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02-23-2024, 08:28 AM   #1
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New(ish) Pentax Cameras and SOOC Color

Does anyone think the colors coming SOOC from the newer 24+ mp sensors in Pentax cameras are ďnot as goodĒ as the color from the previous sensors? Seems the K-7/10/20/5/30/50/01, etc., get lots of praise for their SOOC color and the newer sensors donít seem to generate the same opinions. I donít have any hands on experience with the newer sensors so I am interested in your thoughts.


Last edited by Bourbonieer; 02-23-2024 at 08:36 AM.
02-23-2024, 09:06 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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I don't have a real problem with any of them ... and I've got a selection, see my sig below
My 'newer' cameras, K-70, KP and K-3iii, do seem to "pop" the highlights in OOC JPEG's a little more readily than my earlier bodies, so I tend not to use the "Bright" Custom Image setting in those and revert to "Natural" ... I can always boost it later in DCU if I feel the need.
I may be effectively skewing my results by using the newer cameras for "more difficult" subjects whilst reverting to an earlier body for subjects I know they won't have a problem with ... helps spread the shutter count
One would need to see directly comparable images from different bodies, taken as near as dammit at the same time, of the same subject, with the same lens and in-camera settings, to be able to definitively state that one was better/different than another.
I (believed) I could see subtle differences between the outputs from my *istDS (6Mpixel CCD) and my K-5 (16Mpixel CMOS) when I performed a small set of comparison landscape shots a few years ago, but, to be honest, there were bright fluffy clouds scudding across the sky, so the lighting quite possibly changed slightly between exposures.
The sensitivities of the various generations of sensors to infra-red are demonstrably different, when exposing through an infra-red filter, but whether that is sufficient to affect the final output of a "normal" image I don't know.
One thing I am confident about ... the degree of output variation available from the various Custom Image options, let alone personal 'fine-tuning' of those Custom Image settings, will far outweigh any subtle differences in native response, so if you don't like how the camera presents it's SOOC images, adjust the in-camera settings
02-23-2024, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #3
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None of my sensors K100D K100D Super (6mp CCD sensor), KP and K-3 (24mp CMOS sensors) have significant color differences. The only caveat is RED - the red oversaturates easily on the CMOS sensors including the 16mp.

The 16mp was the break point between not quite enough detail and great iso performance. The 24mp sensors tend to have a touch more individual pixel noise but at the same size output that's not noticed typically. I have not seen color differences.
02-23-2024, 09:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The only caveat is RED - the red oversaturates easily on the CMOS sensors including the 16mp.
I definitely agree with this, especially since putting better glass on my K50. However, I donít normally find it too oversaturated. Generally, it is a pleasing saturation. I think my particular K50 with good glass tends to over saturate colors a tiny bit. But the files are so flexible I can manipulate them in lightroom with minimal trouble.


QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The 16mp was the break point between not quite enough detail and great iso performance.
I find this interesting. The 16MP sensor is definitely unique. The difference in fine detail between the 16 and 24 is noticeable, though I find mostly noticeable once you start zooming in to pixel peep.

In an interesting twist, I find 12 and 16 mp sensors ideal for portraiture. It captures enough detail to produce clean, beautiful images, but also doesnít capture every single skin imperfection the way my 24 mp R6M2 does.

02-23-2024, 09:42 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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I misspoke. RED overexposes frequently on the K-50 and K-3. The KP is a bit better. The K100D is far better. This is a weird metering/cfa/sensor issue that I can't quite fully explain. Shooting roses or other red flowers with the CMOS sensors is less easy to get realistic output from.
02-23-2024, 09:57 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I guess if someone was so inclined, and like me had never sold any old bodies, they might be and Le to take one lens and run comparative tests with every body with the JPEG settings set to neutral, and the same subject under identical lighting.

I have an *istD, K10, K7, K5, K50, K3-3 and K1MKII

It should be possible to do a comparison, but convince me why we really want to do the test. I regularly shoot jpeg and have not noticed any real change in colour saturation in normal shooting.
02-23-2024, 10:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
It should be possible to do a comparison, but convince me why we really want to do the test. I regularly shoot jpeg and have not noticed any real change in colour saturation in normal shooting.
I feel similarly. I just have done normal shooting and I havenít seen anything distinctive other than the red issue (ccd vs cmos) which is pretty well documented.

02-23-2024, 10:47 AM   #8
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I can't say I've noticed any difference between my 24 MP KP and my 16 MP K-5 series of cameras. I did, however, notice a slight drop in color richness when I went from the K200D to the K-5.
02-23-2024, 11:51 AM   #9
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SOOC actually doesnít exist, as there is always a custom image setting active , bright is the default, but you can select another and even fine tune it....

See Pentax Custom Image Guide: From Satobi to Harubeni - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
02-23-2024, 11:57 AM   #10
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I know many "prefer" colours from the CCD sensors of the older cameras, but when I made the move from K10D to K-1 I could not tell any difference, maybe because I shoot raw and produce my own colours.

Add in the differences between calibrated monitors, and browsers used to view the images and the term "not as good" becomes very moot.
02-23-2024, 12:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlag Quote
SOOC actually doesnít exist, as there is always a custom image setting active , bright is the default, but you can select another and even fine tune it....

See Pentax Custom Image Guide: From Satobi to Harubeni - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
Perhaps more accurate to say SOOC isnít a single output. It depends on the profile selected and the tuning done in camer to those profiles - but you can compare the same unmodified profiles across cameras. That doesnít tell you that you canít tune one to look like anotherÖ but it does articulate out of the box experience
02-23-2024, 01:27 PM   #12
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Without being too technical, when I think true SOOC I think of either the most common JPEG profile or the raw file rendering.
02-23-2024, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I think I kinda agree with OP, but I think it is less color and more resolution, especially on older entry/mid level cameras, less pixels made it more soft and pleasing look rather then razor sharp on more modern cameras.

As for red, I must say that my old K-50 was lots better with them the K-3/3 is. If I want proper photo or red flower I need either Satobi or Flat profile, otherwise it would be over saturated. On K-50 I could set negative film and be happy with results.
02-23-2024, 02:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bourbonieer Quote
Without being too technical, when I think true SOOC I think of either the most common JPEG profile or the raw file rendering.
... which are two very different things!

The "most common JPEG profile" might be considered to be the default "Bright", whereas an unadulterated RAW would be very much more like a "Natural" or "Flat" Custom Image, both of which are not necessarily available on all cameras, but if you compare either of the latter to "Bright" you'll immediately see the difference.
Ever since the days of the *istDS, which only had 'Bright' or 'Natural' Image Tone (the term Custom Image wasn't in use yet), the Operating Manual described 'Natural' as "Images are finished naturally and suitable for retouching".
02-23-2024, 03:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jersey Quote
I think I kinda agree with OP, but I think it is less color and more resolution, especially on older entry/mid level cameras, less pixels made it more soft and pleasing look rather then razor sharp on more modern cameras.

As for red, I must say that my old K-50 was lots better with them the K-3/3 is. If I want proper photo or red flower I need either Satobi or Flat profile, otherwise it would be over saturated. On K-50 I could set negative film and be happy with results.
Between my Canons and my K50 if I donít want to post process and just transfer files from card to computer standard JPEG on Canon and bright on Pentax gives me results Iím normally very happy with.

I also think there is something special with the slightly lower resolution that adds to the overall image. When I do portraits with my R6 I normally add a bit of matte or tone the texture/clarity down a bit. Just depends on the look Iím going after.
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