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11-01-2010, 02:00 AM   #1
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K7 versus ist DL for high ISO

I now own 3 Pentax SLRs - a K7, *ist DL (as of today) and a Spotmatic F.
On shooting some test photos after getting the DL home (with the original kit 18-55 zoom)- I took some pictures (all RAW PEF) around the garden and indoors - and those 6mp shots look darn good! They seem to have a cleaner "grainless" quality to them. Is it just because those sensors had much bigger pixels? Even the 3200 pics look as good as some of my K7 shots.
I got the DL as a back-up body for some weddings, but now I'm thinking of checking a bit more that it may be better at high ISOs for some indoor work.
Yes it has a plasticky clacky mirror noise, no AF spot in the VF and it is slower - but image quality is surprisingly good to my eye.
Anyone else done a similar comparison or had similar thoughts that those older "low density" sensors may be better than what we have now?
I'll try to upload some shots for comparison in the next day or two.

11-01-2010, 02:48 AM   #2
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There is also another difference. The K7 has a CMOS sensor, while the *ist has a CCD.
11-01-2010, 04:44 AM   #3
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The image quality of the Sony 6MP CCD sensor in the *ist/K100 family is exceptionally good. My K100DS keeps delivering punch after punch. Members of my local photo club are always amazed at its IQ and the fact that I've done 20"x30" prints from it.
I'm getting a bit more serious into photography now, and I plan to eventually get a K7 or K5. The K100DS will not only be a great backup, but a great studio camera as well.

Thanks,
11-01-2010, 05:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
The image quality of the Sony 6MP CCD sensor in the *ist/K100 family is exceptionally good. My K100DS keeps delivering punch after punch. Members of my local photo club are always amazed at its IQ and the fact that I've done 20"x30" prints from it.
I'm getting a bit more serious into photography now, and I plan to eventually get a K7 or K5. The K100DS will not only be a great backup, but a great studio camera as well.

Thanks,
I don't understand.If the image quality is good on the k100ds why would you want to buy a K7 with supposedly worse images quality?

11-01-2010, 05:33 AM   #5
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I agree with Ismaelg, but I would go for the K5 once price drops a bit. Not the K7.
Althoug IQ is important, there're other criteria such as general speed, ease of use, WR, high iso noise, AF, and much more smalls things that "expert" slr have and "amateur" slr dont.
11-01-2010, 07:03 AM   #6
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I have a Samsung GX-20 which basically has the same sensor as the K20D but also the K-7 (or very similar). Chroma noise is pretty high starting from ISO 1600. Also banding can occur in some photos. You can take care of these in PP but it doesn't encourage you to shoot at high ISO. I usually stop at 1000 or 1600.
A few months ago I bought a *ist DS body because it was dirt cheap. About 165$. It was in pretty good condition and had only about 15000 actuations, which is pretty low. It has many dead pixels which appear in various colors but any RAW converter takes care of most of them so it's not a big issue for me. The *ist DS doesn't have a pixel mapping feature.
I was surprised by the good IQ in general and low noise at 1600. Actually noise is present but it looks more like film grain and it's mostly visible in the out of focus area.
It's the chroma noise of the Samsung sensor that really bothers me and the main reason I never considered upgrading to K-7, eve though it had many tempting new features.
So I love both cameras for different reasons.
The GX-20 has a more Pro feel to it. You can change most settings in an instant using the external controls, it has SR, great IQ at low ISO (the *ist DS starts at ISO 200).
The *ist DS is a lot smaller and lighter. Put a prime on it and it's about the size of a bridge camera so people don't stare at you as much on the street. ISO 1600 is very much usable so it makes up for the lack of SR.
11-01-2010, 12:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I don't understand.If the image quality is good on the k100ds why would you want to buy a K7 with supposedly worse images quality?
QuoteOriginally posted by oliver939 Quote
I agree with Ismaelg, but I would go for the K5 once price drops a bit. Not the K7.
Althoug IQ is important, there're other criteria such as general speed, ease of use, WR, high iso noise, AF, and much more smalls things that "expert" slr have and "amateur" slr dont.
What I mean is a latest generation model (not necessarily a K7), but because of other features I currently lack like WR, Hi ISO, more cropping flexibility etc. If IQ was the only parameter, I would have no reason to "upgrade".
Actually, I have considered more than once getting a *ist as backup...

Thanks,
11-02-2010, 02:26 AM   #8
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Posted a couple of 1600 ISO pictures into my album - a reduced full frame and something close to a life size crop. Next I'll line up one of the kids for some high ISO portraits!
Ps3737's Album: My Garden through the ist DL - PentaxForums.com

11-02-2010, 03:24 AM   #9
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Are you resizing the K7 photos to 6 megapixels when you look at them in comparison to the DL? If you are looking at them at full size, then clearly there will be a benefit for the 6 megapixel camera at the pixel level, but it won't be one of significance.

I had a k100 and it did OK at iso 1600, but it certainly wasn't better than either the K20 or K7, except if you just compare individual pixels (which is basically meaningless).
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