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10-27-2008, 07:50 AM   #1
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Low ISO (100). K20 vs K10

While most people are more eager to judge the high-ISO qualities of cameras, I'd like to know the differences any of you have noticed at ISO 100.

I like to shoot landscapes with my K10D (often with a tripod), and I usually use ISO 100. Will I notice many low-ISO differences upon upgrading to the K20?

10-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildboar Quote
I like to shoot landscapes with my K10D (often with a tripod), and I usually use ISO 100. Will I notice many low-ISO differences upon upgrading to the K20?
What sort of differences would you be looking for? ISO 100 is (in my non-pixel-peeping opinion) very good on both cameras (the K10D/K20D). The K20D's higher resolution and slightly better dynamic range will produce results that you may think are better than the K10D's if you look very closely. If you do not look very closely, I doubt you could tell a difference between the two.

Will be interested to hear what others say.

Will
10-27-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
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The low ISO quality of the K10D is about the best you can get for a 10meg. camera, so you won't see much of a difference where noise is concerned. If you have GOOD quality primes, you might see a slight improvement. The biggest difference you're likely to see will be in fine details and in large blow-ups.
10-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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I'm a bit curious as well, but more in comparisons of ISO100 on the K10D vs. ISO200 on the K20D. From what I understand, the K20D's native resolution is actually ISO200, so using ISO100 will give you slightly lower quality images?
For landscapes, I'd be more interested in shadow noise (in case you have to try to increase the exposure of dark areas) and highlight control (in case you blow out part of the image and would like to recover as much as you can).

10-27-2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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To me, the critical feature at low Iso is not noise, but dynamic range (how much light difference it can handle between dark and light zoom before it goes black / burnt) As I understand, the native sensitivity of K10D is 100iso and of K20D 200iso.

Given that I tend to shoot at 200 iso with K20D and at 100 iso with the K10D, my feeling is that the dynamic range for the K20D is slighty better than on the K10D.

However, I've never done a side by side comparison, I've always had my K10D using a total diffent lense than mine K20D, when having the 2 cameras with me.

Regards,
Guillaume.
10-27-2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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This post was prompted by a post (excerpt below) I read on Steve's forum by Marc Langille about the K20D. I was just curious to hear any other opinions/experiences.


"This higher ISO performance is critical with wildlife photography, since I'm often shooting into shaded areas in the early AM or late in the day, often at dusk. Coupled with heavily overcast skies, shooting into the ISO 800-1250 range was not uncommon! The K10D I left for landscape and macro duties, which is where it's Sony CCD excels, especially at ISO 100. That sensor is phenomenal at ISO 100-200."
10-27-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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uh oh...

I'm being quoted...

Shall I post some samples from either camera, using some of Pentax's finest glass: the FA* 200/4 Macro or FA* 300/2.8. Will several samples work?

Perhaps you saw my photograph of the grasshopper head on? That was at ISO 400 with the K10D. It's very clean...

Regards,
Marc
10-27-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
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Marc,

Thanks for jumping in. I was curious as to why you prefer the K10 CCD for landscapes over the K20 CMOS (assuming I'm not mis-quoting you).

10-27-2008, 12:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildboar Quote
Marc,

Thanks for jumping in. I was curious as to why you prefer the K10 CCD for landscapes over the K20 CMOS (assuming I'm not mis-quoting you).
No worries!

Main reason: for landscape and macro, IMO, the CCD noise levels at low ISO are cleaner, most noticeably for darker areas than the CMOS sensor.

At higher ISO, the K20D is generally the winner. However, this is based on my needs and my shooting environment. I would never imply that it is across the board.

Regards,
Marc
10-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Main reason: for landscape and macro, IMO, the CCD noise levels at low ISO are cleaner, most noticeably for darker areas than the CMOS sensor.
As I understand this, it's because the K20D's sensor has a lot more chroma noise than other CMOS sensors (also mentioned as low dynamic range in DPR's review). The theory I read from someone on the Fred Miranda forums is that it's because Pentax used lower precession A->D convertors...

Last edited by kenyee; 10-27-2008 at 01:17 PM.
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