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05-10-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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k10d vs k20d ISO 1600 test

Sorry to be "spamming" the forum with different test threads, but I thought this might be useful to people. In keeping my theme of: no comparison pictures of extreme "digital zooms" of liquor bottle labels, I thought I would take a picture with my k10d at iso 1600 and my k20d at iso 1600. These may not be interesting to the "pixel nerds" but I thought it was useful in comparing the two cameras.

exposure was the same on both shots, same 90mm lens, both shot in RAW and converted to jpeg at highest quality and "daylight" white balance, and "natural" tone. Only resized by Flickr.

Who says Pentax is not as good at high ISO?
k10d vs k20d ISO 1600 - a set on Flickr

IMO, both do an outstanding job. From a practical standpoint, I can't see a noise difference. Only difference I notice when shooting my two cameras is that the k10d has sort of a subtle "greenish" cast compared to my k20d.

Give me a few hours and I will repeat in the dark like my last test, if anyone is interested.


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-10-2008 at 12:45 PM.
05-10-2008, 12:47 PM   #2
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Oh yeah I forgot to add: not a single hot pixel to be found anywhere.
05-10-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Your test is similar to what I get whe I compare my K10D and K20D. The noise on the K10D is quite low IF you don't under expose and IF it is not too dark. Given those facts, I often use my K10D at ISO 1250 or higher for sports and get very decent 8 1/2 X 11 prints. Noise does creep up when it gets darker, but with some post, it is manageable.
05-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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OK, in the dark shots are up now. f/16 at 20 second exposure. Both look great. Slight greenish tinge still in k10d. Guess what, no sign of a hot pixel anywhere!

05-11-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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hm would be nice to see it at 100 % I'm fairly happy with the noise in my camera (K10D) as said if i expose right in camera and don't need to up it in PP its not too bad
05-11-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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But seriously, what is the obsession with wanting to view images at 100%? That is like looking at a poster from a few inches away. Most people don't use thier pictures that way. They print them out for albums, or view them on the computer at a reasonable size. The point was to try and show a few high iso shots without the typical web reviewer extreme digital zooms: "ok here is a k20d shot at iso 1600, and notice at 100% crop the noise visible in the nostril of the subject. This camera certainly should not be used above iso 800, etc. etc."

I am simply trying to add my examples to help make the case that the k10d and k20d do a great job at high ISO, and people shouldn't shy away from using them, or switch to some other brand because of a small percentage noise increase when viewed at extreme closeup.
05-11-2008, 11:03 AM   #7
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I'm not saying that noise is unaceptable its better than no picture at all its just that you say prints, fine I can print at 32 X 48 cm from my K10D if its a totally shake free image and not a lot of noise (I guess as i have not printed that big yet) this is at 200 dpi thats only 3 times what the screen is, I have seen images in competitions where there is visible noise (prints). If we have to make any corrections noise will make it more dificult this can something as simple as what I now do with swan images which is to treat them with photomatix HDR image software so that I can brighten the water without blowing the swan.
05-11-2008, 01:17 PM   #8
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yeah but..

the situation where noise is most important is low light + short exposures.

The longer the exposure, the less noise shows up (because it's random so it averages out), and it's less visible when you have enough light.. so this doesn't prove anything, only that both do what they are supposed to do.

05-11-2008, 01:48 PM   #9
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well I have little editing leeway when noise is present I have processed some images and have just got away with noise showing up any worse and it would have shown and its 10 Mp on A4
05-11-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ricardobeat Quote
the situation where noise is most important is low light + short exposures.

The longer the exposure, the less noise shows up (because it's random so it averages out), and it's less visible when you have enough light.. so this doesn't prove anything, only that both do what they are supposed to do.
All I can say is; wow...
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