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02-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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Is the K10D comparable to K-5 for night photography at iso 100?

Well! I think I will get to go on a remote camping trip this summer. I want to try some long exposure night shots. I will have no ways of charging batteries, I will have two batteries for the K-5, so an idea came up to take my old K10D for this as well.

I know some say shooting long night shots and higher iso is better, and some say the lower the better. With the K10D iso 100 had incredible DR and noise performance too and has the CCD sensor.

Will the the K10D at iso 100 do almost as well as the K-5 at iso100, or is it even better?

I am not shooting distant galaxies, just landscape scenery with start trails or just the camping site with some light painting.

Thanks.

02-19-2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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At ISO 100 the IQ should be about the same, less the added resolution of course.

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02-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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Adam is a bit too quick to answer.
The problem is that you're talking about long exposures.
CCD is an active kind of sensor so it tends to heat up and with the longer exposure this will cause noise.
CMOS is passive and they stay cool and so cause less noise.
However CCD is more noise free at lower ISO to begin with so don't know how that would go against the much newer K5.

But anyway you will get different images from both sensors, that's for sure.
02-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
At ISO 100 the IQ should be about the same, less the added resolution of course.
Thanks.

My plan to get a decent exposure is to do a trial shot at iso51200 at f2.8 with trial shutter speeds till I get proper exposure (hopefully the shutter would be something reasonable, within 1 min), then I'll shoot the final shot at iso100 at f8 and the shutter would be 6 stops more than what I got at iso51200 and f2.8.

But, I would like to hear more on whether shooting at iso1600 with the K-5 is in anyway better than at iso100 for long exposure night shots. Will of course be using a good tripod and remote.

02-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Adam is a bit too quick to answer.
The problem is that you're talking about long exposures.
CCD is an active kind of sensor so it tends to heat up and with the longer exposure this will cause noise.
CMOS is passive and they stay cool and so cause less noise.
However CCD is more noise free at lower ISO to begin with so don't know how that would go against the much newer K5.

But anyway you will get different images from both sensors, that's for sure.
Ok, that is interesting, so it's a balance of two different factors. As the K-5 CMOS is incredibly noise free for any sensor CCD or not, I have a feeling K-5 would be better.

If I could shoot at iso 1600 with the K-5, and If I learn to do the dark frame substraction later (which could be disabled in the k-5) I guess two batteries might be enough....I could buy another battery for the K-5 instead of taking the extra body, but I am also curious to see how well this CCD sensor work, as I really loved the K10D at iso100, so just might take it and see.
02-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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K-5 is better for long exposures, but the K10D is not unusable either. I think there is no reason to use the K10D if you have enough batteries for the K-5. Unless of course you are curious and want to make a direct comparison.
02-19-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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That would be an interesting comparison I would like to see the results of.
02-20-2012, 02:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Adam is a bit too quick to answer.
The problem is that you're talking about long exposures.
CCD is an active kind of sensor so it tends to heat up and with the longer exposure this will cause noise.
CMOS is passive and they stay cool and so cause less noise.
However CCD is more noise free at lower ISO to begin with so don't know how that would go against the much newer K5.

But anyway you will get different images from both sensors, that's for sure.
I have as well a K200D (same sensor as K10D but with a modified processing engine) as the K-5. I think Anvh is right about sensor heating on very long exposures: I do think I see some amplifier glow in very dark images with exposure times of several minutes).

Regarding the otherwise low-nioise images of the CCD one should also note that that the K10D/K200D pixels elements are some 50% larger in area than those of the K-5 and thus, by nature also less noisy on that account.

At higher ISO, K-5 is clearly the winner. I am pretty certain that there are some hidden noise reduction algorithms involved - even if I disable all noise reductions in the menu settings - but I don't mind: PENTAX has done a very fine job here!

I cannot resist one final, irrelevant note: If I were to embark upon such a project out in the wilderness, I would surely use my K200D because it takes AA cells and I could just carry a bag of Energizer litium cells with me. I sometimes wish, I could do the same with my K-5, Even after I got my K-5, I am still very,very, very fond of my K200D..,,,,,,,,,,

02-20-2012, 03:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote

I cannot resist one final, irrelevant note: If I were to embark upon such a project out in the wilderness, I would surely use my K200D because it takes AA cells and I could just carry a bag of Energizer litium cells with me. I sometimes wish, I could do the same with my K-5, Even after I got my K-5, I am still very,very, very fond of my K200D..,,,,,,,,,,
Well, you can do that with the grip on the K5. I personally would buy a couple of extra lithium K5 batteries or a solar charger....
02-20-2012, 04:08 AM   #10
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Take the shots and tell us how they compare.
I would back the K-5 in by a comfortable margin though....
02-20-2012, 04:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
If I could shoot at iso 1600 with the K-5, and If I learn to do the dark frame substraction later (which could be disabled in the k-5)
It can be disable on the K10 as well.
02-20-2012, 05:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Well, you can do that with the grip on the K5. ....
Yes! And I am getting one, WR and all --- as soon as my wife says I can afford it......
02-20-2012, 05:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
Yes! And I am getting one, WR and all --- as soon as my wife says I can afford it......
You can't afford not to. It transforms the K-5 from an excellent camera into a great one.
02-20-2012, 07:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
I have as well a K200D (same sensor as K10D but with a modified processing engine) as the K-5. I think Anvh is right about sensor heating on very long exposures: I do think I see some amplifier glow in very dark images with exposure times of several minutes).

Regarding the otherwise low-nioise images of the CCD one should also note that that the K10D/K200D pixels elements are some 50% larger in area than those of the K-5 and thus, by nature also less noisy on that account.

At higher ISO, K-5 is clearly the winner. I am pretty certain that there are some hidden noise reduction algorithms involved - even if I disable all noise reductions in the menu settings - but I don't mind: PENTAX has done a very fine job here!

I cannot resist one final, irrelevant note: If I were to embark upon such a project out in the wilderness, I would surely use my K200D because it takes AA cells and I could just carry a bag of Energizer litium cells with me. I sometimes wish, I could do the same with my K-5, Even after I got my K-5, I am still very,very, very fond of my K200D..,,,,,,,,,,
CCD photo-sensative area is also larger compared to CMOS with the same pixel count and sensor size.
There is so much packt in the CMOS sensor that they need to squeez things in but that isn't super important differnce though, the biggest differnce comes how the signal are amplified.
With CMOS the individual cells are amplified near the source, this is more effiecent and therefore you get cleaner high noise images but... there is more differnce between the cells this way so with low ISO images with very little noise you can notice the differnces and that is where the CCD is better, it amplifies the signal of the sensor in one go so you don't have the subtle differnces you can get with CMOS.



For the OP with 1 minute photos at night i doubt the sensor gets really warm so you can try it and compare.
The K10D does give you differend photos so it might be more suitable compared to the K5.
02-21-2012, 12:14 PM   #15
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I think it was stated, but ultimately, I'd suggest getting outside with both cameras and giving them a test or two BEFORE your trip... In fact, if you have two tripods available and a couple of lens at a similar focal length, you could set up almost the exact same photo side by side and compare the output directly.

Actually, I might try the same thing... I plan on going to Iceland later this year. Your discussion is making me curious as to whether I should bring my K10d along with my K5. I'll have to take the high ISO abilities into account with the K5, too. I'm generally happier with my shorter duration exposures from the K5 at an ISO of 800 as opposed to the longer duration ones I used to do at ISO 100 with the K10d. I haven't been terribly happy with higher ISO shots with the K5 for a dark image (i.e. a night sky). It isn't that the camera is bad, but even the best cameras can only do so much.
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