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11-26-2009, 03:00 AM   #1
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New Canon ID MKIV not visibly different from K-x at high-ISO

The recently announced 16 MP Canon ID MkIV is Canon's new flagship. It's not a full-frame camera but has a new APS-H 1.3 crop format.

One of it's primary claims to fame are it's 'advanced performance in low-light...The EOS-1D Mark IV delivers extreme low-light performance. ...This extreme low-light performance makes the EOS-1D Mark IV ideal for night shots or shooting at evening events, where the lack of light would normally make shooting impossible.'

Well, I'm not hugely impressed. I don't want to sound like a K-x fanboy, but in all honesty from these samples taken by the camera at a wedding in the UK recently, the new Canon flagship sure does a great job, but the difference between it's output at high ISO's and that of the K-x is (IMHO, based on all that I've seen and experienced of the K-x at low-light) not nearly as great as one would expect, at 1600 ISO, 6400 ISO, 12800 ISO etc.

I mean, the final 12800 ISO shot of the performer could really have come straight out of my K-x, not the Canon, for example. The visible noise is practically identical.

Canon 1DMKIV at a wedding - Jeff Ascough's Blog

For a pro-grade, USD$5000 camera, I'd expect a result leaps and bounds better than the output from the K-x, but it just isn't there.

Anyway, K-x vs ID Mk IV issues aside, this is interesting because it is a good illustration of the utility of the new DSLR's that can do good clean high-ISO. I can see why wedding photogs love high-ISO.

11-26-2009, 05:58 AM   #2
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I keep hearing so much about the high ISO ability of this little KX that I might have to get one just for this type of shooting. If you really can get this quality from the camera, I'll buy one. I wish someone would go down to the local pub some evening and show us how good this camera is in crappy light at 6400 or 12,800. Plus how well the AF performs in those conditions.

Great high ISO is worthless if the AF can't get a focus lock.
11-26-2009, 06:14 AM   #3
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The leaps and bounds part of the performance difference will show up pretty plainly in trivial areas like AF speed, FPS, etc.
You do realize that the Canon has 30% more pixels than the K-x? This will make quite a bit of real world difference in visible noise when the camera's files are made into prints.
11-26-2009, 06:56 AM   #4
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Given that that's a 100% crop, and having taken quite a few social snaps at ISO 12800 by this point, I'd say that the image of the performer at the end of that series is a little cleaner with a little bit better detail than the K-x. Like you said, it's not leaps and bounds, but it's certainly there, and that combined with the greater pixel count will translate to cleaner, sharper prints.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the K-x is fantastic for what it is.

11-26-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
...I wish someone would go down to the local pub some evening and show us how good this camera is in crappy light at 6400 or 12,800. Plus how well the AF performs in those conditions.

Great high ISO is worthless if the AF can't get a focus lock.
There are by now quite a few interesting K-x high-ISO samples on this forum that match your test scenarios, inc:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/78446-k-x-high-iso...en-outing.html
(at the beginning and towards the end, ignore the sidetracks )

Oh and any Kx high-ISO examples should include edhombre's work, like this @4500 ISO:



from here
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/80332-k-x-4500-a.html

and even some of my previously posted K-x examples demonstrate it well:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/77254-new-k-x-owne...le-images.html
(sorry, too lazy to upload new images)

including stuff like this 12800 one (no NR PP etc):



which on casual inspection could almost match in IQ the 12800 example of the performer I mention from the Canon wedding blog article.

Oh, I agree re the AF. The K-x is very confident even under crappy light, I find, especially if you throw a good lens on it.

Last edited by rawr; 11-26-2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: added edhombre image example
11-26-2009, 07:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The leaps and bounds part of the performance difference will show up pretty plainly in trivial areas like AF speed, FPS, etc.
You do realize that the Canon has 30% more pixels than the K-x? This will make quite a bit of real world difference in visible noise when the camera's files are made into prints.
Agreed. All those things like fps, AF speed etc will make a big difference to pro photogs. And of course at 16MP it will resolve more and crop better and downsample better etc.

But I'm not trying to directly compare the cameras feature for feature, because the Canon is clearly in a different league to the K-x on many, many levels.

I guess my main point was that I kind of expected to see image quality from the 1D MkIV, particularly high ISO image quality, that was dramatically, more visually, immediately different than that offered by a lowly device like the K-x, even upon casual inspection. Instead, you pretty much have to pixel peep to pick up any differences, IMHO.
11-26-2009, 08:47 AM   #7
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the af of the kx is MUCH better than my k20d.

it will lock onto things i can barley see.
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