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08-19-2009, 05:07 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
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 für 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)
It's strange that reviewers completely overlook the value of in-camera SR. It's as though Nikon and Canon don't have to compete on that front--because they can't--yet everyone has to compete on high ISO noise, where the differences are really marginal. Do reviewers think it is impolite to point out the fact that cameras from Nikon and Canon all have this glaring deficiency when compared to Pentax, Oly and Sony? Are they afraid to offend certain people?

Rob


Last edited by robgo2; 08-19-2009 at 05:15 PM.
08-19-2009, 05:29 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
It's strange that reviewers completely overlook the value of in-camera SR.
Well, the K-7 did win the competition on features.

It is a question how you weight things. I agree that SR is weighted too low. From the points given, I estimate that SR only adds 2% to the total score (where D300 gains 4% in the noise department). And weather sealing or build quality or tilt&swivel screen or LV or movie mode must have an even lower score... The value of things really depends on the situation. So, a single score isn't normally possible.

Nevertheless, besides German computer magazine c't I know of no other magazine which publishes test results in no particular order and with category scores but no total scores. They just refuse to do so. And one of their advertizing campaigns (well, of their iX sister magazine, actually) was "Not everyone understands. Fortunately!". However, I don't know how many countries exist where you can do this (nevertheless, they rule the market for computer magazines in Germany).

Last edited by falconeye; 08-19-2009 at 05:35 PM.
08-19-2009, 05:43 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Photography Monthly did list it's price as a negative. I do believe with the high price, high DA lens prices, and the fact it's only an APS sized sensor, it really looks like K-7 buyers will only be current Pentax users. If this model had been a full frame, they may have grabbed some new customers.
Saw this just now. I switched from the full frame D700 to the APS-C K-7. There's a number of reasons for doing so:

- Price. The K-7 with the lenses I want is about half the price of the D700 setup
- Size. A K-7 with three DA Ltds is one third* of the weight of the D700 setup
- Build quality. The K-7 is much better built. The DA Ltd primes are sex, plain and simple
- Better weather sealing
- 100% viewfinder
- I could go on...

There's a lot of talk about the need for a full frame camera in order to compete with the big boys. The truth is that over 90% of Canon's and Nikon's sales are in the APS-C market. While most people would love to have a D700, a D3x or even a Leica S2, most of us have other things to take into consideration. Not least price and size. Full frame is far more expensive and (usually) bulkier. Two huge trade offs to gain a couple of steps of ISO performance and about a stop of DR.

*) K-7 with DA 15, 35 and 70 Ltds; D700 with 14-24, 50/1.4 and 105/2.8 Macro.
08-19-2009, 05:58 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ktwse Quote
Two huge trade offs to gain a couple of steps of ISO performance and about a stop of DR
Theoretically, should be 1.23 stops in ISO performance and 0.61 stops of DR only.

08-22-2009, 07:02 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
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.


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)
Personally I consider ColorPhoto to be one of the pertinent magazines in this business. Therefore I was really delighted to read this test, which was very positive indeed. And perfectly in line with my 3 weeks of experience with the K-7.

About the only thing the magazine was harsh about was the video mode. They did actually call for an update to correct exposure problems and other shortcomings. Hovewer, to me the whole video mode is totally irrelevant.
08-22-2009, 10:52 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by PePe Quote
They did actually call for an update to correct exposure problems and other shortcomings.
I didn't mention this because the problems in movie mode they did mention either have never been reported by any other user (too large variation of aperture) or are plain stupid (black bars left and right on TV -- they must have used 1536x1024 aka 3:2 recording format which no other cam even offers ...). And they didn't take into account that aperture can be manually controlled (with an FA lens even during recording) and E/V-compensation can be changed while recording as well.

This magazine, like many others, still has to learn how to properly judge a dSLR's video mode ...
08-22-2009, 03:42 PM   #37
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I have another friend of mine who recently acquired a D700. I do admit that it trumps the K-7 in terms of FOV and HIGH ISO noise handling. but a 12.1 MP for a full-frame dslr in today's standard is much more like old news or a back-issue, probably trying to make a budget version of a full-frame camera but still way overpriced considering a 20+mp full-frame camera like the Mark II and D3x are only a couple of thousand bucks off a new D700 or get a used D3x for almost the same price of that of a D700.

I do like the D700's FOV, High ISO noise handling and fast/better AF, but my like for it ends there because those are the only things that I consider that are useful and could beat the K-7. in terms of IQ at lower ISOs, detail, texture and color, coupled with the appropriate and cheaper lenses, it would surely could create a lot of thunder for an APS-C sensor against a FF.

as far as the 50D is concerned, it is quite a dissapointment for being a successor for the 40D. atleast the D90, is a big step up from it's predecessor.
08-26-2009, 05:55 PM   #38
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The crazy thing about these reviews is they never seem to mention that you are going to be pay in most cases twice as much for pro-quality glass with Nikon because it has Nikon on the side that you are with pentax.

A 18 to 55 f2.8 with super sonic AF goes for 1200 on amazon (nikon) and the Pentax DA* 16 to 50 f2.8 goes for half that. SLRreviews also rates the 16 to 50 better than the comparable Nikon. Couple that with bodies that are simply tanks and full weather sealing along with better performance at lower ISO's along with shooting RAW (where Pentax always shines) and the choice is just so clear to me

I am trying for the life of me to convince my friends to shoot with Pentax that because of me and my k20D want to get into photography. But their friends shoot canon and they want to be able to borrow their glass. NVM that you will eventually have you buy your own. LOL

08-27-2009, 12:09 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
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.
So why did DPR mess with Jpeg engine settings with the D300 and not with K20D, comparing both?

DPR is either completely money dependent or completely stupid. Either way...
08-27-2009, 02:30 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by ktwse Quote

- Price. The K-7 with the lenses I want is about half the price of the D700 setup
- Size. A K-7 with three DA Ltds is one third* of the weight of the D700 setup
- Build quality. The K-7 is much better built. The DA Ltd primes are sex, plain and simple
- Better weather sealing
- 100% viewfinder
- I could go on...
I cannot agree more than. I have a close friend who have a Nikon D70 with kit lenses. Because he is familiar with the system and that his father has a hudge collection of Nikon glass, he wants to stay in a Nikon setup while upgrading.

I have been pushing him to keep APSC as, knowing him, the bulk of a full D700 system will discourage him of carrying it around.

As he wanted also to run video, I suggested him to buy a D300s systems, (with the Nikon 17-55 / 2.8 and the Sigma 50-150 /2.8) the overal cost was about : 3730.33 €. On the same online shop, the K7 with the 16-50 / 2.8 and the 50-135 / 2.8 was 3 096.59 €.

That makes 20 % difference, but it would be even more if Nikon had anything close to the 50-135 / 2.8 (add the 70-200 /2.8 and the price skyrocket, but this is FF glass). I have no doubt that the D300s will produce superior results than the K7 in most situations, but we have to keep in mind that those cameras are meant to be used with hihg end glass. And considering that Pentax is really a bargain.

Additional argument, the K-system is by far the most complete APSC system for high end glass. Nikon does not have a 17-70/4 glass, a 50-135/2.8, a 60-250/4 or the prime lineup.

But Nikon have longer glass, tilt shift lenses, and complete FF lineup, that Pentax haven't.

However, to me APSC and FF sould be considered as different systems even if there are some compatibilities between them.
- FF and APSC require different focal length for the same application.
- FF glass is bigger and heavier than APSC equivalent.
- FF glass is much more expensive most of the time.

From my own experience and some friends who don't shoot in Pentax gear, there is not much difference in image quality taken under low iso and printed up to A2 between FF and APSC. So the decision maker shall be based under :
- Need to shot under low light.
- Need for ver shallow depth of field. (Mind you, I am faced on many cases that my K20D + 31ldt @ 1.8 has too few depth of field)
- Need for very high pixel count, high DR or high iso performance (or a mix)
- Total budget for the system.

Like during the film era a lot of pro were not shooting medium format, today most of them are sticking with APSC, or even are still shooting film.

In France, Pentax is considered a very serious contender for all those reasons. They may not have the best APSC camera (I would say that is the D300/D300s), they may not have the best system for all applications, but they have certainly one of the most consistent APSC lineup (now almost complete but for the lack of TC) and the best quality price ratio.

Currently, if you look at all the models from all the brands starting mid-market, there is no bad camera. What I always say to someone who seek advice from me is : "Go in a shop, asks to hold the camera, pick up the one that you like the most. Picture quality will be much less a result of the camera, than of the actions of the photograher"

I have the budget to move FF, I have a lot of respect for Nikon, Canon, and even Sony, but I stick to Pentax and the lenses I have because I prefer to cary my camera all the time with me with a ltd prime on it and spend my money travelling and shooting.

Regards,
Guillaume
08-27-2009, 05:12 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by ktwse Quote
Saw this just now. I switched from the full frame D700 to the APS-C K-7.
Wow, you said it!

And this is why I want a smaller full-featured body even than the K-7 -- because this is a major advantage of this format. I just bought a Pentax 645 for times when I want resolution out the yin-yang and don't mind carrying weight. Different applications.
08-27-2009, 08:42 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghelary Quote
I have no doubt that the D300s will produce superior results than the K7 in most situations,
Oh no, you've been drinking the kool-aid! I have no doubt that aps-c sensors across all brands produce results so similar that nobody would be able to tell the difference, even when printed at banner size. Cameras differentiate by feature-set, not image quality.
08-27-2009, 08:52 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
As a person who doesn't read photo mags, I'm a bit peplexed by the High ISO obesession.
Second that- I won't even go above ISO 200 on my K10D- I find ISO 400 pretty much useless... I can't stand the grain.
08-27-2009, 09:30 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
Oh no, you've been drinking the kool-aid! I have no doubt that aps-c sensors across all brands produce results so similar that nobody would be able to tell the difference, even when printed at banner size. Cameras differentiate by feature-set, not image quality.
I have been handling a friend's D300 this summer and compared to my K20D, it is a superior camera, AF and view finder are superior. On this day I shot from 100 to 4000 iso with my K20D, and the high iso results are superior on a D300 (he was using high end glass like me)

Now, I don't consider I took worse photos than him. But it wasn't a camera achievement. The 2 cameras are close in results, but I do consider the D300 to be superior. Now, to say that it is 600€ superior (the present prize difference) is subjective, I did consider that the Pentax was a better choice.

I would expect to K7 to make up a bit of that difference, but the D300s AF should still be significantly superior among other arguments. I just don't want to be a fanboy here. The K7 street price in France is 1200€, the D300s is 1700€ and a part of that difference is justified.

@ Hannican

I make a lot of street shooting, including with the only aid of artificial light (and sometimes only of some candle light) I often use the K20D with 31 ltd (or recently 21ltd) @ 800 iso where I get a film like grain.

It does happen that I have to push my camera above 1600 iso and it takes to be very careful with your exposition (low DR) and a lot of post processing (high noise) for often a not that good result.

This is not a problem unique to the K20D and every camera have its short comings. You just need to be aware of it and make the right choice of camera and systems according to your needs and budget.

Last edited by ghelary; 08-27-2009 at 09:36 AM.
08-27-2009, 10:08 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghelary Quote
I have been handling a friend's D300 this summer and compared to my K20D, it is a superior camera, AF and view finder are superior. On this day I shot from 100 to 4000 iso with my K20D, and the high iso results are superior on a D300 (he was using high end glass like me)
I understand what you're saying, but when I think "results," I think image quality. That's the end result of using the camera. The AF may be superior (though, I can't tell a difference between D300 and K-7), but that's part of the feature-set, as I mentioned in my previous post, not results. In addition, I think ISO is subjective. I'd take grainy and detailed any day over the grainless, smudged output I've gotten out of my friend's D300 at high ISO the several times I've used it. Again, the image quality in the D300 is simply not superior. I'm not saying it's worse, either. I just think that minor differences in sensors are apparent only when the cameras are pushed to their most extreme capabilities.
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