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06-07-2016, 06:13 AM - 1 Like   #1
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How does the K-1 dynamic range compare with the K-3 at low ISO

I asked a similar question before the k-1 was released, now that it has been, actual comparisons can/ will have been made.

The k-1 offers several features over the k-3, but for I how I use my k-3, probably not enough for me to move ... except possible the DR.

I'm only interested in how the DR differs between the two models at low ISO, ie 100 or maybe 200. I appreciate that as ISO increases the differences will increase.

I tend to use my k-3 in a limited way eg - tripod, mirror locked, remote, 100 ISO and in RAW.

So has anyone done a comparative test using this set-up, or similar where the subject includes a wide range of tones ? Think shooting from woodland into sunlight fields. Then trying to process the image by reducing the highlights and bringing up the shadows without damaging the image so, in this example, the tree detail came be determined.

If anyone has done a test, perhaps with the same lens, on a high DR subject, perhaps you might be willing to share the DNGs ? OR any opinions (I'm guessing there will be some opinions ), on how in reality the two models actually compare when processed at low ISO.

Many thanks

06-07-2016, 07:01 AM   #2
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This DP Review might help answer your question Pentax K-1's Pixel Shift challenges medium-format dynamic range: Digital Photography Review
06-07-2016, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I asked a similar question before the k-1 was released, now that it has been, actual comparisons can/ will have been made.
First question might be whether you are asking about visible dynamic range (number of stops, low-to-high over which image detail is evident on the displayed image) or signal-to-noise ratio at low values at base ISO or so-called ISO invariance. All are different and all three related. Which is given prominence depends highly on which reviewer you are reading. Depending on definition and method, comparison between sensor sizes may not be valid.

In my opinion, the best answer to your question would be to wait until DxO Mark* does their testing. Their dynamic range evaluation is done using numeric analysis of raw pixel output (no curves or demosaic applied) and is probably closest thing to objective you are going to find. Based on their testing of the D800/D810 vs K-3, I think it is safe to assume the K-1 is probably close to the to Nikons and offers about a 1 stop advantage over the K-3.


Steve

* Truly dislike their testing in general, but their dynamic range methods are valid.
06-07-2016, 09:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
First question might be whether you are asking about visible dynamic range (number of stops, low-to-high over which image detail is evident on the displayed image) or signal-to-noise ratio at low values at base ISO or so-called ISO invariance. All are different and all three related. Which is given prominence depends highly on which reviewer you are reading. Depending on definition and method, comparison between sensor sizes may not be valid.

In my opinion, the best answer to your question would be to wait until DxO Mark* does their testing. Their dynamic range evaluation is done using numeric analysis of raw pixel output (no curves or demosaic applied) and is probably closest thing to objective you are going to find. Based on their testing of the D800/D810 vs K-3, I think it is safe to assume the K-1 is probably close to the to Nikons and offers about a 1 stop advantage over the K-3.


Steve

* Truly dislike their testing in general, but their dynamic range methods are valid.
Thanks Steve for helping. The DxOmark value for DR is one I've used for reference to try and quantify the difference. (Like you I'm not a fan of their testing, except for the measurement charts, which do help as a guide). I used the D800 vs K-3 to try and understand how the DR might differ. However, for me the true test, is the actual comparison made from a real (not lab) test, where the comparison can be seen (& then printed) to see how the different images compare visually. Only then do all the factors that make a printable image come into play.

06-07-2016, 10:22 AM   #5
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My two cents: as what I have seen from the K-1 so far, it blows the K-3 out of the water noise-wise. Noise is my biggest complaint with the K-3, even at base ISO. Underexposing (which is often necessary in sunny California) causes so much shot noise I initially thought there was something wrong with he camera. Add a polarizer and you get more noise complaints than a Harley club.
Dpreview was able to push K-1 RAWs +5ev with little noise, amazing!

Thus, I can't wait to get my hands on a K-1 for that reason alone.

Last edited by Roadrunnerdeluxe; 06-07-2016 at 01:35 PM.
06-07-2016, 11:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
'm only interested in how the DR differs between the two models at low ISO, ie 100 or maybe 200. I appreciate that as ISO increases the differences will increase.

I tend to use my k-3 in a limited way eg - tripod, mirror locked, remote, 100 ISO and in RAW.
exactly what i want to find out.

QuoteOriginally posted by Roadrunnerdeluxe Quote
Thus, I can't wait to get my hands on a K-1 for that reason alone.
Maybe this file can help answering. A seriously underexposed raw file indoors at iso 400 though...
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109488724/K1PL3858.DNG
06-07-2016, 01:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
exactly what i want to find out.



Maybe this file can help answering. A seriously underexposed raw file indoors at ISO 400 though...
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109488724/K1PL3858.DNG
Thanks Christophe, that is interesting to have a look at. There is little colour noise and the luminance noise is soft and even - it would be easy to work with. The shadows pull up nicely and it feels like it would be a pleasure to work with - better than a k-3, but that is a little unfair at ISO 400. I suspect at ISO 100 this shot would be able to make a good image, even after that much underexposure - not something that I'd attempt on a k-3.

Anyone able to give a poor APS-C k-3 camera a chance with a kinder file &/or comparison ?

Nice work on your website, Christophe, by the way ...

Last edited by BarryE; 09-06-2016 at 12:12 AM.
06-07-2016, 05:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
exactly what i want to find out.



Maybe this file can help answering. A seriously underexposed raw file indoors at iso 400 though...
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109488724/K1PL3858.DNG

thanks for that. Noise is heavy but fine grain.. passable at 50% size though.. so still ok for many uses. Though with the resolution, could probably work some careful NR in there too for a larger print.. but on the dark areas the soft but finepoint noise tends to grey the material (for instance in the lens ring).

That said, this is a torture test.. I boosted 3 stops exposure and bumped up whites too in ACR.. that's asking a bit for such an image to try to mimic ISO 100 clean. So output from the K-1 is very malleable imo.

06-08-2016, 04:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
You can see some of the tree shots I take on barryedge.co.uk
tricky indeed ;-)
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