I need some technical help. For example, a 24mp full frame sensor has over twice the surface area of a 24mp APS sensor. Does that mean that the pixel sites are twice as large and thus more sensitive to light or are they the same size spread out more? Being more sensitive to light should give more dynamic range. However, from your tests the A7 has less dynamic range than the Nex7. Why is that? The Nex7 has less dynamic range that the Nex6, which is understandable the Nex6 having the same size sensor with fewer pixels. It seems that sensor dynamic range maxed out years ago and there are no further advances. Is this owing to no interest or has the technology hit a ceiling? I print black and white. In a black and white print, dynamic range and gradation, a term that died with film and developers, are of great concern.
I have been criticized for judging dynamic range from displayed pictures. In regards to dynamic range for film the problem was blocked out shadows. For digital it is burned out highlights, which is more detrimental to the picture. Anyone can easily take their software and find all the burned out pixels in a picture, and all the blocked out pixels. When one has a picture with both blocked out and burned out pixels there is a problem. As for the pictures shown most of them did not have a contrast beyond what I have experienced my Nex C3 could not handle.
Excuses are being given for the lack of sharpness in the pictures being a result of the A7 used as a point and shoot. How does using the camera as a point and shoot degrade sharpness outside of the auto focus being affected by using the camera in that mode, which would be a problem in itself? Many of the pictures had enough light to burn out pixels. Lighting along with using the camera as a point and shoot was not the problem.
I do not see that the pictures are any better, really not as good, as I can get with my Nex C3 with kit lens or older Pentax prime lenses. Dynamic range is no better and looks to be a problem. There are quite a few burned out pixels within the pictures. These photos do not appear to have been taken by DPreview staff in that there is no Space Needle in the group. If they were sent to Dpreview highly compressed that could partly explain the sharpness issue although there seems to be a lackluster beyond that. From what I see here I would not trade my Nex C3 for this camera. When a camera store in Seattle gets the A7 in house I will take a memory card with me and shoot me own pictures - the only true test.
In the days of film Pentax was my camera of choice. I had a Pentax ME that I really liked. Pentax was known for high quality compact cameras and lenses. Compact is not Pentax’s forte today. They are leaving that to Sony. Pentax cameras are big and bulky. The older Pentax film lenses I now use on a Sony Nex camera. However, using a 35mm film lens on an APS camera must result in lower resolution than would be obtained on full frame. The lines per mm may be the same, but the number of mms is less. If I could afford it, I would be more interested in the upcoming Sony FF Nex for my older Pentax lenses than anything Pentax offers. If Pentax came out with an FF k-01 with view finder I would be very interested.
A question for those in the know: if moiré can be controlled by shaking the sensor, can it be equally controlled by post processing software simulating shaking the sensor? If so why add the extra complexity to the camera and why not use such software on any camera?
Most of these pictures are for impact. What has more impact, the black and white or the color? Does the color distract from what the photographer was capturing?
My comments on the Pentax K50,500 samples has evoked quite an emotional response. The reply that the Pentax has the same sensor as the Sony cameras may be true. But even in DPreview tests nowhere does a newer Petax DSLR such as the K-30 or K-5 match any Sony DSLR or Nex in dynamic range. What is Pentax doing with those Sony sensors? Reading the comments what seems to be more important is the camera coming in bubblegum machine colors. What audience is Pentax aiming at? Pentax SLRs were my camera of choice in the days of film. I have several Pentax lenses from film days I would like to use on a Pentax DSLR. I am frustrated that Pentax does not make a DSLR that can match my non-DSLR Sony Nex C3. Especially when I am told Pentax uses Sony sensors. DPreview should put a DSLR Pentax up against other DSLRs in real world samples, particularly where blown out highlights are of concern. Nothing against the Space Needle but a day hike in the Olympics would be a good place to take the samples.
Amateurbob: Looking at the sample pictures dynamic range is a show stopper for this camera and a reason to reject it. The Nikon P7700 point and shot has better dynamic range and takes better pictures. I have Pentax lenses from the old days I would like play with on a Pentax digital body. Instead, I will play with them on my Sony Nex camera with an adapter. The feel and handling of a modern camera is nice, but the picture is still the camera’s purpose.
I did not use my eyes although just looking at the samples shows dynamic range problems. One can use there photo software, I use Picture Publisher, to find those areas of a picture that hit the 255 ceiling and what channels they hit them in. In some samples there are not only too many ceiling hits, there are floor hits at 0 also. The Pentax camera would not do as well with the snow and the shadow in the mountains where the samples with the Nikon P7700 were taken. Charts and figures are nice, but DPreview would do well to take a group of cameras and take the same scene at the same time.
I don't see my comment about the poor dynamic range in the sample photos. Does anyone care about the purpose of the camera, i.e. picture quality?
Looking at the sample pictures dynamic range is a show stopper for this camera and a reason to reject it. The Nikon P7700 point and shot has better dynamic range and takes better pictures. I have Pentax lenses from the old days I would like play with on a Pentax digital body. Instead, I will play with them on my Sony Nex camera with an adapter. The feel and handling of a modern camera is nice, but the picture is still the camera’s purpose.
You left off Zoner, which will do everything picture takers need. It is powerful and easy to use and does not contain the bloatware of some software that was listed. Photoshop is for those who thing a good picture can only to taken with an expensive bulky camera.
99% of people with cameras do not need Adobe software. The old Picture Publisher 10 still works fine. Or Zoner will do everything necessary to post edit a picture. The only drawback for those who like complication is that one does not have to read a book or take a class to use non-Adobe software. The other 1% could probable do without Adobe also. Adobe has a monopoly on photo software because those who think only the most expensive cameras take the best pictures also think the most expensive software gives the only acceptable results.
In a comment to my original post it was asked how one can determine dynamic range from sample pictures. I look at the samples giving particular interest to those with bright areas and shadows. I click on “original” to get the full resolution picture and then copy it to Picture Publisher. I go to tone curve, which I adjust to total black so that every color channel of every pixel is set to a value of 0 except for those that were originally at 255, i.e. blown out. These values remain at 255. One can now see all the areas that are blown out and what color channels are affected. The X-E1 did poorly in my testing of the sample pictures. I had no control in taking the samples, so my testing is for my curiosity only. What I saw may not just reflect dynamic range. The camera may be over exposing, which I suspect it is.
Again: How does setting the X-E1 at DR 200 or DR 400 increase the dynamic range as DP Review shows. What is the real dynamic range of the sensor?
To determine picture quality the first places I look are dynamic range and sample gallery. The sample gallery confirms the results of the dynamic range comparisons – the X-E1 set at DR 100 cannot match my Nex C3. Why was picture DSCF9046 not taken at DR 200 and DR 400 so one can get an idea of what the camera can do. Why not set the camera at DR 200? Is there some disadvantage in doing so? It is stated that DR200 is like underexposing a stop to retain highlights then adjusting the brightness afterwards, and DR400 is like underexposing by two stops and adjusting further. How does that increase dynamic range? It was shown that it increased dynamic range. If one underexposes the highlights they also underexpose the shadows. What is the dynamic range of a sensor?
The first attribute I look at in a digital camera is dynamic range. The dynamic range of the DSC-RX1 is less than that of my Nex-C3. Why would I want the camera over the Nex? What does the bigger sensor area do for me? The end goal is a picture.
The sample pictures have to be looked at with the caveat that they are from a pre-production model. They do not compare well with sample pictures from a newer camera less than a third the price, the Nikon D3200. My first criterion in a camera is dynamic range. From the samples it appears that the dynamic range of the RX1 is not as broad as that of the D3200, albeit the D3200 is one of the best in this category. Improvements in the production model will be interesting but of academic interest only. $2800 for a fixed lens camera without an articulated screen is for the 1%. Put a removable lens on it, and articulated screen and a price of $1000 (an APS-C sensor would be fine) then I will emulate the 1% and buy it depending on what dpreview finds for its dynamic range. Or I will not wait and buy a NEX camera now.
Investigating an original size Dpreview sample image is no different than looking at the image as if it was taken by the person doing the investigating. That said, the samples presented do not encourage one to go out and buy the lens. It is not clear if it is the lens or the camera that is taking away from the quality of the pictures. One hint may be that the samples taken with the Lumix DMC-GH2 look better than those taken with the Olympus OM-D. The images do not say much for the OM-D, which appears to not have the dynamic range Dpreview claimed it had in its review. Dpreview, I think rightly, does not enhance sample images. They show what comes out of the camera. There are few digital images as they come out of the camera that cannot be enhanced. To properly judge a camera or lens one has to download the sample in original size and play with it.
No camera store I know of in the Seattle area sells Pentax cameras. I asked one of the major camera stores why that was so and was told that the company is too demanding and too difficult to work with. If one wants to feel a Pentax camera they have to mail order it. That being so the reviews are academic only.
The first item I look at when reading a Dpreview camera review is dynamic range. If poor dynamic range the rest is academic. The next item I look at are the sample pictures. The OMD has great dynamic range according to the plots shown. The sample pictures belie that plot. Picture P3230112 of the houses on the right, tree on the left and water tower in the background looks as if it was taken with and older cell phone. This picture is so bad it needs explanation in the review. How can a $1000 camera take such a poor picture? Picture P1030069 of the snowmobiles shows a white line wherever there is a dark object against a white background or at the top of the plastic wind shields. This may be a jpeg artifact but should be explained. The pictures in general have too much contrast and poor dynamic range. Why the difference between the pictures and the dynamic range plot?