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04-18-2014, 10:31 AM   #436
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BobD2: You have some valid and interesting arguments there.

QuoteOriginally posted by BobD2 Quote
First thing is from your description of doing the test, it sounds like you set out with the intent of making the images look the same ("I can get results that are very similar with appropriate settings in ACR"). I'm not saying that's a bad approach - it's a worthy comparison strategy, but if you set out to see if you could get the images to look the same, then you might be subduing the punchier color we claim the CCD sensor is capable of.
Quite right, that's what I was trying to do--but not just for the sake of comparison but because I always try to get my raw shots to look the way I like them. In the K10D days I routinely used to turn the saturation down a little because I found the 0 setting oversaturated for my taste in most shots. I don't do it (or do it to a lesser degree) with the K-5II.

QuoteOriginally posted by BobD2 Quote
The second thing is that you scaled both images down to a smaller equal size, so differences other than color may be equalized. For example, I'm convinced that by packing 16 million pixels versus 10 onto the same size sensor and also working hard to keep noise levels low at high ISO settings makes for softer images at low ISO settings with the K-5 or K-5II. But if you scale both images down to 1000 pixels or less, however, the possibly softer image from the K-5II may tighten up and look very similar to the K10D image. I'm willing to bet if you did a 100% crop out of the middle of both test images, while the K-5II crop would show details at a larger size, it would also appear softer. From personally owning both cameras, I'm still convinced that what you gain in mega pixels you lose in sharpness, and that when pixel peeping, it's only when you scale down a K-5 image to the size of a K10D image do you see similar sharpness at 1:1 pixel ratio.
Now things are getting complicated. The first statement (about equalizing other differences) is no doubt true. But I don't buy the argument about the 10 MP sensor producing sharper images. This has a lot to do with the lenses you use: a lens that does not clearly outperform the 10 MP sensor will appear sharper because the 16 MP sensor will not bring out more detail but rather the limitations of the lens. With a higher resolution lens things will look different.
Yesterday's test shots are not very well suited to prove my point, but we may nevertheless take a closer look (below). I'm not 100% sure that the distance was set identically in both shots as I was not testing for sharpness. But I have done such tests before and this were my conclusions: with the finest details that it can resolve, the 10 MP sensor may appear more crisp but if you look closer this is mostly due to aliasing effects rather than real detail. If you leave the 10 MP shot at its 100% resolution and scale down the 16 MP shot to the same size you get a lot more real detail.
However, I also made an observation that I did not sufficiently test for a clear conclusion: it may be that the corners with wide-angle lenses are relatively less sharp with the K-5II. There are two possible explanations as far as I can see: either it is the same effect I just mentioned--that the lens resolution falls below the 16 MP sensor resolution and we really see the limitations of the lens; or that it has to do with the microlens/AA filter construction of the K-5II (in that case the K-5IIs should probably behave better).

QuoteOriginally posted by BobD2 Quote
Lastly there's my own claim that CCD images from the K10D are more "film-like", which I love because I still love and still shoot film. My thinking there is that as noise does creep in with the K10D sensor, as long as you remove the color noise in ACR or equivalent, the luminance noise that's left is what's giving the images a more film-like look. I definitely know this is subjective, and I know some people would rather see less noise - period - regardless of the nature of that noise. But personally, I sometimes shoot at ISO 800 on the K10D in broad daylight because I like the film-like noise it will give my images.
I used to shoot for many years what must have been the most grainy 100 ISO slide film ever (Agfachrome CT 21) because I loved its colours. If you like noise you can get it from the K-5II too--but I agree that the K10D may be more "film-like" in its noise structure because the K-5II under some circumstances can produce noise with a more regular, raster-like appearance. However, I did not like the banding colour noise of K10D high-ISO shots which you cannot really get rid of. And I find that it is much easier with the K-5II to retrieve highlights that are blocked with the standard settings. With the K10D--at least with ACR--they tend to discolour, I assume because there is remaining usable detail only in one of the colour channels.

K10D, 100% crop


K-5II scaled to K10D resolution


K-5II, 100% crop


04-19-2014, 04:42 AM   #437
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
In the K10D days I routinely used to turn the saturation down a little because I found the 0 setting oversaturated for my taste in most shots. I don't do it (or do it to a lesser degree) with the K-5II
Interesting - perhaps this is what we've been calling "punchier"?

QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
But I don't buy the argument about the 10 MP sensor producing sharper images. This has a lot to do with the lenses you use: a lens that does not clearly outperform the 10 MP sensor will appear sharper because the 16 MP sensor will not bring out more detail but rather the limitations of the lens. With a higher resolution lens things will look different.
This is a very good point! I use mostly old manual focus lenses, which very well may not be able to resolve as much detail on the newer higher MP cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
with the finest details that it can resolve, the 10 MP sensor may appear more crisp but if you look closer this is mostly due to aliasing effects rather than real detail. If you leave the 10 MP shot at its 100% resolution and scale down the 16 MP shot to the same size you get a lot more real detail.
This is an interesting possibility also - while 1:1 viewing or pixel peeping can be very helpful (and I admit I'm addicted to it), I would say it could be tough to tell what you're looking at in some cases. Maybe some test shots will be more revealing than others, but not sure.

QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
it may be that the corners with wide-angle lenses are relatively less sharp with the K-5II. There are two possible explanations as far as I can see: either it is the same effect I just mentioned--that the lens resolution falls below the 16 MP sensor resolution and we really see the limitations of the lens; or that it has to do with the microlens/AA filter construction of the K-5II (in that case the K-5IIs should probably behave better).
Agreed, this is a case of it being hard to know when there are or could be multiple factors to take into account. We know all lenses get worse out in the corners, so a lens that could resolve well on a 16 MP sensor in the center, might not hold up in the corners. I would think (and hope) the AA filter would be even across the sensor, but one never knows I guess.

Thanks for posting the 100% crops. It's fun analyzing and chatting about this, but in the end it's also obvious from your tests and 100% crops that we're really scrutinizing over very minor differences. I decided to do a CRAZY comparison myself. The only CMOS sensor SLR I have is a Canon 5D (original or "Classic" 5D, 12 MP). I thought a full-frame 12 MP camera would smoke the poor 10 MP APS sensor of the K10D, but I was very surprised by what I saw. Will prep the shots and share soon.
04-19-2014, 04:59 AM   #438
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QuoteOriginally posted by BobD2 Quote
I thought a full-frame 12 MP camera would smoke the poor 10 MP APS sensor of the K10D, but I was very surprised by what I saw. Will prep the shots and share soon.
Wow looking forward to it ! Thanks !
--manntax
04-19-2014, 05:17 AM   #439
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plus 1. This might talk me out of buying a second hand 5D :P

04-19-2014, 05:55 AM   #440
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Okay, I have prepared the two shots - I uploaded both full size shots to my Flickr stream for pixel peeping, plus posted a 1:1 crop out of the middle of each shot. Light was a bit harsh, so it's no award winning shot, but of course that's not the point. Bear in mind, we're not just comparing the sensors in this case, but two very different lenses. On the K10D I used an SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 (42mm equiv. as we all know), and on the Canon I used the very new and modern EF 40mm F2.8 STM. So beside the 5D being full frame, it also has the advantage of a modern lens with state of the art coatings. The EF 40/2.8 gets rave reviews and I see why - it's smokin' sharp! Nevertheless, I've pitted it against the very old Pentax 28/2.8. The result, IMO, is that the 5D shot is a little sharper and shows a bit more contrast than the Pentax shot - most noticeable in the 100% crop, barely noticeable in the full view shots. I believe the differences are due to the lens, and not likely sensor differences. Maybe the next test should be with an old screw mount lens on both cameras, so I could compare using the same lens (I own m42 adapters for both). Here's the full size and crops, linked over to Flickr so you can do more pixel peeping than you can here...

Full shot, Pentax K10D:



Full shot, Canon EOS 5D:



100% crop, Pentax K10D:



100% crop, Canon 5D:



Will enjoy hearing what you all think. As I said, I'm surprised at how little real difference there is beside the slight sharpness advantage of the new Canon lens.

---------- Post added 04-19-2014 at 08:59 AM ----------

Forgot to mention one other detail... since the 40mm lens on the Canon gave a slightly wider view, I cropped it slightly to match. And then since it was a 12 MP sensor, I also scaled the image down - ever so slightly - to match the size of the 10 MP image. But we were talking very little size difference to begin with.
04-19-2014, 07:39 AM   #441
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This comparison conversation has changed into pixel peeping and comparing the relative benefits of different size sensors. It started out as a comparison of the presented colors from CCD to CMOS sensors. Well, on my laptop, I can orient the page so that I can see both pictures in full shot format of the above comparison. I'm not a pixel peeper at all. I just want to compare the overall photos to each other. As I see it, the K10D's color rendition is by far better than the 5D's. The blue sky is bluer, the browns of the dock are fuller bodied as are the dark shades of the pavement and the rocks. The 5D's water isn't as appealling either. I can sort of confirm all the same impressions in the 100% crop photos, but I need to scroll up and down to do it. Even though I just moved up from the K10D to a K5ii, I believe that I still prefer the color rendition from the CCD sensor.

P.S. I appreciate the effort you made to do a fair comparison and to equalize all of the other variables.
04-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #442
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QuoteOriginally posted by BobD2 Quote
Okay, I have prepared the two shots - I uploaded both full size shots to my Flickr stream for pixel peeping, plus posted a 1:1 crop out of the middle of each shot. Light was a bit harsh, so it's no award winning shot, but of course that's not the point. Bear in mind, we're not just comparing the sensors in this case, but two very different lenses. On the K10D I used an SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 (42mm equiv. as we all know), and on the Canon I used the very new and modern EF 40mm F2.8 STM. So beside the 5D being full frame, it also has the advantage of a modern lens with state of the art coatings. The EF 40/2.8 gets rave reviews and I see why - it's smokin' sharp! Nevertheless, I've pitted it against the very old Pentax 28/2.8. The result, IMO, is that the 5D shot is a little sharper and shows a bit more contrast than the Pentax shot - most noticeable in the 100% crop, barely noticeable in the full view shots. I believe the differences are due to the lens, and not likely sensor differences. Maybe the next test should be with an old screw mount lens on both cameras, so I could compare using the same lens (I own m42 adapters for both). Here's the full size and crops, linked over to Flickr so you can do more pixel peeping than you can here...

Full shot, Pentax K10D:



Full shot, Canon EOS 5D:



100% crop, Pentax K10D:



100% crop, Canon 5D:



Will enjoy hearing what you all think. As I said, I'm surprised at how little real difference there is beside the slight sharpness advantage of the new Canon lens.

---------- Post added 04-19-2014 at 08:59 AM ----------

Forgot to mention one other detail... since the 40mm lens on the Canon gave a slightly wider view, I cropped it slightly to match. And then since it was a 12 MP sensor, I also scaled the image down - ever so slightly - to match the size of the 10 MP image. But we were talking very little size difference to begin with.
Thanks for your comparison - it is appreciated.
I think that you are right and that a comparison as you suggest:
Maybe the next test should be with an old screw mount lens on both cameras, so I could compare using the same lens (I own m42 adapters for both)
will be most useful.
Looking forward to it.
OH

Last edited by Oldhand; 04-19-2014 at 04:39 PM.
04-19-2014, 05:07 PM   #443
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I think if perhaps you (I say you collectively for all in this thread) still need justification.. well if you are hear to make yourself feel good about a digital camera you own.

Well its time to put the internet down and go outside me thinks :P

04-19-2014, 11:01 PM - 1 Like   #444
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
I think if perhaps you (I say you collectively for all in this thread) still need justification.. well if you are hear to make yourself feel good about a digital camera you own.

Well its time to put the internet down and go outside me thinks :P
As far as I am concerned, it is about understanding the digital imaging process so that I can get the images I want. My original point was not that this or that is the better camera but that the characteristics we use to describe sensor performance are a combination of sensor tech and processing (and, obviously, lens). Thus they are not givens we have to accept but rather variables that we can control.
04-19-2014, 11:51 PM   #445
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04-20-2014, 01:18 AM   #446
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
I think if perhaps you (I say you collectively for all in this thread) still need justification.. well if you are hear to make yourself feel good about a digital camera you own.
As far as I'm concerned, it's a thread about whether or not I should spend a large amount of money to change to a newer camera. Thanks to the sample shots in your own original flickr link, plus the excellent comparisons posted by wkraus and BobD2, I've now concluded that I don't need to. I hardly ever need to go above ISO800, and I rarely crop more than is needed to straighten a horizon. So, in my own case, I've decided to take the money I was putting aside for a newer body and spend it on lenses instead.
04-20-2014, 04:05 AM   #447
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
As far as I'm concerned, it's a thread about whether or not I should spend a large amount of money to change to a newer camera. Thanks to the sample shots in your own original flickr link, plus the excellent comparisons posted by wkraus and BobD2, I've now concluded that I don't need to. I hardly ever need to go above ISO800, and I rarely crop more than is needed to straighten a horizon. So, in my own case, I've decided to take the money I was putting aside for a newer body and spend it on lenses instead.
I am starting to feel exactly the same way as you do, Dave. I was thinking about a K-3. I know it is getting good reviews but there is just something about putting nearly 2.5 times the number of pixels of my K10D on the same size sensor that makes me feel a little uncomfortable. What do others feel about this?
04-20-2014, 06:16 AM   #448
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There's always seems to be a good used K-5 in the Marketplace if you want to step up without breaking the bank. There are still a few K20Ds if you prefer the size and heft of the K10D like me. I've had my K10D and K20D to Yellowstone in -25 F weather with nary a problem. Ricoh says the K-3 is "cold proof" down to +14 F.
04-20-2014, 07:16 AM   #449
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Thanks for all the follow-up comments - this thread has been very informative - hearing everyone's thoughts on the K10D and seeing all the samples. For me it has indeed been about justification... justifying my thinking that I don't need a newer, "better" model. And as I'd said, I've actually owned both a K20D and a K-5, and then backed down. But as one who is stricken with GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome for those who may not have seen that acronym), I sometimes forget why I made these decisions in the first place and find myself lusting after supposedly better gear. And let's remember there are other reasons that a newer model might be better - we've just been talking about image quality from the K10D sensor, and I think we've proven we don't need to upgrade in hopes of a better sensor. If you wanted to print giant poster sized prints, then you would surely want more mega pixels. But this thread has proven to me over again (or reminded me), that the K10D is all I need in the Pentax department. Honestly, I bought a used Canon 5D because I'm always questioning if there's something better - in the case of the 5D I felt the full frame sensor would be superior - but I feel I've even proven that's not true. Lastly, regardless of image quality comparisons, I do not want to fill up my hard drive and bog down my computer with huge image files from 20+ mega pixel cameras. So the camera companies are offering me nothing these days - they've lost my interest - it's used gear for me unless something changes in their thinking.
04-20-2014, 09:03 AM   #450
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It's always better to spend one's money on really good lenses than on digital bodies. So far I've gotten better BIFs on an old 8 MP sensor than on the K-3's 24 MP. When I go to Yellowstone this week the K10D and K20D will be in the bag!
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