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03-03-2008, 08:27 PM   #1
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K20D--why 14 MP??

Why did Pentax make the K20D a 14 MP camera? Is anybody clamoring for a 14 MP camera? I regard the extra megapixels as mainly a hard disk space waster. And I assume that, if they'd been content to stop at, say, 12 MP, the camera could have been slightly less noisy. Was the megapixel count just a marketing move? I would find that slightly discouraging. I have enjoyed thinking of Pentax as a company that tended to be more about quality and less about marketing hype than some of the competition.

It may sound as if I'm asking these questions rhetorically, but actually, I'm not. If there's a good reason for the big jump in the megapixel count, I'd like to know what it is.

Will

03-03-2008, 08:52 PM   #2
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I get the impression its ISO1600 gives similar results to K10D's ISO400. That's 2-stop improvement. Let's say if they had made it 12MP it'd have been 3-stop improvement.

In that case I support Pentax's decision to settle for 2-stop leaving room for 2 extra Mp, to win some customers with marketing hype. Can't hurt to gain more customers. After all it's got to compete hard, marketing hype or not every bit helps.
03-03-2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Why did Pentax make the K20D a 14 MP camera? Is anybody clamoring for a 14 MP camera? I regard the extra megapixels as mainly a hard disk space waster. And I assume that, if they'd been content to stop at, say, 12 MP, the camera could have been slightly less noisy. Was the megapixel count just a marketing move? I would find that slightly discouraging. I have enjoyed thinking of Pentax as a company that tended to be more about quality and less about marketing hype than some of the competition.

It may sound as if I'm asking these questions rhetorically, but actually, I'm not. If there's a good reason for the big jump in the megapixel count, I'd like to know what it is.
Who knows, they may be beavering away behind the scenes right now trying to work out how to cram 20MP into an APS die, let's hope not though.
03-03-2008, 09:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kguru Quote
I get the impression its ISO1600 gives similar results to K10D's ISO400. That's 2-stop improvement. Let's say if they had made it 12MP it'd have been 3-stop improvement.

In that case I support Pentax's decision to settle for 2-stop leaving room for 2 extra Mp, to win some customers with marketing hype. Can't hurt to gain more customers. After all it's got to compete hard, marketing hype or not every bit helps.
Not according to PopPhoto's recent tests. k10d suposedly has lower noise than k20d at iso1600

03-03-2008, 09:20 PM   #5
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Will, the reason may be purely marketing. However, the darn thing works and is going to raise eyebrows. Do I need 14 MP? No. Does Pentax need to do something radical to separate themselves from the market leaders that have a huge lead on them? Yes.
03-03-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Not according to PopPhoto's recent tests. k10d suposedly has lower noise than k20d at iso1600
PopPhoto has been smoking crack again. They lost all credibility when they cut and pasted the K10's AF tests onto the K20 out of pure laziness. I have both cameras. At low ISO you would be hard pressed to see the difference in an 8x10 print. At high ISO the K20 wins quite clearly.

At close inspection on screen the K20 also clearly records more fine detail then the K10. Those details get lost in most print sizes, but it is there.
03-03-2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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Cause no APS-C camera has this much resolving capability at ISO 3200...



Or even ISO 5000...


Oh yeah and it helped in many other area, like cost, weight, not having to buy from someone else and the fact it'll withstand time. Canon's next 40D will have maybe 12MP at best if not 10MP again and the D300 will be on the shelves for 4 years based on Nikon's development roadmap. Pentax can now afford time playing with other new technologies while everyone catches up to the MP race
03-03-2008, 11:19 PM   #8
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Will, another possible reason for the 14Mp choice is to provide the extra resolution needed to retain detail in print sizes 16x20 and up. My current Epson may stop at 13x19, but I can send out to pro labs for larger, if need arises. 10Mp can be interpolated up with Genuine Fractals for a pretty good looking 16x20, but I'd hesitate to hang anything larger shot with my K10D in a gallery when I'm asking for other people to consider buying. So, I can see that Pentax may meet a market need with the K20D's 14Mp. (But I'm hoping for a 645D and even better resolution!)

03-03-2008, 11:57 PM   #9
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Apparently you haven't actually used the K20D otherwise you wouldn't be saying it is so noisy. Lets just forget that for now. Myself I applaud Pentax for at leasting making the MP jump a decent one. Nothing like tiny 2MP jumps year after year. A 4.5MP jump is a nice jump and yes, I have use of the resolution.

If I want to make sure that the images I shoot are going to be useful in the years to come I want all of the image data I can get.

As for 20MP in an APS-C size sensor. That is coming, that will come before full frame cameras can be hand for $1000. What will make that resolution possible on that size sensor is a camera that has the computing power and memory of a full computer. With that we can then expect noise reduction capabilities similar to what we get now with Neat Image, Noise Ninja, etc. Even a Intel 486 processor with 1 or 2GB of memory would make that kind of noise reduction possible.

Now you may disagree but noise reduction plug-ins in my book do a far better job than anything any current camera can do. And, that goes for the $5000 and $10,000 cameras. Full frame is too hard to make and get a quality sensor. This is what keeps the price up. I figure before we get full frame for $1000 we will have new sensor technology that will make that pointless. The fact that the lens companies seem to be pushing for lenses that don't work with full frame would also indicate the figure full frame for the masses will never come.

We will see.

Robert
03-04-2008, 12:05 AM   #10
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Hey, Robert, who are you responding to?
03-04-2008, 12:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Why did Pentax make the K20D a 14 MP camera? Is anybody clamoring for a 14 MP camera? I regard the extra megapixels as mainly a hard disk space waster. And I assume that, if they'd been content to stop at, say, 12 MP, the camera could have been slightly less noisy. Was the megapixel count just a marketing move? I would find that slightly discouraging. I have enjoyed thinking of Pentax as a company that tended to be more about quality and less about marketing hype than some of the competition.

It may sound as if I'm asking these questions rhetorically, but actually, I'm not. If there's a good reason for the big jump in the megapixel count, I'd like to know what it is.

Will
I'll take the resolution anyday. Especially if the noise is low. The ability to crop in more can be usefull sometimes. Consider yourself stuck with a wide angle when you want a midrange zoom....you shoot anyway because it is an important moment.
at 14.6mp, you can crop in later and retain that resolution.

now.....
i need to study what the resolution of glass is.
F.Y.I. the resolution of most film is comparable to 8mp
03-04-2008, 12:56 AM   #12
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The good thing about 14.6 megapixels is that one does not have to use the maximum quality setting all the time. One has the option to use different file size/quality settings for jpegs.
03-04-2008, 02:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
Cause no APS-C camera has this much resolving capability at ISO 3200...

Oh yeah and it helped in many other area, like cost, weight, not having to buy from someone else and the fact it'll withstand time. Canon's next 40D will have maybe 12MP at best if not 10MP again and the D300 will be on the shelves for 4 years based on Nikon's development roadmap. Pentax can now afford time playing with other new technologies while everyone catches up to the MP race
Amen to that.

The 14,6MP sensor is clearly an excellent move from Pentax.

Even if it is slightly more noisy than the other guys (which I have not found any real proof yet, due to the fact that the K20 is tested NR off while the other guys are tested NR on), the extra resolution makes the grain finer at a given print size.

I'll take the K20D any time against any other APS-C camera for a large print comparison at any given ISO (and that's coming from a guy who recently bought a 8MP Canon camera.... go figure! )
03-04-2008, 06:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Why did Pentax make the K20D a 14 MP camera? Is anybody clamoring for a 14 MP camera? I regard the extra megapixels as mainly a hard disk space waster. And I assume that, if they'd been content to stop at, say, 12 MP, the camera could have been slightly less noisy. Was the megapixel count just a marketing move? I would find that slightly discouraging. I have enjoyed thinking of Pentax as a company that tended to be more about quality and less about marketing hype than some of the competition.

It may sound as if I'm asking these questions rhetorically, but actually, I'm not. If there's a good reason for the big jump in the megapixel count, I'd like to know what it is.

Will
Actually quite simple. If you start of with 6.1 MP as in the *isD, and want to increase resolution by 50% in horizontal and vertical direction, then you'd end up with roughtly 13.8 MP. Guess there are considerations for width and height being some multiples of a power of 2, so 14 MP sounds about exactly what I'd expect.

Going down the same logic, the next big step will be 31.5 MP.
03-04-2008, 06:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Why did Pentax make the K20D a 14 MP camera? Is anybody clamoring for a 14 MP camera? I regard the extra megapixels as mainly a hard disk space waster. And I assume that, if they'd been content to stop at, say, 12 MP, the camera could have been slightly less noisy. Was the megapixel count just a marketing move? I would find that slightly discouraging. I have enjoyed thinking of Pentax as a company that tended to be more about quality and less about marketing hype than some of the competition.

It may sound as if I'm asking these questions rhetorically, but actually, I'm not. If there's a good reason for the big jump in the megapixel count, I'd like to know what it is.

Will

IMHO 10, 14, 20 mega pixel etc. is just holding technology anyway. In the next 4 years or so the new nanotechnology (much as I hate the term) quantum sensors will be boasting orders of magnitude increases in resolution coupled with iso's several thousand times higher than those around today - more sensitive to light than the human eye.

It stands to reason too - digital photography is now just about or maybe a little better than film - BUT the potential of digital is orders of magnitude better.

Ultimately the aim is to achieve the resolution of the glass - and here we are talking about the wavelength of light as the limiting factor - (lens aberrations can be digitally cancelled)

Of course we need the memory and digital processing technology to match this - but that will come too.

Naturally the initial applications will be in science and top end professional video areas, but eventually they will be incorporated in DSLRs too.

The Luddites amongst us will say who needs this anyway? But really we will be clamouring for it when it comes.
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