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05-14-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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k100d vs. k200d performance

I've had a k100 for a couple of years, and have now added a k200. I'm kind of unhappy with the quality (resolution, mainly) of the k200 photos. I have some comparisons here, same lens at iso 200 f8. The k100 originals were pef, the k200s were dng. These are small crops of the upper-left corner of the images as jpegs derived from raw via gimp/ufraw. It's probably obvious, but the top is the k100, the bottom is the k200.

These were shot at 16mm on the f4 Pentax 16-45mm lens (at f8.) There is a dramatic fuzziness on the left side of images taken with the 10-20 f4-5.6 Sigma at 10mm, which I had at first blamed on the Sigma, but now I'm not so sure, since, at similar image sizes, the problem is apparent with the k200 but barely with the k100. The fuzziness difference from side-to-side is much less dramatic with the 16mm than with the Sigma at 10mm.

I'm making all my comparisons after adjusting for relative magnifications, to avoid giving the k200 a disadvantage by viewing them both at 100% or whatever.

Besides resolution, the k200 appears noiser (here at 200.) And, not that it matters that much, but the color balance under all conditions seems to require a lot more manipulaton (again, based on raw), but there are a lot of variables there, so I'm not as concerned about that. Not that it might matter much at 10 or 16mm, but the focus was identical for both images. These are just a couple of about 20 tests I did - the results are pretty consistent.

I realize that there were some differences involved in resizing etc., due to the differences in the native resolution, but the difference visible here is very much similar to the differences reflected when viewing the original raw images.

Comments/suggestions?

Paul

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05-14-2009, 09:12 PM   #2
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There is no way any test or real world pictures should be showing less resolution for the K200D. Obviously - it has more pixels. If it's not resolving as well in test pictures, something is wrong with the test or with the camera. Hard to say exactlyu what without being there and watching you do the tests and seeing lots more results with crops from different parts of the frame and with different lenses.
05-14-2009, 09:22 PM   #3
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There is no EXIF data in the attached photos. Were you using autofocus? The K200D image looks out of focus to me. Maybe you should repeat the test with manual focus to rule out AF issues.
05-14-2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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dng vs. pef

Tomorrow I'll try pef on the k200. Other than that everything was pretty well controlled. This test was a part of a 100% crop on the k100 and a correspondingly lower percentage on the k200.

Due to traffic in the street where I had to stand, this test wasn't tripod mounted, but my other tests were (on a very heavy tripod.) The results were identical in that the relative performance slightly (but noticeably) favored the k100 in every case with the 50-200mm and 16-45mm Pentax lenses, and results were pretty uniform across the frames (with corners generally a little softer, particularly wide open) with those lenses. As I said, the difference in the left side of the frame with the 10-20mm Sigma was dramatic on the k200.

Paul

05-14-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
There is no way any test or real world pictures should be showing less resolution for the K200D. Obviously - it has more pixels. If it's not resolving as well in test pictures, something is wrong with the test or with the camera. Hard to say exactlyu what without being there and watching you do the tests and seeing lots more results with crops from different parts of the frame and with different lenses.
Hey Marc

Is the K200D the same general size as the K100D?
05-14-2009, 09:50 PM   #6
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Physically? K200D is somewhat larger. Both are noticeably bigger than the old *ist series (or, presumably, the K-m), but noticeably smaller than the K20D or K10D.
05-15-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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I am getting the same thing with 100D and 20D, the 100D is sharper. What the hell?
05-15-2009, 03:41 PM   #8
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further testing

I made some further tests, this time with manual focus. The main thing I learned was that manually focusing these relatively slow wide angle lenses is very difficult, and of course focus varies across the frame.

Meanwhile, I'd be interested in anybody has any comments about raw mode color, in any Pentax DSLR. The k100 is very pleasing, at least to me, requiring little correction. The k200 is just horrible in comparison - sort of greenish/yellowish. I can come close to correcting to be more k100-like, but I need to figure out a way to automate it because it's very time consuming to do manually.

Paul

05-15-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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I have both the K100 and K200. Don't really notice any difference in color between the two. The RAW shots I have done, I let the Pentax Lab program just convert them automatically using the camera settings. There was little I could do to improve the output - which is to say, I am very pleased with output of K200 either RAW or shot in jpg. As well as the K100. Keeping both with normal kit lens on the K100 and the 70-300mm Tamron on the K200. Most of my shots are of birds...
05-15-2009, 05:35 PM   #10
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Shoot RAW...
05-15-2009, 06:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Meanwhile, I'd be interested in anybody has any comments about raw mode color, in any Pentax DSLR. The k100 is very pleasing, at least to me, requiring little correction. The k200 is just horrible in comparison - sort of greenish/yellowish.
Were your posted shots above meant to be examples of this as well? I don't see it there, nor do I see it in my own K200D in comparing its output to my old DS or my wife's K100D. I would say reds are generally more saturated on the K200D, and the results of auto WB under tungsten light are somewhat yellow (whereas the K100d is very red, but both are pretty bad (K100D worse than the K200D, though) until PP - at which point it is trivially simply to make either look great. And both do fine using the tungsten preset in camera, too.
05-16-2009, 12:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I've had a k100 for a couple of years, and have now added a k200. I'm kind of unhappy with the quality (resolution, mainly) of the k200 photos. I have some comparisons here, same lens at iso 200 f8. The k100 originals were pef, the k200s were dng. These are small crops of the upper-left corner of the images as jpegs derived from raw via gimp/ufraw. It's probably obvious, but the top is the k100, the bottom is the k200.
You need not tell which is which because it is quite easy to recognise. The sensors are different. The sky of a picture made by the K100D is more blue/purple, whereas the sky of a picture made by the K200 is lighter blue, tending to green.

I have had exactly the same problem and at first I was very disappointed. You are used to the K100D and the K200D reacts differently. I put the K200D to 100 ISO and used ACR 4.4.1 instead of ACR 4.6. Adobe has changed the algorithms. After ACR 4.4.1 contrast is higher which affects colours in a negative way. You have to get used to the colours of the K200D since they are more natural than the colours produced by the K100D.

My advice:

- use 100 ISO
- set camera to +0,3 EV when using the DA16-45mm
- use a raw converter which won't give too much contrast in its automatic settings

Now I am used to the K200D and its pictures are less noisy and of a much higher quality than those by the K100D. I also like the colours better because they are far more natural. For me it is quite easy to recognise a picture made by a K10D or a K100D because of the blues.

The DA16-45mm wil perform better on your K200D than on your K100D. Yesterday I compared the DA17-70mm and the DA18-250mm. The DA17-70mm is sharper than the DA18-250mm on a K200D. There is hardly any difference on a K100D (Super).
05-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Were your posted shots above meant to be examples of this as well? I don't see it there, nor do I see it in my own K200D in comparing its output to my old DS or my wife's K100D. I would say reds are generally more saturated on the K200D, and the results of auto WB under tungsten light are somewhat yellow (whereas the K100d is very red, but both are pretty bad (K100D worse than the K200D, though) until PP - at which point it is trivially simply to make either look great. And both do fine using the tungsten preset in camera, too.
Here's an example (of color, not resolution) from unmodified (just slightly sharpened) pef originals. The jpeg translation here didn't visibly alter the on-screen appearance of the raw files. I realize there are some personal preference issues here (and nobody else can see the original scene - for example, the roof in the back is actually red/black, at least to my eyes), but I was mostly just surprised by how different the renderings were.

Paul
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05-16-2009, 10:25 AM   #14
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Well, I don't know what your roof looks like, but I do know what the sky looks like, and what foliage looks like. I'd say #1 looks more natural to me on both counts - *way* more natural in the sky, actually (the sky is blue/green, not blue/violet). But overall, we're probably talking differences in WB and saturation here - nothing that couldn't be changed with a couple of tweaks to the camera settings or in PP. The K200D in particular allows you to fiddle with the WB presects, which is kind of cool if you shoot JPEG.
05-16-2009, 11:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by klif570 Quote
Number 1 looks almost like a compact to me.. add green cast to suit your taste lol
I believe #2 is the K200D, not #1... (edit: looks like you changed your post)


Anyway, #2 is definitely more saturated in the red channel - something that is characteristic of the 10MP sensor, I think. As Marc said, it should be easy to balance in PP.
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