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11-13-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
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A tale of 3 sensors K-3/K-01/K-7

I did a little ISO testing to see how these three different sensors perform and so I could get a handle on where the K-3 fell in the mix. Well the K-7 doesn't fair so well but its a pretty close call between the K-01 and the K-3 with the trade off being resolution verses noise. Still being an avid film shooter I will take a little 'digital grain' anyday for the added resolution.

A tail of 3 sensors Pentax K-3/K-7/K-01 | Wallace Koopmans Artlog

Here are crops from the K-3 and K-01 at 6400 ISO with no noise reduction as an example.



11-13-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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That's a pretty great report. I had, for some reason, never thought of using manually selected AF points in macro work. I'd always done all the focusing manually. I am very glad to see the high ISO upgrade over the K-7, which is the camera I'm upgrading from.
11-14-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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its been pointed out before that when you cram more pixels into the same size sensor, addressing noise become a more complicated procedure. the k-o1 and k-3 are impressive for sure.

Last edited by OldNoob; 11-14-2013 at 12:08 AM.
11-14-2013, 12:04 AM   #4
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Thanks K David

QuoteOriginally posted by K David Quote
That's a pretty great report. I had, for some reason, never thought of using manually selected AF points in macro work. I'd always done all the focusing manually. I am very glad to see the high ISO upgrade over the K-7, which is the camera I'm upgrading from.
It certainly is an upgrade of the K-7 a camera that I have adored and used extensively for the last 4 years. I can't wait to do some real world shooting where the extra performance will help. I will be doing candid photography at our local Help Portrait for the third year and I am really looking forward to the extra ISO performance in challenging light.

11-14-2013, 12:59 AM   #5
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The K-01 is what kept me from jumping and the K-3 is whats keeping me in the Pentax camp.
It's really amazing how nice the K-01 image is. I've always thought it was stellar, but it rarely got the credit it deserves.
The K-3 is different. It's not a K-5 or a K-01. It relies on higher resolution to compensate for the noise at high ISO. The K-5 and K-01 both relied on a super clean sensor output.
11-14-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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If you compare the K-5 vs the K-01 in the DxOMark SNR (18%) (an indication of shot noise/QE performance), you can see that the two cameras are similar at low to mid ISOs. (The DR varies at base ISOs due to 14-bit raw vs 12bit raw and at ISO200-ISO1600 due to either a higher FWC or lower read nose.)

Compare cameras side by side - DxOMark

However, from ISO3200 up, the K-01 applies more NR to the raw file (DxO only measures raw files) than the K-5 does. In the link in the first msg it mentions that the shots were done in raw. While DxOMark's measurements for the K-3 have not been published yet, I suspect it will be using a sensor similar to what's in the Nikon D5300, but probably with some raw NR. So I expect its raw ISO6400 SNR (18%) performance will end up falling between the D5300 & the K-01, probably closest to the K-5.

Compare cameras side by side - DxOMark

Dan.
11-14-2013, 03:39 AM   #7
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Re-shoot the test of K-3 with the same light/exposure as the k-01, reduce the size to k-01's size and the difference will be minimal.
11-14-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
Re-shoot the test of K-3 with the same light/exposure as the k-01, reduce the size to k-01's size and the difference will be minimal.
Deni the test can always be done differently but I wanted to quickly do it in a manner similar to how I would use the cameras. For instance I'm unlikely to scale images to match performance a camera either does the job or doesn't at it's given resolution. Everyone seems to argue over the last few percentage points of performance which for me is usually irrelevant

11-14-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
Deni the test can always be done differently but I wanted to quickly do it in a manner similar to how I would use the cameras. For instance I'm unlikely to scale images to match performance a camera either does the job or doesn't at it's given resolution. Everyone seems to argue over the last few percentage points of performance which for me is usually irrelevant
Good answer… I hate it when I spend hours doing something, and someone, usually who's done nothing, says "Do this and this and this, and you should have done this or that." The only answer is, "This is what I did, I'm done, say 'Thank you' and go do something yourself if you want more, but for me, this is what I needed."
11-14-2013, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
For instance I'm unlikely to scale images to match performance a camera either does the job or doesn't at it's given resolution.
By "at its given resolution" do you mean 100% pixel peeping? Or that a 24MP image could be printed larger than a 16MP image? That's true, but if both come from the same format-size sensor, i.e. APS-C, then the 24MP version, up close (i.e. equivalent to 100% pixel peeping), will look nosier. However one of the reasons you print things bigger is so they can be looked at from further away. If you compare the two printouts at the same viewing AOV, I contend that both should look similar in the amount of noise. This is another way of expressing the relationship between DxoMark's "Screen" vs "Print" tab in their graphs, or between small sensels vs big sensels. For a deeper explanation of this, see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/16-pentax-news-rumors/238970-pentax-k-3-h...ml#post2534630

It really comes down to how you define "does the job"?

If both cameras do the "same job" e.g. same-sized printouts and you look at them at the same distance, then the 24MP version will have similar noise, potentially greater sharpness (depending on the lens & aperture used).

If the job entails cropping the 24MP version to have the same number of pixels as the 16MP version, and both are printed out at the same size, the 24MP will be nosier, have potentially the same sharpness, but appear magnified.

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 11-14-2013 at 03:22 PM.
11-14-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Dosdan 'does the job' means someone says oh look that's me don't I look pretty aren't you a good photographer.

I should add I shoot lots of film and it's grainy as hell and people love it.
11-14-2013, 03:16 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Well basicly the "old" sensor from the K-5 is still the best around for aps-c where the new K-3 sensor offers more detail.
11-15-2013, 04:47 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comparison. I am considering upgrading from the K-7. One of my primary reasons for upgrading is that it simply does not satisfy my requirements in low light situations. I want to be able to shoot at 1600-3200 (or even 6400) with more confidence. It appears that the K-3 will do the trick in that department.
11-15-2013, 05:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
Deni the test can always be done differently but I wanted to quickly do it in a manner similar to how I would use the cameras. For instance I'm unlikely to scale images to match performance a camera either does the job or doesn't at it's given resolution. Everyone seems to argue over the last few percentage points of performance which for me is usually irrelevant
I apologize for coming out as rude, I didn't mean to. Actually, reading my own comment I can't believe I wrote it .

Obviously, me and other people here, do appreciate your time and effort.

What I meant to say is that the noise of the K-3 doesn't seem to be worse than the k-01, with the added benefit of much sharper images at lower ISO as well as larger resolution for larger prints.
11-15-2013, 08:08 AM   #15
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Thank you Deni

QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
I apologize for coming out as rude, I didn't mean to. Actually, reading my own comment I can't believe I wrote it .

Obviously, me and other people here, do appreciate your time and effort.

What I meant to say is that the noise of the K-3 doesn't seem to be worse than the k-01, with the added benefit of much sharper images at lower ISO as well as larger resolution for larger prints.
I agree with you and myself The noise performance is within a very small margin of difference and either one could be used interchangably. None of this even touches the fact that the K-3 out performs the other cameras in almost every other way.
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