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11-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
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Pentax K100D Super vs. iPhone 5S

So here's a comparison that interests me.

In decent lighting (maybe around ISO 100 for the K100D and ISO 25 plus HDR for the 5S), how does the image quality of these two devices compare?

I used to own the K100D and I currently own the 5S, and looking at prints up to 8x10 it's hard to distinguish them.

I no longer have the RAWs or JPEGs from the K100D to post, but if anyone else can, that would be fun.

Just wondering if anyone else out there is noticing an incredible leap in image quality being made in camera phones.

11-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bsamcash Quote
So here's a comparison that interests me.

In decent lighting (maybe around ISO 100 for the K100D and ISO 25 plus HDR for the 5S), how does the image quality of these two devices compare?

I used to own the K100D and I currently own the 5S, and looking at prints up to 8x10 it's hard to distinguish them.

I no longer have the RAWs or JPEGs from the K100D to post, but if anyone else can, that would be fun.

Just wondering if anyone else out there is noticing an incredible leap in image quality being made in camera phones.
I shot some pictures by night with the "low light simulation" mode of the Galaxy S3, alongside the K100DS, and noticed exactly what you're saying.
Not much difference, except if you milk the 6MP RAW up to its last ounce of detail, being careful with NR at the same time...
My experience with cellphones has been very good (Nokia N95, a real beast) to bad (Galaxy S, noticeably worse in spite of being 3 years newer...) to good (Galaxy S3), and I can only imagine what the new kids on the block can do (the Lumias & the new S5 and iPhone 6).
11-03-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
I shot some pictures by night with the "low light simulation" mode of the Galaxy S3, alongside the K100DS, and noticed exactly what you're saying.
That's very interesting! I didn't expect a phone to hold up in low light shots as well. Very cool.
11-03-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bsamcash Quote
That's very interesting! I didn't expect a phone to hold up in low light shots as well. Very cool.
Yeah, it's a mode that does some kind of stacking I believe...
Takes multiple exposures (but I've never seen motion blur, as opposed to in-phone HDR) and then averages out the noise...

11-03-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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Phones cameras are getting better pretty quick, but you can't mount super sweet lens on it, the sensor is super small, etc.
Phone cameras are good for point and shoot and that is it (of course, unless you are Chase Jarvis or Jerry Ghionis, then you can art with that)
11-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Phones cameras are getting better pretty quick, but you can't mount super sweet lens on it, the sensor is super small, etc.
Phone cameras are good for point and shoot and that is it (of course, unless you are Chase Jarvis or Jerry Ghionis, then you can art with that)
Everyone can do art with those... at the end of the fair, only thing that matters is that the equipment helps you doing your thing and isn't a hindrance.
When I was shooting with only the K-01 and the DA 40mm XS I used the cellphone for a) its wide angle lens (mine is a 24mm equiv) and b) snapshots I didn't care about.
Some of its functions are pretty nifty, but for instance I can't get a flash to fire in response to a pop of the flash of the cellphone (nothing in the IR range probably).
So it boils down to using the best tool for the job every single time, be it a cellphone, a disposable camera, a film camera, a mirrorless, a DSLR... you name it
11-03-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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Just think of the goldmine of gear that will soon be available as millions and millions dump their outmoded cameras in
favor of their phone.
11-03-2014, 04:15 PM   #8
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I'm not convinced. See this: https://fstoppers.com/gear/how-does-iphone-5-camera-compare-dslr-5070
And: http://www.redmondpie.com/iphone-6-plus-vs-canon-5d-mark-iii-dslr-image-qual...arison-photos/
And: http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/22/6055591/iphone-vs-pro-camera

11-03-2014, 09:25 PM   #9
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I'm not sure how this is fair. I was talking about an entry level APS-C DSLR from 2006.
11-04-2014, 12:11 AM   #10
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For me big plus of K100D is that this camera is IR capable without remowing the antialiasing filter. Do not suppose it is possible for any smartphone.
11-04-2014, 12:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bsamcash Quote
I'm not sure how this is fair. I was talking about an entry level APS-C DSLR from 2006.
I think a lot of their conclusions still hold up with the K100D, about handling and control. That's the most important difference, also between a DSLR and a lot of the advanced Point and shoot cameras.
It is different to have access to the dial / dials and buttons and the speed of the camera, startup etc is night and day and that's a big difference.
If you look at the phone shots i think a lot of them look over processed, and my guess is that a lot of times that just software trying to compensate for the limitations of the camera/lens/phone itself.

Not saying you cannot take a good pic with a phone today, because you absolutely can, but there are so many other factors playing in. And in the end you still have a small sensor behind a very Little piece of glass where you try to compensate for the limitations in software.

Just my thoughts
11-04-2014, 12:59 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bsamcash Quote
I'm not sure how this is fair. I was talking about an entry level APS-C DSLR from 2006.
Exactly, it's obvious that the comparison won't hold once you factor in same-generation hardware.
However a mere 6 years (2006-2012) are enough to fill the gap, at least partially, and that's astounding in its own right.
11-04-2014, 02:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Exactly, it's obvious that the comparison won't hold once you factor in same-generation hardware.
However a mere 6 years (2006-2012) are enough to fill the gap, at least partially, and that's astounding in its own right.
Well said!
11-04-2014, 03:54 AM   #14
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I have a smartphone that gives me raw photos. It uses the Sony IMX135 or so, which is in basically every high end smartphone from last year with 13 MP. At higher ISOs (well, any, really, it is really noisy). So much that Lightroom's noise reduction sliders don't go far enough. However you can eek out quite a bit of quality, it is not that bad. The JPEG engine does a ton of noise filtering though... I can do that better in Lightroom, but need several passes (export as TIFF, import again and do noise reduction again. And again). I wouldn't say it can compete with my *istDS, but it's acceptable. Maybe if there is interest I can upload a raw file or two.
11-04-2014, 04:14 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bsamcash Quote
So here's a comparison that interests me.

In decent lighting (maybe around ISO 100 for the K100D and ISO 25 plus HDR for the 5S), how does the image quality of these two devices compare?

I used to own the K100D and I currently own the 5S, and looking at prints up to 8x10 it's hard to distinguish them.

I no longer have the RAWs or JPEGs from the K100D to post, but if anyone else can, that would be fun.

Just wondering if anyone else out there is noticing an incredible leap in image quality being made in camera phones.

Hi. I had K100DS for 7 years before giving it to my father this summer. I don't have 5S, but had to copy photos for some of my guests who had it. Anecdotally, my impression is that, screen-sized, the photos in good light look similar (maybe even better for 5S but bear in mind I shoot K100DS raw, and I am sure 5S has all sorts of jpeg sweeteners added), but when pixel peeping, 5S is noticeably softer. With worse light, 5S photos deteriorate faster. This even though K100DS is not very impressive in low light.


I'd say if you want to snap away, phone can do it. You can get decent photos of pretty much uniform style. But if you want a bit more creative control, it's trickier with phone. And yes, I'd take K100DS over 5S as long as I don't have to make phone calls.
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