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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%.

Sharpness setting

Bearing in mind my previous comments about the *ist D's in-camera sharpening I chose to set the *ist D's sharpness setting to +1. To be fair to the other cameras in this comparison I also set their sharpness setting to its maximum (in the case of the EOS 10D there is far less difference between 0, +1 and +2). For anyone interested in comparing this shot without increased sharpening you can find such images linked at the bottom of this page.

Pentax *ist D vs. Canon EOS 10D

Camera settings:

  • Pentax *ist D: Pentax 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority, ISO 200, JPEG Large/,
    Manual WB, Sharpness +1
     
  • Canon EOS 10D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority, ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Sharpness +2
Pentax *ist D Canon EOS 10D
ISO 200, 1/2 sec, F10 ISO 200, 1/3 sec, F10
2,289 KB JPEG (3008 x 2008) 2,350 KB JPEG (3072 x 2048)

As noted and expected the *ist D does produce images which look slightly softer than the EOS 10D. That said it really is more of a 'look difference' rather than a lack of recorded detail. Color and tonal balance between the two cameras is fairly similar with the *ist D perhaps slightly more accurate, especially in the last crop of the bright crayons (although we can see some stepping on the diagonal of the crayon tip). It may also be worth noting that the EOS 10D appears to be three quarters of a stop (0.7 EV) more sensitive at the same indicated ISO (1/3 sec vs. 1/2 sec).

Pentax *ist D vs. Nikon D100

Camera settings:

  • Pentax *ist D: Pentax 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority, ISO 200, JPEG Large/,
    Manual WB, Sharpness +1
     
  • Nikon D100: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 D, Aperture Priority, ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Hard Sharpness
Pentax *ist D Nikon D100
ISO 200, 1/2 sec, F10 ISO 200, 1/2 sec, F10
2,289 KB JPEG (3008 x 2008) 2,471 KB JPEG (3008 x 2000)

As we had predicted (because of the shared sensor) both cameras deliver very similar results from a resolution point of view, tonal balance is also very similar. However the *ist D does seem to outperform the D100 for visible noise (this is also supported by our earlier noise test). Again there is something more preferable about the *ist D's color response.

Also available for download

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