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11-25-2013, 10:52 AM - 1 Like   #1
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DXO K-3 review: Unshakeable Image Quality

Pentax K-3 review: Unshakeable Image Quality - DxOMark



11-25-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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While the K-3's dynamic range seemed slightly smaller compared to the K-5 when I did the review, I wasn't expecting the K-3 to be at a disadvantage compared to the D7100. Aw well The good news is that the practical significance of a few decimal points is negligible. And you get 24Mp with basically the same performance as 16Mp!

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11-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #3
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Thanks for the good news.
For folks who are thoroughly convinced that the K-5II and K-5IIs are superior, here is the relevant level-setting interpretation from DxO, "Had the K-3 offered an ISO80 setting like its predecessors then the score would almost certainly have been on a par with them."

While that could be accomplished with a firmware release, for most mortals with normal perceptual vision, the differences among all three models are very minimal.

M

Last edited by Miguel; 11-25-2013 at 11:16 AM.
11-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
While the K-3's dynamic range seemed slightly smaller compared to the K-5 when I did the review, I wasn't expecting the K-3 to be at a disadvantage compared to the D7100. Aw well The good news is that the practical significance of a few decimal points is negligible. And you get 24Mp with basically the same performance as 16Mp!
K-3 has no ISO80, that's why it's K-5IIs without ISO80.

11-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Thanks for the good news.
For folks who are thoroughly convinced that the K-5II and K-5IIs are superior, here is the relevant level-setting interpretation from DxO, "Had the K-3 offered an ISO80 setting like its predecessors then the score would almost certainly have been on a par with them."

While that could be accomplished with a firmware release, for most mortals with normal perceptual vision, the differences among all three models are very minimal.

M
It could be better to reach ISO50.
11-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
It could be better to reach ISO50.
I like your style. Better to think big, or rather small.

M
11-25-2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
K-3 has no ISO80, that's why it's K-5IIs without ISO80.
Maybe this would have had some sort of impact on dxo's test, but what about in practice? Also, it probably wouldn't affect the dynamic range much, if at all.

Considering that nobody (am I right?) offers anything lower than ISO 100 on 24-megapixel APS-C body, I think the tech just isn't there yet.

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11-25-2013, 11:38 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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One thing to mention is that the D7100 really over states iso as it get up there in iso while the K3 is really accurate with regard to iso. At iso 800, K3 measures at 779, while the D7100 measures at 552. And it gets worse as they go up. Looks like dynamic range is actually pretty equivalent otherwise.

The other thing that I think is worth mentioning is that the D7100 seems prone to banding, while I haven't seen any with the K3.

11-25-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
One thing to mention is that the D7100 really over states iso as it get up there in iso while the K3 is really accurate with regard to iso. At iso 800, K3 measures at 779, while the D7100 measures at 552. And it gets worse as they go up. Looks like dynamic range is actually pretty equivalent otherwise.

The other thing that I think is worth mentioning is that the D7100 seems prone to banding, while I haven't seen any with the K3.
Isn't the banding issue on the Nikon D7100 because of the Toshiba sensor? I know that the K20D (Samsung sensor) had some banding issues as well. The K-3 uses the Sony sensor and it looks like Pentax took it's time to make the most of it. Maybe Pentax looked at both Toshiba and Sony's sensor and they felt that Sony was the best one of the two.

I remember Falcon Eye mentioning that the Sony sensor is better than the Toshiba one as well.
11-25-2013, 12:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by theperception2008 Quote
I remember Falcon Eye mentioning that the Sony sensor is better than the Toshiba one as well.
Yep...the design of how Sony reads out the data is a lot less prone to banding than Toshiba's way.

In that DxO chart, I find it interesting that the no-AA filter cameras have lower low light capability.
11-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #11
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There goes Ricoh's bragging rights.
The K-3 is almost the poorest performing 24MP APS-C on DxoMark. (Although most individual item differences are marginal, it all adds up).
The DxO tests also suggest that Ricoh may indeed need to do some firmware tuning.
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Last edited by rawr; 11-25-2013 at 03:49 PM.
11-25-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Maybe this would have had some sort of impact on dxo's test, but what about in practice? Also, it probably wouldn't affect the dynamic range much, if at all.

Considering that nobody (am I right?) offers anything lower than ISO 100 on 24-megapixel APS-C body, I think the tech just isn't there yet.
In agreement with Adam: If Pentax added 80 ISO in firmware, it most likely would be equivalent to "pull processing" which would limit dynamic range and cause more blow outs. Best to leave the native sensor speed as it was designed. The problem, unfortunately, is the native sensitivity has to be set somewhere - and with so much emphasis on low light ISO performance - that goes toward a higher ISO number. Going 50% more pixels in one step is a big challenge...

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 11-25-2013 at 03:57 PM.
11-25-2013, 03:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
K-3 has no ISO80, that's why it's K-5IIs without ISO80.
That is the biggest difference.

When you look at the comparence with K-5 II and K-01 you see some things that match the K-01. So maybe the pixels got smaller and don't have the notch that is in the bigger sensils with the 14-bit RAW off the K-5 II.

It's a great sensor, so nothing to complain about.

APS-C simply doesn't get any better at the time.

When it comes image quality!
11-25-2013, 04:32 PM   #14
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Pretty disappointing. Looks like the k5 is still the best APS-C sensor with regards to DR throughout the ISO range. In comparison to the D7100 i think the K3 might in practice be equal or better than the D7100 due to a lack of banding, which is present in the D7100 and is not reflected in the DXO DR or SNR scores.

In terms of image quality the k3 is not really a compelling upgrade from the k5 II, unless very large prints are required. I think the next meaningful upgrade will be the following model, whether APS-C or FF.
11-25-2013, 04:38 PM - 1 Like   #15
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So, a triple off the wall in a big ballpark in their first big-league at-bat. Good for Ricoh.

Nikon can brag all they want. No one will be able to discern the difference.
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