Pre-Sharpened K5II studio comparison file compared to K5IIs file

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
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philzucker
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Pre-Sharpened K5II studio comparison file compared to K5IIs file
Apr 22, 2013

Since I didn't have the extra money to upgrade from my K5 to a K5IIs (price difference here in Germany is quite high) I settled for an K5II instead - and am happy enough with its results.

Of course I wanted to know how I could come close to the K5IIs' output, so I tried the RAW pre sharpener out of the NIK collection - with really satisfying results IMO.

First what I did:

  • I downloaded dpreview's ISO 80 studio comparison RAW files for the K5II and the K5IIs
  • I then imported both files to Lightroom 3.6 (default settings) - I later tried them also with the LR 5 beta, but results were identical.
  • I ran the NIK RAW pre-sharpener on both the K5II and the K5IIs files (default settings)
  • I made a series of side by side comparison at 100% with the pre-sharpened files and the original ones.

My conclusions:

  • If you compare the original files the K5IIs wins clearly - better sharpness, better detail - and occasionally some moire of course
  • If you compare the original K5IIs with a pre-sharpened K5II file the latter looks a tad clearer and sharper and with IMO roughly the same amount of detail - and it doesn't show any moire ... (if you try the same have e.g. a look at the blue VW Beetle in the upper middle left; it shows clearly visible diagonal moire stripes on the K5IIs, and none at the pre-sharpened K5II file ...)
  • If you compare both pre-sharpened versions the K5IIs again has the edge - but the difference isn't very pronounced IMO, because the K5IIs file doesn't gain as much from the pre-sharpening as the K5II file.

Have to add that I couldn't find any unwanted artifacts introduced on the pre-sharpened files at 100%. You have to go to 200% to see some. But who's interested in that?!

Also have to add that to my knowledge we're not allowed to post parts of the studio comparison shots here (or anywhere else), so you have to try for yourself, if you're interested.

My conclusion? YMMV, of course - but I do think that I really can live with the pre-sharpened K5II files and don't loose very much in comparison with the K5IIs's output. Of course running the pre-sharpening on all files is very time consuming, and you'll completely avoid that with a K5IIs - but hey, I do think that it's sort of a nice workaround anyway for those of us who have shied away from the extra cost of the K5IIs and happened to have those NIK plugins.

And remember: All findings are subjective and apply to dpreviews's studio comparison RAW shots at ISO 80 only. I didn't test any other.

Phil

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