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12-02-2006, 10:07 AM   #1
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JPEG comparison - K10D vs *ist DS (WOW!)

I started out to test the noise (in JPEGs this time, eliminating the error associated with RAW conversion for now) and I am simply stunned. I was particularly surprised by two things - sharpness and exposure.
I never considered my *ist DS to have 'soft' JPEGs, especially after applying a mild unsharp mask to them. Compared to the K10, though - they are outright blurry!
The DS also underexposed the scene by a good bit, whereas the K10 exposed perfectly (to me). I'll have to run some more tests to confirm this - like I said, I was originally trying to compare noise values, not exposure.

These were shot in JPEG *** quality, with 'cloudy' white balance on both cameras. (The DS 'cloudy' appears a bit more greenish to me, but this wasn't the point of my comparison.) Both used the exact same FA 50/1.4 lens at f/2.8, manually focused to the cropped portion of the label. It may look like the DS shots are out of focus, but they are indeed cropped from the sharpest portion of the picture. No PP was applied AT ALL - no levels, no curves, no sharpening, nada. There is a minor framing difference because I have the vertical grip on the K10 (yeah!).

Anyway, here is a small view of the whole scene:


And here is a 100% crop from the DS:


Here is a 100% crop from the K10:


I also downsampled the K10 shots to match the 6 MP of the DS, and took a crop from the same place:


I'm really impressed, to say the least. And the noise doesn't look bad, either!

--Sean

12-02-2006, 11:29 AM   #2
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It would be interesting to know what impact the sharpness setting have on the K10D jpg files.

SV
12-02-2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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Indeed that is mighty impressive. However in RAW I think there would be less of a difference. Comparing against the K100 the sharpness is comparable but the extra detail was still pretty obvious.
12-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #4
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Great comparison. Thanks for doing the tests. It was DS jpegs that wowed me into using pentax system and now you have demonstrated the jpegs revealed better centre resolution with k10d.

Somehow the label appears more purple on k10d along with the background purple hue. Is it just because of "cloudy mode"?

ISO 800 do have high noise in bokeh area in both camera. At least k10d has better centre sharpness...

But I would not use ISO above 600.



12-02-2006, 12:48 PM   #5
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somehow i think the "wow" factor is a lttle too good.. or the compare images are a little too bad..

having downloaded and pixel peeped these compare images from this japanese site.. i find it hard to see much difference between k10 and 100d images..

the 100d does its blow out the red tricks.. it also gets its white balance wrong on one of the pics.. but detail/sharpness wise i dont see a noticable difference between the two camers..

the k10 compares well for noise.. better than i thought it would and i think the kits lense was being used.. but out of the box so to speak i dont see any "wow" factor..

please tolerate by bias i am a recent 100d owner trying not to think i bought the wrong camera as opposed to a k10 owner trying to do the same thing..

this link dissapeared with much comment on dpreview..

livedoor ニュース - 兄貴分は一味違う!PENTAX「K10D」vs「K100D」徹底比較

trog
12-02-2006, 01:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
somehow i think the "wow" factor is a lttle too good.. or the compare images are a little too bad..

having downloaded and pixel peeped these compare images from this japanese site.. i find it hard to see much difference between k10 and 100d images..

the 100d does its blow out the red tricks.. it also gets its white balance wrong on one of the pics.. but detail/sharpness wise i dont see a noticable difference between the two camers..

the k10 compares well for noise.. better than i thought it would and i think the kits lense was being used.. but out of the box so to speak i dont see any "wow" factor..

please tolerate by bias i am a recent 100d owner trying not to think i bought the wrong camera as opposed to a k10 owner trying to do the same thing..

this link dissapeared with much comment on dpreview..

livedoor ニュース - 兄貴分は一味違う!PENTAX「K10D」vs「K100D」徹底比較

trog
A quick comment - I think the K100D JPEGs are better (sharper, at least) than the DS JPEGs. So, for you, I think you'd see less difference.

I was unexpectedly surprised by the quality of the JPEGs, since it has been a long time since I've shot anything other than RAW.
12-02-2006, 01:28 PM   #7
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I think the purple-ish cast is just the difference between cloudy white balance. I wasn't trying too much to get the color perfectly matched, since I was really looking at noise.
12-02-2006, 01:32 PM   #8
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Hi Stig!
FYI, these were shot at -0- sharpness.
--Sean

12-02-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
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Hardly unexpected the in-camera JPEG sharpness was a problem with the *ist DS..

A comparison with the K100d would show much less difference (other than the resolution difference of course)...

P.S. Thanks for taking the time to illustrate the improvement in Pentax's JPEG engine, hopefully Phil doesn't harp on Pentax for their poor JPEGs this time, it was the only thing that really killed theh DS review on dpreview...
12-02-2006, 02:45 PM   #10
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the iso100 shot has less detail than the others for some strange reason.. they are good.. its just the "poorness" of the ds crops that has me wondering.. in comparison they are just a fuzzy blob..

one can assume for obvious reason a camera manufacturer makes some attempt to produce decent jpegs.. its jpeg images that most people will end up seeing and its jpeg images that will make or break a lower end dslr..

trog
12-02-2006, 05:16 PM   #11
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Even the 6mp shots look damn impressive!

Thanks for the comparo.
12-02-2006, 06:11 PM   #12
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"A comparison with the K100d would show much less difference (other than the resolution difference of course)..."

i would agree with the basic concept that 10 mega pixels just has to be better than 6.. but.. the link i posted above kinda makes me wonder..

both i and my son have pixel peeped all those shots in great depth.. both of us are biased 100d owners.. but our joint conclusion is.. the k10 and the kit lens isnt doing anything at all with those extra mega pixels..

even up-sizing the smaller images to the same size as the larger ones for exact comparison.. we cant see that "everybody knows" extra detail..??

okay its the kit lens.. but perhaps those extra pixels just are being wasted on the current sensors..

i would really like to see some evidence.. the nearest i have got so far is the link i posted above..

any other comments.. i aint knocking the k10.. just the always assumed and mostly taken for granted mega pixel myth..

this might sound silly but its the 6 mega pixel factor that made both i and my son go for pentax.. it was a plus point.. were we wrong..??

trog
12-02-2006, 07:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
"A comparison with the K100d would show much less difference (other than the resolution difference of course)..."

i would agree with the basic concept that 10 mega pixels just has to be better than 6.. but.. the link i posted above kinda makes me wonder..

both i and my son have pixel peeped all those shots in great depth.. both of us are biased 100d owners.. but our joint conclusion is.. the k10 and the kit lens isnt doing anything at all with those extra mega pixels..

even up-sizing the smaller images to the same size as the larger ones for exact comparison.. we cant see that "everybody knows" extra detail..??

okay its the kit lens.. but perhaps those extra pixels just are being wasted on the current sensors..

i would really like to see some evidence.. the nearest i have got so far is the link i posted above..

any other comments.. i aint knocking the k10.. just the always assumed and mostly taken for granted mega pixel myth..

this might sound silly but its the 6 mega pixel factor that made both i and my son go for pentax.. it was a plus point.. were we wrong..??

trog
I think it is very likely that the JPEGs in the K100D are better than in the *ist DS (which I've used for 18 months with little complaints)...this is really just the first I've seen side-by-side comparisons.
It puts myth to the idea that there is no difference between the K100 and the DS/DL (besides anti-shake), because if the K100D JPEGs compare favorably to the K10 ones then it is an improvement without question.

I for one would have liked a lower-noise 8MP sensor over the current 10MP one, but everyone agrees that it would have been the death knell for Pentax from a marketing perspective.

I've been shooting in RAW and have been incredibly happy with my DS - and I can say that the JPEGs are just fine. The K10 is that much better.
12-02-2006, 07:21 PM   #14
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The K100D does produce far better JPEGs than the DS in default mode. With a decent lens the microcontrast on detail on the K10 is better - that makes them look sharper even if the actual detail is only marginally better.
The trouble is its only very small details that the higher resolution shows up, so unless you print large its hard to see the difference. But I can clearly see that fine detail like textured cloth, foliage, animal fur etc. is rendered better on the K10.
But bearing in mind that the resolution of the lens AND sensor in combination is less than that of either on its own, you are only likely to get an improvement of around 10% linear resolution overall even id the sensor has 25% more pixels per linear dimension. Visible but not dramatic.
12-02-2006, 09:23 PM   #15
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Pentax is incrementally improving its DSLR cameras and except for SR not epic differences between models. You can see the biggest change if you look from say a DS to a K10D but not much if you look between K110D and the K10D. Going from 6Mp to 10Mp is just the incrementally improvements that Pentax has been making. This is good as it helps hold down prices so that even with the differences between a DS to a K10D there is not that much difference in price.

Right now most everyone is looking at things like Mp and noise. What we should be looking at more it is things like shadow detail and total pixel bit depth as this is becoming the limiting factor in digital photography.

DAZ
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