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12-29-2009, 05:43 AM   #1
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Options for a K-7x

It has been a recurring theme to ask for "a K-7 with the K-x sensor".

This made me research the options Pentax does currently have.


Chapter 1. Facts

From this source: Re: Is is a Sony Exmor Sensor?: Nikon D3 - D1 / D700 Forum: Digital Photography Review:

D3 sensor: type A (not Sony)
D3s sensor: type A' (not Sony)
A900 sensor: type B
A700 sensor: type C
D3x sensor: type B (Sony, actually not realized by source...)
D300, D90, D5000 sensor: type C (claim by source)


From DxOMark:

D90, D5000 are not type C =>
D90, D5000, K-x sensor: type D (Sony)

D3x is not type B =>
D3x sensor: type E (Sony)

A500 and A550 sensors: type F, G (not type D!)
Even A550 has less DR than type D.


Summary:

The sensor used by Pentax K-x is a Sony Exmor sensor used in Nikon D5000 and D90 too. But not by D300, D300s, A700, A500 or A550.

Source about Exmor: Sony Global - Technology - CMOS Sensor "Exmor"


Chapter 2: Options

Pentax would need a sensor of type D' with 15 Mpixels or more, capable of 6fps and 1080p@24Hz video read-out. Such a sensor does not exist. The closest thing is the Sony A550 sensor which isn't really fast enough and hasn't the DR either.

Samsung, Canikon, Kodak are no plausible Pentax sources for this kind of APS-C sensor.


So, the only short-term option would be to release a camera in between K-x and K-7, with slower fps, less MPixel and less video bandwidth. A K-6, so to speak.

But this won't happen as we know that Pentax plans to release upgrades to K-x and K-7 in 2010. So, we can only hope that Sony works on a 15+MP version sensor of type D and sells it to Pentax early enough.


Last edited by falconeye; 12-29-2009 at 09:43 AM.
12-29-2009, 07:53 AM   #2
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nice work!!

A K7 with just the K-x sensor would negate some of the features already in the K7, such as low ISO sharpness, FPS, Dynamic Range, Megapixels, Bandwith, etc. What we all want is an 'upgraded' K-x sensor - which I'm sure will come with time.
12-29-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by erickallemeyn Quote
nice work!!

A K7 with just the K-x sensor would negate some of the features already in the K7, such as low ISO sharpness, FPS, Dynamic Range, Megapixels, Bandwith, etc. What we all want is an 'upgraded' K-x sensor - which I'm sure will come with time.
Megapixels and bandwidth-yes.

Low ISO sharpness? I´ve found my K-x RAW files just as sharp at the pixel level as the K20D when using good shooting technique.

FPS? The type D sensor is in the D300s (same sensor as D90). Clearly it´s capable of at least 6fps.

DR? Have you seen Falk´s tests? The type D sensor has possibly the best APS-C DR to date. Certainly I can pull far more out of the shadows than I could with the K20D (similar to K-7). The tiny highlight DR advantage is easily negated by slightly underexposing.

I´m skeptical about the bandwidth difference as well.

Do you actually use a K-x or are you repeating things you´ve read?

So far as I can see, the only factor that makes the K-x sensor implausible for a "K7x" is the lower MP count. Aside from that, the only real advantage to the current K7 sensor isthe sightly higher-res video and the distinct "feel" of the Samsung sensor, which is something I like and would consider buying a K-7 for in the future when the prices are low.

More nice work on the sensor sleuthing, Falk, but I have to ask just exactly what leads you to conclude that the A500 sensor is not type D? I note also that you conclude the D3x sensor is not the same type B sensor as the A900 based on DxOmark. This may not be the most reliable method of determining this: I recall perusing some highly technical threa´d (I didn´t get all of it) detailing how the RAW data coming off the sensor in the D3x was somehow interpreted differently (something to do with exposure and curves or something) and that the results could be duplicated directly (through some arduous process) with the A900 files, suggesting that the sensors were the same after all (Nikon just being smarter with their overall imaging system). I believe the thread was somewhere on Luminous Landscape. Could something similar be at play with the differences seen with the A500 sensor?
12-30-2009, 05:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
1. I have to ask just exactly what leads you to conclude that the A500 sensor is not type D?

2. I note also that you conclude the D3x sensor is not the same type B sensor as the A900 based on DxOmark.
1. Well, D300s, A700, A500 and type D:
According to DxO, all three cameras may have the same sensor which I called type C and F. Their DR performance curve is very similiar. And this DR performance curve is very distinct from type D (D5000).

Many have argued that Nikon may make more out of Sony's sensors. I tend to believe that the sensors aren't the same.

The high bandwidth of the D300s sensor therefore is no sign of a high bandwidth of the type D D90/D5000/K-x sensor.

2. Same again. DxO DR curves rule out any chance both sensors are the same. While there is a small chance to explain the differences between D5000 and D300s by playing around with RAW data, there isn't here. But the D3X sensor looks Sony-made. Maybe, rumors are true where this sensor is a joint Nikon/Sony production with functionality reserved for Nikon.

12-30-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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Hope i am not intruding as i am a Pentax user for one week (bought a K-x for my wife for Christmas together with a Sigma 18-125mm F3.8-5.6 HSM) but i own a Nikon D300 that i use since it came out with Tamron 17-50mm (2.8) + Sigma 50-150mm (2.8) .I shoot only RAW with the
D300 and process with DCRAW or PerfectRaw mostly Concerts + Sport on a semi pro level. I already adore the K-x as i almost can't tell the difference on the pixel level between the pictures taken with the Nikon and the K-x ,both shot in RAW and processed the same way.(o.k i shoot 14 bit NEF's on the Nikon and probably 12 bit DNG'S on the Pentax)Agree the sensors must be very close.Nothing scientifical just everyday practice ,no Imatest or DXO.I am waiting to buy good Pentax glass to put on the K-x !

Last edited by ahilecostas; 12-30-2009 at 03:25 PM.
12-31-2009, 10:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ahilecostas Quote
Hope i am not intruding as i am a Pentax user for one week
You are very welcome to our little Pentax community. Very are quite a few of us having access to and liking both their Nikons and Pentax

D5000, D300, D300s, D90 and K-x are performing all very close. There are some signs that D5000, D90 and K-x have slightly more DR than D300 and D300s while some say this isn't due to the sensor but treatment of raw data.

With respect to low light performance: Many say that K-7 and D300 perform the same, many say that D300 and D5000 perform the same and many say that D5000 and K-x perform the same. Still, many say that K-7 performs worse than K-x. Draw your own conclusions ...
02-07-2010, 06:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ahilecostas Quote
Hope i am not intruding as i am a Pentax user for one week (bought a K-x for my wife for Christmas together with a Sigma 18-125mm F3.8-5.6 HSM) but i own a Nikon D300 that i use since it came out with Tamron 17-50mm (2.8) + Sigma 50-150mm (2.8) .I shoot only RAW with the
D300 and process with DCRAW or PerfectRaw mostly Concerts + Sport on a semi pro level. I already adore the K-x as i almost can't tell the difference on the pixel level between the pictures taken with the Nikon and the K-x ,both shot in RAW and processed the same way.(o.k i shoot 14 bit NEF's on the Nikon and probably 12 bit DNG'S on the Pentax)Agree the sensors must be very close.Nothing scientifical just everyday practice ,no Imatest or DXO.I am waiting to buy good Pentax glass to put on the K-x !
Welcome to the Pentax community coming from an ex-Nikon shooter as well. I think it would be a better comparison if you used a better glass equivalent as to comparing using a kitlens over a premium grade lens. maybe you could buy your wife a Pentax mount Tamron 17-50/2.8 which I believe would be a great combo for the k-x.
02-07-2010, 08:42 PM   #8
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So whats the rumored k-7 replacemnt supposed to look like?

I'm itching to upgrade my k20D as my 5d mk2 spends more time at canon for repairs than I get to shoot with it, also I'm not buying a k7 if a replacemnt is around the corner ( assuming there will be no heat bugs )

02-08-2010, 01:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Torphoto Quote
So whats the rumored k-7 replacemnt supposed to look like?

I'm itching to upgrade my k20D as my 5d mk2 spends more time at canon for repairs than I get to shoot with it, also I'm not buying a k7 if a replacemnt is around the corner ( assuming there will be no heat bugs )
There aren't any substantial rumors that I am aware of.

I doubt that Pentax is currently preparing another launch besides the 645D.

However, very good to hear from you again. I am missing your posts, esp. your classy work with female subjects
02-08-2010, 03:04 AM   #10
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I'm creating a logical rumor

k7x will have:

sensor capabilities as good or better then kx mp count ~15-16mp
1080i movie mode.

which sensor it'll be.. well i believe it should be samsung sensor, because, if not, then why would pentax collaborate with them, if they serve as a drag with the last sensor, since k7 weak link is the sensor. that's only my opinion. I believe samsung will have to spend a lot money in copying or researching or getting some data from sony on how to improve their technology..

same body, with minor adjustments.
two SDXC card slots;
improved battery usage;

new processor; (but not so likely.. although if mp count goes to 18 then for sure)
improved software;
improved focusing algorithms.. (again..)
added hdr customization;
some other small improvements..
02-09-2010, 05:40 PM   #11
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Oh Falcon, is that all I'm good for now
02-10-2010, 07:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Torphoto Quote
Oh Falcon, is that all I'm good for now
You noticed the "esp."?
It is true, IMHO the beauty in your photos is possibly unparalleled by other members' work.

I particularly like _IGP0970t on Flickr - Photo Sharing! which reminds me of the "Afghan Girl" shot of National Geographic.
02-14-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
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I'm flattered but Ben can shoot me under the table any day of the week. tho on a bad day
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