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05-06-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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K20D vs D700?

Recently I got to play with a Nikon D700 and a Canon 5DM2 in the store when originally I was just going to test a DA*50-135.

I asked the salesman to put on a prime glass for D700 and he put on an 85mm/1.8.
My K20D has FA 43 Ltd on it.
Both camera set to manual mode, no flash, with f/2 and ISO 3200 because D700 has no Shake Reduction ...go Pentax!

I tried to shoot some people in the store and to my surprise, the D700 photo gain more Dynamic Range especially in dark area compared to my K20D.
The noise is also much cleaner than my K20D, almost noiseless. Nikon really excel in this ISO part with this camera.
Not so much I can say with 5DM2. I like the picture from D700 & K20D better than 5Dm2.

So, my question is. What makes the picture from D700 so much brighter in dark areas?
Is that because of much bigger Dynamic Range? or something else?
If it is because of DR, how much difference is it compared to K20D?

Thanks,

05-06-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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If you shot in jpeg it's hard to tell, it could just be the in-camera processing boosting shadow detail more. That detail will be much cleaner than on the K20D since the D700 has HUGE pixels comparatively -- it's a full frame sensor and it has lower pixel count than the Pentax.
05-06-2009, 10:47 AM   #3
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You are seeing the advantage of a full frame sensor with large sensor sites.
I bet you also saw, though you didn't make note of it, the much nicer viewfinder that accompanies a full frame sensor camera.
05-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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Herman, how/where did you compare the photos? On-camera LCD or did you transfer them to a computer?

05-06-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by HermanLee Quote
So, my question is. What makes the picture from D700 so much brighter in dark areas?
Basic physics. The photosites measure the photons hitting the sensor. A bigger photosite (assuming similar technology) can measure more accurately.

Now you know why wedding photogs like FF cameras....well..if you've ever shot in a church with high dark wood ceilings
05-06-2009, 12:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
Herman, how/where did you compare the photos? On-camera LCD or did you transfer them to a computer?
No, I don't have CF card with me to put in the D700 so I compared them on camera LCD.
05-06-2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by HermanLee Quote
No, I don't have CF card with me to put in the D700 so I compared them on camera LCD.
D700's LCD screen is superior to the K20D's, it has full VGA resolution - that could very well explain the differences you saw. Only way to really check is to compare the pictures on a computer.
05-06-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Tell me again why we're comparing cameras that are vastly different in price. If anything, it's a compliment to the image quality of the K20 that it's being compared against those cameras at all. Who expects a camera that costs less than $1,000 to perform as well as a camera that costs a couple thousand? I don't.

05-06-2009, 04:08 PM   #9
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D700 $3,000
5dmkII $2,700
K20d $670

Prices from BH Photo

05-06-2009, 04:31 PM   #10
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The D700 has a D-Range function that opens up the shadows. If you turn that function off, the shadows will still look a little bit better than the K20D, but not by a wide margin. As far as high ISO is concerned, the Nikon D3 and D700 are really a few notches above everything else.
05-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by walro Quote
Tell me again why we're comparing cameras that are vastly different in price. If anything, it's a compliment to the image quality of the K20 that it's being compared against those cameras at all. Who expects a camera that costs less than $1,000 to perform as well as a camera that costs a couple thousand? I don't.
To explain why one performs better than the other.
05-06-2009, 05:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by walro Quote
Who expects a camera that costs less than $1,000 to perform as well as a camera that costs a couple thousand? I don't.
I do.My 250.00 C-1 outperforms even the Nikon D3x

05-06-2009, 07:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
The D700 has a D-Range function that opens up the shadows. If you turn that function off, the shadows will still look a little bit better than the K20D, but not by a wide margin. As far as high ISO is concerned, the Nikon D3 and D700 are really a few notches above everything else.
Perhaps it was on dpreview where someone was comparing K20 to D300, someone reported that Nikon's iso 3200 was closer to 2400+ and Pentax's was 2800+, not guaranteeing any accuracy here. Didn't hear about any stuff on FF cameras.

Phil
05-07-2009, 02:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by walro Quote
Tell me again why we're comparing cameras that are vastly different in price. If anything, it's a compliment to the image quality of the K20 that it's being compared against those cameras at all. Who expects a camera that costs less than $1,000 to perform as well as a camera that costs a couple thousand? I don't.
Well fyi, I'm not trying to bash K20D by comparing it to D700.
What I want to know is exactly what feature on D700 that makes the obvious difference that I saw. Is it because of the DR / pixel size / software / other "X" factor that I'm not aware of.
I know for sure that it is ridiculous to expect my $700 camera to perform at the same level of $2700 camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by cloudswimmer Quote
I do.My 250.00 C-1 outperforms even the Nikon D3x

OMG, what is that creature?
For sure it will scare any Nikonian around
...now back to business. Seriously, do you still use this camera? Any sample from photo taken with it? I always thought that this kind of camera is only for collection.
05-07-2009, 02:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HermanLee Quote
What I want to know is exactly what feature on D700 that makes the obvious difference that I saw. Is it because of the DR / pixel size / software / other "X" factor that I'm not aware of.
Probably the most significant difference is the LCD screen.
Never judge anything based on the camera LCD screen, as it may look very different once you import it into your raw converter or editing program.
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