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05-07-2016, 01:17 AM - 7 Likes   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,343
Pentax K-1 maximum dynamic range - winner

Trust only your own eyes:
Instead of waiting for anybody else (either biased or as much amateur as yourself), you should judge your maximum in practise/reality usable dynamic range yourself. And it is easy.
Just use the software at hand with some synthetic forcing.

Raws download:

Pentax K-1, ISO 100:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/download-image?s3Key=a603629a71f044f988ac7e56e9bc5088.dng

Nikon D800E, ISO 100:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/download-image?s3Key=5d257f5854094401834d4c2931e350de.nef

Nikon D810, ISO 64:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/download-image?s3Key=510425d005ed4ed8809e3eeda1987ca7.nef

Canon 5DSR, ISO 100:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/download-image?s3Key=9ac17c472e5541b0a4e2960f540ba818.cr2

Then:
  1. Load into Lightroom.
  2. set the default software color noise reduction for Canon and Nikon to zero (the Pentax DNG is ​​automatically this way)
  3. All four images set
    1. exposure +5
    2. depths +100
  4. This will inevitably force noise even into ISO 100 shots. Now zoom into 1:1 viewing
  5. center view on the three bottles at the bottom, especially the shadows between the bottles
Result:
  1. Predictably, the Canon is .. well ...
  2. D800E noise is a small bit coarser and slightly stronger, shows a little more chunky color noise as K-1. Still of course on a very high level already.
  3. Between the D810 (ISO 64) and K-1 (ISO 100) shots there is no difference
Side note:
Using the same settings the brightness of the exact same exposure parameters seems to be off a little as the D810 in LR shows a lot more blown highlights (no headroom left) than the K-1. Reducing the EC from +5 to +4.5 makes it look more similar.
This is hinting at the two cameras actually being virtually identical with real ISO rather than advertised lowest ISO.
Maybe another hint at using the same sensor (but who cares if the results are same or better)?

Using the term "worse" on this high level is not really warranted as they all perform on an astoundingly great level and are quite ISOless at least in the lower ISO area.

The D810 has no better maximum dynamic range than the K-1 at each lowest ISO.
But if you want to go really, really pixelpeeing, the Pentax K-1 could even be considered the winner (I don't think that has any relevance for any actual photography though, just for spec sheet junkies).

This falls well into place with the high ISO performance, where the K-1 wins over the D810 with just this tiny bit (again probably not real life relevant) of advantage. See for yourself here:
Studio shot comparison: Digital Photography Review

A job well, done Pentax.

The K-1 seems to be up there with the best for any shooter who wants to max out their dynamic range capabilities, such as landscape photographers who not always shoot in the perfect optimal lighting situations and now and then have to pull up shadows, or use fast lenses wide open with heaving vignetting where vignetting correction alone pushes shadows in the corners up by +3-3.5 EV and any actual general exposure adjustments come on top of that (that's what happens on the Sigma 35 Art with its severe vignetting wide open: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Vignetting).


Last edited by beholder3; 05-08-2016 at 02:55 AM. Reason: dpr updated the raw - new link
05-07-2016, 01:25 AM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Near Vienna, Austria
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Thanks for the analysis - good to see!
05-07-2016, 01:57 AM   #3
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sarge's Avatar

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And here is another reason I want the K1.
I need to stop reading these K1 threads......
05-07-2016, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #4
Pentaxian




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Location: Tromsų, Norway
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Posts: 955
Great analysis! I have to disagree on a specific part of the methodology. Not that it would change the result, but in all fairness..

QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Now zoom into 1:1 viewing
This should be changed to zoom each image equally much so that the details have the same size on screen. If one zooms to 1:1 for the 36 Mp cameras, it should be slightly less for the 51 Mp camera to make it match the amount of zooming.

05-07-2016, 05:44 AM   #5
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"Pixelpeeing?" I guess it's a good thing it's WR.
05-08-2016, 02:59 AM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,343
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
This should be changed to zoom each image equally much so that the details have the same size on screen. If one zooms to 1:1 for the 36 Mp cameras, it should be slightly less for the 51 Mp camera to make it match the amount of zooming.
Yes for the Canon you are right. Since it doesnt really improve a lot and the focus was on the three other cams which all have the same 36 MPx I did omit the adjustment.

BTW I updated the K-1 raw link, since dpr updated the raw file.
05-09-2016, 06:54 AM   #7
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Original Poster
What did I say?

Pentax K-1's Pixel Shift challenges medium-format dynamic range: Digital Photography Review
05-10-2016, 07:41 AM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Near Vienna, Austria
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You said we shouldn't trust the biased opinions of others!

05-13-2016, 12:13 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,343
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
You said we shouldn't trust the biased opinions of others!
Yes.

You can now either look for yourself at the raws or you can look there. Thankfully the dpr page is visual self experience as well and not only text opinion posts.
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