Offering a D800E next to a D800 is fine.
The attempt to restrict photographers to buying an incomplete camera -- lacking a necessary part; the Bayer AA filter -- should be commented on more markedly.
I'm happy for those who are unable to create shots that are sharp at the pixel level -- they won't miss a thing -- but there should be an option for those that are capable of creating the right conditions for really sharp shots.
If Nikon cannot provide the best of both worlds in one camera (like the Pentax K-3 with its optional AA-function), AFAIC, they need to give users the choice to opt for a complete camera with a different model. Make it more expensive if you must.
The X-T1 is said to have better performance than the Pentax K-3 (can easily be seen when turning on the "Compare" mode for the subscores).
Yet, the K-3 manages 720 shots per charge vs the 350 of the Fuji X-T1.
The K-3 also has a higher frame rate (8.9 vs 8.2) and a deeper JPG buffer (68 vs 40).
So the X-T1's AF must be sensational to compensate the above performance disadvantages. Unfortunately, the X-T1 has not been subjected to the AF-C test the K-3 went through. Why not?
Finally, how can you claim that the X-T1's focus accuracy (& metering) is better than that of the Pentax K-3, if you haven't looked at the AF accuracy of the K-3 in a systematic manner at all (this was one of the aspects you dropped)?
BTW, the X-T1's electronic viewfinder may be very good compared to other EVFs, but to rate it better as the optical pentaprism of the K-3??? For sure, in terms of "performance" again, the K-3 will do much better in a pan when burst shooting.
The f/2.8 AF sensor in the centre with improved accuracy and the general ability to focus at -3 EV should have been mentioned (and listed as "Pros").
If you had tested for it, you would have also found that the AF works accurately under Tungsten as well as daylight. Its level of colour temperature independence may not be met by every camera on the market.
The K-3's AF-C is not on par with Canon/Nikon yet, but to only focus on this part of the AF system seems unwarranted.
BTW, if you want to make such tests meaningful, you should actually measure the speed of the subject and not "estimate" it.
Class A: Why is "Built-in sensor-shift shake reduction effectively stabilizes all mountable lenses" not a "Pros" point for the K-3?
It is for the K-5 II.
The following "Pros" points for the Nikon D7100 apply to the K-3 as well:
* 3.5mm Stereo mic and headphone inputs* In-camera raw processing* 100% viewfinder coverage
Why are they not mentioned as "Pros" for the K-3?
@Richard Butler:Apologies for mentioning "In-camera raw processing" as a not-listed "Pros" point.
You do have it listed with different wording.
I hope you'll consider adding the other points.
@Midwest:Metering and AF sensors work very well, without being stabilised.
Note that metering and AF sensors are not stabilised on a Canon/Nikon camera either, unless you use a stabilised lens.
However, some lenses (wide-angle, small primes, affordable but great manual focus glass, etc) are not available as stabilised versions.
The in-body stabilisation system clearly has its advantages -- such as when it gets improved, all your lenses benefit and you are not paying for stabilisation with each new lens over and over again -- and these advantages are widely recognised among shooters and review sites (including DPReview for other Pentax cameras).
The fact that the K-3's AF-C is not on par with the very best Canon/Nikon models is not due to in-body image stabilisation. You'd see that if you tried a stabilised Sigma lens on the K-3.
Why is "Built-in sensor-shift shake reduction effectively stabilizes all mountable lenses" not a "Pros" point for the K-3?
completelyrandomstuff: Regarding iso noise:
Nikon D7100 Exif: Iso 25600, Shutter: 1/3200, F-stop: 5.6Pentax K-3 Exif: Iso 25600, Shutter: 1/5000, F-stop: 5.6Canon 70D: Exif: Iso 25600, Shutter: 1/3200, F-stop: 5.6Olympus E-m1: Iso 25600, Shutter: 1/5000, F-stop: 5.6
Come on Dpreview, that's not a standardized comparison... You put side-by-side two different exposures and suggest they are comparable.
No wonder a couple of the cameras look worse if you expose their shots with 2/3rds of the light!
Richard, you wrote "DxO does not report ISO accuracy or even test it."
Here is a quote from DxO that contradicts your statement:"Normally, the user cannot access the effective or “real” ISO through the camera settings, but must rely on the ISO announced by the manufacturer, which is usually different. However, DxO Labs has carefully tested the above cameras to compare absolute ISO values with the ISO values announced by the manufacturers (see the results). "
This is from page "Real-life-comparisons" of the "More-pixels-offset-noise" article at DxO.
Do you now agree that DxO is indeed measuring to what extent manufacturers inflate their nominal ISO values?
So, in other words, the "real ISO"-discussion is not one about DxO using a different standard than "the industry".
it is about making sure that proper comparisons demand that the same total amount of light is used. The latter can only be achieved by forcing the same f-stop and shutter speeds.
If you let the shutter speed be determined by the camera based on an ISO value you specify then the camera is free to "interpret" your ISO value in any way it sees fit and hence chose a different shutter speed (optimised for light collection or avoiding overexposure).
It does not really matter whether one refers to the manufacturer-specific interpretation of ISO values as "mis-stating ISO" or not, the crux is that different interpretations lead to different shutter speeds and as a result to images that are unfit for noise comparisons.
I'd like to thank you very much for your attention.
you wrote "It does tell you how the manufacturer is balancing noise and highlight DR, it does not tell you about whether ISO is being mis-stated."
Please note "highlight DR" only makes sense when talking about tone curve shapes. When you look at pure *linear* RAW data, there is only overall DR. In a linear space, there is no shadow vs highlight DR.
At the end of the day, noise is mainly a function of the total amount of light used for an exposure.
If manufacturer A's interpretation of ISO 400 leads to 1/50s shutter speed and manufacturer B's interpretation of ISO 400 leads to 1/100s shutter speed then manufacturer A will look better in noise comparisons because their camera will use double the amount of photons.
This is of course assuming that the same f-stop is used and that the same exposure (e.g., 18% for a homogeneous surface) is targeted by both cameras.
Richard, what you write about DxO and ISO measurements is not correct.
Please have a look at their measurements again. It is an open secret that when you select, say "ISO 400", you are typically not getting true ISO 400 performance, but something that would be correctly labelled as ISO 320, or ISO 290, depending on the particular camera.
DxO measure to what extent different cameras fail to reach the nominal ISO performance they are claiming to implement.
Note that it is also an open secret that camera manufacturers fudge the real ISO values near very wide f-stops in order to compensate for the light loss that is caused by sensels being too deep to capture light rays that arrive at obtuse angles. The wider the f-stop, the more obtuse the angles become.
Normally, lying about ture ISO values is unproblematic, but in noise comparisons, the different levels of "liberty wit the truth" applied by various manufacturers must be taken into account.
Class A: Regarding the AA-filter simulator: In the past you said it was a "wise of Nikon" to offer the D800 in addition to the D800E.
The D800E has 36MP and you supported the decision to also offer a version with an AA-filter so why is it now the "least important" aspect of the K-3 that, at only 24MP, it is essentially two cameras in one?
At 24MP the likelihood of moiré and other artefacts is higher than at 36MP and I'm surprised by the viewpoint that choosing a bad lens, a different f-stop, or hand-holding are appropriate means to combat the ill-effects of a missing AA-filter.
Any camera without an AA-filter at less than 100MP is essentially incomplete and is either unusable in certain situations or requires the photographer to work around the camera's limitation. The fact that many people do not find a lacking AA-filter to be an issue is just a reflection on the fact that they are not taking shots that are sharp at the pixel level, but not proof of how superfluous AA-filters are.
@BarnETWith respect to aliasing effects, the pixel size does not matter (only the pixel count).
The sensels of the D800 are larger, but so is the image projected by the lens. In other words, sensor size is irrelevant when it comes to aliasing.
Regarding your other claim: In particular in the centre, many lenses (including the old-as-dirt-design of an FA 50/1.4) out-resolve a 24MP sensor easily when stopped down 3-4 stops.
The time when lenses will act as a natural low-pass filter may come, but we are not there yet by any stretch of the imagination.
Regarding the AA-filter simulator: In the past you said it was a "wise of Nikon" to offer the D800 in addition to the D800E.
Dear Richard Butler,
are you going to do something about the current "apples and oranges" comparison?
Making sure that all cameras use the same amount of light but are achieving the same exposure (by adjusting ISO to fixed aperture and shutter speed values) is harder, but surely you don't want a manufacturer to look the better, the more dishonest they are about their true ISO values, correct?
How can this product be awarded five stars when it does not provide the most basic function of any tethering solution?
Whenever a new image is shot, one should have the option of having it transferred to a nominated folder so that one can immediately inspect / edit it (-> e.g., using the 'watched folder' concept in Lightroom).
If the USB3 port of the K-3 supported the above, the FLUcard would not have to as urgently, but as it stands, the K-3 still does not have a full tethering solution.
It does not appear justifiable to me to criticise the lens for any AF issues, unless you have confirmed any issues with other cameras / mounts.
This isn't the first time I read about Canon AF being quicker than precise and maybe the camera you tested the lens with has additional issues.
Getting the best possible focus is the responsibility of the camera. Some lenses (usually through decentering or spherical aberration) make it impossible for the camera to achieve optimal focus. But a good copy, and in particular after micro-AF-adjustments that can deliver spot on AF, should do so every time (within small tolerances, of course).
If it doesn't, you are seeing the tolerances of the camera's AF system / algorithm.
So again, I don't see how you can blame inconsistent AF on a lens in the first place and before you have ruled out the particular camera you have used.
Kudos to the DPReview staff who did not go gaga over the retro styling but maintained a sober perspective on a camera that is neither here nor there.
Thank you for this measured review. Instead of going "drool, drool, drool", you point out the shortcomings as well as the good aspects.
AFAIC, you nailed with the sentence "The danger is that the design gets in the way of usability."
The Pentax K-01 had the same problem. The fashion statement got in the way of usability.
"Pure photography" cannot be about fashion over function.
Class A: Dear Shawn,
could you please explain why "in-body image stabilization" is not listed as one of the "Pros"? Is that feature counted towards the K-5 II score at all?
I know that many, many Pentaxians made a decision for Pentax because of this feature.
Given that every reader of your reviews must make up their mind anyhow whether a "Pro" or "Con" really applies to them, would it not be in the best interest of your readers to be given the chance to check whether they feel it is a "Pro" or not?
You know as well as I do that the majority of readers skips to the "Conclusions" page directly and just skim through the "Pros" and "Cons" and then compare the numerical score to other cameras. I've written reviews myself and have the Google Analytics numbers to prove that.
I'm afraid that for many users of your site, generous comments and praise for a camera somewhere in the review will not repair any damage any inadequate summary will cause.
the D7100 uses a Toshiba sensor, not the 24MP Sony sensor from the NEX-7.
Whether 24MP are better than 16MP is for every reader to decide. For some it is an advantage, for some a disadvantage.
I agree with you that there is little point to moan about the weighting used to obtain the overall percentage. This is for DPReview to decide and any self-respecting reader would not just go by the overall score on its own anyhow.
However, when the subscores are wrong with respect to inter camera comparisons, this is not a matter of a DPReview choice. This is a matter of fairness.
Say the K-5 II wins in terms of "build-quality" (as it should, but doesn't) and wins in terms of "value" (as it should, but doesn't), etc. Let's say it wins on almost all scores but still comes out with a lower overall score. That's OK, AFAIC.
But the subscores must make sense in comparison to other models in the same class so that readers can make informed decisions based on correct data.
scunning14: Shawn can answer this if he wants, but I just wanted to add this to the conversation. The d7100 is obviously one of the k5II's main competitors. How is it possible that the d7100 scores a 13/14 for value while the k5II scores a 10/14? The k5II is currently $800 while the d7100 is $1200. That is 2/3 the price! Also the d7100 scores a 9/14 for performance while the k5II scores a 7/14, yet the K5II performs better in low light, has a faster burst, and a much larger shot buffer. I am not saying that the k5II is the better camera, but it seems like these two categories should be a little closer.
I hope Shawn will find the time to respond to your comment.
He did respond to the question of why "in-body image stabilisation" hasn't been listed as a "Pro" by adding it to the list, which was awesome.
It'll be fantastic if he could also respond to your question and some others I posed here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51581984
I'm sorry for having mixed up some of the scoring (because the bars don't line up with the categories on two browsers I tried), but most of the arguments still make sense.
thank you very much for adding the in-body stabilisation to the list of "Pros". That's fantastic!
I very much appreciate you taking the time to do this.