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09-03-2016, 09:06 AM   #1
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Is this allowed ...could the K-3 be as good as the K-1 ?

Last week I received a new, shiny K-1 ... and well I'm a little ... don't know whether I'll be allowed to say this, but to be a honest, I'm a little underwhelmed. There said it.

Why ?

I am making this comparison to the K-3 I've used extensively with Limiteds and DA* s for two years. So far I've only compared with the D-FA 100mm - new 24-70 to come, soon. I chose to add the K-1, for a few reasons, not least I wanted large square crops, which I have struggled to achieve from the K-3 and pixel shift for art reproduction work. I had hoped for more, but ...

** First off it is very early days. So if I survive this I may add more:

It's very easy to adjust to from the K-3, apart from the much louder SR noise which threw me at first. It is bigger and heavier (as the lenses will be), and I will notice it. I will be carrying both cameras, so it is not a case of getting used to it. I'll have to adjust to the different dof and focal lengths, which have become instinctive - I bet I'll make many more mistakes. Sadly mistakes, equate to missed opportunities. I knew this would be likely to happen.

What has surprised me is how little difference there is between the quality of the files at ISO 100 and 200 between the K-3 and the K-1. (Using tripod, MUP and remote). The difference doesn't really exist in noise, even when the files are pushed in post. Also, so far, the dynamic range is virtually the same, at low ISO. The DR is where I thought I'd see a difference ... The K-1 is clearly better at ISO 400 upwards. I expect I will see no (or little discernible) difference from low ISO images when printed, apart from very large output. I've just sold an A1 commission from my K-3 - the detail and tonal range was very well received. Will I want to go bigger still ... ?

The k-1 is clearly a very competent camera, but for the way I *have* been working, it is very similar in output to the K-3, which shows how good the K-3 really is.

It is only a few days into my ownership, so this post probably means very little, especially as I probably work in a fairly limited way, having learnt to get my technique tuned to what the K-3 can do. I'm sure the K-1 will change the way I work. Whether it is worth the weight, expense and initial confusion, I guess I'll find out.

I tried out the 645Z when it came out and the difference in IQ/Noise etc between the K-3 and the 645Z was very significant. Folk have said the K-1 gets near - not for me it doesn't.

* Please don't read this post as being negative to the K-1, I know there are some sensitive types out there ;-). I am greatly looking forward to owning a FF and exploring different ways of working - this is why I eventually purchased it - it just hasn't wowed me to start with. I see it as a( small ?) incremental improvement ...

Will I now be banned ?

09-03-2016, 09:19 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Will I now be banned ?
:-) . I went through similar comparisons between the K3 and the K1. And... I was shocked, the out of camera JPEG of the K1 (or with default embedded Raw conversion settings) are only a tiny bit better than the same output from a K3. That's when I realized how good the K3 is for its price. That said, it is possible to get a more significant difference between K1 output and K3 output in post processing.

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I see it as a( small ?) incremental improvement ...
Out of the K1, you will get more resolution, but no more than from 24Mp to 36Mp, but the big difference come on color definition when shooting at ISO1600 and above, the K3 will give you lower quality colors (especially the for red colors), while the K1 will still have correct colors at the same iso. At ISO1600 and up, the improvement becomes significant (at least in my opinion).

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-03-2016 at 09:24 AM.
09-03-2016, 09:25 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Last week I received a new, shiny K-1 ... and well I'm a little ... don't know whether I'll be allowed to say this, but to be a honest, I'm a little underwhelmed. There said it.

Why ?

I am making this comparison to the K-3 I've used extensively with Limiteds and DA* s for two years. So far I've only compared with the D-FA 100mm - new 24-70 to come, soon. I chose to add the K-1, for a few reasons, not least I wanted large square crops, which I have struggled to achieve from the K-3 and pixel shift for art reproduction work. I had hoped for more, but ...

** First off it is very early days. So if I survive this I may add more:

It's very easy to adjust to from the K-3, apart from the much louder SR noise which threw me at first. It is bigger and heavier (as the lenses will be), and I will notice it. I will be carrying both cameras, so it is not a case of getting used to it. I'll have to adjust to the different dof and focal lengths, which have become instinctive - I bet I'll make many more mistakes. Sadly mistakes, equate to missed opportunities. I knew this would be likely to happen.

What has surprised me is how little difference there is between the quality of the files at ISO 100 and 200 between the K-3 and the K-1. (Using tripod, MUP and remote). The difference doesn't really exist in noise, even when the files are pushed in post. Also, so far, the dynamic range is virtually the same, at low ISO. The DR is where I thought I'd see a difference ... The K-1 is clearly better at ISO 400 upwards. I expect I will see no (or little discernible) difference from low ISO images when printed, apart from very large output. I've just sold an A1 commission from my K-3 - the detail and tonal range was very well received. Will I want to go bigger still ... ?

The k-1 is clearly a very competent camera, but for the way I *have* been working, it is very similar in output to the K-3, which shows how good the K-3 really is.

It is only a few days into my ownership, so this post probably means very little, especially as I probably work in a fairly limited way, having learnt to get my technique tuned to what the K-3 can do. I'm sure the K-1 will change the way I work. Whether it is worth the weight, expense and initial confusion, I guess I'll find out.

I tried out the 645Z when it came out and the difference in IQ/Noise etc between the K-3 and the 645Z was very significant. Folk have said the K-1 gets near - not for me it doesn't.

* Please don't read this post as being negative to the K-1, I know there are some sensitive types out there ;-). I am greatly looking forward to owning a FF and exploring different ways of working - this is why I eventually purchased it - it just hasn't wowed me to start with. I see it as a( small ?) incremental improvement ...

Will I now be banned ?
I did. I thought the same. I do with all new cameras.

Give it time. Get those RAWs up in PP and it won't be long until you're chuffed to bits. K-1 smokes my K-3, smokes my A7r. The files are beyond expectations.
09-03-2016, 09:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
:-) . I went through similar comparisons between the K3 and the K1. And... I was shocked, the out of camera JPEG of the K1 (or with default embedded Raw conversion settings) are only a tiny bit better than the same output from a K3. That's when I realized how good the K3 is for its price. That said, it is possible to get a more significant difference between K1 output and K3 output in post processing.


Out of the K1, you will get more resolution, but no more than from 24Mp to 36Mp, but the big difference come on color definition when shooting at ISO1600 and above, the K3 will give you lower quality colors (especially the for red colors), while the K1 will still have correct colors at the same iso. At ISO1600 and up, the improvement becomes significant.
I have, albeit briefly, pushed the RAW files quite hard to look for differences. So far they are minimal (at low ISO)

09-03-2016, 09:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I have, albeit briefly, pushed the RAW files quite hard to look for differences. So far they are minimal (at low ISO)
Barry, even the best monitors will only resolve 15 megapixels (iMac 5K screen). You won't notice much difference on screen.
09-03-2016, 09:35 AM   #6
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There have been perceptual studies that show it takes about 2x the resolution to reliably see a difference. This doesn't mean you can't see it at all below this - it just means it is harder to reliably see it.
How much they are visible to you will vary.

The adjustments in focal length and dof for a given perspective will come. Those of us who started with film have adjusted to crop, so it can be done.
09-03-2016, 09:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I have, albeit briefly, pushed the RAW files quite hard to look for differences. So far they are minimal (at low ISO)
And how the images render overall? I had the impression that the K3 had more micro-contrast which contributed to good looking images. The K1 on the other hand produced slightly less colorful images but less sensitive to clipping of the high lights (clouds). Once processed to enhance micro-contrast, I found K1 images including out of focus to render better than my K3.
09-03-2016, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #8
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In good, "easy", light @ISO100 the only difference is the MP. When there is a tricky light, very high DR the K-1 kicks the K-3 in the butt. I had the same experience in the beginning when I was at home doing test shots and comparing.

09-03-2016, 09:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
In good, "easy", light @ISO100 the only difference is the MP. When there is a tricky light, very high DR the K-1 kicks the K-3 in the butt. I had the same experience in the beginning when I was at home doing test shots and comparing.
Share the same opinion, it's not in "easy" situations that the advantages of the K1 shine, it's when you push the gear to the extremes
09-03-2016, 09:45 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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That is what happens with advanced cameras. Main difference between K-1 and K-3 will be things like amount of noise at high ISO, and slightly different, wider, FoV of lenses. This also means the DoF appears to be more shallow and the image magnification appears to be smaller. The biggest difference will be if you shoot raw and do a lot of PP, when you really push raw files every bit makes a difference. But this was a big concern back when people were all demanding the FF camera - once they would get one they would say "oh, that's it?" because it was hyped up as a holy grail before. This is what happens when people think the camera alone makes the picture. It doesn't - but it does allow the photographer to push more limits, once they acquire the skills.
Most people take the kind of photos where even a K-50 is more than good enough. But hey, if you have a top tier camera, try the kinds of photography that pushes the limits, see what you can do
09-03-2016, 09:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
That is what happens with advanced cameras. Main difference between K-1 and K-3 will be things like amount of noise at high ISO, and slightly different, wider, FoV of lenses. This also means the DoF appears to be more shallow and the image magnification appears to be smaller. The biggest difference will be if you shoot raw and do a lot of PP, when you really push raw files every bit makes a difference. But this was a big concern back when people were all demanding the FF camera - once they would get one they would say "oh, that's it?" because it was hyped up as a holy grail before. This is what happens when people think the camera alone makes the picture. It doesn't - but it does allow the photographer to push more limits, once they acquire the skills.
Well said.
09-03-2016, 10:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
Barry, even the best monitors will only resolve 15 megapixels (iMac 5K screen). You won't notice much difference on screen.
But you would notice the noise introduced in high DR situations when pushed ...

---------- Post added 09-03-16 at 06:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
And how the images render overall? I had the impression that the K3 had more micro-contrast which contributed to good looking images. The K1 on the other hand produced slightly less colorful images but less sensitive to clipping of the high lights (clouds). Once processed to enhance micro-contrast, I found K1 images including out of focus to render better than my K3.
You may be right there. The subtly may well be better, when a more considered viewing, especially when printed. But not the step change thet had been suggested, I suggest.

Please be aware I was well aware that the differences would probably not be as big as the hype suggested, and I went into this with my eyes open. It's just that the K-3 is so very competent (at low ISO)

---------- Post added 09-03-16 at 06:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nuno Almeida Quote
Share the same opinion, it's not in "easy" situations that the advantages of the K1 shine, it's when you push the gear to the extremes
I have been pushing it at low ISO. I work at low ISO all the time, allowing the shutter speeds to slow down to very long at times. The DR shots I took included strong highlights and dark shadows, designed to test the response of each camera.
I'm sure there are qualities there that the K_1 will reveal, but at low ISO ? Maybe not. It will allow me to change style, though and this is is what I am looking forward too.
09-03-2016, 10:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
... What has surprised me is how little difference there is between the quality of the files at ISO 100 and 200 ... I see it as a( small ?) incremental improvement ...
We've been spoiled rotten by great cameras K5 to K3 to K1 are incremental steps, not revolutionary image quality leaps. In good light and a non-moving target even a tiny cell phone sensor can give pretty good results today.
09-03-2016, 10:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
That is what happens with advanced cameras. Main difference between K-1 and K-3 will be things like amount of noise at high ISO, and slightly different, wider, FoV of lenses. This also means the DoF appears to be more shallow and the image magnification appears to be smaller. The biggest difference will be if you shoot raw and do a lot of PP, when you really push raw files every bit makes a difference. But this was a big concern back when people were all demanding the FF camera - once they would get one they would say "oh, that's it?" because it was hyped up as a holy grail before. This is what happens when people think the camera alone makes the picture. It doesn't - but it does allow the photographer to push more limits, once they acquire the skills.
Most people take the kind of photos where even a K-50 is more than good enough. But hey, if you have a top tier camera, try the kinds of photography that pushes the limits, see what you can do
I shoot RAW, push and sell my work regularly from low ISO images. I did predict that the differences would be nuanced at low ISO, but so far they have been nearly invisible. No complaints, as I'm sure the K-1 will shine, eventually. But not like a step change to the 645Z would have been. I am really not that camera "focused", really, I just want to not miss saleable shots when I've made the effort. The chance to square crop at a large size and achieve a subtle graduation in tone and hue when printed, may emerge, but I'm inclined to think that it will not be too often compared with the K-3's performance.

---------- Post added 09-03-16 at 06:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
We've been spoiled rotten by great cameras K5 to K3 to K1 are incremental steps, not revolutionary image quality leaps. In good light and a non-moving target even a tiny cell phone sensor can give pretty good results today.
With good technique and within the bounds of the camera's inherent limitations, I completely agree
09-03-2016, 10:47 AM   #15
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Forget that 24-70 D-FA zoom if you want quality. It does not add up. Like the Tamron counterpart it has horrible focus shift at close distances and never really sharpens up to edges at any focal length. I got full refund due to those issues.
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