't justify the extra expense on the DA 70. I have the 21 and the 40. They are great lenses. I will probably get the 15. And if the $800+ holds up for the Pentax 100mm Macro I saw on Adorama's site today, I would definitely get the Sigma 105. A friend of mine has that lens and it's fantastic.

I've been very pleased with the Sigma lenses I've bought. If they have quality control issues, it's not with the lenses I've purchased.

08-16-2009, 08:03 PM   #20
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You're lucky

I bought a bad $900 Sigma lens & returned it for a refund earlier this year. No biggie.

Then theres this enlightening story about sigma quality control by a guy who has handled dozens of new in the box sigmas:

LensRentals.com - The Sigma Saga



QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
I have three digital Sigma lens and they are all fantastic. The 10-20, the 28, and the 50 Macro. I'm about to purchase the 70mm macro at the end of the month. I really wanted to get the DA 70, but given that the Sigma 70 has a very good macro and is about $75 cheaper, I can't justify the extra expense on the DA 70. I have the 21 and the 40. They are great lenses. I will probably get the 15. And if the $800+ holds up for the Pentax 100mm Macro I saw on Adorama's site today, I would definitely get the Sigma 105. A friend of mine has that lens and it's fantastic.

I've been very pleased with the Sigma lenses I've bought. If they have quality control issues, it's not with the lenses I've purchased.
08-17-2009, 07:33 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pl Jensen Quote
Never heard about dawn or dusk wildlife photography. Where are such images published? Dusk is not popular time to wildlife photography and never heard about any wildlife photographer who do so at any significant extent. It is another of those armchair argument with little bearing on reality. The ones I've seen are shot with manual focus (film) cameras at low ISO with flash. 800ISO is plenty enogh for wildlife photography....
Perhaps for professionals. But believe me, I could have used decent ISO 1600 or 3200 on my most recent trip to Kenya. There were tons more opportunities at dawn and dusk because fewer animals were hiding and sleeping in the shade.

With regards to these magazines, I just think they go to show how close the abilities of these cameras are. In reality, they're all very good. But reviewers can't write that. Any minute difference in features or image quality in certain situations is going to be magnified and affect the score greatly.
08-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #22
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Maybe with some time there will be a new sensor in the K-7. Also, from what I have experienced recently, if you turn on NR to the lowest setting, the color grains at ISO 100 disappears (from a Fry's testing model).

And in my book, any magazine that gives the awesome FA macro lens a 65% isn't worth listening to.

Honestly, magazines should start testing in Raw/Jpeg. I didn't go buy a $400 camera and then shoot the same file format as a P+S... I am still waiting on DPreview's review.
08-17-2009, 09:10 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pl Jensen Quote
Never heard about dawn or dusk wildlife photography. Where are such images published? Dusk is not popular time to wildlife photography and never heard about any wildlife photographer who do so at any significant extent. It is another of those armchair argument with little bearing on reality. The ones I've seen are shot with manual focus (film) cameras at low ISO with flash. 800ISO is plenty enogh for wildlife photography....
Never been to Norway, but in both areas of the U.S. I've lived dawn and dusk are THE times to shoot wildlife. That is simply when they are out and about with a far higher frequency. Deer, bear, etc. are most often bedded down during the bright times of day.

All that being said, I'm not a wildlife photographer (usually) and I don't care about high ISO either.

08-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
Someone needs to come up with a real world camera function DB. That is, list out the most used 80% of camera functions (like ISO values, sharpening, using JPG etc) and test cameras against that. Making a recommendation based on ISO 1600 or 3200 is pointless. Most people mostly use ISO 800, and under, most of the time. It just goes to show the ignorance and arrogance of the reviewers. They have no idea how most people use the camera and try to feel smarter than the DSLR newb by going on about noise levels at high ISOs (which DSLT newbs have no idea about). I'm not saying that high ISO performance is irrelevant but certainly it should not be used as a choice criteria by most people.

mike
Newbs would most likely use auto ISO for simplicity of operation, and most likely camera will raise ISO to 1600 or even higher in ALL indoor situations.
I've seen it many times when my wife take my Pentax camera to photograph school events. Then she complains about noisy images and loss of details.

Making a recommendation based on ISO in not favorable for Pentax, but it is indeed valid. From my experience high ISO performance of Pentax cameras stinks, compared to big players, and must be improved.

Last edited by awo425; 08-17-2009 at 10:43 AM.
08-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #25
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I live in Norway like you Pl, and I am a birder.

I'm not much of a dawn person but at summer time, dusk is my favorite time to shoot sea birds and other birds near water.
Mainly because reflections from the water are a lot easier to control then.
But also because thats the time they settle down. That gives me a good opportunity to take planned shots instead of random shots.

Last edited by Fototim; 08-17-2009 at 03:25 PM.
08-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
Honestly, magazines should start testing in Raw/Jpeg. I didn't go buy a $400 camera and then shoot the same file format as a P+S... I am still waiting on DPreview's review.
You do realize that DPR will base its image quality testing primarily on default JPEGs, right? That's just how they roll ;P
08-17-2009, 04:31 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
I went into a local camera shop (UK) to try a K-7 and was absolutely horrified by the amount of noise at ISO 100 on a jpeg when compared to my K10D (and a D300 I tried at the same time). I came back and mentioned it on the UK Pentax forum and one of the users that had actually bought the K-7 said that sharpening is set to high as standard and if you turn it down to fine then things are very much better.

I usually only shoot raw but the noise in those pictures nearly made me buy the D300 ... I will go try again but will shoot some raw pics to bring back with me.
That's a big problem with comparing in-camera jpegs. There are so many variables that you often end up comparing apples to oranges. If reviewers insist on using jpegs, they should at least take the time to select reasonably close jpeg treatments--not sharp/bright for one camera and soft/dull for another.

Rob
08-17-2009, 05:47 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
That's a big problem with comparing in-camera jpegs. There are so many variables that you often end up comparing apples to oranges. If reviewers insist on using jpegs, they should at least take the time to select reasonably close jpeg treatments--not sharp/bright for one camera and soft/dull for another.

Rob
That's how they do it, using standardized test photos on the factory default setting, which is usually JPEG. It's hard to argue with JPEG because it is a standard. RAW is not. It's proprietary. Most decent reviews publications I read use a standardized shoot for testing purposes, especially for lenses.

Manufacturers have factory default setting precisely so users are NOT comparing apples to oranges, but default settings within the industry standard file format. This is supposed to demonstrate the engineering behind the design on equal terms. It's not appropriate for a D3 or MF, but it should give equivalent testing on the right subject matter if the latter is held consistent through the tests, and is certainly appropriate for all but the top-end pro DSLR's.

The vast majority of photos are shot using JPEG, not RAW. I read somewhere (looking for it) that outside North America, most shooters have little access to PC's, so rely on the camera as their processor. This accounts for a very large, and growing share of the DSLR market and is one of the biggest trends in the design.

Most DSLR users do not have the time to post-process, and RAW is interpreted (by design). When you compare photos shot in RAW with PP, you're as much comparing the PP software as you are the camera's optical and sensor abilities.
08-18-2009, 07:38 AM   #29
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Practical Photography's August issue also tested the K-7 and it was pretty favorable with a 4 out of 5 star overall rating. Their only real criticism was the suggested retail price, which they believed would drop in the UK once it started hitting stores.
08-19-2009, 03:55 PM   #30
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ColorFoto 2009/09 full Pentax K-7 test and lab results

I didn't want to create another thread so I'll posting it here ...

Leading German magazine ColorFoto eventually published their full Pentax K-7 test and lab results in their 2009/09 issue.

I have translated their lab test results (complete with corresponding figures for K20D, D300, 50D, E-3) in my blog

-> full Pentax K-7 test and lab results

The magazine web site is here: Colorfoto, das Magazin fr digitale Fotografie - Home
One may be able to buy/download the article once the current copy went off news stands.

Short summary:
  • image quality of K-7 is on par with K20D or better
  • measured JPG noise higher than the competition
  • measured JPG loss of texture much lower than the competion (yes, they measure the loss of texture!!)
  • measured JPG resolution outstanding
  • AF in low light now in line with competion (almost D300, 50D better).
  • Last words in conclusion: "All in all, the K-7 is one of the best SLRs available on the market"
  • (They still give D300 the best score, mostly because of better noise reduction and better tone curve at higher ISO)

Last edited by falconeye; 08-19-2009 at 04:00 PM.
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