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03-07-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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DSLR and Image Quality

Hi,

I was wondering if I had the K-5 and the k-x with the exact same gear...(da40 limited). All thing being equal would the k-5 produce a better quality image than the k-x? The camera review on this site states that the "K-x does not have a top professional image quality"


Sooo, does the k-5 have better image quality all things being equal when compared with the k-x? If so, why? Example pictures would be great to illustrate your reasoning.

Thanks
Trevor

03-07-2011, 08:14 PM   #2
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yes, although I don't have images to illustrate, the K-5 would produce a better image. For one thing, the resolution is much higher in the K-5 (16MP versus 12MP).
03-07-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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Mmmm, higher MP does not necessarily mean higher quality images. You can only cram so many pixels in a small processor. Often the size of the pixel is mote important than the number. If you have 3 times the money, get the K5, if you work in damp or dusty climes, get the K5, but for the money, the Kx does an excellent job.
03-07-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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There might be a difference between number of pixels and image quality, they don't mean the same thing. Looking at the DxO stats the K-5 would produce a deeper image, 14 instead of 12 bits and 2 Ev better in Dynamic Range, but, you might be surprised at how good the K-x is rated. It's no slouch either.

03-07-2011, 08:46 PM   #5
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Ok...I have the k-x and absolutely love it....

But even if the megapixels were the same...would the image quality be better? Does a professional camera have higher image quality all other things being equal?

Is there a way to differentiate a picture from a professional vs a beginner DLSR? If so, why? Is it Dynamic Range?
03-07-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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It's mostly about the photographer, then the glass, and then maybe the size of the sensor/film. (IMO).

Newer electronics definitely don't hurt, but any dSLR is capable of taking great shots.
03-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by trevorgrout Quote
Ok...I have the k-x and absolutely love it....

But even if the megapixels were the same...would the image quality be better? Does a professional camera have higher image quality all other things being equal?

Is there a way to differentiate a picture from a professional vs a beginner DLSR? If so, why? Is it Dynamic Range?
Trying to distinguish between pro and non-pro cameras has always been a controversial issue (see here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-talk/32238-photography-professional.html, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/123947-entry-level...lr-camera.html, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/26456-so-its-true-...ra-coming.html, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-talk/28162-k10-considered-professional-camera.html, etc.)

What does it matter - the end result from each camera (even the humble *ist D and its 6Mp images) meets the standards most pros require, unless they're into large format printing, where a medium/large format camera may be required.
03-07-2011, 10:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by trevorgrout Quote
Hi,

I was wondering if I had the K-5 and the k-x with the exact same gear...(da40 limited). All thing being equal would the k-5 produce a better quality image than the k-x? The camera review on this site states that the "K-x does not have a top professional image quality"

Sooo, does the k-5 have better image quality all things being equal when compared with the k-x? If so, why? Example pictures would be great to illustrate your reasoning.

Thanks
Trevor
Well, dxomark rates the K-5 higher than K-x, so it does have better IQ, but for most practical situations, if you'd be looking at images scaled to the same size, you'd have a hard time identifying the camera that produced them.

You can ignore that review comment. The K-x sensor is very good.

The main difference between the K-5 and the K-x won't be the sensor quality, but the quality of construction and the features you get in the K-5 body that you don't get in the K-x body.

03-08-2011, 12:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by trevorgrout Quote
Ok...I have the k-x and absolutely love it....

But even if the megapixels were the same...would the image quality be better? If so, why? Is it Dynamic Range?
The K5 captures 14-bit RAW images while the K-x captures 12-bit RAW images. Based on this article:Are 14-bit Raw Images Really Any Better Than 12-bit Raw? - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light, it seems the camera with 14-bits/channel (K5) may have differences in IQ over the camera with 12-bit/channel (K-x). As for the million-dollar question, with all things being equal, is the difference wide enough where one can spot whether picture-x was shot with a K5 and picture-y was shot with a K-x? IMHO, No.

I have a K-x myself and as many owners have said, it is a remarkable camera.


QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote

The main difference between the K-5 and the K-x won't be the sensor quality, but the quality of construction and the features you get in the K-5 body that you don't get in the K-x body.
+1 If I ever move to a K5 it will be for the reasons mentioned above; particularly the weather sealing.
03-08-2011, 01:10 AM   #10
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I go with the 90% photographer line. Years ago I had a blinder of a day with my Canon A70 - a 3.2 mega-pixel compact camera. In it's time (2003) it was a top class compact camera, but the DSLRs around were obviously capable of producing superior image quality - pushing images form the Canon past A4 isn't usually going to be a good idea.

Anyway, the images did very well at the camera club and also at an inter-club competition because they are good images. The judge can't see the camera, just the vision.

Does the K-5 produce better IQ than the K-x? Probably, but my point is that what you make of it matters more.





03-08-2011, 03:18 AM   #11
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My 2C, get a Kx and a .......K7!!! and for the outlay grab some lenses!
I have this combo, My wife often takes out the Kx, me the K7, rains the K7, dark the Kx, small lens street shot Kx, 2.8 Zoom take the K7. It goes on and on- they are a great complement together! Oh and you are missing a great point, two camera bodies! One wide - one long, less lens change and especially handy if you ever want to get into paid photo work.
One recommendation if you want the camera to 'blend in' and dont get noticed, don't buy a coloured Kx, I did cos my better half insisted on red and it does cause a talking point at gatherings.
03-08-2011, 05:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by trevorgrout Quote
The camera review on this site states that the "K-x does not have a top professional image quality"
Where you read that? And for now K-x might even produce better picture than k-5 due to better focus
03-08-2011, 09:28 AM   #13
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Under the "Decision process of a buyer" In the DSLR review section of this site it states:
"K-x does not have a top professional image quality, and has some disadvantages but for sure is a competitive camera at its level."

I am curious as to why the reviewer stated that the k-x doesn't have top professional image quality. I want to know why they say this? I appreciate all the comments thus far and the consensus seems to be that image quality is a function of lenses/picture taker not so much the actual dslr.
03-08-2011, 09:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmc Quote
Mmmm, higher MP does not necessarily mean higher quality images. You can only cram so many pixels in a small processor. Often the size of the pixel is mote important than the number. If you have 3 times the money, get the K5, if you work in damp or dusty climes, get the K5, but for the money, the Kx does an excellent job.
I agree. Say, 10MP on a full frame sensor would already produce a better image than film. With the right software a full frame 10MP image can be enlarged to the point where you can make a poster as big as a skyscraper. No one needs 300MP.
03-08-2011, 10:05 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
I agree. Say, 10MP on a full frame sensor would already produce a better image than film. With the right software a full frame 10MP image can be enlarged to the point where you can make a poster as big as a skyscraper. No one needs 300MP.
not a chance a well scanned 35 mm film is more than 10mp, and for a large scale print (ie advertising) in all likelihood if it was shot on film it would be medium format or large format in most cases (there is a studio on my street who specializes in Automobile shots (huge bay with an insane lighting setup) he is currently shooting the phase one 80mp full frame 645 back for most things but is also set up for large format 4x5 and 8x10
shoots do get done on FF digital there and as low as 12 MP on the nikon but not for this scale of print
the right tool for the job and the ability to use it well is what gets him big money

You can print with a smaller interpolated file in a large format but it gets soft, so if sharpness is important to the shot it needs the large file.

I do agree however that from a noise standpoint less MP has frequently been the better option (ie a 12 mp FF vs a 12 MP apsc the FF will be less noisy and generally perform better - caveat being of course most FF are no longer low MP and suffer the same issue due to pixel density as an apsc in many cases, but the tech has improved enormously in the last few years)
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