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09-25-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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DXO Scores

Hello fellow members,

Having recently purchased a K7 and 16-50 D* lens I was somewhat concerned about the low scores attributed to both camera and lens on the "DXO" site.

Am I right to be concerned ?

Or is it a case that scoring system for camera and lens is based on "extreme" pixel peeping ? The image resource website advises that the K7 produces superb images.

Will the K5 and 16-50 D* lens produce higher scores ? I wonder.

Adam

09-25-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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dxomark benchmarks the sensor - the lens is irrelevant. And the important thing to know about the dxomark scores is what each of them represents.

Take the K-7 scores:

- for color depth, the differences are fairly minimal comparing to K20D/K-x - they're all 22bits something.
- for dynamic range, you can see the K-x having an advantage of almost 2EV - that's important, but only if you shoot scenes that have over 10EV
- for low-light ISO, the scores represent ISO limits under which a certain IQ can be maintained - the difference between the K-7 and the K-x is less than a stop (ISO 536 vs ISO 811).

Basically, if you shoot up to ISO 400 on the K-7 and you don't have scenes with extreme DR, you're not going to see significantly better performance from another camera in those conditions.

I would expect that the K-5 will be more in line with the K-x, maybe a bit better, maybe a bit lower - if you check the K10D, it had better overall score than either the K-7 or the K20D - I wouldn't say it's a better camera though, so don't get too obsessed with these scores - there's more to a camera than sensor performance.

I have the K-7 and I don't feel any need to upgrade, regardless of how better the K-5 scores will be.
09-25-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Lucas Quote
The image resource website advises that the K7 produces superb images
Hi Adam,

Have you tried to use the combo? How do *you* feel about the results?

I know for a fact, I rented the 16-50 for a wedding, and it was my first DA* experience, and I could not believe the JPEGs coming out of my K10D. Very contrasty and great colors.

If I had that lens delivering results of that kind, I would not stress any bit about DXO scores. I actually got the 50-135 instead, and no regrets here.
09-25-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
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DXO does two things:

(1) the DXOMark site benchmarks the camera sensor and also presents some information and benchmarking about lens performance. Yes, here the K-7 doesn't do too well on some categories of DXOMark tests, but that doesn't mean the camera cant take great photos.

(2) DXO sell a RAW based software package (DXO Optics Pro) that has specific optimisation modules for camera (K-7) and lens (DA* 16-50) working together, using some of the same data and processes presented in the DXOMark benchmarking site.

If you absolutely want to get the best out of the camera and that lens, shoot in RAW to eke the most IQ out of the camera and process the images using software (like DXO Optics Pro and Lightroom 3/ ACR 6.2) that know about the K-7's sensor characteristics, and also have profiles for the 16-50 when mounted on the K-7.

09-26-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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Hey Adam,

I just recently upgraded from a Canon 400D to the Pentax K-7. DXO marked the two sensor fairly equivalent, with the Canon topping the Pentax at times. After testing with both, I'd say the K-7 sensor is leaps and bounds past the 400D. Before I could only go up to ISO 400 without my pictures looking terrible. Now I go up to ISO 2000 with no qualms.

The K-7 has fantastic control over color noise, which I find most disagreeable, leaving only the luminescence noise, which looks a lot like film grain. The 400D on the other hand had terrible color noise, making ISO 800 practically worthless.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is don't get caught up with DXO figures. Instead just go look at pictures the camera has shot at various ISOs and judge for yourself.
09-27-2010, 04:22 AM   #6
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The K5 will almost certainly produce higher scores. At the same time, the K7 is a great camera and really has pretty good dynamic range. I don't shoot above iso 1600 a lot, but it can be done as long as you nail your exposure.

The actual Dxo number doesn't tell the whole story. The K10 has a higher score, but is actually less useable in most situations than the K7. Anyway, I would just enjoy shooting with your K7 and if you find that it is deficient for your in certain areas, than look at the K5 and see if it would fill those needs. Otherwise, just have fun shooting!
09-27-2010, 11:36 AM   #7
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Yes and yes. The DXO makes excellent measurement and analysis. Of course you should take the marks for what they are. So yes you should be concerned and yes the K-5 can score higher.
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