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11-30-2008, 06:01 PM   #1
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Nikon D700 vs. K20D

"Ultimately, I suspect the image quality (IQ) of the K20D is better than that of the Nikon D700..." Check it out...

The Online Photographer: The Nikon D700: The New 400

Cheers...

11-30-2008, 07:44 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
"Ultimately, I suspect the image quality (IQ) of the K20D is better than that of the Nikon D700..." Check it out...

The Online Photographer: The Nikon D700: The New 400

Cheers...
Thanks for posting the link. I keep forgetting to check his sight. He makes more sense than most on the net. The better high ISO performance of the D 700 is amazing. I wonder if the K20D and A 700 prove there has to be a trade off between resolution and high ISO performance when dealing with an APS-C size sensor. It's interesting that Nikon's challenge is to improve resolution and IQ while Pentax needs to work on less noise.

My guess is though you would need to print larger than 16 X 20 to see these differences between the two.
11-30-2008, 11:14 PM   #3
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Here is what DXO thinks of it:

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12-01-2008, 12:04 AM   #4
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That is a very interesting article. What it tells me is that the K20D is a perfectly capable performer with possibly the best image quality of any camera available today, but that the D700 showcases tomorrow's technology standard. My expectation is that the next sub-$2000 Nikon will have the D700 full-frame sensor and imaging system. If and when the other camera companies follow suit is anyone's guess.

The situation reminds me of the late 1970's when exposure automation was coming onto its own. The photography world was turned on its ears in 1978 with the release of the Canon A-1 featuring the full set of exposure automation that we all take for granted on modern cameras: aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and program. Within a few years, the program mode had migrated to the serious consumer-level AE-1 Program and the standard of technology for consumer-level SLR cameras was changed forever.

I suspect that this comment may bring on tons of flame and a whole bunch of technical explanation as to why APS-C at 14.6 megapixel is the ultimate standard, why full-frame is not needed, blah, blah, blah. The photography press in 1981 was full of the similar stuff claiming that program exposure was a fleeting fad and that existing aperture-priority and shutter-priority systems were all that any serious photographer would ever need. For sure, those comments were perfectly true...except for the part about program exposure being a fad. In the end the market dictated the system we enjoy today. (Well sort of enjoy...I for one am an old AV and manual exposure Luddite.)

Steve

(Salesman to customer, "The xyz model you are holding has the same sensor and feature set as the world's most-respected professional digital SLR, but at a price the serious amateur can afford...")


Last edited by stevebrot; 12-01-2008 at 12:16 AM.
12-01-2008, 08:47 AM   #5
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The Saga Continues...

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is a very interesting article. ...
"To me, it looks like the K20D at 1600 compares favorably to the D700 at 6400—it has better sharpness and more detail."

Here's Part II:

The Online Photographer: High ISO vs. Image Stabilization

Cheers...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 12-01-2008 at 08:54 AM.
12-01-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
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I would take that quote with a grain of salt. I'm all for pixel peeping and measurbating, but at the end of the day, for me it is about getting the shot. However great SR is, it can't compensate for a fast AF system. Which is the strength of a D700, low light/high ISO coupled with extremely fast focusing...

Read the article comments for a much eloquent explanations...
12-01-2008, 10:32 AM   #7
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The K20D costs 1/3 of the D700 too.

I love em both.
12-01-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
The K20D costs 1/3 of the D700 too.

I love em both.
Exactly, its a different class/type of camera and they're comparing apples and oranges and with a very narrow test criteria, basically static objects in low light with the camera on a tripod.

Do the same comparison with other more expensive cameras with similar resolution, and I'll bet that you'd also have to pixel peep to see any difference...

12-01-2008, 12:08 PM   #9
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He makes a good point though, even seeing as though he doesn't come out and say it. Basically, he's saying that the K20D can, given the right conditions, give you beautiful shots. Even better, perhaps, than the D700 can. However, you need to know what and where and how you're shooting. Personally, it comes as little surprise that the IQ can be better on the Pentax, because we are talking about more megapixels, and if those pixels are smaller then, well, sharper pictures ensue.

I've never really gotten comfortable with cranking up the ISO on my K200D. Having grown up with mostly film (and learning SLR operation on the Spotmatic) I'm pretty content to leave the ISO at 200 with Dynamic Range turned on, and if I can't get the picture any other way, 400, or 800 is there. I shoot a myriad of things, but for the style in which I operate, this works fine for me.

For some people doing low-light work, however, the D700 kicks. You're talking about a resolution smaller than some APS-C offerings, but with a sensor almost twice the size. Rocket science this is not.

Which is what it boils down to, unfortunately. FF vs APS-C. FF obviously has benefits for some people, but isn't a necessity, as the K20D makes apparent. But if the megapixel race is going to continue, we may have nowhere to go but to FF, eventually, to maintain the picture quality we're used to. Take Canon's 40D and 50D: DPReview's tests showed that, despite the extra resolution, the 50D didn't post a huge gain in IQ over the 40D, and what it did make up in actual detail, it lost in low-light performance.

Very insightful article. Why not compare apples to oranges? It's only then that you see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
12-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Why not compare apples to oranges? It's only then that you see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
Sure, but lets widen the test criteria shall we? Lets test situations that really push a camera to its limits then:

Low light
Fast moving objects
Frame per second / speed
Resolution

I think it's safe to say that of those items, we already know what the K20d would fall short at, compared to a D700...

So maybe (probably...) I'm being dense, but what is the point of comparing 2 entirely different classes of camera?
12-01-2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by achan68 Quote
So maybe (probably...) I'm being dense, but what is the point of comparing 2 entirely different classes of camera?
My take on it is he says the K20D being used for landscape photos will do fine and the SR is a useful advantage.

He does *not* say it's as good as the D700 in focusing or even in high ISO performance which is needed for fast shutter speeds.
12-01-2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Why are there all these comparisons between cameras of different price classes. To me, I would rather see Nikon / Canon build a camera with the K20D features and the same price.

You won't see it.
12-01-2008, 02:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by magnum1 Quote
Why are there all these comparisons between cameras of different price classes. To me, I would rather see Nikon / Canon build a camera with the K20D features and the same price.

You won't see it.
Wait another 12 months...


Steve
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