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01-01-2014, 02:07 PM   #16
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Thank you Michael for the comparison and for sharing with us. I look forward to your extended review.

01-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #17
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Thank u MJS for sharing ure useful unbiased comparisons. What were the AA filter settings? I presume turned off?
01-01-2014, 02:32 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
you must have the two images mixed up!
Nope, just verified. It's obvious to me. But that's the Internet for ya!
QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
I think we can all agree that both images are acceptably good
Yup.

M
01-01-2014, 02:36 PM   #19
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I guess that up to normal prints you won't notice the difference between them. The DA*60-250mm is also a very good lens to go with the K-3.

01-01-2014, 02:40 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
Dear Forum Members,

I am a professional photographer who has been shooting Nikon gear since the 1980s. Currently my primary camera is a D800 -- probably the finest camera I have ever owned. On a lark over Christmas vacation I rented the new Pentax K-3 + 60-250mm f/4 from Lens Rentals to see if it could compare to my (rather heavy and bulky) D800 + AF-S 80-400mm VR setup. Well, the short answer is that I am VERY impressed with this new Pentax camera + lens combination. Neither Nikon nor Canon offer anything like it.

I will be writing up a more in-depth review during January, but attached are two test comparison images that demonstrate just how good this camera is in the real world. The "big boys" should be very concerned -- Ricoh/Pentax have a real winner here.

Links to the 9000x5400 pixel images (6Mb each)
More later.

J Michael Sullivan
Very interesting comparison with the K3 and D800, and excellent photos. On your first photo comparison, I noticed the Pentax shot has a much warmer tone than the D800 shot (however I have always known of Nikon's cooler color tones), but I'm wondering about which camera more accurately captured the colors in that scene. I was a Nikon shooter who switched to Pentax two weeks ago, and it would be informative if you could share that bit of info with me. Thanks in advance Michael and again, great comparison!
01-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #21
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the first two comparison shots were done using default camera JPEG. So in theory, those would be representative of how these cameras/lenses "see" the world. In RAW things change because you can (and should) create custom profiles to match the "look" you are after as an artist.

As far as the original question: I would say that the Pentax images (in general) look to my eye to be a bit warmer than Nikon's (with the yellows having a touch of bias towards the green). Nikon's color I would characterize as mostly "neutral".
01-01-2014, 02:52 PM   #22
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oh, both cameras have the latest firmware updates...
01-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
.....representative of how these cameras/lenses "see" the world. In RAW things change because you can (and should) create custom profiles to match the "look" you are after as an artist.
This is the right information & attitude and it's refreshing to read. Thank you.

01-01-2014, 08:04 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Nope, just verified. It's obvious to me. But that's the Internet for ya!

Yup.

M
I agree with Miguel. The Nikon looks a little sharper to me. However, yes, without zooming, they look pretty comparable.
01-01-2014, 08:07 PM   #25
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After awhile, you pay a lot for not much. If it's so close it's a 50/50 split on which is sharper, that's not really an advantage for one or the other. In fact, that would be an argument, they are pretty much the same.
01-01-2014, 08:25 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
After awhile, you pay a lot for not much. If it's so close it's a 50/50 split on which is sharper, that's not really an advantage for one or the other. In fact, that would be an argument, they are pretty much the same.
I'm pretty happy with this conclusion, as I have a K3 on order at the moment.

It's interesting that sensor size is not as big a factor in IQ as it used to be. The four thirds cameras are producing great results these days too. Sure, DoF is an issue, but so is the heft of one's lens kit. There may be room for multiple formats for some years to come.
01-01-2014, 09:01 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
As an aside, I am really only interested in what final PRINTS look like. I'm not a big fan of pixel peeping. It is for this reason that I decided to scale both images to actual print resolutions. While technically an "apples to oranges" comparison, if a system can product great 20"x30 prints
I think the K-3 should do fine at that resolution.
If you go up to 3'x4', you'll be more impressed w/ the D800. I was really impressed w/ 645D prints at that size...no noise w/ nose to the print
01-01-2014, 09:43 PM   #28
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Hi Michael,

thanks for sharing your thoughts.

QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
As an aside, I am really only interested in what final PRINTS look like. I'm not a big fan of pixel peeping. It is for this reason that I decided to scale both images to actual print resolutions. While technically an "apples to oranges" comparison, if a system can product great 20"x30 prints, then I could care less if it is FX, DX, or whatever.
Scaling to the same print size is not an "apples to oranges" comparison at all. It is the most fair comparison you can do.
The D800 with its higher number of MP will benefit, but deservedly so. The D800 will also have more potential to printer bigger, however, given a certain print size such as 20x30 then it is exactly the right thing to do to scale images from both cameras to that size (or a common resolution, such as 12MP).

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It could also be thanks to the shorter focal length perhaps?
I could not view (and hence not examine) the images, but 250mm on APS-C is equivalent to 375mm on FF, so potentially any difference should be negligible.

QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
So in theory, those would be representative of how these cameras/lenses "see" the world.
When comparing JPGs out of camera, you are mainly comparing the JPG engines.
Different manufacturers use different tone curves and colour profiles (often hues are deliberately changed to yield more pleasing blues for the sky or greens for foliage).

So I disagree that a JPG comparison tells you how the camera/lens "sees" the world. It rather tells you the RAW->JPG conversion philosophy of the manufacturer.

If you really wanted to obtain a neutral view on the camera/lens as such, you would have to use a neutral converter (such as dcraw) with neutral settings. However, I'm with you that it does not really matter where you start from, only whether you can get to where you want to be with post processing.
01-01-2014, 11:37 PM   #29
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What an excellent post - many thanks.
01-02-2014, 12:42 AM   #30
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Well, when I first look at it: I look where I think most people look. I look at the tree and the bark, and that gives the impression of the d800 being sharper. My first reaction: d800 sharper.

Then I look at the fence...just right of the tree, and I notice that the color cast has an impact on the perceived sharpness. The edges of the shadows, and the backdrop is clearly sharper on the K3, albeit much noisier.

Hmmm, interesting. Now I go old-school and make both images B&W. It seems that the color cast, and the very light moire pattern (prevalent when pixel-peeping in B&W) colored (pun intended) my initial judgment. So, I retract my initial statement, and I'd say the K3 is slightly sharper.
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