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Just Posted: Pentax K-30 resolution and dynamic range test samples

By dpreview staff on Sep 7, 2012 at 07:00 GMT

Just Posted: Resolution and dynamic range test samples and analysis of the Pentax K-30. Our full review of Pentax's K-30 mid-level DSLR is well underway and we will be posting content as it becomes available. This time we are adding our standard resolution and dynamic range test pages with analysis. As usual this means the dynamic range samples are accessible from other reviews and can be used for comparison our dynamic range widget.

Click here to see the Pentax K-30 resolution and dynamic range sample shots and analysis
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Comments

Total comments: 46
Parliament
By Parliament (Oct 10, 2012)

Any plans on posting a full review?

0 upvotes
Professor999
By Professor999 (Sep 10, 2012)

Just saw this field test of the K30 for anyone who may be interested,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RMfSRpEASg&feature=relmfu

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Sep 8, 2012)

I guess the next comparizon between them will be how they work under the shower, near a volcano or with manual lenses?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Sep 8, 2012)

No sense to me this comparizon since it is like compare the deep of the grip or the height of both flashes, concluding: "Yeah, they are almost the same so go for Canon because everyody does, so has to be better ".
On Digital Photography Review site, the K-30 will suffer similar lucky than the revolutionary(ignored) Pentax Q?
Don't bother, I already order one.

1 upvote
RienOnVanIsle
By RienOnVanIsle (Sep 7, 2012)

The Sony A55 is an obsolete model. How does it compare to the current A57?

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Sep 7, 2012)

Good detail retention at high ISO without being too noisy. Probably as good as it gets at this price point.

I still think Pentax needs a more entry level model like Canon, Nikon and Sony. One can purchase a kit for $500 these days at any department store. The entry model is a gateway into a system for many folks.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Sep 7, 2012)

Exactly. I'm sure this is a great camera but $700-1,000 is a lot of money. But Pentax only wants $400 for the 18-135mm lens. Right now, there is only 1 OVF model in the lineup.

0 upvotes
Jonathan Lee
By Jonathan Lee (Sep 8, 2012)

hum... how many would buy their lens whom buy a $400 cam? don't get me wrong, their lenses are very good to excellent, except the price... :(

0 upvotes
Carlos Henrique
By Carlos Henrique (Sep 8, 2012)

When I decided to enter the DSLR world I almost went for Pentax K-5. It has everything I wanted in a camera at that moment. However, I noticed that Pentax lenses had a huge price increase lately so I gave up and went for another system.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 7, 2012)

For some reason K-30 is not quite to the standard of K-5, although the sensor is apparently the same.

1 upvote
pixelsmithy
By pixelsmithy (Sep 7, 2012)

It is a similar sensor, although apparently not the SAME sensor as the K-5. Also, the K-30 only does 12-bit RAW as opposed to the K-5 with 14-bit RAW. More data to work with, which you see especially in the superior dynamic range of the K-5.

2 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Sep 7, 2012)

@ robbo d
Let's just hope that they don't limit themselves to that rumored K5MkII...
I'm itching to see what aces they have in their sleeves...

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (Sep 7, 2012)

Whilst I find the rolling review disjointed and disappointing, is it playing into Pentax hands ?
At least its k30 time every couple of weeks.
Soon the Canikon fanboys will be claiming dpr is on Pentax payroll......Lol. Ironic?
Will be an interesting time after photokina with so many products coming onto the market.

0 upvotes
pentaxination
By pentaxination (Sep 7, 2012)

yawn.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Sep 7, 2012)

The 'rolling review' is intended to do two things, primarily. Firstly, to To fill the (frustrating, we know) gap between preview and review, so you're not waiting around for anything beyond our first impressions.

Secondly, to offer a degree of transparency - we are working on your pet camera. There is a review on the way.

0 upvotes
fisherman_lol
By fisherman_lol (Sep 7, 2012)

I hope you do the same thing to Canikon too. But I doubt it since Canikon are the favorite of this website. By the time the full review of this camera if at all comes out it will be obsolet.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (Sep 8, 2012)

@Barney
I thought my post added a little light hearted humour to balance out the criticism of some Pentax die hards who think yr on Canons payroll.
The K30 isn't my pet camera, but I do find the response time compared to other major dslr reviews more than a little odd.
I happen to think the 650d review was a good read,especially as it all came at once.
The K30 is significant model as the 650d, so I guess some have a right to be suspicous of your motives, despite their blinkered thinking. The K5 reviewed as one of the highest scores ever, so I am still believing in a balanced viewpoint.

1 upvote
Heie2
By Heie2 (Sep 7, 2012)

I find the 3 months it is taking to review this camera and the ensuing "trickle" of sections within a complete review (which gives none of these "installments" any substance and context) insulting - how many cameras have you guys reviewed in the mean time?

DPReview - Fair and Balanced, right?

14 upvotes
LKJ
By LKJ (Sep 7, 2012)

I wouldn't put up with it. You should demand satisfaction.

6 upvotes
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Sep 7, 2012)

Yep, a ton of previews and samples, many recent reviews are done by Jeff Keller- one has to wonder (again).

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Sep 7, 2012)

Compared to previous years, the quantity (& partly quality) of DPR's reviews has dropped recently.

They have probably cut costs, and therefore lack the competence and/or productivity of staff.

2 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (Sep 7, 2012)

Nikon D3200: announced April 19, 2012; reviewed July 2012
Canon EOS 650D : announced June 8, 2012; reviewed Aug 2012
Pentax K30D: announced May 21, 2012; still not reviewed at September 7, 2012

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
16 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 7, 2012)

Well May isn't that bad. They never reviewed A57 that was released back in March.

9 upvotes
nenoanen
By nenoanen (Sep 7, 2012)

Yeah, its been 5 months now. The A57 is never gonna get reviewed here I fear. Too bad, it's a damn fine camera for its price. :(

0 upvotes
pentaxination
By pentaxination (Sep 7, 2012)

yet another pointless reply.

0 upvotes
Digital Suicide
By Digital Suicide (Sep 7, 2012)

> senn_b
Not correct statement. I believe DPR are not reviewing pre-production models.
So, time should be counted from when it's AVAILABLE to buy - not from when it was announced.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
HDF2
By HDF2 (Sep 7, 2012)

What the hell is wrong with you people? I know that your mommies made you feel like the center of the universe and that me, me, me is all you understand.

DPReview is a privately owned entity that charges you nothing for the privilege of reading their content. There are hundreds of cameras that come out each year and it is simply financially impossible to review all of them with any level of detail.

They make decisions to review cameras based on the criteria they deem most reasonable and provide that information for us to enjoy (or not). If you don't find your personal favorite here, tough luck.

I'm sick of all you whiners who feel entitled to have your toy reviewed for free and then moan about it if isn't, or whine about it when DP's opinion doesn't match your own.

Go back to mommy who will tell you all is well in the world and that you are the most handsome and smartest one in the room - and leave the rest of us who appreciate what DPR does the hell alone.

9 upvotes
gillamoto
By gillamoto (Sep 7, 2012)

don't forget 645D, announced sept 2010 and still not reviewed at this time. only a brief preview posted months ago..

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Sep 7, 2012)

These arguments are annoying, and I'd rather divert the effort required into addressing them into doing something more constructive but for the record... we are a small team. But we're bigger than we've ever been before. Costs have not been cut and nor has the quality of our product.

Reviews take a long time, because we do it right. So we have to prioritise what we review, and when. We have to have a schedule and inevitably, people get pissy if their camera/brand ends up being kicked down the road a little way. Sorry - it happens.

Our best-laid plans can get changed dramatically, often virtually overnight, by new product releases. You know all those previews? Yeah.

So why aren't we reviewing more cameras? Well, it turns out that WE ARE. We've published 30 camera reviews this year (if my quick count-up is accurate) which is more than ever before in the same time period.

You're welcome. Let me know if you want your money back.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
In hydraulis
By In hydraulis (Sep 8, 2012)

@nenoanen,

If we count from announcement dates:

K-30 announced 21st May.
21st June - 1 month post-announcement.
21st July - 2 months post-announcement.
21st August - 3 months post-announcement.
21st September - 4 months post-announcement. But we're not there yet.

So, at present, we're at 3.5 months or so since the K-30 was announced. Not 5. You lose! Good-day sir!

EDIT: I can't believe it. Really. You can't count to five? You have fingers, right?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 7, 2012)

One of the purposes for bigger sensor and bigger pixel size is achieving wider dynamic range. I'm wondering if the dynamic range of K-30 is that, comparatively, narrow... Do we need to carry such a bulky DSLR?

1 upvote
Philip Goh
By Philip Goh (Sep 7, 2012)

These graphs are for JPEGs. If wide dynamic range is important to a scene you're shooting, you'll be shooting RAW. Shooting RAW is where you get to leverage the sensor in cameras like the K-5, K-30 and D7000.

If you're content with JPEGs, you could argue that there is no need for a bulky DSLR.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 7, 2012)

Sorry but this isn't true. A bigger sensor will give you better image quality, regardless if you are raw or jpeg shooter.

2 upvotes
Philip Goh
By Philip Goh (Sep 7, 2012)

Way to miss the point. If you limit yourself to JPEG, you're going to get roughly 8 stops of dynamic range. You might get a bit more due to the curves applied by the camera's JPEG engine, but the 8 stops comes from the 8 bits per colour channel of the resulting JPEG. This is regardless of sensor size.

Point is, if you want to see the full dynamic range these new sensors are capable off then you need to shoot RAW.

2 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 7, 2012)

If we follow your logic, do you mean this camera has a poor JPEG engine?
If it is necessary to shot RAW in order to get the JPEG image closer to its competitors ... then it really wastes a lot of time.
Why not buy a camera with better JPEG engine?

4 upvotes
Philip Goh
By Philip Goh (Sep 7, 2012)

How will the camera know what sort of curves to apply? How will it know what sort of look you're attempting to achieve? The best setting on the K-30 that maximizes highlights and shadows is the last option in the dropdown, "Highlight On - Shadow High", but it's never going to give you a file that matches the RAW conversion of someone who has a clue.

Let's play a silly game. On the dynamic range tool, replace the Nikon with the Canon 5D Mk III and the Sony with the Canon Powershot S100. Enable "Highlight On- Shadow High" on the K-30 and have "HTP On" for the 650D and 5D Mk III. For the S100, enable DR400.

Notice how similar those graphs are? Notice how "well" the S100 is doing despite having a sensor that is a small fraction the size of the 5D Mk III?

If you're concerned about image quality and all those graphs, shoot RAW. If you want to know what the dynamic range of the camera is like when shooting RAW, look at DXOMark.

3 upvotes
pentaxination
By pentaxination (Sep 7, 2012)

No, Edmund, you should not get one. Use your cell phone.

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (Sep 7, 2012)

"but the 8 stops comes from the 8 bits per colour channel of the resulting JPEG. This is regardless of sensor size."

You can express any dynamic range at all with 8 bits per channel. You can do it with only 1 bit for that matter. Here's a way to encode 20 stops of dynamic range in only 1 bit: 0 = some arbitrary level of brightness; 1 = a level of brightness 2^20 brither than it.

If you've ever looked at an HDR image on the web, those are 8 bit JPEGs that express more than 8 stops of DR.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Rmano
By Rmano (Sep 7, 2012)

IMHO, dynamic range means nothing if you do not define what the lower limit of noise is. If the minimum significative variation you can appreciate over noise is, say, 1, than having 8 bit (256 values) gives you 8 stops. But if the lower 3 bits are noise - think a small sensor camera at high ISO - then the minimum significative variation is 8 and you have 5 stop of dynamic range.

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Sep 7, 2012)

Maybe this is what Pentax cams are famous for. I'd guess that no other cam would survive this treatment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo61t5fH6Qw

1 upvote
LKJ
By LKJ (Sep 7, 2012)

"no other cam"?

Right.

1 upvote
Heie2
By Heie2 (Sep 7, 2012)

Other cameras can - but not for the same price point as what Pentax offers.

6 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 7, 2012)

The dynamic range of K-30 looks bad when compared with others.

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 7, 2012)

Graphs are probably for JPEG. However, take a better look at DXO mark. K5 was amazing and best performing APS-C camera for quite a while, and K30 is even better in sensor department.

0 upvotes
pixelsmithy
By pixelsmithy (Sep 7, 2012)

Last time I looked (yesterday) Dx0Mark had not evaluated the K-30 yet. Has that changed? *LOOKS* Nope, all they have is specs. K-30 is 12 bit and K-5 is 14 bit. No way is the K-30 going to surpass the K-5.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (Sep 7, 2012)

Nice that you put K-30 next to it´s real peers (not 60D& Co. like in the studio samples).

1 upvote
Total comments: 46