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06-09-2016, 09:08 PM   #1
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k200d to k3ii - how many more stops iso?

I have a k200d. It's great, but there are two things I'd like to improve, low light AF and high iso performance. Can anyone quantify how much better the k3ii is over what I'm used to in terms of iso?

One online comparison I saw said 1 stop. Not sure if that is accurate though, seems like not as much as I'd like. Maybe 2 stops? Can be hard to compare sample shots due to the extreme resolution difference.

Thanks for any advice. I'm sure that any modern body would be a huge improvement, I guess it's more of a question of which to get or when to buy. Not sure if I can live without a top LCD... and more controls than k200d would be nice (e.g. change iso without using screen).

Of course I keep searching for k200d on here and there is so much about how the CCD is so good! Hard to leave it behind!

06-09-2016, 09:47 PM   #2
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DXOMark show the two are virtually identical, Sewebster, but the K200D doesn't go higher than 1600 ISO anyway!

In postprocessing, though, you should be able to get about 1 stop advantage with the K3ii because of the extra numbers of pixels that can be downsampled.

Is this disappointing for you?

The AF is rated down to -3 for the newer camera, though, so it'd be no contest there!
06-09-2016, 10:15 PM   #3
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Those are two of the factors that pushed me to upgrade from a K200D to a K3 (which has the same sensor as the mark II). AF is much more accurate on the K3, whether in good light or bad, but in low light it's very impressive and locks on perfectly in situations where the K200D would mess around and then give up.

As for high ISO, I was disappointed as I expected a bigger difference. Having said that, in good light (to get a high shutter speed) I'll happily use ISO 1600 or even 3200 (as used in the pic below).


IMGP0506a
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

In low light I'll also go up to 3200 maximum for colour shots (see below example) but after that the colour noise gets too much for me, though if you have better noise redeuction software than I do then that may be less of a problem. After 3200 I would definitely limit myself to B&W and have occasionally gone as far as ISO 12,800 (but I wouldn't go above that under any circumstances).


IMGP1325a
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Overall, while the ISO goes much higher in the K3, I'd say that it has a two to three stop advantage over the K200D. You can get much higher only because the K3 is happy to up the ISO until the image is so badly degraded that it's unusable, while the K200D doesn't get anywhere near that.
06-10-2016, 12:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sewebster Quote
I have a k200d. It's great, but there are two things I'd like to improve, low light AF and high iso performance. Can anyone quantify how much better the k3ii is over what I'm used to in terms of iso?

One online comparison I saw said 1 stop. Not sure if that is accurate though, seems like not as much as I'd like. Maybe 2 stops? Can be hard to compare sample shots due to the extreme resolution difference.

Thanks for any advice. I'm sure that any modern body would be a huge improvement, I guess it's more of a question of which to get or when to buy. Not sure if I can live without a top LCD... and more controls than k200d would be nice (e.g. change iso without using screen).

Of course I keep searching for k200d on here and there is so much about how the CCD is so good! Hard to leave it behind!
The K-3 is definitely going to be an upgrade in this respect. The AF is better, as others have mentioned, and the white balance is more accurate in low light.

According to DxO, the K-3's sensor has over 2 stops more dynamic range, and about a one-stop advantage in terms of noise. Given the K-3's higher resolution, though, you could easily add another stop and a half to that metric in practice, so let's say you'd get results between 2 and 2.5 stops better. So an ISO 3200 image from the K-3 scaled to 10Mp should be at least as good as an ISO 800 shot from the K200D.

Some users prefer the K-5 because it has less noise overall- but the lower sensor resolution balances things out, and overall the two are more or less tied at high ISOs, while the K-3 pulls ahead at lower ISOs.

I wish I could offer a definitive comparison, but I've only squared off the K-3 against the K-50 and the K-5. That said, since the sensor in the K200D has about the same performance as the one in the K-7, so it would be fair to use this K-5 vs K-7 comparison to illustrate that 2-stop difference:

Pentax K-5 Review - Image Tests | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Select ISO 6400 for both, NR off, and the difference is huge!

If you need more convincing I might dust off the K10D to give it for a spin- but last time I tried something similar the difference was so huge that I did not proceed with publishing the results.


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06-10-2016, 07:45 AM   #5
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I have a K-3II. I have never had a K-200D. The K-3II is not going to disappoint you in the low light with AF and the ISO performs as well or better than its predecessors. The AF and 24 mp enable the user to obtain finely detailed images. even with moving objects (slow or fast movement tracking). Along with numerous other features that you would be gaining, it also has the top lcd, which is very useful and enables constant setting information availability.
06-10-2016, 11:27 AM   #6
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I have both the K200D and the K3. I have gotten very nice high ISO images from the K200D but it's much more difficult and it's much less forgiving in tough situations. I have lost plenty of shots because my K200D just wouldn't focus in low and complicated light.

Another camera to look at and a successor to the K200D in my opinion is the KS2. The KS2 is less expensive than the K3 sisters and the KS2 works great. The upcoming K70 should be very much like my K3. I just bought the KS2 (until I save the money for the K1) since I retired the K200D from paid service.

Here are some samples.

K200D ISO 800

Chicken Foot Seattle
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

K3 ISO 6400

Foy Vance @ Neptune
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

KS2 ISO 2000

Sasquatch Festival - Wimps
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

KS2 ISO 1600 pushed to ISO 6400 in post. All back lit and no front light at all.

Clutch
by John Rudolph, on Flickr



I did a test shot with my KS2 to see how much I can recover in the shadows and I was pleasantly surprised. This isn't high ISO but the shadow and highlight recovery is amazing to my eye. I would never be able to do this with my K200D.

Pentax KS-2 Testing
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

Last edited by john5100; 06-10-2016 at 11:48 AM.
06-10-2016, 08:29 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for the advice and sample photos!

Sounds like the K3ii would not disappoint. Probably worth considering the KS2 or even K70, but I think that the price difference between those and K3ii (or even K3) would not be enough for it to seem worth it to me, since I do want some of the flagship features.
06-11-2016, 10:37 PM   #8
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You wtill not be disappointed

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