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04-24-2021, 03:44 PM   #1
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K-3iii vs a7iii high iso. And the winner is...

A High ISO Shootout: Pentax K-3 III vs. Sony a7 III | PetaPixel

04-24-2021, 04:03 PM   #2
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I would say neck and neck for the most part. Albert thinks the k3 iii is better, I think the A7 III might be slightly better, however the images dont seem to have identical exposure. Close enough that anyone should be happy I think.
04-24-2021, 04:17 PM   #3
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I saw that earlier on. You have to say that, as a comparison between two cameras with much the same pixel count, but one having the larger sensels of a FF35 sensor, the results were impressive for the K-3iii.

Of course, the Sony is superior, because of its EVF.

Or not.

What would be even more interesting would be a comparison between the K-3iii and an APS-C Sony.
04-24-2021, 04:27 PM   #4
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I would really like to see it go up against the xt4. Perhaps a little soon to tell but I think the pentax has the edge.

04-24-2021, 05:08 PM   #5
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An excellent showing for APS-C - maybe a touch more accurate colors at high ISO for the Pentax. Will be interesting to see how the files perform in post-processing noise reduction.
04-24-2021, 05:27 PM   #6
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As they say "comparison is the thief of joy". Nice to see that the K-3iii is holding its own. Ultimately, the question is whether this camera has fantastic high ISO capability, and it appears the answer is a resounding "yes". That will bring me joy every time I use it.
04-25-2021, 02:06 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Regardless of the comparison, it looks like the K-3 III is a fine high ISO performer. To a degree that it should open new photographic opportunities for Pentax APS-C shooters. I for one am looking forward to doing some night photography with it. My nightlight filter had been sitting idle for too long.

Wim

04-25-2021, 07:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ishpuini Quote
Regardless of the comparison, it looks like the K-3 III is a fine high ISO performer. To a degree that it should open new photographic opportunities for Pentax APS-C shooters. I for one am looking forward to doing some night photography with it. My nightlight filter had been sitting idle for too long.

Wim
Iím starting slow today because I think I got too much sun at the baseball games yesterday (that and not enough water), but if Iím feeling more pep to my step tonight, I might take the K-3 iii and tripod to downtown Sioux City and do some night shots. One of the things I love as a travel photographer is night cityscapes. My K-70 has performed admirably in that regard, but some of the reports I have seen suggest that the SR improvements and high ISO improvements suggest that I may be able to get steady shots handheld at over a second and with usable noise levels and detail. I would probably start off with just tripod shots across the ISO range and post the raw files for folks to play with.

I also have a one-hour drive to a fairly dark-sky area pencilled in for the May new moon to try some Milky Way shooting. Thereís currently a flame war going on in the Pentaxians Facebook group over the accelerator unitís noise reduction, with some screaming how no one would use the K-3 iii for astrophotography. Given that most (all?) manufacturers are now doing some NR to their raw files, it seems a moot point. Also, Kerrick James has said that he currently prefers his K-3 iii to his K-1 ii for astro. Yes, heís an ambassador, but heís also an award winning travel and landscape photographer who has tons of experience with such shots and zero motivation to like about this one niche use case just to help Ricoh promote the K-3 iii.

04-25-2021, 01:32 PM - 3 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrNPhoto Quote
An excellent showing for APS-C - maybe a touch more accurate colors at high ISO for the Pentax. Will be interesting to see how the files perform in post-processing noise reduction.
That the comparison can even be seriously done with a full-frame Sony and the results so close is a statement of how far Pentax has leaped with the K3 III.
04-25-2021, 11:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkeller Quote
Iím starting slow today because I think I got too much sun at the baseball games yesterday (that and not enough water), but if Iím feeling more pep to my step tonight, I might take the K-3 iii and tripod to downtown Sioux City and do some night shots. One of the things I love as a travel photographer is night cityscapes. My K-70 has performed admirably in that regard, but some of the reports I have seen suggest that the SR improvements and high ISO improvements suggest that I may be able to get steady shots handheld at over a second and with usable noise levels and detail. I would probably start off with just tripod shots across the ISO range and post the raw files for folks to play with.
Indeed. On my K-3II I used to into the high ISO's frequently for nightscapes, pushing the shutter speeds to the limit of what SR allowed for handheld. But even then I still got very noisy images, and had to stack at least a dozen to get clean results. I wonder how many stops the combination of much better high ISO and better SR can get me. Perhaps my stacking days will be over? I don't expect so, but needing something like 4 to 8 images instead of 16 to average out noise, will make it easier to avoid misalignment problems due to slight movement.


QuoteOriginally posted by mtkeller Quote
I also have a one-hour drive to a fairly dark-sky area pencilled in for the May new moon to try some Milky Way shooting. Thereís currently a flame war going on in the Pentaxians Facebook group over the accelerator unitís noise reduction, with some screaming how no one would use the K-3 iii for astrophotography. Given that most (all?) manufacturers are now doing some NR to their raw files, it seems a moot point. Also, Kerrick James has said that he currently prefers his K-3 iii to his K-1 ii for astro. Yes, heís an ambassador, but heís also an award winning travel and landscape photographer who has tons of experience with such shots and zero motivation to like about this one niche use case just to help Ricoh promote the K-3 iii.
I doubt the accelerator will be a problem for creative photography involving the night sky. For science purposes only tests will show, but who would use a DSLR for deep space investigation? Anyway, nothing I will worry about myself, since I had an "old" K-3 II converted to full spectrum, so that will be used for night sky photography because it can capture light invisible to the K-3 mark III. It might give me more noise, but that will be fixed by stacking, and I will end up with much more detail.

Wim
04-26-2021, 06:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkeller Quote
Given that most (all?) manufacturers are now doing some NR to their raw files, it seems a moot point.
That is simply not true for the ISO range 100-3200.

There are some outliers (Canon R5 and Panasonic S1R spring to mind) that apply noise reduction at low ISO values, but in general manufacturers have only been applying denoising at high ISO levels. Pentax traditionally started at ISO 1600 and went down to ISO 640 with the K-1 II (hence the completely exaggerated outrage by DPReview, because NR at such a low level was unusual at the time).

Regarding the comparison by Albert Siegel: Using the same f-stop for both sensor formats means that the full-frame sensor receives about 1 stop more light. Such a comparison is flawed since the images won't have the same DOF. Assuming the shutter speed was the same, more photons are available for the full-frame sensor and the latter hence receives a significant, undue advantage. The fact that the K-3 III's APS-C sensor can still compete just means that the claimed "no noise reduction" simply does not apply to the K-3 III; it simply has been done in-camera already. So yes, no NR outside the camera but that does not mean there hasn't been any.

The A7 III also uses a BSI sensor and has the 1+ stop advantage so these results just mean that the in-camera image processing announced by Ricoh (-> "accelerator unit II") does a great denoising job. RAW purists won't like it, but the majority of users will.

The denoising will probably not affect astrophotography in the same way the original Sony "star eaters" did. However, for deep sky photography, which employs large image stacks, the "accelerator unit II" is not ideal news. Perhaps its effect is pretty mild at least at low ISO levels?
04-26-2021, 07:53 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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Oh, boy, here we go again.
04-26-2021, 07:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
That is simply not true for the ISO range 100-3200.

There are some outliers (Canon R5 and Panasonic S1R spring to mind) that apply noise reduction at low ISO values, but in general manufacturers have only been applying denoising at high ISO levels. Pentax traditionally started at ISO 1600 and went down to ISO 640 with the K-1 II (hence the completely exaggerated outrage by DPReview, because NR at such a low level was unusual at the time).

Regarding the comparison by Albert Siegel: Using the same f-stop for both sensor formats means that the full-frame sensor receives about 1 stop more light. Such a comparison is flawed since the images won't have the same DOF. Assuming the shutter speed was the same, more photons are available for the full-frame sensor and the latter hence receives a significant, undue advantage. The fact that the K-3 III's APS-C sensor can still compete just means that the claimed "no noise reduction" simply does not apply to the K-3 III; it simply has been done in-camera already. So yes, no NR outside the camera but that does not mean there hasn't been any.

The A7 III also uses a BSI sensor and has the 1+ stop advantage so these results just mean that the in-camera image processing announced by Ricoh (-> "accelerator unit II") does a great denoising job. RAW purists won't like it, but the majority of users will.

The denoising will probably not affect astrophotography in the same way the original Sony "star eaters" did. However, for deep sky photography, which employs large image stacks, the "accelerator unit II" is not ideal news. Perhaps its effect is pretty mild at least at low ISO levels?
Without getting into the weeds too much, I think the K-3 III looks very nice up to about iso 25K. I'm not a master of post processing and so I appreciate all the help my camera can give me.
04-26-2021, 09:01 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Wait until somebody actually tests the new K3iii for astro photography before jumping to conclusions about the raw files.
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