Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-03-2012, 11:15 PM   #1
Veteran Member
Christine Tham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,269
K-5 vs NEX-5N - Round 2

Now that Pentax has fixed the AF problem on my K-5, I thought it may be worthwhile to repeat the comparison I did of the K-5 vs the NEX-5N taking the same shots a few months ago.

Coincidentally, both Sony and Pentax recently released firmware upgrades (within days of each other) so both cameras are running the latest possible firmware.

The rules of the comparison: in order to remove me as a variable, I used both cameras in essentially point and shoot mode (Program Auto, Auto WB, Auto ISO, Multi-AF, Multi-exposure) and I tried to take shots on each camera at roughly the same time, and the same viewing perspective. I used in-camera JPEG processing on both cameras, and turned on lens correction for both cameras. No postprocessing whatsoever.

So the test was really how well each camera made decisions regarding the image, and how well they rendered the final image.

K-5: DA* 50-135mm f2.8, D-BG4 grip, firmware 1.13
NEX-5N: SEL55210 f4.5-6.3, firmware 1.01

Location: Taronga Zoo, Australian wildlife section, sunny day (around noon)

First up, K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


K-5:


NEX-5N:


03-04-2012, 05:43 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 55,193
The NEX seems to favor slightly longer exposures, resulting in brighter rendering of the central subject. With the subjects that are in deep shade the NEX tends to reveal more detail and record richer color, but bright backgrounds tend to be too bright and colors in bright areas are sometimes washed out or "flat." It's difficult to evaluate differences in detail (IQ) through the differences in exposure. Areas in the face of the kangaroo that have hair detail in the NEX picture do not in the Pentax image largely because the latter is too dark. If the Pentax exposure were increased about 2/3 stop, would the images be indistinguishable? I suspect there's no significant difference in IQ. The choice between these cameras probably resides primarily in camera body ergonomics.
03-04-2012, 06:21 AM   #3
Veteran Member
Emacs's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,223
QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
The NEX seems to favor slightly longer exposures, resulting in brighter rendering of the central subject. With the subjects that are in deep shade the NEX tends to reveal more detail and record richer color, but bright backgrounds tend to be too bright and colors in bright areas are sometimes washed out or "flat." It's difficult to evaluate differences in detail (IQ) through the differences in exposure. Areas in the face of the kangaroo that have hair detail in the NEX picture do not in the Pentax image largely because the latter is too dark. If the Pentax exposure were increased about 2/3 stop, would the images be indistinguishable? I suspect there's no significant difference in IQ. The choice between these cameras probably resides primarily in camera body ergonomics.
QuoteQuote:
but bright backgrounds tend to be too bright and colors in bright areas are sometimes washed out or "flat."
You must be blind: pentax samples has more burnt out areas. I think it's caused by pentax lenses.
03-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Verglace's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 468
I hate to say it but I like the nex photos more, the Pentax's shadows seem to be too dark for me, I like the details that can be seen in the nex's shadows. Perhaps its just how the program mode was programmed with the pentax favored to under expose? Whatever the reason I like how the nex's images turned out more.

03-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #5
JHD
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,406
QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
I hate to say it but I like the nex photos more, the Pentax's shadows seem to be too dark for me, I like the details that can be seen in the nex's shadows. Perhaps its just how the program mode was programmed with the pentax favored to under expose? Whatever the reason I like how the nex's images turned out more.
That's exactly how I see it too. To be honest, I expected the much lauded K-5 to be the better camera.
03-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #6
Pentaxian
bobmaxja's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Laval, Quebec Canada
Posts: 2,170
Hey you choose the green mode, this is subjective by the camera programmer
03-04-2012, 09:26 AM - 1 Like   #7
Veteran Member
Otis FanOtis FanOtis FanOtis FanOtis FanOtis Fan
Rupert's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,123
Not wanting to get in any battle here, but I see (many) dozens of cameras that deliver superb IQ on the internet. A shot right out of the camera.....any camera...seldom tells the complete story, although the real story is that we have a lot of fine cameras out there....and they are all different brands, shapes, and sizes.

Of more interest to me is how an image processes, because processing an image is as much a part of the finished product as shooting it. I can tell you this from my experience (and I am no Pro), the K5 images are a delight to process because of the fantastic DR. It doesn't matter much if you get it right out of the camera, which happens, but not as often as desired. However, when you don't, the K5 shines in its ability to compensate in processing. Maybe others do too....I have no experience there...but the K5 shines, this I know!

Regards!

03-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
Veteran Member
Christine Tham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,269
Original Poster
Thanks guys for the observations.

I deliberately didn't want to add my observations initially because I wanted to see what other people think. Some interesting comments and points of view.

My own observations (with the benefit of being able to pixel peep):

Sharpness: the Sony SEL55210 wins (at the pixel level) - no real difference at web resolution

Bokeh: the Pentax DA* 50-135 wins (shallower DOF in most of the photos, more pleasing softness in the background)

Exposure: I think NEX-5N wins - overall better exposure and control of highlights (as Emacs noticed) - the K-5 resulted in slight under-exposure AND blown highlights - the NEX-5N meters over the entire sensor readout and has DR optimisation which came into good effect in a number of shots HOWEVER I like the contrast in some of the K-5 shots - the DRO on the NEX-5N watered down the images IMHO

Colour rendition: some slight differences, but I'm calling it a draw

AF speed and accuracy: both seem to be about equally accurate, but I think the K-5 is faster at focusing

Usability (continuous): no doubt, K-5 wins hands down - it feels like a real camera I can take shots in rapid succession, the NEX-5N feels like a high end compact

Usability (viewfinder): again, K-5 wins - the optical viewfinder is gorgeous compared to the NEX-5N LCD, and easier to use in bright daylight

Usability (general, taking shots): given I deliberately did not adjust parameters, this is biased to the NEX-5N - the K-5 should have easily won with the control wheels and the portrait shooting controls on the grip (I used the portrait shutter button quite a few times), but the NEX-5N is better for dutch angles

Size: NEX-5N wins - I can carry it easily in my handbag

Weight: again NEX-5N wins - the K-5 plus grip and DA* 50-135 feels like a tonne of bricks

Price: the NEX-5N and lens combo is 1/3 the price of the Pentax gear, so the NEX-5N wins.

Which one would I use more often? The NEX-5N - Size/weight wins over usability and control for me - I'm rating image quality to be roughly equal (same sensor, and the differences in the image quality can be atrributed to the lens more than the camera). The K-5 is more usable for action shots I think, but the NEX-5N is not a bad performer, just not as nimble and fast.

Anyway, for the moment I am keeping both. I was entertaining selling the K-5 and buying Canon, but not so sure. I was thinking of buying the 5D Mark III but size/weight is going to be a problem - no point buying a camera that is so heavy and big that I will never use it.
03-04-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
JHD
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,406
QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
Which one would I use more often? The NEX-5N - Size/weight wins over usability and control for me - I'm rating image quality to be roughly equal (same sensor, and the differences in the image quality can be atrributed to the lens more than the camera). The K-5 is more usable for action shots I think, but the NEX-5N is not a bad performer, just not as nimble and fast.
Size and weight, especially weight - or rather the lack of weight is what draws me to the NEX. That it can deliver at least all the of IQ of the K-5 for a fraction of the price is gravy. I haven't explored 3rd party lenses yet, but that along with MF is another huge advantage the NEX has over the K-5.

When I need fast focus and tracking I have a V-1 which leaves the K-5 in dust.
03-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #10
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,186
Interesting work... I don't actually agree with your evaluation of the pictures... but.. to me, shooting jpgs is a job for my Optio W10, that fits in my pocket.

The difference in sharpness is not apparent from the photos posted. Some picture the focus points are different,so comparisons are hard to make.

Do you have an example that would show (hopefully a pixel peeper) the superiority of the NEX lens where both subjects are the sharpest part of the frame and of the same thing? I have to say.. I couldn't use these pictures for an eval as you didn't use the EV button to adjust exposures, something I always do shooting raw. I don't really care what comes off the camera, just what I can do with the end result. It does seem odd , that the K-5 would have both more blasted highlights and less shadow detail in the same image. The Pentax jpg system is clearly designed to reproduce a higher contrast image than the NEX in with the settings yo used.. and shooting in a high contrast setting, is going to make it look bad. However, I'm sure you can turn down the contrast on the K-5. You can see this in the first Koala image in the tree , taken in full shade, where INHO the K-5 images is the best shot, the NEX image looks flat by comparison. If I shot in jpg...and didn't know how to adjust my camera for current lighting conditions.. this would be important.

Just out of curiosity, ddi you use a tripod? The overall lack of sharpness in some of the K-5 shots would suggest movement. I've taken ( a couple today ) taken with my K20D and DA*60-250 that were way sharper right off the camera, than what I'm seeing from your DA*50-135. As Jack Bower would say... somethings not right here.

IN any case, thanks for posting, you can never have too much information.

I think, maybe I can conclude, if you aren't going to find out what your camera settings do and learn how to change them for the scene you are shooting.. or you're going to shoot in jpg and you are shooting and in bright sunlight or mottled sunspots and shadow... I recommend a NEX, based on these images. Shooting in raw and learning how to expose will kick any jpgs butt. Even a K-5 will kick a K-5's butt.
03-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,651
I got to say that the mode used for this comparison is only useful if one shoots like a PnS shooter using the 'auto' mode.
I'd expect the NEX (and even a PnS) to win the K5 in such a comparison.
The o/p of the NEX (and pns) would already be internally tweaked to give good o/p in 'auto' mode.
That means, sharpness, NR, highlight/shadow adj, saturation, will all be done at a more aggressive level. We just don't know who adjusted what.
A advanced amateur DSLR like K5 would need (and can) adjust the o/p to taste (ie. highligh/shadow; saturation; sharpness, etc)


I'd agree with most of your analysis on post #8 though.
When you say 55-210 is sharper than 50-135, are they at the same f-stop? (since they were in 'auto')


Not saying that its a wrong way to compare, just want to highlight the difference in in-camera adjustments that the 2 cameras will likely give based on respective markets and camera type.
03-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 55,193
EMACS:
I'm not quite blind, but I'd say the Pentax is generally rendering at higher contrast, with both deeper shadows and in most but not all brighter highlights. But there is also a difference in saturation and color rendition. Look at the first pair of pictures of a pelican - the one of the bird preening itself. In the Pentax image both the bill and the brick platform the bird is standing on are distinctly red, even a fairly deep red, whereas in the NEX images the bill is fleshy pink and the brick color is rather washed out. In the last pair of images, with two koalas in a tree, Pentax renders the upper animal's fur grey, the NEX adds a warmish, slightly brown tint. In the same shot, the leaves in the background between the tree branches are a pleasing deep green in the Pentax image, but are rendered rather yellowish and dull in the NEX image. Of course, a nudge of saturation/tint in PP might correct whichever color rendition was considered wrong. That is, unless you were entering the image in a wildlife photo competition where any detected PP usually means disqualification.
I will hasten to add, this is the way the colors look on my computer using a color profile determined by a Spyder. Different computer, separate monitor, different color profile and you may not see the same colors that I do.
03-05-2012, 04:00 AM   #13
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 25,894
Seems like most of the difference to me have to do with exposure and white balance. The K5, being an SLR, does require more knowledge of settings and ability to modify them. The more interesting question will be if the K-01 will be able to do a point and shoot shoot-out with the NEX cameras.
03-05-2012, 09:53 AM   #14
JHD
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,406
My gut feeling is the NEX-5n can play head to head with the K-5 in any mode. Clearly the computer in the camera isn't up to task if you have to compensate for things like exposure and white balance. Such a camera may as well forego AWB and every exposure mode but manual. At that point you may well toss out AF, just to be consistent.
03-05-2012, 10:06 AM   #15
Veteran Member
JinDesu's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New York City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,632
I'm just surprised that the 55-210 is sharper than the 50-135, considering the 50-135 is supposed to be as sharp as any of the 70-200s F2.8s.

*edit*
surprised as in, skeptical.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
auto, camera, cameras, comparison, firmware, image, k-5, nex-5n
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting an NEX-7!!! JohnBee Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 27 12-16-2011 11:42 AM
nex-5n vs. GXR bimjo Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 97 11-10-2011 10:34 PM
NEX-5N vs EP-3 Unsinkable II Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 9 08-29-2011 10:12 AM
Nex 7 Leaked eddie1960 Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 13 07-16-2011 09:24 PM
Played with an NEX-3 and NEX-5 today Unsinkable II Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 0 05-24-2010 05:10 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:27 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top